7 weeks and father is refusing to communicate...confused

[deleted account] ( 8 moms have responded )

I've never joined any type of message board or anything of the sorts, but I am truly at my wit's end and desperately seeking advice. My boyfriend and I have been together on and off for 4 years. We were together for 2.5 years, living together for 1.5 of those years. He has a 10 year old daughter from a previous relationship (not marriage). They share custody 50/50 (as 50/50 as you can get with a 7 day week) and he does not pay her child support, as he provides half of everything the child needs. A year and a half ago, we separated; each moving out of the house we were renting and getting our own separate apartments. We continue to see each other, breaking up several times and always seeking to work things out. I struggled with finding my place in the relationship and the child's mother refused to accept me. When we would fight, I was usually the one to "walk away" from the relationship, with him always begging me to take him back and work it out. I love him...so I always did.

Back in March of this year, I moved into the same apartment complex as him (which we discussed beforehand) with the intent of working on blending the 3 of us back together slowly and then getting a place with all of us next year. (I failed to mention that even though he and I had dated a year and a half before moving in together the first time, the mom forbid me to be around the child. He lived with me and my roommate for about 5 months b/c he needed to get away from the place he had been living and then we got a house together after we'd been together for 2 years. When we moved into that house, with his daughter being there 50% of the time, I'd only ever been around the daughter 4-5 times. It was a HUGE adjustment and not one that I ever made successfully. All of this is integral to why we were cautiously blending the family.)

With all of that being said, I came off of my BC this year due to horrible side effects. I discussed my desire to do so with him and he supported me. I told him this would mean that we would need to use other methods of BC and he was supportive. We used condoms most of the time, but then he started wanting to just "pull out." We both had discussed that if I became pregnant, it wouldn't be a big deal. It was something that we were prepared to handle and it wouldn't be a problem. Well...I became pregnant in May. I found out June 12th and told him immediately. He was surprised, but not upset or angry. I even asked him "Are you mad?" he said "of course not, why would I be mad." We discussed how I felt that although this wasn't the timing either of us had planned on, that maybe it was a "blessing in disguise" so to speak. I had always struggled to find a place in his world and now I felt like I finally had it. Things were going fine and we had discussed how we hoped the baby was a boy and when we would tell friends and family.

I had scheduled the first ultrasound and let him know when it was. B/c of the nature of his job (territory sales), it is difficult for him to take time off. B/c of his territory, it wouldn't be that easy for him to just "stop by" the Dr. for the US b/c his territory was about an hour away. He said it would be difficult for him to be there, but would try his best. Every Summer, he takes his daughter to his dad's house to spend a week with her grandparent's. He usually drives up on a Friday, spends the weekend and then comes home while the daughter stays for the week. He's done it for 4 years, always on a weekend. We had discussed him telling his dad about the pregnancy when he goes to visit. I asked him Sunday of this week when he was going to visit his dad and the date he gave me was the 19th (my US is the 18th). I didn't think anything of it until Monday, when I got to work and realized the dates were a Monday and a Tuesday. I text him to clarify that he was going out of town during the week-something he has always stressed to me was hard to do. He said "yes, vacation days." I replied "Oh, so I presume you'll be able to attend the first US?" He replied "No, I didn't get Monday off, but I can see where you are going with this. I guess I'll have to figure something out." He mentioned how I had told him he didn't have to attend the US and I explained to him that I knew it was hard for him to take off work so I was trying to be understanding. But that it hurt my feelings that he wasn't going to go to the US and had made a deal about it, but was taking time off mid-week to go out of town with his other child. The problem was never that I didn't want him to GO out of town or spend time with his daughter or father. I just wanted him to understand why my feelings were hurt. What if I go to the US and something's wrong? I won't have him there to support me and then he'll be leaving the next day to go on vacation. He immediately blew up at me. I tried to call him to discuss things. I wanted him to understand where I was coming from b/c it was clear he wasn't. I was so upset and crying (emotions are crazy right now) and he wouldn't discuss it with me. He just kept saying that he "wasn't doing this right now." He showed no empathy for the fact that I was in hysterics (I'm not a crier and have only ever cried once in our 4 year relationship) and no remorse for having made me cry. We didn't speak for the rest of the day. I tried to text him that night, but he was still be angry and explosive and refusing to talk. I called him and he just kept saying that he was not doing this right now with me and he had taken sleeping pills. I'd cried all day; had left work b/c I was so upset. The next morning he woke up and responded to the messages I'd sent him the night before about how he couldn't believe I was being this way and that I was doing this to him and blah blah. We send MANY texts back and forth all day, all of them accusing me of treating him badly and him berating me. When I would ask him what I had done that caused him to become so upset, he wouldn't respond. Just kept saying "keep putting the blame on me like you always do" and things of that nature. I tried to go to his apartment that night, but he wouldn't come to the door. I tried to call and his phone was turned off. I finally reached him by email, over 24 hours after all of this had begun, and he was still explosively angry and "shouting" and being insensitive and rude. I asked him outright did he want to be w/ me, did he want this baby and was there someone else. All he would say is "You've got to be kidding me. YOU said all these things (which he still hasn't told me exactly what I've supposedly said), but you want to ask me if there's someone else? Unreal." I told him I was desperate to understand and I really was so clueless and hurt and felt so alone. He'd never made me feel that way before, not even in our worst fights and I didn't think this should have even been a fight from the get go. He still yelled that he thought we needed some time to cool off but that I "couldn't even respect his decision and give him that." I thought that was so unfair considering I'm the one who's pregnant and in hysterics for 2 days, but I'm supposed to respect HIS feelings?! Anyway, I said "Okay, but don't expect me to necessarily be here to talk when you decide you're ready, b/c that's not fair." He just responded with "just whatever."

