Stresses of a Family

Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Female
About a month ago my boyfriend of 2 years broke it off with me. We had got into an argument on our 2 year anniversary over something really stupid. We didn't talk the rest of that night and the next morning he had e-mailed me, telling me he loved me and always would, to please help him in this relationship because he feels he doesn't make me happy.

Well then the next day he said he didn't love me anymore and that he doesn't want this relationship anymore. The worst part is that I am 5 months pregnant with his child and he has raised my little girl Hailey since she was 9 months(Now three years old).

It has been hard for me, I don't understand how after 2 years he could walk away so easily. I can't help but be angry at him, I know that's wrong. Now I just found out he is already seeing or at least sleeping with another women. He acts like he wants nothing to do with Hailey or the unborn child.

I guess my question is do you think he might be scared, he is 4 years younger than me and we split up a month before his 21st b-day, also he has been on unemployment for quite sometime now and I noticed before we broke up he was getting depressed? He has changed and he is not the person I knew before, he is mean to me and I am mean back and I really don't want it to be that way. Please help, let me know what you think or how I should handle this. Advice
First, you sound very intelligent and well settled in all of this, and I give you a lot of credit for that. You are really looking at the whole picture, at how he is probably feeling, and how you can make things work. That is very impressive and if this relationship works, it will be in large part because you're able to see things so well.

Yes definitely if after 2 years he's not only running away but running to other women because of one argument, it sounds like he's upset and scared. He's not even 21 yet and the thought of being responsible for 2 kids when he doesn't have a job is probably really scary. It was probably fine in his mind when he was dating you and 'watching over' a kid - it was sort of like playing house where he had a little family but no real obligation to it. But now that HE was having a child of his very own in this family, and he still had no job, it became more serious. It was really HIS family now that he was responsible for - and he was already failing at it! And the kid wasn't even born yet! So a crack occurred (the argument) and he grabbed the opportunity and ran.

Also we have to assume that this other girl wasn't an innocent bystander in all of this. Maybe this other girl liked him and has been chasing him, telling him he's young and should be out having fun instead of worrying about a family already. And since seeing the kids and you just reminds him of how much he has failed already, he doesn't even want to think about those things.

So sure, that's all in some ways *understandable*. But on the other hand this guy is over 18. He's an adult!! 18 year olds are sent to war and fight and die and vote. If he has FATHERED a child and become a father figure to Hailey he has a moral responsibility to follow through on that. He's not a 12 year old kid here who can just run off when he wants to and it's OK. Yes it is fine he FEELS the way he does. We all get scared. But it is not OK to ACT the way he is. Part of being an adult is taking responsibility for what you do and doing things that are right. To act like a baby and be selfish and run off - causing harm to real children in the process - is really mean and cruel.

I would find a way to talk with him somewhere neutral - a restaurant maybe - with just you and him. You deserve that much. Tell him that you care for him, that you KNOW this is stressful. That you know it's scary for him - it's scary for you too! But that Hailey loves him, you love him, and the unborn child is HIS and deserves a father. Tell him that of course it won't be easy! Nothing in life worth having is. But that this child within you was created by him, with his blood, his features, his genes. That the child NEEDS him to help guide him in the way he feels.

Offer to go to therapy with him, or to ministers or counsellors or whoever else is around you. That you can work this out! That there are always options and that together you can find them. But that running away is never the answer - and if he abandons his child now he will truly regret it for the rest of his life. Not in a "nasty" way but in a real, heartbreaking way. You don't just forget your children, they are always a part of you.

Hopefully this will work out. But in the end if he really does run off, I also want to say that you sound like a great woman and that I *know* you will be a great mother to these kids. Many, many kids grow up with single mothers and are completely happy and loved. There are definitely ways to make it work. And I know MANY women with two kids who ended up finding the perfect guy with whom they are very, very happy. So if this guy really does leave, let him go. Take good care of yourself, take bubble baths, keep your spirits up. Because somewhere out there is a guy who WILL care for you all, love you all and be the perfect part of your family.

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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