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Dumped when 8 month pregnant...one year later...the pain and anger haven't gone away....

(20 Posts)
boyboyanddogboy Tue 04-Aug-15 21:01:24

My boyfriend dumped me when I was eight months pregnant with our first child, having cheated on me when I was six months pregnant. He refused to talk to me during the final month of my pregnancy and I pretty much fell apart. My world was just destroyed. For the first three months of our son's life, however, he was relatively involved. He lives abroad and flew to see DS once a month, but skyped every few days and texted constantly to ask how 'we' were doing. Of course, it was the weirdest, most heart-breaking thing, having to see him/speak to him as an estranged partner when we had been together so very recently and were so looking forward to our lives as parents.

Then, at Christmas, I said something he didn't like - that I hoped in the future he would spend more time with DS - and all hell broke loose. He called me up and told me 'until you grow up and stop playing games, I won't come to visit (our son), EVEN IF I'M LONDON.' And essentially, he kept good on that. Since December, he has seen DS for ONE HOUR. That's one hour in eight months.

Now, here's the strange part, which I appreciate may not endear me to other single mothers - my son's father pays for everything and I mean literally everything, including a nanny four days a week so I can work. That's an awful lot of money, especially in London. So the thing that gets me is why the hell or what the hell is he paying for? I speak to his friends and family, who assure me that he WILL have a better relationship with our son when he's older, he just doesn't feel that our son 'needs' him right now. So that, combined with the 'payments' makes me feel like I'm somehow 'incubating' DS, raising him until he's of interest to his father. The fact that I'm not 'allowed' to make any comments or criticisms relating to his quite frankly hideous behaviour for fear of him disappearing completely makes things even worse.

On a personal level, I also feel a lot of shame - it's not something I want to make public, that this man who I loved so much unceremoniously dumped me just before our baby was due. People always ask me how the father is and sometimes I tell the truth and other times, I just say he's fine. It's just not how I planned my life to be and the shock to the system is just sometimes too much to bear. I try to make sense of it - he flew thousands of miles to attend EVERY SINGLE pre natal appointment - and now, hasn't seen our son for 8 months? I just can't fathom it.

I come from a divorced home and my parents have the most incredible, supportive relationship, so I know that it CAN be done and I've been determined from day one to ensure that the door is always open. Since December, I've sent my son's father fortnightly pictures, videos and updates - 99% of which he ignores. It just breaks my heart every time. Sometimes the lack of response hurts so much I decide to stop - then my parents and friends tell me that I must continue, to keep that connection between them and avoid an 'out of sight, out of mind' scenario.

It's now a year since he dumped me and I'm not much closer to healing. I can't do the normal things that I used to do when a relationship ended - go out, get drunk and...well...you can imagine! I also feel completely handcuffed because I feel that I can't ever express my true feelings towards him, in terms of what he's done to me/ us. He's already made it very clear that he's willing to punish our son in order to punish me, so I just feel that I have to keep my mouth firmly shut, which is so incredibly frustrating. Added to that - and I can't deny this - I do fear that if I say anything that he'd consider 'out of line', he'd withdraw his financial support, which would be very challenging indeed for me. But it's not by any means my first concern - my first concern is that my gorgeous boy grows up knowing his daddy, knowing that he was planned, wanted and born out of love. In my heart of hearts, I do believe that his father will, if not come good, come better - but in the meantime, god it hurts. He's coming to London to spend two days with DS in a couple of weeks - of course, I will have to be there all the time as there's no way I'm leaving DS with a total stranger - which his father is. Any advice on how to manage the visit - and the general feelings of impotence, struggling with my anger and not having an outlet for it - would be gratefully appreciated! Sorry for the essay :-)

MrsGrumps Tue 04-Aug-15 22:12:00

How can you move on from this relationship when you're a kept woman. Live your own life with some financial help but you need to stop all this nanny stuff and having him pay for everything.

It won't make him see his child anymore? You'll just have to wait for him to want to be a father but at least you'll have some independence and self respect. Only then will you be able to mentally move on

boyboyanddogboy Tue 04-Aug-15 23:05:25

Thank you for your response but your immediate assumption that I'm a 'kept woman' is entirely wrong. I run my own business employimg seven people. I own my own flat and pay my mortgage. My business is doing ok, but we have a lot of over heads. Having a nanny enables me to work longer hours - with the long term goal, of course, of paying for everything for myself and my son. Currently, my son's father pays for my son and it's a lot more than I could afford right now - but I'm very much on track to earning more if I focus hard for the next few years. I have always supported myself and always will.

My reference to feeling ashamed was nothing to do with financial servitude or lack of independence - you may not have experienced it, but there is a profound sense of shame and failure in become an eight month pregnant single mother overnight. It's not what anyone hopes for. I do appreciate your advice but I think perhaps you have misunderstood. In a not very pleasant way. I hope that clarifies things.

lordStrange Tue 04-Aug-15 23:23:40

Well, he was a shit partner and is now a shit dad.

