I was just betrayed by someone I thought was an old friend

I want to keep this as brief as possible. I knew someone (ok it was a former girlfriend) who I hadn’t spoken to in years. Thing is, she’s not just any ex girlfriend. When I was young and stupid (ok, stupider), I got her pregnant. She was getting back with her boyfriend at the time, and blah blah blah, I basically had a way out of the situation. Later on, it would be the biggest source of guilt I’ve ever had.

So, we talked very sporadically through the years, and unfortunately it sometimes got a little inappropriate (we were both married) and my wife in particular was not happy about it. She understood that I wanted to know how the child (now a teenager) is doing, but it would be a touchy subject.

Anyway, the other day I contacted my ex after a few years to see how it was going. It was an interesting conversation, and I was proud of myself for keeping it clean. This was the sort of chat you’d be comfortable having with your grandmother.

My ex made me promise I’d talk to my wife and make sure it was ok to chat. She was at work but I said when she comes home we would talk.

I thought this would be a good plan, until my wife asked me why my ex had sent her some messages, with screenshots of a bunch of our conversation. My wife was livid with me for not asking (she didn’t think I was serious about having a talk). I was absolutely furious and heartbroken by my ex.

This was someone I thought at least had some decency for me, but I was completely wrong. It really hurts, especially when I think about that teenager. I don’t know if I’ll ever talk to her or meet her now.

So, partially because of my own ignorance, and also because of being betrayed by a “friend” , i might never get to meet my daughter.

Oh, and this just reinforced the fact that I have no friends and nobody to talk to.

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Hi @Benderstar

Thank you so much for posting. I am really glad you are here.

It must be so hard to find a balance of having an open communication with your ex and yet honoring your wife. It sounds so hard and I am so sorry that you are having to figure that out so you can find out how the teenager is doing.

I am so sorry that your ex seems to have not given you the chance to talk to your wife about having a conversation with your ex. Have things calmed down between your wife and you? I really hope so.

I am so sorry that you feel betrayed by your ex. Someone who you thought you could trust. Someone who you thought would give you the chance to tell your wife about the conversation.

I do just want to say, great job keeping the conversation clean. Keep up that good work.

I do also want to encourage you to talk to your wife. Talk to your wife first before more conversations with your ex.

You mentioned not being able to meet the teenager in the future. Is this something that you want? Do you want to have a relationship with her? And if you do, can you talk to your wife and ex about it? Maybe have a meeting with your ex, you, and your wife so that your wife feels apart of that kind of relationship too?

Thank you so much again for posting. Please keep posting, let us know how it’s going and how you are doing. If you haven’t already joined heartsupport on discord or on Facebook or Twitter, I really encourage you to. It’s a great place to talk, find community, and find some support.

Thank you again for sharing,
Megs

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Thank you so much for your support. I agree it’s not easy. Things with my wife have calmed down a bit, although not completely back to normal.

I would eventually like to meet my daughter, although I’m not sure how to introduce myself. She’ll be an adult (18) in a few years, so maybe my ex doesn’t need to be all that involved if I wait. I dunno, this whole thing sucks. I feel awful

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I just wanted to add that it feels like a kind of grief. I already was feeling really bad (thanks, treatment resistant depression!), and this was absolutely devastating. It’s as if I made all the wrong choices all these years and now I’m being punished for it. My ex/friend even said I’ve done wrong to her several times, and that I shouldn’t contact her anymore. Ouch.

I’m not going to make excuses though. I’m the one who fucked up. Even worse, nobody cares about how this feels. Either I deserve it or they don’t really care.

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Hey @Benderstar,

It’s understandable that this situation feels like grief. There are many aspects in it - both about your past, and this specific interaction that happened - that probably make you question your decisions and how the future is going to be. All the “what if” questions can be a torture to our soul, yet if we hold on to them we prevent ourselves from moving on one way or another. Feeling grief is painful, but it’s also a healthy process. It’s a way to acknowledge and let go of what’s beyond your control, so the pain you feel can be turned into a strength, so you could focus more on what you can do in the present moment.

I’m sorry this interaction had such consequences. You managed to have a good conversation with her yet the result was far from being what could be expected. This seems to be a very touchy subject for everyone, which makes it feel like you have to walk on eggshells constantly. Time and honesty will be your allies though. As Meg said: keeping the conversations clean and being 100% transparent with your wife will be important whenever this kind of choice happen again. Same for respecting the boundaries of everyone, including yours.

