The first official post in the "What do I do" series focuses in on something that has been a real issue for a lot of people lately. It wasn't what I had originally planned, but it soon became clear that this was something that I needed to talk about sooner rather then later. You have found a great guy.... but it turns out that he has a baby mama in the picture. What now?
Dear Tucumcari Tarot,
A relationship is complicated enough without adding a third party in to the mix, so I totally understand how this can be frustrating for you. When I met my current husband he had TWO ex-wives to deal with, and children from each of those marriages. One of the ex's was fine to deal with (probably because the boys were already in high school by then) but the second ex was absolutely the stuff of nightmares. Their divorce was the epitome of nasty and that can add a lot of stress to the relationship. It is totally normal to have some concerns about where she fits into your life.
The first thing that you are going to need to make peace with is that unless he is a crap father, that this child is GOING to come first. I can't tell you how many women I have talked to who think that because they are in a relationship with the man that means they are automatically the top of the list. I hate to break it to you, but that just isn't how it goes. His kid's welfare is going to be his priority, especially if the child is under the age of 18. So unless he lied to you for the last seven months you KNEW that he had a child and you chose to get involved anyways. Today over 46% of marriages involve a step-parent situation, and for dating that number is closer to 65%!
It is 100% normal to be jealous of what he had with her - obviously they had enough of a relationship to create a child together, and that can be hard to face. I struggled with it when I first got in a relationship with my husband because I WANTED a child, and I had had miscarriage after miscarriage. There was a little voice in my brain that liked to whisper "well, if you can't give him kids he is going to want to go back to her" - and that was an irrational voice playing on my insecurity.
And you HAVE to rein in that insecurity, because that is a far quicker relationship killer then a baby mama is ever going to be. If he really wanted her then he would be with her - but he isn't, is he? He's with you. Having spoken to tons of guys over the course of my career I will tell you that guys find a woman who is secure to be one of the sexiest things EVER! So pull on your big girl panties and remind yourself that you are a goddess, and that you are worthy of love. Don't let your fears ruin your happiness.
Look at it from her side too... she had a relationship that she felt secure and loved in, they had a child together... and now he is with someone else and he is happy. It is natural for her to be scared, frustrated and jealous too. For years my husband's ex called me "that woman", "his whore", and blamed me for all the problems that she had. Who am I kidding? She STILL blames me - even though SHE was the one that left him. Unless the child resulted from a one night stand the chances are is that she once saw herself right where you are now. Put yourself in her shoes...
So what can you do to make the best of this situation? The very FIRST thing I am going to say is that you cannot place DEMANDS on him or ask him to put you first - you are just going to set yourself up for failure if you do. Instead you need to sit down with him and have a conversation and work together to come up with a solution that makes everyone happy.
At the end of the day you need to ask yourself if you can do this with trust and love. If you can't that is OK - but cut the cord now. Don't sit around expecting that things will get better all on their own, or that magically one day you are going to wake up secure in his feelings for you. Being with someone who has children can be hard, but having unrealistic expectations is the fastest way to kill the relationship.
And believe me, I know from experience how hard it can be. I have been dealing with his ex for over a DECADE now, and there are days that I just want to scream. But my husband and I have a much better relationship because we can talk about the issues, and although I offer my input and suggestions I ultimately trust that he will do what he needs to in order to provide for his kids AND maintain a healthy relationship. Every situation is different, of course, so communication with your partner sooner rather then later is the way to go. If you can do that while making peace with the fact that his ex will ALWAYS be a part of the dynamic then you can find a happy middle ground.
Thanks for writing in with your question. I hope that this was able to help you out
Next time in "What Do I Do When..." we will cover long distance relationships. Do you have a question that you would like to see explored?
24 years of tarot experience, 20 years experience as a mom, and a lifetime of knowledge is just rattling around in here!