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How do I get through this? (Long, sorry)(27 Posts)
Have namechanged for this, don't know why, maybe embarrassment.
I'm 39 weeks pregnant and have been with DP for 4 years. We had about a year on and off at the start, due to his commitment issues but once we fully decided to be together, it was amazing.
About 18 months ago I had a MMC which I took quite hard but as DP is not great about talking about feelings and just wanted to move on, we didn't discuss it much. I got a lot of support on here instead. I needed to get away and my parents took me on holiday, DP couldn't come but said he was happy for me to go. He has since said that he realised then that I didn't put him first and that we weren't in a proper relationship and he started turning his feelings off. He never told me this and 6 months later we discussed and agreed to start trying for a baby and I got PG a couple of months later.
About 3 months into the pg I discovered lots of texts and emails to a girl he works with, he denied anything going on but after checking his phone regularly (which he was furious about) I basically found out that he was having an emotional affair with this girl. He finished it and changed jobs and agreed to be committed to me.
Since then we have gone through endless periods of being good for a couple of days and then him deciding that it's not going to work out. This does seem to be influenced by his drinking. He drinks at least a couple of beers every night and binge drinks till 3 or 4 in the morning at least 3 times a week. He's encouraged by 2 single friends who, of course, want a wing man.
2 weeks ago he phoned me at 3 in the morning, ranting that I wasn't letting him be himself, that he doesn't want to be with me and doesn't love me. He has said this a few times but only under the influence of drink. I spoke to his Mum who asked if he had a drinking problem as she and his brother were worried about him. She spoke to him over the weekend and his brother came down and it seemed to have an effect. He told me that he was going to cut down his drinking, which he did, and although he didn't have hope for us he was willing to see what happened when the baby arrived.
We had a good week and he treated me like he should have throughout the pregnancy. He had a big weekend of drinking because his brother was down, but was not angry or nasty to me and I thought he was managing things better. On Sunday we built a chest of drawers for the baby so I could get things organised and this seems to have sent him into a spin. He's accused me of being controlling (and even referred to the new domestic abuse guidelines) and not accepting that it's over. He says I don't care about his happiness and if I did I would have let us break up ages ago. I have tried to convince him to stay together, because I love him and want us to be a family, but he could have gone at any time. He claims not because I'm pregnant. He says his feelings are now entrenched and he doesn't think they can change.
I have agreed with him and said I'll stay here until I give birth (really want to go to the lovely birth centre that I'm booked into) and for his 2 weeks paternity leave and then I'll move home.
I just can't believe it's over though. I can't help but think this is a massive reaction to the commitment of having a baby and is influenced by his drinking. He feels like the single life is appealing at the moment but surely it's just a grass is greener mentality. Do you think there's any chance his feelings might change once the baby comes? He loves kids and is excited about the baby. I know you'll say I'm fooling myself but things were so good for so long and I just don't know how I'm going to cope as a lone parent. Has anyone else been in this situation and it's worked out?
If he had 'commitment issues' at the start and you think he's turning to booze and affairs because he's struggling with the responsibility of impending parenthood, then I'm sure it's possible he'll suddenly turn into a mature adult when the baby arrives but my fear is he'll remain as immature, selfish and badly behaved as you describe.
" I didn't put him first and that we weren't in a proper relationship and he started turning his feelings off" This is really not a good thing to say for someone about to be a father for the first time. If not being put first is a problem for him, a baby is going to send him into a tail-spin. All of this hot/cold, on/off, nice/nasty, routine is particularly disturbing.
You're not fooling yourself exactly but I think a little realism will prevent more dashed hopes. Prepare for life as a single parent rather than count on his support. Prepare to find more texts on more phones to more women when the novelty wears off and you haven't been paying him enough attention. You'll find new motherhood is quite difficult enough without having to constantly cajole a grown man into acting like one.
It seems to me as if the baby has become his focus for, and excuse for, a level of selfishness that has actually always been there.
I agree with Cogito that you should prepare for this not working out. Whether or not he has a moment of conversion after the baby is born, you'd be best off stopping the pleading and hoping and being civil but withdrawn with him now. Act as if you agree that it's over even if you don't feel like it. Focus on your baby for now.
Thanks both. I think these kind of comments are the ones I need. The problem is, now I've told him I agree he's being nice to me. Has even suggested we go to the cinema tonight. I don't understand why he's doing this if he doesn't have feelings for me but I've asked before and he says he just wants me to be happy.
I know I'm just banging my head against a brick wall.
When your baby arrives, you will truly have a different perspective. You would run into a burning building, pretty much anything to keep your baby safe well and happy.
Your boyfriends pathetic selfish behaviour will seem even worse then. You have given him many chances, he has fouled them all up.
No doubt you will try to control him by expectaIng him to pay child support.
I am sorry he is not the man you hoped he would be. You will be astonished by your own strength.
