Worst christmas present evar!
December 19, 2014 4:03 PM   Subscribe

I'm pregnant. Do I tell the boy*?

Obviously I do not plan to keep it, or else hiding it wouldn't be an option. I don't really know how to process this. This is only my 2nd hetero relationship, not used to the idea of pregnancy, this is all so weird.

About the nature of our relationship:
Boy and I have been dating a little over 3 months. We are not technically in an exclusive relationship, though both of us have expressed we have no desire to really date anyone else. He is pretty much the deciding factor keeping us from being partners. This doesn't worry me too much. After our first encounter (sort of spontaneous date), we both kinda fell for each other. That same week, after talking nearly every day, he said something along the lines of "you're smart and funny and honestly the nicest person I've ever met. I want you in my life, at least in some capacity." My response was basically "duh, you dork. We're dating now". For the first 2 weeks we'd talk nearly every day, until it eventually fell into a more normal pattern of talking every few days, sometimes once a week, because we have work and things. I had also, a month ago, been planning on moving to a city ~5 hours away sometime in february. When I brought this up with him, his practical response was that he was contemplating moving in with his brother to a city ~1.5 hrs away from my new city, which according to him, was pretty doable. He wouldn't be moving as soon as me, but it would be better. His adorable response that came later during tickle fights/pillow talk was "you're so pretty. I've never thought about moving to (your new city before) but I might have a good reason to check it out. IDK I hear it's cool".
So, he's expressed that he's at least thought about us long term, that he's not interested in dating other people, etc. But he is keeping me sort-of at a distance, with the refusing to label me his girlfriend. But from what I know, his last relationship didn't end well. He'd dated her for a long while, moved to her state to be with her, but there was betrayal on her end (she cheated), and she was potentially emotionally or physically abusive (he has a scar on his arm he attributes to her, from a fight, but I don't know the full details). But other than this label, our relationship is steadily becoming pretty relationshippy.

We also have had "serious" conversations before. This is me. He escalated the physical aspect of our relationship extremely fast, there were consequences (for me, and my mental health), and we've had a couple discussions about them. There was much apologizing on his end for fucking up, and he's since been much better. He also encouraged me to open up to him about those things, in a "I need to know what not to do, and how to be better toward you" kind of light. I've given him vague, broad details. He hasn't always responded perfectly, but he has been pretty open to discussion about his reactions and how they make me feel.

Here's where I'm at right now:
•I want to tell him. I want us to move into partner status. I kinda feel like, if I can't share important things like this with someone, then they're not worth relationship effort. But should this really be the deciding point?
•My anxiety and depression have given me a lot of resentment for always feeling alone and isolated. Silent suffering kind of deal. If I can't share my feelings with my partner, I know it will grow into resentment toward them and I will push them away, and feel alone, which will probably spiral into self loathing.
•I really hate the idea that pregnancy is the women's responsibility, that it's something that just happens to women. But, unfortunately, society does and I'm afraid that telling him will scare him away.
•Not telling him seems disrespectful, somehow. I don't like secrets.
•If I do tell him, when? After the procedure? When I've got an appointment date set?
•How should I phrase it? "I'm pregnant." "I need an abortion" .... how do you say it that doesn't sound like you're dropping a bomb on someone.

Input from guys who have received this information early on is greatly appreciated. Girls who have been in the same situation, please advise. This shit is....shitty.

*(I realized at the end that "the boy" sounds flippant, but it's actually a term of endearment, a la the little mermaid & "Kiss the girl"

askthegreenanonymously@gmail.com for private answers via email.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (56 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
He needs to know. He is also responsible for what has happened and needs to be a part of this, no matter what happens.

I suspect this may not be the most popular opinion on meta filter, but personally I also feel he has some right to at least know and this decision should be made together.
posted by The Hyacinth Girl at 4:21 PM on December 19, 2014 [20 favorites]

If you DON'T tell him, and later on you're still together and he finds out, THEN what? That sounds far, far worse to me.

Another vote for telling him.
posted by Ms Vegetable at 4:22 PM on December 19, 2014 [31 favorites]

It's 100% your choice but he is responsible for half of the genetic material and it seems strange not to tell him.

If he's scared off by this, well . . . Do you want to be partners with someone who would leave when you had a big thing going on? Considering you stated you want the two of you to be partners, well, partners go to the doctor with the other when s/he has a procedure done. Or at least tell each other about their medical procedures. I had a biopsy done earlier this week and my fiancé was there for me to complain at about how ugh it was, and then he took me out for pizza.

It doesn't have to be like dropping a bomb. "I'm pregnant" only lands like that if you say it like you think it's a tragedy. It isn't - it's a thing that happened.
posted by chainsofreedom at 4:22 PM on December 19, 2014 [21 favorites]

You might begin by phrasing hypothetical questions, such as, "if I/we got pregnant, what would you think?" If he's OK or at least flexible with your quite clear plan in the hypothetical sense, you should tell him your reality and your plan. If he might make it difficult for you to proceed in either an emotional or legal sense, you might choose not to disclose.

As a man, I would definitely want to know this. Since I see that you have some history of abusive family contexts, I have some concern that this *highly emotionally charged* situation could lead to exertion of controlling behaviors on the part of your partner. Thus my suggestion that you begin with the hypothetical, to get a picture of the lay-of-the-emotional-land before dropping the bomb that will certainly change that lay of the land...
posted by u2604ab at 4:23 PM on December 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

If you see yourselves being a couple in the longish (or even mediumish) term, I would tell.

