Acceptable Behavior in future SD? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 21 Old 07-19-2009, 10:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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SD=step dad. Sorry about any confusion!

I'm at a loss here, and rapidly losing hope...

This was the summer that my fiance and daughter were to get to really know each other before we all "tied the knot."

Some back story: my fiance is eight years younger than me (32), and hasn't ever lived with anyone. Still, 32 is not 23...judge for yourself.

His behavior and lack of common sense when it comes to children is really trying my patience. So much that I am seriously, seriously considering ending this relationship for good.

Scene #1:

DD is ill, and I'm at work, 3.5 miles away. I'm salaried, so my time is flexible.
DD is at home with DF, who works from home at easy data-tech type job. I keep checking on them throughout the day. Later, I call and DF tells me DD wanted a certain juice from Whole Foods (at least 20 minutes away) and that he went and got it for her. I replied, "you did take DD with you, right?" DF says, no, she was tired, I left her home alone.

Okay, to my credit, I wanted to but I didn't flip out. Instead, later I calmly told him that leaving a seven year old home alone was not an okay thing to do and we'd talk about it when I got home. Later, I politely explained to him in greater detail why it's a really bad idea, under any circumstances, to leave small children home alone, even for a few minutes. To my eternal chagrin, he disagreed with me and refused to accept that he was wrong! He explained that his mother left him alone with his older brother all the time and nothing bad had happened.

Obviously, I went over, once again, and in even greater detail, all the relevant and salient reasons why leaving small children home alone is a super bad idea, but he still contends he didn't do anything wrong! WTF!?

Incident #2

I pick up DF and DD from airport. DF was sweet enough to fly out to pick up DD and fly with her. I was most appreciative. DF smoked then (is quitting..thank goodness), and I gave him time to smoke before we get in my (new) car. We're about an hour into the drive and DF begins lighting up a cig, in my car, with DD in the back. I immediately say, "um, what are you doing?" He gets all defensive and nastily retorts, "I thought you'd give me a break this time." I stand firm. "No. You never, ever smoke with a child in the car, especially mine. End of story. Put it out." Sulks and dirty looks ensue for the remainder of the ride home. Yippee Skippee.

Incident #3

Today (and I wonder, is this the proverbial straw?). I take DD out the entire day for a mom and daughter special day out. DF was invited, opted out. DF spends day messing around on Facebook, and later goes grocery shopping (his one real chore, besides litter box, which is another story altogether).
I'm exhausted because I'm pregnant (complication!) and nauseous, and super awful tired. Still, I cook dinner after walking in the heat all day long, So, I'm preparing our mole and Mexican rice from scratch (I cook like this every day. Really), and ask DF to please take DD out to pick raspberries in the woods on our property. He goes, a bit reluctantly, I sense. When he comes back, I notice he's holding his iPhone (Xmas present from me to him), and has an earphone firmly lodge in one ear. I inquire: what's the earphone for? He replies unapologectically, I'm listening to jazz on Pandora. I delve further; "were you doing that while you were picking raspberries with DD?" Um, yeah, is the reply.

So, let me get this straight: you can't take 15 flipping minutes away from your stupid phone to pick berries in the backyard with my daughter, who I conveniently kept out of your way all day long so you'd have time to do what you want for an entire day?

Okay...I'm fed up and ready to kick his butt out. Who's with me?

And he just came out of the kitchen, with one earphone planted in an ear, the other dangling, and stood there talking to me about the dishwasher.

I can't do this. I lay down and give up.

This relationship is a colossal mistake and I feel so stupid for ignoring the signs : before I got my DD involved. I want out. Now.

Am I overreacting, or just acknowledging my instincts and convictions?

Toteblume, Mom to DS (10-24-90) and DD (06-26-01).
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#2 of 21 Old 07-19-2009, 10:36 PM
 
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It sounds like you and your DF live in two different worlds and communicate at different wavelengths. I often amazed to see how people are attracted to their opposite and in the end they separate because they are different.

Not many of us are lucky enough to find our soul-mates who think and behave like ourselves. So living with someone with a bit of conflict is expected. However, if you two cannot communicate in the same level right now, can you imagine what will happen once you're married.

