How much is an ex entitled to know about your life after you’ve split up?
Should you share significant information about yourself with the person you once cared most about in the world?
Would you tell your ex that you are expecting another man’s baby?
These are the questions that have been running through my mind ever since the arrival of baby B seemed more likely than a dream.
I have no frame of reference for this decision.
I spent a very long time with my ex – almost all my adult life – and everyone assumed we would have children. But we didn’t. It was probably one of the things that drove us apart. During our relationship, I was diagnosed with multiple problems that affected fertility. Endometriosis being the most severe. Our inability to deal with the implications of that was extremely damaging to our relationship and we split up a few years later.
When I met my partner T, we both knew we wanted to have children. As adoptees, it’s a huge thing to think that you might have a biological relative. I still can’t believe that in theory there are maybe 10, 11 more weeks before I am a mother. It seems absolutely mind-boggling. I still worry that it may not happen, that we will have another loss. That’s how pregnancy after loss differs from “normal” pregnancy. You never forget the fear.
I wonder if I owe it to my former partner to tell him. My reasons for thinking this are twofold: Firstly, I still care about him. Not in the way that I want to be with him – in fact, it seems foreign to me that we ever were together. But I suspect in some way that the information would hurt him, and I wonder if hearing it from me would be more or less hurtful. Secondly, I know that he will find out anyway. We share many of the same friends. We are blocked on social media (and anyway I have asked for a social media blackout) but it’s almost impossible for someone not to say something carelessly.
Is a relationship something that imprints upon some part of you? I believe we all carry those imprints from previous relationships, romantic or not. And I wonder how much they contribute to our ability to move on and develop new, healthier relationships. I know I took so many of the lessons from my relationship with my ex that allowed me to forge a stronger, healthier relationship with T. And I took the scars, too.
It has been a long time since we separated. A lifetime almost, even though it’s taken years for us to resolve the technicalities. I have been with T for longer than my ex and I were married, but a fraction of the time we were together. I know that now we’re no longer married, I owe him nothing in law.
But do I owe him anything morally?