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I have been dating a beautiful woman for three years. I am

I have been dating a...
I have been dating a beautiful woman for three years. I am a 43yo divorced dad of three children ages 7,7, 5 which I have 50/50 custody. My girlrfriend has a 6 yo son which she has 80 percent custody. I've asked her to move in to my home, and she doesn't want to unless we were engaged and agreed to have another child. I think having another child would be too much financially and logistically for us. We just disagree on the one more baby question. Lately she has been setting more and more limits on our relationships, i.e. no time together with kids or with families, because she says we don't know if we'll be together long term or not. In the past few years, we've acted "like" a family many times. Going away together, holidays together, etc. She says that now has to stop and we shouldn't have done that before we knew we'd be together. We have amazing physical chemistry and are in love, but we can't agree on more kids etc. I was burned bad my last spouse who had an affair and so I'm pretty trigger shy to get engaged again. I am wondering if I should end things because it's not fair to us, but I don't really want things to end either.
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
12/4/2013
RealSupport
RealSupport, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3,191
Experience: MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
Verified

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I think I can support you with this concern.

Customer:

hi

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Hi, thank you for joining the chat

Customer:

sure

Customer:

Are you reading my question?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Yes, I have read it and am here to dialogue with you about it.

Customer:

?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Can't you read what I type?

Customer:

yes, I wasn't sure if you were reading the question.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Good!

Customer:

any initial thoughts?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am sorry to see you and your partner are facing this tough period in your relationship.

Customer:

thanks

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

When you started dating years ago, did you discuss about your core needs and expectations for this relationship at that time and in the long run?

Customer:

Well, she did say she wanted to have more kids even back then. I said, "i'm pretty set with kids, but I guess I'd never say never".

Customer:

However I've been more and more firm that I don't want more kids as time went on.

Customer:

How I feel pretty overwhelmed by parenting responsibilities already

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I see, and how was her reaction when dscussing about it during those times?

Customer:

she has always maintained that she definitely wants to have another child 100 percent sure.

Customer:

I've felt as we grew closer and she grew to love my kids, that maybe that would be fulfilling enough, but that has not been the case obviously.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I can see that is a clear concern for you, thus an extra responsibility you do not want to afford because of having kids already and because of past pain you suffered with your ex-wife.

Customer:

right

Customer:

I am just afraid we'd get engaged have a baby, fight and break up and have another ex wife and another child to care for alone.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I see, then both of you have been very consistent about your expectation n this regard during these years.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Right, that fear makes a lot of sense, and is normal to feel taht way because of your own past painful experiences, and the impact it has had in your lives to the present.

Customer:

Well, I have had some moments of weakness where I said I would consider it because I really did not want to lose our relationship

Customer:

consider a baby that is. Also a few times where she thought she might be pregnant, I took the news very nonchalantly and said, okay, well everything will be fine. Which she interpreted as me being okay with having a baby if it was an "accident". Although she is clear she would never want to have a baby that way.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I see. then you gave her some hope about it, and it would be reasonable to believe she trusted and attached to those hopes, that with time and deeper connection and commitment, you would finally feel ready and fully willing to have a child with her.

Customer:

I guess so yes....

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

That could explain why she could feel frustrated and even betrayed by your firm decision not to seriously consider having a baby at all.

Customer:

I guess I am concerned sometimes she is "using" me for a baby and once she gets what she wants she might leave me.

Customer:

Yes, she is very upset and sad and feeling frustrated and confused.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Now her behaviors are consistently pushing you away making it clear she is not willing to keep in the relationship the way it has been, unless you commit to fulfill this core expectation and need of her.

Customer:

yes more and more lately that is what she has been doing.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Which concrete situations lead you to believe that would be the case based on what you have shares in the past years?

Customer:

but she also says things like "the thought of you with anyone else makes me sick" and "I cannot picture my life without you"

Customer:

The only thing that makes me think that, is she has said in the past that she would consider having a baby alone. And she has a very stubborn and angry streak that scares me.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I see, then that shows he seems truly conflicted between loving you and wanting to protect your relationship but not wanting to keep something that would not fulfill this top priority in her life.

Customer:

She has not spoken to me for a whole day maybe three or 4 times over what I perceived to be minor infractions.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Why do you feel she has this top need to have another baby, what has she told you about it?

Customer:

Yes, she feels very conflicted and confused. But not wavering at all from wanting a baby as first priority. She has asked me if she chose to get pregnant would that be a deal breaker for our relationship like from a donor I guess.

Customer:

She said she wants to have the experience again, that she wants her son to have a sibling (blood), that she loves having kids around, "what will we do when they leave".

Customer:

She just loves kids and wants another one. She says she wants a baby "SO BAD"

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Then her words, feelings, expectations and behaviors consistently match,making sense for her around why he wants another baby so much, right?

Customer:

I'm not sure I understand that question.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Then she is even willing to get pregnant that way as long as fulfilling this need?

Customer:

well, she has considered that option yes.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Do you think it makes sense what she say and how she supports her desire-need to have a baby?

Customer:

It doesn't really make sense to me no.

Customer:

But we differ on our desires there. I desire her, and want her attention. I am so attracted to her.

Customer:

I don't understand why she has told me she would possibly not date anyone else even if we chose not to be together? She is so stunningly beautiful, people comment to her every day.

Customer:

She is 35 and looks like she is 28

Customer:

Just gorgeous woman.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

i see, then I think you need to carefully reassess which are your real top priorities, core needs and expectations, and see if they meet, and if both of you are willing and able to fulfill them for the relationship to grow.

