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Please help - expectant Father with no idea what to do

(96 Posts)
ajm77 Tue 31-Jan-17 09:37:22

Hi there

I am hoping someone on here can help me as I am going through a difficult time and I need the advice of either pregnant or post pregnancy Mums.

My girlfriend is 3 months pregnant but her behaviour is driving me to the edge and I just don't know what to do.

We have been on and off for a number of years and in January 2015 I ended the relationship fully as a result of her behaviour. This was primarily around jealousy whenever I did anything without her. A particular problem was either going out with friends or catching up with female friends. The abuse I received was vile and even though there was absolutely nothing going on with these friends she would make my life a misery if I saw them. I ended the relationship after she cancelled me meeting her family for the first time because the night before I had gone to visit my oldest friend and his partner to see my godchildren and not been available to text until I left. I loved her very much but felt this was not what a stable, healthy relationship should look like.

Some 7 months later she got back in touch and I agreed to see if we could work things out. We talked and I explained my position was unchanged and I would not tolerate the false accusations, abuse and jealousy going forwards. I said I would not give up my friendships, male or female, and we agreed that she would meet these females. She insisted on it and I have nothing to hide so agreed.

Things went well and whilst there were the occasional flare ups around menstruation, I could handle this as it was 2-3 days of difficulty but otherwise she was very caring and loving.

We conceived last year and the first 3 months have been extremely difficult. It is like her menstruation behaviour is permanent and I have comforted myself with the fact hormones do go wild at this stage and been as supportive as I possibly can be.

However recently the frequency of her kick offs have been getting worse. She encouraged me to go out with a friend (male ) for a catch up which I did. She asked what time I would be back and I said I don't know, maybe 9.30 pm. I called and texted her 5 times to tell her I was overrunning and she ignored me. When I returned at 10.20 p.m. she refused to speak to me and then ripped the duvet off me. I pulled it back and she accused me of harming our child. She then refused to talk to me and stared at the wall for 12 hours before insulting me about my ex and leaving me for the day. She did not apologise. If she was not pregnant I probably would have ended the relationship.

Last Sunday she asked me if I would go out to dinner with a friend of hers who has not been very pleasant to her and who I don't think much of. I agreed and asked her in return if she would go out to dinner with my old housemate (female) and her boyfriend. She refused and has regularly kicked off about this person and demonised her for absolutely no reason.

Then the abuse started. She said I had chosen this woman over her and I said that was nonsense. However what she then does is sticks to her mind created false accusations and continually says them over and over even when I have given her information to the contrary. I consider this a form of mental abuse.

She then drove us home and sped ridiculously fast around the residential roads. I explained she was putting our child's life in danger and she said it didn't matter if she lived. She then went into vile comments about my old house mate inferring lewd acts and saying she would never be able to meet the child as she is a witch who will kill it.

I am at my wits end. I moved into her flat to make a go of it but she will not talk to me and keeps continually false accusing me. I feel that I have been duped as she has changed the agreement that we made when getting back together now she is pregnant. I also don't want to leave my child with someone who is this unstable. However I can't see any other way out than leaving. If I do I know she will make life difficult to see my child and I risk losing out on a bonding experience with my baby.

I have told her the behaviour is unacceptable to me and I feel she is ruining what could be such a special time. She refuses to put it right or apologise, she just continues false accusing and making it about the female involved when it is about the use.

My hunch is that if this was a female writing this the advice would be overwhelmingly to leave the relationship, however if you are a man it seems to be different as there is a stigma to leaving a pregnant partner, no matter how bad the abuse.

I am hoping there is someone out there who can help me and give me some advice. Any ideas please?

smirched Tue 31-Jan-17 09:44:57

hmmmm I think you're attaching too much importance to hormones. There are some issues here which can't sing be explained by hormones. Not sure what to suggest, all I will say is it will get much worse once you are sleep deprived with a newborn so you need to sort it out now.

