How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Jennifer Your Own Question

Jennifer
Jennifer, School Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 397
Experience:  Extensive experience fostering family relationships through consultation / counseling.
Type Your Relationship Question Here...
Jennifer is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My girlfriend I have a 5 moth old son together. Since my son

Customer Question

My girlfriend and I have a 5 moth old son together. Since my son has been born my girlfriend has gone out to the club a total of 6 times since he was 2 months old. She hangs out with friends at least every week and asks me to go on solo trips out of town so she can party more. I told her I want her to calm down and she responds by dumping me and calling me controlling. What do you think I should do? Am I really being irrational? All I want is her to give it a rest until he is older.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Jennifer replied 4 years ago.
Hello and thanks for using Justanswer.com!

I'd recommend you sit down with your girlfriend to talk with her about what it is she gets out of this. People only do behaviors that meet their needs -- Something about going out the clubs is really appealing to her and (sadly) outweighs wanting to spend time with her new son. Be careful when you broach the subject -- You don't want to lay blame or imply that she's being a bad mother (defenses will go up and she'll immediately tune you out). Open the conversation by talking about how she IS a good mom. Ask her questions about how she thinks everything is going and whether she needs anything from you (respecting her needs will make her more likely to respect yours). Then explain that it's really important to you that she spend time with your son -- particularly when he's still so young.

An infant's attachment to their caregivers is a crucial stage for a baby. If you want more fuel for the discussion, do a simple search online to learn more about attachment theory. Babies without a strong attachment have been shown to have relationship problems later in life (this is the extreme, of course, but worth of mentioning).

During the course of your conversation, explain what it is you need and ask if there's a way to compromise that might meet both of your needs. Successful relationships are based upon open, honest communication. It sounds like your girlfriend wants to be able to be young while she can and you're wanting her to be more involved as a mom. You're both right. So, now you need to find a way to make you both happy. I wish you the best of luck!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I understand everything you are saying but I think there might be deeper issues. I am starting to get negative thoughts because the fact that she wants to go on solo trips, and go clubbing with friends so much. I am younger than she is and I have given up that lifestyle. I don't know what I can do to get it through to her. I'm not trying to cut off everything social, I just think now is really not the time in life to be a party animal. She is with our son a lot and I understand it is a lot of work, but to me it's not enough of an excuse to continue this behavior.
Expert:  Jennifer replied 4 years ago.
I understand your concern. How would she respond if you told her this?

The issues could run deeper or it could simply be her opportunity to take a break since she's with home with her son a lot. The newborn stage can be pretty overwhelming. It's possible her needs will change once his sleeping patterns are more established and she feels more competent as a mom.

Her suggestions that you should take trips away are a little concerning. I'd definitely want to address that matter when you speak with her. Is she wanting you to go because she wants you to enjoy your time with friends as well? Or is she wanting you to go because she doesn't want you questioning where she is and what she's doing?

If the matter can't be resolved through this discussion, you could suggest couples counseling. I normally wouldn't jump to this for a dating relationship, but in this case you share a child (and always will!) It's important for you to be able to communicate with one another. Counseling would provide a safe environment to share feelings and the guidance of a professional to help you meet your goals as a couple. Present this idea as a way for you to be better parents and make your relationship as a couple stronger as well.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
She has not suggested that I take trips. She tries to get away every chance she gets. I've denied her two out of town trips that she's asked me about going on. I would be fine with her having a day with her friends on an occasional basis, but it is so frequent that I am getting upset. She does work part time (in a night club) so I would think she has had her fill.
Expert:  Jennifer replied 4 years ago.
I'm glad to hear she's not suggesting you go away.

Perhaps you could present the idea of a day with her friends as part of the compromise. Or maybe she'd be comfortable with going out just 1-2x/month AFTER your son goes to bed so she's not missing out on important family time. The point is that you need to come up with a plan where you're meeting halfway.

