I'm pretty sure it's better to be a single, lonely, terrified parent than an attached, angry, bitter parent - but need confirmation from a neutral third party.
posted by pennywhistle to Human Relations (85 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
1. Boyfriend and I learned we were pregnant in 2/10. The pregnancy was planned, but at the time we were living in separate rented houses (each with a housemate).
2. We're both professionals in our early 30s with stable jobs. He earns $65,000 per year and I earn twice that.
3. I immediately began house-hunting. It quickly became clear that we were not going to buy a house together (he didn’t agree that we needed to buy, wanted to continue renting, didn’t feel any sense of urgency, didn’t like the houses I liked, etc.). I bought my own house in 4/10. He has made it clear that he dislikes the house (too small, lacks storage, etc.).
4. I spent the next three months and several thousand dollars fixing up the house. He didn't participate in or help with this endeavor, but was quick to criticize whatever changes I did make. He once came over while I was (at five months pregnant) assembling new kitchen cabinets. He told me this was “not very relaxing” for him and left.
5. I selected, purchased, and assembled nursery furniture and otherwise organized and outfitted the nursery. He didn't participate in or help with any of the nursery preparation. He never thanked me for preparing the nursery, but has intimated that he disapproves of my choices.
6. I selected and purchased all of the other sundry baby products (clothes, diapers, toiletries, safety products). I also registered for and helped plan two baby showers. At my request, he attended the showers. I wrote all of the thank-you notes. He commented, after dragging the gifts inside my house, that there was now “more stuff for you to organize.” Apart from that, he managed to criticize the things I have purchased, but never thanked me.
7. I scheduled and (obviously) attended all of my doctor’s appointments, including selecting a new doctor mid-way through my pregnancy. He attended one doctor’s appointment, five months ago (the anatomy ultrasound). He didn't participate in or help with any of the other doctor’s appointments, nor did he pay any of the medical bills.
8. I researched, visited, and selected full time daycare for after the baby is born. He didn't participate in or help in any manner with this process. He did manage to criticize the childcare choices I mentioned.
9. I researched, visited, and selected a pediatrician for after the baby is born. He didn't participate in or help in any manner with this process.
10. I researched, paid for, and scheduled a birthing class and a doula. He didn't participate in or help in any matter with this process (well, he sat in my living room for 30 minutes while the doula talked, but apart from that, nothing). I hired the doula because I’m not entirely sure he’ll even show up when I go into labor, and I’m positive that he won’t stick around for the duration (or that I'll even want him to).
11. I researched, bought, and paid for multiple books on birthing, and gave him one for birthing partners. He didn’t read it.
12. I own a car that is safe, clean, comfortable, and child carrier friendly. He owns a truck that is trashed, filthy, without A/C (we live in Arizona), and unfit to legally transport a child in a child carrier. Whenever we go anywhere together, we take my car. My car broke down two weeks ago, requiring me to spend $300 on repairs. He didn't offer to help with repairs.
13. He doesn't have any significant debts preventing him from, for example, purchasing a decent home or transportation, or helping me pay bills.
14. He still lives in a rented house that he shares with a male housemate whom I have met once. I have not been inside his house in over four months. We spend most of our time together at my house.
15. Whenever we eat out or spend money on entertainment, we split the bill or take turns.
16. For a number of reasons but certainly for reasons that include the issues in this list, the relationship has been extremely unstable for the past year, in large part because of his feeling that I am controlling and calculating and my feeling that he is ungenerous and irresponsible. There are no plans to live together.
17. Baby is due in 3 weeks. She will, obviously, live with me. She will be on my health insurance. I am the only one who will be able to transport her. I will be responsible for her care, feeding, bathing, clothing, and medical care. He has made vague commitments to “be there.” He has also made vague commitments to “share the costs,” but in the same breath has suggested that I am some sort of spendthrift and that he has reservations about making a commitment to the baby and me financially.
18. He spends, so far as I can tell, 100% of his disposable income on himself.
19. He maintains that he “wants to be a father” and wants to be in this relationship. He wants the child to have his last name.
20. Tonight I asked him for $2,200, to cover one-half of the amounts I’ve spent to date for doctor visits, labs, ultrasounds, prescription medication, nursery furniture, baby clothes and supplies, childcare books and classes, and doula services (and that doesn't even begin to cover what I've spent). His response was that he would “have to think about it” because he doesn’t agree that all of the expenditures were necessary. Instead, he consistently claims that his “contributions” to date have consisted of “putting up with [my] bullshit.”
21. I'm tired, terrified, sad, discouraged, uncomfortable, and sick of spending my own money. My job performance is waning, my health is suffering, and my sanity went out the window several months ago. His continued refusal to contribute, or to recognize my contributions, has made me do increasingly crazy things (I threw a hammer at him, have made several threats to leave town, have ended the relationship more times than I can count, threatened suicide once I figured out this would get his attention, etc.).
22. I doubt that he will ever change. In fact, he has told me he will never change.
23. My family is out of state and, while supportive, they are not able to provide the sort of day-to-day help I need.
24. I’m in counseling. We’ve been in and out of counseling.
25. I don’t want to raise a child on my own. On the other hand, I’m already fully funding this venture, he is only a liability to me at this point, and I would rather address it now than later.
Without questioning why I thought it was a good idea to get pregnant in the first place (a valid question, but I’m 32, educated, employed, and apart from this relationship am generally a stable and responsible adult) or suggesting that we all need counseling (I know that already), is anyone able to give me any reason whatsoever to stick with this person? My therapist, family, friends, neighbors, and everyone else familiar with the situation have all advised me to get out now, before the baby is here. Am I missing anything? I need to make a decision (a real, final decision and not merely a threat) in the next few days in order to preserve my health and sanity for labor and delivery.