“Dear Rori, I have been going out with my boyfriend for 3 months, but we really get on well. A few weeks ago, he asked me to marry him. That weekend, we had sex without protection, as we both want children soon, and we were on our way to getting married, after all.
At the end of the weekend, we collected my daughter, who’s 8, beautiful and well-behaved, to spend Sunday night at his place before going home in the morning. He was a bit quiet during the evening, and later admitted that he was having difficulty dealing with the prospect of sharing his house with someone else’s child. She had already stayed at his place several times, and they get on very well.
Now, I’m pregnant, and he says his 1st preference would be for me to have an abortion so we can continue our relationship and re-consider whether we want to marry, but that if I really don’t want an abortion, we can move in together and get married as previously planned, that he’ll honor his responsibilities. However, I can see that he doesn’t want this. He’s very wealthy and 42. I’m less wealthy but I have a career and no financial problems. I’m 36. I really wanted his baby, but don’t want to trap him. I don’t want an abortion.
I love him, but I’m hurt by his view on this. I don’t want to make things worse. We talked about this nearly all weekend, and he said he was tired of talking about it as he’d already given me the options (one of which was to live with him and he honor his promise). I want to do this, but only if he’s sure, as I don’t want him feeling under duress. What do I say to him? Emma”
Here’s my answer to Emma, and then I’d like to open this discussion up to you for comments:
Emma – I don’t want to tell you what to do, but here’s my take:
You can’t make him love you more than he does. You can’t make him want to live with you more than he does.You can’t make him want to marry you more than he does. You can only do that by inspiring him to want all this for HIMSELF – and it has to be HIS idea. (My Siren program is all about creating this deep kind of attraction…)
At 3 months, you are at the very crossroads of when a relationship has a chance to turn real, and so the timing is confusing for him, and that’s why he’s getting cold feet. (Did you see the movie “Sex And The City” where Big gets cold feet? And we STILL liked his character – because he wasn’t a bad person – just terrified and weak?)
Emma – by talking about what you should do – endlessly, although he’s already made his offer of marriage – and hinging YOUR actions on HIS feelings – you’re just making everything worse and pushing his feelings even further away.
You’re in a pickle. I hear that you’re hurt, but I don’t hear you talking about this child except how it relates to HIM.
Here are the priorities as I see them:
Your BABY is the first priority – not him, and not the relationship.
And then – you must focus on YOURSELF, and not on him or the relationship.
And here are your 3 options:
If you have the abortion, the relationship is over – PERIOD.
If you have the abortion and then try to continue the relationship, you will be badly disappointed and doubly hurt. There will be anger, guilt, resentment – feelings you will both have that you will not be able to overcome.
So, when considering this option – If you have the abortion, and then the relationship is over – how will you FEEL?
Will you be glad you chose not to have another child and be a single mother of TWO?
Or will you forever after wish you’d gone ahead?
This is not an easy decision, and my heart goes out to you for having to make it.
2. Accept his offer to live together and possibly marry (remember ANYTHING can happen).
If you accept his offer (and I commend him for making it and sticking to it) there’s a chance you can make this work –
IF you devote yourself to YOU and the BABY and your DAUGHTER, and to sharing love with this man and enjoying being with him and having fun and laughing and great sex (yes – even pregnant), and do NOT keep worrying and talking about how HE feels, whether or not you’ve “trapped him,” and spend all your energy trying to make him happier about the situation than he actually feels – it may just be wonderful.
You CAN inspire him to be happier and enjoy you and the baby and your daughter just by being happy yourself.
3. And there’s a 3rd option that you don’t mention:Keeping the baby and just continuing to DATE this man
You are extremely fortunate in being able to have this child on your own. Yes – on your own. You can continue to date this man, give him the time and space to possibly develop feelings that would make him actually wish to marry you and be a family with you, and just see if that happens without ANY expectations while you are creating a family on your own. He will be required to help support your child, and I’m sure he will do that.
AND he may come to want you – all THREE of you – in a stronger way than you can imagine – once he sees you managing just fine but still CHOOSING to LOVE him.
A model for this (I know it’s fantasy and a movie, but I find these things helpful) is the movie “Knocked Up.” In it, the male character makes a HUGE change in who he is, how he sees himself, how he thinks of his life, and what he DOES because of what he WANTS.
And the female character is, though willing to be with him and develop a relationship with him, would rather be a single mother than marry unhappily.
It’s her attitude of self-reliance and self-love that inspires him to change. She does NOTHING to ask him to change – she only says what she DOESN’T want, and that’s enough.
And there you have it.
I’m not sure what I’d do. You must try on all these options in your imagination and see which feels most right for you. I can guarantee you, though, that trying to TURN THIS into what you want in an emotional sense will NOT WORK. You have to inspire him to come to WANTING this, emotionally, on his own.
Please, everyone in this community, weigh in on what Emma should do…
Emma – my love and good wishes – and I KNOW that you’re going to make the right decision here and have a very happy life…Rori