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[Solved] Unexpected pregnancy: balancing previous dreams?

 
polonathan
(@polonathan)
New Member Registered

I'd like to start a thread for men trying to manage the very difficult situation of having a child both unexpectedly and with a mother that they feel they don't want to be with as a life partner? It's so difficult to tell what the right thing to do is when balancing supporting and loving the child thats coming, being caring and considerate towards the mother, and still trying to hold onto some of your own goals, hopes, and dreams before the unexpected pregnancy.

I currently am struggling with a very difficult situation involving this and while friends and family try their best to give me words of encouragement, nothing really helps and doesn't change how continuously sad I am about the entire situation.

In about 2 months, I'll become a father to a little girl. I've always wanted to be a father and am excited for fatherhood but her pregnancy did come very unexpectedly and the road to deciding to keep her was very difficult. I thought we weren't ready for a baby given our jobs, income, lifestyle, and very bumpy relationship but ultimately she decided she couldn't move forward with an abortion which I respected.

Like I said, I've always been excited for the part of my life where I become and get to be a father, I just really didn't expect it to be this way or at this time. But I have come to realize life has its crazy ways and so am embracing the arrival of my daughter and looking forward to being a father to her even though it might not be the way I'd always envisioned.

With that said I also felt like before this pregnancy I was striving for and working towards a life and lifestyle which just does not fit with having children in any way. I was aiming to live in 3rd world countries absent of the obvious and essential hospitals and facilities you want to be near with a child, and working towards being a captain of a ship which entails being gone and on the water most of the year. Before the pregnancy I'd outlined a plan of how I could achieve these goals I held so dear and had planned my life and future around attaining them.

So now this little girl is coming. There is no way I won't make sure I'm a part of her life and that she is loved and supported but I also wonder where the line is drawn in knowing how to balance that with a fathers goals and dreams before the pregnancy. When the two different sides are so different that theres not even a good balancing point in between. To be a truly present father I sacrifice and forget about all my past dreams and goals? I forget about the very way of life that I was looking to live? Am I so selfish for feeling so inhibited by this change when the realities of life with a child go against the lifestyle, location, and culture that I want to live in and be a part of?

How do you balance this decision when finding a balance seems so unattainable?

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Topic starter Posted : 08/06/2016 5:35 am
Yoda
 Yoda
(@yoda)
Famed Member

Hi and welcome to the forum

My thoughts for what they are worth, are that everyone feels this way to a degree when expecting their first child and there is always a degree of compromise. It would seem your situation was taking you to an entirely different path, one which will be very difficult to walk on when your child is born. This must be a huge internal struggle for you between what you would like to do and what you think you should do. Perhaps you don't have to give up on all your dreams and plans but maybe modify them to fit a little better with parenthood, look for other ways to accomplish them?

Keep posting and we will try and offer support where we can. I'm sure our other members will comment and add their thoughts.

Have a look round our expecting section in the mean time for practical tips

https://www.dad.info/article/family/expecting/pregnancy/essential-advice-for-dads-to-be?gclid=CjwKEAjw4dm6BRCQhtzl6Z6N4i0SJADFPu1nzjPx_tMgYf3ml1Yqosz2-f2TRO5BwcVqS44LNM8gOhoCexLw_wcB

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Posted : 08/06/2016 11:25 am
actd
 actd
(@actd)
Illustrious Member

I suppose I went through this when my oldest was born - it certainly wasn't expected, and realistically, if he hadn't come along, I would never have stayed with his mother. I suppose it comes down to a choice - do you decide early on that the relationship really isn't the best way forward and try to come to an agreement as to how to best go forward, or you try to make it work (possibly knowing that it ultimately won't last - as I did) and throw everything you have into trying to make it work.

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Posted : 08/06/2016 4:29 pm
polonathan
(@polonathan)
New Member Registered

When you look back do you think it would have been better if you'd originally decided not to stay with his mother? Do you think it would have been better for the child?

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Topic starter Posted : 08/06/2016 8:59 pm
got-the-tshirt
(@got-the-tshirt)
Famed Member Registered

Hi There,
.
I think as said this has thrown you as you weren't expecting it, and as you had made so many plans for your future it's got you to start thinking.
.
A question for you to prevoke some thought.
.
You said you wanted to have a child and always thought that would be part of your life, what were your plans for when that happened, as if you'd built a life for yourself where you were traveling and captianing a ship, that would have had to have been adjusted at the point of a child if you felt you couldn't juggle the 2 parts of life.
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I don't feel that the plans you had have to be forgotten, but maybe put on hold for now, if you continue to embrace the arrival of your child and support your partner and child the best way you can, then maybe those plans can come back into action later down the line when your daughter is older. I think if you don't give your relationship a fair amount of effort at this point you would always look back and wonder whether you could have been a happy family with your partner and child. If you decide not to stay with your partner and start your journey based on your plans you will miss out on many of the joys of the early days of your daughter.
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This is a really difficult decision and I don't envy you one bit, my views are just that my views and thoughts after reading your post, only you know how you feel, but at the moment I would imagine that you are struggling to put your thoughts in order and know what to do for the best.
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This may sound like an odd suggestion but maybe some counselling or life coaching could help you to get things in order and work out what you want to do, hopefully you would sit with someone who is trained to get the emotions and thoughts out of you and talking things over in that sort of way could be a great help with this.
.
GTTS

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Posted : 09/06/2016 1:32 pm
polonathan
(@polonathan)
New Member Registered

Thanks for the input. Some fresh advice is like a breath of fresh air in my situation currently. I welcome any other comments or opinions...

