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I am 29 weeks pregnant with my boyfriend (both age 27). We have only been dating for 1 1/2 years. I find we are compatible in many ways but not completely on a mental/intellectual level. He is very excited about the new prospect of being a "Dad," and starting a new family with me, but I fear that "excitement" is not enough. Our communication is not where I wish it would be. Our thought processes & maturity levels seem to be operating on different wavelengths that do not meet. There are many actions of his that show me he is still a kid himself (IE: tantrums, pouting, oversensitivity, neediness, impulsiveness). Issues that would seem minor & trivial to an average adult still get to him, making me feel like I am in a High School all over again.
I understand the importance of parents having a strong relationship when raising a child together. I know well not to rely on anyone to 'change.' Has anyone had the experience of their boyfriend/husband changing for the better with the experience of child-rearing? When is it best to opt for 'single mom-dome' (which has been a thought lingering in my head)? I feel like I will be raising 2 little boys starting September...
My husband and I are both 27 and we are expecting our first child together in January (I'm 13 weeks). Let me just say that people are all different, not just men & women, everyone. It is very important, crucial really, to have him really understand as much as possible what is about to happen. Try going to parenting classes, birthing classes, looking for daycare,whatever to make him feel as involved and informed as possible. There is no way to predict how he will react once the baby arrives, he may drop to his knees and propose during delivery or he may be scared out of his mind and mentally retreat. The thing is too keep trying to communicate, once you give up trying, all is lost. It is important to have a strong parental unit for the childs optimal development. Whether that means the 2 of you being in a relationship or being seperate parents, you have to preserve your mental health first, before you can care for your child.
We are all young and we all mature at different speeds but no one is perfect. We all have our strengths and weaknesses that we need to try and work on. It is a continual process, day by day. Hopefully you have pointed out your annoyances with him-to him and he may find it hard to take the criticism at first but if he loves you, he will try to be better for you and you should be patient with him. Miracles dont happen overnight. Please also understand that our bodies are going through a tremendous change right now, our hormones, emotions, estrogen, testosterone, everything is brewing inside and the smallest annoyance can send us over the edge, so remember, as cliche as it may sound, dont sweat the small stuff. It may be hard to let him go off on his tantrum, but let him be and ignore him for the time being. You & your baby will be better for avoiding as many stressors as possible during this developing time. Hope that helps in some way and I do wish you the best. Enjoy the rest of your pregnancy!
It must be tough being in your situation, and I can't pretend to have any magic answers for you. Obviously the decisions you make in the next few months will have an enormous impact on you and your child's lives. All I can say is get some advice from someone whose judgement you really trust, and hopefully they know your boyfriend somewhat to be able to give you a perspective.
The only nugget I can offer you is that I am 39 and I am a much different man than when I was 27. I do feel that women at 27 are more mature than men at 27. I guess you really have to ask YOURSELF if you think he can change.
Best of luck and congratulations on the impending birth of your child.
Really appreciate the feedback! I suppose it's one of those 'only time will tell' cases...
I am trying, as much as possible, to concentrate on my own & the baby's well being, first & foremost. It is so difficult to ignore things when my hormones are making me more sensitive than normal. Bringing up conversations rationally end up becoming infused with emotion, which thereby discredits my opinions at times, since I lose composure. Physical changes also make it difficult to just step out and engage in my usual 'outlets'.
Ideally, I'd like very much for my life partner to be my best friend... but I notice that in my current relationship, we both resort to other people for support and comfort more than each other when something bothers us or when we are seeking understanding.
I know how important it is for parents to be in sync with each other. The child especially is able to sense this and the last thing I want is to bring the baby into a disfunctional atmosphere.
Hearing what may be going through a first-time Dad-to-be's mind may help me in the 'patience' department...
My husband and I are a very young couple, but please don't let my age worry you. When we were pregnant with my daughter, we were 17, but my husband went from being a teenager w/ VERY toddler-ish behavior to being an amazing father. I tried to break things off after discovering that I was pregnant, and my husband said no. He grew to be a very mature, family oriented person. But, please...follow your own instincts on this one. Only you truly know your partner, and if you feel that something just isn't working, please do what you feel is right. I can tell you that having a baby changes people in many ways. I just hope that your partner grows in to an amazing father like my husband did.
My fiance and I now have a 3 week old son. When we first got together my daughter was 3, I was 23, and my fiance was only 21. He did a great job getting along with my daughter and occassionally helping out, but he wasn't ready for any kids of his own. I was fine with that because I had the intentions of planning out my next pregnancy. After we had been dating for several months I found out that I was pregnant due to a mishap with our method of contraception. I was very scared and nervous about telling him because he is young and had stated he wasn't ready to have kids anytime soon. When I finally worked up the courage to tell him, he was shocked, but he was also VERY happy. I know that I'm lucky to have found such a great guy this time around. He admits that he's pretty clueless about baby care, but he does such a great job! My ex-husband had told me he wanted kids, but after I got pregnant he freaked out and decided he couldn't handle it.
