Dad Got Cold Feet
Q: For the past two years I've been seeing this man. After we had been living together for a year, I found out I was pregnant. That's when he left! Now I'm due soon, and he says he's not sure if he wants to be with me anymore and wants to wait until after the baby is born to see what happens. It's an emotional roller coaster for me. One week we're fighting and the next week we talk. I love him so much, and he tells me he wants to spend the rest of his life with me but he definitely does not act like it. I'm 27. What should I do? -- Amy
Dr. Susan: Certain actions are forgivable, just barely, and some aren't. You might point out to this fellow that if he doesn't come through for you now when you need his support the most, it's going to color your feelings for him forever. When the baby is born, he may or may not decide he wants to be a part of your life and the baby's life. But if he delays stepping forward until he sees "what happens," he's choosing to be a coward, an irresponsible parent, and an all-around loser. (It will probably anger him if you use those words, but you get the idea.) See if you can get him to agree to see a counselor or pastor or other wise person who can help you both deal with this mess. If you want to give him the benefit of the doubt, it could be that he's just panicking over impending fatherhood. He may have the common idea that his freedom is over and all the good times are gone. He's wrong, though he isn't going to believe you if you tell him. The only manly thing for him to do now is accept reality, at least for the time being: a kid's on the way, and it's HIS kid. I hope he decides to stand by you during this trying time.
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Advice for Her
Advice for Him
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.