My partner and I have been together for 2 1/2 years now. I have a 3 year old son from a previous relationship and am currently pregnant with my second.
Issues arose after my partner returned from a wedding that he was a groomsman at. I found a message on the Monday following to the bridesmaid he was partnered with.
I rang him at work immediately and asked why he had messaged her and if he liked her.
He told me yes he did have feelings for her and that he was trying to get help to sort it out, because he didn’t want to feel that way. And that he wanted to sort our relationship out.
He then proceeded to tell me that he had become very unhappy at home and he was tired and stressed all the time. He was starting to get irritated at my son easily (before he was great). And that he wasn’t in love with me anymore. I am so confused as we have brought a house together this year and we are now expecting our first child together.
Since this happened over a month ago he has been messaging her behind my back trying to meet up with her and start a new relationship.
The other woman now has a boyfriend and now my partner is trying to sort our relationship out. He tells me we can work through it and be happy again. I’m so scared and don’t know what the right thing is to do.
Does he really want out and not love me anymore? and is it just convenient and easy to return seems this other woman is not interested?
A: I’m sorry for how scared and upset this has made you feel but I think it may be an important moment in your relationship. You and your boyfriend have moved into a fully adult life while still quite young. Your boyfriend may be having second thoughts about whether he is ready to take on all the responsibilities of being a husband, father, and provider. At only 25, you have a house, a 3-year-old child he has been helping to parent and another on the way. If he has any doubts about his ability to handle it all, the single life may look tempting. If that’s the case, the situation wasn’t about you personally. It was about his doubts about himself.
Instead of talking about whether he loves you, I think it might be more helpful to have an open conversation about the very normal anxieties that come with the responsibilities of adult life. Supporting a family and a home is a big deal. Can the two of you talk honestly and lovingly about how you are going to support each other in the project? Can you speak to all the wonderful things about it that make the stress and challenges worth it?
Such an important conversation generally can’t be completed in one long talk. This is something you may need to struggle with for weeks. Just because you’ve been doing it doesn’t mean that both of you are happy with the life you’ve made. Real commitment takes more than love. It also takes making clear choices about what kind of life you want for yourselves and the children you have brought into the world.
I wish you well.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 24 Dec 2012
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2012). Pregnant and Alone. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 8, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/12/24/pregnant-and-alone/