Agree with Dan: it's her choice to make. And if the married man tries to impose his will, LW should suggest they ask his wife for her opinion.


Who cares what this guy thinks? You already know the relationship is short term, he’s keeping you a secret and he’s made zero commitment to you. If you want a baby, have the baby and leave the guy behind


Have the baby. No one who pressures you into an abortion is worth your time. What would you advice your dearest friend? That her body is hers alone to do as she pleases? That he fucked up and must now deal with the consequences? It’s what I’m telling you. Don’t let anyone decide what happens to your body and your life. You the power to choose. Find it in you. Love and hugs.


Uh... Don't get an abortion that you don't want. Period.

This guy is already lying to his family, and you giving up a life-long dream of motherhood to save him from the consequences of his decision to cheat is not only absurd, it's unhealthy--sacrificing something you desperately want so that he doesn't have to own up to being a cheating jerk is indicative of some major self worth issues.

You deserve better than being a secret, LW, and your baby deserves better than a father who won't acknowledge their mother to save his own ass.

I hope you and your baby are happy and healthy, and that you talk to someone about why you think you don't get a say in your own life, because it may inconvenience someone who won't commit to you--or his wife.


Agree choice is hers, but she’s just as much of a jerk and an idiot as he is.


If you have not used contraception for years and have never got pregnant till now, then your assumptions about your own low fertility are accurate - and it has functioned as an effective contraceptive for all this time.

This also means that the chances of you getting pregnant again, even intentionally or with fertility treatment, are slim to none. If you really want a child and your age is against you, and other issues too, then perhaps there won't be another, better time. The choice might well be now, or not at all. Could you live with that?

You are not obliged to have an abortion just because it would make life difficult for him if you had a child. If you don't want it that is a different matter.


First of all, CONGRATULATIONS! You are pregnant with a baby that you have always wanted and didn't think you could have! Yay!!!

Second of all, this is not your fault any more than it's his fault. I had affairs with a few married men. Two of them used condoms, even though I was using the Ring, and two of them refused to have PIV sex because the risk was too high. It's your body, and you should keep the baby you obvioysly want. By pressuring you to have an abortion, he has just added "jerk" to his previous label of "stupid". There is NO REASON why you should lose your right to choose!

I agree with Dan. Be strong, Mama! Love and hugs <3


She should have an abortion. I don't mind saying it. It sucks because she wants to have a child, but we don't get everything we want, and under these circumstances, it would cause problems for everyone involved including the already living children, their mother, their father, her own unborn child and herself. All of those people combined are more important than her own desire to be a mother, especially under these circumstances- having an affair with a married father and saying she can't get pregnant.

The only reasonable compromise would be to give the man the option to not be a parent and then never contact him again while you raise the child on your own, but this would be much more difficult than you can imagine right now and it would also be very hard on the child who will grow up wondering who his father is as well as the father who will know he has a kid out there somewhere, etc, and it's possible it would come to a head eventually anyway- either when a bitter young adult seeks out his deadbeat dad or when you ask for help from the father or when the father from guilt seeks out the kid, etc.

Now should you be forced to have an abortion or raise a child on your own? Absolutely not. It's your choice and your body and you can do what you want, but since you asked for advice, then the hard truth is that there is no good answer here but the least bad one for everyone is for you to have an abortion.

As to the men who might find themselves in a situation like this one day in the future, here's some advice to prevent it: a) don't be dishonest in your relationships in the first place, and b) don't cum inside someone's vagina without a condom unless you are willing to be a father. Because once you make the choice to do that- cum inside someone's vagina without a condom- you have made your final choice in what happens thereafter. Sucks, and in a perfect world there would be some opt-out period in the first couple weeks after conception in which, if the woman refuses an abortion, she has to go it alone, but in real life there's no way to put that into action. Therefore, all you can do is (and I repeat) a) don't lie in your sexual relationships and b) don't cum inside vaginas unless you are open to fatherhood.


Just wanted to add my voice to the chorus of “this is your decision and your decision only to make”.
Yes he was led to believe you were actively taking steps to prevent pregnancy but his not asking what exactly kind of birth control you were on is entirely his mistake. As Dan said there are hugely different failure rates for different birth control methods and he chose not to ask questions and roll the dice by not wearing a condom. Pregnancy happens all the time to people who are using birth control and he knew that was a chance and he took it.
Don’t let yourself be pressured into anything you don’t want to do. Don’t let him walk away without paying child support. He had just as much of a roll in this as you.
This is definitely a complicated decision and I agree with the commenter who said “what advice would you offer your best friend”. Whatever you decide I wish you the best.


If you want the baby, keep the baby. If you don’t want the baby but don’t want an abortion, consider adoption. If you want a baby and don’t think you can conceive, consider adoption.


Holy cow, this is not a question at all. As lejewess says, congratulations--you are pregnant with a baby you always wanted and didn't think you could have! You want to be a parent, you've gotten pregnant against what sounds like steep medical abortion makes no sense in this situation. I think you just say to him "Look, we knew this was short-term because of your family. We knew this would end. Well, it's ending now, over this pregnancy." If you are open to it, you could ask him whether he wants to come clean to his wife and have a place in your child's life or whether he wants to disappear. If you need his financial support of the child, I think it's your right to say "you need to find a way to contribute to the child's upbringing." I don't think there's any way you can keep having sex with him, though. That phase of this whole thing is over.


I'm a little surprised that no one else is commenting on the obvious. She is in love with him. Maybe subconsciously she wanted to get pregnant so she could hold onto part of him long after he is out of her life. If he really loved her rather than in love with the thrill of the affair - you know, getting away with it, fucking another woman, having someone who had has no obligations to - this would be a no brainer, and he would leave his first family to be with her, regardless of her physical state.

I understand how hard it can be as a single parent, but if you can financially support this child and have a good emotional support system for all the challenges, go for it and have the baby. You say he loves you, but you need to love you. Figure out if you can fly solo and be prepared. Either way, he is leaving you.


The choices are extremely difficult ones, yet not complicated. You have to choose whether to have a baby or an abortion. His choice is to either come clean about what he’s been doing and be a part of his child’s life or keep his secret and walk away. Each of you needs to respect the other’s choice. If you want this child and are prepared to raise it without him then you should do so - regardless of how he chooses to respond to the situation. You both made the choice to engage in the relationship and now you must handle the consequences. Difficult decisions to make for sure. I wish you strength.


