She Told Him She Couldn't Get Pregnant Because She Didn't Think She Could and Now She Is—What Should She Do?

Comments

199

Raindrop @185: "You weren't ready for motherhood, but LW clearly is." Where is your evidence for such a claim?
Honestly, up until your barrage of judgment I was firmly of the belief that she should keep the baby, but after your sanctimonious trolling I'm wielding a knitting needle a la Patsy Stone and screaming "Abort! Abort!"

Raindrop @193: I pick realism. And yes, you are the one who's impertinently insulting commenters whose opinions you disagree with. Not to mention ignoring the fact that 95% of the commenters are saying keep it. Kindly shut the fuck up, we thank you.

Miz @192: "Knew a late teen once who got herself pregnant while on a Grateful Dead tour" -- Got herself pregnant? Wow, now that IS a miracle! ;) Thanks for the other side, though. Yes, hormones are distorting this woman's logic processes. She needs to consider all the angles here. She will regret having an abortion, but she might regret having a child even more -- and at least having an abortion will result in one person who's psychologically scarred rather than creating a second who will grow up that way.

200

Raindrop @196: "Hard to avoid in a passionate debate." The rest of us managed.

201

Well it is legal to refuse to give the name of the father on the birth certificate. It doesn't seem right for the child unless the father would be a danger to the child, as in cases of rape or insanity.

202

@199:
a. If you want the baby, you're ready for motherhood. There is no other criterion - mother nature doesn't require one.

b. Yes, most agree on this thread that the default choice is to keep the baby. But some can't handle that and are pushing this woman into the default choice to abort. Why?

So you really see this in your crystal ball: "and at least having an abortion will result in one person who's psychologically scarred rather than creating a second who will grow up that way".

Who's to say the child would be scarred? Current situations are fluid. There's nature and there's nurture. Such projection on your part is really depressing.

@200: Ha!

203

Being rejected by my biological father precipitated a suicidal crisis that lasted a good five years. And my parents were just two dumb college kids.

I can't even begin to imagine the psychological pain that awaits this kid. It's like Big Little Lies. Hope she does the right thing and gets the abortion. I wish my mom had.

205

Letter writer: There's quite a spectrum of comments here to wade through. But whatever you do, your decision framework should be based on your private efforts with those you know and trust and maybe with the help of a psychotherapist or counselor - and not by these comments alone.

206

@203: That's very deep pain you endured. My guess is that you did not tell your Mom about your wish. Because it would have hurt her. Because of your sensitivity, you know that life can be good as well as bad.

You still have the right to have a good life. I hope it unfolds for you.

207

@202 the whole point of that story I shared was that I really wanted the baby at the time because that's how hormones work. The only thing "mother nature" requires is sperm meeting egg, and then the hormones kick in to make you want to keep it. But just because you want to have the baby doesn't make it a sensible choice. And in my case the father was a committed partner who was ready to help me completely, not a guy cheating on his wife.

The most ethical thing for all parties is an abortion. LW now knows she has the option to have a baby later under better circumstances.

208

@207: LW does not have the option for a "baby later under better circumstances". From her letter:
"Having a child has always been my dream and did not seem possible due to medical issues, life circumstances, and, more recently, age."

Life doesn't always allow us to wait for optimal circumstances. You take what you get can and make the best that you can. And that "best" could very well turn out for the better than the waiting for those elusive "better circumstances" to materialize.

209

When you have PIV sex with someone who’s premenopausal, there’s always a chance they will get pregnant. He’s being unfair to you by casting the blame on you. He knew this could be a consequence, and is now blaming you for it. And the “couldn’t live with having a child who he isn’t raising” thing is some bullshit. That’s his choice. Your choice is whether you want to have the baby, and he gets no say in it. Stop beating yourself up, LW.

210

patriciav is spot on:
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.
DO NOT HAVE AN ABORTION UNLESS IT IS WHAT YOU WANT. He should have NO say in this.

211

Optimism is good and should not restrict one from doing their research nor consult professionals.
Relying on miracles is a bit immature and may prove deceptive at times.

212

And who says you have to have a man in your life to raise a kid? I think there was a Golden Girls episode where Blanche and her daughter hashed this out.

214

"I know that the assumption was "she's on the pill or something" rather than "she has a negligible chance of getting pregnant naturally," but the latter is too complicated/painful to discuss early in relationships..."

LW understood that "negligible chance," does not mean "medically impossible," and that her sex partners understood she was using birth control, which she was not. That circumstance is not, "I've got that covered." LW created a false choice by suggesting her dishonesty was predicated on a desire to avoid a discussion of her medical situation, she merely needed to say, "I am not taking birth control pills."

While it is a reasonable position to argue that any man who willingly leaves his sperm inside a woman should accept any consequences of that act, the perspective of some commenters as to this point seems to absolve LW (and women who act similarly) of being knowingly misleading about a fact their sex partners would consider significant in making a decision on whether to use a condom. LW's dishonesty is only compounded by the fact that she was hoping to get pregnant, her hand-wringing on this point notwithstanding.

215

SA, these letters are about specific situations. And in this situation, the man is a liar and a cheat.. someone like him should assume others are stretching/ distorting the truth just like he is.

216

Dan said "...only have vaginal intercourse with post-menopausal women". A 55 year old post-menopausal woman in my home town got pregnant by her husband much to her shock and dismay. So much for that assumption!

217

JuanMas @ 216
That's a miracle!

P.S. Are they keeping the baby?

218

@217 - Please don't be a troll. This is a serious discussion.

219

@LavaGirl: "SA, these letters are about specific situations. And in this situation, the man is a liar and a cheat.. someone like him should assume others are stretching/ distorting the truth just like he is."

That is some laughable moral relativism, which waves away some atrocious behavior. And what of the men before with whom she was likewise untruthful?

