Savage Love Letter of the Day: Worst Breakup Story Ever

Comments

1
In that situation, I would feel grateful to have found out his true colors before we got married, and I wouldn't want to have a kid with someone I didn't respect. So yes, personally, I would abort and move on with my life.

However, I would also take seriously the accusation that he felt "alone in the relationship." I would take some time to think about whether I had been open to hearing his concerns, whatever they were (maybe about not wanting to get pregnant right away, or how the wedding should go, or whether our child needed a stay-at-home parent, or whatever).

If he's right that I ignored his needs in favor of my own goals, that self-centeredness would affect my future relationships and my parenting. It's worth assessing if that is part of what happened here.
2
So the baby has to pay for their stupidity with its life in your world... Wow.. How about at least one of them steps up and fulfills the commitment they began?? What if, (and I am just spit balling here) you do whatever it takes to make sure your child is loved, and safe.. Two assholes in this story, the "man" you wanted to marry, and the "man" you went to for advice..
3
Since they are not married, the baby is legally tied only to her, not him. Thus, if she decides to give birth, she may simply not name the father on the birth certificate and the man will have no claim on the child.
4
my sister in law's 1st husband did the same thing. she had the kid, married my brother a couple years later, and he adopted my nephew. the biological father signed away all his rights.

fuck that guy. fuck this guy, too. keeping the kid is 100% your choice.
5
DAC: Being a single parent is hard. My wife and I struggled with our first kid, and I cannot imagine having to do it alone. Not just from an emotional perspective, but from a financial and logistical one. It sounds like your POS ex isn't going to be involved at all, so you'll have to do everything yourself.

I know this is terrible. I know you imagined one future, and are now cruelly facing a different one. But the thing to realize is that imagined future is gone. Your POS ex revealed his true colors, and so that future will never happen. So put thoughts of that future aside as best you can, and weigh the two options that you have.

@2 (Wayneraltman): Fuck off.
6
guess what, honey? he's already found someone better, and he's dumping you for her. this 'alone in the relationship' whine is just bullshit. he wants a fresh start with the new girlfriend, and a kid will be a drain on his bank account. you have this child and i guarantee he will fight you over every penny he owes you. ask yourself if this is the life you want, and make your decision accordingly
7
Let's see... biologists usually agree that life begins at conception. The question of when "human" life begins is a legal one in which... oops... I guess the law varies a bit. The fact is that most of the pro-life crowd is really pro birth, and single mothers face daunting challenges under the best of circumstances. Given that you got pregnant under circumstances that have changed so radically I thinks it's realistic to question whether you want to go forward with the pregnancy and following 18 + years of child raising. Get the best advice you can, make the best decision you can, and don't overlook option three which is to arrange for an open adoption ASAP and continue the pregnancy under those circumstances. Good luck!
8
Oh dear, DAC, I hope you have a supportive network around you.
No, this is not normal and you are well rid of this asshat whatever you decide to do about the pregnancy.
9
DAC-- Add me to the list of people who are sorry this happened to you. I don't know if this helps, but my question for you is:

When you got pregnant, was it because you wanted a family with him, or was it because you wanted a child yourself?

Here are some scenarios to imagine:

What if you got married, had the baby, and your husband was killed in an accident the next day. Does that change your view of single motherhood?
What if you had enough money to bring up this kid on your own? That is, enough to pay for childcare when you needed it, to support yourself and the kid, and also to date?
10
So #2 (and you're aptly named) are you going to take responsibility for your advice and adopt that baby when it actually becomes a baby?

If not, it's you who is killing an eventual baby!

A baby who would never have a life if you don't step up and live your forced birth principles!
11
@ 2 - The choice is hers and hers only to make according to a lot more factors than your misguided opinion that every fertilized egg should be carried till birth (which is most definitely not the case even in the most "ideal" of circumstances, since 80% of them abort spontaneously).

Apart from the ex-fiancé, the only asshole here is you.

12
I have one family member who had a child in a similar situation, and the man has made their lives extremely difficult.

When it came to paying child support he fought them every step of the way. First he refused to pay child support. A trip to court. Then he was always late or short on child support. Another trip to court. Then he tried to hide income by working under the table. Another trip to court. Then he moved back into his mom's basement so he didn't have to pay rent. Another trip to court to force child support to be recalculated to reflect his not paying rent.

Finally, he decided to seek 50-50 custody so that he doesn't have to pay child support, then discovered he could weaponize that by demanding custody at inconvenient times. So if he can't keep the child away on the mother's birthdays, family reunions, or other events, he will have court documents delivered on those days and attempt to have court hearings scheduled to sabotage vacation plans.

Now, my relative was getting to the point where pregnancy was going to be increasingly difficult, and she loves her child dearly, but all the father's BS takes an enormous toll on her emotionally and the financial costs of constantly taking him to court were significant.

If you are younger than 35, I would recommend an abortion, and wait until you find someone who truly wants to be a parent, or you are in a situation to have a child without the prospect for an vengeful ex to create havoc.
13
If you do chose to abort, attempt to get him to pay for as much of it as possible. He's already sticking you with the medical procedure by HIS choice to back out. Make him pay for that choice, if only a little. Point out to him the huge advantage he gets by paying you a few hundred dollars now as opposed to thousands or tens of thousands of child support plus court costs/lawyer's fees down the road. This is not a time to shoulder the cost yourself or suggest a 50/50 split.
14
@3 Not under the law of any state I'm aware of. In my home state, a man can prove his paternity and claim parental rights. Now, if she was married to someone else, there would be an (almost irrebuttable, I think) presumption that the child was her husband's. Not a family lawyer, but I know that lots of unmarried fathers have and exercise parental rights, whether the mom likes it or not.
15
To add to the horror stories of what vindictive exes can do when you have a child:

You can't refuse them custody or visitation due to them not paying child support.

