Featured
Parenting through Rise-filtered glasses
As a new parent, you might find yourself cut off from some of your usual social outlets, stuck at home for long stretches of time with only the baby for company. At this time, family and friends can be more important than ever, providing support and advice to boost your confidence and help get you through the tougher days. If your friends and family live far away, or if you don’t have face-to-face access, online social media can help you and your partner feel more connected to the outside world. Emotional support and positive feedback from other parents can also be invaluable as you figure things out [1] [2]. Social media can give you access to this, but it also helps you stay in touch with old friends who keep you connected to the parts of your life outside your parenting role [3]. Beating loneliness with online social interaction Your baby is always going to be your first priority, but these other social connections are important. As humans, we need to have meaningful relationships with each other – when we disconnect socially it can affect our health, making us more stressed and more likely to get sick, and affecting our sleep and concentration [3]. Social media can help you feel less isolated but it’s important to pay attention to the way you use it. Parents who actively engage with friends on social media tend to feel less stressed and more positive about their role as parents [2] but people who just spend more time on social media without engaging tend to feel more isolated, not less [3]. The difference here is between use and interaction. We’ve all spent time staring into our phones, refreshing our social media feeds in the hope that something new will come up. But this isn’t going to help you feel more connected when you’re knee-deep in baby wipes waiting for your partner to come home. You’ve got to reach out and engage with people if you want to experience the positive effects of social media. Turning off the filters It’s also important to keep some perspective on what you see through the lens of social media. We all know that Facebook life isn’t real life, and that nobody ever looks as good as they do on Instagram, but it’s easy to fall into the trap of seeing things through Rise-filtered glasses and believing everybody on social media is having a better time than you.  If social media is your only window into your friends’ lives, you might start thinking they are living happier, more connected lives than you [3]. Try to remember that you’re only seeing an edited glimpse of what your friends want the rest of the world to see. When your social networks start making you feel worse instead of better, take a step back and have a think about who you could reach out to for a chat. It’s the social aspect of social networks that’s valuable, so the next time you find yourself mindlessly scrolling through posts, send a message instead – ask for advice, vent your feelings, or just tell someone a funny story about your day. The empathy, advice and humour that you come across online can give you a life-affirming confidence boost and make you feel better about how you’re getting on as a parent [4]. You might even want to start by making a post here on Click.   References [1] Madge C., O’Connor H. (2006). Parenting gone wired: Empowerment of new mothers on the Internet? Social and Cultural Geography, 7, 199–220.[2] Bartholomew, M. K., Schoppe‐Sullivan, S. J., Glassman, M., Kamp Dush, C. M., & Sullivan, J. M. (2012). New parents' Facebook use at the transition to parenthood. Family relations, 61(3), 455-469.[3] Primack, B.A. et al (2017) Social Media Use and Perceived Social Isolation Among Young Adults in the U.S. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 53(1), 1-8.[4] Fletcher, R., & St. George, J. (2011). Heading into fatherhood—nervously: Support for fathering from online dads. Qualitative Health Research, 21(8), 1101-1114.
Article | social media, parenting
6 min read
Children’s loyalty issues after separation
Children face difficult loyalty conflicts when forced to choose between their parents. If being close to one parent means being disloyal to the other, children can feel stuck in the middle. Trying to choose between two parents they love can feel like an impossible situation. It’s often hard for parents to spot loyalty conflicts. Most parents just want to do what’s in the child’s best interests, but their perceptions of this can be clouded by feelings about the other parent. As a result, loyalty conflicts are often caused by unconscious behaviour and subtle messages from parents, and are usually unintended.  How to recognise loyalty conflicts If your child is frequently upset at handovers, seems unwilling to visit the other parent, or even refuses to go, they may be experiencing divided loyalties. Your child’s feelings are heavily influenced by your relationship with your ex-partner. This relationship is likely to be complicated, especially in the early days when you are still working things out. As co-parents, it’s important for you and your ex to have an ongoing relationship. You may need to address some of the following issues: Competition. Your children matter more to you than anything else in the world, and it can feel wonderful to know how much you mean to them. You may instinctively want to try and prove that you’re a better parent than your ex, but this can be confusing and worrying for your children. Remember that it’s best for the children when both of you are on top of your parenting game. Insecurity. If you are already the children’s main carer, separation can feel like a challenge to your role. You might feel like you have more of a right than the other parent to raise your children. It might even feel like your ex is suddenly putting effort into spending time with the children when they didn’t before – this can feel particularly threatening. Anger. It’s common to feel angry during and after a separation and there may be a part of you that wants to punish your ex. However reasonable this feels, it’s essential for your children’s happiness that you leave them out of your disputes. Don’t use your children as bargaining chips, and don’t expecting them to share your anger. Control. You will have to relinquish some control when your children spend time with their other parent. This might make you anxious, but it’s best for the children if you avoid criticising the other parent’s way of doing things. Children are generally good at adapting to different house rules and parenting styles but it can be difficult for them if their parents try to undermine each other. If you there are no immediately obvious reasons why your child is experiencing difficulties, it’s possible there’s a loyalty conflict. Give your children permission to be as close to the other parent as they are to you. Watch out for the hidden messages that children pick up on, and make sure you and your ex are doing as much as possible to make sure your children are comfortable and happy in both homes. Separated partners tend to reassess each other in the light of their relationship breakdown. If your ex has hurt you and disappointed you, you may feel that they’re untrustworthy, selfish, uncaring, irresponsible, and whatever else comes to mind. But it is important to remember that this assessment is about your ex as a partner, and not as a parent. Hard as it may be, try to focus on their good points as a parent. Remember that this is how your children see them, and try to separate your feelings from your children’s. Talking this through with a friend or a counsellor could help you to find new ways of adapting to being a single parent. If you and your ex are struggling to agree the arrangements for your children, a family mediator can support you in deciding what’s best for them.
Article | children, parenting apart
5 min read
Jealousy and affairs
Most of us experience feelings of jealousy in our relationship from time to time. Sometimes, it’s just a fleeting feeling that’s easy enough to let go of; other times, jealousy can take hold, settle in, and turn to anxiety. Mild feelings of jealousy can be useful. A little bit of jealousy might remind you not to take your partner for granted – but when jealousy won’t let go, it can become extreme or obsessive. Jealousy, left unchecked, can ruin a relationship. Where does jealousy come from? Often, it's linked to something in your past which has left you with a sense of insecurity. If you're insecure in your relationship and very dependent on your partner, then you may have more triggers and be more likely to become jealous. You may find it helpful to explore where your feelings of insecurity come from. If it’s something you’re able to identify, try to accept and own it. Have an honest conversation with your partner about your insecurities, and explain that you’re trying to work through them. Affairs People have affairs for a variety of reasons. It isn’t always about sex, but an affair is usually a sign that something in the relationship is not right. An affair is a breach of trust between partners. Trust is essential in any relationship, and it's often taken for granted. Finding out that your partner has had an affair can be a huge shock. If your partner has had an affair, you may feel insecure and jealous for a long time. You may choose to end the relationship but if you and your partner both want to try and repair the damage, it’s likely to take some time before you feel confident in your partner again. There’s no set time on how long it will take to rebuild your relationship, but it is possible to recover if you’re both willing to move on from the affair and work on the underlying issues. Many relationships do survive affairs and can sometimes end up being stronger over time. As time passes, trust can be restored and you may find yourself feeling more secure in your relationship. An affair will nearly always bring about a change in a relationship, but it doesn't always spell the end.
Article | jealousy, trust
3 min read
The Leaver and the Left
When you and your partner reach the decision to separate, you may both be in very different places, emotionally and psychologically. Although people go through similar stages of adjustment, couples often go through them at different times and with different degrees of intensity. Understanding how this affects you can help you to avoid some of the common misunderstandings that arise during this difficult stage. The Leaver The Leaver is the person who initiates the split. They are likely to have been unhappy in the relationship for a long time before the separation. During this time, the Leaver typically goes through stages of dissatisfaction, sadness and worry as they detach themselves emotionally from the relationship. By the time the split happens, the Leaver has already worked through much of the emotional loss of the relationship, and is able to move on from the breakup much more quickly than their partner. They may experience great guilt and sadness, but there will also be a degree of relief. Significantly, when the separation happens, the Leaver is several miles down the road of adjustment to this major change in their life. The Left The Left, on the other hand, may have had no idea that the relationship was in such trouble. They might accept that the relationship is not perfect but still feel that there is time to work on things, or that the relationship is just going through a difficult stage. The Left’s reaction may be shock, disbelief, and anger. They may still hold some hope for reconciliation. Their life has been turned upside down and the process of adjusting psychologically and emotionally to the separation is only just beginning. Significantly, they are at the start of a road that they did not choose to walk down. What this all means The Leaver, who is psychologically prepared to move on, may not understand why the Left is so emotional. They may be disappointed that their offer of friendship is being rejected. They may complain that their ex is not accepting the reality and getting on with things. They may become frustrated and impatient for decisions to start being made about the future. For the Left, however, this emotional stage can be far more intense and is likely to last longer. The Left may feel that their ex is cold and unfeeling and that their distress is not being acknowledged. They may have lots of questions to ask about why the relationship has ended which they are not getting answers to. Their feelings of rejection can be intensified if they sense that their ex wants to move on quickly. They may feel that they are being forced into thinking about issues that they are not yet ready to deal with. It’s too painful for them to move on, and they may need some time alone to adjust. Misunderstanding each other’s different emotional states can lead to communication problems, adding further complication to an already difficult situation. Whether you are the Leaver or the Left, give yourself the space you need to move on, and remember that your ex-partner is going through an experience very different to your own.
Article | breakups, big changes
4 min read
“Prevented from seeing my son”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   I am a single dad who has an almost 6-month-old son. His mother and I are not in a relationship. My son was the unexpected result of a short casual affair. DNA proved that he is my son and I have been paying maintenance. I have also formed a relationship with him and love him very much. I have been seeing him several times a week without his mother and have also had him stay overnight once. His mother is a good mother to him but she has now decided to stop me seeing him and has said I have to apply legally to see him. There is no good reason for this. I am a good father, I do not drink, smoke or am abusive or violent. She has also said I will be able to see him only in a Supervised Contact Centre until he is 6 years old. Is this correct? I am sure she has stopped me seeing my son because she wanted to get back with me into a relationship which for various reasons I do not want. I do not have Parental Rights yet as the mother has refuse to sign the form giving me these rights. I now have to apply to the courts. I feel that for my son to have a Birth Certificate which says Father Unknown is unfair to him . I have booked a Mediation Appointment. Can anyone advise me on what visitation rights I may be able to have. My boy is missing out on a loving extended family situation.