My advice, walk now keep going and don't look back. Go now don't wait around while he fannys around. He won't be there during his paternity leave to help you that is so he can relax during the pressure of it all.
This sounds so like my marriage. In my case nothing changed with marriage or children. I was effectively a single mother to two children and a man who never grew up and resented me for being an adult. He stayed out drinking several times a week, he is an alcoholic, he became depressed, he blamed me for being controlling and abusive just like yours is. The ups and downs were the hardest to take as basically my happiness was dependent on his mood swings. I stayed for two children and five years and hoped things would change. It affected my well being, my self esteem, my sense of self. I became codependent, lonely, isolated and of it had kept going I would have killed myself eventually just out of pain. The stupid thing it was his pain and his issues. And it was not worth it. I got myself therapy and support and set down boundaries, eventually asking him to leave my life, and I wish to God I had done it a long time earlier. It has affected my bonding with the children as I was so embroiled in his issues.
I am rebuilding the rubble that is my life and I have not felt happier or freer and my big lesson learned:
If he says he is unhappy : listen, doesn't want to commit : listen, drinks too much : that is fact, doesn't come home : does not change because you have a baby. Don't look for the imaginary real him, he is showing you loud and clear. The question is can you live with it? I couldn't and I really am not sure if I hate him or myself more for trying.
Take him on face value. You're pregnant with his child, you've known each other a few years and he probably does want you to be happy. He just doesn't want to be in a relationship with you. I wouldn't go to the cinema, involve him in building more nursery furniture or have him at the birth or taking paternity leave. He is clearly rejecting any pressure to play 'happy families' so find other people to help you prepare and be with you in the early days of your baby's life.
His being nice is not real it is all part of the game. I read a good book called the games people pay by Eric Berne, and the ups and downs are all part of the merry go round. For reality look at the whole picture.
And huge big hugs to you. You deserve it.
Glad you are starting to rebuild your life Daffy. Is he involved in your children's life now? DP's Dad left when he was 9 and it obviously has had a major effect on him and he doesn't have a great relationship with him now. On the one hand, I think maybe it's better that the baby will never know life living with a Dad at home but what if it's a boy? Surely they need a man's influence?
@daffydowndilly... he has said the relationship is over but it sounds as though the OP is trying to keep him close until after the birth in the hope of him suddenly 'seeing the light' and changing his mind about everything.
OP... even a half-decent person will feel he can't let you down when you're close to having his baby. That doesn't mean he loves you.
"Surely they need a man's influence?"
My DS has not lived with his father since birth. They see each other fairly regularly but it is not a shared parenting arrangement. I am his sole parent 99% of the time. DS is now 12yo and is a bright, happy, articulate, kind kid with plenty of friends and plenty of male influences in the form of friends, relatives, teachers etc. Whether he grows still well-balanced or spends the next few years on a psychiatrist's couch is the same lottery as anyone else. If your baby is a boy, he will benefit from having two happy parents living apart rather than an anxious mother and a reluctant father, behaving badly under the same roof.
Children do not needed like these. What you risk then is them developing their own emotional issues. Go along to al anon and talk to people who grew up with similar parents. Go to any 12 step group and listen to their childhood stories.
He is bad with the children. Calls them often and doesn't interact on the phone or converse, sitting emailing and expecting to be entertained. Seeing them is too much effort. He looks to his ideal and wants a relationship but just can't see his own reality and understand his ideal is not him or what he is doing.
I have a boy and I moved nearer my father for that reason and he now has a postive male role model that is not damaged. Tbh you could do the same in a multitude or ways. He even calls grandpa dad sometimes. Because is far more a dad. And does things with him.
he says he just wants me to be happy
I think what he means is he just wants you to be happy with him doing whatever he wants, and don't expect any more from him than he is prepared to give.
Seems like a recipe for disaster to me. When the baby arrives you will have far more to think about than this relationship - such as it is. You'll be doing all that with hormones raging and on very little sleep.
I spoke to his Mum who asked if he had a drinking problem as she and his brother were worried about him.
Maybe this isn't quite as it sounds, but you're 39 weeks pregnant and they're worried about him?
What is your housing situation currently? Do you have much practical support in RL?
I probably am trying to keep him close till after the birth with misguided hopes. But i also want him to have some time to bond with the baby and to realise what it is to have a baby. I said last night to him about eventually having the baby overnight once we split up and he was surprised, said he wouldn't know what to do. I do feel strongly that I want him in the baby's life, however hard that is for me, because I think it's important. It's good to hear your experience though Cogito, I know I'm sounding like an idiot and need to get myself together.
@cognito I know and I crazily did the same. Clinging on to an imagjnary relationship. And my persistence did nothing but harm me and his respect for me lessend.
Guaranteed he won't change, he is showing the OP his true self. If it quacks like a duck and walks like a duck...
You're hoping he falls in love with the baby and sticks around. he's telling you loud and clear that he has no plans to do either. However you take things forward, hear what you're being told rather than what you want to hear. You're heading for more massive disappointments otherwise.
