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Partner left with 11 day old baby(40 Posts)
I do so hope you can help and advise me on this forum as I am totally lost right now. I have been with my partner for 3 years. She has a 10 year old boy with her ex husband, and I have 3 boys with my previous female partner. My partner gave birth to our daughter on 17th November. A child that she had been desperate for, and if I'm honest, my feelings were not the same. I am 9 years older, my 3 boys are all at school now, and I would not have had anymore children if my partner had not wanted to.
Just to give you a bit of background, my partner is a VERY affected ACOA
Hope this link helps in explaining what that does to a person in their relationships. Our relationship has been a real rollercoaster! One that I have ended many times in the first 18 months due to the way I was treated. But i kept seeing the wonderful parts of my partner, and hoping she would change.
I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say there has been emotional abuse. Over the last 3 years I have been punished for not earning enough money, having a wonderful loving family, having a very healthy parenting relationship with my ex, not loving her enough, constantly being tested, and my children being criticised, stupidly resulting in me changing things I do as a Mum to them. My partner never supported me with my children and always saw us as HER son and MY boys. I could never do enough! It was like she sabotaged anything that was normal and calm and healthy, by creating a HUGE row, or demanding even more from me. Something I now know to be a very common trait of an ACOA. In between these times, she was loving and affectionate and made me feel a million dollars.
Prior to the birth of our daughter, we had agreed to do combined feeding. I had done this with all my children as I am only Bio Mum to 2. It was SO important to me to be involved in every aspect of my daughters care, and my partner knew this and agreed. 3 weeks before she was born, she suddenly told me she was now going to exclusively breast feed and there was nothing I could do to change her mind. This hurt me a lot, and I tried to come to terms with it, but it caused me a lot of anxiety and arguments. SO our daughter arrived 2 weeks early and it was so special, but within 24 hours my partner took complete ownership of that little girl! She wouldn't let me do anything with her, take her for a walk, bath her, let the boys near her, and of course I just had to watch while she held her and fed her and bonded. I felt wretched. Then she took to the bed with the baby, and left me looking after the other 4 boys, the dogs etc etc etc. I felt like I didn't have a daughter, but nothing I said, and none of my tears, would make her change her behaviours.
And then a week ago, after a row about me wanting to take the baby for a walk, and not being allowed, I left the house for 4 hours, and got a text message saying she had left. Thankfully I left my boys with a friend and went home to find my house turned upside down, and an empty nursery, and my partner and baby gone!
She has returned to her old home 2 hours away that was on the market to sell. She has been in touch over the last couple of days, full of remorse, begging to come home, begging for me to be a Mum to our daughter. She is full of apologies, and apparently has had a light bulb moment and knows exactly how to fix things re her behaviour.
She has apparently told the 'friends' who came to get her, to get out of her life, and told her alcoholic and homophobic and violent parents, and her homophobic, bullying sister, that she never wants to see them again. She says she hates her home city, hates her house, and misses the noise and mess of our home with my 3 boys - all the things she moaned to me about for so long.
I am so confused right now about what to do. I do still love her, but i don't trust her, and feel that her issues are so deep rooted, that no amount of therapy is going to change things overnight.
I feel so protective of my boys. They had their sister taken from them, my partner and her son, and are very confused and angry that they never even got to say goodbye. I cannot put them at risk again.
I have put my house back together and made it my own again, and to desperately try to find something positive out of this for my boys, they decided to have their own rooms again, and we have spent time making them nice again.
Aside from my feelings for my partner, there of course is a little baby girl mixed up in all this. A baby who I have not bonded with, who I don't really know, and I am not sobbing for every minute, like I know I would be if one of my boys was taken away from me. And I cannot bare the thought of trying to be a Mum from 2 hours away. It's just not the way it was supposed to be.
I co parent with my ex partner 50/50 and we live 20 minutes apart. It's been a tough ride, but we do a great job, parent well together, and have 3 very happy and confident boys.
My head is all over the place right now, flitting between taking my partner back tomorrow, or never seeing her and my daughter again, and every other feeling and solution in between.
Please please shed a bit of light!
I guess you've read about codependency?
I'm an ACA and I don't have volatile relationships like that. Stop making excuses for your stbX.
She sounds horrible. If you think you can have a nice life with your boys and she hasn't let you bond with the baby, I would let her go.