I’m glad things are better with your wife and I hope you’ve been taking care of yourself since then. This situation is likely to drain you, so I hope you take the time to process any emotion that could be associated with it.

You are obviously willing to do good and make the right decisions, and I want you to know that we see it here. It’s probably dificult for people who are emotionally involved in this situation to see it, to let go of the pain associated with an old wound, especially since it can be reactivated through your interactions. But we see and acknowledge here your willingness to do your best. How you feel about all of this is important. You are allowed to feel this grief, even if for now it’s hard to express it in some places, which is understandable. I wish though, with all my heart, that things will be more peaceful for all of you in the future, even if it takes a lot of time. Just because through all of this, what matters the most are the needs of the child, now and in the future, and they’ll be more fulfilled in an environment where communication, honesty, respect and accountability are the rule. Meeting each other halfway, with this same purpose in mind, can help sometimes to find a middle ground for people who have a hard time to communicate with each other or to let go of resentment. There’s a voice that needs to be heard before anyone else’s, and it’s the one of the child.

No matter what, know that you’ll always have a space right here to express what you need. What you’re going through is important to us. We care about you. Thank you for sharing, friend. :hrtlegolove:

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Thank you so much for that. Grief is the best way I can describe it, and even worse, I feel like it’s my fault for reaching out in the first place. I should’ve discussed it with my wife first, but it was such a painful topic I didn’t know where to begin.

You’re definitely right about the “what if”. I’ve been tortured by those thoughts for ages, and I desperately want to let go. It’s so painful to feel like you screwed up every major decision in your life. I can’t go back, but I really want to fix the wrongs that I’ve done.

I fear that my wanting to meet my probable daughter is more about soothing my own mind, and not about what’s best for her. The last thing I want to do is disrupt the already difficult life of a teenager. From what I’ve heard, she already may suspect that her mom’s ex isn’t really her biological father.

Again, I don’t want to make anything worse. I’m going to consult a professional before doing anything.

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I should’ve discussed it with my wife first, but it was such a painful topic I didn’t know where to begin.

That’s totally understandable, friend. From what happened, you learn too. And ultimately that’s what matters the most. I hope you manage to not blame yourself too much for it. As you said, the topic itself is already painful and certainly brings a large range of emotions. It’s clear that despite the pain, you are willing to do your best. :hrtlegolove:

It’s so painful to feel like you screwed up every major decision in your life. I can’t go back, but I really want to fix the wrongs that I’ve done.

Which is a very thoughtful conclusion. It would be damaging for everyone to run after what could have been, even if letting go is really, really hard. It can be a long process, but it’s worth it, and there is always hope in the present moment.

I fear that my wanting to meet my probable daughter is more about soothing my own mind, and not about what’s best for her.

It’s good to be aware of that, just because there’s indeed a huge difference between what could be motivated by your needs and her own. Of course, ideally there would be a way for you and her to meet halfway in the long run, and I truly wish that for you, with all my heart. But it’s already good to take your time to acknowledge what part of the motivation to be in touch with her belongs to you as well. It will help you to be more respectful of her own boundaries and needs, also to just be an accountable presence for people around you.

From what I’ve heard, she already may suspect that her mom’s ex isn’t really her biological father.

Man, the situation sounds to be very delicate on their end too. If she was lied to about this, she’ll certainly need to process it at her own pace. That’s tough, friend. I’m really sorry.

Again, I don’t want to make anything worse. I’m going to consult a professional before doing anything.

Good way to approach the situation, indeed. I truly hope that you will receive the support you need on this matter. It will never be as effective as a professional support, but you definitely have a safe space right here to talk about it as well, whenever you need. We want the best for you, and just to shoulder any burden with you. You’re not alone. Let us know how it goes for you in the future, if you’re comfortable with it. :hrtlegolove:

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Here’s a little update: I wrote letters to my ex and my wife, completely taking the blame and making no excuses. Just to keep everything honest, I gave a draft of the letter to my wife before I was going to send it.

It didn’t work out as well as I had hoped. I basically wanted to apologize to everyone, and keep anybody from resenting me. Maybe I’m really sensitive, but it really hurts when I know someone wants nothing to do with me.

My wife was shocked that I still wanted to be a friend of my ex. Well, I don’t want an enemy, especially since there’s a daughter I’d like to know more about and maybe meet someday.

I dunno, I thought getting my thoughts out there would be good for everybody, but I guess it comes off as bizarre and confusing. I still haven’t sent that letter though.

Maybe a different one where I just ask about the girl? I don’t know. It seems like every time I try to make things better, I make them worse.

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