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Am I a selfish and horrible partner?
Essentially I am in a 3 year relationship with my partner who is 10 years older than I (she is in her early 40's). We met at a work party, really enjoyed each others company, and things kicked off well; however 6 weeks in she fell pregnant as some medication messed up her cycle... and now we have an amazing son. I was not even sure if I wanted to be a father and was always adamant I need a good stable job, house, etc, before even considering starting a family. It took me a few months to embrace the situation, but when he came into the world I was over the moon, being the best involved dad I can be. I am ashamed to admit when we first found out, my position was to not have him, due to the situation as well hardly knowing my partner... but the impression was she would keep him anyway... but I did embrace the situation and committed to it.
However post his birth is when things really started to go sour. 12 months into our relationship (and a 2 month old - living a long way away from any family and close friends) my partner suggested a 2nd baby. My position was not right now and that I needed time to get used to the situation (new baby, new job + getting to know her). And since that point in time I have been constantly pressured on a 2nd, where full blown arguments would occur. Occurring between 2 to 6 weeks each time (in between this time things being frosty, or "walking on egg shells" for lack of a better term).
Through this I have been told I am controlling, I do not care for her wants, and have essentially taken her voice out of her/our future despite telling her all I need is time... and the fact she has gone obsessive has just pushed me away from her and the actual idea of a second. Through this period I have tried doing everything for her, balancing work and care for her (and my son) to make her comfortable, recover from the pregnancy, and get her back to feeling herself again; pushing myself to physical, mental and emotional exhaustion.
But all this has been for nothing; essentially I am been made to feel like a selfish piece of sh*t that is ruining her life and future, taking away control like a bully or an abusive partner, which hurts so much. I am scared of her, and scared to leave because of my son and the thought of ruining her life. Am I a selfish and horrible partner?
Hi Frosty, welcome
I tend to agree with Mandy from the pressure point of view/bullying but there is another side to this- age of your partner. See, she had almost missed her biological clock with having children, likely thought about it for many years and seen her friends become parents, then wham!! she has a child. She is still playing "catch up" with her life. Her age is her cage. Therefore that leads to having a second child and she would likely be more content then- or should be.
As for yourself, I'm sorry to say that things have all changed since my time- I'm 63yo. Things have reversed, parents had children in their 20's, now we hear "we want to go to Europe first then Americas or I want a career then children" It does appear from the outset a vein of selfishness and when children are wanted, cross ones fingers and hope for the best. There is little actual planning now and finally on that, left way too late when complications can arise.
My other thought is after my first child I did take time to settle into the situation and it took about 2 years. Then after 3 years we had out second and I was fine. It does take enormous adjustment.
I think her frustration and the verbal abuse that comes with it is kind of understandable, that your reactions isnt in line with her life plans. Being told you are controlling etc is a reflection of her frustration just as it is when you need "time". Time as a component of someones concept of a future is an open ended claim because she could wait say 4 years and not be able to fall pregnant due to her age, as well as that she has no guarantee that you would have had enough time. It is not concrete enough for her. She could think- "well I've been with him for 3 years, how much time does he need"?
So on this occasion I see her side of things clearer. But I hope it works out. By the way- here is a thread that will help you both during arguments. Just read the first post.
Thank you for the responses! It feels so good to be able to talk about this and get it off my chest without leading to an argument.
For all intensive purposes, I completely understand her positioning. However find it incredibly aggressive and unfair that I am blamed as the sole source for the predicament. Just because I am the the partner at the latter end of her child bearing years.... I am the one who is crucified when in reality she put herself (travel and life experience) and her career first for the majority of her child bearing years, choosing not to find someone and have a family but rather get ahead. I just happen to be the individual at the latter end.
I really care for her and someday may want another.... but I want to do it when we are both comfortable. If it is not possible biologically, then I am more than happy to seek alternatives (ie adoption). With the only difference being we both want it and both feel ready. However this is not acceptable and insulting.
All my life I have strived to care and look out for others. And then to be told I am selfish and uncaring because I am not ready... despite the first being an accident, hurts immensely. To the point I have even thought about removing myself from the world all together as the idea of upsetting someone (and someone I care for, is the mother to my child, and am still in the process of learning to love) hurts me so much.
I was always raised to look after and care for others, no matter the sacrifice. But when it comes to having a baby, I feel this is a decision we both need to be comfortable with. I do not want to resent her (or a second, which I think is impossible but will be those thoughts) then leave because I was pressured or forced.
I really want to get to a stage where I want a second, but the way the last two years have unfolded with the arguments and nastiness... I just see a massive risk to our relationship and to our future. I feel like we do not have a solid foundation as we were thrust into the deep end.
Any advice would be great.
Hi Frosty and Mandy,
This is a very good discussion because it has two cloudy but distinct sides and we are all getting along well even if we differ.
Mandy your last post was a ripper. I see your view clearly and Frosty's view of destructive pressure- that isnt right, if she simply expressed concern and desires in a loving manner because how she is going about it Frosty is running away and that wont ever result in her plans working out- another child and a sound happy relationship.
Re: "And then to be told I am selfish and uncaring because I am not ready... despite the first being an accident, hurts immensely". I want to say I disagree with the "accident" word. Both lovers are responsible for birth control. Deciding not to from your 50% side has just as much caused this situation with your child now. That is simple fact.
Then again there is the fact that she now has a child and under the circumstances i.e that you dont want another at least not now, should result in her backing off and relaxing like Mandy said. Her frustration is understandable, her outrage and alienation of you isnt. You are not assaulting her, not cruel, not manipulative etc and you love your child, yet you aren't living up to her expectations and you are not in this world to do so.
So if I was in your situation I could not tolerate the abuse, the friction and I would have a temporary break for the main reason that I'd need to defuse this situation and hopefully kick start it weeks later if indeed she calms down. That will also give you time to recover from your obvious distress. I'd communicate only by text, I'd meet only at a neutral place like a cafe and I'd continue to see my child.
I think also (and I'm not a trained profession in mental health) would seek out a GP to see if I have anxiety. Any suicidal thoughts need to be assessed and taken seriously more by you than anyone. A bit of self praise will go a long way also, charity begins at home.
Beyondblue topic the best praise you'll ever get.
The reason is that constant criticism can drag you down.