Dear Fiona: Should I get back with my baby’s dad, or stay with my new partner?

·4-min read
I don’t know who I should be with (Alamy/PA)
I don’t know who I should be with (Alamy/PA)

The problem…

“I left my boyfriend 18 months ago, just after the birth of our son. We had been living together for four years and I thought he was the man for me, but eventually we split when I realised there was more to life than constant arguing.

“He wanted me to go out most nights and, because I was pregnant and still working, I didn’t want to. So, then he wanted to go out on his own and I got fed up with being left on my own so much. Then the baby was born, and he didn’t seem to want to do anything to help me. We just rowed and rowed until I couldn’t stand it anymore, so I left him and moved in with a friend.

“Although we were in the pandemic, I met someone else quite soon. He is my friend’s cousin and he’s a nice guy, who accepted me and my son very willingly. We quickly go engaged but we were in lockdown and stuck in a grotty flat with next to no income, as he lost his job.

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“All in all, life has been pretty miserable, and I’ve been starting to think I’ve made a big mistake. He’s got no interest in finding a new job and hasn’t bothered looking at all, but just sits in front of the TV. So, when I ran into my ex-boyfriend – my son’s father – last week and he told me how much he missed me, it really made me think. He said he would love to have us back, and I’m wondering if I should go.

“I don’t feel for him the way I used to, and I think I still like the man I’m engaged to more, but I’m wondering if my son would be better off if I were living with his dad. Please help, I’m so confused.”

Fiona says…

“If you’re that confused, then I suspect that neither of these men, or their respective flats, is right for you. If you marry the man you’re currently with and you’re miserable with him now, you’re courting disaster. If it were simply a lack of money that was making your miserable, I’d encourage you to stick it out for a bit. I suspect, though, that his lack of drive and ambition is also affecting your feelings towards him.

“If you move back in with the father of your son, when you don’t feel strongly about him, the relationship is unlikely to last. Yes, it might be good for your son to build a relationship with his father, but there would be better ways for him to do this than living with two people who don’t really care about each other.

“If you are seriously tempted to move back in with your ex, then I’d strongly encourage you to go for counselling to sort out what it was that drove you apart in the first place. If you do that, and find that you do care and could form a proper, loving relationship with him, then it might work, but it’s a big risk.

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“Is there no way you can find a place of your own to stay away from both these men, until you have had a chance to put your own thoughts in order? Could you move back in with your friend, or perhaps stay with a family member for a while? Perhaps your local council could house you as a single mother?

“Your happiness, and that of your son, is at stake here, so it’s important that you make this decision free from undue pressure from any one source.”

If you have a problem you need help with, email Fiona by writing to help@askfiona.net for advice. All letters are treated in complete confidence and, to protect this privacy, Fiona is unable to pass on your messages to other readers. Fiona regrets that she cannot enter into personal correspondence.

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