Give some thoughts to what you really want for yourself and your DD and you will have your answer. I think you really should talk to him about how you feel and let him try communicating with you. If he's mature enough give him another chance to prove that you two can work things out. If not, it's time to do some soul searching to see if this is what you want for the rest of your life. Best of luck!
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#3 of 21 Old 07-19-2009, 11:07 PM
 
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I don't see the problem with the music. He's using the iPhone as a Walkman in these examples, he's not "on the phone". Let it go. The other two examples obviously show you have different instincts about children. That's a concern if he's going to be the primary caretaker (because of the easy, work-at-home job?). It's a BIGGER concern if he WON'T say, "OK, even though I think you're being silly, I will do what you think is appropriate with the kids."

I'm torn between:
* the obvious statement: The new baby will not make a marriage work between you, if you truly have no likemindedness about raising children, and if you feel condescending toward him. (And that's how you sound. Maybe he deserves it. I'm just pointing out that it sounds, from your post, like that's how you feel toward him).
* the obvious question: Why are you so involved with him, if his main characteristics really are that he's irresponsible, stubborn, unhelpful, unmotivated and self-centered?

You should proceed carefully in breaking up your baby's family (even before it fully exists), especially since it sounds like your daughter has already gotten used to this guy as a step-parent.

So is it possible that he's really not that bad all of the time, but you feel extra-motivated to magnify his faults and write him off as young and irresponsible, because you yourself feel irresponsible about getting pregnant with someone you're not sure about, when you're 40 and already have a child? (I.e., you're being hard on yourself and trying to comfort yourself with the thought that he's worse?) Hey, people have done stranger things during pregnancy!

If so, maybe you should try letting up on yourself and then reconsider how you really feel about him, when you don't feel so negative. I know plenty of people who've had surprise pregnancies in their 40's. It'll be OK.

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#4 of 21 Old 07-19-2009, 11:10 PM
 
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but you are pregnant with his child? ugh, that means you are forever entangled with him. it will be a lot easier to get him out of your daughter's life, but what about the new little one? what are you going to do?

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#5 of 21 Old 07-19-2009, 11:32 PM
 
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I am thinking that there has to be more to this than these three incidents.

Incident #1 - I could see how someone with no childcare experience might think that a 7 yo (especially a well-behaved, mature-seeming one) would be okay at home for an hour. I'm not saying that it is right, or even legal, but I could see someone who is clueless about childcare making a mistake like that. That he cared enough to run to the store for a specific type of juice does show that he must care about her.

Incident #2 - I don't smoke, but some of the smokers that I have known have been pretty defensive about the habit, especially when attacked/shamed for it. It is possible that he was just reacting to that. And I know that a lot of people think, "Oh this one time, it will be okay." So once again, it is a mistake I could see happening. Has he done it since then?

Incident #3 - This one just falls under different people's different definitions of rudeness. Some people don't think that listening to music in one ear is rude, others do. I don't think that this is a specific stepparent-disqualifying kind of thing.

These mistakes seem very much like the types of things that my stepdad would have made had he met my brother and I when we were younger. He was clueless with kids, and freely admits that he didn't really grow up himself until he was in his mid-thirties. But still, he was a great stepdad and I love him very much. He just wasn't the type of person with a natural parenting instinct.

Going from no kids your entire adult life to suddenly being a stepparent is a big adjustment. Going from being responsible for no one but yourself to being part of a family is a big change. You can't expect perfection right off the bat. There are so many things at play when you are a stepparent - you have no experience with kids, you are trying to sort out your relationship with a child/children that aren't yours biologically and that you just met, you have to reconcile how you would parent a child with how your partner wants their child parented. It is complicated and you will make mistakes. If my DH held every mistake I made against me, I would have given up long ago.

Is it that in reality, you just don't like this guy that much and need to find a good reason to end things now that there is a baby on the way (which is fine - it is probably better to figure it out now than after the baby/wedding)? or is there more to the stepparenting issue?

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#6 of 21 Old 07-20-2009, 12:47 AM
 
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Ok, first of all, is your DD 7 or 8? Going by the birthday in the sig she would be 8, not that it makes a huge difference but just wanted to clarify.

Honestly, I think you're over-reacting, sounds like pregnancy hormones on a rampage.

My DH and I got married when DS was 3, he'd never spent a lot of time around kids and certainly wasn't sure about raising one. They grew into it and it took some time, but they're like two geeky peas in a pod now.

I think you need to cut him some slack, it's sounding very much like it's your way or no way but you're expecting him to be involved with your DD.

