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Young mothers leaving their partners

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  • Young mothers leaving their partners

    I'm a young mother in one of those relationships where I have led myself to feel locked-in, like a contract, to the father of our child. We knew each other very little before discovering my pregnancy, and have held on (not exaggerated) to our relationship for the sake of our daughter's happiness (both coming from broken families and knowing the affects of split parenting).

    My boyfriend claims to love me, and occasionally mentions how "lucky" he is to have me, but my "I love you's" are just empty words. I often enjoy my partners company, however I certainly don't love him due to our lack of communication, verbal abuse, his everlasting angry mood, and his lack of respect. I know I just sound like a whining girl, but I've been a timid, insecure and anxious young woman since being with him.

    Unfortunately I have no other source of income than the government. My partner works, which gives us the freedom to play with money, but more importantly, have everything we (my daughter and I) need. How can I leave him? My misery in this relationship are worth her having everything she wants and needs.

    I'm really conflicted in what I should do, especially as I have met someone who is frankly what I love, making me realise that I feel the need to be with someone who makes me feel happy and good about myself, and who respects me. I haven't engaged in a physical relationship with this new man, however the more we talk and bond, the further I want to take the relationship.

    I'm afraid to go back into the world on my own because I have a daughter to think about. How will I support us both if I leave. How do I explain the situation to her if I leave. How do I explain to my partner that I want to leave? How do I leave? Can I leave?

    I'm really tired, which has resulted in my lack of correct grammar and inconsistency in paragraphs, however this is keeping me up at night and I have no one else to talk to. I don't have friends (who won't judge me or reveal my feelings to the world), and I don't have family. I don't have any women to console in, but I really need to.

    Does anyone have advice for me? Or is anyone willing to share their experiences of leaving the father of their children?

    I would wish to remain associated with my partner, but as far as friends go.

  • First of all it may have been better had you posted this only in one area. In this way you wouldn't split any responses you are likely to get.

    However, a few questions to help clarify your situation -- How old are you? How long has your relationship gone on? Have you discussed a future with the father of your child? What exactly are your feelings for your SO? What is really wrong with your current relationship? Are there fundamental differences in how you live your lives, raise your child or money issues? Is what you are missing just a strong emotional connection or a sexual connection?

    What about your SO? How does he really feel? Have you discussed at all, any thing having to do with your dis-satisfaction?

    I think once you are able to clarify some of these questions then you might have a better idea of what course of action you should take.
    That which we forget may as well never really happened.

    Comment


    • You are in a difficult situation and I empathize with you a great deal. No one here can tell you what to do. All we can do is help you in sorting out the issues you reported.

      There are three issues as I see them: money, dual parenting and your happiness. The money issue is something hat you can and should research. Assuming that you are in the United States, the father of the child is obligated to pay child support whether or not the two of you are married. Unfortunately, I do not know if child support will affect the amount you receive from the government. I would advise you to research it and do a budget to see if it is possible to live within those financial constraints. You will have to be prepared that it may not work financially without you working -- while I sympathize that it is difficult being a single working parent, children can thrive if the you have a happy and healthy home.

      With my next comments, I am assuming that your relationship with the BF cannot be salvaged with counseling or therapy. That is obviously the best solution. But being in a "shotgun" relationship with man who does not respect you and verbally abuses you has and will continue to take its toll on you. It is difficult to be a good mother under those circumstances. It will also reflect on his ability to raise a daughter if he is always angry and abusive. The behaviors that he models to your daughter by disrespecting you will be with her forever as well.

      How do you explain the break up to your daughter? How does any parent explain divorce. I explained to my children that I was not divorcing them, that their mother and I could no longer live together in the same house but that we would always do what was in their best interests. You can parent children from two houses, especially if you and the father can communicate and always do what is in the child's best interest. You will always be associated with your BF, at least until your daughter is 18.

      You have a right to be happy. Mothers and fathers are better parents when they are happy. Being a parent does not eliminate the right to happiness, but any actions that you take must take into account her best interests. You are right to think about the money -- but you will get support and can work, at least part time. You are right to think about whether your daughter can thrive in your current situation. Make the best decision for you and for her and not just for her.
      "The only consistent feature of all of your dissatisfying relationships is you." Despair.com "Dysfunction"

      Comment


      • What if I want to cheat?

        If you look below I posted a topic on how and if to exit a relationship with baby's dad, however it's really had me thinking "what if I want to be with someone else" physically whilst still with baby dad?

        I explained how I'm financially unstable, and how it's beneficial for my daughter and myself to be with him, but I am soooo tempted to be with this other man, who I feel would engage with me regardless of having a boyfriend).

