Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Really worried that my girlfriend is just going to leave me now she is pregnant.(23 Posts)
A little bit about our past:
My girlfriend and I have been together for 8 years/friends for 11. We are both 29. I love her so much. Her parents are really lovely and really took me in and treated me well (I have an amazing foster mum. She did loads for me and still means a hell of a lot to me, but it still feels lovely to be accepted by her parents and we do a lot together with them). Often actually go on holidays, etc. with them we have only been away on one holiday alone and that's because her mum doesn't like water and we did a cruise :-) the thing is, she has always made a point about how important her parents are to her (mainly her mum) and how I won't ever take that away from her. I honestly don't plan to in the slightest. We have a house together and she still often stays round her parents 3 nights a week. I respect that and never say anything (why would I? That's her choice) I don't want to come between her mum and Dad and never plan on 'taking her away from them'. Ever. She knows this (I make it very, very clear) but for some reason, she is just very anxious about it. After being together for 4 years (known for 7), I proposed. It was rejected. Not in a nasty way, she had a long conversation with me about how she doesn't believe in marriage. That was fine, I still loved her and she still wanted to be with me (I asked her a lot and said it was fine if she thought we were no longer right for each other) and she said that that isn't true at all and she does really want to be with me.
Anyway... We began TTC, it was very much planned (looked at her most fertile days etc. together and we were both so exited. She fell pregnant and we were ecstatic. Baby is due in April. We began discussing names and her first comment when I said about how we should discuss names, I got a very stern "why? I've decided" I am not a fan of the name, but I respect the fact that she is carrying the baby and as I don't absolutely hate it, said okay. She then replied with "you don't need to be okay with it, we aren't married" and it began from then really. Very controlling about how I have no rights to be baby's dad. I tried to talk to her and she said she wasn't mad at me but that's just how it is. I don't really know what to do. I know I may be thinking too much into it but I'm very worried about the future. Is it true that I can't be my child's dad unless she agrees as we are not married??! I'm so heartbroken by the way she has began to speak to me. Daily I hear (if I suggest ideas for the nursery, etc.) "why do you keep giving your input" and just general nasty behaviour when I'm just trying to be nice.
Honestly, I'm the first to admit if I have done something wrong, even if her reaction is totally out of proportion, I'm always happy to say sorry for whatever part I played (if I didn't get the door to a delivery but she didn't even tell me they were coming kind of thing so I would have gone out) I'll always just say sorry for not getting the door. However I don't know what to apologise for this time, I haven't done anything, it's like as soon as she found out she was pregnant, that was that.
I don't know if anyone can offer advice but I know this site is mainly women and I'd love to know what I could do to make it better. I'll do anything. I love them both a lot and don't want to lose them.
She sounds territorial and not committed to your relationship you need to sit her down and explain its as much your baby as hers and you want to play an equal part in its life it doesn't matter if you're married or not your still both the parents and you hsve as much right as her to pick the babies name and nursery colours scheme and whatever else you take an interest in and she should be grateful you want to do that because a lot of women have to go it alone without a choice and she needs to realise the role a father plays in its child's life
This relationship is odd- it definitely is unusual to stay at her parents 3 nights a week. You sound too reasonable and this is allowing her to be unreasonable. This is your child just as much as hers and she needs to know that. I think judging by what you have said regarding your background you feel so grateful when people want to be with you- get more confident: people want to be with you because you are a lovely person! You sound so kind by the way. Just remember when you are being walked over: unless you change the way YOU react, they are not going to stop walking all over you.
I think a chat is in order.
You both planned this child, you are both going to be parents and as such you expect to have an equal say in your child's name and future development.
Some key questions;
Will he/she take your surname? What about registering the birth? Can you expect to be left off the certificate to guarantee you have no official rights? What about nursery and schooling later on? Religion? Food? Doctors?
I'm not trying to scare you or cause a row but I think you need to 'man up' a little bit and broach the awkward subjects before it's too late.
Babies absolutely need their Dad too.
You say her parents are lovely; talk with them about your feelings as well as her. It sounds like you have a good relationship with them. My children are also in their 20s. I'd be delighted if they eventually had a husband/wife who is as committed as you obviously want to be as a Dad .Try to be clear with her about the importance of your child having a Dad. If she is in any doubt about this, show her another current MN thread about a child growing up without any input from their Dad! She needs to understand this and I think her parents will support you in this.
Oh my. This is a really tough one. I think you've got to stand your ground and tell her you are as much of an important part in this baby's life as she. You say you get on with her parents. Could you perhaps raise your concerns with them? How being shut out is not good for the baby, two equal parents is important. Imagine the message your child will learn if a boy if he sees daddy being treated like dirt? I know you risk a split. But I think you're heading that way if you don't stand up for yourself and your unborn child. Please don't give up. This is what I've seen other men do in this situation.
If she doesn't put you on the birth certificate, you will have to apply to be added. I'm not sure of the procedure. You may need a DNA (e.g. Hair) sample.
