DEAR HARRIETTE: My boyfriend and I have been together for three years now. Our relationship has been a crazy ride, but at the end of the day, we always made things right.
On one of our "breaks," he messed around with another girl. Nine months later, when we were back on good terms, she came back claiming to have had his child; DNA results proved my boyfriend was the child's father. Through months of therapy, prayer and commitment, we were able to make it past this. I made the choice to forgive him, and we made the choice to stay together.
I've come to love the very child that could've destroyed my relationship. My family and friends aren't ready to be so forgiving. It's been a year since the child was born, and they have yet to even acknowledge her existence. I found happiness and love in the little family we've created. Regardless of the fact that she's not my biological daughter, she knows I love her more than anything.
I'm happy with my decision, so I really wish my family would get over it. My mom invites only me to family dinners and acts as if I'm single. Everyone acts as if my daughter and my boyfriend don't exist, and I'm tired of it. If another Christmas goes by without them buying our daughter gifts or making us feel welcome, I'm cutting them off. How do I make them see that I stayed for the greater good? -- Forgiveness is Key, Miami
DEAR FORGIVENESS IS KEY: It sounds like you two have custody of this child. If you are indeed living as a family, make that clear to your family. Tell your mother you can no longer come to family gatherings if she does not welcome your nuclear family. Ask for her support and love, and ask her to invite the rest of the family to support you. Continue to act like a family unit, and hopefully your extended family will grow to respect that.