In some states, cohabitation can be grounds for loss of custody of your child. Or if they're a complete asshole, as my ex was, they can claim that even having a same sex roommate, sleepover, guest, or occasional visitor is grounds for loss of custody (this being because my ex claimed I might be bisexual).

In some states, remarrying causes you to lose child support payments, but doesn't remove your ex's custodial rights.

Just ... really, think this through. It's very rarely a happily ever after. At least in my state, the legal system is deliberately and intentionally designed to make it difficult to navigate a divorce or failing to stay together to raise their child. The prevailing view is that people should be punished for splitting.
16
The lady dodged a bullet. Good riddance. Hopefully she'll have a good support system no matter what she decides to do with the fetus.
17
Sarah 91, you obviously don't know the law. Just putting her name on the baby will not terminate his rights. There are many more hoops to jump thru than that.

@6 and 7 for good advice. I think this guy wanting to bolt at the first sign that he would get what he "wants" (a marriage and a baby) means he will resent this child forever. But there are some options and she should consider them all carefully. I also give @9 credit; also a good way to think about it.
18
El aborto, senorita! Daddy got cold feet. Sorry, girl, but P.S.? Starting a marriage off with a kid, even if you've been together a long time, is a terrible, terrible idea.
19
Having the child and giving it up for adoption is another option that could make some family really happy. There is no judgment whatever you decide to do it is your personal choice of what makes the most sense for you. But depending on your feelings (about motherhood and/ or abortion or other factors) this might be the least diffucult of all three options. Or it could be the most challenging but something you decide to do for your own reasons. My main point is that it is an option. It is also an option that will remain if you decide not to terminate but want more time to think about how you feel about motherhood. Open adoption (versus closed adoption) is also a kind of fourth option on the spectrum of what choices are available to you. JUno is a really good movie that touches on some of these themes. I am sorry you are in this situation and whatever you decide I hope you keep your head above politics / opinions, and know that you are doing what is right for you.
20
BTW, there is no greater guarantee of future poverty than having children alone (if you are just starting out and struggling to make it).
21
Wayne @2: First you say "So the baby has to pay for their stupidity with its life in your world," which seems a strong argument for NOT HAVING SAID BABY IN THE FIRST PLACE, and then you go all pro-life. How about you adopt this baby? You wanna take care of it on your own? I didn't think so.

Dan, great point about LW not bringing a baby into the world in order to punish someone who completely deserves it. The world doesn't need any more fucked-up humans in it, and how would you feel knowing your mother only had you to punish your asshole dad, who dumped her when she got pregnant? That's not a recipe for a good start in this world.

No, DAC, this is not normal -- but his showing you what he's like now rather than later may be a blessing. This way, he has a chance of NOT turning out to be a shit father -- by not becoming a father in the first place. You'll have to decide whether single parenthood is for you. Whatever you decide, don't let shitheads like @2 shame you for it. At least Dan admitted he is incapable of fully empathising.
22
Terrible circumstance, two people that clearly do not succeed in communicating. No shortage of red flags.
23
I almost had a child with my first husband. Cannot tell you how glad I am that I did not. He would have made every moment hell. There is nothing more serious than having a child with someone. I know way too many people (male and female) who have made each other's lives hell by weaponizing children. I never see my ex because we didn't have children together.

Like the lw who chimed in, I too had an abortion. I cried over it. I never ever regretted it. I had two children with my current husband. Right or wrong, a prerequisite for any man I chose to marry is whether he could put the children above us. I married one, a good man.
24
@2 You realize the child might suffer in a completely different way right? That growing up with parents that resent you and aren't nearly as good at hiding it as you expect is hell.

And of course you'd be willing to adopt and raise the kid right? You'll put your money where your mouth is.
24
I am pretty sure she meant for you to call her D&C not DAC.

http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedur…
25
Good riddance to that guy, although I'm sorry you had to experience that. His behavior isn't normal. He is not a good person. The decision about what to do about your pregnancy is 100% yours. As with others commenting, I had an abortion for an unplanned pregnancy. I don't regret it. I've always known it was the right decision for me. Instead of being a single mom, I went to grad school and got my masters degree. Now I'm working on my PhD.
If I had that child, I would've had to raise it alone, struggling financially (my income wasn't adequate, and my ex was and is poor). And it wasn't what I wanted to do with my life.
I wish you well, and I hope things go well for you regardless of what you decide to do.
26
To the adoption suggesters: uh, unless bio-dad agrees, bio-dad could yank the baby back from its *adopted* parents even after they have legally finished adopting. Famous case where exactly this happened! Babies are treated like property in many jurisdictions.

I wish abortion weren't so politicized, it isn't ending a life, it's a bunch of cells and your body LW, since you asked for an opinion to the whole world, why can't we recommend you consider an abortion? 50% of fertilized eggs spontaneously abort, so it's even "nature's design" if you like to think that way.

My 2 cents: single parents can be as good / better than couples esp. if you have financial resources to hire help, afford good day care etc. So even if you've decided now is the time to become a single mom, abort and get uncontested sperm from the local sperm bank or with a friend / donor you'd like to co-parent with who isn't an asshole, and have a baby on your own that way! 21st century, girl (said ironically), you don't need a man in your life to be a mom!
27
Dear "Adding My Two Cents" the reader Dan added back on the blog post as an update (not on this comment thread) -- why do you say Dan overstepped? Do you mean by talking to a uterus-bearing person without having a uterus? Or because a fetus is sacred? Or ???

He's an advice columnist, the LW asked for advice, he's not duty bound to limit himself to the narrow question asked, it's not mansplaining, and she asked IN A PUBLIC FORUM (knowing Dan posts letters with comment threads turned on) for advice!

