I found out my ex-husband is having a baby with his girlfriend, an affair that carried on for a long time, even during my marriage. I am probably most mad myself on how I could have been so blind. It makes me wonder if he ever loved me at all.
“Ouch” is the first word that came into my mind when I read this woman’s e-mail to DGS. It’s kind of ironic. My novel, “Divorced Girl Smiling,” has a storyline in it with this component. So, although I’ve never actually experienced this situation personally, I’ve written about it as if I have.
Here is what my character, “Missy” was thinking and saying when she found out her ex husband was having a baby with his girlfriend:
“All I could do was think about the baby who was growing inside of my husband’s fiancé’s belly. Paul was going to be married and he was going to be a dad.”
“I burned with anger and pain and envy. It could have been me, had I not turned off like a water faucet somewhere in the middle of our marriage. Right now, I could be having Paul Benson’s baby. I could still be Paul Benson’s wife. The reason we weren’t together was because of me. That was becoming more and more clear with each passing day.”
“Paul is having the life he wants. The best thing he ever did was leave me. Now he’s got a young, perfect wife and he’s going to have a baby. The baby I failed to give him. He’s getting everything he wants.”
Again, I didn’t experience this scenario in my real life, but I have to believe the feelings this woman is experiencing are: shock, anger, jealousy, regret, isolation, loneliness, sadness, and the feeling that it isn’t fair. In other words, why does a cheater get to end up with a new wife, a baby and happily ever after? Also, when you find out someone has cheated, it makes you feel stupid, naïve, and like this woman expressed, angry at yourself for not knowing.
The best advice I can offer to someone whose ex-husband is having a baby with his girlfriend (or new wife) is 10 things to think about:
1. Although this is very hurtful right now, you won’t always feel this way. Time always heals us.
2. One thing I did personally experience was my ex-husband getting remarried. It was very upsetting to me, not because I wanted to get back together with him, but because it made me feel the true finality of the divorce. It also made me feel very very alone, like he got his happily ever after and I didn’t. It made me feel like a loser—which looking back is crazy.
3. Ask yourself, “If someone could wave a magic wand that causes the two of you to get back together, would you want that?” Of course not. Don’t forget about all the issues the two of you had. There is a reason you aren’t together anymore, regardless of who left.
4. How can you be upset about the miracle of life? A baby being born is beautiful. Let it make you smile.
5. Your ex and his new girlfriend aren’t as blissful as you think. Just as you did, there are issues in their relationship. In other words, life isn’t all rainbows for them all the time.
6. Remember that their relationship started off with cheating, lies and deceit. That sounds kind of icky to me. When you find love, yours won’t have that attached to it. It will be pure.
7. To answer this woman’s question, yes, he did love you. Don’t convince yourself otherwise. People change. It’s sad, but if he asked you to marry him once, he loved you.
8. Let them have their baby, and let yourself move on with your own life. Do you have any idea of all that awaits you? (if you have the guts to go after it and do the work to get there.)
9. It’s not easy, but try to forgive what he did. It will free you, as acceptance and forgiveness bring a peaceful life that opens up many doors for you.
10. Love yourself, and forgive yourself. Were you perfect in your marriage? Nope. Taking accountability for part of the demise of the marriage is healthy and proves you have maturity and self-awareness. After you are willing to admit you weren’t perfect, forgive yourself and take credit for being the best wife you knew how to be.
An ex-husband having a baby with his new girlfriend is a stab to the heart, but only initially. Take a deep breath and make the most of each and every day, with as little self-pity and with as much grace, poise and acceptance as you can. Eventually, things will improve. I promise!
Like this post? Check out my blog, “How To Handle Your Ex Getting Engaged”