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Ask Amy

Ask Amy column

Q. Last year I met my boyfriend. I became pregnant quickly in the relationship, and now we have a baby together. I was never completely satisfied with the relationship, but he was such a caring person that I’ve tried to see it through. He has intense religious views that I just don’t share. He has moved in with my mother and myself, and we all take care of the baby.

I’m still not satisfied with the relationship. Anything physical is completely undesirable to me. He’s a good person, but he lacks any sort of drive to make himself better, even for our daughter.

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He cares about us both deeply, but I just don’t have the feelings I think I should have for him. I also never wanted to raise a baby, but with so much pressure from him and his family I felt that there was no other way (I was interested in adoption).

I now love my baby girl with my whole heart but just can’t get past this distant feeling I have for him. I don’t want to tell him because I think he would be crushed, but I also don’t want to spend my whole life not being entirely happy because of a slip-up I had at age 20.Should I try to stick it out or should I tell him the truth?

A. Your most important job is to be your baby’s mother. This needs to come above your romantic dreams at this point. It sounds as if your boyfriend is a good person and involved dad. If he is available to be the primary caregiver in your mother’s home for now (it sounds as if he is), you could pursue your education, job training, or whatever outside goals you have.

You are very young, and it is natural at your age to want to be “entirely happy.” But happiness comes in many forms, and for the first year or so of your daughter’s life you may have to shelve youthful happiness in favor of the satisfaction that you are doing the best thing for your child. If after six to nine more months you know you cannot make it with your boyfriend as a romantic partner, you will have to act like a responsible adult and be honest, kind, and respectful as you both work out what will be best for your daughter. Eventually, you may determine that your child could do best living with the child’s father and his family, with you co-parenting as you can.

Q. The mother of my young grandson — she’s not married to my son — is charming and bright but lies constantly. Often the lies are about insignificant issues. She is in her early 20s. I hate to think of my grandson growing up with this role model. Do you have any suggestions on how to approach her, especially as she is a very defensive person?

A. If this young woman lies directly to you and you catch her, then you get to call her on it. The only way to do this is honestly, knowing that this young mother may not respond well. You say, “I’m concerned and confused because what you are saying just isn’t true. How would you feel if I wasn’t honest with you? How would you feel if your little boy wasn’t honest with you?”

Q. “Concerned Suitemate” had to tolerate one guy airing his personal business through nightly Skype calls to his girlfriend in the common area. It would make much more sense for the roommates to just hand some headphones to Skyping guy and say plainly, “Use these. We’re tired of hearing your personal stuff. We’re trying to study; please respect that.” Majority rules. Skype guy is the one trodding on other people, not the other way around.

A. Well done.

Amy Dickinson can be reached at askamy@tribune.com. Follow her on Twitter @askingamy or “like” her on Facebook.
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