Unsolved relationship issues
You sound as though you’re feeling very conflicted, frustrated & exhausted. In particular, as you said, you’re feeling torn between caring about your ex and caring about your own happiness/wellbeing. I feel for the difficult position you are in...
I agree with you that it does seem like your ex could benefit from professional help. But sadly, he doesn’t sound very open to the idea. I get that he is struggling and hurting, and that he must be in a difficult place for him (and for you).
I wonder if perhaps you might like to consider couples counselling, not to bring you back together as a couple, but to help both of you (especially him) transition out of a relationship/adapt to a new co-parenting situation. Although, I would suggest making it clear to him (and the therapist) that it’s not to fix the relationship, but it’s to adapt to a different future e.g. co-parenting, having a respectful relationship while not being together, etc.
It’s just a little suggestion, so you can see if you like that idea or not. I wonder how you would feel about something like that...
Kindness and care,
I am no counselor but I think you should not place too much weight on his statement 'he would rather die then just get visits with his kids'. If he loves them so much then he will appreciate any contact he has with them. You must not sacrifice your own happiness! It may take a little time for him to get used to the situation... but don't give up.
Best Wishes and take care
Hello Worried_Mother, and a warm welcome to the forums.
I'm sorry I've been sitting on this comment as I had to go out.
Trying to adapt from being with the children all the time to then a couple of times a week or even less can be heartbreaking, however, you have another baby due soon and the amount of work required by you will be enormous, but if you and the father can't get on then it's pointless living together.
The friction will not be good for the kids and certainly not for you when you are expecting, you need to keep yourself as relaxed as possible, and that's not easy with a young family.
The father will eventually be missing the children and will slowly accept the fact that he can only see the children as per the arrangement.
Hope to hear back from you.