|Photo courtesy of Peter Beste|
Dear Willie D:
I can't believe I messed around and had a baby by a man who already had three baby mamas — he never told me about the third one.
I found that bit of information out when we were at our 10-year-old son's school watching him play in a basketball game.
As my husband was coaching the team, out of nowhere a server walked up to him with child-support and custody papers. I was so embarrassed.
When we got home later that night, he swore to me that although he knew about the baby, he didn't believe it was his so he didn't want to have that unnecessary discussion with me. He told me that his first two baby mamas were crazy and they wouldn't let him see his kids. Now he's saying the mystery baby mama is also crazy.
I'm starting to think everything he's ever told me about his past relationships was a lie. He doesn't spend time with any of his kids other than the one he has with me.
I'm having serious doubts about his character as a person and father. His behavior reminds me of a dog who sniffs the rear of every female he sees. What kind of man just goes around sleeping with and impregnating woman after woman? Just thinking about this makes me sick to my stomach.
To his credit, he has been a good provider for my son and me, but I feel bad for the other women involved, and even worse for the children. Am I right to care or should I just worry about my own set of circumstances?
Dear Embarrassed Wife,
You get major props for at least having a conscience about the welfare of your husband's children and their mothers. A lot of women couldn't care less. Women have to start owning their role in sexing men who make baby after baby with different women. Most people in new relationships are going to lie about their exes to make themselves look good and minimize the role they played in the breakup.
Your husband deceived you, but what was he supposed to do, take you out for a romantic dinner and say, “Babe, I'm a low-down, good-for-nothing, deadbeat dad running from my responsibilities who's trying to hook up and swell your belly; if you take a chance on me I promise things will work out?” He told you the other women were crazy and you took him at his word because you wanted to believe him and you were in love.
Unfortunately, your issue is not isolated. There are a number of trifling men out there who breed like animals. Some of them even think it's funny or cool to boast about it. They see it as a badge of honor.
Although he hasn't bothered to participate in the upbringing of any of his kids before the one he shares with you, as you said, he's a good provider for your son so that's a good thing. It's confirmation that you can teach an old dog new tricks — to an extent.
Dear Willie D:
Last week I had a wreck in my car and contacted the insurance company to make a claim. Coincidentally, the wreck occurred on the same day that my policy payment was due — or so I thought. When I spoke to the insurance rep he told me that my policy had expired at 12 a.m. on my due date. I was speechless!
In my twentysomething years of being an adult and paying bills, I was always under the impression that the phrase “due date” meant I could pay my bill on that date, as long as I did so by the close of the business day for said company.
As it stands, my car is totaled and I don't have transportation. I'm not a wealthy person. I struggle paycheck to paycheck to get by. The situation makes me feel like I've been misled and taken advantage of. I'm thinking about contacting a lawyer. What do you think?
Dear Ripped Off,
In the words of Michael Jackson, you are not alone. I went through the same thing several years ago. Fortunately for me, I wasn't trying to collect on a claim. Your assumption that “due date” meant you could pay your bill on the due date as long as it was done by the close of the business day for the company in question was reasonable. Most companies allow you to do that. However, with insurance companies, depending on the state you're in, if you don't pay your bill before 12 a.m. on the date that your payment is due, your policy will automatically cancel.
The insurance company didn't mislead you so much as they confused you. Read your policy or your ID and Renewal Certificate. I'm sure you will see it states your due date as the expiration date for your policy. If you're still interested in contacting a lawyer, let me know. If you're going to be throwing away money, I'd like to provide the trash bag.
Dear Willie D:
I am scared to let my guard down and really connect with another person, physically and emotionally. I have struggled with self-harm — cutting — and an eating disorder most of my life, so I'm extremely ashamed of my scarred body and the explanation I would have to give to a potential mate.
This shame just seems to fuel the fire and give me even more reason to hate myself continuing the cycle. I have gone to therapy for years and they just won't give it to me straight! How do I allow myself to give all of me to another? How do I lose my insecurities?
Dear Protective Heart,
Since your therapist won't do it, let me give it to you straight. The problem with pity parties is nobody likes to attend them. We all have problems but as the saying goes, life is ten percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react. If you want to be able to give all of yourself to someone and purge your insecurities, you have to change your reaction.
I don't know what traumatic experience in your life triggered such deep depression — most people experience some form of abuse and neglect — but you don't have to allow what happened to you to define you. Having the capacity to love another human being unconditionally is commendable, but as George Benson asserted and Whitney Houston later affirmed, “Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all.”
Dear Willie D:
My wife used to treat me like a king, but ever since the kids came into the picture, I feel like a peasant. She hardly ever has time for me, but any little thing the kids want her to do, she's right their saluting like a soldier reporting for duty. I don't mind doing things for her but when I ask her to do something for me it's a problem. I bring her flowers, buy her nice gifts, and take her out to fancy places. I'm not even asking for big things, just simple stuff.
A few days ago, I was getting off of work late and was not going to make it to the shoe repair shop before closing. So I asked my wife if she could stop by to pick up my shoes since she would be passing only one block away from the shop on her route home. Without pause she said she couldn't because she had just came from a birthday party with the kids and was tired.
I understand that she gets tired from handling the kids, but I get tired from 15-hour workdays and I'm still considerate of her needs. How do I rectify this situation before I turn to another woman for my needs? I feel abandoned.
Oh, and for the record, I'm not getting any [loving] either.
I figured you weren't getting any. Many women put the kids' needs and wants above their husband's once they have children. On the surface that may sound commendable, but really it throws off the natural order of the family unit, hence infidelity and the high divorce rate. A man's wife's needs should come before anyone's, including his mother's. Likewise, a wife's husband's needs should come before anyone's including her kids', as long as no danger is involved.
This is not to say that she loves her kids less than she loves her husband. The reason the mother/ father relationship should be prioritized is because mothers and fathers must present a united front when raising children and teaching them morals and values. If children see mom and dad arguing and fighting, it will have a negative impact on them emotionally. Contrarily, if mom and dad are loving towards one another the family unite operates in harmony.
Remind your wife that you love your kids as much as she does, but her needs take precedence because she is your partner. If it helps, present to her the analogy of a team sport. She and you are the coaches and your children are the players. If the coaches are not on the same page the team will become disillusioned and chaotic.
There are those who will say, “A man can take care of himself.” If you believe that I have a space shuttle I'd like to sell you.
Ask Willie D anything at askwillied.com, and come back next Thursday for more of his best answers.