        I know cheating is wrong, and I have never even considered cheating once in my years if dating, however I feel that maybe it wouldn't be so terrible to form a relationship outside my current one to make me feel happy again. This new man makes me feel loved, respected, adored, and we relate on so many levels that I have never experienced before- thus, if I were single I would have swooped him up instantly. I know it all sounds selfish, and really it is, I just want that love and respect and connection that a boyfriend and girlfriend are supposed to have.

        Would I be such a bad person if I cheated, because at least my child would not be directly affected by my leaving?

        Comment


        • Catat0nic --

          Cheating is the cowards way out. You are worried what you daughter might think if you left her father? What would she think if you couldn't be honest enough with her father to deal with the issues honestly and, instead, went behind his back and cheated. If your verbally abusive BF found out, how would he react? How would he use this information to poison your daughter against you?

          As for the new man, if he is willing to have you while you are in a committed relationship, where does that put his character? Are you just a fling to him? Would he marry you or support you? This is a terrible path to follow.
          "The only consistent feature of all of your dissatisfying relationships is you." Despair.com "Dysfunction"

          Comment


          • I've closed the duplicate thread and merged your related thread with this one. Please keep discussion about this relationship to one thread - as Claret mentioned, it helps discussion.
            <center><i>Nature gives us shapeless shapes,<br>Clouds and waves and flame,<br>But human expectation is that love remains the same,<br>And when it doesn’t, we point our fingers and blame.</i><br><a href="http://www.womens-health.com/boards/register.php">Register</a>|<a href="http://www.womens-health.com/boards/members/little.html">Contact Admin</a>|<a href="mailto:support*womens-health.com?subject=Forum Contact">Email Admin</a></center>

            Comment


            • There is never a time or a place in which "cheating" is acceptable. It is cheating on your SO, your daughter and yourself. You would only think you are getting something out of a second relationship and maybe you would, but you'd also be missing out on what could be an incredible relationship with your SO and your daughter. Do you think that your daughter would grow up respecting you, the decisions you make on her behalf or find respect for herself if she would find out that her mother cheated on her father? Talk about confusion, especially when you get caught as you probably would. Most cheaters do get caught, sooner or later.

              What is there that you can do to help your current relationship? You have a foundation upon which you could probably build something great. Is it simply the thrill of the romance that you are seeking? Are you looking for the thrill of getting caught?

              There are things we don't know and unless you are honest with yourself as to what you are missing, you may never find your answers.
              That which we forget may as well never really happened.

              Comment


              • Thank you all who have responded. On the cheating topic, I completely understand that it's immoral and setting a bad example for my daughter, if she ever found out, however my predicament is that it's also immoral to remain with baby's dad I'm unhappy, however leaving him would most likely create a lot of strain on us emotionally and financially.

                I'm 21, I have been with baby dad since I was 18. I became pregnant not two months after meeting him, and I know it's really horrible of me to say, but he was serving as a rebound for a tough breakup w/ another boyfriend.

                As for what are our relationship issues;
                He is a horrible character, really. I do respect him for sticking it out with me (ten years his junior), however he doesn't treat me like an equal, and if I'm to be brutally honest, he treats me as if I'm a child (due to my age) and as typically inferior in all situations (arguments, discussions, interests...) I have tried to reason with him, in professing that he couldn't change his angry, abusive ways, I tried to morph myself to suit his needs. This didn't work well, of course, and ultimately the stress of trying to please him (because being myself isn't 'up to his standards,) and raise a child (mainly solely) resulted in depression and a 'nervous breakdown', as the doctor called it. This made me feel even more 'trapped' because I now have unstable mental health, which could result in some nasty action (from both sides) if I choose to leave. I know it sounds like I'm being over dramatic, but I have never been so unhappy and so distant in a relationship before, and it's really disappointing because I want these years of raising a child to be happy and be able to show my daughter all my love and happiness I feel for having her with me.

                My partner has had a troubled past with his girlfriends, and frankly, despite being significantly older, he's actually less 'experienced' than I am regarding being a companion. I believe his past relationships have led to his current ill-respect and disregard for others (girlfriends), however as a grown man he refuses to 'work things out', especially since I'm only just entering adulthood.

                I'm sorry for the brief and inconsistent paragraphs again, I'm in class finishing my high school certificate so I can apply for university next year.

                Also, I'm an Australian, and we have outstanding government benefits here, however maybe not nearly enough to support ourselves in the long run. I would love to work, I really would, however I need to go to uni as well so studying takes up my casual week hours, and childcare only runs during those hours.