I'm sure she'd tell you that working in a night club is very different than being a patron. The fact that she works there tells me she must enjoy that kind of environment. It sounds like she's trying to figure out a balance between that side of her and being a new mom. I wonder what her feelings are on all of this... Does she enjoy being a mother? If she's going out at night to burn off stress, is there anything that can be done to make her days easier?

I can absolutely understand why this is upsetting to you. You assumed she'd slow down after the baby was born and obviously that's not the case. I'm hoping the two of you can find a middle ground here.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
The thing is I don't even want her to be going out once or twice a month. I think she has been out to the night club enough. Our son is not even one year old yet, but she continues to live this life. She does not want to meet me half way, she says that she is not going to give up living for me.

I am not perfect, but I have given up everything that I used to do. I don't hang out with friends as much, don't go out to clubs, and don't take trips anywhere, all I do is work. I really do love this girl, I just don't know how to get through to her that this is not okay. She has had a hard life but I want to get her to understand that I am not calling her a bad mother, I just want change.
Expert:  Jennifer replied 4 years ago.
I'll be honest with you -- My first reaction to what you're requesting from her is that I think it's a tall order... You may be asking her to give up entirely something that is really important to her. While she may do it because she loves you, it could result in her feeling some resentment toward you for not being willing to compromise in some way.

I'd ask her what it is about going out at night that she enjoys. Is it spending time with friends? Perhaps there are other times / activities she could find to hang out with them. If it's the music, maybe a concert of some kind. Spending time with friends is a healthy thing for her to do (and for you to do, too!) That kind of balance can actually make her a better girlfriend, friend, and mother because she'll feel more whole as a person as opposed to being JUST a girlfriend, friend, or mother. Does that make sense? I'm sorry if I'm being brutally honest here...
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I appreciate your honesty, I just think that now is not the time. I know we are still young but our son needs us around. I feel terrible when I leave him just to go out to a night club. I guess thats just me though
Expert:  Jennifer replied 4 years ago.
THIS ANSWER IS LOCKED!
You can view this answer by clicking here to Register or Login and paying $3.
If you've already paid for this answer, simply Login.

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
< Last | Next >
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
  • He answered my question promptly and gave me accurate, detailed information. If all of your experts are half as good, you have a great thing going here. Diane Dallas, TX
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dear Debra's Avatar

    Dear Debra

    Advice Columnist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1719
    I have been an Advice columnist for 14 years. My column is published weekly in local newpapers.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DE/deedeeham/2011-1-24_51523_408.64x64.JPG Dear Debra's Avatar

    Dear Debra

    Advice Columnist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1719
    I have been an Advice columnist for 14 years. My column is published weekly in local newpapers.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/formybunch/2010-12-06_191055_img_0975.jpg Kate McCoy's Avatar

    Kate McCoy

    Counselor

    Satisfied Customers:

    1235
    Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/resolutions66/2011-1-17_05728_IMG8202smilingeditedforJustAnswer.64x64.jpg Elliott, LPCC, NCC's Avatar

    Elliott, LPCC, NCC

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1215
    35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CO/CoachJenK/2012-3-9_31019_Jen.64x64.jpg Coach Jen K.'s Avatar

    Coach Jen K.

    LMSW, CPC

    Satisfied Customers:

    726
    Providing the utmost care and support.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/IN/intrapsyc.com/2012-2-20_161928_RGMTPicturex5002012.64x64.png Rafael M.T.Therapist's Avatar

    Rafael M.T.Therapist

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    549
    MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/HU/hungryjack20/IMG_1281_edit_2.64x64.jpg Dr. L's Avatar

    Dr. L

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    349
    Licensed as a Psychologist and Marriage & Family Therapist.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/SU/suzmsw/2011-9-2_184634_Thisone.64x64.JPG Suzanne's Avatar

    Suzanne

    Therapist, LCSW

    Satisfied Customers:

    338
    Experienced in treating trauma, relationship issues, co-dependency