I know this is long, but it's all pivotal to understanding the situation and why I'm so blown away over it. I'm humiliated. My roommate and her boyfriend were home when I came home crying, so they've obviously gotten involved and they also don't understand why he's being this way. He wasn't like this about his first kid and he's always claimed that I'm different than her mother. He didn't love her and they were about to break up when she got pregnant. He left her when his daughter was 2 b/c she'd cheated on him. He always told me how I was different. I had told him how I didn't think he'd want another child since he's already done it before and how I didn't feel it'd be special and he assured me it would b/c it would be with me. Now I feel like all of my fears are becoming a reality. Today is Friday. I haven't heard from him since Tuesday. I saw my therapist and she suggested offering him a "sandwich"- tell him what I need from him sandwiched between 2 compliments. I sent him the email this morning letting him know that I loved him and wanted to make this work and that this was all I've ever wanted, but that I needed to make some decisions about what to do with the pregnancy and needed to speak to him about it and asked could we meet. That was this morning and I've yet to hear from him.

He's 42 and I'm 31. This will be my 2nd pregnancy, but only my 1st child. I terminated the first pregnancy b/c of where I was in life at that point. It's not something I can do again, especially not the baby of a man I love and that I thought would be there for me. I should mention that he has PTSD from some past issue that have resurfaced within the last 2 years, but he's seeing a counselor. However, my therapist (and the couple's counselor that we've seem previously) explained that his avoidance and detachment are defense mechanisms. He usually will even come to me after a fight, apologize and explain that he discussed with his counselor and that the reason he acted "abc" was b/c of "xyz." This time, nothing. His actions are so extremely out of character for him. He also is not a deadbeat dad. He's always been there for his daughter. He is the one that established the custody arrangement that they have when his ex cheated on him and has always gone above and beyond what a typical non-custodial dad does. He put his daughter before anyone else and often would tell me that aside from her, I'm the most important person in his life. This makes it even more confusing for me that he could just turn his back on me, especially after seeing how distraught I was. My actions this week have been out of character for ME, but again, I'm also super emotional and my mindset has obviously shifted now that there's another life in the picture. I'm confused. Lost. Sick with anxiety and worry. Humiliated. Unsure of the future. Scared and angry. I don't know what to do. Any suggestions? How long do I give him to respond or come around before I just give up and do what I need to do?

8 Comments

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Michelle - posted on 07/02/2016

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So you have said that you have been on/off for years. Why do you break up? Why do you get back together?
Usually if you have broken up with someone there is a good reason and unless you both change drastically then you will always have the same issues.
I would understand break up and get back together once but that's it.
Back to what your problem is, Jodi is right. You think 1 day is long enough to cool off, he obviously needs longer.
I honestly don't see your relationship working and I think you need to have a really good look at what you want.

Sarah - posted on 07/01/2016

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Jodi is right, you guys have different personal definitions of how long "cooling off" takes. Neither is right or wrong, just different. The key will be the tow of you finding a compromise. If he says he needs time, you can't force it. At the same time if your need reassurance and he doesn't give it, then he shouldn't be surprised that you are anxious.

Jodi - posted on 07/01/2016

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I think a big part of the problem here is that you didn't give him the space to cool down. You continued to text him and try to approach him. This is still getting in his space while he is still feeling too angry to have had the opportunity to think things through. In fact, your constant texting, and then going on to accuse him of being with someone else, has probably just escalated things beyond where it needed to go. Until you can allow him space to calm down, then he is absolutely not going to have any regard for your feelings because he's still trying to sort out his own.