If this is basically just a fling and you don't imagine he'll be in the picture much longer, I would not tell.

I will also share an anecdote. A few years ago, I had a really significant pregnancy scare. Condom broke, I took the morning after pill, and then my period just Would Not Start. I peed on a few sticks. Negative? But kinda inconclusive just out of my general anxiety about something this big (did I pee on it enough? Is there such a thing as a false negative? Did I get the right brand?).

Ultimately, it turned out I wasn't pregnant. But there was a 2-ish month period where I thought I might be, and I had to go through all the thought processes of what to do if I was. I figured a lot of shit out about my relationship with the dude in question during that time. Partially because a couple months is an eternity in Early Relationship time, and partially because something like this really threw our various personalities and the situation between us into relief. In fact, a part of me knew I could never be with this dude because of his immediate reaction when we realized the condom broke.

So in light of that, I'd err on the side of telling this guy what's up, even if you are thinking you probably don't have serious intentions toward him. Because going through this with him will make it patently obvious whether you should be together or not.

I mean, unless he's a rightwing anti-choice nutbag who is going to want to chain you to the kitchen or something.
posted by Sara C. at 4:23 PM on December 19, 2014 [12 favorites]

Before you decide what to do, you need to think through some of the various scenarios. How will you respond if he proposes? If he freaks out and has a tantrum? If he faints dead away? What will you do if he tries to talk you out of the abortion, or if he goes no-contact immediately? What will you do if he gets all mushy and romantic?

I categorically reject the idea that you need to tell him or that this is a decision he has input in. However, I do think that if you decide not to tell him, it probably is a good indication that this is not a relationship you want to prioritize heavily or put a lot of emotional energy into.
posted by KathrynT at 4:25 PM on December 19, 2014 [62 favorites]

"I need to tell you that I'm having a procedure this weekend. It's to remove a ball of cells, which happen to have about half of your genetic material."
posted by zennie at 4:27 PM on December 19, 2014 [8 favorites]

Please tell him as soon as possible. "I'm pregnant but have decided to get an abortion..." is straightforward, to-the-point, and drama-free.
posted by jabes at 4:32 PM on December 19, 2014 [18 favorites]

He has no say whatsoever in the decision whether to keep the baby or not. That's entirely yours. You can inform him of it, though.

Please watch Obvious Child, I think you'll find it will resonate, and it's hilarious.
posted by Dragonness at 4:33 PM on December 19, 2014 [6 favorites]

You seem to assume that if you tell him, he will:

(a) support your decision to have an abortion


(b) run away.

But I'm not sure how you can rule out (c):

(c) ask you to continue the pregnancy.

While people often have all sorts of views about abortion in the abstract, you might be surprised how often these views can change when things become personal.

I don't think this settles the question of whether to tell him or not, but you might want to think about how option c would affect you before telling him.
posted by girl flaneur at 4:36 PM on December 19, 2014 [17 favorites]

"We have to talk. Our birth control method failed."

I'm not a fan of his relationship style, FWIW. It's OK if the relationship fades after this news.

Dudes who blame shit on past relationships, like their parents' divorce, or a recent ex girlfriend? Not a favorite. Nope. Be aware.
posted by jbenben at 4:37 PM on December 19, 2014 [42 favorites]

I want to tell him. I want us to move into partner status. I kinda feel like, if I can't share important things like this with someone, then they're not worth relationship effort.

But he is keeping me sort-of at a distance, ... refusing to label me his girlfriend

Please listen to his actions.

If you feel you must tell him, I strongly recommend telling AFTER you have already had the procedure, understanding clearly that THIS IS NOT HIS CALL TO MAKE, and given that nobody can really predict the behavior of a person they have only known, romantically, for 3 short months.

You also have not accounted for the possibility that he may try to say or do something to assert control over your reproductive freedom here, in a way that you are not ok with.

Amen to what @KathrynT said, and what @girl flaneur said.

And even if he is someone you feel like you can tell all your secrets to, he might STILL turn out to be someone not worth your relationship effort.

Telling him won't magically move you two into "partner status." And yet I get the sense from you that you are secretly hoping it somehow will.
posted by hush at 4:44 PM on December 19, 2014 [14 favorites]

You don't mention any fear of an abusive reaction from him, so you should be direct and tell him. Don't dance around the topic with hypotheticals. His reaction and how he handles his feelings, whatever they are, will give you good information about him going forward. Tell him.
posted by stowaway at 4:47 PM on December 19, 2014

I would strongly lean towards telling him, because you've indicated that both of you see your relationship moving forward. But only you know the detailed weight of why or why not to tell him.

Before you do, though, I think you would do well to make a broad list of what you need from him. Hopefully he will ask, but in any case you should be clear: 'I need you to ...'. Thinking through what you need, specifically, will help you and both of you get through this. It send like you're a bit reticent in that department, both in terms of saying and doing what you need.