I’m ACON. Adult child of a narcissist. I’ve read plenty about ACOA. The way children of narcissists and children of alcoholics behave can be very similar. Your dp is showing some very narcissistic tendencies. She is damaging all of your children, I mean yours and hers including the baby. She has recently given birth and her hormones will be all over the place. Personally for the sake of the baby, I would consider allowing her to come home. But as you haven’t bonded with the baby, ultimately your boys have to come first and if you want to decide the baby is hers and call it quits, it would be understandable.
If you do agree for her to come home, you must insist she goes to see the gp immediately on her return. She needs help. Counselling and potentially medication. Can you afford private therapy for her? She is a destructive influence in your and the children’s lives. Unless she can learn to change her behaviour get the help, I would not be staying together.
This is all going to take time though as you know. It sounds as if she is a child trapped in an adult’s body. IE not in a very good place emotionally. I know what this feels like I, too, wasn’t given to tools to become an adult. And I’ve acquired them thanks to an amazing therapist since having my dd. It took me a good 2or 3 years to become the person I am today and I worked very hard at it.
If she does come home though, I wouldn’t be jumping back into bed and playing happy families together. Is there a spare room where she and the baby can sleep? She would need to earn your trust and the boys trust. Alternatively can she afford to rent a flat near you so that you can start over?
What do you want? What do your boys want? They’ve been through it all before with your ex.
Granted there are pre existing issues with this individual and this relationship, with a baby so young I'd always think about the possibility of PND. Even if it's just for closure I think I'd want to have some mediated discussions with your partner. Otherwise I think negotiating the future is going to be challenging.
Honestly? I think you let them both go now, while it's still relatively uncomplicated and see it as dodging a bullet. I don't think this relationship is going to go the distance and I don't think your household is ever going to be the happy, harmonious environment your children need and deserve while this woman is in it.
She might be suffering from PND which is leading her to behave more irrationally and unpleasantly than usual, but she sounds like an incredibly difficult high maintenance woman at the best of times, so....
Presumably your partner was always going to have a second baby, with or without you in her life, and she was fully aware that you were not personally motivated to have another child but agreed to it for her sake? As the baby is not biologically yours and presumably there has been no formal adoption yet, legally speaking I have no idea where you stand in being considered a 'parent' to this child and 'responsible' for it.
But I'd say morally, pragmatically, given the circumstances, it's perfectly acceptable for you to walk away and not look back. There is nothing to be gained in trying to make this child your daughter if you are not in a happy and committed relationship with her mother.
Your boys have one another, and two great parents in their lives, they'll soon get over the loss of their stepbrother and their stepmother doesn't sound like much of a loss anyway. As for their 'sister' well it's too early for them to have formed any sort of bond yet and as she is even not biologically related to them, or even legally related by adoption yet, I think the best thing all round is to sever all ties to the baby and her mother. It sounds as though your family unit was happier and less fraught with drama when your partner and her son were not in it.
Why flog a dead horse and make things more complicated further down the line than they need to be?
I also think get out now as this is going to happen further on down the line when you have maybe bonded with the baby. Your ex sounds I'll she doesn't think about anyone but herself and people like that don't change as they see everyone else as the problem.
But most importantly put your boys first they don't deserve all this upheaval in their lives and if you don't put their best interests at the forefront of your decisions now this could have a detrimental impact on your future relationship with them.
I too would take this opportunity to walk away.
This is not a healthy relationship and your children do not need to witness such behaviour.
You were wrong to press her so much about co-mothering.
You should not have treated her like that in the post partum period, trying to guilt her and pressure her into giving in to your idea of what the parenting relationship should be. Yes, she apparently agreed to do what you had in mind a few weeks ago, but you surely understand that a biological mother can have very strong feelings for her own baby and can feel very threatened by anyone who tries to come between her and her baby; no matter what she may have agreed, you should have understood that she was likely to change her mind.
You also should not be so resentful of being left with the house and all the children to deal with. Partners of new mothers do end up shouldering a lot more than they did before the baby arrived, because recovery from birth takes time, and dealing with a newborn is exhausting. This baby was two weeks premature as well, which had to be stressful.
You seem to have turned the post partum period into a drama that was all about you. I do not blame your partner for leaving and taking the baby with her.
I suspect you are as much to blame for the ups and downs of the relationship as she is.
I see a big streak of narcissism in your own behaviour to be frank.
