Three months ago, I began a romantic relationship with a guy that I have known for four years…. A month later, I found out that he is going to have a baby with his ex-girlfriend. They weren’t getting along (because of a lack of understanding), so he decided to end it without knowing that she was pregnant.

I have decided to keep a distance from him, but we have been talking by phone every day. We hope to get back together when everything is resolved…. He has assured me that he will not abandon but rather take responsibility for his child…. Is it feasible for me to marry him?

Dear Friend,

Thank you for asking our opinion. Someday you will be glad you did, though maybe not today.

The most interesting words in your story are “when everything is resolved.” When exactly do you think that everything will be resolved? After the baby is born? Or after child support has been established? Or would it be after the two parents or the courts have worked out a visitation schedule? Will it be resolved when the baby’s mother calls the baby’s father and wants to discuss the baby while you are on a date with him? Or what about if you marry him and have your own children? Will it be resolved when your son has an important event on the same day as your husband’s son’s birthday?

To use the words “when everything is resolved” indicates that you are living in a dream world. Nothing will be resolved until the child is an adult, and probably not even then. Girls have the tendency to gloss over major issues like this, believing that their love for the man will overcome all problems. That only happens in the movies!

Of course, men with children marry other women, and sometimes those marriages work. But there is always conflict. The new wife may resent the amount of money that her husband pays (or is forced by the court to pay). She may believe that her children don’t have all they need because part of the family’s income goes to the other woman’s child. She may resent the time that her husband spends talking to the other woman. She may imagine (or find out) that her husband still has feelings for the child’s mother. The child’s mother may resent the new wife and try to come between the couple. And most certainly, the child grows up constantly pulled between his parents, wondering what he did wrong to deserve such a life.

We recommend that you tell your friend that, for his good and the child’s good, you will no longer communicate with him at all. Not now. Not ever. He needs to concentrate on making a happy life for his child, whatever that means. If your heart is broken, remember that your Heavenly Father loves you and wants the best for you. He has a plan for your life that is much better than you can imagine. Ask Him to help you get through this, and you’ll see that He will.

We wish you well,