April 2017: I Want a Baby, But Partner Doesn’t & Bullying Boss

I Want a Baby, But Partner Doesn’t

Dear Dr.Jane

I’m nearly 45 and want to have a baby more than anything, my long-term partner knows what I want, . He’s in his mid 50s, with 3 young adult children from a first marriage, who he still supports financially.  He’s never said he doesn’t want more children, but avoids open discussion about a baby.  He says he loves me and doesn’t want to lose me, he always says he needs his own space.

I feel I do most of the running in our relationship and have to arrange our social life, including arranging for his children to come and see him, which is always difficult to arrange as they have busy lives, I also hate actually having them over as they seem so ungrateful and sulky.

How far do I test my relationship on the issue of wanting a baby?

Salli

Dear Salli,

I wonder if you’ve had the chance to reflect on what you have actually written. In as much as you are spelling out the problem with your partner probably a little clearer than you think, you want a baby, he doesn’t, you arrange everything for him, his now adults children are difficult – hardly an endorsement to him for him having more children.

When you’re in the middle of a problem it’s often difficult to see what’s really going on.  As you say he says he needs his own space, which is unlikely to include a baby he has ‘Done that, got the tee-shirt’ and three moody kidults for his efforts.  Any baby is going to occupy lots of your valuable time and leave less for him, and the management of his life that your seem to take on.

You need to have a proper honest discussion with him, this may need to be mediated by a third party, Relate or a trusted and neutral friend or relative.  But you do need to hear him say what he feels about you wanting a baby.  And if you think that he truly does not want another child, then at least you know where you stand and it may well be time to consider all of your options for having a child by yourself.

It maybe that when you have made a decision, that you will have a child regardless of him or he may well want to be part of this process as he loves you. 

The big question is do you want the baby more than the relationship? And if you do then you really need to start exploring your options sooner than later

Best wishes and good luck.  

Dr. Jane.

Relate.org.uk

 

Bullying Boss

Dear Dr. Jane

I work for an insurance firm with a nice bunch or colleagues, except our team leader who an interfering in your face control freak bully.  She has to know everything we do, even if it’s got nothing to do with work.  She will systematically pick on one member of the team at a time as you can imagine there’s been lots of toilet tears about her behaviour.  If anyone proves her wrong about anything, she’ll just walk off without a word. 

At the moment, as you can probably tell, it’s my turn for all of her bullying.  She’s constantly on the lookout for any little error, being a couple of minutes late from lunch and then will broadcast this to everyone both verbally and on email.  

She really sucks up to her boss, who seems to turn a blind eye to her. There’s a parallel team in our department and their boss is great, she’s laid back and all the works still gets done, we look over at her team with envy.

What can I do?

Becky

 

Dear Becky,

Most of us spend a third of our lives at work, so when it’s not a nice place to be, regardless of job satisfaction, it can be a nightmare, as you and your colleagues are finding out.

It seems to me that your team leader feels out of the natural depth of her abilities and is feeling insecure and her behaviour and attitude towards her team is showing this.

You make the comparison with the other female team leader and conclude that your leader doesn’t have to behave like this to get the actual work done.  I suspect that she too compares herself with the other team leader, which contributes to her insecurities and anxieties and all the frustration and anger she feels when she compares herself comes your teams way.

Your company, meaning her boss and any management upwards, have a duty of care towards all of its staff.  And this sounds like something that needs to be raised with management.  To start with you may not have to make a formal grievance, hopefully it will not have to come to that.  Make notes of what has happened regarding her behaviour and have the complaint come from a few of you so management realise that something has to change, it’s not so easy to ignore a group of people.

If you need some advice contact acas.org.uk or citizensadvice.org.uk

Best of luck

Dr. Jane x