I have had a relationship for two years. It was difficult from the beginning but also very fulfilling in our times. In our second year he was diagnosed with a severe depression that he must have had for a while then. After the diagnosis he had a breakdown and was nearly not able to do anything anymore. He was emotionally aggressive and cruel towards me and I felt abused very often. In trying to take care for him I got health problems myself and found me a therapist. 10 month later I announced I would leave our flat for a while to recover, he left me and broke all contact – I was relieved, though I loved him very much.
I lived without him for one year, recovered, were very happy, dated and had a fulfilling job, still I kept feeling I had lost the chance to grow old with someone I really loved.

A year after that, he contacted me to apologize for the way he had treated me. We shared some careful contact and finally got back together. He seemed deeply changed as he has mastered e.g. anger control, self-reflectiveness in a way he never could before.

Still a part of me is suspicious, as I don’t know what disorder he has. He has been in deep psychological therapy for two years now and is not telling a lot about it. I suspected a sort of narcissistic issue but am not sure now as he has changed so much over so little time. I was going to just give it a try and see if we can go for a while without a toxic situation and promised myself I would leave him the second I saw any evidence he hadn’t changed at all so I would not fall back into the dangerous ‘trap’ It was very respectful until now.

But now I fear I am pregnant and am terribly worried to have a child with someone that might have a major dysfunction and might terrorize me in the future. He has not shown any sign of this, though, and I feel it unfair to blame him for the past. But how can I feel safer? I wish someone would fill me in on some facts but I suggest not even he knows himself and his therapist chose not to talk anyone. (From Germany)

A:  Thank you for your email and details about your situation. I would highly encourage the two of you to work with a couple counselor. Someone skilled in this form of therapy can help you sort through the the concerns and help you prepare for the future. I encourage you to begin this sooner rather than later, so that you can be ready when the baby arrives.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral