Girlfriend is desperate for a baby but I feel unwilling to proceed …

Dear Gillian,

I was hoping to attend your last weekend workshop with my partner, but unfortunately it clashed with other commitments.  I’ve written a very long email below – Please don’t feel you have to read it as I ‘m sure you must be busy  – It’s been useful and cathartic for me to write it just in terms of formulating my thoughts into words.

I’ve read “Heal your Life” and other similar books and have utilized affirmations and mirror work in my life with some positive results. The reason I wanted to attend your course was both to learn more for myself and also because I wanted my girlfriend to be introduced to this way of thinking by someone other than me (when I try and emphasize the importance of positivity etc she perceives me as being self-righteous or patronising).

We are going through a very difficult patch at present. My girlfriend is desperate for a baby (she has just turned 35 so is understandably worried about her fertility) but I feel unwilling to proceed at present because I feel she is so emotionally unstable/negative. I see it as a huge, life changing step that should be entered into with a harmonious, positive spirit – But we seemed to be getting further and further away from that.  Often she will  say nasty, hurtful things to me and tell me she “hates me” etc More than once she has told me it’s all over…but then a day or two later she acts as if no such thing was said. There is no emotional consistency, and I have come to see her apologies as “superficial sorrys” that are meaningless.

For 90% of the time she is getting angry/upset with me, treating me with disdain, making snidey remarks or being verbally abusive. And yet simultaneously she is somehow expecting me to “come round” to the idea of starting a family and will often say “sorry” and try to make up after a few days of “peak activity”…only for it to all happen again very shortly. We seem to be stuck in a vicious circle – she is frustrated because she sees no “progress” towards her goal and thinks that it’s simply down to me being selfish or unwilling, whilst I am frustrated because when I start a family I want it commence as a natural progression “from a place of love” and mutual respect not because my partner has bullied and emotional manipulated me into consenting to do so. I am so dismayed by this situation I don’t know what to do… The more it goes on the less convinced I am that I want to have a child with her (or perhaps even continue the relationship). I try to explain to her that the way she is behaving is chipping away at my love for her but she perceives me as being selfish and irresponsible and puts it down to me being younger than her (I’m 30). I care about her and I don’t want to have wasted the last 5 years of her life, but I also don’t want to have a child that is conceived in a turbulent, warring,  hate-filled atmosphere and then born into a dysfunctional relationship with a “negative” emotional inheritance. I know things will never be perfect, but I know they can be a lot more balanced and  – although I never said in any such terms – I had indicated as much to her in the past (i.e. that I would consider starting a family if our relationship was working better….However, she saw this as me setting her a Pass List or saying “when you have changed to my liking”….And I suppose, in a way, she was right as I did and do want her to change – or at least make an effort to change – some of her negative tendencies.

In the past when I’ve told her that if we things will be a lot more stressful etc when she has a baby, therefore if she can’t “cope” now in a good way with life’s ups and downs and our relationship then things would only be likely to get worse with the added stress/responsibility of a child.

I have tried to introduce my partner to Louise Hay’s work ( she read most of “Heal your Life” but did not endeavour to incorporate the ideas into her life) and had hoped that we could attend you course. Apart from doing this I’m at a loss as to how to “help” her become more positive…And then I wonder if maybe it’s all my fault and that maybe I should be more loving and forgiving and not be trying to change her but instead changing myself somehow…Am I the one being selfish and not willing to change?

I’m really sorry to burden you by sending you such a long email. Thank you for reading it all. I really appreciate it. I don’t expect you to reply with any miraculous solution, but if you do have time and happen to have any useful advice it would be very, very welcome…

Dear Tom,

Good to hear from you, I would prefer you to give me a call so that we can have a chat about this but here is a potted version of what I might say:

In case you are unable to call me here is a quick version.

Having children can be a natural progression in a loving relationship but can still be scary.  If you do not feel that you want to have a child with this woman unless she changes then I suggest you review why you are staying in this relationship. Her recent behaviour indicates something is wrong but that does not mean that you can fix it for her.  We cannot change anyone else just work on ourselves.

We start to get into difficulty when we think that if the other person would just change or behave differently then everything would be perfect. Sometimes as we develop and become more enlightened we grow away from some of the people and things we were initially attracted to, as we change, those around us either move with the changes or find it increasingly more difficult and uncomfortable.  There can be a lot of hurt and anger around in those circumstances.  You mentioned her negativity and your positivity and it may well be that such a  mismatch is starting to show.

The baby issue seems to be dominating everything, if something does not feel right with your relationship then it needs to be sorted before a baby is on the way, as you know babies do not make relationships work they put additional pressure on and so they need to come into a strong loving relationship if possible. She may feel that having a baby would make everything OK but that is ignoring whatever is at the root of the problem. Many young women want to have a baby so that they can feel loved and needed this may not be true for your girlfriend as she is a little older, but obviously the bodyclock adds pressure.

Sometimes we drift along and it is not until we hit a crunch point like this that we know what we do or do not want.  It is perfectly possible to love someone and yet know that they are not the one you want to do the whole forever family bit with for whatever reason.  Unfortunately guilt can get in the way.

  • Do you really want children?
  • Do you really want children with this woman?
  • These are really hard questions that only you can answer.

I do not take both partners on a workshop for obvious reasons so if you came you would have to come separately.  She would have to choose to come because she wants to, not to make you happy.  It is an intense process and I believe we would get to the bottom of her issues but it would be her process and confidential.

Likewise if you attend a workshop or some personal sessions it would be about just you and getting back to your heart and soul and making choices that are best for you.

You are obviously a very loving and caring person, you can trust your own judgement.  You can affirm “what I need to know is revealed to me” and/or “everything is working out perfectly for my highest good and the highest good of all concerned”.

Here if you need me.

With love, Gillian