A reader wants advice for how to repair her relationship with her ex boyfriend who she dumped while pregnant with their child.
I broke up with my ex and I’m 7.5 m pregnant by him, it’s been about 3 weeks since initial break up. I tried NC (no contact) but texted him a week ago and he responded one time and has since been ignoring every attempt of mine to get him to answer me.
My question is, how do I know if he’s using NC on me in hopes we get back together, or is his NC his way of moving on and he’s done for good?
I love him and want us together to raise our baby and this is breaking my heart so bad it’s physically debilitating. Have I lost him for good or is he just angry about the breakup and is in a sense using NC as a way to “punish”me?
I don’t want to live without him but the way he’s treating me is literally killing me more daily and now I’m having second thoughts on keeping the baby cuz I don’t think I can do the parenting thing on my own.
Please give me some advice besides telling me to move on and forget about him, that’s not an option when I’m carrying his baby inside me.
First of all, I’m sorry you’re going through this breakup– especially while you’re pregnant. Luckily it’s only been 3 weeks since you broke up, so if you know you made a mistake by breaking up with him, you have time on your side.
To answer your question about whether it’s likely your ex is using no contact (NC) to try and get you back right now— most likely not.
He probably took you at your word and believed you when you told him you wanted to break up.
Your ex boyfriend is much less likely to be “punishing” you and more likely to be taking time for himself away from you. It probably broke his heart when you broke up with him and he doesn’t want to talk… yet.
Taking time to himself is really quite logical on his part since when you broke up with him, you essentially told him you wanted less of his company, so he is respecting your wishes.
Since you’re saying you don’t want to live without your ex, my best guess from your message is that the reason you broke up with him was because you wanted the relationship to change in some way and were struggling to get through to him, so you chose the nuclear route instead, maybe hoping it would be a wake up call to him.
When you break up with someone who you’re not truly done with, you’re playing a really dangerous game.
You’re willing to dismantle all the trust in the relationship to potentially get the change you want from the other person.
And, it can work… but…
You have to be committed to your plan and willing to completely let go of the relationship if you don’t get whatever you are trying to negotiate for.
Walking away as a negotiating tactic in the interest of changing your relationship only works if you’re wiling to actually walk away.
It sounds like you’re not willing to hold out for whatever you really wanted from your ex boyfriend, since now you’re pursuing him before he has thought about it long enough to either come out and offer you something or decide the price is too high.
When you break up with someone you inherently hurt their pride.
You’re essentially saying to them, “I don’t want to deal with you or work on this any more.”
And… specifically when it’s a man who you are leaving, the very fact that you decided to reject him and leave the relationship brings up a lot of shame. Shame he couldn’t please you or make it work.
Both men and women experience shame after breakups, it’s just that shame affects men differently than it does women. Shame is debilitating to men like fear is for women.
Also, since you have been pursuing your ex and wanting to talk about the breakup, he doesn’t have to feel your loss enough to actually decide whether he’s ready to either give you what you want or go away for good.
Your ex boyfriend doesn’t have to worry about losing you right now, since— even though you made the decision to break up, you have been chasing him.
Right now your ex boyfriend has something he knows you want— namely communication, connection and a potentially supportive relationship with his unborn child.
Exes will ignore you for lots of reasons— the LEAST common of which being to do an intentional no contact period with the eventual hope of getting back together. Going no contact to get back together is one of those things that you’ll see everywhere online, and I even recommend it from time to time.
However, for regular people who are just going through a breakup and not specifically searching for how to get their ex back or gain support for their breakup, no contact isn’t as much an intentional tactic or technique as it is just good old, “ignoring your ex and trying to get out of pain”
Now, I’m not trying to shame you for breaking up with him or wanting him back. I have to applaud you for reaching out after realizing you made a mistake by breaking up with your ex. I’ve been there and made that mistake myself. I’m not trying to make it worse by mentioning it.
Sometimes people just don’t know what else to do to transform their relationship. Pregnancy and raising children are tremendously stressful on relationships.
People don’t create amazing, romantic, sweet, supporting relationships with someone who has a gun to their head.
Right now, adding more pressure of any kind will make your ex boyfriend run further away. He has to WANT to come toward you— which won’t be accomplished with pressuring him to decide OR ELSE.
Right now the baby is just a theoretical distraction for him. You have to work on getting the man back before you bring the baby into it because— while the baby is very real to you— it most likely represents pressure, stress, duty and obligation to him.
The idea that he should feel guilty about what’s happening with the child is probably a good part of why he’s avoiding you after your breakup. By breaking up with him, you delivered the message— intentionally or not— that he wasn’t suitable to provide for you OR the child.
I’m not telling you this to make you feel worse either, I’m explaining so you can get into his mindset for a minute. If he already has other kids, he knows how much responsibility they are, and if this is his first, he’s probably scared half to death about his ability to soldier this new, looming responsibility.
When it comes to romantic love— children or not— pressure, stress, duty and obligation are fatal.
So, now that I’ve gone over a little bit about how your ex might be feeling about the breakup, let’s get to what you can do to smooth this over and get your relationship back on track.
To repair your relationship with your ex boyfriend, you have 2 tasks.
The first is to quickly and cleanly apologize to your ex— if you haven’t already in any of your previous messages to him.
Keep it short and sweet— 3 sentences MAX.
Say you’re sorry for breaking up, you regret your decision and you would prefer the relationship work but you understand that given his lack of response, you accept his decision.
Then, make yourself genuinely happy and calm. Accept what has already happened for right now and just focus on what’s in front of you.
As best you can, try to put your ex out of your mind completely and get yourself in the best emotional and physical position possible.
No reaching out without a specific, real reason.
No “how’s it going?” idle chit chat.
No angry, guilt producing or pressuring messages.
No pursuit or pressure on your ex boyfriend to do anything AT ALL.
I’m not saying you should ignore him if he reaches out to you. Don’t ignore him. If he wants to talk to you for any reason, talk to him but don’t get drawn into any arguments or pressure him for specific answers.
Starting today, put in a boundary with yourself. You’re not going to let anything he does affect your stress levels. Dial down all worries about your future and just take a mental vacation from your problems.
I know that’s easier said than done, but it’s my highest and best breakup advice for you. If you were a private coaching client, I would explain some specific ways to do this— but most important is to distance yourself from all drama around him and release all NEED.
Center yourself so powerfully in your own worth that no matter what happens, you’ll be happy with the decision you made. Your future right now is up to you— so choose the path that you feel best about and do the best you can.
Even though you have every right to want answers around the baby, it’s simply too much pressure to make him decide about all of this given the absolute disaster area your relationship is with him right now.
Most likely, your ex boyfriend will eventually come out of the woodwork before you give birth.
When he does, calmly negotiate with him.
If you don’t hear back before the child arrives and it’s high time to make a decision, send him another message that clearly and without guilt lays out his options with you.
If he doesn’t respond then, make the best decision for yourself and the baby and let the chips fall where they may.
This is less about “moving on and forgetting about him” like you mentioned— than it is leaving blank space and going about your business.
Nothing is ever urgent with a man unless one of you requires an ambulance.