I admit I have looked at the messages between my partner and her (please don’t judge me – I recently had a baby and have been feeling somewhat insecure, boring, and undesirable). The messages are innocent: only a handful of messages regarding soccer games and the birthday party. However, he messaged her to let her know that our baby had arrived safely as she said the whole soccer team had been thinking of us. I don’t know why, but I didn’t like that he messaged her and told her this.
I am unsure as to whether I am being unreasonable, insecure, petty, jealous, etc., or whether I have grounds to be upset?
I haven’t confronted my partner and don’t believe he is hiding anything, but am I then being naive?? — Not the Soccer Mom
Yes, you are being unreasonable. There is nothing to “confront” your partner about here. He takes your son to soccer practice, he takes him to birthday parties, and he helps manage your kid’s social life while also keeping you in the loop and checking on you while he’s away doing kid stuff with your kid. He’s done the opposite of wrongdoing. You should thank him for taking the tedious chore of managing your kid’s extracurricular activities (well, at least the soccer) and some of his social life off your plate while you are adjusting to newborn life again.
I’ll say it again: You’re being unreasonable in your expectation that your husband not communicate with a parent of the opposite sex. You’re being unreasonable to expect that only dads reach out to other dads and never a mom acting as point of contact for a dad she’s not married to. It’s weird, irrational, and immature to hold these expectations, and I suspect you know that on some level or you wouldn’t have written in. I hope that you will consider that the extreme hormone fluctuation that you’re experiencing having just given birth may be affecting your judgment and your emotions and that your anger here is more about the lack of control you might be feeling as a mom of a newborn and not really about your husband who’s just taking care of his son and being a friendly soccer dad.
If I’m wrong and this isn’t atypical behavior on your part – if you have a history of irrational jealousy and super-outdated gender expectations, then that’s definitely worth exploring with a therapist because, left unchecked, it *will* affect your relationship and your family dynamics sooner rather than later. If, however, these feelings are new, you can chalk them up to hormones and lack of sleep, and you can cut yourself some slack. You could even let your husband know how you’re feeling – not in a way that puts him on the defense, but kind of like: “I feel like I might be kind of losing it a little. I actually felt jealous that you texted Soccer Mom about our baby’s birth and hung out with her at her kid’s birthday party.” That would give him a chance to reassure you of his commitment to you, and it would give him a head’s up that you’re understandably feeling more sensitive than usual right now and may need extra care and consideration.
This period that you’re in can be a hard adjustment. To go from one kid to two is no joke. It’s mentally and physically exhausting, and it’s no wonder a mom would feel less desirable than normal. Talking about these feelings with your partner can be a big antidote to the issues and can invite a deeper connection as you both work through adjusting to this new stage in your life together. And this stage will pass. You won’t always be a hormonal mom of a newborn and young child. As your kids grow and the demands on your body and your time ease, so, too, should the intensity of emotions you’re currently feeling. So, go easy on yourself. But go easy on your partner, too. He sounds like a loving and attentive co-parent your family is lucky to have.
Run, don’t walk, away from this man. There are too many red flags here. You have three children and just got out of a relationship. Why not take a few months to enjoy being single and focus on yourself and your kids? Relationships require so much time and attention, and if you’re someone who is legitimately considering a relationship with a man who is still legally married, doesn’t pay child support for all of his kids, has 15 thousand dollars in legal fee debt, and lives with his mom, that tells me that your judgment is cloudy right now. Stepping out of the cycle of serial dating can give you the clarity you need to balance single motherhood and maintaining a serious relationship. You aren’t there yet. Keep your distance from this co-worker for now.