Ask the community | contact
Deciding who will stay home with the baby
When your child is born, the decision around who will stay at home and who will return to work can be a tricky one. If an assumption has been made that you will be the one staying home on full-time caring duties – perhaps because of traditional roles, or because your partner has a higher paid job – it might not necessarily be what you had in mind. While it may make sense financially, and while you may want to support your partner’s career, it’s possible you’ll still have reservations about being a stay-at-home parent. Exploring the options It may be that the decision makes so much sense financially that you feel like you don’t have a choice. This could make you feel trapped or uncomfortable. If it has felt like a forced or assumed decision, try explaining to your partner how you feel. The first step is to open up a conversation, so you can explore different options rather than assuming you will be the one to stay at home. Using language like “I feel like” rather than “You make me feel”, can really help here. Draw up a few plans together to see how things might play out if your partner stays home and you return to work, or consider some compromises, like reducing your hours and sharing childcare. You may discover that your partner is more willing than you expected to look at the alternatives. Wanting to keep working If you love your job or are invested in building a career, it may be that finances aren’t the only consideration. Consider your partner’s point of view too if the situation is reversed. Find a calm moment where you can talk freely and establish an agreement to hear each other out properly. Put your child’s needs first and decide what is really going to be best. Once you and your partner agree on who is going to be the main carer, establish some ground rules about how it’s going to work. Talk about how the working parent would like to be involved too – video calls at lunch time, bedtime stories after work, weekend outings, or whatever works. A non-traditional upbringing The phrase ‘primary carer’ just means the parent who stays at home with the child or spends the most time with the child. Like many parents, you or your partner may feel that mums are better as primary carers and dads are better at providing, ie putting food on the table [1]: One survey revealed that the majority of parents (76% of mothers, 56% of fathers) say that the mother has primary responsibility for childcare at home [2]. This is a popular view, but it’s not necessarily true. Traditions are already changing – as many as one in five dads are insole charge of childcare at some point during their week and dads represent one in ten of all parents who stay at home to care for their children full time [3]. Many dads, including those who have a primary caring role, still feel the weight of society’s pressure to conform to a traditional role of breadwinner [4], but studies have shown that fathers can be just as good as mothers in giving care and responding to their children’s needs [5]. There is no evidence to suggest that children will have a better start in life with a more traditional setup [6]. Whichever of you is going to be the primary carer may need some support and encouragement. Nobody is a perfect parent right away but talking things through can help provide a reassuring confidence boost. After all, whatever the setup, you’re both learning together.   References [1] Jordan (2009) [2] EHRC, (2009) [3] Lammy, (2013) [4] Doucet & Lee, (2014) [5] Kovner Kline & Wilcox, (2014) [6] Cabrera, et al., (2007)
Article | parenting, work
“Saving my marriage”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   My husband of 18 years has threatened separation/divorce because he feels we argue too much. While I don't agree with “too much” I feel what we argue about is stupid. We have 3 beautiful boys and we love each other deeply, have a connection and we are best friends. However, as of late our arguments have gotten too much. It's the same thing over and over again. He has turned off google maps on his phone and when I asked him about it he says it feels like he's on a leash if I know where he is at all times. Thing is... where could he be if he's at work all day? Sometimes he leaves for lunch just to get out for fresh air, go to the store or whatnot. No big deal. I am only left to wonder if he wants to do something he shouldn't so I won't find out. The only reason I want the maps on is for peace of mind if he suddenly cannot contact me/broke down and etc... I only use it for those reasons and nothing else. He has said he is not comfortable with me knowing where he is when I already know where he is--work, store and whatnot. So what's the big deal? I have peace of mind knowing he can see my maps when I am out and about with the kids or alone at night as I sometimes have to do shopping when he gets home from work. If he has nothing to hide he should not see an issue with this but he does. I have asked him what's the real reason you don't want me to see your maps and he says he doesn't know. As I stated we both love each other very much and can see each other spending the rest of our lives together and growing old. We are happy except for when we argue but cannot get past this and it would be a ridiculous reason to divorce!
Ask the community | communication, arguments
Sex during pregnancy
During your pregnancy, sex can become a complicated issue. Your desire can decrease, your discomfort can increase, and you might just lose interest altogether. Or, you might still be in the mood but find that your partner is backing off! All of this is perfectly normal and very common. Sexual enjoyment tends to decline as pregnancy goes on. Around 22-50% of pregnant women find intercourse painful and many women find it difficult to orgasm. It’s normal for your libido to decline too, largely to the change in hormones, and feeling sick, tired and physically uncomfortable [1]. And, as your body changes, you might just feel less sexy. This is particularly likely during the later stages of pregnancy, when you’re all achy and bloated. About a quarter to a half of pregnant women feel less attractive than before, and only 12% feel more attractive [1]. Giving it a go If you do feel up to having sex, there’s no reason you shouldn’t give it a go. For the majority of healthy pregnant women and their partners, sex is perfectly safe, even in the last few weeks before you give birth [1]. If you’re not sure whether it’s OK, seek advice from your doctor or midwife but, if you do want to have a go, give yourself time to be in the mood, and accept that it might take longer than usual. It’s possible that your partner will be reluctant, which can be frustrating. However, don’t assume that it’s from a lack of desire, or a loss of sexual attraction. One possible reason for hesitancy is a fear of harming the baby, which inhibits at least a quarter of male partners, and a quarter to half of expectant mothers [1]. Talk to your partner. Have an open and honest conversation about how you both feel right now. If your partner admits that they’re feeling funny about sex, try not to get annoyed or take it personally – you won’t be pregnant forever! If you’re feeling a bit insecure, make it clear that you are learning to adjust to your changing body and that, even if sex is off the table, a little TLC would be appreciated. Finding other ways to feel close If you really don’t want to have sex, don’t force yourself. Be honest with your partner, offer reassurance that it’s not a personal rejection, and ask for the support you need. It might be helpful to discuss this article, and reassure yourselves that these are common adjustments that couples face during pregnancy. If you’re feeling icky and your partner tries to reassure you that you look beautiful, accept the compliment and choose to believe them. Lots of people find their partners especially attractive when they’re carrying their child. Finding other ways of being intimate that aren’t sexual – like hugging, kissing, and massage – can help you bond when sex isn’t available. Just spending quality time together can help you maintain a sense of closeness. And remember that you won’t feel like this forever. Though there will be new challenges for your sex life when your baby comes along, the physical changes you’re experiencing during pregnancy should return to normal about three months after the birth. Some women even experience more intense orgasms than they did before [1].   References [1] Von Sydow, K. (2000). Sexuality during pregnancy and after childbirth: A meta-analysis of 59 studies. Reproductive Health Matters, 8 (15), 183. doi:10.1016/s0968-8080(00)90068-5
Article | pregnancy, parenting together
4 min read
Sex after giving birth
If you weren’t having much sex during your pregnancy, you may be looking forward to getting things back on track. But, for many couples, it can take a while to get things back to normal after the birth. Your body might take some time to return to a state where sex feels OK. This is a common experience for many women after giving birth: Following birth only 10-15% of new parents don’t experience any problems at all. Mothers and fathers commonly feel worried about resuming having sex [1]. 13 months after the birth, 22% were still having problems sexually [2]. Try to accept that it’s normal to need time. Even when you’ve recovered physically, you might not feel in the mood, or you might be slow to be turned on. Give yourself a chance and don't pressure on yourself to bounce back, even if your partner is keen to be intimate. Remember that there are other ways to be sexual besides penetrative sex and, if those are still off the table, focus on improving the quality of your time together, giving each other lots of cuddles and affection, or just having meaningful conversations. Feeling guilty about not feeling sexy   Despite the understanding that your body is still going through a lot, you may still feel guilty for not being in the mood or not feeling able to satisfy your partner. Even if your partner isn’t expressing any disappointment over the lack of sex or changes in your sex life, it’s common to be worried about how things might be perceived from the other end. One study of women who had recently had children showed that: 57%... were worried about the sexual satisfaction of their spouse following the birth of their child [2]. If you’re carrying guilt around with you, it might be a good idea to talk this over with your partner and remind yourselves that you’re not alone – only 14% of women and 12% of men report having no sexual problems after giving birth [2].   If you’re not up for having sex, let your partner know that you still desire him, but that you just need a bit more time. It may be difficult for your partner to understand the effects that such drastic body changes can have on your confidence. Taking the time and effort to explain, can help put your partner in a better position to show sensitivity and help build up your confidence. Be descriptive of your own feelings, and ask him to be mindful of them.  It will probably help to have the conversation with your partner beforehand. Explain why you don’t want sex at the moment, and what you can offer at this time. Sex may not be as high on your partner’s priority list as you think, but asking about it can be a great opener to discussing how you’re feeling and what you’re worried about. The conversation may even help put you at ease. If physical intimacy is your partner’s preferred way to express love, it doesn’t necessarily have to mean sex. People who express love physically while still appreciate a stroke of the hair as you walk past, or a surprise cuddle while they are doing the washing up. Hugs, snuggles on the bed, hand-holding, massages – these will all help a physical person feel loved at a time when you don’t feel up to having sex.   References [1] Sagiv-Reiss, D.M., Birnbaum, G.E. & Safir, M.P (2012). Changes in Sexual Experiences and Relationship Quality During Pregnancy. Archives of Sexual Behavior. October 2012, Volume 41, Issue 5, pp 1241–1251 [2] Von Sydow, K. (2000). Sexuality during pregnancy and after childbirth: A meta-analysis of 59 studies. Reproductive Health Matters, 8(15), 183. doi:10.1016/s0968-8080(00)90068-5
Article | sex, parenting together
4 min read
Sex with a pregnant partner
Since finding out she was pregnant, your partner might have been reacting to you differently during sex, or avoiding intimacy altogether. It might seem like she’s aroused less often or less attracted to you. Aside from simply missing something that you enjoy, sex an important way to feel closer to your partner. Without it, you may worry that you will struggle to stay close. While it might feel like it, a lack of sex during pregnancy is not a personal rejection. A quarter of new dads say they’re worried that their partner may no longer be interested in having sex [1] but it’s important to recognise that a decrease in sex during pregnancy is normal, and not your fault. Less sex during pregnancy is normal Your partner may be experiencing a decline in libido. This is very common during a time of changing hormones and physical discomfort like backache and water retention. Bear in mind that 22-50% of pregnant women experience painful intercourse, and reaching orgasm becomes progressively more difficult as pregnancy goes on [b]. Sex may have become a stressful experience for your partner. On top of this, about a quarter to a half of pregnant women feel less attractive during pregnancy, and only 12% feel more attractive [2], so your partner may just not be feeling as physically confident as she’d like to. Be open and honest with your partner. Talk about your concerns and tell her that you want to be supportive. If she is worried about her changing body, you can reassure her that you still find her desirable, but the most important thing is to respect her needs and desires. If she is experiencing a loss of libido, remember that this has nothing to do with you as a sexual partner. It might be helpful to discuss this article with her – talk about how these are common changes that couples face all the time during pregnancy. Can sex during pregnancy harm your baby? Up to half of women and at least a quarter of men worry that having sex during pregnancy will harm the baby in some way [2]. From a medical point of view, there is no reason to ‘forbid’ sex for the majority of healthy pregnant women and their partners, even in the last weeks before the birth [2]. If you’re not sure whether you fit into this category, seek advice from your doctor or midwife. Remember also that anxiety around sex isn’t always rational, and your partner may find it difficult to shake the fear. If that’s the case, try other ways of being intimate. You may find that other kinds of sexual activity that don’t involve vaginal penetration are a bit easier but, if not, things like hugging, kissing or massage can all help you feel closer to each other. Looking to the future Don’t expect things to pick back up again too soon after the birth. Your partner will need time to recover, and you might soon sense another obstacle to your sex life – fatigue. Irregular sleeping patterns, feeding schedules, nappy changes, and constant attention to the baby will probably continue to get in the way of your sex life. You might want to consider asking a family member or close friend to take care of the child for a while so you and your partner can spend some time together as a couple. If you’re used to having spontaneous sex, this might seem a little too regulated, but it might be a start. Finally, try to remind yourself that it’s not forever. As your child settles into more regular patterns of sleep, you’ll begin to find that there are more chances to be intimate without being interrupted by a crying baby.   References [1] Houlston, C., Coleman, L. Milford, L., Platts, N., Mansfield, P. (2013). Sleep, sex and sacrifice: The transition to parenthood, a testing time for relationships? OnePlusOne. Retrieved from: http://www.oneplusone.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Sleep-Sex-and-Sacrifice-OPO-report-FINAL-embargoed-until-29-May-2013.pdf [2] Von Sydow, K. (2000). Sexuality during pregnancy and after childbirth: A meta-analysis of 59 studies. Reproductive Health Matters, 8(15), 183. doi:10.1016/s0968-8080(00)90068-5
Article | pregnancy, parenting together
5 min read
“My man has four kids and I do everything”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   For the past 12 months I have looked after my partner 100% as well as his kids. I do it all! He has paid for a few holidays for me, bought me some clothes and then tells me "well my ex gf paid for her own trips" I said yes, but she also hated your kids... He has told me plenty of times a nanny would be cheaper. He says I am still not enough in this relationship as he expects me to dedicate 100% of my time and I'm not allow to start my own business as it means I am working outside this family... He says that his income comes in and he is either working to pay for this family OR spending time with me and the kids... He thinks that the 5 schools days they are not home I am not allowed to spend on my business. He also says the fact I am broke is my own problem... I have now (i dont know why I didn't check this earlier) found out that nannies doing my work in this area WITHOUT cooking and cleaning for the man get $400+ board+food .... It works out that he has given me $200 per week and put me down for being broke and that he pays for me for everything. So I told him today I want the money per week as a nanny and he said I am being ridiculous, that I am his girlfriend and should ask for money. So I just sent him the following and I am waiting for his reply. Am I wrong? 1. “all of me, all of you” - Provide me €300 per week I will continue as I have been and provide €20,000 in a bank account in case we break up. My hours extra outside current home duties will be discussed and what my time spent on can be agreed on so you feel “connected”. If we become engaged and another contract is agree then that €20,000 goes back to joint account. If I start making an income in the outside work we agree on then the €300 stops. And we can discuss the amount of my income I put back into the family. If we have a child this amount becomes a new discussion. 2. Provide me with €400pw and I continue doing exactly as I have. I currently dedicate 4 days to this family and my extra days can be doing what I want without judgment from you. 3. We sort out my financial independence of €9000 based on the time I have already dedicated into this family, I will move out and my future financial situation is my own issue. Then we can the start dating and we can meet for dinners when you don't have the kids, and I will physically pay my half of holidays with my own money. I can come and hang out with the kids and sometimes spend the night, and as your girlfriend I can help you out with the kids for pickups and if you travel. I will be there for the kids in the same loving way except we don't need to be worried about who thinks they do more. At that stage any help we provide each other will be fair and done out of love. 4. I can leave now, we can clear this up with €9000 for my time into this family that I dedicated. If you choose this I will walk away and make no dramas and we just end things nicely.
