What Should The Women Do?
It’s unfortunate that many women do not have a man that is able or willing to take the lead in a situation like this. Sometimes your husband or boyfriend is just so frustrated that he has decided he will not engage the situation anymore or even discuss it. So, what should the women, who are often left in the aftermath, do?
Well, here’s one thing that I know. You stand a better chance of involving your husband or significant other in the discussions necessary to raise the family if you make an effort and decision to make peace between yourself and the other woman on your own. This is very hard to do. But nothing about being a family is easy. Nothing about being in a relationship is without difficulty and at many junctures, sacrifice. If you are in love with this man, then you must be willing to make sacrifices in order to move past whatever is holding you back. That may mean forgiving a “baby mama” who disrespected you numerous times, in some very egregious ways. This may take some time to do, but this is something that YOU can be working on and occupying your time with instead of worrying about your husband or his baby mamas.
The same goes for “baby mama”. You may need to forgive your “baby daddy” for his disrespect and even for the wrong he has committed against your children.
Forgiveness is not an easy process and it may take time. But you must, at some point, begin the process that will lead you to forgiving the father of your children and his significant other. No one can fault you for being hurt. But you are at fault for holding on to that hurt in the form of bitterness. If you have an issue with his current relationship, work on releasing her by forgiving her as well. Again, this is not easy to do, but just because it isn’t easy, it doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
You see, we are all guilty of engaging in very heated and emotional exchanges with other people that distract us from the very real need we have to deal with and get OURSELVES right. What am I saying? I’m saying that this bad blood between everyone is nothing more than a distraction that keeps you from doing the very real, very painful, but very necessary work of improving yourself.
Don’t Forget To Pray!
You’re going to need prayer in order to let go of all of the mean words and deeds done to you by all parties involved. So what are you waiting on? No girlfriend, wife, baby mama or baby daddy has to tell you to get a prayer life. That is something YOU need to do. And I’m not talking about a half hearted prayer you do right before you curse someone out. I’m talking about carving out a very specific time of each day to seek God. My time is 12 noon. For others, it may be 5am before everyone wakes up and the day is busy and in full swing. Whatever the time, SET it and stick to it. When you make God a priority in your life, I guarantee you, He’ll make your circumstances His priority. There’s no better place to find peace, joy and direction than in His presence. And guess what, just like a natural relationship, it takes time to create a spiritual relationship. But just because it takes time and doesn’t materialize instantly, doesn’t mean that it’s not taking place. I promise you, if you take 12 months to establish a very real place of prayer in your life for God, you will find that you’re not in the same place that you were mentally, emotionally or spiritually than when you first began.
Buy A Journal And Use It!
Let’s face it. Sometimes you just need to get it out. But the problem often is in where we choose to release things. Let me put it this way. The bathroom is not in the kitchen for a reason. And your venting sessions need not be everywhere either. Families take sides. Friends have problems of their own. Now that you’re establishing a prayer life, buy a journal and begin to write in those moments that you feel the urge to call up a girlfriend who will be your cheerleader when very often, you don’t need one. In 12 months, go back to your first journal entry and begin to read. One of the greatest things about journaling when you are angry, sad or depressed is that often, in hindsight, you’re able to gain perspective on those things that caused you so much grief in the past. More often than not, you’ll ask yourself, “Was I really upset over THAT?!” or better yet, “I can’t believe that was such a big deal to me!” Journaling gives you a chance to be your own critic which very often, we don’t take the time to do because we’re so busy being critical of everyone else.
Listen up ladies. There are plenty of men out there who may not be perfect communicators but they have stepped up to the plate and are trying their best to display a godly character in the midst of circumstances that are the result of not so godly actions. If you’ve been blessed to be in relationship or have children with such a man, please support him! Let him know that you appreciate his efforts to be in his children’s lives and to show respect to their mom. Let him know that you appreciate how he does his best to acknowledge and respect you as his wife or as his woman. Being a man is not easy. That’s why so many men won’t do it. Leaders take all the criticism and all the blame, they don’t shift it onto others. The buck stops with them. They’re supposed to make sense of things and provide direction.
Cut him some slack on the days he doesn’t come off as Prince Charming. Mamas cut the father(s) of your children some slack, particularly if they’re making a sincere effort to get it right. Never, ever, ever kick a man that’s trying. And before you kick anyone, examine your own heart and your own actions. Realize that everyone in this situation is going to have swallow their pride a time or two and bite their tongues a few hundred times. Your sacrifice is not greater than his or hers. It may seem greater to you because you’re only considering your point of view. But the reality is that it takes a lot of sacrifices to make a relationship successful. So in those moments you want to complain to him about the burden the situation is causing you, pause. Find something positive and encouraging to say instead. This goes for both significant others and mamas. Let your words be seasoned with grace. Even if you feel burdened, put upon or believe he needs to address an issue, do not launch an attack. Chances are, if you wait before you lash out, God will work the situation out or speak to your man’s heart and he’ll deal with it at the appropriate time. If you’re going to be with a man who has children outside of your relationship, you have to be willing to open your heart and mind to more than just the two of you. And mamas, the same goes for you also. Your man already has a family. The question before the two of you is, will you be the one who contributes to its success or will you be the one responsible for tearing it down?
Make A Decision!
Now it’s time for some tough love and honest truths. For some women, particularly those who have not married the men they are involved with, it is time for you to make a decision. You’ve prayed, cried, fussed, discussed, negotiated and compromised yourself silly. But there have been no positive changes. At this point, it’s time to look at your life and make some very tough decisions. As I said earlier, relationships take sacrifice and compromise, particularly those relationships that involve family. But if you’ve been placed on girlfriend status indefinitely, you must ask yourself if the sacrifices you’re being asked to make and endure are worthy of your current status. I do believe that wives should act like wives and girlfriends, girlfriends. Wives compromise, sacrifice and endure for the sake of the covenants they made. But shame on YOU if you’re acting like a wife without the benefit of commitment in the form of the marriage covenant. He has multiple children, multiple baby mamas, and all of them are expecting you to keep your mouth shut and be ok with the pandamonium. It’s time to make a decision and that decision may mean leaving.
For baby mama your decision could be setting new boundaries for the father of your children. It could also mean letting go of the dream of reconciling. It could mean going to family court and allowing a judge to make the rules for both of you to follow instead of continuing another year of chaos and inconsistency for your children. It could mean deciding to take ownership of your own choices and to stop subjecting your life to the whims and immaturity of others. Only you know the decisions you must make for your own situation. But if what you’re doing now aint working, you must decide what it takes to bring about the outcome that your children deserve, even if that decision means things will get a little more difficult for a season.
Who Are You Picking?
Another hard truth is that as women, we must take responsibility for the character of men we choose to date. Most of us, if we were honest, gave very little thought until it was absolutely in our face of how the dynamic of children outside of the relationship would affect us. While we invested so much time in dating and fun, we gave very little attention to observing our man and his family. How many of us really give enough space and time for true colors to be revealed before we invest all of our time, money and hearts? When dating a man who has children, you no longer have the luxury of being self centered. You are not the only game in town. He has a family that he created without you. You must realize this going in, and you must find out if he is willing and capable of leading that family with you in it.
With enough time, observation and prayer, you may find that he is capable. But likewise, you may find that the man who makes you weak in the knees has a tough time putting his foot down when it comes to boundaries with his children and their mother. Don’t waste time in the dating process worrying about butterflies in your stomach and being wined and dined. If you fall in love, you should know what you’ve actually fallen into. See the blog post, “Don’t Date- Investigate!” for more on this subject.