220

It is always your choice 100%.
You have to go with the decision you will regret the least, and it sounds like continuing the pregnancy and having a baby would be the way to go, if you choose to abort I can see you resenting your married man, and in having a baby you will fall in love with them, and they will become the love of your life.
Do not undermine your own value and feelings, your married man will have to suck it up and deal with the consequences of his actions, however that unfolds. Gather your allies and a strong safe support system. If this married man really loves you he will respect your choice and treat you with dignity and continue to care for you, if not...do what you need to do to protect and provide for you and your child. Having a child is not easy, all the stages are challenging, so make sure you ask for help and continue to take care of your self as well.
Good luck

221

Yes raindrop, serious discussion indeed, which is why a clueless misogynist shouldn’t pretend to be the authority on parenthood.

222

@221: And with that, I'll let you have the last word.

223

I've only posted once or twice, but it's been over the last couple of years, so maybe my input won't be dismissed as a brand new account just to hop on the "have a baby" bandwagon. I had three life experiences that reflect some of the situations the letter writer may be going through.

There are a few posters - new ones - that have shared similar life stories, whether as the prospective mother or of the child. I respect their take - their experiences inform their opinions, positive or negative. I do feel the need to call out EmmaLiz - although many times I enjoy your comments for various letters, your personal life experience of what was best for you doesn't at all relate to this letter writer's own. You generally do not lack empathy for people but your empathy for this woman is beyond lacking. What was the best decision for who you are re children (and sex) doesn't fit most people - but most specifically does not fit this letter writer. I respect your opinion for yourself - but have some damn empathy for someone who is not you and has different feelings & life experiences.

Ok.

At 20, I had an abortion. It was the right decision for me at the time. I believed then - and do now - that one of the prices you pay for that decision is some sadness and regret even if it is the best decision for a person's circumstances. Hopefully that person will learn from their mistakes (if they made a mistake) and take care to not put themselves in that position again.

Well, roll forward in time 10 years. 10 years of unprotected sex with a partner. Years where I had no periods or very irregular/non standard periods. I was told I had ovarian cysts and endometriosis & pregnancy would be extraordinarily difficult and most likely not happen.

The only way of dealing with the disappointment and pain of facing that I no longer had a choice whether or not to have a child - was to no longer interact with kids. Until my mid-20's I was "DEE CHAMPION BABYSITTER" and virtual godmom to scores of kids. Then I had to go away because it hurt too much.

At the end of that 10 year relationship, I did (as an atheist/agnostic) have a miraculous pregnancy.

Side bar. MIRACULOUS TO ME. Not some dude floating up on a cloud reaching down and blessing me or some shit. But a life changing event bringing something back to me what I thought biology had taken away from me - even at the end of a very unhappy relationship. I damn well had that kid, come hell or high water. I dealt with homelessness, health problems for both myself and my kid, rough times. And having that kid was the best thing in my life. Maybe because I thought I couldn't have a kid I appreciated having her way way more than someone who didn't have the heartbreak of fertility problems. No matter how dickish the father, how negligible to nil the emotional support, the actually negative financial support (I tried to get him involved as a father, and ended up paying more for "gas money" and groceries, etc than babysitters cost) - no matter - as tough as it was at times, the joy of having what was to me the full human life experience of parenting was worth every tear in dealing with difficulties.

Once my life stabilized, of course having the maternal instinct so hard wired, I longed for another child. I tried. I couldn't get pregnant. A fertility doctor told me she thought that I went through early menopause and that even fertility treatments were most likely not going to be successful - they would end up breaking my heart over false hopes & be financially devastating as well. I lost a marriage over it because my husband of that time wanted a child of his own.

So many commenters blithely say to someone - well if you're infertile, why didn't you look into adoption? Having worked in social services a bit, I can fully attest from observation and experience that qualifying for adoption of a HEALTHY + BABY is highly competitive and it's extremely rare a single person, people that don't have "perfect" resumes, etc will be able to do so. Think, somewhat like trying to get into an Ivy League school. I had a life that wasn't always stable, especially financially, a divorce etc - like most human beings. I would NOT have been able to adopt had I tried. BTW. MOST CHILDREN AVAILABLE FOR ADOPTION ARE NOT BABIES AND GENERALLY HAVE SIGNIFICANT HEALTH & OTHER ISSUES. Which is more than most single parents can handle even if they qualify to adopt.

So, adoption -and fostering- was out.

Then I got pregnant again. The immediate emotional investment was immense. The father was a fling and wholly inappropriate. I was faced with the same decision I had 20 years before. I actually decided because of the issues with the sperm donor, I had no other choice but to terminate.

I miscarried instead. Years of nightmares of grief and guilt - because I had thought to abort and only after losing (the possibility of) a child did I realize that it would have been a (again, atheistic/agnostic) soul destroying decision.

I totally agree with everyone that says the letter writer should speak to a counselor to sort out what's best. She's obviously a mess. I also agree with everyone that says there is no good decision here - every direction is bad. So the LW needs to figure out what is the least bad and greatest chance for her happiness.

My personal opinion is that if this woman aborts, in a very real way, she will not recover from it. Yeah, she's stupid and selfish. All I can say, is that most /all of us are. Yes, it will hurt the wife once it comes out - but people tend to overlook - it will friggin hurt the wife if/when she finds out about her husband's extracurriculars regardless whether a kid comes from it. And, speaking solely for myself, I would prefer to KNOW what my life partner has been up to, in order to make an informed decision whether to keep that relationship.

Lastly, if she chooses to keep the pregnancy going - what about the kid? Well, from personal experience, as long as you raise the kid without making a father's absence, well, an absence in their life, the kid will be ok. Build/create your own family, re-engage with your bio family so the kid gets what it needs. It will be hard, but if you want that child, be sure to give that child the love and security that they were wanted every day, and the kid will be ok.

Life is hard. Always. Being a single parent is fucking tough. But that's no reason to not be a parent if you really want it. And tell the boyfriend to kick rocks.

224

SA, we aren’t addressing the men before..
This guy attracted a similar person to himself, one who stretches the truth.
I think the LW has been very tardy re contraception, don’t get me wrong.
You and others here though are so sure this pregnancy was her conning him. We don’t know the details of her fertility issues, yet you
and others are so sure she’s lied.
They are both deceitful people. He is the only one who has broken his commitment. The LW thinks he’s going to show her more respect than he shows his wife?

