Dear Abby: My boyfriend and I have been involved for five years. He was sentenced to prison for 3 1/2 years. Before he left, we had a really rocky relationship. He cheated on me with multiple women, some of whom he continued on with during his prison sentence. I was pregnant when he went away, so I am now raising our child alone.
Fast-forward to the present: He and I are doing extremely well. I see major changes, and we truly believe we can make it work when he’s released at the end of next year. My problem is, I have done some things that are eating away at me. I have had numerous relations while he has been away, all the while letting him think I’m this perfect stay-at-home fiancee and mother.
Although none of my affairs have been serious, I’m sure if he finds out, it would be the end of us. I’m scared and confused about what to do. I love him dearly and truly want to spend eternity with him. What should my next step be?
—Imperfect, too, in Florida
Dear Imperfect: Your next step should be to tell your boyfriend the truth. While you’re at it, tell him you didn’t reveal it before because you weren’t proud of it and didn’t want to worry him while he was locked up. You really have no other option because someone who knows you may let it slip, which would be worse than his hearing from you.
From your description, your baby’s father is no angel — and he should not expect you to be one, either. By the way, your telling him will not be the “end of you.” You are the mother of his child, and he is legally obligated to support that child until he or she is no longer a minor.
P.S. Because you and your boyfriend have been sexually active with multiple partners, you should both be checked for STDs.
Dear Abby: I would like to address this to parents who have abandoned an LGBTQ child:
I have met your children through my transgender son, and I’m happy to report they are doing fine. They are the nicest, most caring people I know. Instead of being bitter and angry about your rejection, they are welcoming of everyone they meet.
I marvel at their dedication to love. They have taught me by their example that unconditional love is the foundation of the LGBTQ fellowship. It reminds me of a man born in Bethlehem long ago, who taught unconditional love of all people.
Sadly, it seems His message has been diluted, distorted and rewritten. If He were around today, I believe He would really like your child.
So, in closing, let me congratulate you for having raised a wonderful, loving child who is filled with joy and generosity. And please remember: It’s never too late to learn how to love.
—Proud Dad of a Wonderful Son
Dear Proud Dad: Your letter carries a strong, positive message. We are all God’s children. While I hope your letter will open those parents’ hearts, if it doesn’t do that, take comfort in the knowledge that many LGBTQ individuals who have been rejected by their parents have learned to build chosen families — with people like YOU.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.