Best wishes.
posted by Dashy at 4:49 PM on December 19, 2014 [2 favorites]

Tell him, "My period is late and I peed on a pregnancy test, it says it's positive. Will you come with me to the doctor to confirm it?" Because all of those store tests need to be confirmed. Then go to Planned Parenthood and get the test done professionally. If you already did those things, then say, "Our birth control failed and I've been to the clinic, I'm pregnant. I'm not ready to be a mother and I need your support right now."

Then take it from there. To continue to think of him as a boyfriend what he'll need to take you to the clinic, for the test then the procedure. He should then take you for some hot soup and hang with you to make sure you're okay. He'll also pay for half. He will be 100% supportive of whatever your decisions are and his number one priority will be your comfort and happiness.

Pregnancy and illness will test a relationship like nothing else. A relationship that might have had a chance, can very well crumble under the weight of something like this. It's sad but true.

I'm sorry you have to deal with this.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 4:57 PM on December 19, 2014 [15 favorites]

I would ask him hypothetically what he would want. Like: "if I got pregnant, would you be okay with abortion? Would you want me to tell you?"

Then I would tell him or not tell him based on that information.
posted by quincunx at 4:58 PM on December 19, 2014

Tell him. If only so he has the proper context to frame a lot of different things, including your relationship, the efficacy of the chosen birth control method...
posted by RainyJay at 4:59 PM on December 19, 2014

I sent you a response to your throwaway email, but feel free to MeMail me here if you want to talk.
posted by nightrecordings at 5:00 PM on December 19, 2014

Actually, looks like my email came back as nondeliverable because the address doesn't exist. Did you mean "askthegreenanonymously@gmail.com" rather than "aksthegreenanonymously@gmail.com"? I thought maybe it was a purposeful typo. Just want to confirm before I assume it was a typo and resend it to a totally random person... !
posted by nightrecordings at 5:03 PM on December 19, 2014

"He escalated the physical aspect of our relationship extremely fast, there were consequences (for me, and my mental health), "

So, what I'm getting from this is that he was really horny and you got really horny and birth control suddenly became an afterthought. I would say you need to tell him. It may scare him into some reality so that he grows up faster. ie: He may think twice before getting physical so fast without taking precautions. There are men I know that were like this and they grew up REAL fast after a pregnancy scare.

The only reason I could think not to tell him is if he were the type to be abusive over your decision. I mean if you get this done is he going to retaliate by spray painting "BABY KILLER!" on your car and slashing your tires or something? Otherwise I think it's only fair to tell him. In these situations a girl obviously sees that her actions have consequences when things like this happen, but the guy doesn't always see it unless he's faced with it and told. It may make him more responsible person overall.
posted by rancher at 5:05 PM on December 19, 2014 [2 favorites]

You should definitely tell him. He need to know this is a thing that happens. But whether or not you get an abortion should entirely be your decision.
posted by schroedinger at 5:07 PM on December 19, 2014 [2 favorites]

Don't dance around with any hypothetical stuff, just be up front and tell him.

If his response is any way lame, just lose his number. He isn't taking this relationship very seriously in any kind of adult way anyways. This "laid back" stuff is basically "i don't want to commit anything to this at all even though i know you are"

I've been this guy before, i feel like shit about it. How i would have reacted in this situation isn't really relevant, but i don't think he's leveling with you here anyways. If his response is in any flippant, or "well you better do this thing because i think you should do it", then fuck it.

People who want to toe-dip relationships like this because of past hurt aren't ready for relationships, and it's not fair to the other person. You are not his therapist, and you are not required to sit around and wait while he figures his shit out lest you be a bad person. Unless his response demonstrates a noticeable upswing in matureness, i think it's time to just go "oh ok have fun with your life" here. You are way, way more invested in this than he is.

I'm also curious, and it's none of my fucking business and you don't have to respond it's just something to think on, if this pregnancy was the result of unprotected sex. Did he push for it? Did it just "happen?". Was there any discussion therein, or about birth control in general? That's kind of a dumb immature thing in and of itself, especially on his part. The only guys i know who regularly start having "a thing" with someone and just omit the discussion and go with it when unprotected sex is an option are well, immature fuckbois. And i would know, i was one of those guys.

I encourage you to have this discussion, and consider his responses very carefully. This is a 90% grade or fail sort of test, here.
posted by emptythought at 5:08 PM on December 19, 2014 [16 favorites]

I would highly, highly recommend Obvious Child. I watched it as someone who experienced unplanned pregnancy and it was deeply cathartic in a way I didn't expect.
My experience strengthened my (very new) relationship with my partner immensely. I still get teary eyed writing this because it really showed me his character and showed me it was "safe" to love him (I was captain trust issues at the time).
I don't want to project, I only want to say that it had the possibility of adding to rather than weakening your relationship. I think if you tell him and he responds negatively, you have all the proof you need that he isn't worth the investment down the road.
I hope you are able to find peace and happiness. It's not an easy time to be a woman. Don't hesitate to message me if there is anything else I can share with you. Sending you all of my love wherever you are.
posted by rubster at 5:09 PM on December 19, 2014 [6 favorites]

Was in this situation once. Or one much like it. I told the dude, "I'm pregnant." He turned white. I said, "I'm having an abortion." He paid for it in full, because "It's the least I can do. You're the one who has to have a medical procedure done."

I don't know the guy anymore, but it wasn't because of the abortion.

