Two quickies in one today. Read on:
I’m surprised that, as a mother of two young boys, you agreed to the idea of having a baby with someone who wants adventure and travel. Did it not occur to you that having young children kind of hinders one’s ability to enjoy adventure and travel (at least for a while)? How much adventuring and traveling have YOU done since having kids? I can tell you how much I’ve done since I had my son 3 1/2 years ago: close to none. And that’s ok. That’s what my husband and I signed on for when we decided to start a family. It’s why we did as much traveling as we did in the few years we spent together before having a kid.
Have you and your boyfriend done any adventuring and traveling together in the two years you’ve been dating? If you haven’t, maybe he realized that, oh, having a family kind of slows you down in that regard, and he decided that’s not what he wants. He’s entitled to changing his mind! In fact, I’m not so sure he actually DID change his mind. I mean, did he ever actually say he WANTED a baby? It sounds like YOU wanted one, he wanted something else, and you guys made a deal to try to satisfy each other’s desires.
Be glad he told you now that he doesn’t want a baby before you got married and while you’re still young enough to go have a baby with someone else if you choose. You know you won’t be happy with him after he “canned your dreams.” You don’t want the same things. It sounds like you never did. Not only that, but you already have two kids, and it seems that, if he doesn’t want a baby because he wants adventure instead, maybe he doesn’t want the responsibility of being a step-dad either. I’d cut my losses and move on. And next time, don’t “make a deal” with a partner about having a baby together. Make sure it’s something you BOTH really want and not something you have to barter for.
I’ve confronted my boyfriend about how I hate that I let myself go, and he says he doesn’t care and that he loves me the way I am. But I feel that I’m ruining my relationship by having such low self-esteem. And it’s so hard for me to switch it off because his ex is always around, and, since I can’t really tell him to leave the church that he grew up in, I’m just stuck. How I can stop complaining and stop comparing myself to her? — Hating That I’ve Let Myself Go
Oh, please. This isn’t about your boyfriend’s ex. This is about YOU. Clearly, seeking validation from someone else doesn’t work. Your boyfriend says he loves you the way you are, but you still hate that you’ve let yourself go. So, here’s a crazy idea: Quit letting yourself go. If you feel bad that you’ve started gaining weight, start exercising more and making better dietary choices. It’s really not that hard. Do the work and quit making everyone else responsible for your own self-esteem.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.