Looks like I’m going to be a single mum...(97 Posts)
I’ll try and keep it brief!
My fiancé and I have been together several years, was very serious from the very start, as we’d been friends for around 10 years beforehand. We have a DS who’s almost 2, and for the last 10/12 months, I’ll admit we’ve had some rough patches (mental health struggles for both, money worries, communication not being what it should), but I thought we’d worked really hard to overcome all of our issues, which he agreed with.
Mental health is back on track for both of us, we’d recently been talking about when to begin ttc, and all conversations surrounding our relationship have been positive (he’s very happy, he can’t wait to grow our family, etc), up until a few weeks ago when he sat me down and told me that he doesn’t want me to worry about it yet, but he’s concerned that partly due to a period of what he feels was a lack of affection and some guardedness from me a couple of months ago (he’s right that there was a week or two like this due to something I found out he’d done. Nothing awful or relevant but I just wasn’t feeling as cuddly as I usually am!), he has subconsciously put up a bit of a wall between us, and whenever he’s experienced this in a past relationship, he’s never been able to recover it.
He was very reassuring during the conversation, and life continued as normal, including physical affection, he said he felt much better just from having spoken about it etc. But then fast forward about a week later and he’s started to withdraw, telling me he needed time to think.
We’ve now come to a bit of an impasse where he feels as though there’s nothing he can do to change the way he feels, though he’s devastated about it, and is repeatedly stating that the spark is ‘not going to come back’ because he’s been through this before. Which I find incredibly frustrating and hurtful, that he can make that assumption purely on comparing previous relationships to ours (has always said he never truly loved someone until me, and doesn’t have any DC with anyone else, both of which significantly change things even aside from the fact that every relationship is of course different).
He said he would love to try and still be a family because he still adores my company, still loves me and always will, and obviously doesn’t want a ‘broken home’ for our DS, but doesn’t want to risk hurting me down the line if he’s right that nothing changes and he then decides he wants to see other people.
I’m completely heartbroken. I don’t know how he can have been telling me he’s so happy etc less than 2 months ago, and now not even want to try and fix this together. I just can’t imagine giving up on him so easily if the situation was reversed. And the thought of being a single parent and our DS never knowing his parents together, having step parents, half siblings, is just utterly devastating me and I don’t know how to cope with any of this. We’re each other’s best friends, I miss him already and he hasn’t even gone anywhere yet.
Does anyone have any advice? Aside from time is a healer, because I think if I hear that it might tip me over the edge into a full blown anxiety attack. (But genuinely, thanks in advance for any guidance and kind words)
YABU to say “broken home”. It’s not 1985, Thatcher is long fucking gone, and a single parent home is the most “whole” stable home my son could have had.
If I’m being honest? It sounds a bit melodramatic, on both sides. It also sounds like he’s checked out, and is trying to ease you into a break up. I don’t think, to be honest, this is one where time will be a healer for your relationship- he’s made his decision, he’s just masking his cuntishness with “good guy” rhetoric.
(AIBU is really, am I being melodramatic to really not know how I’m going to cope with this?)
Haha, @TheSheepofWallSt cross posted with you there, but I absolutely can understand why this feels melodramatic, and I certainly don’t mean that as any slight on single parents families, I come from one myself! I just always knew that it wasn’t what I would want for my own children. And if me and his father were arguing terribly or were really unhappy day to day, of course that would be what’s best, but I’m struggling to see that it is in this situation.
To be fair to him, he isn’t trying to drag this out by saying he still needs time, he has now said that he doesn’t feel this is going to change and he doesn’t want to give it any more time as he doesn’t think that would benefit any of us in the long run.
Your fiance sounds like a bit of a drama llama. Everything seems to revolve around him and his feelings even if he states that he is concerned about not hurting you...as clearly when he voices all his doubts he is hurting you and is not allowing you any positive way to work on your relationship. Sound a little bit like he may be putting feelers out for arrangement where he is maintaining your family appearance while he can have another relationship on the side
I’d say it’s normal to be terrified at the start. I was. But my DC are happy, thriving and healthy, as am I. Being a single mum is much more rewarding than being stuck in purgatory like you are now. You’re stronger than you think.
Having kids us tough, it causes lots of rows, tirednesses etc and I think it is pretty common for the "spark" to go. Some people work through it, others don't. Your partner sounds like he thinks the relationship should be a fairytale and doesn't realise that relationships become hard work once kids are involved. I don't blame you for being devastated but not sure there is much you can do? If he's this flaky then he would probably also bail out if you got ill or had other problems. Sorry I realise that isn't much consolation but maybe you are only now seeing who he really is.
It does sound like he’s pulling away - maybe the thought of a second child has scared him in some way, who knows. I’d not be considering ttc unless and until he was clear about his commitment to your relationship over a good period of time - it’s too easy to think you’ve turned a corner, find yourself pregnant only for him to go at that point.
It’s horrible but I think he’s going to go. Is there any chance his head has been turned?
That’s a little bit what I feel like, that he’s removing any option of us trying to fix this together, and I just can’t understand why. I can’t see how he’s SO unhappy that he’s taking that chance away from us, when I know for a fact he’s been happy until recently.
In regrds to a possible arrangement, that may just be my shitty wording, that’s actually exactly what he was saying he didn’t want, to stay together for our family and end up wanting to see someone else, because he wouldn’t do that to me and so doesn’t think trying would work in the long run as that’s what he sees happening.
I’m just struggling to see how someone can make such a huge decision for 3 people, just because he’s sure it won’t change. How the fuck can you possibly know unless you try? Why would you not want to give it all you could just in case that feeling does come back?
