He wants out

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Saturday, May 10, 2014


Michelle: David, who is living-in for two years with a woman with whom he has a three-month-old baby girl, wants out. Both of them have stable jobs with a BPO company. According to him, while he feels napikot, he admits that he is concerned about their baby. He says that he knows that if he ends their relationship, his girlfriend will get the custody of their child. He wants to know what he will do.

I think the first thing that David should do is ask himself why he feels that the relationship is constricting him.

When he and his girlfriend decided to have a live-in relationship, it was most likely because they wanted to be together. And now that they have a child together, he wants to be apart from them.

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Relationships are not easy and need a lot of work, but it need not be complicated. David can solve his dilemma by asking himself what he really wants because what he wants to undo cannot easily be undone. And once undone, sometimes it is hard to put back together.

DJ: People’s needs are evolving these days. The world is changing, relationships are changing, and we are changing. Premium is placed on individuality. Fewer and fewer people these days are deciding to stay in an empty relationship. It should not be a surprise that David is wanting to leave.
What I would have hoped for was for him to consider the strength of his commitment before he even unzipped his pants. He brought himself into this situation, unless a gun was pointed on his head. Things are definitely more complicated now that another human being is introduced into the picture.

M: Being a parent and raising a child are challenging tasks, and ideally a child should have both father and mother present in his or her life. There is a quote that says: “The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.”

In a blog I read, it said that while it is important to love your kids, if you’re in a relationship, your partner comes first. The problem is if you no longer love your partner, then this impacts your relationship with your child. We have to remember that love is not just a feeling but a decision.

DJ: Knowing and being honest with yourself and to someone you have a relationship with are key in a commitment. David loves his baby but not her mother. He can possibly be a good father but not necessarily a good partner or husband. I suggest he tell his girlfriend about it and be upfront about his struggle. He should be ready for her reaction.

She will most likely go through the usual curve of shock, denial, anger and hopefully soon enough, acceptance. He is forever tied with her. They need to successfully shift and maintain a healthy parental relationship. The baby still needs support, stability, security and love from both parents even if they are no longer together.

M: Frankly, sometimes it works better if a couple who have irreconcilable differences do not force themselves to live together and be miserable. As they say “pain is inevitable but misery is optional.” Whether David opts to continue his relationship with his girlfriend or not, what is important is for him to treat his girlfriend fairly by giving his support in raising their child, and not just in terms of finances.

DJ: It takes a disciplined mind to decide on what’s best for him, the girl and their baby. And once a decision is made, it still needs determination to keep things moving, keeping the child’s interest a priority.

Their situation is far from ideal. All they can do is to be realistic about their perspective and expectations. Even if they are no longer together forever, they have a child to raise together. She still deserves to grow up believing that even in an imperfect world, it is still possible to truly love and be loved.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 11, 2014.

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