Should I date my son's father, when we never really did way back when we were busy procreatin'?
posted by youandiandaflame to human relations (21 answers total)
Here's the backstory, folks. There's a lot of issue up in here, so prepare yourself.
About 8 years ago I entered into a relationship with my boss. It was forbidden, due to our non-fraternization policy, so we kept it secret and after a couple months I left my job – this was his career and back then, food service jobs were one in a million so I felt it was the right thing to do. We stayed together until he moved to another state to take a promotion. He invited me to move with him but I declined. In all honesty, our relationship was pretty much grounded in sex and while it was only a ew short months long, I don't feel like we really got to know each other at all. The long distance between us made it hard to, ahem...maintain the basis of our relationship so we split.
Flash forward. I'm pregnant. I rearrange my life, move back to my sad hometown, get along fine and have a wonderful little boy. When he was made aware of the pregnancy he stated his desire again and again to “do the right thing”, to be involved though I didn't ask it. When our son was born he sort of disappeared. Granted, this is an option I gave him and honestly, I don't hold it against him...too much. If he was not prepared to raise a child then I feel like he did the right thing by staying away. Our son was young and has a very strong relationship with my father and brother, so I felt like my son was covered in that department. It should be mentioned that my son's father always provided insurance and paid child support in those early years. Basically, he did what the state required and nothing more. During this time we did not speak – I never called and hounded him to visit and I made decisions about our son's welfare on my own (something our court agreement states I can do).
When our son was 3.5, he suffered a short term but life threatening illness. I'm assuming that my son's father got wind of the hefty claims made against the insurance he carried and at that point, he called expressing his desire to see our son. I invited him down, my family was more than polite, and he and our son began a relationship I can only call surreal. Our son had no qualms about letting this man into his life as dad and frankly, I'm very proud of their bond.
And now our son is seven. After that first visit a few years ago, my son's father made clear that he was in love with me and felt like we should give it a try. Needless to say, I was not receptive. Here was a man whose character I seriously questioned, considering that he had no interest in his own offspring for so many years. Again, I appreciate his honesty with himself and me in saying that he was not ready to parent but that obviously means that we are just different people with different values, yes? Aside from that, what happens should mom and dad break up? How does one even begin to navigate such an odd relationship without messing up their mutual child?
We both moved on. I've dated seriously, as has he. He has done some things I consider parenting errors but they were minor, and frankly, my life revolves around doing nothing but the very best for our child so I'm a stickler and can be hard to please. But one of the reasons I left my most recent relationship is because he and the what-ifs are always a nagging presence.
So these are the things I'm hoping the dear MeFites here can help me sort through. They are not related solely to the backstory I've posted here but they are still some things I like some perspective on, if anyone has any to offer...
1. I should ignore these feelings, yes? The potential to screw our kid up by entering into a relationship with his father is far too great, right?
2. Because when it comes to our son, I always get my way, and thus I think he genuinely believes I dislike him greatly. This is not true. Is it my job to rectify this?
3. Anytime I bring up a parenting issue, he is automatically defensive. He believes I'm a great mother, tells me so often, but I get the feeling he truly feels like I feel he's not as good a parent as I. Should I make an effort to correct this feeling on his part or is that his own issue to deal with?
4. Would it be weird (and potentially offensive and unfair to his girlfriend) to request that we sit down and hash out all these old feelings of anger and resentment on my part or should I just work on letting it go and move on, since I don't let those things affect the care of our child?
5. On that same note, would it be wrong to request that now, because our son is getting older, we make an effort to really get to know each other? Again, we dated a very short time but he is obviously a part of our lives now and I feel like most of the time, I don't know this person.
6. The last issue relates to myself and I'd like advice. I find myself making flirtacious comments to this man. He is good looking, kind in person, thoughtful, and very stable. He is responsible. When we are together, we both cannot seem to stop making comments, referring to our short relationship, or otherwise coming on to each other. I assume that this is probably not mature or good. Am I wrong in assuming that? I find myself wanting to ruin his current relationship (of this, I am NOT at all proud and I don't even like typing that sentence). I find that I do my best to keep him hanging on even though I've stated a relationship is not possible given the situation. His girlfriend, while she seems incredibly nice, does have some things in her past that I don't like (a prior drug conviction, namely) and she certainly seems like an upstanding citizen and a great mother to her kids, but her calling my kid honey rubs me the entirely wrong way. How do I work on getting over such immature jealousy and just let them be happy, without my juvenile interference? Or is this my heart telling me that I genuinely do like this man?
A whirlwind of snowflakes, eh? Apparently my life is a fucking snow globe. Can you help, MeFites?