That can include a strong opinion from Dan and his millions of vocal followers. Well, a few dozen regulars on SLOG. :)
28
I wrote this comment earlier, but I'm not seeing, it, so I'm posting again (hopefully not a duplicate).
His behavior isn't normal, and he's not a good person. I'm sorry you are going through this. It is 100% up to you to decide what to do about your pregnancy.
Like others commenting, I had an abortion for an unplanned pregnancy. I don't regret it. I've always known it was the right decision. Instead of being a single mom, I went to grad school and got my masters degree. I'm now working on my PhD. If I had that child, I would be struggling financially and raising it alone. My income was inadequate, my ex was poor. And raising a child wasn't what I wanted to do.
I wish you well, regardless of the decision you make.
29
I also had an abortion after my ex left with the mistress, leaving me with two very young children. It was so awful and painful at the time, but years later- no regrets. You do what you have to to protect yourself and your (future) children.
30
I too had an abortion for an unplanned pregnancy. I was 15 and terrified, but I knew I could never have any future if I had the kid. Finances are still enough of a struggle just supporting myself. I don't regret it whatsoever. The would-be dad died of a heroin overdose earlier this year. Good thing I wasn't depending on him for child support...

As the people before me have said, if you feel opposed to the abortion, or maybe it's already too late, don't feel any shame about an open adoption. There are many wonderful couples desperate to adopt, and you will most likely have many opportunities to start a family in the future. With kids, I think it is best to be patient and wait for the right time.
31
For more help thinking this through, a great resource is yourbackline.org, an all options pregnancy resource organization. They will talk to you about abortion, adoption, and parenting and they have a ton of info and are wonderful kind people.
32
I'm definitely pro choice but I am a bit astonished at the numbers people suggesting she abort and nothing else.

If she chooses to go through with an abortion, heck before even, she should really consider counselling. The two really need to go hand in hand for a lot of women and in my experience they aren't offered together.

Abortions can be as traumatic as they are liberating.

I've had two in my life I'm ashamed to say. One at 21, a medical abortion with pills prescribed by a physician. It went awry and I carried around my dead foetus for a month before the drugs began working.

The second at 31, which was a D&C, it was far less traumatic for me, but has caused pelvic floor damage that is crippling my sexuality.

They have their places in womens lives, but they most definitely should not be suggested lightly.

I should heed my own advice about counselling though.
33
Also,

Seeing as Dan adopted his son, why wouldn't he even suggest she look into that as an option for her unborn child?

Further musings

We have no idea how far along this woman is. I know having a second trimester abortion is significantly more difficult where I live to the point where I would have to travel five hours each way to have it done. There is definitely also a massive stigma surrounding it too, which is completely unnecessary.
34
And Dazed, very best of luck to you, obv an unfortunate situation that is not easy for you.
35
If you choose to have the child, it will be your life for the next decade or so. That can be a good thing, as it is for many people.
That said, you can also give birth to the child and then put them up for adoption. Adoptive parents are often good people.
36
I'm very confused by the inserted comment that Dan has overstepped in this response. What is the overstep? Suggesting abortion? Not being sufficiently positive about abortion? Mentioning it at all since he does not have a uterus of his own? I am also confused as to what is the "negativity" expressed...Dan was quite positive in his recommendation. Does the comment refer to societal negativity? Maybe, but the objection that it is nearly impossible to share positive abortion stories rings hollow. Planned Parenthood (or possibly NARAL) was encouraging stories like that a year ago, there 's a reddit thread on "positive abortion stories," an HBO documentary "Abortion: Stories Women Tell," in short multiple sources of stories with a simple google search. I think it might be a trend inspired by anti-choice propaganda about how women are "hurt" by having an abortion. But if you ask almost anyone who has had one, it was a good thing. (I agree with many commenters here that the LW should strongly consider aborting or at least adopting if the asshole dude will sign away his parental rights, because otherwise she is going to be bound to him for life.)
tL:DR: I didn't find Dan's response negative re abortion and I am not sure what "negativity" is referred to or how Dan overstepped.
37
Adoption is an alternative to parenting, not to pregnancy.

Dan's kid was placed for adoption by somebody in an unstable life situation....NOT (as far as we know) by somebody who wanted and planned the pregnancy and then had the rug ripped out from under her by an asshole. (Also, LW1, I concur that he met somebody else, is dumping you for that somebody else, and dollars to donuts he comes crawling back six months from now after the new and shiny has worn off. Block all contact and make it so he can't find you, because nobody has time for that 7th grade BS.)

He's already told her he won't have anything further to do with the pregnancy. Highly likely he will resent her having a baby and all of the legal, financial, and social stuff that goes along with it, and make her and the kid's life hell for it.

If he DID meet someone else, which I suspect is what happened, probably he's not telling her that "Oh, by the way, I dumped my pregnant fiancee so I could be with you." The truth comes out, the new someone ditches him (because, again, who has time for that 7th grade BS), and now not only is the guy angry that he has to go through the legal nonsense of child placement, he's furious that the new Love Of His Life up and left because she doesn't have time for 7th grade BS. And he takes it out on LW and on the kid.

Not everything in life will have a storybook ending. The most likely "happy ending," if you can call it that, is this woman has an abortion, mourns what she had and lost, gets some therapy, and moves on. If she chooses to give birth and parent, she needs to start rallying her support network right now, everything from lawyers to people who can help with finances to work support to health care (horrible thought: if she's on HIS insurance and he yanks it while she's pregnant?) to family and friends, and get them helping her.

