DEAR CAROLYN: My fiance and I parted ways after he admitted he never wanted children. I've always wanted kids, so we made the gut-wrenching decision to break up. During this time, I cried and told him I probably would never find anyone to love me and have children with me. My fiance compassionately agreed to help me get pregnant, provided we would not be a couple and he would give up his parental rights once the baby was born. We stayed together another few months until I got pregnant, then dealt with the fallout of breaking up again. I'm now pregnant, lonely and seeing my former partner on social media with his new love, which is stabbing me in the heart. I know this is what I wanted, but I can't help but feel he didn't love me enough to stay around. Please help me. I feel so lost and alone and I don't know what to do.
Pregnant and Lonely
PREGNANT AND LONELY: Oh my.
There are some fallacies here, big ones, so let's dispense with them upfront.
"[H]e didn't love me enough to stay around." False — he just didn't want kids enough.
But if that's not persuasive: YOU didn't love HIM enough to stay around — because you had that option, too. His was to stay with you and have kids he didn't want; yours was to stay with him and not have kids you wanted.
Same-freaking-same. You're even. OK? OK.
Next: "I cried and told him I probably would never find anyone." I can't prove that's false, but it was certainly post-breakup-sobspeak. You have no idea what life will bring so "never" is a fallacy just waiting to become official.
Next: "My fiance compassionately agreed to help me get pregnant." I'm sure he felt compassion, but whether the decision was compassionate is . . . complicated. Not that your child won't be loved and valued — it's just that solving the one problem created an acute other problem (or problems).
Next: "seeing my former partner on social media with his new love is stabbing me in the heart"? The fallacy here is that seeing him (anyone) on social media is necessary. You don't have to! Self-torture is optional, so opt! out! Block, cancel, quit.
Once you clear all of these falsehoods out, you might be instantly un-lost. Clear out the idea that he didn't love you; clear out that you're unlovable; clear out social-media self-flagellation, at least until you feel better. Consider that this "compassionate" act of his introduced complexities you didn't foresee and would be wise now to sort out with a therapist and an attorney (rights issues aren't quite so easy).
Replace all of these with the following truths as your beacon: The breakup will hurt less over time, and you're going to be a mom. Everything you do from now on can be streamlined to these two things: what will help you recover, and what will help you be a good mom. Call in whatever reinforcements you have at the ready, be they friends, family, sought-out (therapist, doctor, prenatal yoga instructor, single-parent support, etc.) or on-hand, and focus on whatever helps you get well and get ready.
All breakups feel painful and lonely. Trust you'll heal because that's what we're built to do.