Dear Counsellor, I was reading your article regarding breaking up civilly when a child is involved. My guy cheated on me while I was pregnant and he also made that girl pregnant. What's more hurtful is that he never posted anything about our daughter on his Facebook, but posted about his son with the other woman. He treats my daughter like some hidden disease, and it's really painful. When I told him about my pregnancy he became distant, and showed a marked preference for the side chick. How do I keep things civil while I am hurting like this? I forgave him for cheating and making a baby outside, but he just keeps pushing me away by loving that child more than mine. What do I need to do?Some fathers have this thing about having a boy child as opposed to a girl, which is so disturbing. The distorted thinking is that having a son is proof of their manhood. They project this pro-boy attitude on to the mother of the child, and this no doubt affects the female child.This seems to be the crux of the matter here. Your partner believes the other woman has a higher rating as she produced a son for him, and so he has become more attached to her. But before he got her pregnant, were there any relational problems between the both of you?It appears that there might have been interpersonal conflicts that characterised the relationship long before both children were conceived. So Mr Mention has gone ahead and committed the inexcusable act of posting only his son and not both his children on social media. He is certainly sending a strong message to you and the world at large.Is he denying paternity for the child? How you described his treatment of the child is most distressing, and one wonders if he understands the psychological effect this could have on the child now and later on in life.It is for this reason that I urge parents to keep the children in mind when they have differences, as we have many adults today who have emotional and psychological problems because of parental conflict while growing up. I do appreciate your hurt, but he is indeed the child's father and so he must have access to her.I can't help but notice on two occasions you refer to the little girl as “mine/my” child, which is a common retort by mothers who experience emotional strain in their relationships. Have you in any way directly or indirectly enabled his distancing from the child? How did you express your emotional pain and hurt?Was the child most times the subject of the arguments? Was she physically in the midst? Did you tell him in the presence of the child that he treated her like a “hidden disease”?I do implore you not to allow him to make you be so bitter and angry that you transmit negative emotions to the child. If for whatever reason he decides to move on with the second baby mother, then there is not much you can do except encourage him to play his fatherly role.However, the fact is that you can't force someone to feel or express love for another person. If you have caring relatives, get them involved in your daughter's upbringing so that she can see how a loving family should behave. You may need to seek individual counselling to help you cope with this situation, as you are obviously hurting deeply and can become extremely depressed.Wayne Powell is a relationship counsellor. Write to agapemft@gmail. com; check out his work overseas on www. seekingshalom.org, e-mail powellw@ seekingshalom.org.