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Help Me Adjust to My Fiance Already Having a Child

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From the U.S.: It’s very hard for me. I love my fiancé very much, and I really like his 5 year old son, we all get along. Trouble is, I am incredibly sad he has a child with another woman. I want to have a baby and so does he. We are planning to start trying in the next year, but I’m scared of what’s to come. I don’t want to feel like he’s “been there done that” and it’s not as special to him. I’m afraid it will make me depressed. Like when he feels our baby move for the first time, will he have flashbacks of son #1? Even if he doesn’t I will be thinking that’s what he’s thinking and I will instantly be depressed. It’s to the point where I feel jealous every time he talks to, or about his son and baby mama. My therapist is trying to help my change my negative thoughts into positive ones by saying a little mantra in my head every time I feel sadness.

I can’t imagine my life without my fiancé, we are very much in love. I know I am probably not cut out for this relationship, but I want to do everything in my power to make this work. My fiancé is extremely supportive so that’s a huge plus.

My parents divorced when I was 4, my dad kind of lost touch and my stepdad came into my life when I was 5. He was a good person, but he left my mom when I was 15, and he didn’t keep in touch with me. It was pretty devastating for me. I can’t help, but think that maybe this has caused me relationship or insecurity problems that I don’t know how to fix.

I’m taking wellbutrin for mild depression and it might help a bit. I’m at a loss for what to do about my relationship struggles and would appreciate any advice to help me be happy.

Help Me Adjust to My Fiance Already Having a Child

Answered by on -

A.

I’m glad you are already talking to your therapist about this. I probably don’t have anything to add, but I’ll contribute a couple of thoughts: Even though your fiancé has already had a child, he hasn’t had a child with you. Every pregnancy is different. Every birth is different. Every child is different. If he’s the man you think he is, he will be into the unique and special qualities of your pregnancy and the baby you are making together. He doesn’t have to reject his other experience to fully value this one. As one of my teachers has said, you don’t have to reject chocolate because you love strawberry. One can be delighted by both.

I think you already know that asking your fiancé to stop talking about his son or his son’s mom will only damage your relationship. To love him is to love his child and to appreciate, not criticize, his past. To raise the little boy successfully, you should ideally have a civilized relationship with his mother.

The other question I would put to you is this: Since you love each other enough to want to bring a child into the world, why aren’t you getting married? I’m of the opinion that children deserve to be brought into a secure, stable, and committed family. If your experience as a child of divorce is keeping you from making that commitment, please work on that before you have a child. Otherwise, it’s very possible you will repeat history. You owe it to yourself, your guy, and the child-to-be to resolve your issues before going ahead with a pregnancy.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Help Me Adjust to My Fiance Already Having a Child

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). Help Me Adjust to My Fiance Already Having a Child. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 21, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2015/01/02/help-me-adjust-to-my-fiance-already-having-a-child/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.