Of the three things you talked about #1 would be the only one that caused me any stress, but a calm and rational discussion would be the end of it.

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#7 of 21 Old 07-20-2009, 07:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Althetrainer View Post
It sounds like you and your DF live in two different worlds and communicate at different wavelengths. I often amazed to see how people are attracted to their opposite and in the end they separate because they are different.

Not many of us are lucky enough to find our soul-mates who think and behave like ourselves. So living with someone with a bit of conflict is expected. However, if you two cannot communicate in the same level right now, can you imagine what will happen once you're married.

Give some thoughts to what you really want for yourself and your DD and you will have your answer. I think you really should talk to him about how you feel and let him try communicating with you. If he's mature enough give him another chance to prove that you two can work things out. If not, it's time to do some soul searching to see if this is what you want for the rest of your life. Best of luck!
Thanks for the reply. Yes, it seems we communicate on two entirely separate levels. I've discussed my feelings with him, but he holds firm that there is really nothing to be changed. Writing this and reading all the responses have really helped me hone down to the true heart of the problem--what is really driving my frustration. I've identified it and will have to do some honest soul-searching.

Thanks again for your helpful post.

Toteblume, Mom to DS (10-24-90) and DD (06-26-01).
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#8 of 21 Old 07-20-2009, 07:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't see the problem with the music. He's using the iPhone as a Walkman in these examples, he's not "on the phone". Let it go. The other two examples obviously show you have different instincts about children. That's a concern if he's going to be the primary caretaker (because of the easy, work-at-home job?). It's a BIGGER concern if he WON'T say, "OK, even though I think you're being silly, I will do what you think is appropriate with the kids."

I'm torn between:
* the obvious statement: The new baby will not make a marriage work between you, if you truly have no likemindedness about raising children, and if you feel condescending toward him. (And that's how you sound. Maybe he deserves it. I'm just pointing out that it sounds, from your post, like that's how you feel toward him).
* the obvious question: Why are you so involved with him, if his main characteristics really are that he's irresponsible, stubborn, unhelpful, unmotivated and self-centered?

You should proceed carefully in breaking up your baby's family (even before it fully exists), especially since it sounds like your daughter has already gotten used to this guy as a step-parent.

So is it possible that he's really not that bad all of the time, but you feel extra-motivated to magnify all faults and write him off as young and irresponsible, because you yourself feel irresponsible about getting pregnant with someone you're not sure about, when you're 40 and already have a child? (I.e., you're being hard on yourself and trying to comfort yourself with the thought that he's worse?) Hey, people have done stranger things during pregnancy!

If so, maybe you should try letting up on yourself and then reconsider how you really feel about him, when you don't feel so negative. I know plenty of people who've had surprise pregnancies in their 40's. It'll be OK.
Thanks for your reply. It's helpful to read another take as it's hard to separate my emotions from the situation at hand and consider it objectively.

And you're right, I am upset with myself, mostly for failing. I should have known better and I feel awful and guilty about what I've done. I'm trying to make it right and feel this relationship is just another part of a mistake that keeps snowballing into an avalanche I can't stop.

You see, I'm supposed to be smart, really, really smart. But I have struggled with severe attachment disorder (I was dumped at relatives and shuffled among foster homes throughout infancy then left at the doorstep of an orphanage by mother, who never returned) my entire life and it's made my life a bit difficult in some aspects. Okay, I'm sugar coating it, but I hate making excuses for myself. I'm frustrated that I can't seem to overcome my own past. It feels like a constant riptide I must swim against.

I didn't really know DF all that well before we moved in together. Since then, I've come to realize that I have exhibited a pattern of behavior that's basically maladaptive; I have such a strong need for attachment but don't have a clear model of what a beneficial relationship is. So, unfortunately, I've sort of let men chose me. Same this time. My relationships always followed the same pattern: some guy digs me, moves right in quickly. Brief, intense courtship followed by hasty commitment. I am great wife/girlfriend/lover and spoil the guy with great food, sex, gifts, etc. Things okay for a while until I realize one day I'm not getting what I want (whatever that happens to be--I'm not even sure). I become unhappy, petulant, depressed (sometimes very). I either run away or gradually pull away, relationship withers and eventually dies.

Sucks, eh?

But at least I know this about myself. It took me this long to understand what was "wrong" with me. I always figured I was just inherently flawed.

