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Ask-Rivka
Ask-Rivka, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
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Experience:  Licensed Social Worker
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My bf and I have been together a little over a year, though

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My bf and I have been together a little over a year, though we've known each other for several years. I am a single mom with three kids. He moved in with us last fall. My daughters adore him almost as much as I do. We've both admitted that we were the happiest we've ever been and that this is the best relationship we've ever had. Unfortunately, I got pregnant despite taking birth control pills. We've been an emotional, argumentative, depressive wreck ever since. He wanted me to have an abortion. I've been an emotional disaster. We have had some terrible fights. I'm pro-life, but he's been so angry and adamantly against having the baby that I almost caved in. I scheduled an appt with PP and he dropped me off. He says almost went after me to stop it a few times, but in the end knew that the the abortion was the best thing for him and left me alone. I wasn't sure I could go through with it, but figured I should try for his sake. Turns out this clinic doesn't actually accept my health insurance, so they rescheduled me a week later at a different clinic. After another weeks worth of agony, I decided that I have to do what's best for me and that's not killing my child--despite the challenges I'll face if he leaves me. He's accepted my decision, but is extremely angry at mention of baby and completely depressed. He thinks this child is nothing but a mistake and that we'll both regret having it. Although he was wonderful with my girls and says he loves them very much, he never wanted to have kids of his own and feels the child will bring nothing but stress and needless suffering to all of us. I am devastated. He seems to see nothing in me but my faults, is barely affectionate, and has no interest in further intimacy. He says he loves me, but he's positive that having this child is not the right thing for him. He's against adoption for reasons I don't understand. He says that our only hope for happiness now is if something goes wrong with the pregnancy and we lose the baby before it's born. I have given him the option of leaving and signing off his rights. I've also reiterated how much i love him and want to work through this. I don't know how to be supportive of him while he's dealing with all of this. He's angry and depressed all the time. I didn't and don't want to force him into being a father, but I would have been haunted by an abortion and it's too late now. I just don't know how to handle this when I'm at home with him. What can I do to try and make things better?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Ask-Rivka replied 2 years ago.
Wow I'm so impressed with you! You are a seriously strong and resilient woman. You not only are a single mother of three, but you went out and got yourself a happy relationship with a man you love! And above all, you stuck to your values and morals when you were faced with pressure from someone you loved so dearly! You are a wonderful mother because you are able to protect your children in such a dear way-- you protected your unborn child from the abortion and you protected yourself from having the pain of dealing with the abortion after going through with it. ANother thing is for sure is that you knew you would have emotional issues with having an abortion, so you made the emotionally healthy choice for you to continue the pregnancy. All these things prove to me that you have a healthy self-esteem and that you are a highly resilient person.

Now, about your issue with your boyfriend. I think one thing's clear-- he has some major issue (deep, probably long-standing issue) about becoming a father. And if you guys could really explore this and uncover what this is about, then he could very well be an amazing father and partner to you. For him to act like this is the end of the world and that having a child will ruin your lives and that the only thing to hope is that the pregnancy will naturally end-- well he clearly has some huge fear that was rooted probably in his upbringing. Instead of spending your time arguing with him about this situation, I would recommend:

1) preparing yourself for being a single mother of 4. get child care organized, go to counseling yourself, and really prepare yourself to take care of this child as if you had no partner. Make a plan for how you will do the birth, who you will call, who will watch the kids, and make plans for the baby. Think about baby names, buy baby things. You should go about preparing as if you will do this on your own without him. Seek a therapist to help you through this and they can help you with these challenges.

2) Tell him that you'd really like to talk to him about what fatherhood means, what his father was like, and what his childhood was like. Ask him to talk about it and see what happens. If he's totally defensive, then don't push it. But try to have an open conversation about it.

3) If he's up for it, go to couples therapy and/or encourage him to go to therapy to help him decide what he wishes to do about this situation. Tell him that you've made up your mind and that you would love to have him as a partner in this, but will do this on your own without him. You could find a couples therapist at www.aamft.org and a therapist for each of you at www.psychologytoday.com

You could also call a crisis pregXXXXX XXXXXne or have him call if he wishes to speak to someone on the phone completely confidentially and for free.

I hope this helps you. You are an incredible woman! Be strong! Keep it up! You can do this...
I hope I have provided you with the reassurance you needed and the referrals needed to handle this situation. Let me know if you require further assistance.
Ask-Rivka, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 57
Experience: Licensed Social Worker
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