On paper, an abortion solves all of the legal, financial, health, economic, and employment problems. It isn't an "easy out," nor is it a sign that she's letting him win or any of that. Just....life threw LW a curve ball, and as sad as it might be, an abortion will solve all of the shit that her 7th grade asshole ex put her through.
38
Clancy @33: We do indeed have an idea how far along she is. She conceived very soon after May 16, 2016. So she is nearly three months along. She needs to make a decision soon, and chase the non-dad for payment afterwards; if she delays the procedure due to haggling with her ex, it may be too late to perform safely.

Snail @25 and @28 and others: Congratulations on successfully taking your lives back from your respective handfuls of cells. You are great examples of why we need choice.
39
Ugh what an absolute douche. LW I'm sorry this happened but you really did dodge a bullet here. Continuing or terminating the pregnancy is what you're faced with now and I don't envy you for having to bear the weight of that decision on top of an apparently out of the blue broken engagement. My only advice is to know yourself and go forward with your eyes wide open. Now is the time to be brave. Good luck.
40
I appreciate the whole "a fetus is a clump of cells and nothing more" perspective, but I think we need to remember that this pregnancy wasn't an accident; it was tried for when the lw was planning a future with her boyfriend. This is or at least was a wanted baby. Which makes a difference in talking about it with DAC.

DAC, if you are reading this, I know how confused and hurt you must be right now, and if the timeline is right, you have only a short amount of time to make a decision regarding terminating this pregnancy. Think hard but quickly about what kind of support you have in place to raise a child without a partner, about the financial implications, about having to deal with this immature and cruel man who has hurt you so badly for at least the next eighteen years, perhaps in and out of the court system, and possibly for a lot longer than that.
I don't know how old you are and whether you worry that you are losing a window of opportunity for being a mother, but I think the ease with which you conceived this time may mean you can be a mother later on, when there's more stability in your life.

I know you may not want to take the advice being offered you about abortion, and I don't know how you feel about abortion in general, but I think terminating this pregnancy or giving the child up for adoption if it's too late to carry the pregnancy to term would give you a fresh start to meet a normal and decent man and build a life with him and shed this traumatic relationship experience, distancing yourself from a man who is selfish and hurtful and causes you such distress in a way that continuing with it will make considerably more difficult.
41
If you're going to go the adoption route, consult with an attorney. You might be unable to put a child up for adoption without the consent of both parents, which the guy might refuse to give. He's already shown himself to be untrustworthy and willing to hurt someone he said he loved. You may be legally unable to surrender your child without your ex's permission.
42
I know it's late but I just wanted to add to the chorus of people encouraging @2 to fuck right off. There are a lot of things to consider in making this decision. The irrational ravings of the religious right aren't one of them.
43
Break up with this person and never talk to them again. Then do whatever work you have to do before entering into your next relationship.

I have a child with someone I split from after our child was born. We parent differently and it has been a MAJOR problem. We each get a full say about where our child goes to school, where we live (here if we both want to be a part of our child's life), on medical decisions, about social and recreational activities etc. All of this co-decision making is as it should be. As our child got older we had to talk much more, not less and I do not enjoy talking to my child's other parent. It is without doubt, the single most unpleasant aspect of my life. Originally, the other parent wanted to take a back seat but decided not to once our child was born. Do you want your ex to be the father to your child? Do you agree with his parenting philosophy? If you do not, it may be a nightmare raising a child together.

I believe that children need three things from their parents above all else: they need love, they need no abuse and they need their parents to be there - physically there.

If you have a child with your ex and they choose at some point to be involved, you are speaking frequently and perhaps living in reasonably close proximity to each other for the next 18 plus years. In many places he will have the legal right to this, if not the simple right as the father to your child.

Are you ok with your ex significantly influencing the personal decisions you make for the next 18 years? Are you ok with him being, along with you, a (/the) major influence in who your child becomes?
44
Yes, I know that this was a wanted pregnancy, and you haven't said how old you are and what the chances are of having a biological child. But you're describing a situation with "nightmare" all over it. I, too, had an abortion from an unplanned pregnancy (I messed up on my birth control, if it helps) and I have never doubted that that was the best choice. Having a kid now would mean single parenthood ... well, if that's acceptable, then you'll have lots of chances to become a single parent with a much better sperm donor than this one. You only have one chance to have a baby with a loser who you'll be tied to for your entire life. Why do you want to do that?
45
@40/ Iwasnocutename gets to the heart of the issue: "I think we need to remember that this pregnancy wasn't an accident; it was tried for when the lw was planning a future with her boyfriend. This is or at least was a wanted baby." DAC is contemplating terminating a pregnancy of a baby she wanted and had every expectation of loving forever. That is hard to wrap your head around, even when you agree that "terminating this pregnancy . . . would give you a fresh start to meet a normal and decent man and build a life with him and shed this traumatic relationship experience . . . ."
46
@33, I think it is safe to assume she is between 4 and 10 weeks. Look at the timberline she gives and you can't really be outside that range. So, she is still in the first trimester.
47
Timeline. Not timberline.
48
It's telling that the LW felt anxious to announce the pregnancy to her BF, even when it was wanted & in line with her ex's stated expectations. This probably isn't the first time she's gotten the bait & switch from him.

Abort, adopt or keep - the choice is hers, but I feel for her plight. It's unfair that her ex is forcing her to rethink this decision at the 11th hour. In any case she is probably well rid of him, and I'd advise that she keep it that way. Inasmuch as keeping the baby means staying in contact with this guy, I would seriously consider if it's worth it.
49
In deciding whether or not to carry the child to term, please consider this:

(1) If you chose to have the child, there is zero way to unilaterally get this man out of your life or the child's ahead of time. Zero. If he wants to be involved, he will be.

