"Am I wasting my time if my lover will not commit to our relationship?"
I don't know whether you can help me. I am a single mum with 4 children, aged 8, 9, 11 and 12. I have been in a fantastic relationship with someone for 4 1/2 years. Unfortunately I found out that I was pregnant at the beginning of the year. He was not happy and said he didn't want it. I lost the baby and he then said that he would do anything to change matters.
About 7 weeks after the loss of the baby he decided he could not commit to me which is why he hadn't wanted the baby! His mother has said it is not fair on me if he can't commit so we split up. However, he has still phoned me nearly every day (up to 7 times). We email each other constantly - he sent me 10 pages the other day saying how much he loved me but it wasn't fair if he could not commit. We have also seen each other every weekend since the 'split'.
I have just found out that he has slept with another woman since our split but he felt really guilty and wants my forgiveness. It was someone he talked to when he was upset about the baby. I haven't told anyone else about the other woman as it happened after we 'split' but everyone thinks we will get back together. He is very depressed at the moment and feels much guilt and is very confused. Part of me thinks that I should say go away but I still love him and know that he loves me. He does all the phoning so I am not chasing him.
Am I wasting my time or should I just be his friend at the moment? Any help you could give would be appreciated.
Well, my first question to you is this: do you want more children, being a single mom? If not, I think that perhaps you need to be asking yourself how come you allow yourself to get pregnant when you already have 4 children to take care of? What is really the issue here is you taking responsibility for what you are creating. Are you being responsible to yourself and to your children to allow yourself to get pregnant when it sounds to me as if you already have a full plate taking care of the children you do have, with no committed partner to help or support you? If you have the means to support them, and you love being a mother, and all your children are getting the energy, time, loving care, and financial support that they need, without distress, then that is another matter. If they aren't getting that, then what's going on with you getting pregnant again?
This man and his difficulty in taking responsibility is a mirror for you. Everyone we meet is a mirror, a gift in that they show us something about ourselves. He is a reflection for you about where you, yourself, are at, with issues of responsibility. He doesn't want to be responsible for a child he brings into the world, or take responsible for his actions and choices - it's one thing to talk on the phone and write long, sad letters, but it's another to take full responsibility for one's actions and for one's life. You, in your own way, I think, are not being responsible for your actions either.
If a grown man can make a baby and makes the choice to be in a relationship, it isn't up to his mother to decide or tell him that his actions aren't being fair. It's up to him, or you both, together, to know that, discuss it, and resolve it. It sounds to me that you both went into the child role when his mother said something, and you did what she said you should do, like a child would, agreed to what she said, but then you still saw each other anyway. That isn't being responsible either. If you make a decision, then stick to it, or be clear that it isn't the decision you want to make, and change it consciously and openly and clearly. It sounds to me as if you and this man didn't make your own decision, but let "the parent" tell you what to do. Yet, you yourself are a parent, and he would have been one also, if the baby had lived. Parents have to be adults and make their own decisions in the clearest manner possible. So, what's up with this? It sounds to me as if you both have a lot of growing up to do. Bringing a child into this world is the most important task a person can take on - making the commitment to take care of another life is a huge, huge responsibility. It isn't something one does casually, lightly, or without foresight and preparation. It needs to be carefully thought out, and each parent must evaluate themselves honestly beforehand to decide if they are ready to commit to this responsibility for life - to be able to raise a child in the best way they can - and to be a steady, clear enough human being to do a good job.
Whether or not you continue this relationship is up to you. That too, is taking responsibility for yourself and your life. However, your job, since you have already made choices which have led you to have 4 children, is to take good care of those children in the best way you know how. When you are a fully responsible person, you will draw to yourself a partner who mirrors that quality in you, and who is therefore also a mature, responsible, and able human being. That is what is up for you to do. Work on yourself, and honestly look at what you need to grow within yourself for your life to work better for you. And for your children.