I am twenty-eight, and I have a son who is two and a half. I live with my son’s mother….

At first, she seemed like a good person, but within two months I didn’t like her anymore. However, I wasn’t brave enough to break up with her, so we continued in the relationship. By the fifth month, when I was about to break up with her, she told me that she was pregnant. In order to be responsible, I decided that we should live together.

I love my son, but I can’t seem to find a way to love his mother. I am unhappy and very frustrated…. She has also told me that she doesn’t love me anyway. I don’t know what to do because my son is in the middle.

Dear Friend,

We are very happy for your son because you have not abandoned him. Many men in your position just walk away, letting their sons and daughters suffer from physical and emotional deprivation. Other men decide to move to another city or country, promising to send financial support, but then find it too easy to just forget about the families that they left behind. Often men start new families, adding to the confusion and misery of all their children. But you decided to take responsibility for your son, and that means that he will benefit from your love and presence. Hopefully the bond that you have established with him will never be broken.

We are sure that you now realize that you made a serious error in judgment when you chose to have sexual relations with a woman that you didn’t even know well. And then you continued to have sex with her after you knew that you didn’t even like her. You say that you weren’t brave enough to break up with her. Was it also fear that caused you to continue the sexual relationship, or was it that you mistakenly believe that sexual relations between two people can be separate from love and responsibility?

Those who save sex for marriage, as God has prescribed, never have a baby with someone they don’t like. By waiting till after the wedding to have a physical relationship, they keep from ever feeling obligated to stay in a loveless relationship just because of a child who is in the middle.

You, however, are not married, so there is no contract between you. What there is between you is one precious little boy. Need I add that, if you are still having sex with this woman, another child could be on the way at any time?

In order to do what is best for your son, you must consult an attorney and do whatever is necessary to get joint custody of your son. As soon as you do, the boy’s mother may feel betrayed and she may lash out at you. Sadly, that will be just the beginning of the next two decades of arguing with her about the welfare and care of your son.

In any case, your son is your first responsibility. Any woman that you date in the future will need to know about that, and she will need to be aware that you are financially responsible and obligated until your son is an adult. This is true no matter what kind of custody agreement you get and no matter how much you argue with the boy’s mother. And it is true no matter how unhappy it might make you.

We wish you the best,