‘We’ve had a baby but our relationship has fallen apart – he’s cheated’

I’ve got a seven-month-old baby girl and I feel miserable all the time. I don’t think I have postnatal depression though, because I enjoy being a mum and I love my baby.

I think it’s caused by my relationship with my partner.

In the first few weeks of my pregnancy, I found out he had been cheating with a girl from work.

It was while I was deciding whether to stay with him that I found out I was pregnant.

Around this time I also discovered he had run up lots of credit card debt, which he had been lying to me about.

But I decided to forgive him, have the baby and make a go of things.

However, things are now falling apart. We hardly ever have sex, he’s always making snide digs about my weight or my appearance, and I’m constantly checking his phone because I still don’t trust him.

I’m obsessed with looking up his colleague on social media, which is so painful because she’s younger and prettier than me.

He constantly criticises me in front of others and we keep arguing in front of our mates. Several of my best friends, and my sister, think we should separate. But I’m desperate to keep my family together. I feel sad every day and I keep wondering whether I should see my GP for some antidepressants.

I know in my heart that things aren’t right between us, but I can’t cope with the thought of splitting up and thinking about what that would do to our daughter.

Coleen says

I do think you should go to your
GP, but my issue here is that anti-depressants could just be a sticking plaster for what’s really behind your unhappiness. I think you nailed it when you said that deep down you know things aren’t right.

You keep saying you’re worried about your baby growing up with
separated parents, but think about what she will be growing up with if you stay together?

Do you want her to see you being mistreated and talked down to by her dad? Do you want her to grow up thinking that’s how a man should treat a woman? Is that how you’d want somebody to treat her?

You also need to have an honest conversation with your partner. Does he really want to be with you, or do you think he’s also staying in this relationship because you got pregnant?

If you do decide to split up, it will be hard, but your little girl will be OK. It’s actually easier for very young children to cope with their parents’ break-up.

It’s far harder when they get to eight or nine and begin to question everything and are more aware of what’s going on.

As for the way you feel, don’t discount postnatal depression. You can get it while still feeling bonded to your baby. It comes in many forms, so it’s worth talking to your GP or health visitor about that.

I understand your reasons for staying with him because we all want that happy family set-up that we see in the movies, but it doesn’t always work out that way, and that’s OK too.

Good luck.

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