225

@224/LavaGirl: "This guy attracted a similar person to himself, one who stretches the truth." The idea that he was bad with respect to his marriage negates her misrepresentation like some sort of karmic balancing of the scales is an untenable position. And as I pointed out, and I am sure others did too, LW did hide information with the self-serving rationalization that she did not want to get into her medical condition early in any relationship, and that later in the relationship that the information was no longer relevant. Of course, all she had to say was, "I am not on birth control," without any further disclosures.

"The LW thinks he’s going to show her more respect than he shows his wife?" LOL, how often do we read of people who start relationships with cheaters who believe this is true.

226

@109. Emma. Saying the 'father could just' make financial provision for the LW's future child only means 'it would be absolutely ethical' for him to do so. Yes, were that things were so simple in the LW's wife.

Agree that 1) someone can express a minority view without it having a purely personal origin, or its being overinvested or tendentious; and 2) a lw with a problem benefits from a spread of views being expressed.

@111. krissf. Yes. I would think part of the whole complex of reasons behind why the LW is having an affair with a married man at (say) an age between 38 and 44 has to do with her belief that she can't conceive naturally. (I'm mindful here that it would be wrong to generate a whole 'counter-narrative' on the back of scanty facts; but to me, intuitively, I'd think 'infertility-leads-to-affair' is the causality, as well as 'affair-leads-to-fertility').

@129. raindrop. What does 'copasetic' mean? These conversations are so often an opportunity to learn.

227

Raindrop @202: "If you want the baby, you're ready for motherhood. There is no other criterion - mother nature doesn't require one." Bwahahahaha. So 13-year-olds are "ready for motherhood" in your view? Don't be ridiculous. Your crystal ball is the one that's faulty. This is a difficult decision and there are reasonable arguments to be made for either -- for any (including adoption) choice. You're the only one here who's being unreasonable by refusing to see that raising a child alone of a man who didn't want the child will be difficult at best. Wanting the child is only the first step in being able to provide for it financially and emotionally. You are delusional in addition to being a judgmental ass. Skipping the rest of your posts.

Mdd @210: Five years? That's all going to happen in five months, or five minutes after she tells him of her decision to go ahead with the pregnancy. Otherwise spot on.

Lava @215: good point. He should have assumed that anyone willing to have a clandestine affair with a married man does not score 100% on the honesty scale. The chickens have come home to roost for these CPOS's. Terrible for a person to start life as the embodiment of a series of mistakes. I think she should have the abortion and tell his wife so the adults can suffer consequences rather than an innocent child. (Offhand remark but it does seem to fit the question of what the people involved "deserve.")

Juan @216: Yikes, that's my worst nightmare. I join with CMD in wondering what they decided to do about it?

Raindrop @217: Talking to yourself again?

Jinxie @223, thank you for sharing your story. Good to read posts from people who AREN'T talking out of their asses and seeing a world they have no experience of in stark black and white.

228

@158. Fichu. Your advice--'talk to an experienced abortion counselor'--is obviously excellent.

@155. venn. What would motivate a first-time poster to write if it weren't a strong personal experience of, or conviction about, the letter topic?

@145. Bi. It's possible that the LW saying that having a child was 'always [her] dream' is indicative of her thinking it impossible, or vanishingly unlikely, she could conceive--something like an adult saying 'I'd love to be a concert pianist'. I saw no grounds for thinking she was engaging in deception in telling her lover that contraception was 'taken care of'.

@166. Late. The LW has implied that if her lover's wife ever finds out about the affair, she would drop him--divorce him and break up the family. This would seem to rest on an uncompromising or inflexible attitude towards your partner's failings. I'd say it was this implication that people were responding to in thinking about (or not thinking about) the wife.

229

M?? Harriet - Others had made a point I'd vaguely noticed; I didn't see any harm in a bit of corroboration.

230

@227: Being ready for motherhood is state of mind - is it not? Putting aside practicalities such as parental skills, a good home, a spouse, money, schooling, etc, what else can an expectant mother do to get ready? Nothing.

I never said it wasn't difficult.

231

@Jinxie I think voices from experience are important, and I'm sure the LW will appreciate your story. In your own experience, are you saying that single motherhood was a contributing factor to you becoming homeless? This fucking pisses me off that we live in a country where so many children are housing insecure, and good on you for getting through all that. But these are the sorts of stories, from single mothers, that I advise the LW to listen to- to make a clear decision about what she can do. I see no reason to just focus on her feelings and not the hardship she could face. Of course we have no idea of her state- she might have money of her own, she might have a support network. She might not. She might choose to have the child regardless of the hardship and, like you, consider it the right decisions. But she should make that choice with clear eyes, and a bunch of posters only empathizing with her feelings around her infertility are not going to help her get info necessary to make a decision. IN fact, as many have said before, she should be talking to a counselor, not a bunch of folks online.

As for my lacking empathy with the LW, that is not true. But I don't consider her emotions as more important as the combined emotions of the lover, his wife and their children. There are at least four (more depending on how many children this man has) lives involved here. And I don't think that her emotions should be the biggest factor in her decision making. These are my opinions in a forum offering advice to someone who asked for it.

@Harriet, copacetic (where the second c is pronounced as a s and probably raindrop just had a typo) means that you are chill with something. The comment confused me too but I think what he meant to say is that if I'm cool with his view that abortion should be legal despite his personal feelings that it is immoral (and I am cool with this) then I was being 'weirdly defensive' by talking with him. The problem is of course that I was not talking to him about his personal stance - which I don't give a fuck about at all- but rather responding to his concern for my soul and my mother's choice not to abort me. I have no idea how I'm being defensive by responding to someone who addressed me about my soul by telling him what I think of my soul, but anyway... that's why I wondered if he thinks the word means something else or what he meant, and then I decided I just don't care.

232

So where we disagree is that I feel the state of mind and desire is sufficient to have a baby, you on the other hand want all the practicalities to line up perfectly.

Life is not always that convenient. But shouldn't the state of mind and desire be enough to work though the difficulties of not having the practicalities all lined up?