Only you can decide whether or not this guy is trustworthy enough to talk to about this. But if he is on board with aborting, he ought to help you pay for it. If you think he can be trusted with this information, that might be a significant reason to tell. I couldn't have paid for mine on my own.
posted by Coatlicue at 5:43 PM on December 19, 2014 [7 favorites]

It sounds like you want to tell him; you don't really list any reasons why you wouldn't. That's cool. They are all good reasons. Other good ones: So he can help cover 1/2 the cost of the procedure if you need that help; because it's important for him to understand the consequences of unprotected sex so he is more careful with birth control in the future.

Have you talked with him about abortion rights at all? If you have any reason to suspect that he might not want you to get an abortion, feel free to wait and tell him after the procedure is over. You don't need to deal with him pressuring you, making your feel guilty, or otherwise stressing you out about the choice you are making about your body.
posted by amaire at 5:45 PM on December 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'd tell him because I feel strongly that a partner of mine (particularly one doing this kind of dickish no labels I'm so damaged bs) needs to pony up half the financial and emotional responsibility for OUR sexual wellbeing.

(Also, fyi: He might be somebody's "ex" with a "scar" from a girl with whom he "escalated things too quickly physically" without her consent. I guarantee this isn't the first time he's pushed boundaries in a relationship and the fuzzy language re: labels and expectations suggests to me that unclear and violatable boundaries are something he digs.
posted by spunweb at 5:55 PM on December 19, 2014 [3 favorites]

If you want to be in a relationship with him, I think you have to tell him. Otherwise it will become a secret that you have to carry around for the entire length of the relationship. If you were never going to see him again, I would say that you could just not tell him.

If you're sure that you're going to terminate the pregnancy, I would include that information when you tell him, so that he hopefully won't try to talk you out of it.

I wish you all the best
posted by kinddieserzeit at 6:02 PM on December 19, 2014 [2 favorites]

I'm going to speak from the other side of the street. This happened to me and I was not informed until after the abortion. I ended our friendship despite her desire to continue onwards. That was not easy because I really cared about her. I just couldn't get past the idea that when the chips were down she chose to leave me out of the equation. I think you have to approach the rough times more or less the same way you appreciate the easy times in a relationship--with mutual trust and respect. Easy to say but hard to do, I know.

Best wishes for you both in however this plays out.
posted by CincyBlues at 6:08 PM on December 19, 2014 [12 favorites]

The first time this happened to me I kind of faffed around nervously and said "uh so i'm pregnant", and the guy accused me of trying to entrap him into a marriage (lolwut) that 16 year old me wasn't the least bit interested in, and it was hella fucking awkward. About 2 months later I ran into his (catholic) mom at the supermarket and she called me a murderer and a whore right there in the produce section. That was fun.

The second time (19) I was like "hey so we had an accident and i'm getting an abortion, i already have the appointment" and the (totally different) guy was really apologetic and worried and whatnot, and since we are still friends he later told me that the immediate knowledge that I knew what I was going to do and didn't ask him to help me decide was a huge relief and prevented his asshole reflex from making him do or say anything stupid.

YMMV, I guess. Sorry to say but your guy sounds more like my first than my second.
posted by poffin boffin at 6:08 PM on December 19, 2014 [14 favorites]

I vote for telling him right away. I haven't been pregnant, but I told a one night stand about a pregnancy scare. He was supportive, and I think you should expect the same from any decent person you're considering as a potential partner. I think he should help you bear the stress (and expense) of the abortion. I agree that it's a little disrespectful *not* to tell him, and if he's scared away by something like this -- which I'm assuming he's equally responsible for causing, if not more so, since he rushed you into getting physical -- then why would you want him in your life later? We all deserve someone we can count on in a crisis.
posted by three_red_balloons at 6:38 PM on December 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

•I really hate the idea that pregnancy is the women's responsibility, that it's something that just happens to women. But, unfortunately, society does and I'm afraid that telling him will scare him away.

Don't use "society" as an excuse — this is between two people, not some creature named "society." And don't avoid telling him because you don't want to "scare him away." If he finds out only afterwards, that's more likely to scare him away. The answers to this thread bring up a lot of wild speculation (what if he spraypaints your car?!), as if you need to think through every conceivable way he might respond. If you want to find out how he's going to respond, tell him, and listen to him! If you want to have at least a chance of staying with him, tell him. Don't keep putting it off because you haven't found the exact right words — you'll get the point across one way or another. As others have said, everything you've said points toward telling him ASAP.
posted by John Cohen at 6:41 PM on December 19, 2014 [5 favorites]

You should probably tell him of your decision, and you need to end the relationship immediately. There does not seem to be any good reason to have a relationship with this person. An unhealthy dynamic already existed between you before your pregnancy, and even if you don't tell him, things can only get worse.
posted by Nevin at 6:48 PM on December 19, 2014 [2 favorites]

He sounds immature. You do have to consider the range of his potential reactions, because you - and no one else - are the one who will have to deal with them. Now that I've read your past AskMe, I feel even more strongly that you need to be wary of your own impulse here to be indirect and thus create very fuzzy boundaries. You aren't in a position here to have fuzzy boundaries and be indirect. You are making a definite decision.

No matter what you choose, tell or not tell, make sure you're choosing it because you are putting yourself first. Not because you're hoping to "move into partner status," - because getting pregnant and using that as a point of manipulation with someone is wicked indirect - but because you are actually doing exactly what is best for you, regardless of what he feels, says, or does in response to anything you do or don't tell him. Value yourself and put yourself first.

