No one has a perfect relationship. Every relationship—whether it’s between a man or a woman, or two women or two men or two friends—accumulates baggage as it goes. We mess up. We hurt. We fall short. We make mistakes.
But now, here you are, a father. A father almost certainly with someone. And just as this major life change was, in a sense, a fresh start, a chance for you to improve on your own childhood, it’s also a fresh start in your relationship. A relationship is transformed by the arrival of a baby, or a child of any and every age. It has to be. It’s so different. It’s so new.
Again, the question that falls on you, Dad, is how are you going to use this fresh start? You can’t go back and undo what you’ve done in the past. You can’t magically make up for the mistakes you’ve made or the times you have hurt the person you’re with. But what you can do is commit to being better, right here, right now. What you can do is move forward and be better.
Be better for your kid. Be better to be a better example. Be better because you love your spouse or your ex or your co-parent. Be better because you are better.