Ask Amy: Should young mom stay in relationship?

FresnoOctober 28, 2013 

Dear Amy: Last year I met my boyfriend. I became pregnant quickly in the relationship, and now we have a baby together. I was never completely satisfied with the relationship, but he was such a caring person that I've tried to see it through.

He has intense religious views that I just don't share. He originally lived an hour away but has since moved in with my mother and myself, and we all take care of the baby.

I'm still not satisfied with the relationship. Anything physical is completely undesirable to me. He's a good person, but he lacks initiative and any sort of drive to make himself better, even for our daughter.

He cares about us both deeply, but I just don't have the feelings I think I should have for him. I also never wanted to raise a baby, but with so much pressure from him and his family I felt that there was no other way (I was interested in adoption).

I now love my baby girl with my whole heart but just can't get past this distant feeling I have for him. I don't want to tell him I feel this way because I think he would be crushed, but I also don't want to spend my whole life not being entirely happy because of a slip-up I had at age 20.

Should I try to stick it out or should I tell him the truth?

— Wondering

Dear Wondering: Your primary and most important job is to be your baby's mother. This needs to come above your romantic dreams at this point.

From the way you describe it, it sounds as if your boyfriend is a good person and involved dad. If he is available to be the primary caregiver in your mother's home for now (it sounds as if he is), you could pursue your education, job training or whatever outside goals you have.

You are very young, and it is natural at your age to want to be "entirely happy." But happiness comes in many forms, and for the first year or so of your daughter's life you may have to shelve youthful happiness in favor of the satisfaction that you are doing the best thing for your child.

If after six to nine more months you know you cannot make it with your boyfriend as a romantic partner, you will have to act like a responsible adult and be honest, kind and respectful as you both work out what will be best for your daughter. Eventually, you may determine that your child could do best living with the child's father and his family, with you co-parenting as you can.


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