It might be hard, so you should kill the baby you desperately want to have?!?!? Umm, how about no.

If you’re willing to go it alone, tell him to go fuck himself and have the kid. He would rather ABORT HIS OWN CHILD than publicly admit he knows you; this man DOES NOT LOVE YOU. He does not deserve a single second more of your time or attention, and he sure as shit doesn’t get a say in whether or not you keep the kid.

Is being a single mom hard? Hell, yes. It’s one of the hardest things to be - but it’s far from impossible. A lot of things that are worth doing aren’t easy. Be realistic, and decide what’s best for you and baby, not that asshole.


Congratulations! How wonderful to be pregnant with this little miracle. My advice is to take all the energy you are putting into guilt and self-flagellation and channel it into being the BEST Mum you can be to this much wanted little baby. Yes, it's nice for children to have 2 involved parents, but having 1 Mum who loves you with all her heart is also pretty great. Best wishes to you, letter writer. May I suggest midwife-led pregnancy care. 😊


Agree with all of the above - if you want this baby, you should absolutely keep it. The real decision you need to make now is if you really want to coparent with this guy who is telling you to throw away your (likely) only shot at parenthood to cover for him. I get that you like him, maybe love him, but he is, objectively, treating you very badly here. Your assumption that you couldn't get pregnant was at least as safe as the same assumption by anyone using the pill or condoms - which also fail sometimes - so it's entirely unfair for him to act like you were lying when you said it wouldn't be an issue. Your assumption was reasonable, extra precautions on your end would have been overkill. So, do you really even want to be stuck with this manipulative, lying ass? I kind of think that absent some very compelling reason not mentioned in your letter (like actually needing child support to make this work), you should drop him and his bullshit and focus on building the life and the family that you actually want for your kid. Hell, probably hit him for child support anyway. He's being a selfish dick.


btw did Dan notice that condoms have a 13% Real World failure rate?
Which makes them as safe as playing Russian Roulette with an 8 chambered revolver.
Safe Indeed.


BTW in case my post sounded like I was advocating for her stepping out on her own and raising the child without him, I absolutely am not. I was responding to people above and walking them through why this likely would be more complicated. He is half as responsible for the existence of this child as she is, and if she decides to have the child, he has to pay for half the child's existence as well as be a father because it's unfair otherwise to the child to do so. It might wreck his marriage, and he will have children to support from different mothers. This is what happens in situations like this- so yet again repeat after me, don't cum inside vaginas if you are not willing to be a father and don't lie in your sexual relationships.

BUT since she's asking, yes my opinion is absolutely that she should have an abortion. She'll be super sad about it for a while, and then she'll have a lifetime ahead of her. Versus having the baby and having to deal with this cheating man and his family for the rest of her life, plus the kid who will always be the mistress's child, etc- what a nightmare.

There are other ways to become a parent later, including getting pregnant with someone else who actually wants to love you and your baby for life.

And if she has an abortion, no she's not killing a baby- she's killing a zygote. Get the fuck over yourself with your dumbass miracles and slut-shaming. Abortion is a routine medical procedure and a standard form of reproductive health care. Crazies coming out of the woodwork here.


You want the baby, and you know the relationship is time limited right? If having a baby he couldn’t raise would kill him tell him you got an abortion and then end the relationship. Cut off all contact with him and raise the baby on your own.


Lots of passive voicing in this letter. L-dub, this didn't 'just happen' to you. You did it. Now, every option is impossible because you 'couldn't live with yourselves... blah blah blah.' Whatever. You and your affair partner are big babies who never grew up, and now you're looking for a get out of jail free card. They're isn't one. The two of you are now well and truly fucked.

The good news is that this is your last best chance to grow the fuck up and (one way or another) deal with the shit storm you've created. I don't have much hope of that considering your letter. Most likely, you'll have the kid, model terrible behavior as the parents, and pass on your complete lack of self awareness and inability to accept the consequences of your actions. I'm sorry for your future kid. Good luck, I guess.


Keep the baby, ditch the guy


I'll stay out of the should she/shouldn't she debate (Dan and commenters who says it's 100% her choice are spot on).

Instead, I'm going to toss out the paranoid-but-better-to-be-paranoid-than-dead comment:

Assuming you have the baby, make sure you have protections in place against this guy. This baby potentially stands to ruin him on personal, professional, and financial levels. In other words, he has a very strong motive to harm the LW and/or the baby. He may seem like a nice guy now, but he could very well go to psychpath when he's confronted with this reality.

So, before telling him, make sure a confidential trusted friend and/or attorney has his name, contact info, place of employment, etc. Make sure he knows that this someone(s) has his info, and he'll be suspect number one if something happens. When telling him, do so in a public place and have an escape route. Make sure you have home security. Perhaps move in with friends or family temporarily if necessary.

Again, maybe I'm being paranoid... But a married man who knocks up his mistress, and then strongly pushes for an abortion, doesn't exactly sound like a stand up guy.

Be careful and stay safe.


Have the baby and don’t expect financial or emotional support. Let him decide if he wants to come clean. You clearly want it and if he’s not on the hook, it stops being so selfish. I think this would be your plan if you were being honest in your letter (don’t think you were). Be real about your expectations and the correct decision will follow.


Keep the baby. Don’t list a father on the birth certificate. Write his name down somewhere the kid can find when they’re old enough to want to know.

This guy doesn’t love you. I’m really sorry.


@8 or they could get a vas. Pre-freeze some semen if want an option for kidz later.

LW: I think you need to talk this over multiple times with a therapist, and trusted friends, to help you reach your decision, too much going on for an advice columnist or his commenters to help.

However, since you asked: 1. You will always regret the road not taken in part, whichever your choice. 2. If you do have a child, they may want to know / have a right to know their father. 3. You could abort, and, if you really want a child, adopt a child (single-parent adoption is an option). 4. While an improbable conception, this pregnancy, like any, is not really a miracle, it's just a billion years of evolution doing its stuff. 5. Aborting a pre-viability fetus is an entirely moral choice. 6. If you had known you could get pregnant, would you have used contraception? If yes, then perhaps abortion is really the best choice. 7. Good luck to you!


Delta's answer is really good.


I'm simply dumbfounded by the amount of people here trying to cast no guilt and no burden on sweet, gullible little you, LW. You didn't trip and fall into married man's lap, LW--you wanted a piece of what wifey had and sat down on his dick. Now, like an adult, you have to face the consequences of your own actions.