Not listing him on the birth certificate won't work.
Putting the child up for adoption won't work (because he will have to agree).

If you carry the child to term, he will be in your life and in the child's life - even if it's only for as long as an adoption takes.

His rights begin once that child exits your body. And those rights as a parent are independent of your rights as a mother. They do not, and will never, go through you. You are NOT the person who gets to decide what his rights are and how he will exercise them. That's for a judge - who may or may not agree with you.

Abortion is the only veto power you have over him and the only power you will every have.

(2) The behavior of men who didn't want to be a father toward the mothers does
NOT get any better over time. Usually, it gets worse because he pours more and more of the blame onto the mother.

Even if he's a great parent toward the child and pays his child support, he will ALWAYS be a dick to you. Because he didn't want the child.

(3) His behavior toward the kid may or may not be acceptable. Some men who didn't want a child do come to love the child. Some don't. There's no way to know. My guess, based on what I've seen is that he will fight paying child support or use the child to punish you or both.

Can you live with it if all he does is pay child support? Can you live with it if he wants to be a coequal parent? Can you live with it if he uses every decision about the child to punish you?

(4) Do you have time to have another child with someone who wants to be a parent? If not, are you willing to not only go it alone - but to actively have to deal with a burr in your side wrt parenting?

If so, how are you going to explain to your child why it's father is such an ass- because the child WILL figure it out.
50
Also, I think several commentators have hit on something: you wanted this child. That means that, whatever else you do, you are doubly grieving. You are grieving the loss of the relationship you thought you would have with this man and the child you thought you'd raise with this man. Even if you keep the child and raise it, you still won't be raising it in the type of environment you anticipated.

Please take the time to grieve that loss.

Also, please ignore his accusations against you for the moment. Anything he says now is self-serving. A better thing to do, when you are partially healed, is to look at what was wrong with the relationship and to decide what was - and wasn't - in your control. A lot of people want to say that if one partner cheats or leaves that there was something wrong in the relationship or that both partners were to blame. As someone who has seen a lot of relationships dissolve (from a professional standpoint), that is sometimes true...often, however, it's a defect in one partner or that one partner chooses not to work on the relationship but instead to bolt. Sometimes the blame really is one-sided. Given what this man did to you, I'd say that - whatever you did wrong - he's got some major immaturity or selfishness going on. So filter anything he says through that lens.

It may take two to tango, but it takes just one to let go.

Finally, at this point in time, blame, even if warranted, will not help you determine how to move forward. Moving forward has to be your focus.
51
@40/45 get to the heart of it. There's a big difference between terminating a wanted pregnancy and terminating an unwanted one.

A friend of mine is a doctor who, among other things, performs abortions. She lives in one of those ridiculous states where the republican legislature forces doctors need to read an entire script about "it's a life, consider adoption, blah blah blah." This script is annoying and insulting for women terminating an unwanted pregnancy. But it's fucking traumatic for women terminating wanted but nonviable pregnancies. And speaking from my own (male) experience, things are very very different once you "attach" to the fetus.

DAC wanted the pregnancy and was planning a future where she and her husband would raise it. It's possible she attached. If so, this would not be an easy decision,
52
The LW didn't ask anyone's opinion about whether she should continue the pregnancy or not. She asked if this guy's behaviour was normal.
I'm sorry this man has betrayed you so deeply LW. The marriage plan, then pregnancy must have flipped some switch in this man. Why would he ask you to marry him if he felt lonely in the relationship? Sounds like a man who has suddenly become very panicked by a future he was involved in deciding upon.


53
Slowpokey: Very well said (both comments.)
54
I am very Pro-Choice, that being said, I hope OP makes the decision solely for herself. Lot's of great points being brought up here as the ramifications are countless. As for the relationship, this is normal behavior for assholes. My mother married a man who insisted he wanted a baby, only to tell her to "get rid of it" when she happily told him the news. Guess what? This man proved to be a terrible husband. For what's more, he had absolutely no in his daughter's life to the extent where he even ignores her birthday but will celebrate his other children's birthdays. I can tell you that this kind of man will never come around. No, this is not normal.
55
Rowing @48: "It's telling that the LW felt anxious to announce the pregnancy to her BF, even when it was wanted & in line with her ex's stated expectations." I don't think that's necessarily so. Most people don't get pregnant on the first try. With a September wedding date set, they probably planned that she might be one or two months pregnant by then or still trying. That they succeeded so quickly, at something so monumentally life-changing, would make anyone with half a brain nervous.

But Nocute is right. LW does not state whose idea it was to try to have a baby before getting married, but I would lay odds on it having been hers. He agreed, possibly because he too didn't think it would happen so quickly, and then he freaked out. I think this strongly suggests that LW will disregard everyone's advice to not carry this particular pregnancy to term.
56
I think the advice (by Dan and the reader) is sound. My only comment (and I'm sorry if this has already been mentioned; I didn't read all 52 comments before posting), is that I have a small issue with the reader's added advice, in that she felt it was necessary to add the asterisk and explain how she ended up accidentally pregnant. Even if a person failed to exercise the utmost preventative measures and even if, as occurred with the LW here, the pregnancy wasn't accidental, you still have the right to an abortion if you decide it's best for you. You don't need to defend your choice by explaining how the pregnancy occurred--it shouldn't matter. I feel sad for the reader/commenter that she felt she had to explain. But I totally agree with her comment otherwise! I also had an abortion years ago when I realized that the guy I was with was a CPOS, I feel proud of my decision, and I have never regretted it for a second (and I have two kids now).
57
#32 - 1 in 3 women will have had an abortion by the time she's 40. To suggest that the majority need counseling is some ridiculous BS. I'm sorry you had bad experiences. I've terminated a few pregnancies and the only regrets I've ever had was that I got pregnant in the first place.
58
I don't have any advice for the LW, This decision she can work this out on her own with the understanding that she is better off without this crap dude.

