Still with the baby's teen daddy? Advice to keep the relationship strong?

Valeria - posted on 04/18/2012 ( 8 moms have responded )

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I've been best friends with him since the beginning of high school and now have been with him for 3 years. Our baby is 2 months old.

We have loved each other deeply all these years, and we were prepared for a baby mentally (we always said we wouldn't mind having a baby with each other) and we were always super compatible, and we love our baby very much.

We now live in our own house with the baby (renting from his grandma) and living completely different from what we're used to. When we found out I was pregnant, we were broke up (reasons out of anger) and pretty much partying, literally up to two weeks right after we graduated high school. His senior year was pretty much consisted of partying. All of a sudden we're settled down together and him working 8 hours a day on weekdays, coming home to me and baby and occasionally inviting friends over. But most of his "friends" in high school stopped coming around since he wasn't partying and giving them rides anymore. I can tell it gets to him sometimes.

I still hang out with my friends, they were all real friends and I don't care that I "missed out" on that "be single, go out and party" stage.



This situation is probably rare, but I think we have a great chance of staying together. Its weird living with him though, even though its what we've always wished for. We bicker sometimes and I wonder if its enough to separate us, and I would really appreciate advice from other moms who are still with their baby daddy or tried to be and separated later, and even from ones who it didnt work out at all. I want this to work because I love him so much and want my baby to be raised by his two parents. In what situations is it worth the effort and what situations is it not worth the effort?

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Tina - posted on 04/23/2012

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It is important if possible to make time for each other quality time if you have someone you can trust to look after your child so you can get out just the 2 of you and do something fun together away from tv and other distractions. But it's also important that the both of you get a bit of (me time). Sometime away from everything for yourselves. Help eachother out. Share the chores and the work. Make one another feel cared for take care of eachother when they're sick. Give eachother a foot rub once in a while when the kids are asleep enjoy the little things and try to make meal times together not sitting in front of the tv. Have quality time at meal times. Every couple bickers what's important is when it's all over you can both apologise kiss and make up. The important thing to also remember is you are going to have your good and your bad days.

Toni - posted on 04/20/2012

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Always, ALWAYS have at least a couple of hours of just you and bf time.

I have noticed alot of young dads(possibly older ones too, dont know there) need that little extra to feel loved, especially when the baby comes around.

Get a family member to babysit for 2 or 3 hours one day and do what you want to. Go out to lunch or dinner, or go to the club, whatever, just give all your focus to him.

Bickering is normal. I have lived with my fiance for 4 years and we still bicker occationally. Just make sure that a small thing doesnt get exploded into a huge thing. If it starts getting too heated, just say that you dont want to argue over something small and walk away.

Also, have alone time. Each of you need time to yourselves. An hour having a bath, or reading a book, or going for a walk, anything.

Relationships are all about communication, so if he is doing something that annoys you, talk to him gently about it, and he needs to do the same with you.

I think you guys will do well. The best thing is to want to make the relationship work. If you didnt, then Id be worried, lol.

Just remember, guys are just as insecure and emotional as us, they just dont show it as often.

Good luck with eberything :)

Giovanna - posted on 06/12/2012

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Honestly, the fact that he has chosen not to go out and party and act like a teenager is (to me) a veryyyyyy good thing. My son's dad tried to grow up when I was pregnant up until our son was three months old, but after that he just started going out and getting wasted. When we got back together a few months after that, one of the circumstances was he could NOT drink or smoke weed. But of course that changed when his parents caught him getting high. I deeply wish that I had just broken it off then, but I feel like everything happens for a reason and the reason I stayed with him after that was to teach myself a lesson. Nowadays, we're broken up and completely done with each other. He goes out and parties CONSTANTLY and I've actually found pictures of him on Facebook partying on the day he cancelled his visitation with our son :(
You are very lucky to have him in your guys' lives. It's really hard to make it work if it wasn't meant to be, and from what I can see, things are working out. Keep it up :)

Kay - posted on 04/20/2012

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Jeesh, this post turned out to be very long! I am sorry! It was fun to talk about the good side of relationships, so please excuse how long-winded I got! :)

I think the advice for teen parents is the same as any other couple. The only thing that I would say differently? Be cognizant of the fact that you are both young and still growing and maturing at a fast rate. This is a bit different from other relationships, perhaps, but not terribly.

My fiance and I have been together five years, and I love him more today than ever before. We were physically separated two years while he was stationed in Germany, and I was finishing school in the States. We have lived together the two years since then, and have an eighteen month old son together. Here's some things that I have found helpful, both while we were together and while we were apart.

* You are going to bicker. It happens. It doesn't mean you are incompatible. My biggest piece of advice? Take some time to lay out your Rules of Engagement. For instance, one of ours is that if it starts to get over a certain decible level (not literally, of course, but if we start to raise our voices) we take a moment, back off, and come back to it later.

* Take the time to meet couple and parent friends. I can't tell you how lonely it was with my older son, who is now five. I really felt like I was the only young mom on the face of the planet. After making my first "mom" friend, I felt less alone and had someone to share things with. Same with our couple friends. It gives us options for hanging out together.

