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Question
Posted by: step mom | 2004/02/25

How to explain?

I met my fiance in London. We got engaged when we turned 23 & have decided to move to South Africa.
My fiance has a child from a previous relationship (when he was 16 years old) who he told me about long ago. His child & ex girlfriend live here in S.A.
He recently started seeing his child again & he asked his mom why mommy & daddy aren't together-She said he should ask his dad (My fiance) The truth is her parents were very strict & they wouldn't let my Finace see her after she got pregnant-they actually moved away & never told him where they were going.
A few months later he got a call from her saying they were at a hospital in Joburg (he lived in Durban) But he caught a train so he could be their for his sons birth. He was there for his sons birth & was only allowed to see him once every month for the first year of his life because she had a new boyfriend (or should I say, a string of new boyfriends in that year) so they weren't getting along too well. When he lost his job later that year & couldn't pay maintenance they dissapreared again.

He eventually stopped trying to find them & moved overseas where we met. But he can't tell his son that his mom was a cheating you know what & that he gave up looking when they moved!
What can he tell his son? I am afraid he will think its my fault they aren't together-that if I was out of the way they would fall in love again & be a happy family (Which I know won't happen-he hates her guts). But we are still stuck with the problem of how to explain-what do we do?

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Our expert says:
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Dear Step Mom,
Well, he can tell his son that his mother's family moved around a lot, making it impossble for him to find him, and also he can tell him how, though it was hard to afford it, he tried so hard to be there at the birth, and to visit him after that. He can also explain that he and the boy's mom were not happy together and could not now be happy together, so that getting back together would not be best for the boy. he can also make it clear that nothing that has happened has been your fault, and that you are the person he now loves and will be marrying --- but that he plans to keep in touch with the boy, and that he loves him.
Birdie has summarized the issue perfectly.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Birdie | 2004/02/25

My bf's little 7 yr old asked me the same question the other day. I always try to be very honest with her and told her that they were very young when she was born and they realised that they don't love one another the way a husband and a wife should love one another and that is why they did not get married. She accepted the answer and that was it. Remember the little boy already has a good idea about life and maby he just want confirmation that even if they don't love one another that they do love him. His mother is not very wise to have told him to as his dad, but use this opportunity to show him that he is welcome in your lives. Good luck

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