Wed | Apr 25, 2018

Dear Counsellor: I have lost interest in my child's father

Published:Tuesday | May 3, 2016 | 12:00 AM

Q: I have been in a relationship for six years and I now have a baby. The father said I have changed since the birth of our first child. I really love my daughter. I am 35 years old.

Previously, I wanted to get married. He always found an excuse, including his mother filing for him; then he needed to buy his own house and not depend on my dwelling, among a host of other reasons.

All of a sudden, he wants to marry me. To be honest, I have lost interest in him and would not mind if he moves out of my house.

I like when the baby sleeps in the bed. He wants the baby to go into the crib. He looks awkward trying to do things with and for the child, and I enjoying doing them.

All of his major faults that I used to ignore and downplay, I can no longer stand. My best friend is telling me not to do anything rash, and to give him time until I return to work and see how I feel. Nevertheless, I do not love him anymore. I want him out of my life.

A: Your best friend could be correct in thinking that the euphoria of a newborn could be triggering your disgust at your boyfriend. You are overjoyed at the birth of your firstborn. You are pouring all your love and attention on the baby. You are enjoying your nurturing role. You are feeling a sense of fulfilment and actualisation since the birth of you daughter. Apparently, it has opened your eyes to see the deficiencies in your boyfriend. You have a new reason for living, which does not include him.

Perhaps you are now seeing him as a financial drag on you. Perhaps you are unwittingly getting even with him for delaying marriage. Obviously, you are suspicious of his motive for being anxious to get married now.

You need to realise that you can get him out of your life, but not out of your daughter's life. He is already part of her life. He will need to participate in the development of the child, whether he is competent at doing it or not. You need to allow him to do what he can in his own way.

You also need to tell him that you have re-assessed the relationship, want to move on, and want him to move out. Be honest with him about how you feel and what you now think of his excuses.