                Comment


                • I should probably add that the new man I mentioned isn't what I have made him appear to be. Or course he takes my relationship io regard, I just feel that we would definitely hit it off if I showed interest in doing so. We've become close and connected really well, and he shows a lot of respect for my situation as being a mother and trying to get through.

                  It's hard to explain in words. He's not a tool, and I wouldn't be a fling. I think we both see to as being more simple to not say anything because my boyfriend is the type to snap instantly and become extremely spiteful and vengeful. I believe he would actually go out of his way to throw me out of balance if I were to leave him.

                  Comment


                  • So then what you are say in effect is that this would be only a sexual affair because after all, you have a daughter, a home, school work, you need to find time to do the shopping the cooking and the cleaning. You won't have time to have meaningful conversations or to discuss much of anything really.

                    You say you wouldn't be a fling - but then he would be one - because you are not willing to leaving one relationship in order to start another.

                    I'm not saying all of this to be mean or to drag you down. I'm just trying to point out some of the realities of your situation. How unfair all of this is to your current SO. You have a say in things, he has no say, no idea. You have a say in things your daughter has no say - she just gets to go along for the ride and must accept whatever happens.

                    You have a choice and I think you are choosing unwisely. Breakup with your SO if you must, but do it in an honest upright manner. For as much pleasure as you may get from this new man, you will be hurting so many other people in your life and it all may backfire in your face.

                    edited to add: one other thing regarding your current SO not treating you as an adult or as an equal - you usually get the respect and treatment you deserve. You normally command respect by acting in an adult-like manner, accepting that all is not perfect, but what you do with what you have is primary importance. If you end each argument resorting to child-like behaviour, that is probably how you will be treated. You can stand up for yourself without compromising your values or morals, you can make your opinion known and be treated with respect.
                    That which we forget may as well never really happened.

                    Comment


                    • Your last two posts, attempting to morally justify an affair, fall flat. You want the best of two bad worlds; to stay with your BF because he has money to support you and allow you to finish university and then get your emotional and physical needs met through the new man. It's ok to use your BF in that way because he is a horrible person and the new guy is a saint.

                      Even ignoring the moral and poor behavior modeling, you are ignoring the practical problems. First, how will your unstable BF react when he finds out . . . and he will. Not only will be have your emotional instability to fight you with but also your lack of judgment and immorality. If he kicks you out, you are at greater risk to lose custody. Second, you put yourself at physical risk when BF finds out. Do you know how he will react?

                      I have no issue with leaving your BF and the other man may be Mr. Right. You just need to make the adult decision to leave and not have an affair. Where is your family in this situation? Can you live with them while going to school?

                      You have not made the best of decisions over the last three years which have resulted in your teen pregnancy, a horrible relationship and a bad environment in which to raise your child. An affair will only make matters worse.
                      "The only consistent feature of all of your dissatisfying relationships is you." Despair.com "Dysfunction"

                      Comment


                      • You say your BF treats you like a child. Everything you have written here so far is indicating that you are very much still a child. For most people who are 21, they probably would also be acting immature and doing selfish things like having affairs, jumping from one relationship immediately to another, etc. It is totally normal at your age. Problem is, you have a child. The day you decided to be a mother, you said good bye to being a free adolescent who can just think about her own needs and happiness. Here is what you need to do.

                        First, forgot about the second guy. You don't have the time to be getting emotionally involved with somebody else. Why make your life more complicated than it already is. If it really was meant to be, it will happen, just maybe down the road.

                        Second, leave current BF. Doesn't sound like he is good for your emotional well being. Plus to you don't want raise a child in that environment. Live on government assistance while you go back to school. It's not easy, but many people have done it. You just can't afford to live like you did before. No more nice dresses, restaurants out, expensive electronics. You live the basics. You may have to live on Ramen noodles but you can do it. You probably will get some child-support from your BF which will help out a bit, but don't count on it. If he is as vindictive as you say he is, he will fight it and you will have to go to court to get the money. So it may be a while before you actually get the money.

                        Work on getting that university degree and getting a job. Get your independence. That is the best thing you can do for both yourself and your daughter. Set a good example. And if second guy wants to hang around through all this, then you know he is a good guy. Although I have a feeling that when realizes the time and energy he is going to have to invest in you and your daughter, he will be out of your life pretty fast. You already made one mistake in picking a partner. Why would you risk doing that again, especially now you have a daughter who will pick up all your actions and do the same when she grows up.
                        Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose - Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster (sung by Janis Joplin)

                        Comment


                        • I think the others have addressed things well, so I'll focus my comments more pointedly. But let me say that I'm glad you're going to get more education. That's great for you.