I would be looking to minimise contact with your son, rather that than some distant bloke who drifts in and out of your lovely son's life. As for having a better relationship with him when he is older, dream on sunshine! Your son will know who raised him, sat with him at night, cared about his learning, I could go on.

Can you formalise the financial agreement between you two, so that you are able to speak up for your son without worrying about fiscal punishment from him?

I'm sorry this happened to you, but this devastation aside you sound solid.

Viviennemary Tue 04-Aug-15 23:32:25

I agree that it's almost impossible to get away from him when you rely so heavily on him financially. He sounds totally horrible and tbh I wouldn't be in the least bit worried that he isn't seeing your DS. Do you really want him influenced by such a man who can behave like this.

lordStrange Tue 04-Aug-15 23:36:57

Surely the amount of money depends on how well off he is? If he is super comfortable he might just be paying the right amount.

Either way, I would be taking the money for now, the OP needs it more than ever so she can work.

thecatfromjapan Tue 04-Aug-15 23:50:13

He sounds like a rather controlling friend of mine. He's generous and charismatic ... To a point. He's also controlling and can be abusive.

I think it will be better to loosen your ties. Or more importantly, the future ties your son might have. Bear in mind: you are ultimately facilitating a relationship between your son and a man who is an emotional grenade. He hurt you more than you believed possible. He WILL do the same to your son.
You do NOT want to set your son up for that.

You need to believe this and start working to loosen -not strengthen -those ties.

Good luck.

charlybear7 Wed 05-Aug-15 06:31:58

Boyboyanddogboy - I too got 'dumped' at 7 months pregnant with our 2nd very much wanted 2nd child. It's now 4 months on and I too cannot fathom what has happened or why! It upsets me that my ex has very little involvement in our 2 boys. My youngest is 8 wks old and he has seen him for less than 10 hours. Currently he is wanting to take me to court so he has access to his children and will pay me the minimum amount of money. I have only ever encouraged him to see his children and I'm baffled by how he thinks court is the way to go! Such an awful human being.

Please message me if you want to chat x

boyboyanddogboy Wed 05-Aug-15 09:12:46

Thanks so much everyone for your kind and supportive responses. I'm new to Mumsnet so not sure how to 'tag' people, but in response - very hard to formalise our financial arrangement as the father is not British and doesn't live in the UK. And yes, lordStrange, he is super comfortable - or should I say, works very hard in a job that pays very well, so what he's giving in terms of child support is right, it just happens to be sufficient to pay for a nanny, which of course is a huge luxury - although not a 'me sitting at home while the nanny looks after my son' type of luxury - thank you Mrs Grumps! - but a luxury that I hope will enable me with time to be 100% in control financially. His financial support is the ONLY thing he's doing right. ThecatfromJapan - yes, generous, charismatic, controlling and abusive - do you know him?!!! As for loosening ties, I just don't know. I certainly don't want to make excuses, but there are some cultural/ personal issues at work - DS's father's background is one where the men are not so involved with early child-rearing, he himself was packed off to boarding school and saw his father only rarely (but idolises him completely) and oh - did I mention his own mother died when he was 8 years old? So, as you can imagine, he's a bundle of pain and unexpressed emotions. What's pushing me forward is that he has a gorgeous daughter with his ex wife - DS's half sister - who he does see, not as regularly as he should, but he does see her and they have a wonderful time together. I know this because I used to spend time with them and I could see clearly from the little girl's reactions to her daddy that she'd rather have him there sometimes than not at all.

Charlybear7 - I'm so, so sorry to hear what your going through. I'd love to chat, will message you when I'm not at work :-)

charlybear7 Wed 05-Aug-15 09:24:16

Boyboyanddogboy - I will look out for a message tonight! I'm new to mumsnet too so not fully up to date with it ��

turningchunker Wed 05-Aug-15 09:33:44

Honestly I think him making such a big financial contribution for no apparent reason is probably a method of controlling you. He sounds like an extremely controlling man.

If you're financially secure which it sounds like you are I would be tempted as PP have said to cut financial ties so that he is only giving you a monthly contribution towards his son and not paying 'for everything' as you say in your OP (bit confused TBH as you say he pays for literally everything but then also say you are financially independent, so I don't know if I've really understood).