I don't believe for one SECOND this is 100% about sparing him and being selfless--this is about not getting caught and facing your guilt over breaking up a family. Yes, abortion is 100% your choice, but if you've really always wanted a child, now would be the time. Aborting this pregnancy is just more escapism, more denying blame that you DID earn and DO deserve. Either grow the fuck up and be a mom, raise your mistake to do better than you did, or continue to act like a child and try to erase your guilt by getting rid of it once and for all.




Look, my parents got married when they had me. My mom was in much the same medical boat as you, but a teen. They had to be convinced to not give me up for adoption, and because of that I was raised by two clueless teens who shouldn't have gotten married.

I came here expecting to recommend abortion. However, after reading your letter that is not the advice I would give--BUT ONLY if you can find a way to legally absolve your lover of rights or responsibility to this child. You've said you've looked into clinics, but have you looked into what it would take to raise this kid without baggage? O highly suggest doing some major research on law, childcare costs, work in other locations, and making plans for multiple contingencies. Then see how you feel about each plan. Being a single mom will be hard. If you live in a small community you might even have to move. Do you have family support? What are the laws in your state regarding parenthood? Can you afford to raise this kid on your own? Because deciding to have this kid without the consent of it's sperm donor, you need to NOT rely on him for money or a relationship of any kind.

The kid doesn't have to suffer for their missing parent. Especially if you are open and honest from a young age about what their father was like and why they aren't a pet of the picture. Or you can talk about how family is what you make of it.


Well, there's no one perfect solution to this problem, but I was struck by this: "He cannot live with having a child he cannot raise. Neither of us could live with breaking up his family by coming clean. This is tearing both of us up."

I am going to say that the man's whole "I cannot live with having a child I cannot raise and I cannot live with breaking up my family by coming clean" anguish sounds virtually designed to make the lw, who already seems almost TOO solicitous, feel pressured into having an abortion as just one more way of affirming what a great, sensitive guy her boyfriend is--instead of the selfish manipulator he seems to me to be. It sounds like they never discussed contraception, which is not particularly smart, but which seems to have benefited him more than her in the short term, and points to his selfishness taking priority over his self-preservation. After all, he has more to lose in this case.

While the lw might have the choice: abortion or let the pregnancy continue, the guy has a different choice: be part of the child's life or don't. I don't see his desire to upend his family by being honest as being as altruistic as the lw spins it--I see him not wanting to get caught, not wanting his wife to leave him or be furious with him, not wanting to pay spousal and child support (child support for children of two mothers), not wanting to lose his children's adoration or the regard of his friends and members of his community--but I don't think it's possible for him to be in this child's life or contribute to its support without his family finding out. So if he doesn't want to upset his current domestic situation, and the lw wants to have the baby, he doesn't get to pull the "I can't not be part of this kid's life." All he gets to decide is that he's not going to be a father to the child he engendered.

If the lw can't consider having an abortion unless she's sedated, dragged in, and strapped down, not only should she not get an abortion, but no ethical doctor would perform one under those circumstances. So if she has always wanted a child and this miracle baby seems like it's not only her last chance but an unexpected chance, she should keep the pregnancy . . . and prepare to be a single mother with no outside contact and no financial support from the dude.

That is going to be hard, but many women have done it. If you knew that this relationship had an end date going in, consider that end date to be NOW, have your baby, and don't involve this man.


This is your choice, PERIOD. The married man decided to be a CPOS and now wants to make sure that there are no ramifications for HIM. If you wanted to have an abortion, that would be fine, but your letter is pretty clear that you want a baby.

There are no answers that will not end up hurting someone. He comes clean and his family will (probably) be hurt. He hides things and he may have to live without being in his child's life. You abort and you will be hurt by being unable to ever have a biological child. You have the child and hide it and the child receives less financial support than they deserve.

Frankly, you are showing WAY too much concern for how this affects a guy who decided to cheat on his wife AND who didn't take any steps to prevent a pregnancy, no matter how many times you told him you had it covered.

I will say, if you do have this child, please, please, please put the child's need above your lover's. Currently, you are thinking more about him than anything else and if you decide to keep the child, that child needs to come first, not be a secret to "protect" a father who is only protecting himself.

Good luck. I hope you make the best choice for YOU, no matter how it affects your married lover.


Yes I agree that delta35 (the 24th comment) has the best answer so far. Also important to think not just about what is best for you and best for the (reluctant) father but what is best for the child. Is this the kind of situation you yourself would be happy to be born into? I think that question should be asked and answered honestly far more often than it is.


Please note that if she falls on hard times over the next 18 years, or if the baby needs serious medical care and she has to apply for medical assistance, she won't have a real choice about naming the father. After that, the government will collect current and back child support from him, by taking it from his paychecks if necessary.

I learned this after my husband decided to blow off his marriage to me, and his kids, to move cross-country and take up with a college student. Hard way to find out.


LW and the guy she's cheating with are both dumbasses.

If you keep this kid LW, don't forget the guy has rights too, and could potentially convince a judge to give him a lot more custody than you.

My advice would be to get an abortion, ditch the guy, and join a nunnery or something. You're not fit to be a parent. The guy isn't either but too late for that.


"Which means pregnancy is always a risk during cishet PIV sex."
It's the PIV part that's most important there, not the cishet part. Trans PIV sex can lead to pregnancy (ex: trans man+cis man or trans woman+cis woman or trans man+trans woman) and not-het PIV sex can lead to pregnancy (ex.: group sex of various genders that involves PIV between at least two parties, I wouldn't label the sex "het") and not-cis PIV sex can lead to pregnancy (ex.: two nonbinary people).


Do not have an abortion you don't want to have! You will NEVER forgive yourself. I speak from personal experience. I had one against my wishes and better judgement and still live with the guilt 10+ years later. Also, the second time I got pregnant was in the WORST possible circumstances. I had that child anyway and he is the absolute best thing that's ever happened to me. Do not have an abortion to keep this dude from facing the consequences of his own actions. Fuck that. Have that baby. Even if you gotta do it alone. You can do this!


Sarazona, there are plenty of people who regret having children too. I know which regret I'd rather live with. You can't live life that way anyway- trying to anticipate future regrets when so many factors are up in the air.


Hmm. I agree that she should have the kid/let the embryo turn into a baby. It's clearly what she wants. If she had the abortion, it would disrupt fewer people's lives that if she had the baby, but I'm not sure it would cause less pain.