Ask the community | stepfamily, arguments, finance
“Moving on after a breakup”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   I met someone who made me feel so loved and special when they met me. At that time, I was so confident and full of happy prospects in my life. They came into my life and became so attached to me. It was the first time that I received so much affection and attention from someone, and I easily reciprocated. I cared, went out of my way, and gave them my all. Two years later, it seems I have given too much that I no longer know myself. My priorities are always second to theirs. I could always wait for them even when they never waited for me. Despite taking me for granted and making me feel so isolated, I always go back to give and forgive them even more. How did I end up to be the one who is more attached? This person only thinks of me when they are lonely. Our last conversation ended when I told them that they had completely forgotten me, and I will forget them too from now on. They responded ‘ok’ and left. I regret expressing my foolishness, as if it mattered whether they would approve my decision or not. To be honest, it doesn’t hurt me that they left as much as they coldly obliged to it. Were they just waiting for this moment? Was I such a horrible person to be with? I can barely imagine the confident and happy person that I was before I met them. I feel so caved in, antisocial and unconfident in my own shoes, as if I have failed so much. My abilities to work or operate other aspects in life has also decreased drastically. I just needed to express that here, in case someone could share their wisdom with me. Any comments would be greatly appreciated.
Ask the community | ex-partner
“My husband doesn't trust me”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   So my husband and I have been together for 13 years now. We have two beautiful girls (age 6, 7). We’ve had our ups and downs, and managed through tough times. However I’m starting to think more and more I’m just living a life that he expects me to live. Since the time we’ve been together I’ve made tons of compromises to help him with his mistrust and jealosy: I’ve stopped using make up because he said guys keep staring at you, I’ve stopped to dress how I want and every time asked for his approval on clothes, I communicated with him every minute of the day where I was, etc... So now 13 years later, I’m still doing it. With me being a mom, trying to please my husbands jealosy, I’ve lost myself and exhausted. So today I feel like it is s last Dora, I returned from my business trip after not being home 4 days, he was not happy that I went of course. Besides him being mean to me almost every time I called to speak with kids he texted after I let him know I’m driving back from the airport, he said “Just let me know when you are five minutes out, so I can leave the house. I cannot see you now and not be mad at you for going on the trip”. He said “Return to your kids and take care of them”. I do not choose to go on the trip, it is my job.
Ask the community | trust
Money troubles while pregnant
When you and your partner are expecting a baby, the pressure you’re under can cause regular issues and arguments to be amplified. Arguments about money are particularly common during pregnancy, partly because of changes to working arrangements, and partly because of the extra expense of having a baby. A stressful time of life Many couples (around 40-67%) experience a drop in relationship quality, usually from the start of pregnancy until the child is around 15 months old. Everyone is different, but that’s generally when things start to feel a bit better again. Set some ground rules about what you will do next time an argument breaks out. You may want to decide to take a break from the conversation and return to it when you’re both feeling calmer. Try saying something like, “Can we talk about this again once we’ve calmed down a bit?” If you’re really struggling to reach compromises, our online course “How to argue better” might help. Try to avoid having these discussions in public places where the money pressures feel prevalent, like in the supermarket, or the bank. It’s usually much easier to resolve things privately in your own home. Making a budget You may both have different ideas about spending and saving. A budget can be very helpful in bringing you together to plan for the day to day. Budgets are especially useful if you intend to reduce your working hours.  You may also find that existing money problems that you’ve managed to keep on the back burner are suddenly coming into focus. Whatever stage you’re at, it’s never too late to start planning. If you’re not sure how to get started with a budget, you can find a free planner and some online guides through the Money Advice Service. Include work and childcare in your discussions and think about any new expenses. If you’ve never been parents before, you may want to sit down with some friends who’ve recently had babies and ask them to list all the things you’ll need to buy. Your midwife can help with that too. Find out your entitlements You may not know what benefits or state-funded support you’re entitled to. Benefits and financial support can be tricky because they are liable to change over time and will depend on your circumstances. Check out Citizens Advice and the Money Advice Service, who will be able to talk through your budget and help you learn what you are entitled to. You may be entitled to grants such as Healthy Start or the Sure Start Maternity Grant to help cover the basics and support you with essential one-off costs, or longer-term support like tax credits towards childcare costs, and Child Benefit. You can find out what you are entitled to using a free online benefits calculator, such as entitledto or Turn2Us. Finally, be honest with yourselves and kind to each other and you’ll significantly improve the chances of talking about money without an argument.
Article | pregnancy, finance
4 min read
Adjusting to an unplanned pregnancy
Couples that plan for pregnancy are often mentally and emotionally prepared for it when it happens. If you weren’t trying for a baby, you’ll have to adjust much quicker to this life-changing news. Feeling overwhelmed It may be a while before you can take it all in. When you’re overwhelmed by news that shocks you or changes your outlook on the world, it can feel like your thoughts and feelings are out of control. Before you start considering your options, take some time to think through how you feel. Try not to get too caught up with how you’re supposed to feel. Just be honest with yourself and, when you’re ready, regroup with your partner to talk it through. Try to cast off any guilt and try not to judge each other. This conversation is likely to be emotionally charged, so be gentle and sensitive. Avoid making absolute statements like, “This is never going to work” and, if things get heated, take a break from the conversation and return after you’ve both calmed down. Take the time and effort to listen to your partner’s point of view. Even if you disagree, it’s important that you are both heard and understood. When it feels too soon in your relationship Research has shown that couples deal with challenges better when they’ve had time to bond as a couple and build up a sense of togetherness. If your relationship is still new, you may not feel like you have that connection yet [1]. Having a baby together is a big commitment, and both of you will want to feel confident that your relationship is strong enough to take it on. Talk with your partner about the kind of relationship you both want for the future. Having these conversations can help build a sense of togetherness, and you might discover that your relationship has compatibility and long-term potential. Feeling unready to be a parent You may not feel ready because of practical things like lifestyle changes or financial security. Or the reason could be more deep-rooted. If, for example, your relationship with your own parents was a struggle, then you may be worried about repeating that relationship with your own child. Sit down with your partner and unpick what could be influencing how you feel. Explain that you’re still trying to understand your own reactions and feelings, and that you’re just looking for support to explore things. Lots of mums and dads will tell you that the feeling of being ‘ready’ never really kicks in. Feeling this way just means you’re taking it seriously and want to get it right. Remember that your partner is there to support you in your role as a parent – you’re not expected to figure everything out by yourself. You can help each other to learn how to be parents. Remember that while you are both adjusting to your new roles, you are still two individuals in a relationship together. Make a conscious effort to talk about things other than the pregnancy. Taking time for yourself to keep in touch with friends and maintain hobbies can help you feel like more than just a parent.   References [1] Reynolds, J. (2008). Supporting Couple Relationships: A Sourcebook for Practitioners. OnePlusOne http://www.oneplusone.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Supporting-Couple-Relationships-Sourcebook-For-Practitioners.pdf
Article | pregnancy, stress
4 min read
The pressure of becoming a father
If your partner has high expectations of you as a new father, it can put a lot of pressure on your journey into parenthood. High expectations Sometimes people expect their partners to make them happy. This is a lot of responsibility for one person, and it can become a heavy burden. If you’ve experienced that kind of pressure from your partner, you might also have experienced a sense of failure when they become disappointed or unhappy. So, when you consider the lifelong journey of parenthood, you may worry that expectations of being the perfect father and the perfect partner are just too heavy to bear. The truth is that you alone can’t make your partner happy. As each of you invests love and effort into the relationship, you can certainly contribute to each other’s happiness but, ultimately, each person is responsible for managing their own happiness. It might be helpful to talk this through with your partner and explain that you feel this sense of pressure and expectation. Open your sentences with, “I feel” rather than, “You make me feel”. Try to refrain from criticising or attacking, and just talk about what it feels like for you. Be ready to listen to your partner’s responses. You may learn something about the thoughts and feelings that have led to these expectations in the first place. Confidence Sometimes, high expectations come from within. It may be that you’re just lacking confidence in yourself. You’re not alone – evidence has shown that lots of new fathers worry about being able to take good enough care of a newborn, or doubt their ability to keep a child safe [1]. The concerns voiced by the greatest number of fathers related to his ability to "take good enough care" of his child (61%) and his ability to "keep your kids safe" (52%). Or, perhaps you worry that you’ve not experienced the best examples of parenthood from your own family and are worried about repeating the same mistakes. Discuss your fears with your partner, or with a close friend or family member that you can trust to reassure you. Taking postnatal classes with your partner can really help you prepare yourselves for the initial demands of parenting. They might help you to start thinking about fatherhood with less hesitation or trepidation. Ask your GP or local children’s centre about parenting classes near you. Always remember that you and your partner are parenting together – you’re allowed to ask for whatever support you need. Feeling heard You may feel you don’t have the opportunity to talk about your own expectations and thoughts for the future. Conversations with your partner might have felt one-sided, leaving you feeling like your own thoughts and emotions matter less. Choose a quiet time to sit down with your partner and explain that you’re not feeling heard. Try to avoid pointing the finger or blaming your partner; just talk about how you feel. Bring notes if it helps. Discuss your expectations of your fatherhood role and see how they compare to your partner’s. Where there are differences, discuss ways you might be able to compromise. This may need to develop over a series of conversations, so keep working at it.   References [1] Litton Fox, G., Bruce, C. and Combs-Orme, T. (2000) Parenting Expectations and Concerns of Fathers and Mothers of Newborn Infants. Family Relations, 49(2), 123–31 (P.126).