PennyJennyPie Wed 05-Aug-15 09:40:58

Why do you think that it's your responsibility to maintain his relationship with your son? Surely it should be his?

beehappybe Wed 05-Aug-15 10:00:25

he just doesn't feel that our son 'needs' him right now

??? it looks to me like he is not a very emotionally mature person. If he really thinks ha can just waltz in your son's life in few years time and all will be rosy then he is plain stupid. I think what you are doing in terms of keeping him up to date is lovely-the man does not deserve it but your son will appreciate it one day as he will see that despite that, daddy didn't care. At the same time it must be emotionally exhausting for you and if he does not care and ignores it why continue??
I come from a broken family and despite trying to re-connect with my father more than two decades after he stopped contact the relationship can not (and never will) repair-I gave up after several years of trying.
Your son will be old enough to realize one day who was really there for him.
All you can do is be civil and polite with him as I am sure you are and let your little boy make up his own mind one day based on facts. What your son needs is love-at the moment you are the only parent providing that.

Good luck with everything, I hope things turn around for you soon.

boyboyanddogboy Wed 05-Aug-15 10:02:04

Turningchunker - yes, it's definitely a method of control, but also a way of assuaging his own guilt as he can always say he 'supports his son', if only financially. When I say he pays for 'everything' - I mean everything relating to our son. I pay the mortgage, household utility bills, etc - while he pays for the nanny, food and toiletries etc. I don't spend all the money he gives me - I put some aside for DS's savings and pay as much as I can out of my own salary so that I am really feeling the pinch - and preparing myself mentally if the money stops. PennyJennyPie - why do I think it's my responsibility to maintain his relationship with DS? Because he's not doing it!! My BF is in a similar situation and has facilitated a relationship with her now-five year old daughter's daddy. Honestly, if it was up to him, he'd never get round to seeing his daughter, but because of my friend's efforts, they do have a relationship and as far as her daughter is concerned, her daddy lives in another town but loves her very much and sees her as often as possible. She's the most amazing, confident little girl who will talk happily about her daddy but knows that her mummy is there for her 100%. I hope for the same with DS. Maybe it's foolish, but it's what I hope for. Also, from precedent, I can see that DS's half-sister's relationship with the daddy improved considerably from the point that she was able to talk on the phone to him, Skype him, spend time with him alone - i.e., when he didn't have to 'go through' the mother any more to contact his daughter.

boyboyanddogboy Wed 05-Aug-15 12:24:39

Thank you, BeHappyBee. I'm sorry to hear of your experience and I hope you're able to deal with it now. It must have been really tough for you.

I suppose part of my struggle is that against A LOT of odds, my parents really do have a wonderful relationship now and I see that much of it was a result of my mum encouraging my dad's involvement - and it worked! So having this amazing role model for separated parents, I just struggle to see why we can't do it too. Did I mention I'm stubborn and refuse to give up??! Maybe that's part of my problem also :-)

starlight2007 Wed 05-Aug-15 17:14:31

I used to send photos to my ex.. Very little response..I know the pain when you get no response...I stopped ..It made life easier..

I think the thing that made it easier is to stop trying..He will either find he does have an interest when not been spoon fed or doesn't...Either way it stops you emotionally investing in him.

The reduction in contact also makes it easier for you to move on

boyboyanddogboy Wed 05-Aug-15 18:19:27

Ah, Starlight2007, I'm sorry to hear that. It really does hurt, doesn't it. Sometimes, I try to turn it round in my head - look how strong I am, I'm able to send these pictures of our gorgeous boy to this weak man who simply doesn't have the strength to respond. It makes me feel better sometimes. Not always, just sometimes :-)

enderwoman Wed 05-Aug-15 18:26:23

I'm not surprised that you haven't moved in because based on the OP, it sounds like you are living life in a way that he could slot back in later. You need to detach.

With photos set up an online place for photos so that family can see him. I have Flickr but there's other services too. Your ex can then log on if he wants a peek and you don't have to go through the stress of emailing, wondering if he's seen the picks or contact you etc.

You can't force your ex to be a father. You need to detach because single parenthood is exhausting and you will want to use all spare energy on you and your son. The sooner you detach the sooner you and your son can move on and live a happy life.

starlight2007 Wed 05-Aug-15 19:15:47

I think the problem with your approach is everything you are doing is with awareness he will see . I am been strong sending these pics...thought process.. he will think I am strong. You are unable to think independently while you send pics.Even the ones you send..There is a thought process what will he think..I know because I have done it.

If he wants pics of his DS then he needs to come visit...

As a LP you have to do what makes you a better mum.. Ideally both partners will be involved in a childs life but that only works if both parents want to make it work

boyboyanddogboy Wed 05-Aug-15 20:12:00

Enderwoman, that's a brilliant idea! Thanks for that! As for him slotting back in later, eurrrgh, I can't imagine anything worse but I can completely see what you mean. TBH the thought of seeing him in a couple of weeks and him stinking up my flat with his stinky aftershave totally grosses me out!!!!

Starlight2007, you're so right. I have this ridiculous need to show him how gorgeous DS is, what a great mum I'm being, how well I'm coping...but of course, it doesn't - or shouldn't matter - in the slightest. It's so good to share, thank you :-)

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