Not to dismiss the potential pain of the wife and kids, but I think there is little that compares in terms of the depth of pain that a woman experiences who wants to be a mother and cannot.

Not that adoption couldn't make her a mother, of course. But I can imagine the regret for the rest of her life if she doesn't have this child she could have, and it makes me sick. Makes me more sick than the idea of breaking up the husband's family. I'm not sure why, but that's what my gut is saying.


Abortion, all the way.


Most abortion clinics will not let the boyfriend/husband in for a personal consultation with a clinic social worker because they know guys often enough pressure their lovers/wives to have abortions. At a clinic in Roanoke, Virginia, the doctor who performed abortions also had a farm where women who wanted to bear a child could stay until they came to term.

The alternative to abortion is putting the child up for adoption, and in some stats and in these days, the adoption can be open, allowing the birth mother to have contact with her child.

Or if the woman is older enough for this to be credible, she's raising her sister's/daughter's/son's child.

I've known one guy who found out his vascetomy reversed, but he'd been claiming the child as his before the US consulate forced him to take DNA tests (expat).


I have to say that I find it really bizarre how many people here are suggesting that this woman should just go out and raise a child by herself with no financial nor emotional support from the father with a "you got it girl!" attitude.

Here's what I suggest, if you consider this approach. #1: find women your age in your income bracket who are single mothers and talk to them honestly about what daily life is like for them. Get a real picture in your mind of their schedules, daily hour by hour existence, how much it costs, etc. #2 Visit a few forums about people who regret having children. There's a very active one on Facebook, several on Reddit, lots of anonymous op-eds. Listen to their stories and consider yourself in those situations. I'm not saying you will regret it, but I'm trying to counter all the "you'll regret an abortion" talk above like it's the worst thing that could ever happen to you. There's a lot less focus on the people who regret having kids, even though it seems about as common (most people don't regret their abortions either). #3 if you do want to be a parent- and loads of people do- consider the difficulties involved in even healthy rewarding parenthood and ask yourself why in the world you'd want to start out in such a terrible situation. There are other ways to become a parent under better circumstances.

Alrighty, if I said anything else, it would be repetitive, so I'm going to stop chiming in here for now!


In some ways you could see this as a blessing: it's what you wanted, OP. You've always wanted a child and you thought you couldn't have one. And you and the father know you're wrong to be having an affair and can't seem to end it.

He absolutely CAN "live with it". It's not his choice. The "I can't live with it" sob-story drama is just designed to get you to "get rid of the problem." His pain isn't your responsibility, as much as your letter seems to imply that you feel it is. This is a teaching moment from the universe, to get a bit woo-woo.

So have the kid you've wanted (albeit probably not the way you idealized, but that's life) AND get rid of this blowhard who is a cheater and would likely cheat on you, as well, if you ever ended up in a monogamous relationship. Love is just chemical bullshit, anyway. It won't last once you leave.

And teach the kid to make better decisions than you have.

I know it's hard right now, but it seems like a perfect example of "you get what you asked for."

Wishing you and your child well, OP.


A friend raised her son alone. The trick seems to be having a decent to excellent paying career. Not having that makes the whole process rather awful. As soon as my friend's son turned 18, she went back to college and went for a Master in Library Science. He joined the military.

The letter writer's lover was an adulterer. If his lover was another married person, this would be more honest. She was kidding herself about any concern for her, much less love of her. Lover's main fear is being taken to court for child support payments, not some bathos about not wanting a child in the world that whose life he can't be part of.


@36 EmmaLiz While you can't make every decision based on future regret, there are some big life decisions that I think merit a certain amount of fortune-telling, including speculating on what you would regret more.

Furthermore, everyone is different. You say you know which decision you would regret more. Since I believe you have previously stated that you have never wanted (a) child(ren), that makes sense. The LW, on the other hand, has always wanted to be a mother. It makes sense that she would regret an abortion more than she would regret having a kid. (This is all assuming her life circumstances are conducive to motherhood and she doesn't have a completely unreasonable notion of what it will entail.)

Obviously you are giving advice based on your perspective and worldview. It's all any of us can do. I'm just saying that the "right" decision depends to some extent on the angle at which you look at the problem.


Except Calli, I'm not advising the LW not to be a mother. I'm advising her to abort THIS pregnancy. You are comparing the scenarios of regretting becoming a mother vs regretting an abortion. That is not the choice. It's regretting THIS abortion vs regretting having THIS baby under these circumstances. She can still become a mother, you know, with a child that is not going to come with the baggage of a resentful father who doesn't want her, a jilted exwife who will be in her life forever, two other children who will have their home wrecked, etc. And unlike most people here, I think the probability that she can go off and raise a child without any financial support nor contact from the father whatsoever is very slim and not desirable anyway as it's selfish to the other two people mostly involved here (the baby and the father).


I said two children, but I don't think she said how many children the cheating husband has so sorry about that.


@43. I'm not advising that she have the kid with no financial support, either. I'm assuming that having the kid will entail financial, if not emotional or child-care, support from the father, and that it will likely blow up his life.

For someone with severe fertility issues, this pregnancy may be the only pregnancy. Just because she was able to get pregnant once, doesn't mean she'll be able to do it again. She can, of course, always adopt (though if she isn't in a financial situation to have biological offspring, she may not be able to get an adoption agency to give her a kid). But (I believe) knowing what-might-have-been would cause more pain given what she has stated about always wanting to be a mother.


LW: you, and everyone else in this situation with you, will survive the relationship fallout once your affair is discovered. It'll be painful. It's very possible he'll choose not to be involved in your child's life (I know you're saying "he can't stand to have a baby he doesn't raise" NOW, but I think you're also feeling very in love now, and you might find that his feelings change once the consequences are a real disturbance to his status quo). But no matter what he chooses, he'll survive. His wife will be in a lot of pain when she discovers his affair, but she'll also survive. You'll get through this shitstorm and your new life with your child will get off to its stuttering start.


If she wants the baby, have the baby. But don't expect any help from the cheater. I think she should have the baby and then move. Move far away from him so she's not tempted. It seems he doesn't want any kids he didn't father with his wife, so he's probably not going to rock the boat and come looking for her. It's a lose-lose situation for the most part. Not the baby's fault who its parents are and the wife and kids don't deserve to have their lives destroyed because of a cheating bastard and whore.


