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by Abigail Van Buren

Joy of Expected Birth Is Overshadowed by Previous Loss

DEAR ABBY: My fiance, "Rob," and I are pregnant. This should be an exciting time for me, but he keeps bringing up a previous relationship during which he had an unplanned child. That was 10 years ago, and the mother denied him access.

I have told Rob how much his mentioning it upsets me and I have asked him not to do it, especially during my pregnancy. I want to feel happy and special as the woman who will be providing Rob with an actual family unit. But instead I feel like second-best and resentful.

This should be a time to focus on us and our new baby, not the child that isn't in his life or that woman and her stupid actions. Please advise me. -- SOON-TO-BE MOM IN DENVER

DEAR MOM: You ARE special and you ARE the person who is creating a new family with Rob, but your pregnancy may be a painful reminder of the child he "lost." He may be afraid the same thing could happen again and need all the reassurance you can give him that it won't.

Because his bringing up the past relationship is hurtful, suggest he talk with a licensed mental health professional about it. Sometimes the best way to stop grieving is to talk about it.

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Love & Dating