Olgaga His Mum has been brilliant actually. She's even offered to come down and stay and look after me. She's furious with him because she thinks this is down to the drink and him running scared from the relationship. I am more realistic about the fact that he really doesn't want to be with me, although the drink hasn't helped.
My parents are also amazing, I can move back in with them no problem and I have a good support network in terms of friends. I feel guilty because my Dad has just lost his job and can do without the stress but I know I can sort out money and start working eventually so I can help out.
I'd just say one thing: being a co-parent in a bad relationship is a far lonelier and harder task than being a single parent. I promise. And if this man can't give you the love and support you need, he will not be able to give it to your baby, and, trust me, you will resent him far, far more for that.
You have all my sympathy.
It sounds weak but I just don't know how to get it into my head and listen to what he's saying. Particularly when he's chopped and changed so much, although I know that makes it more likely that it will always be like this.
Just wading in to add my experience. Eleven yrs ago I was in a similar position. My ex didn't ever get past the not wanting to commit phase, and we never actually got to the point of saying we were in a relationship despite 4 yrs of occasional sex leading to an unplanned (but very much wanted by both of us) pregnancy.
He was excited about being a dad but what he was looking forward to was taking her to her first festival / showing her off down the park etc! He's a nice bloke but just wasn't ready.
I decided mid-pregnancy that I was on my own and anything he did was a bonus. Can't deny it was hard but I have a great daughter and wouldn't change a thing.
As for ex - I have to say it's worked out great. He was a bit rubbish at anything practical for the first 3 or 4 yrs and didn't have her overnight until she was over 2. I have a photo of him changing his first nappy at 6 months, and I can't remember when he first gave her a bath, but I have to say that now they have a totally brilliant relationship. He's a great laugh and more like an uncle in some ways but is a great part of her life.
When she was about 4 I started insisting he have her one night a week. Partly because I was ready to start dating and wanted the freedom, and partly because i decided that if I didn't actively make them have a relationship it was never going to happen. He was scared of looking after her when she was little, and I didn't have the time or energy to hold his hand through it but in the end I decided that it would be better for all of us if their relationship was stronger so I made it happen.
My advice is to prepare for doing it on your own. It's not that bad and I often don't think I had it any worse than most of my married friends. If you can maintain a good relationship with him and keep things amicable it will be the best thing you can do for your child.
Thanks Newname, I think that's what DP is going to be like too. Last night when I mentioned that the baby would stay over some weekends so his crazy weekends would be a bit curtailed, he looked really shocked and said that he wouldn't be able to look after a baby on his own overnight. I explained that he'd have to learn!
We all have to learn! It's a steep learning curve and in the first two days I'd had 48 hrs practise! It took him over a year to have that much time on his own with the baby.
Part of me does regret not forcing him to spend time on his own with DD in the early days, like a resident dad would do. He wasn't there overnight so how was he ever going to learn how to look after her overnight. As I say, I don't beat myself up too much about it because I just didn't have extra capacity to worry about him and his bonding. He should have worried about that for himself and he didn't. sounds like you've got a great MIL so maybe she could spend time with him while he gets some confidence. It works both ways. Ex didn't know how to look after baby, so I didn't trust him with her, so he never gained confidence.
A bit of extra info - ex now has a 2 yr old with his new partner. He is the most hands-on committed dad I've ever seen and does all the overnights and I would say is primary carer. 10 yrs down the line he's totally ready and DD loves her baby sister. I'm so far beyond the resentment now that I'm really genuinely delighted for him that he's getting the full experience this time. Have to confess though that I got a huge amount of pleasure out of him saying a few months in "I didn't realise it was this hard. You probably could have done with more help!" Errr Yes!!!
This is really tough. My h cheated when I was pregnant both times but 2nd preg he left me for ow at 18 weeks. He then returned until my ds was 5 weeks old. He was similar to a lot of what you mentioned here. With ds he did change completely once he was born but with dd he left us when he was 5 weeks old. He destroyed me. Completely and utterly. Please don't think that having a baby in your arms will change anything. My h told me he didn't love me, just wanted casual relationships with women whilst I had got my tiny, beautiful little girl in my arms bf'ing her. Our gorg ds was in the next room.
Men like this are incapable of putting anyone above themselves. This is magnified when children arrive. I thought that h would step up and become responsible but truth is he is incapable. He is a child in a mans body and resented me for trying to make him face up. For such a long time I focussed in the good things he did and ignored the bad. But the bad things got worse and more damaging. Don't do this to yourself. E prepared to to it on your own. It won't always be easy but it will be a hell of a lot easier than trying to drag a big, unhelpful heavy weight around with you as well. I don't say it lightly but he isn't worth your time. Focus in your baby and making a happy world for them xxx
Thanks for all your stories, they're really helping me get some perspective. I just can't believe I'm going to have to deal with him for the next 18 years!
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