I suppose I should take that as enough of a sign, that he doesn’t want to do that.
You will be fine . It's not easy but it is easier than a crap relationship and trying to partner with someone who's almost checked out of it. I've been one for a decade now.
And I'd put money on there being someone else "he has subconsciously put up a bit of a wall between us".
The truth without all his waffly bullshit?
He's checked out. Maybe he's met someone else, maybe he's just over the relationship. He wants to break up but doesn't want to be the "bad guy". He also wants to have his cake (be able to flit off with another female down the line whenever it suits him) and eat it too (aka playing happily families with you).
Tell him if he's done to pack his stuff and once things have calmed down you'll sort maintenance and a rota to see your child. He's a horrible cretin- don't let his emotional word vomit trick you.
@HorridHamble Thank you so much for your kind words, I’m glad you’re all doing well. I just find the thought of doing this all alone so sad. I had a baby because I wanted a baby with him, and my DS is the most wonderful thing in the world, of course, but that doesn’t change the fact that this is so far from what I wanted for him, and for us.
@HotPenguin There may be some truth to the fairytale aspect, but then we’ve been through some tough times together, both as a couple and before, and he’s always been amazing. He’s a stubborn bastard too and he doesn’t give up easily so I think that’s part of why im finding this so difficult.
@jellycatspyjamas He was actually the one that raised the issue of ttc. It’s been an ongoing conversation since we had DS as to what age gap we would want etc, and he’s always been the one to say he wants a small gap between them, can’t wait for a second, can’t wait to see him be a big brother etc, so I don’t think it’s that.
As for his head having been turned, I don’t think so. He’s given me no reason to be suspicious and he’s honest almost to a fault, so I’m fairly certain he would’ve told me that was the reason for this, but I suppose you can never be 100% sure!
@megletthesecond Thank you. You’ve been a single parent for a decade? How did you get used to it? I just don’t know where to start with processing it. I don’t want to do bedtime alone, I don’t want him to never know us together, I don’t want him to have two homes. I know I sound like a petulant child, but the thought just breaks my heart.
What makes you think there’s someone else, the way he’s worded his doubts?
@PepePig Thanks for your honesty! He’s actually said that’s very much what he doesn’t want (I probably worded it poorly), to be a family and then feel he wants something more from someone else, which is the reason he’s using to say he doesn’t want to continue trying to fix things with us.
I’m with Megletthesecond. Most men don’t leave a comfortable relationship/family unless they have another woman lined up to take them. I think as PPs have said, he doesn’t want to appear the bad guy, so is trying all the usual tactics - first blaming you for being distant, then talking psychobabble about his possible future needs, and displaying faux honesty, when all along he probably just wants out and has someone else.
Single parenthood is manageable. My adored DH died when both our babies were still in nappies. I’ve been alone for 28 years since then, raised my DDs and worked full time. We got through it. They’re grown up now with good graduate jobs. You can do it if you have to.
I wouldn’t stoop to begging him to stay- if he’s determined to go, stick his bags outside and wave him goodbye. Tell him he’s made his choice and he can bugger off and get on with it.
Fuck him. He’s already cheated or wants to in my lengthy experience in these matters. Ex I remember lamenting about how much braver I was than him
To be able to recognise the signs the spark had gone .... this was the day before I found absolute concrete proof he’d spent the night in a hotel with another woman
OP your partner is absolutely full of crap. He sounds melodramatic and intense. Like a spoilt child if I’m honest. Poor him, he’s not going to be able to recover, wha wha. He’s not being honest, he’s checked out and I’d bet he’s got a woman to go to. I know you are devastated but tell him to leave immediately. He doesn’t deserve to have his cake and eat it to. 💐
Does your partner have OCD traits or anxiety? The focus on "this has happened before, now it'll never come back, it must be something about me" sounds a lot like the reasoning of someone who has a mental illness that can be combated with CBT. These kinds of intrusive thoughts and notions that you don't really feel what you feel, things like that, can be signs of an underlying mental health issue.
It sounds to me like he wants you to do the pick me dance, even if there's noone else involved, and wants you to lavish him with attention. To be honest, I'd be really tempted to tell him to sling his hook, and live the single life for a couple of weeks. Make sure he does his share of the drudge work, properly leave him to it for 50% of the time. See if that makes him realise what he's got, and if you feel the same after that break.
I think he's full of shit op. He can't be bothered with family life and is trying to deflect blame onto you and act as though he has no choice but to break up.
* I just always knew that it wasn’t what I would want for my own children*
Sadly, relationship takes 2 and if one person checked out then not much you can do. Also why didn't you get married first before having a child, to have more guarantee that there's more commitment from him?
I'd imagine this sort of break up talk in a dating situation, not when you have a family already.
He sounds a shit person trying to be seen as a good guy.
I'm sorry to hear that OP. Good luck. You'll succeed as a single parent.
The one thing that seems to ring oddly to me in your account of what he said is "and he then decides he wants to see other people." It could be he's overthinking things or it could be he's subconsciously revealing things or it could be nothing.
He’s a dick.
He’s either already cheated or he’s about to.
He wants you to be the “bad guy” and end it so he can tell everyone what a psycho you are.
Tell him (seriously) that if he doesn’t want a complete family life with JUST you and your DC then to please leave the house.
Then through time you can arrange CMS and contact between dad & son OUTWITH the family home.
Hang on you were pissed off for a couple of weeks and a bit off with him. That destroyed his feelings for you and now he wants to break up?
Didn't take much did it?
It's either part of his mh or his feelings are very superficial.
Either way a couple of weeks in a bedsit or with hi family or whatever will help him see if he means it. Then you'll have to decide if you want to bother taking him back.
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