Oh, Dana!: is it time to throw in the towel? | #parenting


Dana Buckmir

Oh, Dana!
I’m only in a relationship because we had an unplanned pregnancy. I thought it was best to stay together for the sake of our child. We’re very different people in parenting and communication styles. I’ve tried to make it work with her, but everything turns into an argument and we get nowhere. I’m miserable and don’t know how much more I can take. When do you say enough is enough and throw in the towel?
Sincerely,
Throw in the Towel

Dear Throw in the Towel,
I sympathize with the frustration of being stuck in a situation where you feel a moral obligation, but your heart isn’t invested. Many people remain in unhealthy and toxic relationships out of guilt. Guilt should never be a reason for staying in a relationship that’s not working out. How do you avoid guilt? You avoid guilt by taking the time and effort to explore all of your options and possible outcomes. If you’ve done all the heavy lifting and there’s still no hope for reconciliation then perhaps, you’ve reached the point of no return in the relationship.
If you’ve tried to communicate your concerns and you’re met with constant turmoil and no hope of resolution, then something has to give. To stay in a relationship where you’re unhappy doesn’t benefit you, your partner, or your child. As a last resort, I’d suggest you go to counseling, but to be honest I’m not sure how much good that would do. If you truly believe that you’ve exhausted all of your options to no avail, then it’s time to move on.
Some people just aren’t compatible and that’s okay. Look, you didn’t choose to enter into a relationship with her until after she got pregnant. I get that you’re trying to do the right thing. In your case, I’m not sure that “doing the right thing” means staying. Maybe “doing the right thing” for everyone looks like separating and co-parenting.
Studies show that children adjust well and flourish in environments where parents are happy apart rather than miserable together. Children are very perceptive and even if you try to shield them, they can sense frustration, anger, and resentment between their parents. Although your child might not sense it now because of age, those negative feelings will eventually affect the mental health and overall well-being of everyone in the household. You can only fake it for so long until some major changes need to be made.
Of course, your child will always be the number one priority. You and your significant other will have to compromise in your parenting styles and communicate better to benefit your child. Other than that, there seems to be no love lost in ending the relationship. If you and your partner can’t make it work, the ideal situation would be to separate.
Nothing is worse than feeling trapped in a place where you don’t feel comfortable. Ending a relationship is never easy. Although it’s a difficult decision to make now, I think it’s the one that will protect everyone from more pain and heartache in the future.



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