You sound very patient and kind but perhaps that is masking some things that you should be having boundaries about?
It doesnt sound like she is very focused on your relationship. Its great to be a good person who is kind but actually thats not going to improve the situation. You are not standing up for how you feel and allowing her feelings to be more important than yours. Of course her feelings are important and theres lots of things about being pregnant that she should have total control over however this is your baby too and you are the dad even if you are not married! Is she talking about not putting your name on the birth certificate? It is true that she doesnt actually have to do this but i think you should explain to her that you could then take her to court. Obviously you dont want to have to do that but you would be well within your rights to and you would be given shared parental responsibility because theres no reason why you shouldnt be on the birth certificate and it would be viewed as her preventing a childs right to have a relationship with its father.
So dont worry about her being able to take the child away from you, she wont be able to do that without a sound reason even if she does omit your name from the birth certificate.
Is she very anxious in general? Do you think its since becoming pregnant she has got this controlling? Because that could be a sign that its her hormones causing her anxiety or maybe even that shes depressed. It can be very frightening being pregnant and can make some women fixate on strange things. When i was pregnant i was obssessed with my husband dying! It was really loops he used to come home and id be in tears or angry with him because i kept thinking he was going to die!!
Perhaps her obsession with being completely in charge of the baby is based in fear and anxiety. When you are pregnant you can feel incredibly vulnerable and out of control of your body which can make you very uptight.
Grindelwaldswand, she basically laughs if I ever say "I have a right to be baby's dad" :-( because apparently I don't, is that true?
FrankWelker, thank you so much that's very kind.
anklebitersmum, I don't find those subjects awkward at all? I'd love to discuss them, but she won't let me discuss anything to do with the baby, that's what I meant when I added the etc. to the nursery bit.
confutatis, I will try and ask her mum, but obviously she comes before me, so she might not be as helpful as I hope! That's not by any means a dig at her, she's a very supportive person to have in my life, but obviously her daughter comes before anything :-)
Mummyoflittledragon, I definitely won't give up where there is my baby involved! I wouldn't ever give up with her tbh, I suppose I don't stand my ground but she's definitely hormonal and I struggle to know how much of her behaviour is just hormones and have to do my best to put up with some things as she is growing a baby!!
MrsBlennerhassett, I'm definitely doing my best to be understand. I really don't want to upset her. I will try and stand up for what I feel a bit more. It never ends well though.
Thanks for all your input :-)
I'm off to work now and will read and reply to any more comments when I can!
I sincerely apologise if I am way off the mark here but when you said "she basically laughs if I ever say "I have a right to be baby's dad" :-( because apparently I don't," it rang alarm bells for me. Is there any chance at all that you might not actually BE the father? Again, apologies if that causes offence/upset. I just can't think of a single other reason why a woman in a loving relationship with what sounds like a decent and kind man would ever laugh and say you don't have any rights if you are in fact the father.
If you definitely are the father, and she leaves your name off the birth certificate you will need to go to court to apply for parental responsibility, to be recognised as the child's father.
I would also mention how she has a wonderful relationship with BOTH her parents and how would she feel if her mum had acted that way towards her dad. Maybe next time you are both with her parents, ask her dad how much input he had with naming her and other things dads usually get a say in. Make sure she's listening.
She is treating you in a VERY cold, mean and controlling way. Nothing to do with hormones. I'd be furious if my DP said such things to me. Not sure how you're able to tolerate it but you shouldn't just sit and take it. A few questions you should ask her:
Did she plan on getting pregnant to be raising the child fatherless? If so, she is being cruel to the child too. And no, she can't prevent you from being a father, though you might have to go to court.
Does she love you? If yes, why is she treating you like a doormat?
I'd be thinking of leaving her, tbh.
The problem here OP is that if you don't respect yourself and value yourself first, how can you expect anyone else to do the same. Her treatment of you does not sound nice, it doesn't make you feel good and to be honest does sound controlling.
However, on the flip side, women can change when pregnant, all these new hormones and fears. This does not excuse her making you feel bad and knocking your confidence and making you feel like you do not have a role in your child's life...You do!
Please seek legal advice first just so you know what your rights are before you discuss anymore with her. If you really want to be a part of your child's life it may require you being a little bit smarter and not so trusting.
I feel like you have a deep desire to belong to your own family unit but this should not come at the cost of you being treated badly. I think i read you say that 'you would never leave her,' if she knows this it may not be in your favour and she may abuse her position further. Please OP know your worth as a person, it is so important. You are going to be a farther soon and that relationship must take president over your relationship with your girlfriend.
She is being unreasonable.
Your relationship with your child is the most important thing now. Sit her down and explain that you are going to be an active father to baby. Presumably as her father was to her. It sounds as though you aren't asserting yourself and she is pushing down any attempts at boundaries.
If push comes to shove and she continues like this after baby is born please don't put up with that. It isn't healthy for baby to see and will make you unhappy.