* Put your relationship first. This can seem contra-intuitive. After all, we should always put our kids first, right? But if you are committed to the relationship, and this is a man you can see yourself spending the rest of your life with, putting your relationship first means creating a safe and stable relationship that means your child grows up in a home with both parents. So in a roundabout way, you ARE putting your child first by making your relationship a priority.

* Understand that love is not a mountain. It is an ocean. It ebbs and flows over time. The fact that you have been friends for a while is a very GOOD thing, because one thing Hollywood leaves out of 99.9% of love stories? You aren't always in love with your mate. Sometimes, you are just two good friends, living together, sharing a bed, and perhaps having sex. Relationships are more like the tide than like a rock.

* When you feel the tide is low, so to speak, in your relationship? Don't take it for granted. Try to figure out if there is an emotional disconnect somewhere that is causing it. And always remember this--the tide goes out, and the tide comes in.

* Communication is never to be underestimated.

* Pick a memory. Whenever I am blindingly angry with my fiance, I remember the first time he told me he loved me. In that moment, I committed to him. For better or for worse. Honestly, for me, our wedding vows will only be a public affirmation of the commitment I made in that moment. Pick a memory to remind you when the tide is out, or when he has left his socks on the floor for the umpteen millionth time, or done something else that drives you up the wall, that there is a reason you picked him from all the other choices that you had.

* Sometimes, let him have it. Even if you aren't in the mood. I got this one from a seminar by Dr. Ruth who said, "What? It takes like two minutes!" She's got a great website about sex and how to keep things "spicy", based on real research and not just speculation, also.

* That kind of leads to my next tip: Sex is an important part of a relationship. While I don't believe in the adage, "If he's not getting it from you, he's getting it somewhere," I will say this--men tend to be so friggin' physical! DF loves everything from actual "relations" to having his head scratched to when I have a bad day and the first thing I do when I walk in the door is curl up on his chest.

* Tell him you love him, every chance that you get. We found out he was going to Germany just a few short weeks after the memory I shared above. The tour was two years, and eleven months in Afghanistan. I was terrified, but I have to say this--it truly drove home how important every moment is, and how important it is to seize every single chance to show each other affection.

The flip side to this coin is, when should you walk away from a relationship? This is tricky for me, I must admit. DF and I have been through hell and back and stuck it out, came out stronger on the other side.

If he is ever abusive--and that includes emotionally and verbally--that is unacceptable. If he is making decisions that affect your family negatively, and won't work with you to find acceptable solutions, that is a no-go for me. For instance, excessive spending, gambling, a drug problem, a pornography addiction (that becomes unhealthy)--all of those would be reasons to get out.

Cheating is tricky for me. DF had an affair. We worked through it. This is not an option for all couples, but if it ever did happen, I highly recommend taking some time and figuring out what you want and whether you can work it out before walking away or doing something you'll regret. I took a couple of weeks after I found out with no contact from him, to decide if it would be worth trying. Even then, there were no promises that it would work out. I am glad that it did, but once again--this isn't an option for anyone, so I would consider it an acceptable reason for leaving a relationship.

Other than that, I would strongly urge you to really consider other situations in light of human nature. All males are annoying sometimes. All of them are inconsiderate sometimes. All of them say stupid things they don't mean, and sometimes (even worse) stupid things they DO mean. Just like all women do much of the same things (not that I would ever admit it to DF!!!). Humans fight sometimes. Sometimes we fight a lot. And like I mentioned above, love ebbs and flows, so you may feel at points like you have fallen out of love with him, only to discover in time that you fall back in love with him.

Good luck, and I am sorry this post is so long!!! Best wishes!

Alura - posted on 04/20/2012

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its funny cause you know a baby will change your life but i had no idea it would be such a toll on our relationship.. i think patience and communication are huge. idk about you but the hormones make me super short tempered. sometimes walking away from a fight and keeping your distance for a day till you can talk to each other instead of yell.. as hard as it can be to walk away making a point when your calm is alot easier then when your mad. if you love him its worth the effort. and your baby is worth the effort! its a huge transition and i think its even harder for younger parents sometimes.

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Ashley - posted on 06/08/2012

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That is great that you are still with your babies father! I have been with my now fiancee since I was 15. I had my daughter right after I turned 18 then had my son when I turned 19. I have been living with my fiancee since I turned 16 and we have been together for 7 years in Nov. It's not easy being with him all the time. We fight like alot of couples do. The only difference is that we know we love each other and we both love our children dearly so we make it work. Communication is the most important thing! You have to talk things out to be able to work anything out. If you don't your relationship will head south fast. I know because we almost broke up after I had my daughter because of it. But we worked through and are now stronger and more closer than ever. It will get easier living with him, you just have to get used to the change.

Heather - posted on 06/06/2012

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My boyfriend and I have been together for over 4 years. We have a 2 year old little girl. We have been through so much, but we always stick together. He has never left me or anything terrible. If a guy wants to be with you, he will stay. No matter what.

Valeria - posted on 04/26/2012

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Thanks for the replies, and thank you Kay for being so thorough :) I talk to people about relationships and i figured out every couple has their good things and bad things. And that in my relationship we pretty much do a lot of the things that are suggested for a good relationship. I appreciate the effort you guys put to giving me advice. Knowing all this makes me feel secure about my relationships future :)

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