I say yes because LW appears to want to keep the baby. But some have the gall to chip away at that and are extrapolating from their own experiences that she should abort.

It's rather goulish in the first place for Dan to put such a private decision up for public consumption.

But I pray the decision is firmly made to not abort or baby is already born.

233

Jinxie @ 223
I strongly suspect I have contributed to the “dismissed as a brand new account just to hop on the "have a baby" bandwagon” trend.
In my defense there was a spike in miraculous posts and my assertions were based on checking posters’ histories.
Yours and Disgruntled Potato @ 157 accounts certainly came across as authentic and I applaud you for sharing them with us.

Looking back, Dashing @ 136 may also qualify despite their rookiness. Timing and extra miracles fit to be included in one of those spell doctors testimonials we often get here were not in their favor. My apologies if I rushed to conclusion.

Sadly raindrop is also real. As I see it his “pro choice” stand is only pro when the choice goes his way. His zeal, rhetoric, pretentious gentlemanhood and outright misogynism are telling.

234

Raindrop @232, hyperbole is not serving your cause. No, things do not have to line up "perfectly" for someone to be ready for parenthood. They have nine months to get ready. But don't be stupid and pretend you can't see that some are more ready than others; some can and do make it work, and some people should not have brought babies into this world. "Ghoulish"? This woman WROTE TO A SYNDICATED ADVICE COLUMNIST who she knows has a comments section. She has surely also read many of Dan's columns and knows his stance on religion. She is genuinely torn and wanted multiple opinions, not just yours. "I pray" -- that says it all.

235

@234: So if some don't make it "work" means that the baby should have not been brought into the world? What constitutes "doesn't work"? Be specific.

It is in very poor taste to debate someone's possible abortion in a public forum. But nevertheless we're all doing it. Imagine if the child reads this thread in the future.

236

Extremely unlikely of course and there's not enough specifics to latch onto. Still, this unforunate discussion will live forever.

237

@233: I agree with a woman's right to have an abortion.

Stop lying.

238

I didn't read all 200+ comments, so this may already have been said but...

Zero birth control methods are 100% effective. You could have a copper IUD, AND be on the pill or the shot, AND use condoms 100% of the time and there would STILL the (smallest) possibility of getting pregnant. People who've had their tubes tied or had a vasectomy have still gotten pregnant. As many people have already said, if you come inside a vagina, there's always that chance, however remote. So, listen closely: YOU. DID. NOT. LIE. You had as much/little chance of getting pregnant as most common birth control methods. Ending up pregnant now is no different than if you'd ended up pregnant on the pill or with and IUD or with condoms or with all 3. Sometimes life finds a way.

In your case, it feels like a miracle. A terrible, terrible, inconvenient, poorly timed and (at least 50%) poorly parented miracle. The choice is just as much yours now under your current circumstances, as it would be if you or he or both of you had been using contraception.

I know you love him and you don't want to ruin his life and blah blah blah (I'm not trying to be insensitive--I had an affair with a married man once and had all of those same feelings,) but both of you chose (consciously or unconsciously) to risk ruining his family and life when you started the affair. He chose that as much as you did. Pregnancy was ALWAYS--in every alternate universe where you perfectly used contraception--a possibility. He doesn't get to put all of this burden onto you, or require more from you than if you were just normal, unattached-to-anyone-else dating.

If you want this baby as much as you say you do, you should have it. He chose that possibility when he chose you over his family.

239

raindrop- Maybe so, I still doubt it. Your zeal, rhetoric, pretentious gentlemanhood and outright misogynism are still showing regardless. One should also add "stamina" though I think it's more like a compulsive sense of mission.
You promised yesterday that you're out of here, yet returned this morning in full force with some freshly scooped cow's manure about LW's privacy being violated- WTF???- and rolled on to the assumed baby reading this very specific thread, started by a unanimous letter, at some point in their lives (which I assume is at least some 15 years away.)
What’s your problem?

240

@238/ KatherynLena: “YOU. DID. NOT. LIE. You had as much/little chance of getting pregnant as most common birth control methods. Ending up pregnant now is no different than if you'd ended up pregnant on the pill or with and IUD or with condoms or with all 3. Sometimes life finds a way.”

Based on what can you can say she had just as much chance of getting pregnant as if she was on multiple forms of birth control, because there is simply no basis for that statement. Moreover, she understood that her statements mislead multiple sex partners who believed her to be on some form of birth control. And while people having sex while using birth control run a knowing risk of an unwanted pregnancy, LW subjected her lovers to an unknown risk which they could not mitigate by using condoms. Nothing about that is reasonable; whether one calls that a lie or knowingly misleading, it is wrong, and quoting Jurassic Park doesn’t make it acceptable.

241

@239: Considering that are now hundreds of comments, we have multiple "compulsive senses of mission" regarding whether or not to have an abortion. Several are picking and extrapolating fragments of LW's story and comparing it to their own life experiences to support their case for abortion. That's fine. But LW definitely implies she wants to keep the baby. Given that premise, the default choice of not aborting should have been respected - which includes leaning in the direction of not having an abortion. Dan should have noticed that and not framed the discussion as he did.

My opinion of course. You may disagree, but getting hostile and using foul language and is rude.

242

And now you’re back, once again attempting to project your peace-loving, sensible person facade.
Too late I’m afraid, you’ve already proved you’re neither.

243

@242: I was gracious and gave you deference yesterday to give you the last word. I changed my mind - but not in a reply to you. So what response can you possibly expect from me now that you're just gratuitously insulting? You're the one belaboring our annoying little sideshow.

244

Maybe best CMD to return to ignoring raindrop? They decide to suddenly sprout many words on a subject they know nothing about.
A foetus is not viable outside a woman’s body for many months after conception.
The only person whose business it is, is the one with a foetus inside them.

245

@244: 'Foetus'? You must be British. We aborted the "o".

