DEAR HARRIETTE: I have a 4-month-old daughter with a woman I never dated exclusively but was hanging out with for a while. When she told me she was pregnant, I asked about any other men, and she said there was no one else. I accepted that, and my family and I stood by her the whole pregnancy. I love my daughter with all my heart, and we co-parent great.
Recently, her ex-boyfriend’s friend reached out to me suggesting I get a DNA test. I went back and forth about doing a test for myself since the day my daughter was born. Rumors about our child have circled so much that I finally decided to get a test done to end the drama. I never believed that she was not my daughter because I knew in my heart she was mine. But when I received the results, it turned out she was not mine. The news put me in a dark place, and I am having a hard time letting her go. I dropped everything in my life to move to another state to be closer to her. I’m so hurt by the news. I’m lost as to what to do. — Heartbroken Father
DEAR HEARTBROKEN FATHER: Your daughter is yours, perhaps not by blood, but surely by love. Unless the biological father steps up to take care of this child, you should consider continuing in this role. Further, if you are in a relationship with this woman, sit down with her and map out your future. There is no reason why you cannot make a family with her and the child if that is your shared choice. (c) Dreamleapers
This is the worst advice I’ve ever come across. This advice columnist, Harriette Cole, is suggesting that the letter writer could go ahead and co-parent with a woman who lied to him, manipulated him, crushed his spirit with a damning falsehood, and then got caught redhanded. Right. By all means, if he’s in a relationship with her, they should strategize on how he can help raise someone else’s baby with a woman who clearly has no morality of note. I bet that after the baby was born, she said, “Look, she has your chin,” with a straight face. That’s so ice cold.
His heart is broken now for the baby who isn’t his, but at least he found out early on, and he’s suspected it from day 1. He has no legal rights nor legal obligations that I know of, but for those reasons, he needs a lawyer yesterday. Quite honestly, if I were he, I’d sue the woman for fraud and emotional distress. I’m not a lawyer so I can’t say if there’s a case there, but what she did to this letter writer was so shitty and underhanded that I want her to be held accountable for it. I see the advice columnist disagrees with me about that.
It’s disgusting what women can do to men with regard to pregnancy. They can claim to be on the pill when they aren’t. They can lie about who the father is. I used to be close to a male cousin of mine, Andy. He met a woman who could tell I was friends with Andy, so she went in for the kill early on. She was so successful that I’m currently estranged not only from Andy but from my other relatives (aunts, mostly) also.
Anyway, this woman did the whole, “I’m on birth control” lie until one day she was pregnant with his baby. The rest is history. They’re now happily married and raising their child together.
It worked out well for them; don’t get me wrong. Am I happy that he’s married to a manipulative, backstabbing [bleep]? No. Am I happy he has a daughter who he loves more than life itself? Yes. So, it’s all good, and the estrangement is largely mutual. I could reach out, but… I just don’t care enough. And I don’t feel as if the onus is (or should be) on me.
I went to therapy today. The therapist doesn’t like my belief that I have value because I helped my family overcome dysfunction. She said, “I just can’t get onboard with kids being supposed to fix their parents.” I can understand that.
I tried to explain to her my overriding spiritual beliefs, like how I was born into this life to master self-value, and that’s why I’ve experienced what I have. It’s like a challenge. And I’ve helped my family broadly, as a child and as an adult. I explained to her that if I’d disappeared twenty years ago, as a young adult, my dad would be profoundly depressed today, and this house would be condemned. That assumes that the house has somehow avoided the inevitable dryer fire that would occur due to uncollected lint.
Anyway, I referenced reincarnation and the spirit world, etc.
She then asked what belief I could choose about my body that would be the opposite of believing my body’s shameful. I said we could go with: my body’s a divine and holy vessel.
“Yes, we could…” She gave me a strange look.
“Oh,” I said. “I’m religious as well as spiritual. Picture our Lord and savior, Jesus, with Tarot cards.” My eyes shifted around as I wondered if that was a good way to put it. In reality, Jesus didn’t do Tarot because He was insightful and all-seeing without needing the cards, unlike the rest of us who still have to use the reference book to find each card’s hidden meaning.
“Huh. So, you… huh.” She seemed confused, and not for the first time. I swear, I’m probably the strangest client she’s ever had. Whenever we talk (rather than doing EMDR), it seems like she’s searching her mind forever to come up with questions or commentary. I’ve taken to using the time to defog my eyeglasses, since she makes me wear a mask.