So yeah, I'm upset about this aspect of myself and angry that I've allowed this to happen again. And what really, really irks me is that this time I had figured this out and had a plan in place to stop hurting myself and anyone else by continuing this pattern.

This go around, when I realized I had followed the same pattern, I decided to end the relationship at the end of the summer (I wanted DD to not be affected by any fallout. She's going to school in CA in fall). I had already told DF that I was unsure the relationship was right for us. I explained my history and my concerns about not wanting to hurt anyone, especially him.

The plan was for me to take the time I must live and work here to stay out of any romantic relationships and instead, devote my energy to improving aspects of myself, and to focus on loving and caring for my children. In about two years, I'd begin looking for another position back west, or possibly grad school to earn a PhD (something I really want to do).

And you're right on another point--he isn't all that bad. He's just not right for me. He's very, very nerdy and a little awkward (which isn't necessarily bad) and I think he was kind of desperate for a partner, and I was too willing to go along. I'm pretty convinced I am not right for him, either. It's not his fault. He never wanted children, and was pretty adamant about that. What was I to expect?

I feel guilty about having to break my promise to him, but I believe that in the end, he'll be happier when he finds someone that can better appreciate who he is.

But now I'm pregnant--which wasn't supposed to happen. And I don't know what to do about this (nor do I feel I can discuss options on this board).

In any event, thanks so much for listening and offering your honest opinion and observations. It helps.

Toteblume, Mom to DS (10-24-90) and DD (06-26-01).
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#9 of 21 Old 07-20-2009, 07:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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but you are pregnant with his child? ugh, that means you are forever entangled with him. it will be a lot easier to get him out of your daughter's life, but what about the new little one? what are you going to do?
Honestly, I don't know...

Toteblume, Mom to DS (10-24-90) and DD (06-26-01).
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#10 of 21 Old 07-20-2009, 07:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, first of all, is your DD 7 or 8? Going by the birthday in the sig she would be 8, not that it makes a huge difference but just wanted to clarify.

Honestly, I think you're over-reacting, sounds like pregnancy hormones on a rampage.

My DH and I got married when DS was 3, he'd never spent a lot of time around kids and certainly wasn't sure about raising one. They grew into it and it took some time, but they're like two geeky peas in a pod now.

I think you need to cut him some slack, it's sounding very much like it's your way or no way but you're expecting him to be involved with your DD.

Of the three things you talked about #1 would be the only one that caused me any stress, but a calm and rational discussion would be the end of it.
Thanks for taking the time to reply.

This happened in the spring when she was seven, and I was super-calm about it. I just wanted to hear that he understood my position and would promise not to leave her home alone again. He never acknowledged this, which bothers me yet. And he hasn't repeated the behavior, but I haven't left her alone with him since.

Yes, and it is my way or no way. Although I actively seek advice. Ultimately I feel like it is my call because I am the one responsible, not him.

But, in any event, I spilled my guts here about the real issue, and now that it's out, have a lot of thinking to do.

Thanks again for your advice.

Toteblume, Mom to DS (10-24-90) and DD (06-26-01).
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#11 of 21 Old 07-20-2009, 08:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Is it that in reality, you just don't like this guy that much and need to find a good reason to end things now that there is a baby on the way (which is fine - it is probably better to figure it out now than after the baby/wedding)? or is there more to the stepparenting issue?
Yes.

And I feel awful and guilty about it. I really don't want to hurt anyone, but I don't love this man. He (and everyone) deserves a partner who loves as much as they're loved. It's not his fault. He's not bad, just not right for me. It's how I feel and I can't shake it.

Toteblume, Mom to DS (10-24-90) and DD (06-26-01).
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#12 of 21 Old 07-20-2009, 08:57 AM
 
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Yes.

And I feel awful and guilty about it. I really don't want to hurt anyone, but I don't love this man. He (and everyone) deserves a partner who loves as much as they're loved. It's not his fault. He's not bad, just not right for me. It's how I feel and I can't shake it.

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#13 of 21 Old 07-20-2009, 10:32 AM
 
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...I am upset with myself, mostly for failing. I should have known better and I feel awful and guilty about what I've done. I'm trying to make it right and feel this relationship is just another part of a mistake that keeps snowballing into an avalanche I can't stop.

