Life may be a rich tapestry as they say, but it's full of head-spinning curveballs.
And now that we're in the midst of a pandemic, some curveballs seem to have become more like wrecking balls flying through the air at hyper-speed.
A recent post to the subReddit "Relationship Advice" broached a delicate subject.
A man and his wife temporarily separated. During the separation, she got pregnant by another man. Now they're locked in self-isolation together and can't do a thing about it.
The post came from a Redditor calling himself "THROWRAwifeCFbaby83 who asked:
"My (36M) wife (31F) is pregnant with another man's baby after a break and wants to keep it, I don't. What should we do?"
It starts out reasonably enough.
"We've been together for 14 years, married for 10."
"Before our relationship we hadn't had lots of previous relationships each and in this last year we started to have loads of issues and decided to go on a break in January just to take the time to maybe appreciate each other for a bit and see what life's like on our own and maybe see other people if we decided to."
"On our break, we both were ok with us both experimenting and being with other people and I've had a fling and I knew she did too."
Then they decided to get back together.
"So a few weeks back, with the current CoronaVirus pandemic and before we had lockdown here, we decided to move back together and carry on our relationship."
"Now as soon as we move back in together we talked about our experience with other people. I'd been with someone casually (definitely with protection) and she'd had a one night stand with a guy."
"However, in her situation she was super drunk and was sick so she thinks she threw [her birth control] back up and it's one of those if you don't take it at the right time every day, you could get pregnant."
"So she has an STI test (clear) and a pregnancy test (positive). We're childfree (or at least I thought we were) and always had an agreement that if we ever had an accident we'd have a termination. The baby is definitely not mine, absolutely not possible."
"So she had a termination scheduled for last Thursday. She came to me on the day and said she just couldn't go through with it - she wants to keep the baby. Now I freak out."
"I've told her We've always been childfree and definitely I don't want kids still. I don't want to raise another man's kid!"
"She's apologized to me for being so stupid but is saying she is 100% sure. I've been trying so hard to convince her she shouldn't keep it but she's just not having it.
"She's said we can raise the kid as our own."
"I'm not having it. It would be [bad] enough if she had a kid of mine but at least I could accept that it'd be my kid if that happened. This kid will be another man's! Nothing to do with me."
So the obvious choice is to do the hard thing and separate, right?
Except for one really major, really sticky problem.
"What the sweet f'k do I do?"
"I know the sensible answer is walk away and cut your losses but it's not that easy. I love her and we've been in each other's lives for so long."
"Plus [we're] in the middle of a quarantine and she's got nowhere to go. I'd feel horrible kicking a pregnant woman out to fend for herself at a time like this!?"
"But I don't want a kid, ever. Not even if it was my own."
This is truly a nightmare this Redditor.
He was in a long term relationship where they agreed they never wanted children. Now his wife is having another man's child and wants to keep the baby and for him to help her raise the child.
Thankfully, his fellow Redditors were much more clear-headed.
"Sounds like your only option is to contact a divorce attorney. Sorry you're going through this man". --sgmalek89
"Good news is you won't have to raise another man's kid if you divorce. That's the silver lining here" --5k1895
"Sometimes in life you just have to recognize when life is giving you an out. You guys agreed on a break, she took her break and did something permanent- she has decided she wants to live with the consequences , but you , on the other hand don't have to. And shouldn't to be honest. Just find a divorce attorney and make a clean break and move on." --IrreverentOne
"You need to leave. If you're this adamant about not wanting a child especially another man's child then you need to leave so that kid has a chance at a good life. He/she won't get that growing up feeling the resentment from you." --Bicycle_girl22
"I really admire your loyalty and compassion for her, but if you were already rocky enough to go on a break before this happened, I don't think your relationship is strong enough to handle something this heavy." --Lorenzohampsterwheel
"She should not be surprised or upset then when you tell her you want a divorce." --XRayVision1988
"yeah it's over. contact a divorce attorney. can she move in with family? there's no negotiating. you can't force her to terminate and she's stupid for saying you could raise it as your own." --mynameishelencook
"You don't have to kick her out to divorce her; you can file the papers but tell her she can stay until, say, 30 days after the quarantine ends." --the_last_basselope
"Dude, I know you don't want to kick her out in this situation, but be careful, supporting her during the pregnancy is not a good idea and can easily backfire, if she can prove you supported her knowing about the kid you may be obligated to pay for child support even when you're not the father. Get a lawyer asap." --rainlein
"You two now have very different and very incompatible futures. She is pregnant with someone else's child, you don't even want children. So, yes, the right thing to do would be to divorce." --scarletnightingale
Sometimes the hardest thing is the right thing and it seems this is one of those times. Let's all count our blessings if we have far simpler troubles during this weird time.
The book Anatomy of Love: The Natural History of Monogamy, Adultery, and Divorce is available here.