Maybe try and see it from her point of view see if there's anything that might explain her seemingly unreasonable behaviour? is she just very tired in the evenings and wants you to cook etc? can you try coming home first and then going out later? Have you been unfaithful before?

ajm77 Tue 31-Jan-17 09:50:22

I'm afraid there is no logic or reason to her thoughts. Her mind creates stuff which she chooses to believe over the facts or anything I say.

I work all day and she doesn't, for the first 3 months I made her breakfast and warm drinks, I get up and make her drinks, her lunch and do over 70% of the cooking as she has been feeling sick. I pay and do almost all of the shopping.

I see my friends fairly rarely and am in most of the time. I have never cheated on her.

BillSykesDog Tue 31-Jan-17 09:52:13

Go to her GP, explain her behaviour and ask her to be referred to perinatal mental health. They will assess her and if she is, as you suspect, a danger to your child they will take steps to help you protect it.

Falling short of that they can support her and you and hopefully improve her MH so life improves for all of you.

I would say to either a man or woman in this situation (although obvs not with pregnancy thrown in sometimes) that they should at least try and assist their partner to access MH support. The comment about the 'witch' sounds serious, like paranoia or psychosis. An indication something is really wrong anyway.

notanothernamechangebabes Tue 31-Jan-17 09:53:52

When I had antenatal depression (or depression during pregnancy), I had enormous mood swings, really dramatic overly emotional responses to small disagreements, could cry hysterically for hours over nothing, would regularly scream at my partner and was generally extraordinarily sensitive ... But although I felt emotional most of the time, only ever "lost it" with DP.

It's quite common in women who have experienced depression before, and your midwife can help you access counselling etc.

For me, months 1-4 were the worst. By the time is settled into the second trimester it all calmed down and by 5 months pregnant I was pretty chilled out (More than I would be usually)

Antenatal depression does put you at higher risk for postnatal depression , so doubly important your girlfriend talks to her midwifes. She sounds quite emotionally unstable when not pregnant, so very much in all of your infested for her to get some help now before your LO arrives.

user892 Tue 31-Jan-17 09:54:35

An abusive relationship is an abusive relationship. If she wants to break the cycle she could seek help for herself - there may or may not be a hormonal / mental health element - but that's an explanation, not an excuse. You don't have to take it.

I'd go. She's abusive. But obviously support her and my child, still.

mirokarikovo Tue 31-Jan-17 09:56:45

I don't think this is hormones. She sounds like an unstable person. I don't think you can be in a healthy relationship with such a person.

Obviously there is now an innocent child on the way, and that child is your only priority as he or she will be blessed with a seriously batshit mother. You need to be the stable, sane and reliable parent for this child. You do not need to be in a partnership with batshitlady in order to do so.

Servicesupportforall Tue 31-Jan-17 09:59:30

She sounds like she needs professional help. If she physically or verbally abuses you make sure you report it as she could be a danger to you and even the baby after the birth.

I struggle to understand why you would have got her pregnant in the first place as control freaks do not get any better but that's by the by.

I would encourage her to seek help for her anger issues and if they continue move our. Don't put yourself at risk. Continue to support her as much as you can through the pregnancy and see how things go.

As you arnt married I am afraid you have little parental rights but wiser people can advise you on that.

Frankly she sounded she had problems way before she was pregnant so hormones arnt the excuse.

Good luck op.

DearMrDilkington Tue 31-Jan-17 10:02:43

I'm unsure if she's mentally ill or if she's abusive.

The comments about your friend being a witch who will kill your baby is unhinged and makes her sound like she may be mentally unwell.

Try to sit down with her and have a calm conversation about how she's acting, tell her things have to change because this isn't a healthy relationship to bring a baby up in.

I'm sorry your having such a difficult time at the moment.

BertieBotts Tue 31-Jan-17 10:03:10

I would absolutely advise you to leave the relationship, just make sure you keep in contact, with a paper trail, so that you have the chance for contact with your child. When you're genuine and committed it should be no problem to seek assistance with contact through the courts if she is not open to arranging it directly. I feel like from what you've said, a separate co-parenting relationship is probably the healthiest thing you can hope for.