But I am someone whose life was saved by safe, legal abortion. Birth control failure at 16 with an older girl who turned out to be a bit of a sociopath, but who fortunately decided to abort. Now at 40, seeing the direction our lives took I thank my lucky stars every day, and donate to Planned Parenthood and always vote pro-choice.

So yeah, @2 go piss up a rope.
59
And here I am on the flipside.

My son is 18, a high school graduate, shipping off to Coast Guard boot camp in a month, and his father has had zero contact over 16.5 years.

And my ex wanted to get married. Wanted our child. I told him we should hold off on the marriage thing as babies are life altering.

No kidding. Our son was 18 months old and he split. Met someone else and had kids with her. And every time my son has reached out, his father has basically ignored him.

My son hurts. And he's been dealing with that pain and rejection. Of a half of himself he doesn't know.

And I suffer watching it. And knowing half of that pain is my fault.

I love my son, but if I knew then what I know now....things might be different.

That said, I was with a man who told me he never knew if he should have kids. Without a second thought I terminated the pregnancies I had with him (hormonal pill fail for a variety of reasons). ZERO regrets. Relief I'm not tied to that controlling and physically and emotionally abusive asshole.

DAC, my heart is with you.
60
I'm so sorry you had to go through this. I hope you are able to heal from all this madness. Honestly, if you decide to keep the baby, I'd grab a good lawyer and tell this POS that he has to sign away his parental rights now or you will make his life hell suing for child support. He doesn't sound like the kind of man who would make any effort to pay it and you don't want to be tied to him for the rest of your life with visitations or run the risk of him changing his mind yet again and trying to get joint custody. He's already expressed that he does not want the baby, so if you decide not to terminate, make him sign away his rights and pretend like he got hit by a bus. Please don't give him any more opportunities to disappoint you. You deserve better.
61
Dan, it really surprises me that as a parent of an adopted child that you don't even mention adoption as one very viable option for DAC to consider. Why are these conversations so polar when it comes to abortion?

I adopted my son as a single mother and we have an open and active relationship with his birth mother and half siblings. They are an extension of our family.

I can't fathom my life without my son. He was very wanted by me when his birth mother was not in a place in her life to care for him responsibly. It was an amazing, selfless, loving gesture by gifting me with a chance to raise her son and I am forever grateful to her because of it. I love him so dearly and he is living a happy, beautiful existence.

If being someone's wife is of high priority to you, DAC, take it from me, dating as a single parent is not an easy endeavor. It isn't impossible, but you won't easily find the time or energy to date when you have a young child who needs so much of your time and affection.

Truth is, none of us are in your shoes. I'm sorry to hear of your situation, but life hands us some huge obstacles sometimes.

I hope you can find someone to at least have a conversation with regarding the possibility of giving your child to a family eager to adopt. As an adoptive parent, I can say you have the potential to make an enormously positive impact on your baby's future as well as that of a loving family who desperately seeks the chance to become parents.
62
I'm an obstetrician, and since you asked, while this isn't 'normal' I've seen it A LOT. Heck, I've seen it happen to a couple of women more than once (with the same guy). What can I tell you? Some men are fuckers. Why they do this, FSM only knows. The women in these cases have nothing wrong with them. They are nice, pretty, anything a guy could want.

I should add my voice to the chorus that the only way to have this fucker out of your life forever is to have an abortion. As long as you share a child he has the ability to mess with your peace of mind, by refusing child support, by seeking access, etc, etc, etc. My heart goes out to you, because your loss is incalculable. Get some support. Planned Parenthood does really great counseling around termination. They won't push for anything except you understanding what your choices are.
63
The problem with adoption, 61, is I've seen these fuckers block it. And then you're really stuck: your ex wants your child (why? who knows? some men are fuckers, see above #62) and then you have to let an asshole raise the child you bore or share custody with him.
64
@63, you would have seen women die in childbirth as well. Let's tell the truth here, having children brings with it a big physical risk, as well as emotional and financial strain. People still go ahead and do it.
Abortion for a woman is her choice and hers' alone. As is having the child to rear herself or having her/ him adopted.
This woman must be in complete shock and I hope she has some family and friends who can support her during this time.
65
So much discussion about whether the LW should have an abortion, which was not the question asked. So many (even me) saying it would be difficult to have the child and avoid the man in the future. I have to weigh in with the two cents of my experience, that is, if the man has no interest in the child and being a parent, it's not that difficult to keep him out of things. I did it (slightly different circumstance.) of course get legal advice before attempting this, but, if you don't name the father on the birth certificate, live in a different state than him, and never make any attempt to get government aid (in which they will try to find out who the father is and go after him first), then it can easily never come up. The danger is if he changes his mind and wants to be involved, finds you, and then takes some legal action while the kid is still a minor. Highly unlikely if he doesn't want to be a parent and especially if he can't find you easily. (I am not recommending being deceptive....this is based on a guy who says "I don't want to be a parent in this situation and I want you to have an abortion.") You can still choose to continue the pregnancy and raise the child if you want to.... And it sounds like this is a wanted child and an intentional pregnancy. So, having the baby yourself, some potential difficulties (besides the basics of parenthood and single parenthood) but I'm here to say it can be done because I did it. Sure some things were hard. But the lack of a father who by his choice opted out before birth was not particularly one of the hard things. (It is my belief that the presence of a parent who didn't want to be there would be more problematic. And all those "studies" on poor outcomes for children of single parents are based on families that have suffered the loss of a parent, not ones where a single loving parent was the norm...I've yet to see a study that showed poor outcomes for children of absent/douchebag fathers that the children never met. I think those poor outcomes are more the result of the disruption of death or divorce and subsequent poverty of the remaining family.)
66
@64 Sorry to nitpick, but adoption is not her choice alone. If she lives in the US the father can block it, take custody of the child, and sue her for child support. I've actually had clients go through this so I know of when d I speak.