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Topic starter Posted : 09/06/2016 11:54 pm
MotherofaFather
(@motherofafather)
Honorable Member Registered

Hello polonathan,

I fully appreciate how difficult the situation you are in is for you. I don't think anyone can offer you advice as none of us "walk in your shoes" but we may have had similar experiences which we can relate to you and express our thoughts / opinions which may help.

I'm exploring avenues of thought now. You say quote, "..... mother..... don't want to be with as a life partner?" and quote, "..... very bumpy relationship....."
If you are not suited to one another and the relationship is not harmonious now, is it ever going to be? I doubt it.

Does the mother know the dilemma you are in, how you feel about her, the baby and what you had planned for yourself regarding your future?
What does she want for herself and the baby's future?

Are you and her able to express openly and with honesty how you both feel? If you are, there is a good possibility you could come to some kind of agreement regarding the future as parents but leading separate lives. Both would need to trust the other implicitly. I'm thinking here of men in the Forces who are away from home for long stretches who maintain loving relationships with their children. Obviously the mother has to support the father in that situation but the same could apply in your life with your daughter if the mother is able to look at what is best for the child and accepts that you and her have no future together.

You do not know what your feelings will be when your daughter is born. Your hopes and dreams which you have now, may and yet they may not, "fly out of the window," it is impossible to know.

I'm slightly puzzled as it sounds ambiguous when you say living in third world countries and being captain of a ship where you would be on the water most of the year? Do you mean putting down roots in another country whilst pursuing a career on the waves?
Could you forsake living in a third world country, have your home in this country and with the help of the mother pursue your dream of becoming a captain?

I have no wish to pry and I am not expecting you to answer any of the questions I have asked.

I am of the belief if there are flaws in a relationship children do not bring couples closer together.

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Posted : 10/06/2016 2:31 am
polonathan
(@polonathan)
New Member Registered

I'm afraid the details of our situation only makes things more difficult.

The mother is english and from England of course. So I'll plan to go over there when the child is born in August. The mother only wants to stay in England long enough to get the baby through being an infant and then would like to move somewhere warmer down in the southern Mediteranean.

I have been honest with her about how I feel.. whether thats the right decision I'm still not sure of. She's upset, heartbroken, angry, and thinks its sad I'm not willing to work to try and make us work as a couple for the baby. Its absolutely awful. I think at this point I'm ready to try and find an "agreement" as well as at least be a supportive parent team mate as we begin to raise our daughter, but I think she's not at that point yet because of how she feels about me. Furthermore I think the more I'm around as a loving father to the child, the more she will love me in seeing that, and ultimately be even more difficult for her to accept that we're not together. The whole situation is such a mess. Ultimately its statesments like yours though, "I am of the belief if there are flaws in a relationship children do not bring couples closer together" that I feel like sticking to what I think is better than submitting to the pressure of just starting a family because it makes since. But god damn is there a lot of pressure.

I guess I'm at the point now where I'm weighing and realizing some things that may be sacrificed. One of the biggest is where and how I wanted to live in the world. I'm not your average guy though. Since college I've spent the last 7 years working and traveling in se asia, india and nepal. I've come to love the culture and feel for less developed countries and have always imagined me setting roots in a place like that. I feel like you do a lot more living when you live in places where "less is more".... but I won't get into all my philosophical stuff. Point is that most of those places aren't a good place for a baby or even a child.

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Topic starter Posted : 10/06/2016 10:32 pm
MotherofaFather
(@motherofafather)
Honorable Member Registered

Hello polonathan,

I take it you are physically miles apart from one another, you say about her being in England and you will "go over there" in August.
Putting aside the issues you and she have at present, how is the relationship going with such a distance between you now? Could that be an indicator as to how you would get on in the future, taking into account that her anger and heartache will lessen given time plus there will be the joy of the baby for both of you?

I have no doubt in my mind that you have done the right thing in being honest and open with your feelings!

It is understandable she is upset, heartbroken and angry but she will calm down and regain her equilibrium. It may take a few months but if you continue to be honest with her and she can see you are unwavering in your commitment to your daughter and provide continuity of support for her ( albeit long distance ) whilst you work out which road you are going to travel, it will help her enormously. I think she will gradually accept you are not her partner but respect you for being a good father.

Take your time in weighing up all the options available to you. There is no rush to make decisions now, festina lente.
Standing still and letting time pass may, in itself, bring you to a point where you feel a lot more settled, less pressurized and are able to make decisions with a clear mind.

How right you are when you say you do more living when "less is more." Affluence and materialism can serve to blind us as to the important things in life as we no longer have to strive for the basics anymore. Oops! I digress into my philosophical stuff.

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Posted : 11/06/2016 2:03 am
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