The simple answer to your question is that it’s very difficult to love someone you don’t respect. But it’s also fair in this case to ask if your lack of “admiration” is a way to rationalize leaving a situation that is scary for you. At only 23, you may not be prepared to be a father. But, ready or not, there’s a baby on the way.
As stated on ParentMap’s website, “What can you do to help maintain your relationship? The first step is to learn to build the friendship with your partner. Without a strong friendship in your relationship, not only will you see a decline in your satisfaction, but your relationship will likely have difficulty weathering the storms that may lie ahead. Having a new baby is a busy time. The changes in your life can bring temporary conflict and chaos to your relationship, but by using your friendship as your strong foundation, you will find that your relationship may in fact become stronger as you make the transition from two to three.”
If you two haven’t started couples therapy, you haven’t given this relationship a “fair shot.” (Four months of hanging in while focusing on the negative doesn’t count.) I think you owe it to your partner, your baby, and, ultimately, to yourself to see if you can make this relationship work. Even if you can’t make a marriage out of it, you and your girlfriend are going to have to learn to be mutually supportive and effective co-parents. You are going to be dealing with each other forever because of your child. For that reason alone, you need to work on making the best relationship with each other you can.
I wish you well.
This article has been updated from the original version, which was originally published here on December 6, 2009.