No. Do not have an abortion to please a man, especially because he is the one being selfish. His choice was when he decided not to wear a condom. But now it's your body- your choice. An abortion is an emotional, moral, ethical and spiritual choice that you clearly don't want to make. If you feel prepared to be a single mom then do it. You may think it's his loyalty to his family that is tearing him up, but it's more likely he is only thinking about the expensive divorce and child support payments to you. He isn't the knight in shining armor that you like to think he is. He is a cheater who got his mistress pregnant buly thinking with his dick. He deserves no consideration or opinion at thus point.


Keep the baby. Get rid of the man. Make sure you stay safe. List the father as unknown on the birth certificate. Get two jobs if you have to. I was a single mother that worked two jobs for years after my husband died. Worth every bit of it.


There are cheaper ways to adopt, Calli, including open adoptions and if you go through an agency, there are loads of orgs that have fundraising. I'm not saying it's easy, but this is sort of my point- if she always wanted kids, why wait so long to look into how to have them? Seems more like a "wish" in the back of her mind, not a burning desire. But you are correct that we don't know her details as she hinted at them but did not discuss them- she knows the answers to all these questions.

I'm not claiming that regretting or not regretting this abortion / having this baby is more or less likely either way. I'm just countering all the above advice. There is no shortage of advice in our culture that you will regret not having kids or that you will regret an abortion. Those voices are important and she should consider them. But there are far fewer voices (until very recently none) advising that you will regret having kids or that you will feel relief after an abortion, and I think that a person asking for advice should get a clear range from all. Since no one else is taking that stance, I've tried to amplify those voices. It's more common than people realize.

Finally, the fact that you really want something and will regret not doing it doesn't mean it's ethical for you to do so. The question is not just about HER desire and wants but also about those of the father and the well-being of the child. If she gets the man involved financially and emotionally, then it's going to be a huge disruption to many people's lifes, likely causing much long term resentment. If she doesn't and tries to raise the child on her own, then it's inevitable that the child will want to know about its father- she has two choices: 'your dad didn't want you' or 'I told your dad to stay away', neither are very nice. She is choosing to create a person who will start out in the difficulties of life with that as its foundation. I don't think that her regrets or not is the only thing to consider here, or maybe even not the primary thing. Though absolutely in terms of rights, it's her choice alone.

As for worldview, yes. I'm basically an inverse Republican in that I think abortion should be far more common, far fewer people should choose to have children, and when children are born, they should have basically all their material needs taken care of from cradle to grave!


Usually I'm all for abortion, but this woman definitely doesn't want one, so she shouldn't have one.

Instead, cut off ties with the guy, tell him what he wants to hear, have the kid anyway, and just say you don't know who the father is. He gets to go on with his crappy life in blissful ignorance, and she gets the kid she wants.


@50 Fair enough.


I'm late to this party and only skimmed all the comments, but my goodness, EmmaLiz is the only one talking sense. This is a full-on abortion scenario. I'm surprised so many people are telling her to keep it. I agree it should be her choice, and it sounds like she's gonna keep it, so maybe everyone just wants to make her feel good about it. But what a clusterfuck. No. Just no. Way to make a whole bunch of lives miserable.

Of course, I mostly think people should stop reproducing altogether, except under extremely thoughtful circumstances, so I'm biased. But hey, according to the latest data I've read, most of our societies are going to fall into drought and starvation by 2050 anyway, so I guess another human and another pile of misery doesn't much matter.


Paranoid Jellob @21 has a great safety tip. He's got family, financial, and social reasons for the pregnant LW to go away.

NoCute @29, Yup, "I cannot live with having a child I cannot raise" is bullshit (and literally untrue).

It's too late for one ethical approach to this "relationship (that) is time-limited" in which she deceived him about birth control: Not them him that she was pregnant. End the affair then, stop all contact, and raise the kid (if she's successfully carries this pregnancy to term - even young, high-fertility women often miscarriage) on her own.

But Fathom @51 offers the next best: Lie to him (claim a miscarriage?), break it off, and stop all contact. She gets the kid she wants. She avoids him feeling guilty (P.S. he's probably lying about that). He gets to go back to the wife and kids without any guilt, consequences, or lessons learned.

Or, given that he's actually lying about feeling guilty and is really just manipulating her, then: Have the kid. Hit him up for child support. If he can swing the $10,000/year without his wife finding out, then he got off lucky. And follow @21's safety tips and keep your doors locked.


Ditch the man toad. If he can't live knowing he has a child he doesn't provide for then give him a PO box to send checks. (Not your home address).

If you want to raise the kid solo (not joint custody), raise the child as if you paid a clinic to inseminate you. If the father doesn't want to be a dad this is a good solution too. Kid: "mommy why don't I have a dad", You "pumpkin, I wanted to have a child so badly I decided to do it on my own" and when they are older tell them you used a sperm donor (it's true enough) if you don't want to tell them they are from an affair and their dad wanted them dead instead.

Also, he's not going to be the man you love most in the world forever. You are just chemically addicted to each other for the moment. He certainly doesn't love you most in the world, as evidenced by the still wife. You know who you will love most in the world? Your miracle baby. You know who will love you most in the world? Your miracle baby.

Now if you thought the fetus was nothing but a parasite waiting to ruin your life forever, it would be a different story. That deep soul wrenching feeling is your heart screaming that you will never forgive yourself if you go through the abortion for a guy that's likely to dump you for the next mistress as soon as the steam cools down in a year or two. Stop trying to make yourself an asshole to convince yourself to get an abortion you desperately don't want.

Cut him free from responsibility if you want. He wants the abortion so the wife won't know he made a kid, not because he has a sense or responsibility.


Abortion is "only a medical procedure to root out a zygote" if the woman in question feels that way. The LW herself feels it's a miracle child, that she always wanted to be a parent. So she can suffer great long-term mental anguish. Loosing a pregnancy naturally or medically affects each woman differently and is usually directly proportional to how they view the unborn fetus. She sees it as a person, she sees it's potential, it is wanted. Therefore a miscarriage would be devastating in her position, choosing to end the pregnancy when she doesn't want to would have the added devastation of guilt and always wondering what would have been. Especially as the man in question will likely dump her as soon as the risk of child is gone. Abortion is not cut and dry, it is the woman's choice for a reason. It is she that has to live with the emotional fall out, weither that is minimal or hugely devastating for a lifetime.