                          I think, at 21, you're really setting up the course of your life here, and it's not a prosperous & admirable one. If you're already using a man to survive, which is what you're actually doing with the bf, and cheating to get your needs met, you're setting the precedent. If you're already taking the low road in these pivotal situations, you will possibly never have a stable & happy, settled lifestyle. Is that what you want in your life? You're setting a pattern that only leads to more unrest & confusion, and "drama" in your life. Just stop it now, do the right things & make the harder decisions when necessary.

                          You can tell yourself that this other man will make you happy, or that if you just had more money it would all be better, but it's probably a much more likely scenario that you need to take responsibility for your life, your choices & gain some independence for yourself, without any man for awhile. Nobody can really ensure your security but yourself.
                          And, your child will model the behaviors she sees growing up. Creating a better life for yourself, creates a better life for her. And I mean healthy, wise choices that bring some peace & stability into your life, not just more income.

                          I think you have some serious searching of yourself to do, and talking to a counselor, pastor or some trusted, established, older adult may be a good idea. Someone you can be 100% honest with, that they will be 100% honest with you.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Catat0nic View Post
                            I'm a young mother in one of those relationships where I have led myself to feel locked-in, like a contract, to the father of our child. We knew each other very little before discovering my pregnancy, and have held on (not exaggerated) to our relationship for the sake of our daughter's happiness (both coming from broken families and knowing the affects of split parenting).

                            My boyfriend claims to love me, and occasionally mentions how "lucky" he is to have me, but my "I love you's" are just empty words. I often enjoy my partners company, however I certainly don't love him due to our lack of communication, verbal abuse, his everlasting angry mood, and his lack of respect. I know I just sound like a whining girl, but I've been a timid, insecure and anxious young woman since being with him.

                            Unfortunately I have no other source of income than the government. My partner works, which gives us the freedom to play with money, but more importantly, have everything we (my daughter and I) need. How can I leave him? My misery in this relationship are worth her having everything she wants and needs.

                            I'm really conflicted in what I should do, especially as I have met someone who is frankly what I love, making me realise that I feel the need to be with someone who makes me feel happy and good about myself, and who respects me. I haven't engaged in a physical relationship with this new man, however the more we talk and bond, the further I want to take the relationship.

                            I'm afraid to go back into the world on my own because I have a daughter to think about. How will I support us both if I leave. How do I explain the situation to her if I leave. How do I explain to my partner that I want to leave? How do I leave? Can I leave?

                            I'm really tired, which has resulted in my lack of correct grammar and inconsistency in paragraphs, however this is keeping me up at night and I have no one else to talk to. I don't have friends (who won't judge me or reveal my feelings to the world), and I don't have family. I don't have any women to console in, but I really need to.

                            Does anyone have advice for me? Or is anyone willing to share their experiences of leaving the father of their children?

                            I would wish to remain associated with my partner, but as far as friends go.
                            What I would suggest? Get a job. Pay your way. Be honest with your partner and either stay with him or leave him. Do not be victimising yourself. You are not a victim. You are a grown woman. He is not responsible for you. You are not responsible for him. He and you are both responsible for your child. You want to be with your man, then be with him and stop creeping around with other guys and trying to see if there is something there to pursue, otherwise leave your man and try it on with other men. Be accountable for your own behaviours and don't pretend that they are random things that happen and impact on them. Your choices, own them.

                            Comment


                            • I think that when you make a decision to leave a serious relationship, it needs to have zero to do with anyone else. In other words, you need to have decided that regardless of whether you knew you'd be alone for the rest of your life, you'd rather be so than to stay in this relationship.

                              If that's where you are, then yes, it's time. Staying together "for the child", is often more damaging to the child than the split parenting. A child wants and deserves to see their parents happy. They are and will be a reflection of you and what you expose them too.

                              First step is finding employment. Perhaps it could be student employment at the uni you are attending. My guess is you'd qualify for financial aid in addition to having your school paid for, just because you're a single mother. With the financial aid and part time student employment (in addition to child support from your childs father), you should be able to make ends meet. It will be tough, but it will pay off.

                              I would almost recommend delaying uni for a year. Get out, get a job, get yourself some stability independently and THEN start college.

                              Oh, and yeah, don't cheat. Even forgetting all the moral things wrong with that decision, you're setting yourself up to have regrets (even though I know you don't think so right now), and regrets will just increase your feelings of worthlessness and result in staying in an unhealthy situation. Don't waste your life being miserable, it's far too short. But be an adult, be a good adult and do this the right way so that you look back with no regrets.
                              "Be what you're looking for."

                              Comment

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