Coming Clean

7 Apr

Dear LetterBalm: My fiancée and I broke up a year ago because she wasn’t sure she wanted to get married.  She wanted to finish her nursing training. Over that time, we continued to talk, more recently about getting back together and getting married. I know I love her very much – she’s the one I want to spend my life with.  She graduates in June, but something devastating has happened. While we were apart, I slept with another woman, and she just told me she’s pregnant. (We slept together only once and used a condom, but it broke.) I’m panicked. I don’t know what to do.

–Freaked Out Fiancé   

The best thing you can do is get in front of this. You can’t wait until your beloved hears about your indiscretion from others. Ms. L.B. advises you to be scrupulously honest. Don’t discuss this with anyone. Have a chat with an attorney about urging the other woman to agree to DNA testing to determine paternity. You need to know your next steps if she refuses. Arrange to meet with your fiancée privately as soon as possible. Even as you break her heart, you need to let her know you will always love her, you made a mistake and, if there is a child, you will take responsibility. Be cool and sincere; this might be the toughest conversation you’ll ever have, and you can’t rush her decision to stay with you or never see you again:

Marnie, I have something serious to say that I know will hurt you deeply. It’s worse because you’re the love of my life, and I will love you always. A few weeks ago, I slept with another woman. It happened only once, and I’m so sorry. I was feeling down, but that’s no excuse. We used a condom, but it broke, and she’s just told me she’s pregnant. Honey, this is a huge mess of my own making. I’ve asked for DNA testing to see if the child is mine. Whatever happens, I take responsibility, and I know it will take time for you to forgive me, if you ever can. I don’t want to lose you because I honestly believe you are the person I want to spend my life with. But I understand if you are devastated. Take all the time you need to decide whether or not we should be together. If we make a life together, I promise I will be honest and true to you.

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