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Should She Leave Her Husband for Her Baby Daddy?

Ms. Vicki

Dear Ms. Vicki,

I have been married for six years, and my husband is in the Navy. We have a daughter who will be three-years-old this year.

When I was pregnant with our daughter, I would see him once every eight months or so. He is always away and never part of my life or hers. I feel like he is a holiday daddy. Even though he is very attentive when he is around, he just is not around much.

We separated last year for a few months, and I met a guy I really liked who is also in the Navy. I told the guy I was still married, and he didn't seem to care much.

I ended up sleeping with him once before he went away to Europe. I found out I was pregnant and knew it was the other man's baby. I could not contact the other man because he was gone. Out of desperation, I went back to my husband and gave birth to the baby, a son.

My husband thinks the boy is his kid, but he treats him and our daughter very differently. He does not give my son much attention at all.

I have reached out to the other man. He contacted me through social media and apologized. I had a DNA test done and learned that my son is the other man's baby; I decided to tell him.

I am now separated from my husband. I want to divorce him and tell him the truth, as I can't live like this anymore. I like the other man, and he is paying me child support to help with my expenses.

In my conversations with the other man, he has mentioned things like, "if I marry you," and said that he is buying a house and wants to settle down. But he has also mentioned a few times that he doesn't want to be the type of man who breaks up a family and has said that I should try to keep the marriage I have. I guess he is confused.

I don't know what to do or what to expect. I just want what's the best for my son, and I believe the other man has better qualities and will make an amazing father for both of my kids. What should I do?

-- Baby Daddy, Not Husband

Dear Baby Daddy,

Thank you for writing to me. As you know, honesty is the best policy. I know that may sound corny and outdated, but it's true.

Your son deserves to know who his father is and your husband should know the truth, too. It may be hard for you to confess, but you should tell him.

I'm not sure if you're afraid to tell your husband the truth or not. If you are worried about your husband's response when he learns the truth, you should have some support with you -- perhaps one of his family members.

Now, regarding moving on with your son's father: I really can't tell you not to try a relationship with him. It does sound like your current marriage is over.

What I will say is that you should try to figure out why your current marriage was not successful. You have to figure out the role you played in this. If not, you will take the same old baggage into a new relationship and it won't last, either.

My grandmother always said, "The grass ain't greener on the other side," but this is for you to find out.

I'm glad you did a DNA test and discovered the truth. I know from that point there is less stress for you with knowing who your son's father is.

Let me know what you decide to do, OK? Stay in touch.

-- Ms. Vicki

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Contributor

Ms. Vicki is a native of Dallas, has been the Dear Abby for the military community since her column began in 2005. A licensed therapist and licensed clinical social worker, Ms. Vicki holds a Master of Science in social work and a Master of Arts in clinical psychology.

Ms. Vicki appears regularly on Military.com and in the Fort Campbell Courier. Her column has also appeared in the Washington (D.C.) Times and in the Heidelberg (Germany) Post Herald. She has been featured on CNN, CBS, ABC and NBC.

Looking for advice about your military life? Email Ms. Vicki here. Find Ms. Vicki on Facebook here.  Find Ms. Vicki on Twitter here.

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