Dear Coleen: Partner is sulking over my surprise pregnancy

Dear Coleen

I’m a 35-year-old woman and I’ve been with my partner, who’s 48, for two years.

When we got together, he said he wasn’t keen on having more kids – he has two with his ex-wife – but we never really talked about it much after that.

I’ve never been desperate for children, but I suppose I hadn’t closed the door on it either.

My problem is, a few weeks ago, I found out I’m pregnant.

I’m pretty sure it happened after a prosecco-fuelled night out where we didn’t use a condom.

I was unexpectedly ecstatic about the news, but when I told my partner he was pretty angry, saying “how could it have happened?” and has been sulking ever since.

I find his attitude so childish and I resent the fact that he’s making this such a horrible experience for me when I was happy.

I get that he’s older and feels he’s over the baby stage, but I’m 35 and feel this is the right time for me.

Neither of us planned this, but it’s happened and I just want us to embrace it.

Can you help?  

Coleen says

Um, he’s a bit old to need a biology lesson, but you might want to remind him that it takes two to tango and you’re in this together whether he
likes it or not.

Maybe he just needs time to adjust to the idea of becoming a dad again and what that’ll mean for him and for your relationship. It sounds like you never really had a proper conversation about having a family, which is where a lot of couples come unstuck further down the line. 

But you need to talk now about how you each feel and how you’ll manage it together. He can’t just sulk and blame you.

It’s OK to admit that he’s shocked and even angry, and unsure of how he’ll cope, but it’s not OK to just remove himself from the situation and the ­responsibility that comes with it.  

I think the age gap is a factor here and you both had different expectations of the relationship, even if they were unconscious and you hadn’t expressed them to each other, or even acknowledged them yourselves.

Perhaps you never had that important conversation about babies at the start of your relationship because you knew deep down that you wanted different things, so it was easier to avoid it.

So, my advice is to talk now – get it all out on the table and try to work through it together.

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