And make sure you work on boundaries before you get into another similar relationship, or even pursue this one further, or you might end up in this situation again.
posted by Miko at 7:11 PM on December 19, 2014 [4 favorites]

As a guy who's been on the guy end of this, I can't stress enough what others have - that it's not his call whatsoever. This is 100% your decision.

It's only been a few months, and his behavior is iffy at best. Having the procedure and *then* telling him seems like the safer bet emotionally. And then depending on his reaction, you can either continue the relationship or not.
posted by colin_l at 7:37 PM on December 19, 2014 [5 favorites]

Protect yourself. Consider whether having him flake and be all "we're No Strings Attached" at a time when you'll be vulnerable will be too much for you. But if you can handle that (do you have a backup plan for a ride?) then tell him. And if you preemptively believe he's going to flake, then you should just break up with him now (whether you tell him or not). I probably couldn't personally handle "are we together?" drama on top of a surgical operation, so if he seemed anything but super supportive and dependable after I told him, I'd probably break up with him and find a friend to be my support buddy.
posted by salvia at 7:39 PM on December 19, 2014 [4 favorites]

I've been where you are (unplanned pregnancy, very early in an unclear relationship) and to me the options were pretty clear:

1) If you don't want to continue the relationship, don't tell him.

2) If you do want to continue the relationship, do tell him.

If you want to continue in a relationship with him and telling him does, in fact "scare him away" then thank fuck for that because that person is someone it isn't safe or sane to share your body with. And

As to when to tell him, unless there is a compelling reason not to tell him immediately (like, he's taking the Bar exam tomorrow), tell him tomorrow. His Christmas is ruined? Fine, whatever. If you genuinely "really hate the idea that pregnancy is the women's responsibility" then stop worrying about how to make carrying 1/10th of a burden less burdensome for him.

It is very hard, and very scary, to actually say the words "I'm pregnant" out loud to someone you know will be blindsided by this information. That's OK; you just stutter, spit or sob it out. What you're looking for is someone who will engage with you in discussing it, will hold your hair while you puke, will go with you to the procedure and will look after you afterwards. Anything less than this and you are dating a man child, and you have already made the decision not to have a child.

FWIW my partner at the time was clear that he was not prepared to parent, clear that it was absolutely my choice regardless, and stepped up to the plate in every way. 18 months later we got married, and that was 10 years ago, but it could just as plausibly have all fallen apart at that exact moment if he had turned out to be a different, lesser kind of human.

Memail me (or him!) if you need a friend.

posted by DarlingBri at 8:10 PM on December 19, 2014 [18 favorites]

Mod note: From the OP:
I made a typo in my email address I added to this anonymous question: Its supposed to be askthegreenanonymously@gmail.com.

•My pregnancy test was at my doctors office. So, yes. I am definitely pregnant.
•To be honest, I had not considered that he would ask me to keep it (the conversation has happened, in very loose hypothetical terms). If he does, I'll refuse, and I guess I'll just have to see how he handles the refusal.
•I do not expect him to respond abusively or manipulatively. He has enough "dirt" on me that if that were a goal of his, he could already accomplish this.
•The whole "my past hurts so I'm afraid of commitment" is something that I've guessed, it is not something he outright said. I know that his girlfriend cheated on him because it came up in unrelated conversation (about stand up comedy). I know about the scar because he only pointed it out to me when I was having "I'm too crazy for you to be with me" panic attack, as a way to say "I can deal".
•Right now it's unclear whether the pregnancy was a result of unprotected sex or failed birth control (I don't know how "far along" I am). But, yes, there was unprotected sex in the beginning. Not really pushed, more of "it just happened", and it was entirely initiated by him. There was no discussion about birth control beforehand (I def would have started that conversation), because I was not planning on sleeping with him. I had actually expressed desire to *not* sleep with him at that point in our relationship.
•I promise I am not going to use this as a bargaining chip in order to get him to be in a relationship (wtf?). It was more like "I'd like for this to be the real deal. And all real deals have deal breakers, or deal sealers. It kinda sucks that a bone fide Deal Decision moment is happening so soon, and so seriously. Maybe I should not say anything about it, maybe we're not ready to have these kinds of conversations." I am not hoping this comes out all fairy tale like, or he'll decide he loves me or some shit. I realize that he might be a total dickbag about this. If he does, I'll bail. I like him quite a bit, and I imagine that'll be really hard to handle, given the surrounding circumstances. But I'm not trying to trap him into 'partner status', regardless of how much the alternative super sucks.

So, I guess, at this point its obvious that I'm going to tell him. I'd like to do it in person, so should I text him and say "hey we need to talk sometime soon! Ok thx bai". Do i tell him the reason I want to see him is that I have news? To just say I'd like to hang out, and then be like "oh, by the by, I'm pregnant. Already called the clinic. Let's play video games" seems.... like not the best option
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:27 PM on December 19, 2014

There was no discussion about birth control

Massive red flag.

I was not planning on sleeping with him. I had actually expressed desire to *not* sleep with him at that point in our relationship.

And he didn't respect this? 2nd massive red flag.

Dangerous stuff. Not partner material. Totally failed on his responsibilities.

