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Ask Ellie: Fixing relationship requires positive attitude

Dear Ellie: I need advice on getting back together with my son’s mom. I’m 25, she’s 24. We dated for two years and she got pregnant four months into our relationship. We were in deep love.
Advice columnist Ellie
Ellie

Advice columnist EllieDear Ellie: I need advice on getting back together with my son’s mom. I’m 25, she’s 24. We dated for two years and she got pregnant four months into our relationship.

We were in deep love. I started to lose myself, gained 90 pounds during the time we dated and felt inadequate.

It resulted in my not uplifting her and instead putting her down. We broke up last September, my fault.

She started dating someone else soon after. They’ve had difficulties and broke up. We tried to get back together, but it felt weird. Then they got back together.

Recently, they broke up again and she came over to talk. She says she truly wants to work it out with me, doesn’t want to be with someone else and does want to fix our family.

I’ve not been waiting for her, but I’m too exhausted to try with someone new. I also want my family.

I fear this’ll be like the other time and she’ll get back with her ex. But we’ve been hanging out and it’s been genuine and easy for a week. But I’m still skeptical.

How do we build a stronger bond and foundation? We’re co-parenting and spending time as a family. An unbiased opinion/advice would help me.

Still Skeptical

Here’s the unbiased truth, which I sincerely hope you can work with: Building a strong bond and foundation takes time and effort, patience, and yes, some exhaustion, but then trying again.

Your early love story was exciting, common to young lovers.

But the early realities of a baby and all that’s involved — e.g., less time for former activities and friends, more responsibilities, etc. — can overwhelm some people.

You don’t mention family supports and that may also be a factor in your turning to food for comfort and “losing” yourself.

I’m happy to advise you, but you need to understand there’s no quick fix other than each resolving to try your hardest to do better and hang in until you’re proud of what you’re achieving as a couple and a family.

Start with getting counselling. You can find it online, and it may be available at a modest cost if you do a search. The difference is that you’d each be talking alone and directly (though virtually) to a therapist who gets to know you better through a few sessions individually and then jointly.

Meantime, start thinking positively. You already have a bond of both wanting to co-parent and also feel secure again. You, especially, need to work with the therapist to boost your self-confidence with your partner.

She loved you before and has returned to you. Drop the skepticism and give your small family your best.

Dear Ellie: Last summer during the pandemic, a city girl moved into her great-aunt’s guest cabin to work virtually. We fell in love.

We hung out daily when both were free from work. But it ended with summer. The only other choice: One of us had to move.

But I’d built a solid business locally. Starting over in my late-30s didn’t appeal. Her boss wanted her back in the office. We still keep in touch.

Is there hope for enduring love between two different locales three hours apart?

Wishful Dreaming

There’s hope if love and connection remain the goal. Three hours is a mental break from city/work tensions when she travels to see you. And it’s a cityscape tour of restaurants, theatre, etc. post-pandemic, when you visit her.

Worth a try.

Feedback regarding the woman who succumbed to her father’s pressure over the “low caste” of her live-in boyfriend (May 28)

Reader: “It’s a matter of submitting to family pressure or losing the one you love. Besides the caste issue, there’s also male domination over females, which is wrong and shouldn’t be tolerated.

“From my life experiences, I’d say the girl should stay with her boyfriend. The father may still have his traditional beliefs, but at some point, a parent should let adult children be free to make their own decisions without interfering.

“The father’s role now is to always be there for support and advice if asked. He’s of a past generation, stuck in the old ways.

“He should hope he’s raised his daughter to his best ability and should now leave her to make her own way without his unwanted demands. Unfortunately, no matter how this goes, there are going to be casualties and regrets.”

Ellie’s tip of the day

Raising a child together is worth your best efforts to be positive, confident and support each other.

Send relationship questions to ellie@thestar.ca.