Also, another poster said to threaten him with child support if he doesn't sign over his rights. That's also bad advice. It doesn't matter if she's willing to waive child support, the state may come in and ask for it. Child-support is the right of the child and the right of the state to be reimbursed and cannot be waived by the parents. Also, in most states, he could go after her for child support if she's earning more.

The only thing she can do to exercise absolute right to control is abortion.

If she chooses any other option he does have rights.
67
@65 I don't like to give legal advice on the Internet, but as an attorney I have to say you're giving very bad advice. Just because this worked for you back in the day does not mean it will work now for her.

It's really problematic to say that you got away with it so she can as well. You only have one data point, your own experience, and don't really know what the law says now and how courts generally treat this type of action.

States are making it harder and harder for mothers to fail to list a bio father. Plus, until the kid turns 18, there's always a chance that dad could come back in her life and make it utter hell.

i've had clients who did what you have done and have the father come back in and upset the apple cart in horrific ways.

Additionally, they are publicly together now, so it would be very, very difficult for her to deny paternity.

Your scenario only really works for one night stands where there is no other relationship other than the sexual act leading to conception.

You'd be surprised what the attorneys for the states can do when they went to figure out who the babies father is because they don't want to be paying government benefits. Even if she think she'll never apply there are more and more programs which require parental contribution from both parents and it will come up in the baby's lifetime.
68
One last thing before I have to get back to work: if you decide to keep this child get yourself to an attorney now. You need advice from someone who is an expert at family law. Don't take legal advice from strangers on the Internet, particularly those who are basing their understanding of the law on their own lucky experience or on outdated facts and the law.

Also don't even take my advice because I don't know where you you live or how the specific facts apply to the specific low where you live.

As to the original question of whether it is normal or not: if you mean normal and Terrence of usual, no it's not. Neither is it morally acceptable. However, it's not so rare that I've never seen this happen. Unless the man is in his 20s in May later grow up, chances are he's either so conflict avoidant that he can't tell you when he doesn't want to do something or, more likely, he so self-centered that the thought of not being the center of attention with you has freaked him out. I don't think he met another woman, because that wouldn't explain some of the other behavior. It's more likely a realization that he doesn't actually want to be an adult
69
@slowpokey, you are correct that I should not give legal advice, and I prefaced my remarks about my single data point of experience with the thought that she should seek legal advice. I should have done so myself, back in the day, and I might have done something differently if I'd had good legal advice. However I offered my comments not to say that she should do what I did but simply to point out that it is possible. The way I know it is possible is direct experience. The only way it works is if the guy stays out of it, as he says he wants to, and if you have sufficient resources to stay away from questioning re paternity, also not guaranteed.

Am I missing something? Is it now a crime to give birth without naming paternity? (In my case there was some uncertainty around conception date so I "legitimately" had an "illegitimate" baby, that is, figured out paternity later so at time of birth was technically unknown.) Unless you are applying for support, I am unaware of anything that requires naming a second parent. In fact it was very handy later to not have filled that out, when we did the FAFSA for student loans... I might have had to track hm down and get him to fill out that nightmare. Anyway, I can see how it might be shady to not name a parent and then expect others to pick up the child support tab. But otherwise? Why is it required for anything? (I ask out of curiosity not to seek legal advice from a stranger on the internet.)
70
Custody in today's world is a very different thing than 10 or 15 or 20 years ago. LW there is no way to keep this guy out of your life if you decide to have this baby. None. NONE. Today's courts do not presume children would be better off with mom, and indeed in contested custody cases fathers are winning significant custody the majority of the time. This not only makes your life potential hell, it makes your child's life potential hell. That old Bill Engvall routine "Here's your Sign" comes to mind. He just pulled the emotional rug from under you and your main question is whether or not this is normal. Sounds like major shock to me. He just told you who he is. Believe him.
71
I was in a very similar situation while engaged to my first husband--he gave me an ultimatum, have an abortion and we'd go ahead with the wedding, or have the baby, without him. I had an abortion and then felt like, if I didn't marry him, I'd have had the abortion for nothing.

It was a shit beginning to a shit marriage, and he is a shit father to the two kids we did have (he tried to force me to have another abortion when I was pregnant with our second).

I'm not sorry I had that abortion, but I am sorry I was coerced into it, and that the fucked up relationship dynamics were so unclear to me that I married that asshole. Whatever you decide about the pregnancy, seek some guidance on the relationship with your fiance.
72
Is it possible to get the father to legally sign off any involvement re a woman keeping the baby or giving her/ him up for adoption? If so, then this may be what this LW needs to do now.
73
@Squidgie #69, most states since the late 1990s require an affidavit of fatherhood that's completed along with the birth certificate documents, regardless of whether you are married to the father or not. Since it's an affidavit, it's illegal to provide a false statement and there are penalties for doing so, and not listing the father is only allowed under certain circumstances.
74
@33 and @46

I read the timeline, there is a significant difference between eleven weeks, and four weeks, especially in a pregnancy that was planned and wanted. By the time the LW makes up her mind about the abortion, if she chooses to proceed she very well could be in her second trimester.

@57

I didn't say need. I said they should go hand in hand more than they do. Having access to counselling isn't a bad thing. I didn't mean to suggest it be mandatory, but it most definitely should be free and accessible IMO. I don't see that as so ridiculous quite frankly.