If you're hell-bent on telling him - for what reason, I can't imagine - then just "I have important news to discuss" is fine. You're kinda beyond video games and there's nothing to gain being coy about it. It's serious. Sorry you are in this deep; learn what you can from it.
posted by Miko at 8:31 PM on December 19, 2014 [31 favorites]

Why tell him? Something happened, it was a mistake, and you're going to take care of it. If he won't even call you his girlfriend, he's not committed to you in the least. "I want you in my life in some capacity" and talking once a week are not a committed relationship. Don't let your ideas of what you want the relationship to be, or what you think it should be, blind you to this. It sounds like 90% of the effort to make this a real relationship is coming from you, and only about 10% from him.

What would telling him accomplish? You don't owe him this information, nor does he deserve to weigh in on it. It only has the potential to complicate things in a really bad way. Have an abortion and move on.
posted by Leatherstocking at 8:42 PM on December 19, 2014 [6 favorites]

So, I guess, at this point its obvious that I'm going to tell him. I'd like to do it in person, so should I text him and say "hey we need to talk sometime soon! Ok thx bai". Do i tell him the reason I want to see him is that I have news? To just say I'd like to hang out, and then be like "oh, by the by, I'm pregnant. Already called the clinic. Let's play video games" seems.... like not the best option

There is no great way to do this. I think I went to his house and we were supposed to... go to the movies or something? I just said "I have something really important to tell you. You might want to sit down." And then I told him and we went to the pub and talked instead of going to the movies.
posted by DarlingBri at 10:33 PM on December 19, 2014 [3 favorites]

You don't have to tell him if you don't want to.

The advantage of not telling him is that you don't have to deal with him second-guessing your decision or causing any drama for you.

The advantage of telling him would be that he might be supportive -- e.g., paying for at least half, taking you to the appointment, etc. -- if he knew, but of course there's no guarantee that he'll actually be supportive.

He really doesn't sound like relationship material to me, so if I were you I would break things off with him and get the abortion without involving him if you can afford to do so.
posted by Jacqueline at 10:39 PM on December 19, 2014 [5 favorites]

Woah woah woah. I didn't realise that it had gone so far in the incidence described in your last question (you kind of glossed over that major detail). I would be extremely upset if I fell pregnant as a result of an unwanted unprotected encounter (and I feel it's a lot more likely that the pregnancy is a result of the unprotected encounter, rather than failed birth control). I think that on the one hand, you don't owe him any information about the pregnancy. I personally would not continue seeing someone who had unprotected sex with me without my consent*. On the other hand, if he's going to go around not using condoms, he should pay for the termination.

I think that this guy's behaviour is concerning. If I was in your position, I would not want to be in a relationship with him, so I would probably stop seeing him and deal with the pregnancy on my own.

*I define that as rape, but it seems that you don't
posted by kinddieserzeit at 12:40 AM on December 20, 2014 [10 favorites]

Wait, I was confused about dates and just checked and sure enough, your previous question is from last year and not this year *facepalm*. Is this guy B? Or is it a different guy?

If they are one in the same, why are you still dating a guy who has been messing you around for over a year?

If this is a different guy, I think that you need to work with a therapist to try to break this pattern. I think that it is sadly common for survivors to be revictimised. You deserve to be treated well. You don't have to settle for this.

(If you haven't already, please get tested for STIs. I would not trust this dude with my sexual health)
posted by kinddieserzeit at 12:54 AM on December 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

There was no discussion about birth control beforehand (I def would have started that conversation), because I was not planning on sleeping with him. I had actually expressed desire to *not* sleep with him at that point in our relationship.

So this plays in to what i said above about limp-dicked early 20s guy "just don't bring it up!" behavior.

Since there's not more info, we can't tell if this is just "i had told him i didn't really want to have sex this early on, andearlier in the day i planned on not having sex and like didn't shave, but later he brought it up a couple times and then we did" or if it's like, a blasting-through-consent rape scenario, but since you stated it this offhandedly i'm going to give it the benefit of the doubt others here haven't and assume it's not. The former is actually pretty common, and i'm not going to address it's problematicness here which is an opinion that varies from person to person.

Because yea, the problem is, even if i make that(BIG) assumption and give that benefit of doubt, this is still really half assed immature jerkwad behavior.

He not only, in some way, even if it was more subtle than what many may think of badgered his way in to having sex with you... he then didn't even use protection.

I think i might raise the category of my forecast for the lameass early 20s dude storm here, in conjunction with the fact that he basically only talks to you once a week, and say he's pretty much just putting in the minimum amount of effort to keep having sex here.

Note that this is like a forecast, i might be wrong, it might not rain tomorrow. But from the information and description provided, even in the best case scenario this is still crappy behavior. And i'm well aware that guys are taught implicitly and explicitly from their early teens that "women have to act like they don't want sex so people don't think they're sluts and you just have to power through that bro!", it's still crappy behavior. And it's ESPECIALLY crappy behavior when you take a look at the whole package of this guy, who seems to fall into the category of "should be sued for damaging the public image of the male brand".

