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Experts Corner

Family Counseling

Delaying Marriage
By Judith Lolas, MSW, ACSW

Judith LolasQ. I just found out that I am 10 weeks pregnant. As hard as it is to believe, there was no indication that I was pregnant, so this took my boyfriend and I by complete surprise! I have been in a relationship with someone I love very much for 2 years. He is 30, I am 26 and we have been discussing marriage within the next year. He is very happy about the pregnancy. The issue: even though I know that he is committed to me, he refuses to marry me until after the baby is born. He says doing so would be an admittance that the baby is a "mistake." This is causing me to resent the pregnancy, my boyfriend and my self esteem to drop. I don't know why I feel so strongly about this, but I do. I can hardly get myself out of bed each morning because everything seems so completely bizarre. My normal life has turned inside out. Am I just overreacting and/or experiencing pregnancy hormone swings?

A. While I see your boyfriend's point, I think you should strongly let him know how this is affecting you. It sounds as if you have some fears or doubts about his going through with the marriage when the baby comes, or his devotion to you and the child. I can see why . . . his hesitancy isn't reassuring, even though his reasons may be very noble.

Can you talk to him at all about this or can someone close to both of you help? Sometimes if you can't talk, writing a letter about how you feel helps to organize your thoughts and/or helps him get the message clearer without tears or arguing or guilts. You need to feel good about both the baby and him, and he needs to be made to understand you need this reassurance, especially at this time. I don't think either of you are feeling anything horrible, or out of the ordinary, but you do need to really talk to each other about this.

With Care,
Judith Lolas

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