Time for unmarried dad to focus on his kids

Ask Amy

Amy Dickinson, Ask Amy Ask Amy

Amy Dickinson is a general advice columnist.

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DEAR AMY: I'm a 22-year-old male. I've been with my woman for four years. We have a 2-year-old daughter together and are expecting another child soon. Three years ago I was unfaithful. She found out. Ever since, the trust has been lost. Over the years we have gotten better as a couple, but then we slumped back down into a bad spot. Things have been bad lately. I have not been happy in this relationship for a long while, and recently she saw I was texting a new female friend. She thinks I've been flirting/cheating on her even though there's no proof. She said "we need a break," and she is staying at her mom's house (for an undetermined time). Since she's been gone I've felt happier. I find it easier to talk to my new female friend about random things, important things (and even personal things) than my own girl! I almost feel like breaking up would be best. I don't even feel sad or upset. Am I thinking wrong? I'm worried about my kids, but I don't believe people should stay together for the kids because kids can see unhappiness in a household, the way I did when I was young. If my kids see us apart (but both happier), isn't that better than seeing us together and miserable?

--Confused

DEAR CONFUSED: My first recommendation is for you to make a commitment to use birth control from now on. At age 22, you've already fathered two children who will have no memory or experience of their parents being together.

You seem to imagine that as long as you are getting what you want, the other people in your life will be fine. This scenario really only works out for you. You aren't sad over the breakup of this relationship because you already have another girlfriend.

My feedback for you is to put your children first. Every single choice you make should be made with their best interests as your first priority. When you truly choose to see the world through their eyes, your own life will come into focus.