I'm so lost!!! What do I do?????
Dr. Mark, I am 21 in 6 days. I have been with my boyfriend for 5 yrs and we have a beautiful daughter who is 10mnths, and I feel so lost! We argue daily He and I are both extremely defensive and want to be right. It seems like his friends, family, and work come before me. When it comes to our baby we have the best of times together watching her grow, and thats one reason I cant let go. So my question is, should I go or should I stay? Is he worth it? And should I stay and just try to be happy and make things work for my daughter?
Young mother, Fair Oaks
I can't of course tell you whether or not you should stay or leave this relationship. I can, however point some important issues for you to consider. The first thing for you to focus on is your aguing style. Being defensive and always trying to be right is a recipe for failure within a relationship. I understand you can't affect his aguing style but at least try and work on your own. Instead of trying to be right, try to undertand. Ask him questions about his point of view and see if you can demonstrate you understand............even if you don't agree. When you have a point of view to express, instead of saying things like, "I don't think you should be doing this and that," say, "I feel sad and lonely when you spend more time with your friends and family than with me and our daughter." Secondly, the vast majority of relationships struggle immensely with the arrival of the first born. Older and more sophisticated couples inevitably see their relationship quality deteriorate once they have a child. So from that point of view, you may want to hang in their a bit. Both of you are fairly young and from the sound of things, this has been the only relationship either one of you has had before. I suspect the pregnancy was not planned. I imagine it to be a bit overwhelming for each of you to find yourselves with such awesome responsibilities at this point in your lives. Find some guidance from elders. See if parent figures can mediate productive discusssion between you both. If those types of supports are not available, contact a professional counselor to talk this out. If the two of you cannot make this work, and you want what's best for your daughter, developing a good co-parenting relationship will be extremely important.
March 12 2006
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