However, others' points about trying to get her to the GP are important I think. You don't have to live with her to do this, though it might be easier to get her the support if you do. This shouldn't be at the expense of your own mental health, but it is a bit different considering that she's carrying your child and the health of your child may be compromised.

Justanothernameonthepage Tue 31-Jan-17 10:05:13

My advice would be to leave her. Hormones are awful when pregnant (18 weeks now) and I would never dream of acting like this. Instead I would focus on how you'd be both able to equally parent from 2 households (once the baby is weaned). Go to counseling with the intent of working out the best way to parent as 2 separate units. Start checking out things like childcare options for your 50% of the time once the child is old enough (around 9months to a year). If it is a mix of depression and hormones, and she's willing to talk to her GP and her behaviour changes, then you can reconsider. But you have to focus on being a good parent (which includes financial support), not what she sees as a good boyfriend.

BertieBotts Tue 31-Jan-17 10:06:30

As an unmarried father you would not automatically be on the birth certificate which means you don't automatically get parental responsibility. However, you can apply for parental responsibility through the courts. It is a fairly simple process and it's in your favour if you can show you've been making effort to stay in contact even if she is not receptive. Just stay calm, don't do anything aggressive or threatening (it doesn't sound like you would, anyway), being sensible and reasonable and calm will get you a long way.

Introvertedbuthappy Tue 31-Jan-17 10:06:42

I would try and get her to a GP/ call her midwife and explain your concerns. The fast driving and saying it doesn't matter if she is dead and particularly the witch accusation are really really worrying. This is far outside the realms of hormones and indicate far larger issues.

That aside it has never sounded like a healthy relationship. Do whatever you can to protect your child.

Justanothernameonthepage Tue 31-Jan-17 10:08:48

Oh and people will judge. But showing you're acting out of concern for the baby and not just cutting and running makes a world of difference. Also keep in contact with her family, you can support her in many different ways without being an emotional punching bag.

WorraLiberty Tue 31-Jan-17 10:15:02

If she was an abusive woman before this pregnancy, I really can't see anything improving as it progresses.

Nor can I see anything improving once the baby arrives and you're both exhausted.

I don't know what to suggest OP, other than to do all you can to get your name on the birth certificate and turn your attention to supporting the baby once it arrives.

Because you certainly shouldn't stay with this woman.

ElspethFlashman Tue 31-Jan-17 10:18:39

stared at the wall for 12 hours

I explained she was putting our child's life in danger and she said it didn't matter if she lived. She then went into vile comments about my old house mate inferring lewd acts and saying she would never be able to meet the child as she is a witch who will kill it.

This is not hormones - this is a mental health issue.

It also sounds like she had a mental health issue long before pregnancy.

However it has now escalated to a worrying degree. Talk to her GP. If that fails, get in touch with her midwife team - see if there's anything in the flat with contact details. Explain you are worried about antenatal depression/psychosis and could they send her out an appointment for a "general review".

I will tell you right now you cannot continue in the relationship long term. If you can stick it out till you can get your name down on the birth certificate, then do. I would normally not recommend this to someone being abused (and you are, by the way) but I can guarantee 100% that she will forbid you seeing the baby as she is vengeful.

At least if you are on the birth cert you will have parental responsibility and will have rights in law. You will still not be able to take a small baby away from its mother for visitation (particularly if breastfeeding - no judge would agree to it) but once it's a bit bigger you can go to court for a contact order.

If you leave now, I think it highly unlikely you'll ever get on that birth cert and then it's difficult thereafter. You can go to court with a DNA test etc but it relies on co-operation from her obviously.

Huskylover1 Tue 31-Jan-17 10:20:16

This is nothing to do with pregnancy hormones. She is mentally unwell and needs help.

Personally I would leave her, and make it clear that you will not consider returning until she seeks medical help for her illness.

My DH's previous girlfriend had Bi-polar disorder, and they sound very similar.

Rubberubberduckduck Tue 31-Jan-17 10:26:28

Right my two pennies worth...

