I am sorry you are going through all of this. This is a lot to deal with, and being six months pregnant has to be adding significant stress to this situation. I am sure that day to day you sometimes feel that you are about to go crazy with all this stress.
Let's look at this one issue at a time:
Your feelings about your current relationship do not seem at all inappropriate. More or less constant fighting and conflict will make most people very sad. To top it off the man in your relationship now is not open to counseling and is employing what I call the hope method of relationship recovery; You tough it out and hope for the best...which mostly does not work.
Why so much fighting? Truth: This relationship is relatively new psychologically speaking, yet is it going through very complex stresses such as waiting for a divorce, a pregnancy, a potential marriage and the raising of very young children.
For any couple this is more than a plateful, and to add all the complexity of this to your life such as your ex husband and his needs; it is a lot. It is no wonder you feel as you do. Fights are common when this level of stress is present. But that does not mean that he should just "plough along" either. You both need support. For him to say that he thinks you can do this yourself (him and you) is a bit shortsighted. I will say it is very male behavior, but that stubbornness does not make it right.
Without a doubt you need support. Even if your current partner will not go to counseling for whatever he reasons, you should go. You need the perspective, support and the unbiased help this can provide. You are worth it.
The hyphenated name: You are not married to the father. This is a child who needs an identity. It is possible based on the conflict that is seen in the relationship that you both might not stay together. The hyphenated name is XXXXX XXXXX idea. I am not sure what his issue might be on this, but it certainly makes sense. It is a good call. I see nothing wrong with the choice.
This is not the time to decide anything so huge as going back to your ex. That is a decision for another time. But now the key is for you to be at peace. You need it. It is too much to be exposed to constant fighting and conflict. I would suggest that you choose a path where there is the least conflict. If that is living with the current man and you disengaging and refusing to fight and talk unless it is civil, so be it. If it means living with a relative or anyone else, so be it. (or even your ex if things get that bad) But The key is less stress and what you are facing is not good for you or the baby.
Pursue peace even if it means giving up a lot. You do not need emotional fights and drama on top of everything else. Choose the path that offers this and once the baby arrives, with a counselor's help, work out the next steps. Steven
I agree and that is all good advice. I sometimes just want to get away from being here in this house but at the same time I want his love and affection. The constant withdrawing of affection on his part when he is angry is draining me. If one thing is making him mad I don't get held, kissed or even told I am loved (like when he was angry over the name thing). I am trying not to be "needy" but I am affectionate myself and like it in return. He tries to brush it off saying he is just not an affectionate person but it seems like he is withdrawing affection every time we have a disagreement. I wish I knew how to handle all this better. I want my new relationship to be better and healthier than my marriage was or what is the point of being in it? I have been in therapy by myself in the past but will start going again. If I did not love my boyfriend so much I probably would have left a few months ago.
Who would not want to be loved and cared for?
That is normal and I certainly understand why you want to feel cared about.
But there are limits to what you can tolerate in terms of fighting and conflict and what I also think is something very close to emotional abuse.
Clearly your love "language" is dominant in terms of touch and attention, and his is not as much. What is disturbing is that he punishes you by withholding affection and making you feel alone. He cannot say, unless he is totally oblivious, that he is unaware that this make you feel rejected. He must be aware of this at some level.
The real worry here is that this behavior shows a man who is not in touch with the consequences of his actions, and this does not bode well for how he might handle stress over the long haul. That doesn't mean that he cannot change, but in the present I do not see him giving you what you need. He has some unfinished emotional issues himself that need to be worked through.
I would suggest attempting (at a place like a quiet restaurant without the kids) to have a serious discussion with him about his choices. (Withdrawing of affection as punishment, a key negotiating point.) I would also work out rules to fighting and conflict. Set some guidelines for how much yelling or where this type of thing occurs in the house and go from there.
Truly I am glad that you will seek out face to face help. There is a lot going on and it can be confusing...but if you can, try to create a peaceful part of your life, even if it does mean living with a less than ideal situation (place, affection etc) until the baby arrives. Steven
Thank you very much and that is helpful. I appreciate your time today and hope you have a nice day! :)