246

SA. Yes. Her behaviour was questionable. She should have told each and every man she’s had sex with, what the whole story is, and then up to them if they want to take the risk. Condoms are used to protect against STIs, as well as pregnancy.
Maybe on some level she was hoping
a pregnancy would occur, we don’t know.
And it’s all a bit late now, eh, because she
is pregnant.
LW, turn off the fairy lights and be an adult now. This man must by law pay maintenance for his child( ren), the rest you must decide about for yourself. Get some guidance from a professional to help you.

247

Australian, dumbnuts. Not British.

248

Oh, is that sexist? My bad.

249

@248: No worries, nobody has that delicate of a sensibility in this forest.

251

Yeah mate @250, what has this got to do with pregnancy?
What a loser .. you.. believing your wife’s words. She’s off doing him.

253

Well, there is a lot of comments on this one. I've been wanting to come back and say something about this. It breaks my heart to see the LW feeling like she has to give so much of her power to this manipulative man. It reminds me of the pro-life movement. Yup, I said it. I read a tweet by a Harvard professor once on the anti-abortion movement. They said that a government that can tell you to stay pregnant can also tell you that you can't stay pregnant. This is what is happening here. This is a guy that wants control. He wants to control you and your decision.
Because it would inconvenience his life, she should give up her dream of being a mother. NO! I'm sorry that's not this works. If he knew the risks of not wearing a condom. He knew! I've slept with married men before they always wear condoms for this very reason!
LW have the baby! Tell this man that he has a choice to be involved with the child or not. I wish the LW the very best. (Hopefully, with this jerk minimally in her life and a beautiful baby in her arms.)

254

@253/msgalaxy: He did not know the risk, because she mislead him about using birth control.

255

Sublime @254, she was vague. Every man knows the risk of ejaculating into a vagina. She didn't think she needed birth control because she didn't think she could get pregnant. No, she wasn't 100% honest with him about the risk, but he didn't ask for details before he stuck his naked dick into her vagina (thus also exposing his unwitting wife to STIs). MsGalaxy is right: every CPOS should use condoms regardless of what their mistresses say, since if she's selfish enough to have an affair with a married man, she's selfish enough to trick him into getting her pregnant. He's not the victim here.

256

"every CPOS should use condoms regardless of what their mistresses say, since if she's selfish enough to have an affair with a married man, she's selfish enough to trick him into getting her pregnant. He's not the victim here."

While this is not untrue, the reason every CPOS should use condoms is because their partners- the ones they are lying to- did not consent to the risks of having unprotected sex with others. The CPOS here is disrupting his wife's life and his children's life. They all have to take on the consequences of his selfishness.

Anyway Sublime, I agree that he probably thought she had it taken care of since she said she had it taken care of- but she said that because she thought she had it taken care of. So he did not take on any risk that she was not taking. They both thought she had it taken care of. So they decided to put his sperm in her vagina. He owns half this list regardless. He could've not done. It's not her fault that he did. If this has been how she's been having sex for decades and this was her first pregnancy, then the risk is probably about the same as if she'd been using condoms or birth control.

Unless he asked her straight out "are you on birth control" and she lied. Or unless the "I'm infertile" thing is something she made up. But we have no indication that either of those things are true. If she had reason to believe (actual reason) that she was infertile and she said "I've got it taken care of" then this is not dishonest. If the man wanted clarity on the means (and he should have) then he should've asked.

257

I mentioned this earlier. But let's try it this way.

Man: Are you on birth control.
Woman: I've got that taken care of.
Man: How? Are you on the pill? Do you have an IUD?
Woman: No, I'm infertile. I can't have children.

Woman: Have you had a vasectomy?
Man: I've got that taken care of.
Woman: So you have had a vasectomy?
Man: No, I'm infertile. I can't have children.

Assuming here that the infertility is not something just made up, but something confirmed by a medical professional, the initial statement is not a lie.

And just to be super clear about the point I'm trying to make here. In the woman's case, the vagueness has a purpose- and it's not the one you guys keep saying it is. Generally, the woman is starting from a position of presenting three options: a) sterile (either from infertility or medical), b) not fertile right now but possibly fertile later (meaning she's on birth control) or c) fertile right now (on nothing, can get pregnant). Generally, the man has only two: a) sterile (from infertility or medical), or b) fertile (can get a woman pregnant).

OK now assuming that the LW is being honest-
The LW herself explains that the reason she's vague is that she doesn't want to get into it with men to tell them that she's sterile (in that first category) and so if they think she's on birth control (in the second category) that's fine with her. The risk to the man is the same if she's sterile or on birth control, but there is a stigma against women who are sterile as described by many women up ahead. The default expectation is that a woman is in the middle ground- capable of getting pregnant one day but not now.

So the people who are saying that she was trying to trick him into getting her pregnant miss the point- she was not trying to be vague about the risk or her fertility- she was being vague so as to deflect from her sterility.

Now from the point of view of the guy does this make any difference? I think he should have asked for a clarification question. If the answer was "I'm sterile" then does it make any difference to the situation? Would he have chosen then to wear a condom? I doubt it.

The fact is, if a person has all the organs, and you put sperm in those organs, there is a possibility of pregnancy. People get pregnant on IUDs. They get pregnant while using condoms. They get pregnant after vasectomy. There's a tiny risk all the time- the only way to for sure prevent it is to not put sperm in an organ in which it might fertilize an egg in the first place.

But for sure, he had every right to know all the details of the situation that he was entering. He should have asked for clarification. She should have answered all his questions honestly. Some common sense required too here. These are two people cheating, mixed expectations of the relationship, his entire life is at stake, she has obviously not dealt with her emotions around her infertility nor her desire to be a mother, it might (here's a stretch) but that might have something to do with why she's in a relationship in which there is no future in the first place. So yea, people who are in a fucked up place in life, dealing unskillfully with complex emotions, they aren't going to be the best communicators or decision makers.