I fell pregnant last march and instantly I changed. Instantly. I became anxious, obsessive and utterly, utterly horrendous to live with. I was constantly worried about what my DP was doing at work, who the women were who he worked with and what conversations they could be having. It nearly destroyed me (as I could see I was bu but couldn't stop) and certainly nearly totally destroyed my partner.

It was the worst time of my life. I was a mess. I paid for a physiotherapist to come to the house weekly and put myself under the perinatal mh team.

As soon as I had my DD 10 weeks ago I changed.. again instantly and was back to my old self. I still have the odd wobble but I think that's due to habit of thinking the worst for 9 months.

I never struggle hormonally prior to this.

Difference is I wanted not to think the way I did. I wanted to be my normal self. I sought help and it doesn't sound like this can all be put down to just her hormones just from the history alone however hormones certainly will be making it worse.

I guess you have to ask yourself do you want to be with the person that she is when she's not pregnant? If yes I would say you have little choice but to ride it out but make it clear you won't accept it. I'm sorry you're going through this. I was fucking horrific and I'm generally quite a nice person!

SickNotes Tue 31-Jan-17 10:26:51

My hunch is that if this was a female writing this the advice would be overwhelmingly to leave the relationship, however if you are a man it seems to be different as there is a stigma to leaving a pregnant partner, no matter how bad the abuse.

Only, as you've seen, no one has said this, and the majority of posters have recommended leaving her. She sounds in need of immediate medical/psychiatric help, and it sounds as if the condition pre-dates the pregnancy. I think you were crazy to consciously conceive with this person, but that's no help to you now, I realise. I think you should do your best to get her medical help - as others have said, perinatal mental health is probably a good place to start - and yes, I think you should leave, while applying for PR and preparing to support your child and to be a part of its life insofar as you are able. You being a parent and you being in a relationship with your child's mother are two separate things.

ajm77 Tue 31-Jan-17 10:29:28

Thank you for your advice and guidance. The wall staring was a typo - was 2 hours not 12. Still strange. There feels little point going to her GP or midwife as she will just deny it and make up false accusations about me but I will try. Six months feels like an age to stick it out, however she is a Jekyll and Hyde character. I can honestly say for the 6-9 months before we conceived I genuinely believed these issues had disappeared. I would not have agreed to it if this behaviour had not changed.

HughLauriesStubble Tue 31-Jan-17 10:29:39

It's not anything to do with hormones OP, your partner is just plain abusive. I wouldn't believe one bit that she is mentally ill either, especially since she can seemingly hold herself together in front of people who aren't you. She is is emotionally manipulative and is gaslighting you with her behaviour. Not sure what to advise you to do tbh. Do you think if you leave her she will cause access problems when the baby is born?

Fwiw, I know someone who was in a similar situation to you and has chosen to stay with his abusive partner because he doesn't want her to stop him seeing his child. He is miserable, she constantly gaslights him and has him torn apart emotionally. Throughout her pregnancy she continually accused him of harming the baby etc etc, using it as an excuse for her to get away with whatever she wanted to do. Now that the child is here, she uses that as her shield to hide behind. He literally cannot do right by her.

Sorry you're in such a shit situation.

notanothernamechangebabes Tue 31-Jan-17 10:30:05

What rubberduck said. Absolutely.

NeedsAsockamnesty Tue 31-Jan-17 10:30:08

Leave her and have a look at the men's aid forums they can be very helpful

Trifleorbust Tue 31-Jan-17 10:30:42

I am surprised people think she sounds mentally ill. She sounds like a jealous, childish person (how old is she?) but what in this is suggestive of mental illness?

I wouldn't go near her GP. I might leave.

TheHodgeoftheHedge Tue 31-Jan-17 10:32:19

I agree with other that whilst hormones may well be exacerbating her behaviour, she sounds deeply and concerningly mental ill and that seems to have been the case for a long time. I really can't understand why you decided to bring a child into the world under these circumstances but for all of your sakes, she needs help of a professional kind. However, if she refuses to see that she has a problem, this is going to be very difficult.

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