Customer:

and funny and warm and kind, but stubborn and quick trigger to anger too.

Customer:

I am not sure what mine are, how do I figure that out?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I see

Customer:

I'll be back in a moment or two.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You need to take the time to reflect on it, without having any distractions, interruptions bothering you. You would set a list of these core needs and priorities classifying them by categories.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

OK

Customer:

back

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Good

Customer:

In the short term, I don't know how to handle the relationship with Roxy.

Customer:

I will see her tonight and my desire for her is so overpowering.

Customer:

But then I don't want to feel like I'm leading her on so to speak.

Customer:

She says we want different things, there is no need to discuss that anymore, just to discuss what to do about the fact we want different things.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Right, that is why being totally truthful with your self and honest towards her is essential.

Customer:

I see, but then I'm afraid things will end, and I'll be alone again.

Customer:

I'm afraid I'll never find someone as beautiful as Roxy ever again.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Then as I said you need to carefully assess what you are truly willing to afford or not, consider the pros and cons and choose what seems to be the best option, There would not be perfect alternatives, and that's why it is tough, but you need to be clear about your position and then stick to it taking full responsibility for it.

Customer:

but you need to be clear about your position and then stick to it taking full responsibility for it... (in what sense do you mean this?)

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

She has set a clear boundary here, and it is about her need and decision to have a baby in order to fulfill her sense of motherhood and for her son to have a sibling, that without you fulfilling that core need, this relationship has no future. then you need to choose if you would be able and truly want to play that full role in her life on=r not, taking responsibility for your decision.

Customer:

taking responsibility for my decision means what though?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You have been together for three years and time is pushing both of you, but specially her, since her need-requirement for having a baby would become more and more challenging , and you said she is kind of impulsive, then it would not be wise to delay things even more. better to work on making serious choices and committing to them, so you would not regret getting bigger consequences and pain with time.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

It means that whether you choose to have a child and stay with her, or not to have a child and end the relationship, you have to take full responsibility for your own decision, the same way she has to do the same.

Customer:

Very simply can you rephrase that for me in terms of what you could foresee happening?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I think I just did that.

Customer:

I have to take full responsibility for the decison means what? I can't bemoan the loss if I chose not to have a baby because I chose that?

Customer:

Take full responsibility you've said a few times, but what does that mean in either scenario. If I choose not to stay, what does that look like?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am sorry I do not understand what you meant.

Customer:

If I choose to leave her because I decide I don't want to have another child, how do I take full responsibility for that decision?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

If you choose not to have a baby, then you choose not to stay in the relationship. this is your right and responsibility to choose what you feel is the best for you. If you choose to have a baby in order to stay m the relationship, then you would have to be fully consistent with that too.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

By not blaming her for your decision but just acknowledging that you have different core expectations, which happen to be incompatible.

Customer:

It is sad... I feel not strong enough to leave her.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Each of you just happen to have different top priorities, and that's unfortunate but real, and unless one of you radically change what you feel or are willing to afford to make your relationship work, it would not happen, and would just hurt each other more.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I do strongly suggest you to look for individual psychotherapy to work on yourself,, then you would feel more clear and confident about what you want to afford, and perhaps both could get some couples therapy and try to work on it with professional support, in order to see how far and well you could make your relationship work.

Customer:

thanks...

Customer:

so what do I do tonight? :-)

Customer:

also any suggestions on finding a good therapist?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Be empathetic, gentle, understanding, compassionate, supportive towards her and also with yourself, since this is tough and both deserve to be and feel happy an d fulfilled.
A Marriage and Family Therapist with and integral therapeutic approach coiuld be the best professional to support you.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

take your time, contact several, take the time to discuss your about your situation, to see who really cares, shows empathy, willingness to help, competency, listens to you and has knowledge and experience providing therapy for this type of life issues.

Customer:

okay. maybe I'll buy her flowers.

Customer:

?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Absolutely

Customer:

which flowers do you recommend? kidding...

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You love her, right? Then you should be consistent expressing your love, from words to consistent actions.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

:o) Have no idea

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions and to follow up, since I am here willing to support you as possible.

Customer:

okay, thank you.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You're very welcome. Thank you for your trust. Take gentle care and consistent action.

Customer:

i am inconsistent with her.

Customer:

Sometimes I pull away emotionally as a protective mechanism when she is pulling away

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Then work on becoming fully consistent.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

it's a requirement for healthy, mature and fulfilling relationships.

Customer:

healthy, mature and fulfilling. I have the problem of being inconsistent with many people. I have a fear of attachment, commitment.

Customer:

I am afraid I am immature.

Customer:

at 43

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Then you need to work on yourself with psychotherapeutic support in order to make necessary changes

Customer:

I really do. Is there a type of therapy you recommend to look for?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Then please commit to work on healing, maturing and becoming more assertive

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Yes, Integral Psyhcotherapy

Customer:

Integral psychotherapy

Customer:

is that the same as integrative

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

by a professional with expertise in different therapeutic interventions, who would not limit support to changing your behavior only, or a set of beliefs, but who would work on supporting you at different core levels, adjusting to your needs and individuality instead of adjusting you to his/her limited techniques.

Customer:

I see..

Customer:

okay...

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Integral means an approach that takes into account different core dimensions of human life experience.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Thnaks.

Customer:

thanks

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You're welcome

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Good night

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Please remember to rate session/answer before you leave the chat. Thank you.

RealSupport
RealSupport, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3,191
Experience: MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
Verified
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RealSupport
RealSupport, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3,191
3,191 Satisfied Customers
Experience: MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach

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