My boyfriend of eight months has a newborn son

My boyfriend and I have been together for eight months. Three days ago, his son was born. He met this woman right before me, they hooked up one night, and then two months into our relationship I had a woman message me that she was pregnant with my boyfriend's child. I asked him about it he said she was harassing him, and that she was just a "crazy ex" trying to get attention. Well, four months into our relationship I asked him about it again, and this time he finally admitted that it could possibly be his.

He said he was super scared and had no clue what to do. He is only 20. I tried to continue to talk to him about it, but he would just shut down on me. Then, two months later, he goes to a doctor's appointment with her and brings back sonograms and it completely broke my heart.

I continued to try to talk to him but he continued to shut me down about what would happen. The mother of the ex then messaged his parents – they had no clue what was going on. He lied to me about his plans one day, and it turned out he was getting a DNA test.

I have no clue what to do about my relationship as he deals with this. I still have two years left of school and I live two hours away from him. I feel lost right now but I love this man so much. The last thing I want to do is break his heart. I want to be there for him and support him but I don't know how I can until I get him to start opening up to me. I feel scared of what is coming and scared of how this may end.

– Scared


"I want to be there for him and support him but I don't know how I will until I get him to start opening up to me."

It's not just about opening up. It's also about being honest. Not lying.

This man has lied to you a bunch of times. He told you he was being harassed by a crazy ex. That's a red flag on its own. When people throw that label around without thought or empathy, it's a big problem. This woman was trying to reach your boyfriend for legitimate reasons. His behavior was cowardly.

He doesn't want to talk to you about any of this because those conversations would require him to admit unpleasant things to himself. It sounds like he hopes it'll all just go away if he ignores it. That's not an effective way to deal with problems.

If this baby is going to be his responsibility in any way, your relationship will change. You need to decide whether you can go on like this – staying with someone who dismisses a problem until you (or his parents) have to confront it on his behalf. That sounds exhausting, especially for someone in school, two hours away.

The real issue is that he doesn't seem to be learning from any of this. He isn't sharing more or making this easier for you. He isn't processing his accountability. That, to me, is the deal-breaker. Loving him shouldn't have to mean doing the emotional work for two. Don't put his heart before your own.

– Meredith

Readers? Advice for the LW?