I will try to keep this short and as sweet as possible. I am a 22-year- old female paying off a house with my 23- year- old boyfriend. We together have a two-year-old daughter. We've been together for three years. I fell pregnant after only 3 months of knowing him and while we've hit rock bottom nearly every month we still find it hard to be apart from each other.
He has a problem with cheating. He has been with three girls, no sex involved, one my best friend while we were together. The other two have been while we had "fights" in which we got back together. During these fights I would catch him flirting or buying drinks for girls he hardly knew. One girl gave him a lift home one night, which I found out about, but he denied it for about 5 months. He recently went to the pub, talking to her about a fight we had just had. In this conversation he told me that he was discussing with her how strange my ways were.
I think we are growing up a little. He tries to talk through our problems and I think he has become better with these other girls. The thing is, now that I think he is trying to be honest I am torn into shreds with no trust for him. He can no longer go out without me thinking the worst. I suffer from depressive thoughts now and I get little anxiety attacks, which I have not seen anyone about.
What I would like advice on, is whether from a professional point of view, would this relationship be worth trying to work out. He has a big problem with lying, and he doesn't like the fact that I don't like his family. I try to take my daughter over there at least once a week, and his mother delivers milk three times a week to our house, yet I cannot manage to keep him or the family happy. I think he has a good heart, deep down, and he is a wonderful caring man at times.
I would like to work this out, so would he, but I'd like to work it out knowing he was being honest and not "taking me for a ride.." Maybe you have some ideas. I just hope I am not seeing things that I've just always wanted to see, and maybe they're not really there.
Thank you for taking the time to help me.
I really need some advice.
Dear Taking Me for a Ride,
You both took on a lot at an early age due to the unplanned pregnancy. Let me ask you this. If you hadn't become pregnant, would you have married this man? And, if you didn't have a child with him, would you stay married to him? All things being equal, do you want to stay married to this man? Your situation isn't hopeless but it will require work. Have you suggested marital counseling to your husband? If he won't go, then you should see a therapist to help you figure out what YOU want from this situation.
You mention that you don't get along with his family. Do you have any support from your family? Are there some friends that you can turn to for help? Maybe a friend could baby-sit for you one night a week so that you can join a support group. Your husband also needs to learn some discretion when talking about your marital difficulties. It is not okay for him to leave you after a fight and spill his guts at the bar. He needs to understand that this gets back to you and you feel embarrassed after this occurs.
If money is an issue for you in finding a therapist, check the listings in your phone book for mental health clinics as these usually operate under a sliding fee scale. If you are near a church, call their office and see if they have a list of therapists that they make referrals to. Also, if you are feeling depressed or having anxiety attacks, you might want to consider seeing a psychiatrist or your family physician for a prescription for an anti-depressant or other drug that could help you get through this difficult time. This does not mean that you will have to take this drug forever, but it could help you to feel better in the short-term and make some decisions.
It sounds to me like you've been very accommodating and understanding. Perhaps it's time to start asserting yourself. You not only have yourself to think of, you have your daughter. But I want you to keep this in mind. She will be okay if you're okay, so now is the time to put yourself first. You sound like a smart, resourceful woman. Take care of yourself and the rest of the pieces will fall into place.
Dr. Louise Klein PsyD