Article | fathers, stress
4 min read
Eight steps to being a good birthing partner
The birth of a child is a huge moment for you as a family, and it’s understandable that you’d want to do all the right things to support your partner. If you’re feeling nervous or unsure about your partner going into labour, these eight steps may help you feel more confident about how to offer the right support. Have discussions with your partner about where she’d like to give birth. Does she want to give birth at home, or in a hospital? Does she want a water birth? Talk about the kind of birth she wants more generally. Find out whether she wants an epidural during labour, or if she is interested in hypnobirthing. It’s useful to understand your partner’s feelings on this so you can help support her when the time comes. Try not to push your own feelings on her, and keep firmly in mind what kind of experience she is hoping to have. Focus on the experience your partner is going to have, and try to avoid telling stories of other people’s birthing experiences. Ask beforehand what kind of support and encouragement your partner is going to want from you during the labour. But be prepared that this may all go out the window when the time comes.   Have a supply of food and drink to hand for both of you. Bring a toothbrush and a fresh set of clothes. She’ll be really grateful for this after the birth. Ask if there’s anything else she might want – things like lip balm and a fan or cooling spray can often be welcome during labour. During labour, ask your partner, “What would you like me to do?” Don’t assume she will just tell you. If you have any other questions, worries or concerns about the birth, don’t hold back from talking to your partner about it. You can also talk to your midwife, who may be able to reassure you that you’re on the right track. It’s quite common for you to feel a bit anxious, but there’s plenty you can do to help and support. Remember that the little things can go a long way.
Article | birth, labour
2 min read
When grandparents don’t approve
The birth of a baby usually brings joy to the whole family. But, when the grandparents don’t approve, it can create tension for all of you. It’s important to try and resolve this, as grandparents’ input into your child’s life can  be quite beneficial. Grandparents pass on family heritage and traditions, promote skill development, and serve as a source of friendship and support [1]. Whether the problem is with your own parents or your partner’s parents, leaving it unresolved could mean your family misses out on love and support. It can also cause extra strain on your relationship as a couple. Why grandparents disapprove If your parents disapprove of your partner (or if your in-laws disapprove of you), they may be struggling to adjust to the fact that you have just made a very strong form of commitment in starting a family. If they disapprove of the relationship, they may have chosen your commitment to parenthood as an opportunity to express it. Or, sometimes, new grandparents can be pushy, controlling or critical without even knowing it. They might think they’re being supportive or helpful. Facing resistance from your own family can be frustrating – exasperating, even. If either of your parents have caused arguments between you and your partner in the past, you might fear more of the same, but there is hope. Research shows that parents’ initial disapproval over their children’s pursuit of parenthood is often short-lived. The following statement comes from a study on same-sex couples: For many parents that experienced initial disapproval from their families about pursuing parenthood, often times this reaction “softened” with time [2]. Helping your parents accept your family Whether the issue sits with your partner’s parents or your own, resolving the thing and moving forward requires both you and your partner to work together and agree on your approach. Having the conversation together as a couple shows that you’re united. But it might be better if you each take the lead with your own parents. As a couple, decide exactly how much involvement you want your parents to have. Look for compromises and try not to make anything feel like a personal attack on either of your parents. When talking about loved ones (even if they’re being annoying), it’s natural to want to defend them. Start by reminding your parents how much you value them and that you’re looking forward to their involvement with your baby. Talk with them about how you’d like them to be involved, rather than about what you expect from them. Tell them about the help you would appreciate, and the help that won’t be necessary. Remember to say, “We have decided” rather than, “I think”. This will reinforce that you’re a team and that you’ve thought things through properly.  Once you’ve agreed your boundaries, it will become much easier to see when one of your parents has overstepped the mark, and you’ll be able to agree on an appropriate response together. Even if your parents are applying pressure unintentionally, family conflicts and fallouts can disturb the peace in your relationship. Stay open and honest with your partner throughout, so that when you come to face external difficulties from others, you can work together to deal with it.   References [1] Schmeeckle, M., & Sprecher, S. (2004). Extended family and social networks. Handbook of family communication, 349-375. [2] Koller, J. M. (2008). A study on gay and lesbian intergenerational relationships: a test of the solidarity model. ProQuest.
Article | grandparents
5 min read
Finding out you are having a disabled child
If you’ve been planning for a baby, you may have a picture in your mind of what your family life will be like. When the doctor tells you that your child might have a disability, this picture will have to adjust very quickly. This can be a truly difficult time for new parents. Dealing with the change in expectations can be stressful for you both, triggering emotional responses at an already overwhelming time. If the disappointment is prolonged, it can create a negative atmosphere and tarnish an experience which you hoped would be exciting.    Why might this be happening? We have no frame of reference You might be struggling to deal with your expectations simply because you don’t know what to expect. You may not know any other parents who have a disabled child, or you may not know anyone with a disability. As a result, you could feel like you have no one to talk to or get advice from. This can leave you feeling isolated. However, while you may not know anyone in your current network of friends and family, there are thousands of other parents in similar situations to yours. Ask your GP to refer you to a local support group for parents of disabled children, or visit a support site like Contact. Talking to other parents can help you get a better understanding of how raising a child with additional needs might impact your couple relationship and other areas of your life. We feel helpless One of the overriding feelings in this situation is powerlessness, particularly during pregnancy. Sometimes there’s little or nothing you can really do to help your child. This feeling can be quite overwhelming, and although the desire to help comes from a good place, it can sometimes lead parents to withdraw. The difficulty here is recognising what you can control, and accepting what you can’t. Understanding this might help to limit your frustrations and allow you to focus on what you can actually do – for both your baby and your partner. If it helps you, write a list with two columns – one for what you can help with and one for what you can’t – and talk the list through with your partner. This can help you see where you might be putting too much pressure on yourselves, and focus more on what you might be able to accomplish. We have different ideas of what life will be like You may have accepted that your child will be born with additional needs, but perhaps your partner is still trying to come to terms with it. As a result, you may each have completely different expectations of how it will affect your lifestyles. If one of you is more positive than the other, or carries a different outlook, it could lead to arguments or create tension in your relationship.  To ease tension and reduce conflict, it’s important that you both talk about your expectations for the future are and discuss how you might come to a compromise. Make time to listen to and reassure each other. Taking the time to anticipate the challenges you will face, will make you more likely to have realistic expectations and more able to deal with difficult situations when they come up [1]. Coming to terms with reality It’s OK to grieve for the loss of the life you imagined. Talk to your partner, and offer support if they’re feeling the same way. Be prepared to go through a range of emotions and accept that you both may not be at your best for a while. Keep in mind that you are still becoming parents and try to focus on the joys that your child will bring. Support networks such as Contact can help put you in touch with other parents in similar situations who can share their positive parenting experiences with you.    References [1] Pancer, S. M., Pratt, M., Hunsberger, B. & Gallant, M. Thinking ahead: Complexity of expectations and the transition to parenthood. J. Pers.68, 253–279 (2000).
Article | disability
Couple time with a disabled child
As new parents, you probably know that you won’t have as much time together when the baby comes. But if you’ve been told that your baby might be born with a disability, it could mean you’ll spend even more time and energy caring for your baby and helping them overcome their early difficulties. Estimates suggest that more than half a million children in England alone have a mild to seriously disabling condition or chronic illness [1], so lots of parents across the country are also facing this extra strain. Why you might have less quality time If you’re expecting to be busy looking after your baby and catering to their needs, then you know you’re likely to have less quality time with your partner as a result. Consider the following and see if any of them apply to you: A large part of quality time is talking through the things that matter. In tough times, some people use busyness as a coping mechanism, and the conversation might feel just too difficult to have. Rather than facing the issue and discussing your fears and expectations with your partner, you might instead be busying yourself away with other tasks. There may be a string of healthcare appointments to attend, dealing with the pregnancy and the practicalities of your child’s condition. You may need to make preparations for the baby’s arrival, and spend a lot of time researching ways to modify your home environment for your child. You may both be so wrapped up in the preparation stages that you’re barely spending any time together as a couple. When a child has a disability or vulnerability, they often need extra focus and attention. You may worry that your relationship will drop down the priority scale even further when the baby is born. What you can do to help yourself and your partner You and your partner might find it difficult to discuss how your baby’s disability or health complication could affect your family dynamic and how you will work together to support them. But burying the issue, tiptoeing around it, or pretending it isn’t there, puts you at risk of leaving yourselves unprepared when the baby arrives. It takes courage to talk about the issues that frighten us. If you’re struggling to find the words, try writing down what you’re feeling before you share it with your partner. As things progress, aim to have regular discussions and start making preparations together. It’s important for you both as parents-to-be to work on talking openly and positively about your fears and expectations [3]. Discussing and anticipating the kinds of issues you might face will help you deal with difficult situations when they come up [2]. The extra challenges you face as parents will challenge your relationship too so, even if you need to prioritise your child’s needs, it’s important to look after your relationship, and set aside a little couple time too.   References [1] Glenn, F. (2007). Growing together, or drifting apart. London: One Plus One. [2] Pancer, S. M., Pratt, M., Hunsberger, B. & Gallant, M. Thinking ahead: Complexity of expectations and the transition to parenthood. J. Pers.68, 253–279 (2000). [3] Stamp, G. H. The appropriation of the parental role through communication during the transition to parenthood. Commun. Monogr.61, 89–112 (1994).
