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what to do now? new baby and not sure where relationship is going

(10 Posts)
alembec Thu 01-Sep-16 14:37:31

This is my history:
I'm early/mid thirties. I met my DP 10 years ago, and had an amazing relationship for the first 9 years. Whilst I knew he didn't want kids, I made a promise to myself that I wouldn't worry about it until I turned 30, and will choose then whether I'll stay with him and be childless, or leave and pursue a dream of a family. Obviously we didn't buy a house together or get married, or anything else that ties you into a long term commitment in that time.

When I hit 30, there was a horrible horrible year where I flipped and flopped between the decision. In the end, and in hindsight I think it was to please me, rather than him changing his mind about fatherhood, he suggested we buy a house together, and a few months after we did so he suggested we TCC. As you can imagine I was overjoyed.

We were lucky and conceived within weeks, and we went through a wonderful honeymoon-like pregnancy, where he was so attentive, so hopeful for the future of our baby, and so happy.

Fast forward to now, our baby is just over a year old, and I think we are both massively shocked by just how difficult taking care of a baby is. My mea culpa is that I found any sign of distress from our baby incredibly stressful, and was a wreck wherever he cried, and he cried everytime he goes to sleep (still does, and I still suffer). I think I was very angry at DP for not always being there (he works long hours), and not understanding why I found it difficult to let go (we could have easily afford more childcare help, but refused).

Between baby being 6 months to now, I think he has gradually felt more and more detached from me and the baby. He just wants more 'me' time, like going to the pub after work, random dinners with friends whilst leaving me home to babysit, asking to spend a weekend on his own away. I find that SO hard - I'm back at work now, so I come home after 10/11 hours at work, put the baby to bed (with crying!) and have to sit on the sofa for 2/3 hours waiting for him to come back, and having no one to call and unable to even leave the house.

I've had a lot of time to reflect on my own behaviour in this, and whilst he's been a sh*t in many ways, I can't say I've been a saint. I've shouted at him, ignored him, told him he wasn't good enough... my defence is that I've never stopped loving him, and I really did pull more than my fair share of all the chores related to the house and baby.

After I realised how hurt and detached he was a few months ago, I tried so hard to be nicer to him, and try to get him to communicate to me about how we can make things better. Unfortunately he basically doesn't want to talk, and just wants a few weeks alone to clear his head. Everytime I try to communicate (email, face to face, through good mutual friends), he just shuts down and it's clear he just hates it. He refuses couple counselling.

When I ask if he still loves me, or family life, or wants to stay together, he says 'I don't know, and I do mean that I don't know', which I believe, hard as it is given the context of him not having wanted children once upon a time. The other hard thing to hear is that he said he thinks he'd have done better getting with a less intelligent and personalitied partner... fwiw we are both successful in our field (he is a bit of a star). We loved each other because we share intellectual interests and understand each others' thought process. He finds it hard I think to see me struggling with going back to work (I still find it hard to let go of the baby, and work is only semi supportive), but has not been able or wanting to help me cope with the process, because he need his time...

As we are killing each other emotionally (me with my demand to talk, he with his silence), we have agreed to live separately for a bit rather than continue to make each other miserable and breed hatred.

I'm going to see a counsellor soon which I hope will help me cope better.

In your opinion, is there still something to salvage here? I'm sure I do love him, but if he doesn't love me I want to make a clean cut and move on with my life, not dither about for months living apart and being miserable in the evenings waiting for him to make a decision. He definitely loves our baby and would be supportive financially (though probably not significantly with time, due to his work).

DoinItFine Thu 01-Sep-16 14:44:18

No, it doesn't sound like there's much left.

You should give yourself space to move on.

Hopefully one day you'll meet a man who loves your intelligence and personality.

And isn't a sexist knob.

alembec Thu 01-Sep-16 16:11:50

do you think there is anything I can ask in terms of an ultimatum, before the day is called?

DoinItFine Thu 01-Sep-16 16:13:29

The most powerful ultimatum you can give here is to give him his space and move on with your life.

FurryGiraffe Thu 01-Sep-16 16:26:40

I think whether the relationship is potentially salvageable isn't really the point at this stage. The key issue is that to salvage a relationship you both need to want to do so, and if he isn't prepared to talk to you or go to counselling then he is either unwilling or unable.

Tralala33 Thu 01-Sep-16 16:29:50

It sounds like he mentally detached from the relationship a while ago, so wouldn't be salvageable if that was the case. Let him go, you really can do better.
Also, staying out late, weekends away 'alone'.… are you sure there's not an OW?

alembec Thu 01-Sep-16 16:39:41

Thanks. Perhaps I did need to just hear that from someone with an outside perspective.

I don't think there is an OW in a physical sense, but I do think he regrets not getting with a younger/hotter/easier woman who'd be happy to do whatever he wants in return for the material comfort he can provide. of course ironically he wouldn't have been able find someone like that when we started off together, when we were both piss poor and trying to find our way in the world.

Oh well, if this is what it is then it can't be any loss. I am in love with the man he used to be, not the man he is.

TheNaze73 Thu 01-Sep-16 16:56:11

I think you need to let him go, he's not interested & should have been honest with himself rather than a people pleaser by pretending he wanted children. You deserve much better OP

MatildaTheCat Thu 01-Sep-16 18:23:10

I think if you had 9-10 good years together it's actually not very surprising that a demanding baby has thrown a massive spanner in the works. Many, many couples face similar situations. Some survive and some don't.

He needs to hear that being unsure isn't an option for much longer. He also needs to step up and parent his child! Even if it kills you to do so you MUST get him home to put the baby to bed and care for the baby awake at least 1-2 X per week. He absolutely has to bond with and look after his own child.

If you split he will have to parent alone for at least some of the time which will potentially be harder than the pair of you attempting to repair your relationship and parent together.

The early months and years can be a huge shock. Not everyone reacts well but it isn't always the end. He does, however have to step up to parenting without further ado. His relationship with you might end but not that with his child. That's not up for negotiation.

MatildaTheCat Thu 01-Sep-16 18:24:08

Sorr, meant to say look after baby whilst you go out and leave him to it for a few hours.

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