Everybody is different. Maybe when the baby arrives he will realize how lucky he is and grow up a bit. Or maybe he won't. The only thing that you can do is give him a chance. As far as being a single mom, I did it for almost 4 years. It is very rough and lonely sometimes, but when it comes down to it I'd recommend single parenthood over living in a bitter relationship with somebody you're not compatible with. After a year and a half the two of you probably have some kind of concept of where you expect your relationship to go. If you want to be with each other things will work out in the end. If not then you will know that you tried. I wish you the best of luck and I hope that things turn out well for your little family!
I'm 24 and pregnant with my second child. I truly believe that having a baby changes everything, including the maturity of the parents. Those who knew my man 3 years ago would have NEVER considered him "father material", but he has surprised everyone and exceeded in becoming a wonderful dad. He's conquered addictions, worked harder for more money, and has grown in so many ways it's amazing. And it has changed me too, in the sense that I have more patience than ever. I used to feel like you do, but now I fear he has surpassed me in the maturity department (I sound more like your boyfriend now! Is he a pisces or what?) Best you can do is wait and see how things are working out for you after the little one is born. These things have a way of working out. And if they don't, you can always change your circumstances. Best of luck to you!
My husband is very much the same way. Before I met him, I didn't realize that 30+ year old men still threw tantrums and sulked. But you know, we've been together for more than seven years. We get along very well with each other (despite his immaturity), and I think it's because we are both still very much individuals, with our own interests and responsibilities.
I've also let him know from day one that I don't put up with behavior that I think is disrespectful or inappropriate, nor will I deal with someone who cannot see the effects of their actions. He's seems to have issues interacting with my older daughter (he's only known her since she was three) and I often find myself reprimanding them both for behavior. I do feel like I'm raising three children sometimes, but overall our little family works pretty well.
I think now is the time to discuss your concerns with him. Whenever I have a problem with my husband's behavior, I let him know right away. I've learned that he may get upset for a little bit, but once he gets out of the heat of the moment and has time to think about what he's done, he comes back to me and apologizes, admitting he was wrong. An interesting thing is that he'll often say, "I don't know why I do that or react that way," which may also be something that's going on with your guy.
The bottom line is that nothing will change unless you express your concerns and he really listens. He has to be willing to accept your point of view and then take a long, hard, HONEST look at himself. If it's only one of you who is willing to communicate and change, chances are, it's not going to work. That was a huge issue between me and my ex-husband -- which is why he's now my EX-husband. You need cooperation on both sides.
Have you thought about couples counseling at all?
I have definitely thought about couples counseling but the fees are steep & I question the quality or compatibility of the therapist who would be dealing with our situation. I would prefer a success story couple recommend me someone. Any suggestions in NY?
If the maturity gap between men & women are so far apart in years, maybe women's ideal match are men older than them by that difference?
I do feel somewhat stuck... Frustrated and impatient pondering over hypothetical future scenarios. I know my partner feels the pressure and is trying. I do give him credit for not running away from this, having a good heart & being someone I need not worry about infidelity, so that deserves giving him a chance.
Love your avatar! I hear you on being reluctant to try counseling. If you're concerned about money and have health insurance, counseling may be covered. It could be worth looking into. I'm in NJ and have a wonderful counselor for my older daughter and was referred to her by a family friend. Asking people you trust may be a starting place, as well.
I think maturity gaps differ from person to person. My husband is 35 and is way less mature than me, and I don't think it has anything to do with his age. It's his personality and how he grew up. My advice at this point would be to keep the lines of communication open on your end and let your man know how you feel, what's working for you, what's not, what your fears and frustrations are, etc. Even if it doesn't facilitate any change in your relationship, talking about it can help decrease your own stress.
Just the fact that you are so deeply weighing your decision tells me that the decision you make will probably be the best, no matter what it is. Obviously that doesn't make the process any easier, but thought that might help to give you a little peace of mind.
Congrats on expecting!
I wanted to reply to your post because I could not have been closer to your situation if I tried. But when I went thru it I was younger then 27 - I was 20 and my boyfriend was 21. I saw alot of the same things that you spoke of in my boyfriend at the time.
My daughter is now 5 years and we just had our second child who is only a month old. When I was first pregnant I went thru all my options very closely because I didnt feel that him or I was ready to be parents. I went as far as to find adoptive parents for my daughter. But it struck me one day that there is nothing more that I want in this world to then to be a mother. But I still had some very strong concerns about him. You have to have that communication with. Let him know your worries about the new addition that is coming. Now this will probably start a fight - I know it did for me every time I brought it up but if he is not aware of your concerns then he wont know where to focus his energy to change for the better.