Article | disability
4 min read
Bonding with adopted children
Whatever your reasons are for adopting, you may wonder if you will have the same bond with your child as a biological parent would expect to have. See if any of these feelings resonate with you: 1) You might think you’ve missed your chance to bond You may be concerned about missing out on the initial bonding that takes place during and after pregnancy. Some mothers also worry that missing out on the bonding experience of breastfeeding will be detrimental. 2) You may worry about the child’s history The majority of children awaiting adoption have experienced difficult childhoods, often coming from families with a history of drug or alcohol problems, domestic violence, neglect or abuse. Knowing this, you may worry that their history and experiences will make it difficult to bond and establish trust. 3) You may have initially hoped to adopt a young child The majority of couples are likely to be matched with a child between the age of one and four, and around 20% are five and above. If you and your partner were hoping to adopt a newborn, this might come as a disappointment. You are not alone. Around one in five parents come to adoption hoping to be matched with a baby, and many others express a preference for being matched with a child as young as possible [1]. It may help to know that, throughout the adoption process, lots of potential parents compromise on at least one of the criteria they started out with, usually related to the age of the child. Some parents even open up to the idea of accepting two or more siblings, having started out wanting to adopt a single child. Most parents who change their criteria report being happy with the decision and see it as a natural part of the adoption process [1]. You will have an opportunity to learn about the case history of a child before and after a match is made. During the matching phase, take the opportunity to ask questions about the lives and experiences of potential matches. It’s important that you’re happy with the match and it’s OK to ask for extra information at any time. Once a match has been made – and this can take several months – there will usually be a handover phase where your child makes the transition from a foster home to living with you. This is a further opportunity to learn about the child’s background, but also about their routines and current lifestyle, so you can help them adjust to living with you. Remember that nothing is yet set in stone, and that a match won’t be made until you are happy to go ahead. If you need some time to adjust, you can take that time, and make your own decision. The more active you remain in the process and the more information you have about the child you are adopting, the more likely you are to find the process a positive one, and help to create a successful match for you and your new family. How do parents bond with adopted children? Allow the time and space to get to know your child and build up a bond. Even with a natural birth, bonding is not automatic, and many adopting parents find that they feel the same way about their adopted children as they would a biological one. Your concerns over parental bonding may start to ease when the child comes into your care. If your child has been in a difficult or unloving environment, it may take longer to establish trust, so be prepared for the bonding process to take a bit longer. But have faith – even if you are adopting a child who’s a bit older, you are not necessarily at a disadvantage where bonding is concerned. Children develop attachments with the people who offer them a sense of security and support, consistently over a period of time. Sharing your feelings with your partner could provide an opportunity for you both to talk about any concerns or questions you might have. Remember to explain that these worries you’re having are not an indication that you’re questioning your decision to adopt, but rather, that you’re just looking to explore and make sense of your feelings.  For more information on adopting, take a look at: www.baaf.org.uk and www.adoptionuk.org.   References [1] Selwyn, J., Meakings, S., & Wijedasa, D. (2015). Beyond the adoption order: Challenges, interventions and adoption disruption. London: British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF).
Article | adoption
6 min read
“Help – partner looks at porn”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   So reading this has brought me mixed feelings on this topic. So I'm 19 and my boyfriend is 21, we've been together for a little under a year 1/2, we live together too. Our sex life blows, we have sex twice a week and he can't last longer than 2 minutes without cumming. And when he cums, he can't get hard again, ever. So I never get a happy ending and he doesn't even try. He's not romantic what so ever. I try to be sexy and spice things up but nothing works, its like trying to get intimate with a wall. And he always tells me that he's not a big sex guy in general, and I respect that because I do not want to cause a rapey vibe what so ever. So I was playing music off his phone and I went to his safari and went to type in the dubstep song Purge Planet, and PornHub came up. I was shocked because he's not a big sex guy as he tells me so what the fuck are you doing on porn hub?? I find it disrespectful because he knows how insecure i am and it just fucks with me emotionally, i read articles that say its okay to be uncomfortable and its okay for him to watch porn because its not cheating. But honestly i'm really bothered by it. I don't even wanna know what he looks up.
Ask the community | sexless, pornography, rejection
“Wife texting another man”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   Recently I found out my wife has been in quite inappropriate conversation with another man, i seen their chat pop up while using her laptop and the content of one message was out of order so i clicked to read further into this. It had been going on 3 months or so and very sexual chats and even some non revealing but teasing photos had been sent. He was leading most of it but recently she seemed to be enjoying it more and playing along (she sent the photos) he kept asking for more revealing photos and she was teasing along. It took me a while but i eventually confronted her about my disgust and i tried to be reasonable and understanding and asked was something missing from our relationship. I had on many occasions felt we were missing something and a few times asked her and she kept saying all was fine. After talking to her about this she admitted she is a bit bored and the younger man made her feel good and it was flattering, she agreed it was inappropriate and promised me it would stop. A few weeks passed and all seemed great but i walked in one day of her taking a close up of her cleavage lying in bed. She quickly passed it off and denied it. She has moved all messaging to snapchat so no history is available and she gaurds her phone closely which was never really a thing before. I feel its still happening but dont know how to confront her again incase i come across as posessive and contrilling as im sure she will acuse me of this. We have always been a very open and trusting couple and this leaves me heartbroken and i feel ive lost trust in her since this but i dont want to be watching over my sholuder the whole time. I feel betrayed even though by the messages nothing has happend physically ( well at least not up to a few weeks ago) but i really tried to be understating to make things work and feel she played along and made me feel she would stop to save any further conversation as she has never been into having relationship chats. Is the snapchatting her workaround so i dont find out or am i being paranoid. Her job leaves her open to late nights away and he lives near her job and although i dont thinks anything has happened im fearful it can easily under the circumstances as its normal for her job to have her in late and different times each night. I think if it is still going on i will lose all trust and not want to be with her but we have kids and i adore them and i would lost without them. Any advice welcome and thanks in advance.
Ask the community | cheating, trust, emotional affair
“Dating with a guy with a kid”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   Hi guys, I really need your help here please as I am going desparated now. I met this guy four months ago when I was traveling to LA for my vacation. Quickly we clicked and bond together. We really enjoyed our every single moment there so we decided to keep contact and talk everyday when I came back to FL.We’re really open and transparent about our private life. I’ve never married or had a kid so everything is pretty simple from my side. He is actually still married, he and his wife submitted the divorce file and waiting for court hearing. They have 8 year old son and he’s mainly custody of the kid as his wife is flight attendant and unable to take care of the kid full time. So weeks ago he decided to bring his son with him to visit me. When his wife found out, she went crazy, they had fight, yelled to each other and she did everything to ruin his trip, acted like a bitch (as he said). Previously she was the one to control everything in their married life and he and his son have to do whatever she wants. Now since he’s with me, she may think that things are out of her control and therefore extremely upset about that. She tried everything to catch thie attention, including putting herself in trouble (like sleeping pill overdose) and my boyfriend had to be there take care of her. Eventually my boyfriend still visited me 2 days ago and they are staying with me for 2 weeks. His son is pretty a good boy but his head is packed with all the bad things from his mother about me so he’s cold to me and dislike me. And my boyfriend is too soft to his every single request, with no rule for kids and I have feeling that he’s spoiling the kid a little too much. Whatever his son asks, he follows and I haven’t seen him say no to his son during 3 days here. He came here to visit me but we hardly hold hand, hug because his son sticks around him all the time and barely talk to me though I’ve been trying to be nice. He slept with his son as well and only came to my bed at 2 or 3am and then back to his son at 6am before he woke up. I feel like I am the person who is left out in my own house, everytime his son openly talk to me, his mom called and later on, he dislike me again. I don’t really have experience with kid or dating a guy with kid so I am pretty lost here. I even feel a bit insecured because of my boyfriend’s enabling characteristic and the fact that his wife is having trouble with her boyfriend. I don’t know if it’s just my feeling or it’s common to all others who date a guy with kid. How could I do to get rid of this kind of feeling or what should I do to make this situation better, to make his son like me a bit more? Or will I have to run around and deal with his crazy wife if I still want to be with him in the future? I really appreciate your advices please
Ask the community | long distance, ex-partner, step-parents
Talking about same-sex parenting
As a same-sex parent, planning for a child differs from the traditional route in obvious ways. Whether you’ve chosen to adopt or work with a donor or surrogate parent, you’ve had to make some big decisions to get to this point. It can be difficult to turn to others for a quick chat about how to child-proof your kitchen without the conversation leading to the topic of how to raise a child can be raised in a same-sex family or which of you is going to take on which duties when the child arrives. You might find that a lot of the traditional advice and information that’s been handed down through regular channels doesn’t immediately relate to your own experience, or face discriminatory attitudes from the service providers who are supposed to support you, Your employers and other colleagues might also be putting barriers in your way. All of this can lead to difficulties around the practical arrangements of childcare and other financial matters, making you feel isolated and confused about where to turn. Why is this affecting our relationship? Discrimination can affect your relationship in several ways. Your relationship may already be under strain from parenting [1], so any additional pressure can be much harder to deal with [2]. It can also be troubling because it’s difficult to face the issue head on. It’s not easy to resolve stress that comes from outside your relationship, and it’s hard to talk to people who don’t understand or respect your desire to become a parent [3]. How can I improve things? Take a moment to remind yourselves why you wanted to become parents in the first place. Remind yourselves of the journey you’ve been on and all the challenges you’ve dealt with so far. The discrimination you are facing is not your fault, and bears no reflection on your capabilities as a parent, or your potential to learn new skills and raise a child. There is no evidence to support claims that children should fare any worse in a same-sex household [4]. It may also help to remember that there are others out there facing similar challenges to your own. The number of same-sex couples raising children is on the rise [5], and the introduction of same-sex marriage represents a significant step towards more widespread acceptance. Where to get support Try seeking support from statutory services either privately or through your GP, to talk through anything that’s bothering you. You can also turn to online forums, such as the one here on Click, where you can voice your concerns anonymously amongst people in similar situations. You may also be able to lean on your social circle. At first, you may find it helpful to seek the support of a few trusted family members and friends. Research has shown that couples who maintain close ties with their family and friends can feel the benefits in their general wellbeing and quality of life through practical and emotional support [6] [7]. Research has shown that family members who initially express disapproval often warm up to the idea once the child arrives [8]. Keep reminding your family that you love and support each other and that, while you would prefer to have their support, you will still be parents regardless. Letting your family know that their negative attitudes won’t affect you gives them a more realistic choice to make about how involved they want to be. And remember – it’s your decision to become a parent and you have the right to be supported through that process. Make room for the voices that want to help you and politely ignore the ones that don’t. With a bit of self-acceptance, you may find that there are more people on your side than you realised.   References [1] Petch, J., & Halford, W. K. (2008). Psycho-education to enhance couples transition to parenthood. Clinical Psychology Review, 28(7), 1125-1137. doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2008.03.005 [2] Shapiro, A. F. and Gottman, J. M. Effects on Marriage of a Psycho-Communicative-Educational Intervention With Couples Undergoing the Transition to Parenthood, Evaluation at 1-Year Post Intervention. J. Fam. Commun. 5, 1–24 (2005). [3] NatCen (2014). British Social Attitudes. [4] Crouch, S. R., Waters, E., Mcnair, R., Power, J., & Davis, E. (2014). Parent-reported measures of child health and wellbeing in same-sex parent families: A cross-sectional survey. BMC Public Health, 14(1). doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-635 [5] ONS (2013) [6] Gierveld, J. D., & Tilburg, T. V. (2010). The De Jong Gierveld short scales for emotional and social loneliness: Tested on data from 7 countries in the UN generations and gender surveys. European Journal of Ageing, 7(2), 121-130. doi:10.1007/s10433-010-0144-6 [7] Moor, N., & Komter, A. (2011). The impact of family structure and disruption on intergenerational emotional exchange in Eastern Europe. European Journal of Ageing, 9(2), 155-167. doi:10.1007/s10433-011-0207-3 [8] Koller (2008)
