My wife and I had a customary marriage that lasted two years. We were blessed with one child. After the marriage ended, my ex-wife changed the name of our child and removed my name from the birth certificate. Additionally, she has kept me from seeing the child. I feel lost, hurt and confused. I need your help on the way forward.
Although you have not disclosed much about what led to the breakup of your marriage, one can sense the frustrations from your writing.
From what you have shared, we learn a few things that could help you navigate the way forward:
First, in every marriage, great expectations come with the birth of a baby. With the separation and the change of names, your expectations could have been dwarfed.
From your perspective, it appears, like some expectations or dreams you had for the child may appear to have been interfered with due to your ex-wife’s actions. You have to understand that, when a separation or divorce happens, the emotional impact on the child can also be heavy.
The key thing here is, if not handled well, this impact can have a lasting effect on their self-esteem and outlook on life. These issues notwithstanding, some children with the support of single parents have defied the odds and excelled and created a future for themselves.
Secondly, although challenges are common in relationships, most spouses don’t work out a united approach to resolving them. Depending on what the relationship went through, you have several issues to consider and deal with. For example, is the resolution of current differences that led to the separation a priority and part of your concerns or is it just the need to get visitation rights to the child and have your name reinstated? This is important in informing the strategy you take to resolve the issue. My suggestion is that you be clear about what your demands are and what consequences such demands may have.
Third, understand that some reasons that lead to a couple’s separation can haunt the relationship. Sadly, some spouses fight for a long time over custody of the child, the control of family resources, and/or the abuse faced by either party in the marriage leaving each other emotionally drained and strained. Thinking back about the joyful and tough moments during a couple’s time together can complicate decisions made—particularly where one spouse becomes irrational based on their previous actions.
Although getting to understand the reasons behind your wife’s actions may be a challenge, it is crucial in helping you know how to navigate the issue of the child without antagonising the future of the child. You need to be cognizant of the fact that the quality of how the two of you related over two years of your marriage could have contributed to your current state of affairs.
In addition, any pain arising from unresolved issues can cause inner turmoil that could drive her to seek revenge by denying you any parental rights. Furthermore, could her fears of what the future will look like lead her to a selfishly driven personal agenda that influenced her decision to exclude your name from the certification of the child? We can only guess the reasons behind her actions. So, whether it was internal or external influences, your current priority should be to put the interest of the child at the forefront.
As you seek resolution, I suggest that you be cognisant of two things: First, since it appears like your main concern is the child and not the mother. I suggest that the children’s court may help a good place to help resolve the issue based on the facts at hand and the law.
Second, when spouses don’t take care of how they fight over children in a relationship, this could leave the children traumatised for a long time. Take note, some parents have won the case but lost the child or the child’s well-intended future dream.
Send your relationship question to [email protected]