How do I tell my partner that I have a secret child from a one-night stand?

DEAR DEIDRE: HOW do I tell my partner I have a secret child from a one-night stand?

My daughter is almost two. I’ve been trying to find the right way to tell my girlfriend since she was born.

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I’m 33, my partner’s 31 and we’ve been together for seven years. She is great — supportive, kind and funny.

Once we had a fight that I thought signalled the end. She asked when I’d be ready to live together and I said I wasn’t sure.

She was furious, saying I clearly “wasn’t bothered” about the relationship. She stormed out, leaving me feeling sorry for myself.

That night, mates texted saying they were in the pub. I went to join them.

I don’t remember a lot because I was downing pints like they were water.

Apparently it didn’t take long for me to start flirting with a girl at the bar. I know it was wrong but I was flattered by how keen she was. Soon we were kissing.

I invited her back to mine and we ended up having sex. It wasn’t great and was over in minutes.

I assumed I would never hear from her again. But two months later, she messaged me. She said she was pregnant and the baby was mine.

Fast-forward to now. I made up with my girlfriend a couple of days after that fight and she still doesn’t know about the baby.

I’ve told her I’m visiting a cousin when I go to see my little girl.

We are due to move in together next month after I finally agreed, so it will have to come out at some point.

I feel like a monster. I’ve lied to the woman I love for years.

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I’ve started volunteering around the local community, thinking it might make me feel better.

But I lie there most nights trying to figure out how to tell her.

DEIDRE SAYS: We make mistakes. It does not mean we are bad people, just that we made the wrong decision.

The key is you have learnt from your mistake and will not do it again.

In terms of telling your girlfriend, there is no sugar-coating what has happened. It is best to be honest. As you say, the truth will come out.

Don’t try to make excuses for what you did or why you kept it from her.

Instead, focus on how you want to be together and are committed to working things through.

Be prepared for her to ask for time and some space to think things through.

I’m sending you my pack Cheating – Can You Get Over It? to help you both through this.

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