I just ended a relationship with a man I was with since August 1999. When he and I got into the relationship, his wife had moved out of their apartment and I was told that they would be getting a divorce. However, because they had a kid together, she would consistently use their daughter as leverage to get what she wanted – and she always got what she wanted. He was also afraid that she would find out that he was with someone, so we had to keep our relationship secret.
He claimed (and I believe him to a point) that their relationship was over. My problem is that after all this time he hadn't even contacted a lawyer. All he did was complain. I did extensive research for him regarding father's rights, etc., but he has done nothing. I ended the relationship because I could not take being kept a secret any longer. His unwillingness to take a stand for his daughter also made me lose all respect for him. Is what I did wrong or selfish?
I find it easy to answer your question. You were right to break off this relationship. This man was using you. You did all the right things. You had a suspicion and tested it out to see what would happen. When the man showed that he was not willing to commit himself to you, you severed the relationship.
This took courage, and even now you are having doubts. Don't: trust your intuition.
I don't know where you live, but almost everywhere non-custodial parents have access rights. You wrote that you have researched this for the father. He has been using the child as an excuse to have things both ways, otherwise he would have gone ahead and protected his access rights, and publicly declared himself for you.
Go ahead with your life. And don't let this sour you towards other men. Not all of us are 'users'.
All the best,