Legally once baby is born you do have rights as a father.
Go with her to register the birth to be on the birth certificate (as you are unmarried you need to go with her). If she registers baby without you contact a Solicitor to go to Court to get on the birth certificate.
If you do separate you can apply to share care for your child up to 50/50. Obviously not whilst baby is tiny and breastfeeding, but once your child is older they could potentially live with both of you half the week each. Obviously not ideal and perhaps not the family environment you were hoping for, but far better than her treating you like shit and undermining your relationship with your child. You could have an independent positive relationship with your child.
Do you work? Do you have enough money to see a Solicitor if necessary? Does she work?
If she continues to say you can't be a father, be wary of a situation where you work full time and she is sahm, as if you split later down the line she will be more likely to be considered the main carer. Even then you would get some sole care of your child though.
Incidentally her staying at her parents three nights a week and you having to say you aren't taking her away from them is bizarre. Nobody I know would do this. It is emotionally healthy to set up home with your new partner and emotionally get some distance from your parents. I think most people wouldn't have put up with this, and sadly she knows she can call the shots.
Weird set up. The alarm bells were there pre tttc. Of course you have a right to be the baby's father. You also have a right to 50/50 residency if you split, which looks likely in the long term tbh. She probably has plans for her and her DM to play mummies. Frighten her with that threat.
Exactly what HopelessydevotedtoGu said above.
Very odd. As others have said, assuming you're the biological father (and I'm afraid you need to at least consider you may not be - her behaviour is that "off") then you will be able to apply to court to establish your PR and contact. I really hope you don't have to.
The reality is, though, that if it gets that far and she's determined to ignore the court rulings it can get very messy and expensive for you (you'll have to keep going back and she can keep ignoring them). There's likely to be little consequence, particularly whilst the baby is very young, so she could play the system for a very long time. If she's particularly malicious (and prepared to lie) she could accuse you of abuse which can string the whole thing along for years.
She's acting so coldly to you at the moment in regards to the child that it wouldn't surprise me if she impedes contact (in some way - hopefully not the abuse angle) later. Be prepared for that, at least at the back of your mind, and make sure you keep notes of things you've done to be involved (nursery decoration, going to prenatal classes - if she lets you - going to scans etc). They might help counter any suggestions from her that you've not been interested.
I'm not normally this cynical, but her behaviour really is "different" and doesn't bode well for the future. It sounds to me like she's prepared (and preparing you) for a future where she's the gatekeeper for access to your child. It also sounds like you've tried your best to talk to her already and she's shot you down each time. I wouldn't expect that trying again will do you much good, but as pp have said, you need to try again anyway and try to be more confident in your position and future rights.
Good luck OP. I suspect you'll need it.
You sound lovely and I am so sorry that this is hapoening to you.
I suspect that, because of your bsckground, you are quite understandably desperate to make this relationship wotk even though it sounds as though your girlfriend is treating you badly. However hard it is, you do need to have an honest conversation with her about her intentions regarding the baby and confirming you as the father.
As pevious posters have said, maybe try talking to her parents as well. They may be able to get her to see sense, or at least treat you with respect which she is NOT doing at the moment.
Good luck OP.
I'm afraid that to me this reads a bit as if she wanted a baby, but not particularly a boyfriend and now that she has the baby she's no longer interested in you. It's a bit of an elaborate way of going about it though! It was definitely a weird relationship before the baby - all this staying over at her parents and the constant "You do realise I love my mummy more than you?" "Yes, dear, I know my place." It doesn't sound good to me, but I agree with pp that your best hope is to toughen up a lot and start objecting to her nastiness (because that is what it is). Of course you have rights as the father and you need to start telling her this, not listening to her. She hasn't even split up with you! Is she expecting you to live in the house (alone for parts of the week) and completely ignore the baby?
I think you need to establish if she actually still wants to be in a relationship with you as she is acting as if she doesn't.
I would also be concerned as 1or posters have asked if you are actually the father of the child. perhaps 1 or more of these nights she is supposed to be at parents she is actually with another man? But I would never deny my partner the right to be a co parent or named on certificate.
She sounds extremely cruel. I feel very sorry for you. It seems to me as if she is testing your boundaries and you give in to every single test. Don't allow her to do this. That baby is equally yours.
It's really not normal to stay round your parents half the week when you're supposedly in love and planning a baby with someone. I admire your support of her relationship with her family. But she has very little respect for the relationship she has with you, and your relationship with your unborn child.
What do her parents think of all this? Surely if they are reasonable people they find it very odd that she stays over so often.
I'm sure her mum (and Dad) would want her DD and DGchild to get the best possible support even if your DP doesn't see that yet. Agreed this is very odd behaviour on her part. You should ask them all some very leading questions. What do they expect life is going to be like after the birth? How is she going to finance this semi-single mum life and what exactly does she think it's going to be like? Be bold but try not to be confrontational.
Join the discussion
Please login first.