Also any comments about how the future child would just suffer because they are the kid of an affair, it's not 1920. Plenty of kids are born with sperm donation, in 1 night stands, egg donor, adopted, ect. You don't base your self worth on it. She just needs to be proactive in how she talks to the kid about it. Honestly, I wish I'd gone the solo sperm donor route at this point because even planned pregnancy can bring out the a-hole in a man.


@8 - That's a thought that your Mom might have entertained, but she obviously changed her mind.


I agree with all the people saying not to take the guy's crocodile tears into account. He just doesn't want to have to take responsibility for the fun he's been having. He chose not to ask what LW meant when she said it was taken care of. She never lied, but that's the way he's trying to spin it. He made his bed.

LW should also consider, though, if her insistence on an inability to get an abortion is more of the same attitude that she had no ability to end this affair. It took two to tango and the attitude expressed throughout the letter makes me think LW needs to do a lot of reflection before she decides if she's ready to care for another life. LW has agency. And this baby isn't some miracle representation of their love made manifest. If she decides not to have an abortion she needs to decide with her eyes open and needs to figure out what is best for the baby. She needs to set up an adoption or decide that she is gonna raise it as a responsible adult - not hoping it's gonna bring some beautiful or tragic connection with the d-bag she had the affair with. If she can't do that, if the baby is just gonna be a means to an end or if it is supposed to be something to love her unconditionally that can't leave her (rather than the other way around) - then she should really consider having the abortion.


Why are so many people acting like the reason he wants her to abort is so that his wife doesn't find out? That's not what the letter says in any way shape or form. It isn't about him getting caught, it's about him not wanting to abandon a child of his. If she chooses to keep the baby, then he has to either leave his existing family and children to be with her (and raise the baby), or leave her (and raise his existing chilren). Either way, he will have to abandon hs chld(ren) and that's what he doesn't want to do. Oh I'm sure he'd be happier if his wife never found out he's a cheater, but when it comes down to it, that's not why he wants LW to abort. It sounds like they both know that he's choosing his family regardless of whether she aborts or keeps the baby, and therefore keeping it means he won't be able to raise the child -- totally regardless of whether his wife ever finds out. And also sure, he could well be lying when he says the issue is that he can't abandon his own child, and it's really just that he wants to keep it secret. But giving advice based on an assumption that the presented facts are lies really isn't helpful.


Do NOT have an abortion to protect his privacy. It is not your responsibility to shield his family from pain.


I know this isn't the question at hand, but I am surprised no one has called bullshit yet on "I don't think about it once trust has been established"
How exactly do you "establish trust" about sexual health when your entire relationship is LITERALLY PREDICATED on lying about sex?!?!
Please don't have a child. This level of idiocy does not need to be passed on


LW should have the kid if she wants, but if she forces dad to be involved she is indeed a jv version of last week’s stealther. Yes, as Dan says, men should be aware that women can lie about birth control. But by the same token, women should be aware that men have been known to surreptitiously remove condoms. In either case, we should save our scorn for the liar/stealther.

(Of course in this case, dad deserves scorn for other reasons.)


LW, you can’t ask a bunch of strangers what you are going to do about your pregnancy. Doesn’t matter how this has happened, it’s your choice only, how to proceed. Sure, take on board others opinions and if you continue the pregnancy, Father to be must contribute financially and hopefully emotionally.
Welcome to the wtf shall I do club. Sending you hugs.


Now I guess I should read the letter and not just the headline.


“But but but... you assured your lover there was no chance you could get pregnant and, in a very real sense, he consented to unprotected sex after receiving that assurance from you. But this awful circumstance isn't comparable to, say, a man removing a condom he agreed to wear during intercourse, an act that instantly negates consent. Because even if he assumed "she's on the pill or something," he had to have known (or he should have known) that 1. birth control methods can fail and 2. women are capable of lying. “

I really don’t get why this isn’t comparable. When women agree to PIV condom sex they have to know that 1. Birth control methods can fail and 2. Men sometimes remove condoms. To me the differences are simply a matter of degrees— child support is no joke, but an unwanted pregnancy is obviously a bigger deal for the woman. And removing a condom is a more bald-faced dishonesty than lying about your birth control.

Still, the ethical principles are the same, and both behaviors should “instantly negate consent”.


Now you get to be a grown-up and own your decisions. You fucked a married guy and neither one of you gave the proper weight to the OTHER PEOPLE in this equation, namely the wife, kids and entire set of family and friends that are going to be impacted by your selfishness. It’s late, but not too late to finally take responsibility and keep the damage to the cheating husband and yourself. Have the kid. raise it yourself and have no more contact with Mr. Somebody Else’s Spouse. You’re both assholes, but you don’t need to be TOTAL assholes.


LW, you could continue with the pregnancy, to keep the baby/ adoption or have an abortion.
These are your YOUR three options.


No Donny, he has to pay. It can be discrete. I’m sure he could ask around, lots of these sorts of men would be doing it, paying for whoops babies. The relief valve men who get caught.


If you are older than 40 or so, and the pregnancy is still early enough to get an abortion easily, then it is very likely that you will miscarry naturally. I don't say this rhetorically. It is a fact.

Now, reading that short paragraph, did you feel a sense of relief at the idea that you may miscarry? If so, abortion. Or did you feel a sense of overpowering despair? Then birth.

If you got pregnant once, it's possible you may be able to get pregnant again with donated sperm or with another lover.

When you read this, did you hear in your heart: "Never! Only with this one man would I ever want a child!"? Then you know you've been fooling yourself and him, exaggerating your presumed infertility while in fact trying to get pregnant all along.

The choice to abort or birth is, of course, yours and yours alone. Ethically, the "right" choice is abortion, because then the suffering is mostly confined to one person (you), whereas if you choose birth, then you, your lover, his family, and the child will all suffer. You could choose to work on letting go of your post-abortion disappointment and grief. As for the intense desire to have a child, that will probably fade as you go through menopause.

But it seems very clear from your letter that you are planning to keep the child, and mostly want justification/reassurance from Dan. So ... well, best of luck to you all.


Boohoo. Seriously.. he’s in so much pain, I can’t read any more LW, another soap opera, I don’t need. He should have thought about this yesterday.