You see, I'm supposed to be smart, really, really smart. But I have struggled with severe attachment disorder (I was dumped at relatives and shuffled among foster homes throughout infancy then left at the doorstep of an orphanage by mother, who never returned) my entire life and it's made my life a bit difficult in some aspects. Okay, I'm sugar coating it, but I hate making excuses for myself. I'm frustrated that I can't seem to overcome my own past. It feels like a constant riptide I must swim against.

I didn't really know DF all that well before we moved in together. Since then, I've come to realize that I have exhibited a pattern of behavior that's basically maladaptive; I have such a strong need for attachment but don't have a clear model of what a beneficial relationship is. So, unfortunately, I've sort of let men chose me. Same this time. My relationships always followed the same pattern: some guy digs me, moves right in quickly. Brief, intense courtship followed by hasty commitment. I am great wife/girlfriend/lover and spoil the guy with great food, sex, gifts, etc. Things okay for a while until I realize one day I'm not getting what I want (whatever that happens to be--I'm not even sure). I become unhappy, petulant, depressed (sometimes very). I either run away or gradually pull away, relationship withers and eventually dies...
Oh, Mom, you are by no means alone in the pattern you describe (except that your background is more extreme than many people's) and your intelligence, perceptiveness and insight can be real assets for you, in dealing with it. Surely you know that just being able to name your own destructive patterns and identify their sources does not magically cure them - for anyone, no matter how smart! If you're not already in counseling, I'd really advise it. Not that someone else (no matter how well-trained) is going to figure you out or "fix" you better than you can do that for yourself. But just with the stimulus of other people's thoughts and observations in this little forum, you've gone from, "I'm ready to ditch this jerk, who's with me?" to considering your issues on a much more effective, functional, constructive level. When we puzzle things out entirely in our own head, we're at the mercy of our own inclination to spin things in the way that's easiest for us to process.

You are heaping on yourself blame for hurting your fiance, blame for the unplanned pregnancy, blame for not yet overcoming overwhelmingly atrocious lessons you learned during your earliest psychological development, and on top of that you're critical of yourself because you think your intelligence should have prevented these problems and you're stressing about when you're going to work on a dissertation? YIKES! Who could feel good about anything in their life when they're punishing themselves that way?

Your fiance is not a child. He also did not know you that well when he moved in. He also knows how babies are made. If you wind up breaking up with him and he ends up a single parent with visitation, he will be responsible for his own heartache over that, not you. If you must move away from him in the future, to complete your education... well, he's 32 and doing data-entry from home. It's not out of the question that he might move wherever you go, to stay active in the child's life. And if he's really not that bad, it's not going to be the end of the world to co-parent with him.

Of course, if you decide you can make things work with him, so much the better. But don't feel like this pregnancy is the end of the world just because it will keep you tied to him. You're already raising a child. It sounds like you already have a good job, some financial stability, a decent home? And once a child is born, people don't tend to wish it didn't exist. Regrets tend to accompany the opposite decision. Even if you break up with your fiance, having this baby - and having to co-parent - will not ruin your life. Allow yourself to LET GO of the guilt you feel over his feelings. He got himself into the situation he's in. Whatever "promises" you feel like you made to him, you're not married, nor did he say, "We can't risk pregnancy until we're married because I just can't bear to be a single parent." Unless you marry him, you're responsible to your kids and yourself. Make your decisions based on that. You have support here!

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#14 of 21 Old 07-20-2009, 10:48 AM
 
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Sounds like you know what you want/need with regards to your fiancee. What you need to figure out is what you want for your family and with regards to your unplanned pregnancy. Do you want to or are you prepared to be a single mom and start over with a baby? Or is this a time that you want to focus on your daughter and your needs/future (PhD, emotional health, etc)? It seems like you are still really early in your pregnancy and so your options are much wider than if you were deeper into this. I would consider all your options without guilt and make the decision that is best for you and your daughter - don't worry about other people right now. You sound like you feel backed into a corner but I don't think you need to be.
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#15 of 21 Old 07-20-2009, 11:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you...just seeing that made me cry like a little baby.
It's nice to feel supported right now when everything is looming larger than life.

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#16 of 21 Old 07-20-2009, 11:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Sounds like you know what you want/need with regards to your fiancee. What you need to figure out is what you want for your family and with regards to your unplanned pregnancy. Do you want to or are you prepared to be a single mom and start over with a baby? Or is this a time that you want to focus on your daughter and your needs/future (PhD, emotional health, etc)? It seems like you are still really early in your pregnancy and so your options are much wider than if you were deeper into this. I would consider all your options without guilt and make the decision that is best for you and your daughter - don't worry about other people right now. You sound like you feel backed into a corner but I don't think you need to be.
Thanks for your helpful reply.