From my boyfriend's side of things - he has always told me that the moment that she was born (which he witnessed) changed his life. And I believe that. He witnessed the miracle that is child birth and he became a man. Dont get me wrong there are still things that he needs to work on - but I also have things that still need to be worked on. No one is perfect. But he went from someone that didnt care if he went to work -- to working as hard as he ever has so that his daughter has whatever she needs. I found him changing in small things like instead of going out at night (on the weekends) he would rather be snuggled up with his daughter watching a movie. When before we could agree on things and would argue I would do or say something and from then on I would notice that is how he did it.
I dont think that it is like this for all guys but you have to be willing to give him a chance and prove himself as a father. I wish you both all the luck in the world and you have to believe that everything will work for the best - that may mean all together or as a single mother.
First, I'd like to thank you for starting this discussion. I came here because I'm going through something very similar and don't know what to do.
I'm 31 and found out that I was pregnant 3 months into our relationship. Everything moved really fast, we were long lost highschool friends who reconnected in November, he moved from Chicago to Ohio to be with me in mid January and in mid March we found out that I was 5 weeks pregnant. Things were wonderful until just a couple weeks before we found out I was pregnant. Everyone tells him that our fighting happened because I became hormonal, but I believe it happened because 'the honeymoon was over'. in the past 4.5 months (i'm 5.5 months pg right now) I have learned so much about him and am so disappointed because it's all negative. I quit smoking and the smell of cigarettes repulsed me, yet he would not even try to quit. For example, he would say, I haven't smoked in two weeks, I deserve to smoke some cigarettes tonight. (Which makes ZERO sense to me) Whenever I tried to express to him how something made me feel, his response was always, Yea, Well how do you think this makes me feel?? Never acknowledging my feelings at all. I tried all different kinds of approaches, I've tried all different points of trying to understand his behavior. It got to the point that seeing a text from him, or hearing his key in my door would cause waves of anxiety to run through me. I finally told him as politely as possible that he needed to go back to Chicago because the anxiety he was causing me was unhealthy for both the baby and myself. He reluctantly went, a short time later I realized that if there was not a baby in our lives, this relationship would have run it's course a long time ago. I have discovered that there are 2 very strong parts to this man, 1, the person he wants to be, and 2, the person he is by nature. These two parts are not running parallel. I believe that everything he presented himself as really does exist in his heart, but the way he lives his life is very manipulative towards other people and he doesn't even see it. (He grew up in a terrible environment and had to become this way as a child just to survive and it seems to have evolved into a different skill set as an adult, that he doesn't even recognize). He has stated that every woman he's been with has 'said the manipulative thing' so it must really be a problem, but he continues to lie to me on a daily basis about very important things. This makes me have serious concerns about what he will be teaching my child. I have also asked him what he imagines the 'birthday' to be like, asked him to think about it good and paint a picture for me. He talked about a miracle and a joyous event and cutting the cord. Basically, spectating. This freaked me out, because I want to do 'the right thing' and let him be there, but I am going to need to have support, coaching and encouragement during this time... I know it's a scary time for any dad and not many know what to expect but I just feel like he is completely self absorbed. His contribution to my pregnancy is leaving me alone. He hasn't done anything to show me that he's trying or that he's growing. Nothing to give me an ounce of confidence in him.
The point to all of this is... I don't know the right thing to do. I'm sure this is nothing anyone can answer for me truly, but I keep wondering, should I have him in the room? Should I put him on the birth certificate?
I'll be honest, right now my head is a jumbled mess because I have to move now as well (not because of him but because it's going to be a better situation for the baby), my job is ending (which is actually a good thing, great job but smarter to move on from it) but I have SO many things I have to take care of at the moment, I can barely think straight. But I want to be fair to him, and at the same time feel like he takes so much from me that I need to start seriously protecting myself and standing up against him.
I found out I was pregnant at 20 weeks, started this discussion at 29 weeks and now approaching my 34th, I can honestly say that there has been some progress happening between my partner and I, for which I feel fortunate.
I think the best piece of advice in handling my pregnant relationship worries during this time has been to prioritize & focus on the health & well-being of me and the baby growing inside of me before all things. My body, my emotions, my mind are first and foremost so that the child's will be as well... whether or not my partner comes through or does not. If/when he does, then wonderful - acknowledge him positively for it & get him more involved. If not, then he is the one losing out on this beautiful experience.
By getting more in tune with myself & observing the changes happening to my body, I gained a much greater understanding, appreciation & respect for womanhood. We are really so strong. The pregnancy is unique to our gender and it is difficult for men to really put themselves in our shoes which can give them anxiety in the realm of powerlessness & feelings of being an outsider. Just try to enjoy what you can of your pregnancy because the days go by so quickly, if not with your boyfriend, then on your own. Continue engaging in activities you like that aren't harmful to the baby & see if you can join things that will allow you to network with other pregnant women & moms. And continue to find outlets to talk, write, vent away when you are stressed.
Great to hear that things have progressed positively, and as a man, I can certainly agree that we are clueless most of the time to how women are thinking and feeling, especially during pregnancy. Good luck with everything moving forward and thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings. We need all the guidance we can get!
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