Sarah - posted on 07/01/2016

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Every relationship is a work in progress. You for sure are more sensitive right now and that is to be expected. He may be stressed out and not telling you, rather he is closing up and shutting you out. No doubt he is a bit nervous about supporting another baby. This is a trying time for you both and no doubt there will be more hard times. I have learned that letting some stuff go makes my like much easier. I hope you guys find a rhythm that works for you both! Good Luck!

[deleted account]

Thanks, Sarah. I appreciate the quick reply and I think you are absolutely right. We do have trouble communicating and it's something we both understand and were working on. And if this goes forward, we would continue to work on it and go back to counseling. I guess what makes me so upset and frustrated about the whole thing is out of the "umpteen" times he and I have misunderstood each other or fought or disagreed, why is he choosing NOW to act in this way? It seems like he could recognize that there are bigger, more important things at hand now than either of us or our egos.

Thank you for your feedback; it's much appreciated.

Sarah - posted on 07/01/2016

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Ok I think I understand now. I do see your point. If you are 7 weeks, you do at least have a little time to consider your choices. The way I am seeing this is you both are very different in your communication style; and that is fine, it is a matter of learning about how he ticks and vice versa. What is done is done so now you have to figure out where to go from here? I'd suggest reaching out to him one time more; tell him you both reacted badly to what could have been a simple conversation and you'd' like to talk it over. Then you have to leave it up to him. When he does reach out, let the past be, and move forward. Maybe heading back to counseling will help you both. You can let him know what you need and he can let you know what he needs. I know I am more like you, I want a quick resolution or an apology and my husband may need a few days. Over the 23 years we've been married, we both have gotten used to each other. My anger and frustration is like a flash flood, quick and destructive. Whereas my husband is like a storm cloud that just hovers, finally rains on the dry ground and moves on.
Somehow you are going to have to decide for good about having the baby. Using it to persuade him to stay with you will not work (not saying that your are) but a baby will not fix anything. Even solid marriages are tested by the change of a baby in the mix. take some time to reflect and ask yourself if you are prepared to parent alone, or at least separately from him. If you are not prepared to do that, then you really gotta think about keeping the baby.

[deleted account]

Hi Sarah,

Somewhat off track. He's taking the entire rest of the week off, not just Tuesday. So, if he could take Tuesday-Friday off, seems he could get 15 minutes out of his day on Monday. But, that wasn't even the issue that I had. I tell that piece of the story because that's what HE also gravitated to and assumed was the problem. My problem is his complete disregard for my feelings after the misunderstanding occurred, even with my multiple attempts at explaining that I was hurt at his coldness, insensitivity and detachment, not about him taking vacation. The uncharacteristic behaviors came after the misunderstanding and were immediate. I tried multiple times to explain to him that I didn't not have a problem with his taking vacation days or him going to visit family, but in how I was being treated by him in the process. A cool down is a cool down, but that's a couple of hours. A day at most, not several days. Especially given the sensitivity of the issue at hand. I may not choose to keep the baby if we break up because of seeing the drama and turmoil that comes with a "baby daddy-baby mama" relationship by being a part of his life in dealing with the mother of his other child. My mother passed away 7 years ago, so that is not an option.

So, just to clarify, my problem is not in what decisions he may have made about taking time off or not taking time off, my problem is in how he's treated me and reacted to me since then. To me, it never even should have been an argument and certainly not the worst we've ever had. We've had knock down drag outs before and it's never been handled this way. I guess that's where my confusion lies. I feel like why is this time so different than any other time, when there shouldn't even be an issue and more important things are going on in our life and relationship.

Sarah - posted on 07/01/2016

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I am not really sure I see what the problem is. You got pregnant, which was fine and you were planing on parenting together. You have an US which you were ok with him not attending originally, but because he took a weekday vacation day to get his daughter from her grandpa, it is no longer ok for him not to go? Am I on the right track with what precipitated the argument? Your feelings were hurt.
From what I read it seems like you have very different styles of handling conflict. He told you he did not want to address it right away, and that he had taken sleeping pills. You wanted to get your feelings out and be acknowledged. He wanted a cool down and you did not. It was a low blow to accuse him of seeing someone else on your part, so keep in mind his feeling may be hurt too.
When you say: "How long do I give him to respond or come around before I just give up and do what I need to do?" what do you mean? Would you choose to not have the baby if you break up? There is a great likelihood, based on your history, that your relationship may not stand the test of time. If he can't go to the US, take your mom or a friend for support. I get your in a huge hormonal turmoil right now, but if you go back a carefully read what you wrote, I am not sure he did anything wrong. Picking his child up on a Tuesday may be due to something grandpa arranged and he had no choice but to take the day off. Salesmen often don't get vacation days and if he was taking Tuesday off, he may need to work Monday?
I fI am way off base with my interpretation please clarify. Congrats on the baby!

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