Yes, this is the hard part.

I've thought this through and see that I have two options. Either stay with DF and work this out, or don't have this baby. I cannot start over, as you say, with a baby.

I sure hope no one out there is going to start flaming me for admitting that I'm thinking about not continuing this pregnancy.

I don't have any relatives, so there's no one to help. DF makes very little money in comparison to me, so I'd probably get zero to little financial support. I am going to need to put my son through college soon, and my daughter's camp and flights are quite expensive.

But it's not all about money. I'm not that crass. There are practical and realistic matters, too. What if I get sick? After DD was born, I needed several intense reconstructive surgeries to repair the damage. I couldn't have worked if I wanted to. I just moved here, so I don't have a support network, either. Then there's work...Sometimes I have t work 60-70 hours weeks. I always stayed home with my babies and can't stand the thought of having a day care baby. No offense to anyone at all.

Oh, no matter how I explain it all sounds selfish. I wasn't supposed to get pregnant after all the surgeries. I've been going without BC for years and nothing...until now.

I feel so sick about all of this. I don't want to have to make this decision. If I could wave a magic wand, I'd have a reliable, loving husband I knew I could count on. Right now, all I have is myself, and two children who count on me. I don't want to fall apart. I need to be strong for them.

When I first found out I was pregnant, I was really excited. I had hoped I could make this all work out. I told DF and he was not happy, so I offered him the chance to walk away. He didn't take it. He said he wanted to stay and so we talked. I told him if we were going to do this, we had to go all the way or nothing. He agreed to do whatever it took. Well, that night, my DD had a rare but severe tantrum, and it freaked DF out to point where he shut both of us out for days (wouldn't even talk to DD and hardly to me). This, of course, made my faith in him dissipate. I can't find it anymore. I know he's human, but I need more than a passable mate and father to my child. I need reliability, strength, and love.

Sorry for the rambling...writing seems to be the only thing that keeps me from having a complete breakdown.

I just want peace. I want to create a happy life for myself and my children. I want to reconcile with the past and not make similar mistakes. I don't want to hurt anyone.

What should I do to get there?

Toteblume, Mom to DS (10-24-90) and DD (06-26-01).
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#17 of 21 Old 07-20-2009, 11:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, Mom, you are by no means alone in the pattern you describe (except that your background is more extreme than many people's) and your intelligence, perceptiveness and insight can be real assets for you, in dealing with it. Surely you know that just being able to name your own destructive patterns and identify their sources does not magically cure them - for anyone, no matter how smart! If you're not already in counseling, I'd really advise it. Not that someone else (no matter how well-trained) is going to figure you out or "fix" you better than you can do that for yourself. But just with the stimulus of other people's thoughts and observations in this little forum, you've gone from, "I'm ready to ditch this jerk, who's with me?" to considering your issues on a much more effective, functional, constructive level. When we puzzle things out entirely in our own head, we're at the mercy of our own inclination to spin things in the way that's easiest for us to process.

You are heaping on yourself blame for hurting your fiance, blame for the unplanned pregnancy, blame for not yet overcoming overwhelmingly atrocious lessons you learned during your earliest psychological development, and on top of that you're critical of yourself because you think your intelligence should have prevented these problems and you're stressing about when you're going to work on a dissertation? YIKES! Who could feel good about anything in their life when they're punishing themselves that way?

Your fiance is not a child. He also did not know you that well when he moved in. He also knows how babies are made. If you wind up breaking up with him and he ends up a single parent with visitation, he will be responsible for his own heartache over that, not you. If you must move away from him in the future, to complete your education... well, he's 32 and doing data-entry from home. It's not out of the question that he might move wherever you go, to stay active in the child's life. And if he's really not that bad, it's not going to be the end of the world to co-parent with him.