260

I stopped reading atthe point where a Savage Love reader in 2019 hasn't heard of condoms. Nor has the MARRIED man she's fucking. If you're not taking steps to avoid pregnancy, you're willing to become pregnant or induce pregnancy, as a necessary, direct, natural consequence of that decision. Own your decision and deal with the consequences, however you want (assuming you didn't rape him, he had the option of insisting on condoms and/or not ejaculating inside of you, which means he was willing to risk impregnating you). I didn't buy that "heat of the moment" shit when I was a teenager with subpar sex ed, so I certainly don't view not (correctly!) using condoms as excusable in adulthood, at least not for people who have the internet connection necessary to e-mail Dan. I'm allllllllllllllllllllllllllllll out of any sympathy for people who ask questions in the form, "Please help me unfuck this pooch I was fully aware I was fucking."

261

@17: The typical use rates paradoxically inude not actually using the method in question (while saying you do); with condoms, this means people who say they use condoms but don't actually use condoms every time they have PIV sex. When used correctly (which means actually using them), condoms prevent pregnancy for 98% of couples who use them as the sole means of birth control (that 2% is slippage, spillage, and breakage - I'd actually consider much of that improper use, too, since you should stop fucking before ejaculation if a condom breaks or slips off, and preventing spillage is part of correct use - condoms don't break so often that 2% of couples using them correctly become pregnant annually - but whatever). The advantage of methods with a higher typical use rate is that they're difficult to fuck up using (implants, injections, surgery), but if you're not bad at actualy using your birth control method, then your effectiveness rate should be the perfect use rate.

262

<3 ciods @53

263

Seconding joeburner2, lying about birth control means lying about the conditions under which consent is negotiated means invalidating that consent. So, she DID rape him - she obtained consent using active deception. I'm fine with saying that lying rapists should not procreate; terminate the pregnancy.

264

The guy in this situation sure is a weasel. He can't bear to father a child he can't raise? Who's to say he can't raise the kid? Have the baby if you want. And don't let this guy squirm out of his responsibility to the child he fathered. If he really didn't want to have a child outside his marriage, he could have not had an affair, had a vasectomy, or at the very least used a condom. Keeping your affair and his lovechild a secret from his wife is not a sufficient reason for this kid to grow up without the support of a second parent, or for LW to have to shoulder that burden alone.

That said, LW, you might reconsider whether and why you want to keep this pregnancy. If it's because you always dreamed of having a baby and fear this is your only chance, then have it. But keep in mind that once his marriage and your affair implode this guy's sparkle with disintegrate and you might regret being tethered to him and his other children for the rest of your life.

265

Another thing: as some others have pointed out, his gripe about not being able to bear his spawn existing out in the world without him is bullshit intended to pressure LW into having an abortion without admitting that that's what he wants. He wants her to take the fall for that decision and get brownie points for having supposedly stepped up as a supportive father. It's a BLUFF.

Years ago a friend of mine got pregnant with her skeevy boyfriend (similar situation; he was a romancer who was always cheating on her). He assumed she'd have an abortion as she'd done the year prior when they'd gotten pregnant. So he told her he supported her and would be there for her no matter what, and said he hoped she'd have the baby with him. She was delighted to hear this from him, and decided to keep the pregnancy. He flipped out and immediately changed his tune. "Are you crazy? My parents will kill me! You have to abort it!" She had the baby, they broke up, and now she's happy with someone new. Though it was a struggle and she had to leave her job and move back in with her parents in another city hundreds of miles away.

All this to say: LW should test the waters with this man. Tell him he doesn't have to worry about there being a child out there who will never know him. Tell him you've decided to have the baby and raise it with him. See how long it takes him to change his tune. Perhaps that will give LW the reality check she needs to make an informed decision.

266

@231. Emma. Thank you for your explanation of 'copacetic'--I thought it was a term from theology! 'Souls being formed at conception' and 'souls preexisting persons' are both well-known views; I'm not sure I understand, let alone believe in, either. I do not know whether your instincts are correct in this difficult case.

One thing about which I'd have more confidence is that the lw has entirely to separate the question of her having this child from that of the future of her romantic relationship, that is, affair. If she breaks up now, giving him a clear run at saving his marriage, he is likely to be better disposed towards her (and her child) if it ever comes to contact and maintenance.

267

@254. Sublime. Let me put myself into the married guy's shoes. I hear, in response to the question, 'do we need to worry about protection?', 'no, got that covered!'. I think I ask, 'what do you mean?'. If she doesn't want to talk about it, because her (supposed) infertility is a delicate subject, I think I find out gently over the course of the relationship. It's clear she hasn't lied about being on the pill (relied on the assumption, but not lied). Let's say a doctor has told her there's a 1 in 10,000 chance of her getting pregnant. I think I'm still taking the lead in putting the condom on.

This isn't a starkly alternative scenario so much as what he should have done. If he has an emotionally substantial relationship with her, he must know (must have known) that she wants to have a child, but thinks she can't?

268

@261. John Horstman. But 'should I have the child in my circumstances?' is surely a legitimate (and heartfelt) question, no? Is it that the questions with which people feel they need help, for you, should be limited to sex?

269

EmmaLiz @256: "the reason every CPOS should use condoms is because their partners- the ones they are lying to- did not consent to the risks of having unprotected sex with others." Yes, this also (this more so). But this requires CPOSes to consider someone else, which they're less likely to do. Telling them they should be using condoms to protect THEMSELVES is the only argument they might listen to.

EmmaLiz @257: "So yea, people who are in a fucked up place in life, dealing unskillfully with complex emotions, they aren't going to be the best communicators or decision makers." Nor ready to be mothers.

John @260, amen. Add yourself to my list of favourite commenters!

John @263, wait, no, I take that back. She didn't lie to him. Her own belief was that she could not get pregnant. If she did lie, I would agree with you, but she did not tear condoms off this guy's dick, he consensually fucked her without a condom despite knowing where babies come from, as you yourself describe @260.

270

@263: No, that is not a definition of rape. She did not rape him, he did not rape her. It was consensual sex.

Also she talks a lot more about keeping the baby than aborting. She's conflicted but very much leaning toward keeping the baby. Given that, we should respect her feelings about not aborting rather than convincing her do do something she clearly does not want to do.

