From a reader: 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 at 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 should have been me.”
“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 like a roller coaster: 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 to think about these 10 things:
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, and don’t blame the unborn baby. He or she is being born into a very complicated situation.
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. If he asked you to marry him once, he loved you. I actually wrote an entire article on this subject called “He never loved me.”
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? Really really wonderful things and people! Some of it is fate, but you have to make things happen by making good choices and making an effort to live the life you really want. Don’t know what that is? I get it. It takes time to figure that out, but be patient, be open-minded and try things. It will come to you!
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. Also, forgive yourself for things you did during your divorce. It’s OK! It’s understandable. Looking back, I am not proud of how I behaved at times during my divorce. Divorce brings out the worst in people. You are better than that. It wasn’t you.
In closing, 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!