OMG, I am on cloud nine! I’ve been planning my wedding for the last 12 months and now the countdown begins! 30 days until the big day. Yes, just 30 days until I walk down the aisle and marry the man of my dreams. We’ve recently moved into our dream home together and we are preparing for our forever. Although wedding planning stress is in full effect, our fairy tale love keeps my head in the clouds.
Skipping to our new home from the mailbox, opening one envelope after another. I walk into the house with the last envelope awaiting my opening. I ripped open the oversized manila envelope not looking at the sender. It was addressed to (we’ll just call him) Mr. Anonymous. Of course, I opened it because in less than 30 days I will be Thee Mrs. Anonymous and what’s his is mine, right?
I read the first line “because you failed to attend the mandatory court hearing, paternity has been determined” and YOU ARE THE FATHER! (in my judgmental, condescending Murry voice). I’m sure those were not the words verbatim but, that’s what I heard ringing in my head like a fire alarm. My heart dropped, my anxiety immediately rose, and I could literally feel my world spinning.
I walked into our bedroom where he laid completely relaxed without a worry in the world. My heart pounding, hands shaking, palms and underarms sweating, but I remained calm… at first.
Me: So, who is *insert Baby Anonymous’ name*?
Him with a completely straight face: Oh, that’s *insert Baby Momma Anonymous’* baby. Why?
Me: No that’s YOUR child. WTF IS GOING ON??
He was completely confused as to where I got this apparent “classified information” from. I didn’t even give him a chance to explain and I didn’t tell him how I obtained this classified information. Because what was there to explain? This document told me everything I needed to know. There were more than a few curse words that I shouted at him from the top of my lungs, throwing them like daggers hoping to pierce his soul. I threw the documents at him and I stormed out of the room without letting him get a word in. I refused to speak to him over the next few days. Complete silence!
The silence left me with nothing but my own thoughts. All I could think of is how I had been betrayed. If he hid this for 3years surely, he’s hiding other things. Another child could change our entire lives. What would my parents think, my friends, my family, my children??? Hell, what do I now think of the man I planned on spending the rest of my life with? I did not know this man. He had a whole 3-year-old that I knew nothing about. How could I marry a complete stranger? But the wedding is paid for. How would I get my money back? What about this house that is no longer a home? Will I put it up for sale?
But none of these words described the man I said “yes” to. Up until this point, he showered me with nothing but unconditional love. It was that storybook love. Everyone could see it, and I could feel it. We shared everything with each other. Once we became official, there were no trust issues, signs of deceit, lack of communication, nothing! So, who is this man? And who is this child?
I know what you’re thinking, “I would have been gone immediately! I would have passed go, collected $200, and kicked his ass to the curb”. And I was *this* close to curb kicking. But then I realized that despite the fact that the document told me everything I needed to know, I deserved an explanation from him.
Short, dry text from Me: I’m ready to talk
I walked downstairs, he’s lying on the couch, my eyes were filled with tears that I’m trying to restrain from rolling down my face.
Me: “So what do you have to say?”
He begins telling me a story about how 2 years before he met me, he was frequently intimate with a woman that he wasn’t in a relationship with. She got pregnant, told him that she was also frequently intimate with another man and the baby was not his, it was the other guy’s. He left it at that and did not speak to her again. People would comment and ask him if the child was his and he would confidently say no because he wholeheartedly did not think it was.
Now fast forward 3 years later. Apparently, she filed for child support from (now we’ll call him) Daddy Anonymous, but the subpoena to appear in court (in the next 7 days, across the country in another state) was sent to our prior address and didn’t officially make it to our home until after the infamous manila envelope made its appearance. And because he failed to appear in court the judge ruled in favor of the mother in the case of paternity. I know you’re thinking, WTF?! Can they do that? How can they just make him the father? No paternity test? He didn’t sign the birth certificate, nothing. So how is he the father? And those were my sentiments exactly! During the 4 days I gave Mr. the silent treatment, he had already contacted the courts, the child support office, and the mother. The order to appear in court to determine paternity ironically showed up the next day.
Now my mind is really turning flips. Oneminute I’m thinking:
*Women deal with infidelity, physical, emotional, and verbal abuse all the time and stay. This is our first real issue, I’ve never had to deal with any of those things, I’m strong enough to make it through this, right? Every relationship has its tough times and this is ours. This is the test of our relationship and my faith in God. *
The next minute I’m thinking:
*Oh, Hell nah! I’m O *claps* U *claps* T *claps*. Let me get out while I can. We’re not married yet. I will reimburse everyone who’s traveling for the wedding. They can keep all the money we paid for that wedding, and he can have this house. I’m running as fast as I can in the opposite direction. *
Any given day/time you could catch me in either mood if not both. I couldn’t recognize myself at this point.
At this time, we were in premarital counseling. So, we talked to our spiritual counselors about it. We cried, and prayed, and cried together, and prayed again. He admitted that he didn’t tell me initially because in addition to him being embarrassed by the situation, he also was convinced that the child was not his and it would not impact our marriage. He took accountability for his mistakes and completely understood how this destroyed my trust in him.
I ultimately decided that the love that he gives me and the power of God moving in our relationship outweighed his selfish, foolish, senseless mistake. I was willing to work to rebuild trust and believed that he would do everything in his power to gain that trust again.
We went immediately to meet the baby face to face. We met the most loving, innocent child that looks just like Daddy Anonymous.We loved on this baby as if we’ve known this child for 3 years. It was very awkward and uncomfortable at first and the struggle to blend is strenuous to say the least. There are a whole host of complications that makes this situation extremely difficult to navigate from day to day. But my daily prayer is for our family to blend effortlessly one day. I also pray for forgiveness, true forgiveness. Tobe honest, years have now gone by and I still struggle with this situation because things are still far from the storybook relationship I once imagined.
My mom once told me, that every marriage endures storms and I have to decide what storm(s) I am willing to accept and weather with my partner. Needless to say, I am now Mrs. Anonymous, which means I decided to weather this storm that barreled through our relationship like hurricane Katrina. But we survived.
I understand there are some women that wouldn’t have stuck it out, and that’s ok too. I’m simply sharing this to say only you, your partner, and God truly knows your relationship and if it’s worth weathering the storm. If you are not sure, I leave you with this. Pray about it!
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