Let's review her pro/con abortion statements:

Don't abort:
- I cannot have an abortion.
- But I cannot accept having an abortion. I just can't do it.
- But I can easily see myself not being able to go through with it the day of.
- But to me, this conception is miraculous and it may be my only chance at a healthy baby. Even if I can wrap my head around ever trying again, if I can forgive myself enough to try again, my age alone may preclude the possibility of having a healthy baby in the future.

Leaning towards abort:
- I don't feel I have the right to choose.

Given these statements, why would anyone say that she should abort?

271

@269 absolutely about CPOSs not caring about exposing their spouses to STIs. People having affairs generally come up with justifications in their mind about how their affair is special, unlike what other people experience, "different" and therefore somehow not subject to the same risks as normal reckless sexual behavior. If LW isn't getting tested regularly for STIs, she needs to get tested now (especially if she's going to keep her pregnancy). If I were her I'd assume I were not the only mistress that guy is barebacking. And this is just another reason that the wife needs to be made aware of what's going on in her marriage. And a reminder to anyone reading that being in a monogamous relationship is no reason not to continue getting STI checks and HPV screenings.

A year ago I wouldn't believe this LW's claim about genuinely believing contraception isn't necessary to avoid pregnancy. I just always thought it was a universal thing among women to viscerally recoil from unplanned pregnancies. But in the past year some male friends of mine have become involved with women in their 30s who seemed to genuinely believe that they could not get pregnant, and urged them to ejaculate into them without condoms. I say "seemed to genuinely believe" because this information comes from the guys they were banging, who are not above falling for bullshit, so who knows. One of these women did end up getting pregnant, and she immediately had an abortion, so I'd dismiss the "she was trying to keep a leash on him by having a kid together" narrative. I just don't understand. These are educated women who live in an urban area and know about contraception. Yet in each case the woman had a vague or woo woo explanation for her supposed infertility that clearly had not come from a doctor. I simply do not understand. As a woman myself, I always assumed everyone who had had basic sex ed had the same concerns as I do about avoiding pregnancy when not explicitly trying for a baby. What is the deal with this phenomenon?? Is it just that these women assume they can easily get an abortion so it's worth taking the risk of getting pregnant? I have no moral qualms with that but it just seems needlessly reckless (and expensive).

272

Visual worry, I've never encountered this "phenomenon" so since we are only both speaking from personal experience, I'd say it has more to do with people's social networks. Perhaps the sort of person who can be encouraged to cum inside a vagina of a person who he know is not on birth control without any assurance that the woman is medically deemed infertile is more likely to date women who are are likewise as naive? And then these people, perhaps being of a similar background (quality of sex ed? breadth of sexual experience?) are more likely to hang about with friends like them? It's like how I don't know anyone who regularly uses crack or cocaine but people who regularly use crack or cocaine know a lot of others who do.

The only thing I'd add is that people have been having unplanned and unwanted pregnancies since the dawn of time despite humans knowing exactly how to prevent it (even before the invention of birth control) and despite it sometimes coming with great threats- to the life, health, social acceptance of the individuals involved, in some places in some times even to the point of barbarism.

And yet those unplanned pregnancies continue to happen.

People take risks with sex. People are irrational about sex. It's literally a basic human drive- a basic drive of life. I don't think we can really think too rationally about it.

It's part of the reason I tend to advocate for the normalization and destigmatization of abortion and why I think someone's "emotions" on the matter aren't what I think should be emphasized in the decision making. We have centuries upon centuries of evolution at work here manipulating our emotions on this matter.

But at the same time, it's what humans are going to do. They are going to fuck, despite the consequences, they are going to behave irrationally as they fuck.

273

@272: "I think someone's "emotions" on the matter aren't what I think should be emphasized"

They are emotions, but there are also convictions. Sometimes someone holding on to their convictions is often seen as emotional. That's disingenuous.

274

@255/BiDanFan: "Every man knows the risk of ejaculating into a vagina." The general risk that that a baby may be conceived? Sure, but the statistical probability that we call risk varies based on the use of birth control, and as you point out, "she wasn't 100% honest with him about the risk." What I find notable about this conversation is that so many commenters need elide this fact by shifting into an argument in which her lover's dishonesty towards his wife somehow negates that lack of honesty in LW.

@256/EmmaLiz: "So he did not take on any risk that she was not taking." But she knew the risk she was taking, and he did not, and she acknowledged being misleading, so I don't understand why you're working so hard absolving her behavior.

275

I'm not, Sublime. I'm saying two things. #1 She did not lie. If a medically infertile person says they have birth control taken care of, this is not a lie. If he wanted more clarity (and I think he should), he should have asked for it it. She did not tell him she was on birth control. The fact that he did not know more about how it was taken care of (the specifics of the risk he was taking) is because he didn't ask- not because she lied. #2 The reason she did not volunteer the specifics according to her is because of the difficulties in revealing infertility, not because of the desire to make him think she is less fertile than she is- it's the opposite, in fact.

I don't know why you are trying so hard to claim that she lied. (See, we can both play at that phrasing).

Also I'm not sure what behavior you are talking about me "trying to absolve". You mean saying she had birth control taken care of when she thought she did? Or do you mean the affair? Or continuing the subsequent pregnancy? I'm assuming it was the first, since that's where we appear to disagree. I don't think the unethical nature of her affair is relevant to the pregnancy nor the birth control situation. I do think it's relevant to her choice in continuing the pregnancy or having an abortion as it is a decision that will affect many people's lives and I believe she has a responsibility to consider the impact on these other people since she is half responsible for the deception and disruption to their lives. I don't see anyone saying that these two things negate one another.

Raindrop, I'm not talking about you- this LW has no anti-abortion convictions. You do. An emotional desire to continue a personal pregnancy, no matter how great a personal feeling and no matter how important, is not a conviction about abortion in the first place. Yet again, you confuse yourself for the LW.

276

@EmmaLiz - From LW's own words (3rd para, next to last sentence).

"But I cannot accept having an abortion. I just can't do it. "

That sure sounds like a conviction, you can disagree - but you can't say it wasn't LW's conviction no more than I can say it was.