Of course, if you decide you can make things work with him, so much the better. But don't feel like this pregnancy is the end of the world just because it will keep you tied to him. You're already raising a child. It sounds like you already have a good job, some financial stability, a decent home? And once a child is born, people don't tend to wish it didn't exist. Regrets tend to accompany the opposite decision. Even if you break up with your fiance, having this baby - and having to co-parent - will not ruin your life. Allow yourself to LET GO of the guilt you feel over his feelings. He got himself into the situation he's in. Whatever "promises" you feel like you made to him, you're not married, nor did he say, "We can't risk pregnancy until we're married because I just can't bear to be a single parent." Unless you marry him, you're responsible to your kids and yourself. Make your decisions based on that. You have support here!
Thanks for your helpful words...and yes, I do heap a lot of blame on myself.

He never wanted children, and I thought I was unable to get pregnant, so this is a big surprise. I think the agony of dealing with this has dredged up a whole slew of other feelings on top of this all. My hormones are a total wreck at this point.

If I have this baby, I run the risk of being torn between two children on two coasts and I don't know if I can stand that. My DD already splits her time between me and the ex in California. I had to move for work...but I've found that I missed DD and DS too, too much and had planned to move back west in about 2.5 years. By then I should be able to land a position that pays six figures--what one needs to live in the Bay Area (near San Francisco). I really want to be close to my daughter. She needs me in her life, and not just during summers and holidays.

I had it all figured out, until I found out I was pregnant. What a monkey wrench this is.

So, if I have this baby, I'm sure DF will not let me move from NJ to CA. So, I would be in permanent limbo and have to choose between my baby on the east coast and my two children on the west. Neither would have me full-time. This is what's killing me. I am pro-choice, but just never wanted to have to consider making such a choice myself. I realize that at my age, I'll likely never have another shot at having another baby. But, at the same time, I realize the effects divorce and single parenthood have had on my existing children and feel guilty about having made choices that left their lives imperfect. I firmly believe children deserve the love and support of all members of their family and that it's the adults' responsibility to see that such happen.

I owe it my little girl and son to get my act together and be as close and involved in their lives as possible.

I can't deny this.

Toteblume, Mom to DS (10-24-90) and DD (06-26-01).
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#18 of 21 Old 07-20-2009, 12:03 PM
 
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After you posted this last time, I thought you looked familiar. I responded to another thread of yours in one of the pregnancy forums a few days ago.

My advice would be the same - figure out what you want to do before the baby is born. Your options are so much greater.

The decision of whether or not to have a child is a very personal one, and only you can know what the right answer is for you. It sounds like you have a lot on your plate already, but I also understand that this could be your last chance to have another child if you desire one. You are in a tough place.

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#19 of 21 Old 07-20-2009, 08:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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After you posted this last time, I thought you looked familiar. I responded to another thread of yours in one of the pregnancy forums a few days ago.

My advice would be the same - figure out what you want to do before the baby is born. Your options are so much greater.

The decision of whether or not to have a child is a very personal one, and only you can know what the right answer is for you. It sounds like you have a lot on your plate already, but I also understand that this could be your last chance to have another child if you desire one. You are in a tough place.

Hi there...yeah, I'm embarrassed to admit that I'm still struggling to find answers. I think it comes down to whether or not I can stand to be away from the children I have. However, I'm close to a resolution. This time, for the first time in my life, I am going to do something different--I will follow my instinct and do what I feel is right. Maybe it will turn out that was all I needed to do all along.

I hope so.

Toteblume, Mom to DS (10-24-90) and DD (06-26-01).
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#20 of 21 Old 08-10-2009, 05:58 PM
 
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wishing you all the best mama. I got the feeling from your last post that things will turn out well, following your heart is a good thing. My sister just read "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coehlo and I asked her what she got from it and she said, to follow your heart. It's a great book.

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#21 of 21 Old 08-11-2009, 10:12 AM
 
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This is such a hard situation.

I agree that you shouldn't stay with DP. I think the two of you are in different places in your lives. I also get the sense that you two have a sort of adult/tennager relationship. Which makes sense, since you have two kids and he's 24 or whatever.

I can't advise you about your baby, but I think things happen the way they do for a reason (especially in a circumstance like this). Plus, do your children know you're pregnant?

I would consider moving back to the west coast right now.

I think you should swear off relationships while you go into intensive therapy, to deal with your self-described attachment issues.

And, I think you should stop making excuses for yourself. You say: "You see, I'm supposed to be smart, really, really smart. " My husband says stuff like this, btw. It means you're living in "what was supposed to be" (according to you) and not "what is." It really doesn't matter what happened then. What matters is how you manage your life now.

I'm not trying to be harsh! I'm trying to be helpful. I hope you are not offended!
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