Pretty much, this plus that, i REALLY don't know if this is someone i would even bother to talk to again. I think that since probably in your gut you're wondering if you'll get a really shit reaction from telling him is some kind of internal alarm system trying to let you know that this guy is going to be a limp dick from start to finish, and his reaction to this will only be another chapter. After all, if you didn't think he'd have a bad or weird reaction, why would you be second guessing telling him? If you actually had any faith or trust in him being any sort of partner, you would have told him without making an ask post. You're trying to force something that, at a basal level, is not there.
posted by emptythought at 3:00 AM on December 20, 2014 [9 favorites]

How should I phrase it? "I'm pregnant." "I need an abortion" .... how do you say it that doesn't sound like you're dropping a bomb on someone.

No matter how you say it, you ARE dropping a bomb on someone, and frankly, given how serious this is, and how culpable he was in bringing about this situation....he needs to have this come to Jesus moment.
Actions have consequences. This shouldn't be all on you to deal with. Your first thoughts should be for your physical and mental health and not about how he feels. Fuck that.

You don't text him, call him and tell him, "Dude, I need to talk to you in person. Can you come over right now?" If pressed you can tell him on the phone, "I've been to the doctor and I'm pregnant. I'm choosing to have an abortion and I need you to: pay your share, take me to my appointment, support me. I need you to come here so we can discuss this and sort things out."

As I said previously, how he acts now will show you if he's the kind of person you WANT in your life. Yes, it's a shock, but a mench will be only concerned about YOU, and hang the rest of it. A dick will make this all about him.

You have a right to ask for what you want in a relationship, you have a right to be honest and to expect honesty in return. You have a right to be selfish every now and then.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 4:11 AM on December 20, 2014 [11 favorites]

Hmm, I didn't consider that he might want you to keep the baby. I see that you said he probably won't pressure you like that but if you feel worried AT ALL that he might be an ass about this, especially a scary violent one, then yes you should have the procedure done first. And tell him later.

I do think you should tell him because this is a lesson that needs learning. Unprotected sex has an 85% pregnancy rate. Especially when you weren't planning on having unprotected sex, because then you have no idea where you are in your cycle or anything.

A person who wouldn't take that into account needs to hear what the consequences of that is.
posted by chainsofreedom at 7:05 AM on December 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

I am so not an expert, but just reading this thread has pointed out something that you should think about, and maybe others can comment.

If you say "I'm pregnant" and just stop, that is VERY different from saying "I'm pregnant and I've decided to have an abortion" (and even better to continue: "and I need X from you.")

The first one is WIDE OPEN in terms of his thoughts and possible responses. I don't want to be a dad. I wonder if she wants to keep it. Can I tell her that I don't want to keep it? Is it overbearingly patriarchal for me to tell her what to do? But I don't want it. Or I do. Do I? Can I tell her that? on and on and on and on.

The second one puts all that behind and leads to different possible thoughts/responses. It starts with the premise that you don't want to keep it and he doesn't have to wonder about that. It leads a lot closer to how he can support you, rather than how he might act in the face of difficult news, which would be more like a "test" of his personality. Telling him your decision sounds more honest to me and it still offers him choices to support or abandon you or even oppose your decision, but it lets him start on the same premise that you are already on, rather than just pushing him off a cliff with millions of additional possibilities that you have already passed.
posted by CathyG at 7:51 AM on December 20, 2014 [7 favorites]

As to when to tell him, unless there is a compelling reason not to tell him immediately (like, he's taking the Bar exam tomorrow), tell him tomorrow. His Christmas is ruined?

Why does he get a pass because it's Christmas?

You didn't and need to be tough enough to handle the situation this 'happy time of the year'. He can man up and do the same. This issue is rather time sensitive, eh?
posted by BlueHorse at 8:28 AM on December 20, 2014 [10 favorites]

Unless this is something that the two of you have talked about at least in hypothetical terms ahead of time, it's sort of tough to know exactly what the reaction might be. I know a few friends who have had really horror-show experiences in similar situations—Mr Nice Guy suddenly turned into Mr Raving Right-Wing Lunatic when they said they were preggers. Tread somewhat carefully, but not for his benefit but for yours. I'd go so far as to have the initial conversation somewhere public, like in a coffee shop or something, where he can't really lose his temper. Some people can get seriously weird about this stuff.

If you've talked about this hypothetically (not just in the political-stance sense but in a "what if this actually happened to someone you were with...") then by all means drive on with the plan. And I'd tell him; this is not something you just did by yourself, and it's not something you should have to deal with by yourself (unless you want to, of course, but that doesn't sound like the case).

Whether this is going to bring you closer together or drive you apart as a couple is something that I don't think anyone can say with certainty, but that doesn't mean that he shouldn't be told to step up and be a supportive partner.
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:04 AM on December 20, 2014

Unprotected sex has an 85% pregnancy rate.

... over the course of a full year for 100 women having sex regularly. That statistic does not mean that every act of unprotected sex is 85% likely to result in pregnancy, but that 85 out of 100 women will likely become pregnant over the course of one year of engaging in regular unprotected sex.
posted by jaguar at 11:33 AM on December 20, 2014 [7 favorites]

I do think you should tell him because this is a lesson that needs learning.

The OP is not an object lesson.
posted by DarlingBri at 3:48 PM on December 20, 2014 [7 favorites]

Here's a question. You talk about unprotected sex when you didn't even want to be having sex "in the beginning," but the last question was September 2013. You would've had that baby by now.

