Dear Aunt Fanny,
I am a first time letter writer. I have a serious problem and am in need of advice.
I’m old enough to know better (40 years old), a mother of a two, and three months pregnant. I plan to carry the baby to term because I am healthy and able to raise another child. My parents and family live nearby and are supportive. I know my 10 year old daughter and 7 year old son will be able to adapt.
My main problem is the father. I was widowed three years ago when my husband was killed in Iraq. I finally began dating last year. I tried to be responsible but the pill failed me. Here I am, two months after breaking up with the father, trying to decide whether or not I need to inform him about the baby. He’s trying to salvage his marriage.
He is of Indian descent while I have a strong Norwegian ancestry. There is a good chance that our child might not resemble my other children. We work for the same company, but at different locations. Our paths don’t often cross. He knows I’m monogamous, but I think he could convince himself that I cheated while we were together. That, however, is not the issue.
I need to ask if there is any good reason why I should inform him? Please help.
Conflicted, somewhere in Central Illinois
You don’t need Aunt Fanny to tell you what to do. That’s why my column describes me as listening.
Spelling out the problem normally provides the answers to its solution. You seem intelligent but you have missed the main question. The father is not the issue; your unborn baby and the child’s needs are of paramount importance.
In a few years, that child will begin asking questions. You may not need financial support, and I applaud you for not wanting to harm the father’s marriage (although the father has accomplished that already.) Children accept fairy-tales up to a point. Before long, you will have to come clean.
My motto is: sooner rather than later. I’m merely thinking out loud, of course. You have to listen to your own inner voice.
Fatherless children can survive and even thrive but while you are able to provide your current children with tales of their father’s love, what will you tell their young sibling? Even if you don’t live in a small town, there will be opportunities for your child to discover the parentage secret. A child who knows, as yours will, that one parent is alive but missing will soon begin to question why. Frequently, children think they are the sole reason for a parent’s absence. They imagine, if only I were smarter, more capable, more lovable, more interesting, both of my parents would be here.
Listen to your mother’s heart and think about it.