No need to call my thought ridiculous BS because you disagree. You can also see I was tailoring my post to the LW, who most certainly SHOULD talk to someone whether she terminates or not.

FWIW my experiences weren't bad, they were just experiences.

75
Anonymous @56: Very good point. There is a lot of "well my abortion was justified because I was not just using, but overusing, birth control." Let s/he who relied on condoms and never once got carried away and didn't use one cast the first stone. Even if you didn't even attempt to use birth control, you shouldn't be sentenced to carry a baby to term.

Lava @64: Another good point, about the health risks to LW of having the baby.

Slowpokey @66: You can't read; Lava said abortion, not adoption, is LW's choice alone.
76
Family law attorney here.

Since they are not married, the baby is legally tied only to her, not him. Thus, if she decides to give birth, she may simply not name the father on the birth certificate and the man will have no claim on the child.

That is extremely inaccurate and dangerous advice. Many people get ideas like this, and it can end very, very badly.

The hospital will ask her to name a father. The forms the hospital will request her to complete are serious legal documents, the matters attested to are considered to be made under oath, and they a matter of public record. If she (falsely) claims she has no idea who biodad is, or (falsely) names someone she knows not to be the father, as do many women with bad relationships with their exes have done, it is PERJURY.

It's perjury that some people might get away with, if it was a blackout drunk one-night stand with a stranger. But when she was engaged to biodad, it's highly unlikely the truth won't come to light. I have seen many women try cute, "playing dumb" crap like @3 suggested, and I've seen them (and their colluding guy-friends who decided to take credit for being dad) hauled into the DA's office as a result. Do NOT plan on doing that.

The law says a man is legally entitled to notice that he's a father, full stop. No, you cannot put the child up for adoption without his consent. No, you cannot be the sole legal parent by simply neglecting to mention him. No, you cannot drop a newborn off at a safe haven and hope dad doesn't find out. They have ways of investigating and tracking him down.

If you want to put the child up for adoption, I'd check to see if he's on board with it. It may turn out he'll be thrilled to be released from responsibility and more than happy to sign off on it. But since this guy had a track record for changing his mind...I'd be wary. He may suddenly decide, after he sees his newborn, that he wants a baby after all.

And add me to the chorus of "I had an abortion, and I'm damn glad I did." That's the one and only thing you can do without his consent.
77
Slowpokey @66: Apologies, it's me who can't read. LavaGirl falsely stated that adoption, abortion and having the child were all LW's choices alone. My bad.
78
Yes Fan. You're bad, and my fantasy. Although theoretically, given this cowardly man has done a runner, they are all her choices.
When I had my first child, and his father had wanted him aborted, the situation was very different. Women did have the power, much has changed since then.

79
Whoops. Your bad.
80
LavaGirl: You had your first child over 30 years ago and in a different country with different laws (in fact, adoption rights laws for fathers differ state to state here in the U.S.)
Women over the age of 18 still have the legal right to abortion without getting the consent of the father, as long as the abortion is still in the first trimester of pregnancy, but that "right" is often meaningless if it unfeasible due to accessibility or affordability.
"Theoretically" is of little use here. Theoretically, DAC could have three dragons and the father could be the Hand of the King, but that and an internet connection gets her access to our advice.
81
@76 Question, I just looked up safe haven laws for WA and it says you can leave your baby for up to three days anonymously. What's stopping women from just doing that? Or having someone else bring in the baby which also looks like it's allowed. Isn't that a termination of parental rights?
82
First off, DAC, my heart goes out to you. It is truly horrible when someone feels entitled to toy not only with your emotions, but your body, to figure out what the hell he wants.

In February of 2015 I told my partner, with whom I'd been on and off for 3 years, that I was pregnant with his baby. Same sort of deal; he had agreed to try to conceive, thinking he'd have some time to process how he felt about it, and I got pregnant from a single unprotected act (after which he had decided he didn't want to reproduce with me after all).

Now, I understand the questionable wisdom of scramling our DNA under those circumstances, but we did, and there I was, pregnant. He told me to terminate the pregnancy, told me he didn't want to be with me and left me to fend pretty much for myself for the first 10 weeks, with the exception of picking me up at the hospital in the middle of the night after docs told me I was having either a typical miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy.

When I found out that my baby was actually ok (saw his heartbeat on the ultrasound when I went in to have the miscarriage confirmed), he couldn't be happy for me, and back to being alone I went. I had another other early ultrasound and he wasn't interested in seeing the video. He resented me for not aborting. I had made my decision not to abort, and while he hoped he would come around and get involved in the baby's life, I was also fully prepared to do it on my own, and had no regrets for getting pregnant even if it meant being a single mom.

He eventually came around for the 13 - week ultrasound and started to get attached to this little creature flipping around in my belly (I should have mentioned he was already a father of two). He became involved and by the summer he was the one who convinced me to give the relationship another try.

Our son was born in November and, for a number of reasons, our relationship didn't work out. Our son and I moved out in May and I have full custody. I absolutely adore my son and have never been this happy. His father also adores him and comes to see him whenever he can, in addition to his official visitation three times a week. Our son is sick right now and he took time off to come help out, to cheer him up and let me get a bit of sleep. We will never get back together but we do make and good team (which is not to say we never argue; we sometimes do).

Life isn't always easy as a single mom, and dealing with coparenting wont be easy for the next two decades, but I can't imagine my life without my son. He is a bubbly, happy little nine-month old who loves swimming and trying to play with dogs and butterflies, and I have no doubt he can have a very happy life even though his parents are not together.

The points Dan and the other letter writer (the one who chose to abort) make are all valid, and you must base your decision on your own circumstances. But as a pro-choice woman, I can say that NOT aborting my baby is the best decision I've ever made.

Please let us know how things turn out for you. All the best.