Article | same-sex, parenting
4 min read
Separating from a pregnant partner
If you and the mother of your child have separated, you might be worried about what time you’ll get to spend with your child. If the relationship between you and your ex is volatile, you might not be able to hold a conversation long enough to discuss joint childcare arrangements. Why do I feel scared about this? There a few reasons you might feel this way: If you’ve recently separated, emotions will be running high and everything can be quite intense. It’s common to be overwhelmed, and this could be affecting your worldview. You may have heard stories of other dads not getting the chance to play a part in their children’s lives after a separation. 13% of non-resident fathers say they have no contact and never see their child [1], and this is a frightening statistic for expectant dads contemplating a separation. You might worry that you don’t have as many legal rights as your partner, or that they will move on with someone new who could take on a parenting role with your child. How can I help the situation? If your partner is angry and doesn’t want anything to do with you, first let the dust settle. Give her with space, and respect the decisions she makes for your child. The law will always favour your child’s needs, so the best thing you can do is demonstrate that you will be a positive influence in your child’s life. When the time is right, you could talk with her about doing a parenting plan. We offer a free online parenting plan where you can make decisions and make plans without having to speak directly to your ex. You will get a notification when they have made a suggestion, and you can agree, disagree, or find a compromise – all the while focusing on the best arrangements for the baby. Research suggests that even though regular face-to-face meetings are most ideal, frequent contact by phone or email can make up for distance from your child [2]. Although this kind of contact may not be ideal, it should enable you to maintain your parent-child bond. This is particularly good news if you live in a different location to your partner and your child. If your partner ends up blocking you from seeing your child, then you may need to go down the legal route. While the courts recognise the importance of the mother in the very early years, there is no gender bias. Researchers from the University of Warwick found that fathers applying for child contact had been “overwhelmingly successful” and that dads fared just as well as mums when making contact applications [3].   References [1] Eloise Poole. (2013). What do we know about non-resident fathers? Retrieved from Modern Fatherhood: www.modernfatherhood.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Briefing-paper-Non-resident-fathers.pdf [2] McGene, J. and King, V. (2012) Implications of New Marriages and Children for Coparenting in Nonresident Father Families. Journal of Family Issues, 33(12), 1619–41. [3] Warwick University (2015). Study finds English and Welsh family courts not discriminating against fathers. Retrieved from: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/newsandevents/pressreleases/study_finds_english/
Article | breakups, contact
4 min read
Pregnant and splitting up
If you’re pregnant and going through a separation, you might be worrying about how the breakup will affect your child. Stress One of the things you might be thinking about is how the stress of separation or divorce might affect your baby’s development in the womb. Research has found that relationship strain during pregnancy appears to be linked to negative cognitive and behavioural development in children [1]. If separation is the right thing for you as parents, it’s possible to minimise the stress and remain supportive to each other. This might be very difficult, especially if there are unresolved issues between you but, by being reasonable, rational and respectful, it is possible. Take your time to talk through a plan of action. If you decide to stay together, talk to your partner about how you can help reduce stress during the pregnancy. Maybe take up some light exercise together, or practice some yoga designed for pregnancy. If you do have arguments, take the calm and collected approach. If things get heated, take a break and return to the issue when you feel calmer. A two-parent family You may want your child to be brought up by two parents, especially if you were raised by both parents and want your child to have a similar upbringing. Some studies have found that children in two-parent homes are less likely to grow up in poverty [2], and are also less likely to develop emotional problems [3]. But, single-parent families are becoming more common and there is lots of support available for single parents. The number of lone-parent households in the UK grew steadily from 1.8 million in 2003 to nearly 1.9 million in 2013 [5]. While some research suggests that children in single-parent families have poorer outcomes, other research shows that, when it comes to their overall happiness, family composition doesn’t really matter [6]. It’s the quality of the relationship you have with your child that counts. If you stay with your partner, talk about how you want to raise your child. You both may have different ideas of what family life will be like. Take the time, hear each other out and make compromises where you can. Adjustment You may have been brought up in a single-parent household and found it hard to adjust to life. You may have witnessed conflict between your separated parents and, at times, may have felt caught between the two. A poll of 500 young people found that one in three felt that one of their parents had tried to turn them against the other during the breakup [4]. If your own upbringing in a single-parent household was difficult, it’s understandable that you wouldn’t want your child to go through a similar experience.  It’s important to nurture a good co-parenting relationship with your ex-partner. A good place to start is to seek mediation or create a parenting plan so you can agree on how you will raise your child.   References [1] Bergman K., Sarkar P., O'Connor T.G., Modi N., Glover V. (2007). Maternal stress during pregnancy predicts cognitive ability and fearfulness in infancy. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. 2007 Nov; 46(11):1454-63. DOI: 10.1097/chi.0b013e31814a62f6 [2] Gingerbread (2018). Single parent statistics. Retrived on 16 April 2018 from: http://www.gingerbread.org.uk/content/365/Statistics [3] Parry-Langdon, N. (2008). Three years on: Survey of the development and emotional well-being of children and young people. Office for National Statistics [4] Office for National Statistics (2013). Families and Households: 2013. Retrieved from http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/family-demography/families-and-households/2013/stb-families.html [5] The Parent Connection. Children in single parent families no less happy than those in two parent households. Retrieved from: http://theparentconnection.org.uk/blog/children-in-single-parent-families-no-less-happy-than-those-in-two-parent-households [6] The Parent Connection. 1 in 3 young people say one parent tried to turn them against the other during divorce. Retrieved from: http://theparentconnection.org.uk/blog/1-in-3-young-people-say-one-parent-tried-to-turn-them-against-the-other-during-divorce
Article | breakups, pregnancy
4 min read
Grieving for an aborted pregnancy
Making the decision to abort a pregnancy is tough, even if it feels like the right thing to do. Some couples face a difficult time in their relationship following that decision. Guilt With any major life choice, it’s natural to go through the what-ifs and the maybe-I-should-haves. This can happen no matter what decisions you’ve made. People carry guilt individually but, if a decision is shared, the guilt can weigh on you as a couple and potentially lead to blame-shifting or resentment. Grief Some people and couples still have a grieving process to go through, even if it was their decision to terminate. The following research refers to miscarriages and stillbirths, but the lessons of grief are applicable: In the study, most mothers and fathers struggled to understand their partners' grieving style. Fathers described having to focus on practical tasks and needing to remain strong, which meant that the way they grieved was very different to their partner’s [1]. People grieve and express loss in different ways [2] [3] and develop their own coping styles, which may not be recognised or understood by their partner. Some people are not consciously aware of their own coping style. How can I help? If you’re feeling upset or vulnerable after the abortion, it may be worth talking to a counsellor, or someone else you can trust. Talking through your pain is a helpful part of the healing process. Speak to your partner about how you are feeling and talk about what you might find helpful during this time. Keep in mind that your partner may be grieving too –perhaps in a different way – and try to offer support as well as asking for it. Coping with guilt There’s often a temptation to bury guilt or pretend it’s not there. Instead, try to recognise your guilt when it flares up, and talk to your partner about it. Talking it through and being heard may help you find some relief. Keeping the dialogue open and honest can also make things easier if it comes up again. If you’re able to support each other and show patience, you may even find that you become closer in your relationship. Coping with grief If you and your partner have different coping styles, it can be a source of frustration in the relationship. Take the time to talk sensitively with your partner about how you’ve both coped with grief in the past. It might not be the easiest conversation but, as you learn to understand each other’s coping styles, you’ll find that you have more tolerance and patience for one another. In the study, even the most bereaved parents were able to accept each other’s entirely different coping styles, and went on to become closer together in sharing their loss [4]. References [1] Campbell-Jackson, L., and Horsch, A. (2014). The Psychological Impact of Stillbirth on Women: A Systematic Review. Illness, Crisis & Loss, 22(3), 237-256. doi:10.2190/il.22.3.d [2] Dyregrov and Matthiesen (1987). Anxiety and vulnerability after the death of an infant. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology. 1987, 28: 16-25 [3] Gold, K.J., Sen, A., Hayward, R.A. (2010). Marriage and Cohabitation Outcomes After Pregnancy Loss. American Academy of Pediatrics [4] Avelin, P., Rådestad, I., Säflund, K., Wredling, R., Erlandsson, K. (2013). Parental grief and relationships after the loss of a stillborn baby. Midwifery. June 2013, Volume 29, Issue 6, Pages 668–673. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.midw.2012.06.007
Article | abortion, grief
4 min read
Understanding postnatal depression
Postnatal depression (PND) is a type of depression that some women (and some men) experience after having a baby. It can affect around 10 to 15% of women [1] and it tends to occur within the first twelve months after birth. Like other types of depression, it is often misunderstood. If your partner doesn’t understand or underestimates the effects of PND, they might not be able to empathise with you and support you through it. This can cause a conflict in the relationship. Why is this happening? Your partner's misunderstanding or ignorance might be frustrating, but it may just be a lack of knowledge. As a nation, we’re not very good at differentiating between having a low mood, and being depressed. Your partner might assume that, if you have PND, you’ll be sad all the time and cry a lot. So, if your PND manifests itself in other ways, such as sleeping a lot, feeling numb, or withdrawing, it may not be recognised for what it is. Your partner may also assume that, if you didn’t get PND in the first few months, then you can’t be experiencing it now. However, PND can happen any time within the first year after giving birth. How can I help? Firstly, it might be helpful for your partner to know and recognise PND symptoms, some of which may include: Low mood. Loss of interest in usual activities. Feelings of worthlessness. Loss of energy. Crying spells. Insomnia. Fatigue. Anxiety. Poor concentration [1] [2]. PND is a real illness, and anyone suffering from it needs professional help. So it’s important your partner not only understands what PND is, but is willing to learn how it affects you. Try to open the conversation more broadly. Rather than trying to explain PND, try simply asking your partner for support. Different people have different ideas what kind of behaviour is supportive, so your partner may just have a different perspective to you on the subject of PND or depression in general. Relationships between couples following the birth of their child can be fraught, and depression is more likely to develop in both mothers and fathers in the first year of birth [3]. If you feel that your partner is not really paying attention or seems to lack interest, try to remember that people's perspectives are often formed through other people’s attitudes to depression – usually someone quite influential like their own parents. Stick with it, and ask for your partner's undivided attention to explore the issue. Encouraging your partner to speak to a medical professional or a health visitor could be helpful, as they are equipped to explain PND from a psychological and biological standpoint. They may also be able to provide further resources for support for you both. References [1] Yiong Wee, K., Skouteris, H., Pier, C., Richardson, B. and Milgrom, J. (2011) Correlates of Ante- and Postnatal Depression in Fathers: A Systematic Review. Journal of Affective Disorders 130(3), 358–77. [2] Andrews-Fike, C. (1999). A review of postpartum depression. Primary care companion to the Journal of clinical psychiatry, 1(1), 9. [3] (Davé, Petersen, Sherr, & Nazareth, 2010).” (p.29)  
Article | postnatal depression
How to reduce stress during separation
Splitting up with a partner is a stressful process whether you were married or living together. If you are ending a marriage, rather than a cohabiting relationship, you may come into contact with divorce lawyers at some stage. Using collaborative (rather than adversarial) lawyers may help you and your ex-partner avoid getting into long, drawn-out battles that could be difficult for the whole family. When ex-partners take control of the situation and communicate in a respectful way, separation or divorce is likely to be quicker, less expensive and less stressful. This isn’t going to be realistic for every couple but if you can agree some basic communication rules at the start of the process you may be able to avoid a longer battle. You may find it useful to take a look at the Getting it Right for Children course. The course will show you how to work on core communication skills that can be useful throughout the separation process, including: Staying calm and listening Seeing things differently Speaking for yourself Sticking to the point Negotiating Working things out The legal side As well as setting some ground rules with each other, it’s a good idea to read up on the legal side of things, so you feel more in control of your divorce or separation. The Legal Ombudsman has a downloadable guide that can help you decide some key decisions and what to think about when using a lawyer to help with your separation. The guide is based on common issues and complaints including finances and property, and includes top tips to help make the right decisions during the divorce process. You can download a copy of the guide from The Legal Ombudsman.
