… but now I want her back! A letter writer let his family talk him into leaving the woman he loves.

Can our elder help him save their love?

Dear EWC

I met a woman three years older than me and she had three kids at the time. We hung out a couple times and since I worked on the road she said I could stay with her until my next job. Well a few weeks went by and I fell madly in love and the fact we were having a baby really made me fall in love more. I proposed and we were engaged. Ten months down the road with hardly any problems, my brother talks me to move back home for better opportunities for my family. So I went and the first thing my mom starts doing is telling me she doesn’t like her and for weeks continues to push me to dump her. I finally left in the worst way because I was so overwhelmed. I blocked every form of communication I had with her. After a month I called her up and we were starting to work things out to the point I moved back to her. I completely dropped my whole family. But now she says she has a hate for me. She doesn’t think she wants me anymore. Is there anything I can do to save our love?

PJH replies

I hope I can give you the formula to achieve it! I know that’s a bold claim and a big challenge, but between the lines, I read in your letter the strength to do what it takes. Your dilemma began when you were torn between competing loyalties when romance was obliterated by perceived obligation, family in formation versus family of origin. I’m not surprised your mom was more persuasive at first. Overwhelmed you. It takes most of us a while to realize our parents’ work is done, and it takes even longer for most parents to agree it’s time to step back, to stop lecturing and start listening.

I’m not surprised by the course of your story. It’s very hard for parents to let go of their own hopes as they see grown but still immature children forge paths at odds with their dreams. Of course, no mother wants a son to tie himself to a woman older than he is with three children by other men. No way can she comprehend the joy you felt accompanying your union. And only faintly can she imagine bonding with a grandchild from that union.

Worse, your betrayal has shattered your romance. Now, neither your mother nor your child’s mother has faith in you, and why would they? Your mother feels abandoned and ignored, and your (ex) partner, who I suspect is no stranger to being abandoned by men, feels let down just when she needs support most. No wonder she’s angry, while you’re alone and longing for connection. You’re also, I suggest, at the threshold of true adult manhood — a grownup with grownup responsibilities.

There’s one clear solution to this disaster: Become the best father you can be. Use all your power to bond with your baby. Make sure you know your rights as well as your responsibilities. Don’t let yourself become an absent father. And do whatever you can to support your partner to be the co-parent, the mother your child needs as much as a father. Your best chance for reconciliation will be through mutual love for your child; and down the road, maybe, a grandmother who is ready to swallow her pride and embrace her grandchild.

I’m quite sure you hadn’t envisaged your first challenge as an adult would be asserting your role as a parent, but it’s not a bad way to begin. As parents, our perspectives change, broaden. We become both softer and firmer, and we learn happiness doesn’t begin with getting; it starts with giving. As I noted, I sense you’re up for the task, and I wish you the strength to follow through and the luck that goes with determination. Also, please feel free to stay in touch.

Letter #: 432687
Category: Dating/Relationship

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