277

Keep your miracle baby and be the mom you've always wanted to be.

Do not listen to any of the child-hating idiots saying you should abort. Child-haters can never understand the feelings of people who want children. Plenty of people are born in less-than-ideal circumstances and turn out fine. Kids are more resilient than most people give them credit for, and one good parent is better than two bad ones. Not knowing your father is not the end of the world. I know my father and he's kind of disappointing, whereas my mom is the rock of my life. If your boyfriend decides to be a part of the child's life, great. If he decides to run for the hills, fine. And whatever may or may not happen with his wife is his problem and not yours.

Women who have abortions they didn't truly want, because it was convenient for someone else, tend to regret it. This is especially true if they don't get another chance and end up childless when they didn't want to be. Those who are floating adoption as an alternative are being idiots - adoption is expensive and involves a huge amount of bureaucracy and stress, and there is absolutely no need for you to subject yourself to that when you can just have this baby.

And don't listen to those who are disparaging you. You are stronger than you think, and you are not defined by a few bad choices. If you truly want to be a good mom you can do it. Single motherhood is hard but not insurmountable, and plenty of people do things that are even harder in pursuit of their lifelong dreams. Turn to the other people in your life for support. Make friends with other parents. Lots of people make it work and so can you.

278

@270

I really wish this comment system had upvotes. Since it doesn't, here's a big round of applause for you.

279

@278 - Thank you.

280

Keep your miracle baby and be the mom you've always wanted to be.

Do not listen to any of the child-hating idiots saying you should abort. Child-haters can never understand the feelings of people who want children. Plenty of people are born in less-than-ideal circumstances and turn out fine. Kids are more resilient than most people give them credit for, and one good parent is better than two bad ones. Not knowing your father is not the end of the world. I know my father and he's kind of disappointing, whereas my mom is the rock of my life. If your boyfriend decides to be a part of the child's life, great. If he decides to run for the hills, fine. And whatever may or may not happen with his wife is his problem and not yours.

Women who have abortions they didn't truly want, because it was convenient for someone else, tend to regret it. This is especially true if they don't get another chance and end up childless when they didn't want to be. Those who are floating adoption as an alternative are being idiots - adoption is expensive and involves a huge amount of bureaucracy and stress, and there is absolutely no need for you to subject yourself to that when you can just have this baby.

And don't listen to those who are disparaging you. You are stronger than you think, and you are not defined by a few bad choices. If you truly want to be a good mom you can do it. Single motherhood is hard but not insurmountable, and plenty of people do things that are even harder in pursuit of their lifelong dreams. Turn to the other people in your life for support. Make friends with other parents. Lots of people make it work and so can you.

281

Keep your miracle baby and be the mom you've always wanted to be.

Do not listen to any of the child-hating idiots saying you should abort. Child-haters can never understand the feelings of people who want children. Plenty of people are born in less-than-ideal circumstances and turn out fine. Kids are more resilient than most people give them credit for, and one good parent is better than two bad ones. Not knowing your father is not the end of the world. I know my father and he's kind of disappointing, whereas my mom is the rock of my life. If your boyfriend decides to be a part of the child's life, great. If he decides to run for the hills, fine. And whatever may or may not happen with his wife is his problem and not yours.

Women who have abortions they didn't truly want, because it was convenient for someone else, tend to regret it. This is especially true if they don't get another chance and end up childless when they didn't want to be. Those who are floating adoption as an alternative are being idiots - adoption is expensive and involves a huge amount of bureaucracy and stress, and there is absolutely no need for you to subject yourself to that when you can just have this baby.

And don't listen to those who are disparaging you. You are stronger than you think, and you are not defined by a few bad choices. If you truly want to be a good mom you can do it. Single motherhood is hard but not insurmountable, and plenty of people do things that are even harder in pursuit of their lifelong dreams. Turn to the other people in your life for support. Make friends with other parents. Lots of people make it work and so can you.

282

These posts saying "congratulations!" are blowing my mind. Read the room, or just read the letter. This is not good news. She might get something that she wants but at a high cost. That's not a "congratulations" situation, that's a "well, you did that thing and now you're gonna live with it" situation.

Also, fuck that guy. He's an adult, he did a thing too and now has to live with it.

Also, a pregnancy doesn't automatically lead to a baby, even without an abortion. If there are already medical issues, a miscarriage could follow. It's sad to contemplate, but less sad than getting an abortion that you don't want. Maybe save some of this handwringing until a baby is actually delivered.

Also, don't get an abortion.

Don't get an abortion.

283

Did you do a ring around raindrop, bring in all your cis MALE anti abortion wankers?
Not your body not even your gender not your beeswax.
LW, it’s hard work bringing up a baby. Don’t pretend to yourself it isn’t. Rewarding sure, at times. Freaky and scary at others. Good luck.

284

The real question @LavaGirl, is why it bothers you if she doesn't get an abortion. I think that's the more interesting question at this point, since most indications are that she won't abort.

285

Wow. What a shit show this comments thread turned about to be. The bully brigade took a couple hundred posts to convince themselves that the L-dub is morally blameless and everything here is the man's fault. Impressive if disturbing. Then the pro life invaders show up to support the miracle baby. Gag.

Two terrible people did terrible things together and now there's a pregnancy and no good options. Yeah, life is messy, and if you are a piece of shit (like the l-dub and her partner are) you'll likely leave a ton of human wreckage in your wake... like this future baby...whom I mourn for. Future baby, you didn't do anything to deserve these future parents. I'm sorry your life is gonna leave you with a cruise ship's worth of baggage. Good luck to you and not your parents.

286

@285: No, they aren't POS. But you are for saying so. They're people who have problems, like we all do. Your problem is far worse, and you don't even realize it.

287

What about once the baby is born?

288

Oh my, she's thinking about the father and herself, Dan is thinking about her, but nobody is thinking about the child. (Clutches pearls!!!!) But, seriously, it appears that if (when) she has the child, she intends to not involve the father to "protect" him and his family. This may be what's best for them (or maybe not), but if the child is born, it has the right to its father.

Won't somebody think of the child?!!! :-)