Advice: Are We Doomed?

Dear Emelia,

 I am Canadian, married to a Frenchman and we have been living in France for three years. 

I am six months pregnant I can speak a bit of French but do not like speaking with him because his tone and his whole being seems to change along with the language.  

I have no real deal friends here and no sense of community. 

My heart is really heavy.

I am simply asking if this is working? Our relationship I mean.  Like really working?

  Last weekend was lovely and it led into a good week of smiles and kindness and hugs and looking forward to seeing one another at the end of the day… but something else that happens are a lot are breakdowns. Meltdown storms of emotions…crying, yelling, tempers, extreme saddness and a dying feeling.  I know that sounds strong but it is true.

When this happens I end up feeling the most terrible I have felt (the lows keep getting lower, somehow managing to ‘up low’ the last low).

So tonight, I am wondering if it is really all messed up me or if our relationship simply is not working. Are couples supposed to have so many bad times like we have?  Am I the cause of all of them? 

I am asking this question with a baby in my belly and I am terrified to make a mess of life. When did I become such a physcological mess of a woman?

I wish that God or whomever would just circle a box either saying ‘it’s you’ or ‘it’s your relationship’.  Can it be that simple?  

So I go to bed heartbroken again but for the first time, in a seperate room.  I have layers of saddness and I worry of this all effecting the beautiful pure little being inside of me.  Already making a mess as a mother…


Dear Friend,

This is the hardest advice I’ve ever been asked to give. It hits close to home for me. I understand your sensation of “dying” and the assumption that it’s all your fault. The language you use describe how you feel is strong but true. I’ve been in a relationship like this and it was the most painful and vibrant time of my life. My friend calls then “lighthouse” loves.  When the light turns on you, it’s the brightest, safest beam to be in and when it turns off you- the darkness is pitch, thick black.

The main issue I suppose is that you’re pregnant. If you weren’t pregnant I’d tell you to leave him.

I’d say: It’s not supposed to be this hard. You are not supposed to feel this bad. This relationship  is destructive and will not change. You need to go home. Believe that it can be better; because it can.

So. Much. Better.

I’d tell you about my marriage and my kid and how after I finally was able to leave the lighthouse for good I saw how damaging it really was. It was like breaking up with heroin, or leaving an incredible dream behind.

Very, very hard.

But once I was finally clean I met someone else. This someone now makes me cappuchino in bed every morning. He is calm and patient. When I’m freaking out, he helps me rather than escalates the situation. I know with every fibre of my being that he will do what is best for our family. There is very little drama in our relationship, oh…and he makes all the meals.

Life is really hard. You want to feel like your relationship is the easy part.

 And being in a different country with no community and no interest in the language and culture is not going to go away.

It’s only going to get worse.

This is what I’d say if you weren’t pregnant. It would be a very easy and clear choice. It’s not your fault. It sounds like you are working way to hard and trying too much and losing yourself. It’s not necessarily his fault either, but it sounds like the elixir you make together is only good in small doses.

Go. Get out of there. Now. Yesterday.

But I can’t give you any advice like this. I can only tell you what I think will happen.

I think you will hit a wall one day. The wall will be so obvious that there will be no more questioning. The choice will be change, or die.  I think this will happen, I think it will be terribly difficult and I think in the long run you will be very relieved. 

Wait for the wall.

You, dear woman are pregnant with your first child and you are alone. Take this time to prepare yourself. Batten down the hatches. Sleep. Talk less. Soften your face. Call your friends. Bathe. 

You know why I think eventually you will leave? Because your soul will get sick of being blamed for having needs. It won’t be about your brain trying to make the “best decision,” it’ll be about your guts screaming to be heard and guts win every time.

I’m not sure if you will hit the wall before of after the baby comes. 

I know my mom did it alone, she gave birth alone, she parented alone, she raised us alone and she did an amazing job.

Wait for the wall.

Every time you blame, question or hate yourself for being difficult- leave the room you are in, curl up, hold yourself and cry.

You are not to blame.

You’re not getting what you long for and it’s making you crazy. That’s the simple way to put it. And the more your push to “fix it” the crazier you will feel…because your body is allergic to this dark and nasty shit and it’s bucking to be heard.

But it might not be time yet; it may still be years.

You have not hurt your baby. My baby dealt with depression, death and drugs before he came out and he’s the best little kid ever. 

You can do this.

It’s time now to focus on yourself and preparing for birth. The relationship should be supporting you right now, not draining you; so just let it be for a bit.


Stay put till you hit the wall. Then ask for help. And move.

Tell me when it happens.

I will send you flowers. 

Love, Emelia