@56- nope, regardless of how you feel about it, early term abortion is a routine medical procedure to prevent an embryo from becoming a fetus. That's just a fact. You can feel different things about it, and that is the basis for the choice you can make about it. But your feelings and the choice you make do not change the fact of it being a routine medical procedure to prevent an embryo from becoming a fetus.

Joe we don't know if she lied about being on BC or not. If she did, then it's comparable. If she didn't, and just said she was infertile, then it's not a lie since she had reason to believe it was true. It's more comparable to a man who wears a condom but it breaks or he has the wrong size and it comes off. If you meant more generally- yes absolutely women knowingly lying about being on birth control is comparable to stealthing IMO.

@57 if my mother had chosen to have an abortion, it would not bother me in the least since I would not exist.


You earn your pay with this one Dan. I can understand the impulse to throw your laptop out the window, pass the buck to us.


That’s true EmmaLiz, it depends what she told the guy, which is not clear from the letter.


I feel like it's clear that you want to have this baby and I think you should. Regret is a powerful thing and you can't go back once it's done. I would also urge you to pull back a little and look at the bigger picture. Tell yourself this: It doesn't matter whose "fault" it was, you're going to be a mother -- finally. He will find a way to deal with his business. You will raise this child with or without his support. I know this seems like an insurmountable problem, but as an older mother, your chances of raising a happier, well-adjusted kid are higher than most -- even as a single mom. Don't despair.


Doesn’t matter what she told the guy. That is then, this is now.
Men are responsible for their own sperm, at all times. This man’s hit the spot.


@70: Perhaps. We can only guess as how your soul would have fared.


Really, it's obvious she's not actually considering abortion. Chances are very good she was trying to get pregnant all along. That whole thing about getting her lover to sedate her and physically carry her to the clinic? That's telenovela bullshit on the level of "I just walked into the living room and there she was with peanut butter smeared on her pussy and the dog licking it!" ... I think Dan can't see it because he just doesn't know that much about women (no offense, Dan, you know we love you). She just wants cheers and props for doing what she has already decided to do. No brainer.


She wants a baby. This is probably her only chance. Of course she should have it.

Her boyfriend is a cheating piece of shit. His nonsense about "cannot bear to not raise a child of mine" is such a blatant and obvious manipulative lie. An abortion makes his life much less complicated and that douchebag will say anything.

Of course it is her choice. Obviously she wants to keep it, she wrote in looking for permission, so urging her to keep the baby is not me stealing her agency. Its me urging her to use her agency to do what she obviously wants to do.


face palm LW- did you grow up in a state where the only sex ed taught was abstinence? Pray for a miscarriage, then. Since you're reading Savage Love, surely you must've known better. Don't bring a child into this mess, especially since you'll be alone and likely without support. Kids are hard, even with two devoted parents (and if you're lucky, devoted grandparents).


correction @74;
Men, or others with a penis, are responsible for their own sperm, at all times.
Once the sperm Impregnates the egg, all choice is lost to the man or penis haver. Except out of which bank account the support payments need to be paid from.


Keep the baby -- it's what you want, and all the other mistakes are in the past. Deciding whether to keep the father involved, and make him pay his share of child support but damage his life and hurt some people, is a separate question. You have plenty of time to make your decision about that second question down the road.


Just a person weighing in here but.... I'm one who doesn't know and has never known my father but I've questioned his family enough to know I'm missing out on nothing good by not knowing him........wondering about my dad wasn't so head screwing as to wish I never existed so.......


I too was medically unlikely to get pregnant (but using condoms anyway) and accidentally and astoundingly happened anyhow. I let him talk me into an abortion and was deeply unhappy about it. En route I miscarried and then I nearly threw myself off the George Washington bridge because, despite being an atheist since age 7 or so, I had lost what I too thought of as a miracle. My body, so malfunctioning, was doing something normal... And my reaction was to let some other person, who was incapable of knowing what this meant to me, make my miracle an inconvenient nothing. This was, what, 15 years ago, and I still have a broken place in my heart. It was a miracle and I wish I had embraced every moment of that miracle, no matter the outcome.

If abortion is right for you, great! Abortion is a miracle too! Have as many as YOU want! But please, ONLY as many as you want. You must decide based on what you can bear in your life. He has himself to take care of himself.

Ps I never saw my guy again, after nearly a decade of friendship. Your situation is definitely different because I am positive we're different people. This is not a story I ever tell anybody and my family doesn't even know. But the word "miracle" got me right in the tits. You must decide for yourself because it is already part of you.


"He cannot live with having a child he cannot raise."

What's he going to do, kill himself? Is he so enamored of his supreme parenting skills that the idea of not being there 24/7 for this kid would be a tragedy too unbearable to contemplate? What a massive ego.


I would ask him to come discuss the situation with a counselor (so he knows someone will know who to blame if she vanishes or dies).

Then, in front of the counselor, I would discuss how to tell his wife. He's been having unprotected sex and is likely to do that again with a new affair partner.

Once the wife knows, and has a week or two to calm down, the three of them can discuss the potential baby and its relationship with its father & half-siblings. (While everyone acknowledges that it's completely LW's decision.)

Talking about pragmatic aspects of raising this child with someone else (like the counselor, and the wife) might help you envision more clearly what you want.


(While everyone acknowledges that whether to have the baby is completely the LW's decision.)


Dans comment about "were you in the room with her when the IUD was implanted " irked me. when a man tells a woman he's had a vasectomy do we ask to order his medical records? they could have had it 20+ years ago. if a woman says she's on the pill even if a man lives with her and watches her put in her mouth every morning she could spit it into the toilet afterwards. two consenting adults should have a modicum of trust. even if one partner is lying to their spouse. typically the mistress makes a promise not to tell his wife. from what I read she made it sound to him like she was assured by Dr's that she was infertile. she used the word "impossible" which since we know that no BC is 100% fail proof than medically impossible would mean something truly impossible like born without a uterus, her ovaries were removed, born with a physical defect that she may not want to give details but to rest assured it's "impossible ". she had no moral compunction when it came to having an affair with a married man with kid's but she's suddenly grown a conscience in regards to abortion. she doesn't want her life ruined by missing this chance to have a child but hasn't expressed concern about ruining the kids of the man she loves so much. also if she's always wanted to become a mom and she's so close to an age that time's running out than why wasn't she spending her precious time with a man who's available and who wants a family? fertility treatments and adoption would have been possible with someone who's already not built his family. if she does choose to be selfish and keep the baby than she needs to be soley financially responsible


I'd just add that it is entirely possible - likely, even - that the dude in this scenario is genuine in his concern about not being part of this potential child's life.

