Her husband ditched her because he wasn't her baby's father

Tracey Folly

*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events as told to me by my mother, who experienced them firsthand; used with permission.

Lucky for her, she went on to marry her baby's father, and he was the love of her life.

My mother told me a story about one of her close relatives who was engaged to two different men on two separate continents and ended up married to both, although not at the same time.

Her cousin, who is my second cousin, was engaged to be married in her home country across the ocean in Europe. She and her fiancé were very much in love, but when her parents moved to the United States, she had no choice but to move with them.

She didn't forget about her beau on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, but she didn't know if she would ever see him again. It didn't take long before she met a new man in America, and they got engaged very quickly, which was a good thing since she was already pregnant.

My second cousin convinced her new fiancé that the child was his and that they should get married as soon as possible. It was the 1960s, and being an unwed mother had even more stigma attached to it than it does now. There were also fewer resources available to help single mothers raise their children.

She never told her first fiancé that she was engaged to her second fiancé. She certainly didn't tell him she had married another man, and no, she didn't tell him about the baby.

Her plans unraveled when the baby was born both early and full-term. Her newlywed husband figured out that he couldn't be the father of the child. There were no DNA tests back then, but they had a blood test that excluded him from the possibility of being the father of the child.

He filed for a divorce.

Divorced with a child, my second cousin returned to her home country and the first man she ever loved. She told him everything, and they got married as soon as they were able.

They lived together as husband and wife, and they were happy together for the rest of their lives.

My second cousin was very fortunate that her story had a happy ending. Her lies and receipt could easily have determined a different outcome. Being engaged to two separate men on two different continents is hardly a recipe for romance.

There's such a thing as too much of a good thing.

Deliberately trying to pin the paternity of her child on the wrong man was another mistake, but I understand she must have made that decision out of desperation. I can't imagine how difficult it would have been to announce her pregnancy back then if she had remained unwed with the baby's father so far away.

I suppose she did what she thought was best for herself and her child, but having an eventual happy ending doesn't make dishonesty the best policy. Nonetheless, I am glad things worked out for her in the end.

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