I tried to come to terms with it, but it caused me a lot of anxiety and arguments. Her decision to feed her baby herself did not cause arguments. You chose to challenge her and try to change her mind. You caused these arguments. How would you feel if someone was trying to do to you what you did to her at a time of huge upheaval, stress, and hormonal change? The baby is not a prize or a toy, some token that cements your relationship only if you can horn in on the feeding.
Math is right! It was outrageous behaviour to try to force her to mix feed when she didn't want to - if it was a male partner doing that posters would be up in arms.
This isn't a functional relationship and there is no way the partner and baby should move back in with the OP and her kids but the OP is not without responsibility for the situation.
A new mother wanting to hold her baby and not be separated from her unnecessarily is perfectly normal post-partum behaviour. She gave birth eleven days ago, but you are trying to make it all about you!
You also can't make her feeding decisions for her. If she wants to exclusively breastfeed her baby, that is up to her. There is plenty of time later on for her to express and leave bottles of ebm for you to give if you wish. Or, if you have previously breastfed, you could explore relactation?
To add, expressing and relactation would be the kind of decisions you could explore within a functional relationship - but you have ridden roughshod over all that.
I hadn’t thought about it like that math. Perhaps the need to
hold on tight to the baby, to not let them out of her sight is because you have been too pushy and demanding.
Agree entirely with Maths.
Your partner had just given birth and you’re upset about her feeding choices? Sorry but it’s got absolutely nothing to do with you. Imaginr the outcry if a man tried to tell his wife she couldn’t BF their baby.
I exclusively breastfed all 3 of my children. It’s complete bollocks to say that, consequently, my DH didn’t bond with any of them. And I wouldn’t have let him take them out by himself when he was tiny either.
Maybe stop looking at what you think she’s done wrong and work out what was wrong with your own behaviour?
People can appear to be all flaky and emotional or even unstable when they themselves are being treated badly. I have seen enough of MN Relationships and real life relationships to suspect that when someone starts off with a diagnosis of their partner's issues there is often a problem involving the person doing the describing.
The OP wanted to take a baby not yet at her original due date for a walk, feels slighted that she had to take care of her own three children plus one other while the mother of a baby not yet two weeks old took to her bed, feels slighted that her three children were excluded in some way by the mother of the newborn, and is putting her own anxiety ahead of all other considerations.
Very often, the mother of a newborn wants to keep away from children who are excited, loaded with germs from school, and possibly more boisterous with the baby than she is comfortable with. In this case, the OP expected the new mother of a two weeks premature baby to handle all of this and apparently muck in with the household of four school age boys as if nothing had happened to her body or her sleep patterns, and can't understand why she might take to her bed or feel anxious about excited children in cold and flu season around her baby.
None of the new mother's response is abnormal. None of it is due to being brought up in a dysfunctional family. It is all very predictable.
What is very strange, however, is the complete lack of insight on the part of the OP into the new mother's feelings and her instincts about her baby, and the description of a post partum drama caused and fueled by the OP herself.
Im still getting the feeding issue? You were annoyed baby was going to be BF?
Are you for real????
Get over yourself.
Your partner did right to take her and the baby off. Sounds like you had a wee fantasy all set up but 11 days of the realities of a new baby, & a nursing mother recovering from pregnancy and birth were just not matching up to the fantasy!
I actually really hope this is a wind up. No one can be this insensitive, surely?
Sorry, x posted with a lot of people there..
It sounds like she's going to work her way back into your life and use the baby against you. Ofc she may have PND or anything else but she's a dick tbh. She's always been a dick, you've finally got your nice family back and your sons are probably finally feeling secure again. Walk away. See the baby when she lets you but (and I know how awful this sounds) don't get overly attached and don't let her control you. You have your own family and far too much to lose, she turned your house upside down? She's unstable and I think you need to protect your sons.
Good riddance I say. Sounds horrible for you though
I don’t agree at all with math
ANY parent has a right to bond with their child and be part of their life. You can argue that asking her to combined feed instead of fully b’f was wrong. Butbthen that was somethh8ngbthatbwas discussed BEFIRE, not when the baby was just born.
Wveryth8ng else is not on.
The not allowing the op to go out for a walk with the baby, being involved in any shape or form whilst leaving her dealing with all the rest, incl her older child.
OP I’m really sorry but I don’t think this I ever going to work. Not with a history like that one.
Your three older dcs need a much more stable environment and to be treated with respect.
Are you on the birth certificate for the baby?
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