Article | separation, divorce, stress
2 min read
“Child arrangements”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   Hi. My partner and I have been together for 7 years on and off as he has a drinking problem and bad group of friends and kept breaking up because of that. he was illegal at the time we met and I supported Him all the years till last year he got his rights to stay in the country on the basis of his 2 kids. He got his rights but still didn't want to work and was depending on me. I was paying all the bills etc. We kept arguing for a few months because of that and then all of a sudden I had to go abroad for a family emergency with my kids and he was at the time staying in my home and he did not go tact us whilst we were away, I tried so many time to get hold of him and only sometimes did so we got into an argument and I told him to leave as I was tired of taking all the responsibilities as I only worked part time and we have kids to support too. When I got back from abroad he had dissapeared from the home. he had taken all his belongings with. I tried to contact him but phone went to voicemail. I asked his friends and all said they didn't know where he was so I contacted the police after 48hrs and reported him missing and a week later I heard he went abroad to visit family. He contacted me a few times after that from there and then all of a sudden he stopped. He came back to the UK without informing me and I heard from.a friend of mine that he is back and wen I bumped into him he made like he did not know me so I left it as that as I didn't know eat to say or do. I later tried to call him, I sent him text msges but till today it's been 4 months now he not responded. my kids miss him so much. I am going through depression at the moment I cannot even go to work due to stress. As a single parent it is very difficult for me. I have 2 kids with him and a son from my previous husband. I don't know what to do as he does not provide anything not does he contact the kids. I am finding it so difficult to cope on my own as my youngest is not even 2yrs old. I cannot afford mediation or court fees. I really need him to help with the kids. I would like him to take or see the kids as it's affecting them. I have noticed a change in them since they got back and the dad was gone. I have spoken to child maintenance service and they will try help but I need help into child arrangements. I have tried to text him but has not got back to me regarding this. Could someone help me in this situation?
Ask the community | contact
“Issues around drinking”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   I've had a relationship with a woman for nine years and we've had our ups and downs. She has had a bad past with alcoholics (exes) so she was very critical on no drinking. After no drinking for over six months, proving it's not a problem for me, she began telling me “if you really want to have some after work please just do it at your house”. I agreed and would have some every now and then. Never getting drunk and no fighting the entire time. We recently got engaged a few months ago and moved into a new house together a few weeks ago. As we were moving in she began buying me beer saying the man of the house should be able to have some socially and after a hard day work. Strangely enough even her ex, with his new woman was allowed to come help us with the move and he was getting drunk on beer at our new home while I sipped some vodka. Everyone having a great time and no problems. A few days ago after a long 12hr day, I came home and had a couple of shots to unwind. Afterward she “finds” the bottle by the back door where I smoke a cig, she gets into my bank account statements and sees i have indeed had drinks at my past home... And gets so furious that I am basically kicked out of the new home without any sit down adult conversation about what the issue is. As it turns out, she says I was supposed to announce to her when i was going to have some, which means to her I was dishonest and lied by keeping it “secret”. Of course, I don't remember being told that and so I'm naturally confused so much about being told I can drink at my own home, and her buying me beer, and even having an ex and family over to the new house drinking, and then being so furious about having a drink when i came home after a long day. Despite an apology for any misunderstanding, and pointing out that if she didnt know, after telling me I could... Then consider the fact that there was no getting drunk and that we never had a problem caused by it for the entire time. She simply says i decieved her and knows about her past. Yet lets her ex come over drinking, and bought me beer??? Not only does this seem like a complete hypocrisy, and feel decieved myself, and even asked for an adult conversation to sort out the misunderstanding, with an apology for such... Its been nothing but a heavy text war. I have no clue on how to proceed with fixing this issue while I feel emasculated left without a home. Even if this is somehow worked out, and come back, it would really feel like my home if I can be kicked out of my own place without the decency to even have an adult discussion. I can't even see where I have done anything wrong, while she demands that I admit my wrong doing. Is there any possible way to proceed to fix this?
Ask the community | arguments, communication, addiction
“Relationship issues after birth of child”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   I have issue with my partner after our girl was born. I am being always very close to my partner and we did pretty everything together. This baby for us is like a blessing since I am low count guy and I have few chance to achieve this naturally. Basically I am very keen in doing home duties from cleaning to grocery and household stuff shop. I always have done this, even before pregnancy. During pregnancy I supported my partner every day by helping her with shoes, eating and also being always at scan and check. Of course I did mistakes sometime because my love one is anxious and tends to overreact to problems and sometime I used bad words because I was panicking too. However always recognized my mistakes and made my apologies, now I am changed and tends to be more calm and paced when she get anxious. However, I use to snore and in the last ya my sleep become quit deep. The his made me incapable of listening my partner calling me sometime for help on nappy changes and nights with the baby. However, it was not like this always and I did what I was capable of doing, since for both of us is just the first child. In addition I work and I am trying to make my work do not forbid me for being next to them. Despite this my partner said that she hate me for not being able to help her in the nights, she hate everything of me and want to leave. This started an evening when I was returned from the usual shop for all of us and by closing the door the lock woke up the baby. From that day every single minimal thing is something to argue and tell me how I am shitty. I am confused worried and really exhausted of being treated like this from the person that I LOVE. Please someone has any advice? Cheers
Ask the community | parenting, arguments
“Visitation and day-to-day care”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   Hi I'm in need of some support tips on how to deal with this situation. I am currently in processes of court order I've made to an ex-partner who is the father of my child. There was a lot of things he's done, I had to step up and finally tell someone what was going on in ma 5-yr relationship with the father of my child, which I wanted it to end a bit earlier in the years. I've been and sorted with lawyers, child for lawyers, appointments i attended. After a few of those I've done. Few months maybe more later. Its 2018 now I never heard bk from the lawyers at all or from the courts for a follow up about the cases. I had and heard no contact from no lawyers nothing. A letter came in and I opened it, and it says it was dated on the 2nd of march, I had to attend a conference court case on the 2nd of march 2018. I didn't receive the letter till the 29th of march that's when a letter arrived in my mail box. Why did it take that long to arrive in ma post. I contacted the family law centre to follow up why was the letter sent late. I received the letter in ma mail on the 29th of march, and on the letter it stated and dated on the 2nd march. Apparently I missed the court case. I turned up to the actual first one he didn't, then when I ended hearing about another one I didn't get notified about it for a few weeks he turned up to that, and I didn't. As now I don't know what he capable of he's sly, and I just need some tips how to cope with not been schemed and get stuff put on to me that isn't true. I raised and cared for ma son his whole life I've been there,while his father wasn't around, he's housed, fed, clothed, enrolled him into school he's doing great at school. I really want the father to get visitation at a centre where he's supervised. Not alone as that's why I took him to court - violence, etc... Just abuse.
User article | contact, physical abuse
“I can't stop grieving”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   My ex broke it off about six months ago. We had some contact since then and about two months ago we met up and slept together. We started communicating more after that but had an argument the following week and he just cut contact. He said he couldn't talk to me and I said if he couldn't then he had to move on from me. I got no response back and he hasn't made contact since. I feel so hurt and still stuck in limbo. I'm so sad all the time and can't talk to anyone about it. I told my mum I was depressed about it still and her reaction was "Well, it's been a long time", as if I shouldn't care anymore. But I can't stop hurting. Today is really bad. I started taking St John's Worts about a week ago as I've been really low for a while now. The relationship was on and off for a long time. He wanted me back about a month after we initially split with me, but I didn't go back because he had finished it so many times and I couldn't bare the on off anymore. Now I'm lost. The reality of not being with him hurts even though being with him hurts too. Has anyone got any advice for how I can move forward and stop this pain? Do I contact him to get closure, or should I just let him go?
Ask the community | ex-partner
“I can't accept this rejection”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   I am fresh out of an 8-year relationship, 3 months out and counting. My ex & myself are getting on well, both trying to support each other through the break-up. (although she has told me multiple times she wants me back I don't feel the same) In the meantime I have met someone else. She is a warm, genuine stunning woman whom I didn't mean to fall in love with, however I have. We went on nights out in a crowd of people and always ended up dancing and laughing. We got on like a house on fire. One day I told a 'friend' how I felt about her & well it got back to her & she very nearly shut down, told me she didn't want a relationship just yet & I should give myself time to get over my ex. But we still went out, still got on & still had such a laugh. Slowly as the months passed it was fairly evident we was opening up to the possibility of a relationship, despite her resistance. I then made the single stupidest mistake of my life. I went to my ex to clear the last of my stuff out & well one thing lead to another & we had sex. I regretted it imminently & apologised. My ex was very level headed about the whole thing & told me it didn't matter - 'one for the road'! Somehow the girl I was interested in found out but not before I had 'the moment'. By 'the moment' what I mean is the moment I fell properly hard in love, with her & it was like nothing I felt before - they say your heart punches out your chest & I can say its true. I knew at the moment she was the one. Now I know she has a 'history' - not all of it pretty, she is certainly not whiter than white some of which included adultery, but her past is her past. As far as I'm concerned I fell in love with her not her past. When confronted my on the sex I told the truth & she went apoplectic - & rightfully so. I was such a idiot I couldn't - can't - believe I did it. She banned me form going out with our friends - which are mostly her friends & doesn't want to know me at all. The barriers up & its not coming down. I suddenly realised although we never went on a date, or kissed or spent any real time alone she clearly felt more than 'close friends'. A month & a half later after busting my ass trying to at least relight our friendship she shot me down again - telling me she only wants a 'working' relationship and nothing more - ever. This I'm finding REALLY hard to accept. We were so close. We had so many laughs & overnight its gone. I'm talking to friends about her & using their suggestions but nothing seems to get through. Then some days shes chatting to me & smiling with her stunning eyes, then others nothing. When I look her in the eye I can see the hate where there used to be love. When she answers the phone & realises its me you can actually her her tone change. about the only thing I can still do is make her a coffee. People tell me she doesn't like men. I've been told there might be 'something' in her past which I have either reminded her of (which I'm not her past) but not told what. I've also told shes scared of a relationship. The latest is shes just not interested in me like that which I find so hard to accept, I don't understand how she can just turn it off like that. One of her friends has said I should stick it out & wait but it probably wont be this side of Christmas which I find impossible but whatever it takes, she is 100% certain she will come back. Others say I should just sit her down & have it out with her & if shes still not interested then walk away. She has a very close friend who I know & I wonder if I should talk to her but if she finds out I think it kill of anything that remains. My question is why can't I just except it? Should I wait? Give it more time? Or go face to face with her & have it all out. If I give it time how long? Every morning shes on my mind, every night.