I'm a married dad. I would never do this to my wife or children. But if somehow I did cheat and ended up in a surprise pregnancy, I can tell you that I would be hugely concerned with not being involved in my new child's life.

Yeah this dude is a CPOS but he's also deserving of a little empathy.

That's all.


I will first add my voice to all those who are telling the LW that this is her choice to make - you do not have an equal voice in this, as you noted, you have the only voice that matters. That is a heavy responsibility, but I'm not sure this is as difficult a choice as you believe. I am assuming here that you will still want and be able to care for a child even if your partner abandons you if you choose to continue with the pregnancy, even if that child has some special needs, which is not unheard of in children born to older mothers. If are tolerably confident that you could give the child a good life, then you are facing choice between making your partner happy and yourself unhappy, or making yourself happy and your partner unhappy. That, in fact, is an easy choice. Make yourself happy. You are not acting out of malice, or to deliberately hurt your partner, so I don't see why you shouldn't prioritise your happiness over his. Because if you don't prioritise your own happiness in life, no one will.


It is absolutely her choice whether she has her child or not--and it seems she very much wants to (having a child 'has always been my dream'). The first thing she should do is tell her lover that she's keeping the baby. Then they face the music together. She thinks it would tear up his family? It's for his wife to make her own decision about that family's future.

Further, ETLETG should let go of any expectation that she can control the course of a relationship she thinks 'time-limited' anyways. It will now be up to her lover whether to break up with her decisively to try to save his marriage. It's not incumbent on him to be there in any more than a minimal sense to make the maintenance payments her child needs.

His attitude to the child seemed unsatisfactory or incoherent to me. 'He couldn't have any child he couldn't raise'. What does that mean? He isn't concerned for the child; he wants it aborted. There's no prospect, it would seem, of the child being taken into the bosom of its father's family--of her as the mother moving in. This is so far from possible that the lw thinks discovery of his affair will blow her lover's marriage wide open. Like other commenters, the thing I'd want to stress is 'her body, her choice'. She half-believes she owes him an abortion because she misled him about her fertility. No. She just owes him clarity re her decision with the child she's carrying.


physhgirl @86. Why should the child suffer materially. The man/ penis haver, is legally and morally obligated to support his/ their offspring, for eighteen years.


You know who's really good at laying out the pros, cons, and considerations of having or not having abortions?

Abortion counselors.

It may be hard to find the right sort of counseling at the right clinic, but once that's done, let them know all your back-and-forth reasoning. They're trained in listening, in not trying to change your mind, in educating you on practical and legal realities. You don't want an abortion so they'll likely counsel you not to have one, but you'll walk out of there feeling better about your decision and knowing what to do better about your secondary question about your future relationship with they guy's father.


@10. Zahnnie. Yes--lucid and incisive.

@13. Ydbh. The father is on the hook for maintenance payments in any circumstances she has the child. It's hard to think he can make these without making a clean breast of his transgressions with his wife.

@22. mreagan82. She should demand financial support for her child's sake. Her concern now lies with her lover; but the primary 'side she's on' when she's a mother (or if) is likely to be the child's. I was struck by the same line from the father as nocute @29.

@31. parkerthepotter. We do not know at this stage what the three adults involved (the lw, her lover, her lover's wife) will work out as arrangements for the child's upbringing. The best thing would be for them to sit round a table and talk about it. It's quite possible they will arrive at a solution that allows the child some contact with his father. The child will feel loved and wanted because she wants it. (It's not a good sign, though, that it sounds as if he will need to be dragged kicking and screaming to any meeting).

@43. EmmaLiz. The LW thinks this is her only chance of natural pregnancy. She has a medical condition eg endemetriosis that makes getting pregnant almost impossible and she's older.


She should not have the abortion. She doesn’t owe that to anyone. Not him. Not her future child. She wants to carry the child to term and raise him/her.

She should do so. The pregnancy was unintended and unexpected. But she is tearing herself up trying to psych herself up to do something that goes against every impulse and desire she has. She should stop that and prepare to be a parent.

His motivations are difficult to determine. Maybe he is manipulating her. Maybe he is actually torn up by the idea of having a child but not raising it. Either way, his actions are bad - controlling and self serving and awful.

She should not have an abortion. She should have the child. The length of the pregnancy will give him time to decide what he is going to do to adjust to this new reality. He has options, and not all of them involve blowing up his current family. But he needs to understand that LW having an abortion is not one of them.

They both seem to feel this is a horrible unique situation, but it is one played out many times each day all around the world. People lead messy lives.

That she was having an affair is so close to zero of an indicator of her ability to parent that it shouldn’t weigh into her decision at all, regardless of what some of the scoldy slut-shaming commenters here have said. And damn, Emmaliz, at the risk of engendering another dozen posts from you after you said you were done commenting, I gotta say your advice is unusually bad here so you must have some personal experience that skewed your perspective from your normal rational, if prolix, contribution.


This is what's going to happen: Fast forward 5 years. She has an abortion to make him happy, that leads her to being miserable, full go guilt and resenting him. They break up. Now she's lost the man she loved and the baby. And all for trying to please someone. I would have the baby if I were her and file for a paternity lawsuit. love relationships are temporary, children are not.


Ok this is what I would do.... Don't tell the POS anything, just leave, move to Europe so he can't find you and you can have a decent maternity leave, fall in love with a good man and let your baby think this is their father, and let the POS sperm donor worry every day of his life that you'll come after him for child support and out him to his family.


Lavagirl, I think it’s a really interesting question about responsibility. You are right, now that she is pregnant, the man bears responsibility, from both a legal and ethical point of view. Pushing for his involvement may even be the right thing to from the point of view of the child. BUT if she does push this, she retroactively makes her fertility deception all the more heinous, approaching the level of last week’s condom stealther.

Maybe you are right, and she should push for his involvement. I really don’t know. It’s interesting to think about from afar, although a complete mess for all involved.


@59. chaospearl. It is entirely within the father's own power to care for the child if she chooses to have it. He can simply say to his wife he has to make some basic financial provision for the baby--without eating into the couple's money or robbing his other children. This would be more ethical than doing nothing for the child. It is her lover's wife's decision whether to leave him and break their family up over his cheating. If she does, he will still have to be a responsible parent to his other kids--whatever his level of access to them.

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