I was about to reply with something supportive, about how the guy sounds more alright to me than to some others here, but. .. now I have a lot of questions about how long you've been having sex you don't want to have, and his role in that.

Do you live in the Bay Area? If so, I'll drive you to a clinic over the holidays and check on you a couple times over the next day or so if you want.

If you think there's a chance this baby happened because you had unprotected sex you didn't want to have... You sounds like you're fine and doing great and all... But in your shoes, that would be hard for me to handle. I'd be feeling a whole slew of emotions, like anger and confusion and sadness.

Anyway, I'm sorry about your awful Christmas present. Maybe you can get some coal next year instead!
posted by salvia at 11:13 PM on December 20, 2014 [2 favorites]

The same offer stands for Seattle - hell, I will drive to Portland too (and any place in between). I used to work in a clinic as a counselor - it is no big deal to me, to contemplate medically. Emotionally? Whoooo. I was in a non-relationship relationship with somebody who wasn't very nice to me once. There was an asymmetry of feeling I wasn't admitting (to myself either, to be fair) - I see that here. You're trying to read the tea leaves of your kinda-beau's pillow talk. And you're framing telling him around some expectations of his reaction and what he might say.

PLEASE make "are we headed toward being partners? Are you REALLY going to be there for me when it matters?" and "I'm pregnant, shit" two entirely different conversations. If you are approaching the prospect of telling him with the slight hope or outright expectation that he'll turn into a more considerate and caring person who can support you, well, I think you are setting yourself up for disappointment at a time when you're already having surgery. It is kind of manipulative - what can he really do? Jointly contemplating unexpected pregnancy is something that tests even very strong relationships. When there's upset within the context of a long standing, loving relationship, people can soothe each other back to equilibrium. It doesn't sound like you have that, yet anyway.

I disagree strongly with the whole "it's half of his genetic material!" and "if you stay together, you'll always have this secret!" and that you should dump him because the two of you used no birth control. We haven't heard that your sexual relationship was non consensual, only that you have trouble saying what you want in bed (you even say the opposite!), even after he checks in with you because of your dissociation. Men who "would want to know," I admire the concern but this is a private medical matter. And in the early stages like this, we're talking about a being that's 1.5cm, the size of a staple. It's five minutes. Getting your teeth deep cleaned is way more invasive and takes way longer. And why would it be a secret you carried around, plagued by guilt? If you know it's right, there's absolutely no need to feel that way. You can just take a two week break from intercourse and continue as before. There's no reason he needs to know about a minor medical procedure, ever.

I told my not-very-nice non-relationship fellow and he was VERY not-nice. In retrospect, I wish I would have just been realistic and let me friends support me. He might just be a really accusatory dick.
posted by sweltering at 7:04 AM on December 21, 2014 [3 favorites]

You should tell him, for political reasons. There's this idea out there that abortion is rare and happens to Other People. Do your part to let people (or just person) know that abortion is not unusual.

•I really hate the idea that pregnancy is the women's responsibility, that it's something that just happens to women. But, unfortunately, society does and I'm afraid that telling him will scare him away.

If it scares him away to deal with the repercussions of his actions, then: good! Run away, run away.
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:22 AM on December 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oh! and If you're going to continue as before, a) use condoms and/or sign/seal/deliver that whole monogamy thing, with STD tests and b) get on another very effective birth control method. I loved Mirena - it is idiot proof and I'm kind of an idiot (pill timing, antibiotics, etc). Mirena's just popped in every 3 years and you can forget about it.

I have held hands through maybe as many as 1000 abortions. The first thing my clients usually said is "It's over?! Already?!" I usually responded with a cheerful "Yes! You're not pregnant!" Most people are antsy about waiting 20 minutes in the recovery room.

OP I know this feels like the worst thing on earth but there are great people who work at abortion clinics. Their support will be enough - in fact, you BF would not be allowed back to the clinic where you will spend 4+ hours being counseled, ultrasounded, having some bloodwork, surgery etc. It can be longer; we had a family wait 8 hours once when the doc had to leave for an emergency. I think your present line of thinking seems to go "I don't want to tell him, but it seems so unfair that we don't live in a society where this whole thing wouldn't bring out INSTANT AWESOMENESS from him. "

Yeah, we don't live in that society. Kind of the patriarchy, but honestly? He just sounds like an asshole. Now's the time to be very kind & gentle with yourself and not put yourself in a place to be torn up and disappointed by this person when the stakes are high.

Get an abortion some place accredited by the National Abortion Federation. Those clinics tend to have a higher standard of care. If you need to talk to somebody about this, I volunteered at Backline, a hotline that helps people with unexpected pregnancies decide what to do and soothes their anxieties about producers are like. They also help people come up with cash and decide whether to tell the other party.

Just reread the consent stuff. One thing that made my heart jump a little was the combination of unprotected sex and consent being fuzzy. Is there any chance he tried to get you pregnant on purpose? Reproductive coercion is totally a thing and you're ticking off every single box. My spidey sense says don't tell him until it's over, if at all. And run like your hair is on fire.

The black VW Beetle chariot offer still awaits.
posted by sweltering at 7:53 AM on December 21, 2014 [8 favorites]

Hey OP I hope you are doing OK. If you want someone to talk to, the offer is still wide open.
posted by DarlingBri at 1:30 PM on February 14, 2015

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