How I Hurt the Woman I Love - Part 2
A few weeks later I got a letter in the mail. It was from Karen, she said she was late and had taken a pregnancy test. The news came so soon after we had unprotected sex that I wasn’t sure whether or not to believe it. I texted her and we met up and talked. She did not seem happy about the situation at all, but I still didn’t know if it was true. I had this doubt that wasn’t letting me take her seriously. I thought she was lying about it.
I saw her a few more times and we talked about her options. I said I thought an abortion would be best, she talked about adoption which I said I would be fine with as well. I was trying my best to convince her to make the decision I wanted, the selfish one, even though she was telling me that she could not go through with it. I said it was her decision, but still pushed towards abortion. At one point she stopped talking to me because she wanted space to make her own decision.
A week or so later we were having lunch and she told me she had a miscarriage. In my mind, this confirmed all my doubts about the pregnancy being real. I told her I was sorry and asked how she was, but it probably came off cheap, like I didn’t care. She even called me out for not checking on her after an event like that. I didn’t because in my mind it was all fake, but I was wrong again.
After not talking to her for a few weeks I got another letter in the mail. This one had an ultrasound picture in it and the letter talked about how she lied about the miscarriage in order to get space to make the decision. She said she was going to have the baby, but hadn’t decided on adoption or keeping the baby. I told her we should meet, and we did, we went for a hike and talked at the top. I told her I would be there for her and try to make it work. I wanted to do the right thing and I wanted to give us a shot even though I knew I was fighting an uphill battle with our history.
We kept seeing each other regularly. The problem was I was always half in on the relationship. I never fully committed to dating her, instead I said I wanted to see what we could be before we truly started dating. I wanted to support her during the pregnancy but went about it in the worst way possible. I told her I didn’t want to date all the while trying to be physical with her every chance I got and taking her out regularly. I couldn’t ever just say that I needed a bit of space to figure some things out or that I wanted to try dating her seriously. She could tell that I wasn’t fully “in” and there was a lot of tension between us, it was like an emotional rollercoaster. We fought every couple weeks, when usually I was not the type of person who fought with anyone.
What I should have done, any step of the way, was take a step back and figure myself out. I was a mess but I just kept going with whatever seemed right in the moment. I had two sides to my mind, the side that wanted to do the right thing, to really give it a shot with the girl and support her 100%, and the side that kept telling me I didn’t choose this. I was a two-headed monster of a baby-daddy and our relationship continued to suffer. I even went so far as to have her get a paternity test before the baby was born, a $1600 test when we had already agreed on getting one after the baby was born.
The fights continued to wear on me, but I knew I was a big part of the problem and I was scared of losing the baby and of losing out on being a part of the pregnancy. I was so in my head, I thought she was manipulating me, I thought she was using me. To what end, I have no idea, because in reality she was the one doing almost all the preparatory work and buying the things we really needed like car-seats and other essentials. Not only that, but she was just protecting herself from the guy who had already treated her so poorly in that first few months we had known each other. I was just the guy refusing to put forth a serious effort to do my part, I didn’t support her in the ways she needed as far as my relationship with her, and in my role as the father. I wasn’t pulling my weight in any regard and often made things harder for her.
The on and off fighting and half relationship continued on for months. One night was really bad, we were actually doing pretty well at the time, getting along great. With the ups and downs I had been talking to a lawyer to make sure I was covered if we didn’t work out. One of the emails sent from my family member who’s also a lawyer mentioned to my lawyer that Karen had been physically assaulting me every chance she got. This was not true at all, what had happened was Karen had told me one morning that she accidentally hit me while we were sleeping, I didn’t even feel it. That kind of hit.
I jokingly told a friend when we were talking about how my relationship was with Karen. The friend gossipped this information to my family and word got around to the family member who is a lawyer. The gossip should have never happened and I don’t know why this was said behind my back and then put in an email to the lawyer I was speaking with. An email Karen stumbled upon while I was in the shower that night. She had been reading through replies from potential nannies and found that one too. That really hurt Karen at the time as she had done no such thing. I had tried to tell the lawyer it wasn’t true, but the damage was already done just by gossipping about things that didn’t even really happen. I thought we were going to be on bad terms for the rest of our 18+ year relationship after that.
After all of this she called things off with me and gave me an out to just do my part as a father. To leave her be and focus on my role as a parent. It was an out I should have taken to clear up my mind about what I wanted and to figure out why I was acting so poorly. She let me keep coming to doctor visits, and I kept flirting and trying to hang out with her. We were seeing each other regularly and things were pretty good, I was still pretty worried about our future. I still hated that we fought so much, I never fought with anyone. But I still hadn’t resolved my feelings for my ex and I wasn’t telling her about that. I was still showing romantic interest but not moving to date her, I just put us back in limbo.
We were getting close to term and I had just bought a house. Karen was working graveyard shifts on weekends and going to school full time for pharmacy. She was exhausted every time I saw her. Our due date was 2/22, and we were right at the end of January, the home stretch. That’s when I really started fucking up...
Part 3 coming tomorrow