Ask the community | breakups, rejection, cheating
Dealing with debt in a relationship
Whether it’s a credit card or a bank loan, help from a family member, a quick dip into the overdraft, or even a payday loan, almost everyone has some experience of borrowing money. In between borrowing money and paying it back, we are in debt. As long as we have the means to pay it back, debt can be a useful way of managing money - but it can end up costing more than it is worth. How debt affects your relationship   Money worries are one of the biggest causes of stress and arguments in UK households [1], sitting in the top three relationship strains for 55% of couples (for parents, it’s 61% [2]). A quarter of people have found money worries getting in the way of their sex lives [3] and one study suggests that couples who get into problem debt are twice as likely to break up [4]. If you are worried about debt, it’s better that your partner finds out sooner rather than later. When you are under pressure financially, your partner will pick up on it and bear some of the brunt of that strain. Many people feel ashamed of debt, or think they can handle it better alone. However, keeping debt a secret can just make things worse. By sharing the concern with your partner, you can share the burden and work together towards a solution [5]. For practical tips on talking to your partner about debt – whether it’s you or your partner who accrued the debt – visit the guidance page on our ‘Debt and relationships’ service. Getting into debt   Couples can get into debt when entering a new phase of the relationship, like moving in together, getting married, or having a baby. These times are always challenging, no matter how positive and exciting the change. Your relationship is intensified and magnified as you step up the commitment and costs can escalate. In these times, couples tend to have big expectations of the future, and how their lives will be [6]. While it can be tempting to load up a few credit cards to get the things you want, it’s important not to borrow more than you can reasonably plan to pay back. Being in debt makes it much harder to live up to your expectations of the future anyway. The more debt you have, the more likely you are to argue, and the less time you are likely to spend together [6]. How to deal with debt Talk to your partner. Get things out in the open and share the burden. Put all your debts in front of you. Open your post and check your accounts. Hiding from debt won’t make it go away and could make it worse. Make a budget. Look at what you are spending and where you can cut back. Work out how much you can afford to pay off each month. Contact your creditors to can organise a payment plan, even if it’s only a small amount. Speak to a debt advice organisation. Free services like The Debt Advice Foundation can help you get all this information together and offer tips on how to negotiate repayment plans with creditors. Dealing with debt takes time and understanding [7]. You can make things easier by getting help from debt organisations, but keep in mind that money issues can persist. You may need support not only with money issues, but also with the relationship strains that can accompany them. If you and your partner want some extra support, counsellors such as those at Relate may be able to help you deal with relationship issues, whether debt-related or not [7]. The good news is that once the debt has been paid off, relationship quality has been shown to improve again [6]. References [1] 4Children. (2016). “Britain’s Families: Thriving or Surviving?” [2] Undy, Helen, Barbara Bloomfield, Kate Jopling, Laura Marcus, Peter Saddington, and Patrick Sholl. 2015. “The Way We Are Now: The State of the UK’s Relationships 2015.” Relate, Relationships Scotland, Marriage Care. [3] Ann Summers & Relate. (2012). “The Sex Census.” [4] Kneale, D., & Trinley, W. (2013). Tales of the Tallyman: Debt and Problem Debt among Older People. International Longevity Centre - UK. [5] Falconier, M. K., & Epstein, N. B. (2010). Relationship satisfaction in Argentinean couples under economic strain: Gender differences in a dyadic stress model. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 27(6), 781-799. [6] Dew, J. (2008). Debt Change and Marital Satisfaction Change in Recently Married Couples. Family Relations, 57(1): 60–71. [7] Papp, L. M., Cummings, E. M., & Goeke‐Morey, M. C. (2009). For richer, for poorer: Money as a topic of marital conflict in the home. Family Relations, 58(1), 91-103.
Article | communication, finance, debt
4 min read
Say goodbye to the birds and the bees
Talking to your children about sex and relationships can be a daunting prospect but, while it might be tempting to put it off, it’s best to start sooner rather than later. It’s time for the birds and the bees chat to be replaced by open and honest conversations – not just about sex, but about relationship skills like managing emotions, resolving arguments, and listening to other points of view [1]. Try to purge your mind of any negative memories from your own childhood. Even if your sex education was a big awkward talk; or a pamphlet on the sins of the flesh left conspicuously on your bed; or just years of silence, it doesn’t have to be like that for your children. Relationships education is changing The school curriculum is changing. What used to be SRE (Sex and Relationships Education) is becoming RSE (Relationships and Sex Education). Your child will still learn about sex but within the context of understanding relationships, which will help them recognise the good and bad relationships in their lives. Relationships education is likely to include information about a variety of relationship types, including friendships. There is a compelling case for children learning skills to help them talk about their feelings and be more aware of the quality of their relationships [1]. This change comes at a valuable time, as more children are reporting being unhappy with their friendships [2]. Schools are already doing more to teach about online safety, including sexting, cyberbullying and pornography. Young people are spending more time online [3] [4] and, as a result, they may be facing sex and relationship challenges that you never had to deal with. The Department for Education will give schools more guidance about the new RSE curriculum soon and learning about this as a parent too can help you support your child in making safe, sensible choices as they get older. What parents and children think In light of these developments, we teamed up with youth charity The Mix to ask children and parents what topics they’d like to see covered in relationships and sex education. The top five most important topics listed by parents and carers were: Staying safe online Bullying and cyberbullying Being aware of who knows what is being shared online What makes a good and not so good friendship Abusive relationships Bullying and abusive relationships were also particularly important topics for young people who wanted to know more about recognising – and getting out of – bad relationships. Overall, nearly 90% of parents agreed that sex education would be improved by including relationships education [1]. Talking about relationships and sex The coming RSE lessons in schools will be a good opportunity for you to learn together and build on your child’s learning by starting your own conversations at home. While it might seem tricky or embarrassing, it’s best to talk openly and honestly. The more open you are, the more confident and competent your children are likely to be in their own relationships [5]. It’s often easier to talk about sex and relationships by taking advantage of opportunities to talk, like using an issue they’ve experienced at school, a storyline on TV, or a pregnant friend. Don’t wait until they’re already going through puberty, and don’t plan a big ‘sit down’ conversation. Think of it as an ongoing conversation that can be returned to as needed [5]. When your child shows curiosity, answer their questions honestly, but don’t feel you need to expand in great detail beyond what they ask. A good guideline to bear in mind is that if your child is asking you a question, they’re ready to learn the answer. If you find it difficult, you might want to look into a course like Speakeasy, which was set up to help parents feel more confident talking to their children about sex, and to make them more aware of opportunities to do so [6]. If you can’t find a course near you, there are lots of helpful tips on the FPA website. Working with your child’s school Many of the parents who took our survey were keen to play a part in their children’s relationships education [1]. Young people are also more willing than in previous generations to talk to their parents about things that matter to them [2], but it’s easier to get these conversations in early, while children are still young. As they get older, children and young people tend to lean away from parents and teachers, preferring to learn from peers, or by looking things up online [1]. RSE is more effective when schools and parents work together [7]. Making yourself aware of what’s on the RSE curriculum when it launches can help you think about how you might approach conversations at home, perhaps building on topics that are being taught in school [6]. So, keep your eyes and ears open for the new curriculum details in 2019 and, in the meantime, follow our blogs for expert information about relationships.   References [1] OnePlusOne (2018). Relationships and Sex Education: A submission to the Department for Education. [2] Office for National Statistics (2018) ‘Children’s Well-Being and Social Relationships, UK - Office for National Statistics’. Retrieved online from the Office for National Statistics website: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/wellbeing/articles/measuringnationalwellbeing/march2018. [3] Ofcom (2017) Internet use and attitudes: 2017 Metrics Bulletin. Retrieved online from the Ofcom website: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/105507/internet-use-attitudes-bulletin-2017.pdf [4] Frifth, E. (2017) Social media and children’s mental health: a review of the evidence. Education Policy Institute. Retrieved online from the Education Policy Institute website: https://epi.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Social-Media_Mental-Health_EPI-Report.pdf [5] Wilson, Ellen K., Barbara T. Dalberth, Helen P. Koo, and Jennifer C. Gard. (2010) ‘Parents’ Perspectives on Talking to Preteenage Children About Sex’. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 42 (1): 56–63. [6] Kesterton, D. and Coleman, L. (2010) 'Speakeasy: a UK-wide initiative raising parents'confidence and ability to talk about sex and relationships with their children', Sex Education, 10: 4, 437-448. [7] Pound, P., Denford, S., Shucksmith, J., Tanton, C., Johnson, A. M., Owen, J., Hutten, R., Mohan, L., Bonell, C., Abraham, C., and Campbell, R. (2017) What is best practice in sex and relationship education? A synthesis of evidence, including stakeholders’ views. BMJ Open, 7: e014791.  doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2016-014791
Article | sex, sex education
9 min read
“Why is he staying with me?”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   Ok this is a long one I have been with my husband for 15 years and married for 8 we have 2 children At Christmas he was out on his Christmas do i was browsing through Facebook before i went to sleep and a photo popped up with him tagged it showed him very cosy with a young girl. it disappeared around a minute later from Facebook but it was enough to make me think, so the next opportunity I got I looked at his phone and found more photos of him and this young girl on his phone.They are with other people but very cosy and they look like a couple. I did not mention it at first but i just tried to have a discussion about our relationship in which he admitted he had not been happy for 2 years. I thought then and there it was over but he sent be a huge bunch of flowers and seamed to want to work it all out. However i just couldn't shake the pictures from my mind so i eventually brought them up. He assured me they were just very good friends(his words) She had worked with him for 2 years and i had no idea who she was. its only a small office i know all the other ladies by name and i have never had any issues i used to pop in every now and again (for valid reasons he forgot his lunch things like that at his request) i had never seen this girl or heard him mention her. He then said he hadn't mentioned her because they talk about me?? As you can imagine things deteriorated between us and i was very hurt angry and confused. I lost a lot of weight and he seamed pleased by this kept telling me i looked great i was only a size 12 before all this (she is about a size 4 thats a guess very skinny) But then in the middle of all these arguments he though it was appropriate to book to go to Vegas with his friends. Ordinarily i wouldn't mind this but I had wanted to go to Vegas for my 30th 6 years ago at the time we couldn't afford it which is fine and he promised me we could go for my 40th i have been planning this and looking forward to it. financially we are a lot better off now i have been promoted and earn equal to him and there is the option to do overtime whenever i need/want. We could afford for us to go to Vegas now but i wanted it to be something special for my 40th. We have no debt nice cars a lovely house but i would give it all away to feel like i matter to him anymore. I'm struggling to understand why he is staying with me. No I'm not going to pretend I'm perfect I'm not i get very very angry and shout and sometimes say things i don't mean not violent I'm not a violent person at all. classic me (we wouldn't be here if you had kept it in your pants) but i often feel that i do these things to get him to sit up and take notice (wrong i know as it just makes him angry) We find it hard to have conversations without them becoming a argument. His work organise charity things and i have never been invited to 1 he says he wants that part of his life separate from me and he should be entitled to have that. i don't want to stop him doing anything i just want to be part of his life, i don't want to go to everything i know we have issues with childcare my parents live a long way away but help when they can, his parents are closer but don't really do much. I'm really struggling. He now says he's suffering from depression. I have booked him an appt at a the Drs. I'm trying to be supportive i know how horrendous depression can be. When i look back tho i don't think he has ever really considered me and I've probably just put up with it but I'm so so hurt by the Vegas thing he says he going and that's that. What would you all do? I'm lost, confused and don't want to destroy my children's lives. If you all think I'm in the wrong please say I'm especially interested in a male perspective. I have male friends but they are my friends and obviously give me the whole what are you doing with him get rid talk but i am also fully aware they only have my side.
Ask the community | trust, jealousy

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