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“My Fiancé Refuses to Help Pay for Birth Control”

I’m a little under the weather today and taking some time to rest up. In lieu on a new column, here’s an old one that originally ran on October 11, 2011. — Wendy

I’m getting married in December to a man I love very much. I’m waiting to have sex until I’m married, so I’ve never been on birth control. Since we’ll obviously be having sex soon, we decided I should get on the Pill. My insurance doesn’t cover it, so we made a trip to Planned Parenthood where I got a year’s supply. While far less expensive than what the pharmacy charges, a year’s worth of birth control pills was not cheap. I went ahead and paid for it, assuming my fiancè would offer to contribute, however he never did. I was frustrated that he didn’t offer to contribute, considering that he benefits from birth control as much as I do. My logic was that if we were to have a child he’d be splitting the cost, so why not split the cost of not having a child?

I was upset and knew it would bother me if I didn’t say anything, so I told him that I was frustrated he didn’t offer to contribute. He got mad at me for assuming he would, but more than that, he doesn’t see why he should be responsible for contributing towards birth control when it’s my body and I’m the one benefiting from it. I said we both benefited equally from my not getting pregnant. I asked him if I were to have a child, wouldn’t he be splitting the costs? He said yes, but that this wasn’t the same. He still sticks to the “it’s my body” and insists that it’s the girl’s responsibility to pay.

Now, if I were dating around without being committed to any man I would understand paying for it myself, but being engaged to be married and him clearly being the only one I’m using the birth control with makes me think he should share some of the financial responsibility for this. What exactly is the protocol for birth control with a married (or soon to be married couple)? Am I crazy to think that we should be splitting this cost? — Frustrated Fiancè

No, you’re not crazy for thinking you should split the cost of birth control. But you are crazy for thinking about marrying this man without having some major discussions about finances first. Do you plan to keep your finances totally separate? How will you pay your bills? Have you determined who will pay rent/mortgage, who will pay for groceries, and who will pay other household bills? What about when you go on vacation? Is your fiancé going to stick you will the cost of the mini bar at the hotel because you ate more M&Ms than he did? I’m not joking here. It’s insane to me — absolutely, positively insane — that he refuses to contribute to the cost of your birth control when HE IS BENEFITING FROM IT just as much as you are, and it makes me wonder what else he’s going to be cheap about in your future together. I’d make sure you two are very much on the same page about these very important issues before walking down the aisle.

Now, as for your specific issue at hand, what really gets my goat here is that you’re already taking on the physical and emotional burden of birth control and yet your boyfriend thinks you should shoulder full financial responsibility to boot. You’re already making a sacrifice just by taking the Pill, which often causes unpleasant side effects and sometimes takes experimenting with different brands to find one that doesn’t adversely affect you. What’s your fiancé doing? I mean, other than boning you, worry-free? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. He gets to have sex with you without worrying about pregnancy, without messing with his hormones, and without financially contributing to that sense of freedom. That hardly seems fair. I say if his cheap ass refuses to pony up, you tell him, fine, if the financial burden of birth control falls on the shoulders of the person most intimately using it, then instead of you taking the Pill, he can wrap up his penis in a condom every time you two boink. And if he doesn’t like that idea, then tough, no sex for him.

I’d also show him this column and let him read all the comments, which I can already guess will be giving him a thing or two to think about…

*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com and be sure to follow me on Twitter.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

avatar KD October 11, 2011, 7:29 am

Ugh, I agree with Wendy. That’s incredibly obnoxious and insensitive. Although I usually don’t think that with holding sex is a good bargaining chip (if you will), in this case it makes sense. If he doesn’t want to go about it safely and fairly, he shouldn’t be doing it with you at all.

On a side note, I did read somewhere that there has been human testing for a new form of male birth control. It involves a shot in the balls (literally) of some kind of silicon that prevents sperm from leaving the testicles. Maybe he would prefer to sign up for that?

avatar lets_be_honest October 11, 2011, 9:05 am

Ouch! My balls hurt and I don’t even have them.

avatar Eljay October 11, 2011, 9:27 am

Holy crap! That would be PERFECT for him! Selfish bastard.

avatar Mandy S February 5, 2013, 12:03 pm

Don’t think we’ll get that shot anytime soon. 1) it works for 10 years after 1 injection. 2) it’s incredibly cheap. 3) it’s totally reversible. 4) as a result, there is NO benefit/money to be made by Big Pharma. We won’t see that shot without some serious financial overhaul.

caitie_didnt caitie_didn't October 11, 2011, 7:43 am

Aaaaand, this is one of the many reasons why I feel that sex is a try-before-you-buy activity. Honestly, I’d think twice about marrying this dude- any guy who is so back-asswards as to insist that birth control is the woman’s responsibility is *just* misogynistic enough (or stupid enough, or cheap enough) for me to not want to be associated with him. He does realize that the pill is a *hormone* right- that it has negative side effects? Including things like blood clots and strokes? That some women can’t take any type of BCP at ALL, because they’re so sensitive to synthetic hormones?

Here’s what’s normal, LW: I dated my last boyfriend for about a year. After the FIRST time we had sex, we had an in-depth discussion about birth control and what would happen if there was a birth control failure, pregnancy scare or accidental pregnancy. I was on the pill for medical reasons, and HE OFFERED TO HELP PAY FOR IT because after all, he’s getting 50% of the benefits. (I’m in Canada so it was covered by my parent’s health insurance). AND we also agreed that we’d split any other cost- condoms until we were comfortable enough with each other to not use them, Plan B if we had an “oops” etc. etc.

Ugh, this letter is fairly infuriating, and it’s so early in the morning.

JK JK October 11, 2011, 8:41 am

So true about the side effects of BC. I used it for years, unfortunately it makes my cholesterol too high, so I can´t use it anymore.

avatar Eljay October 11, 2011, 9:28 am

Ditto. My BP skyrockets too. Can’t use it at all.

avatar amber October 11, 2011, 9:31 am

have you ever tried the progestin only pill (sometimes called the mini-pill)? regular bc made my blood pressure go up as well. we switched to this and now i’m fine!

JK JK October 11, 2011, 10:10 am

I switched to the minipill after I had a breast cancer scare a couple of years ago unfortunately it makes my cholesterol go up, too. :( Now my GYN wants me t use Mirena, buut I´m not convinced.

avatar amber October 11, 2011, 10:12 am

hmm yeah maybe you can find some people who have used mirena and talk to them. i don’t know much about it. sucks that the minipill does that to you! i like it so much more than my old bc.

JK JK October 11, 2011, 10:27 am

Amongst my friends noone uses mirena, I found a site (my mirena experience or something like that, and ended up more freaked out… bleeding for 2 months? my husband feeling the strings inside me??? no thanks!!!)

avatar BGD October 11, 2011, 11:16 am

I have the mirena and I swear by it. I didn’t bleed for 2 months just some light spotting here and there and I had a very heavy period before. I’m about to get my third and I won’t go with anything else. I haven’t actually had my period in a few years. No… your husband won’t feel the strings… so don’t worry about that. My sister just got her first and loves it. No worries, no remembering a pill. The pill actually made me a bit nutso emotionally and I’ve had not a single side effect besides the initial spotting.

JK JK October 11, 2011, 11:20 am

Thanks!!! I was getting a bit freaked by seeing mostly negative experiences. I might have to just listen to my Dr.

avatar HmC October 11, 2011, 11:51 am

Did your insertion hurt? I was on the verge of getting a copper IUD, and was scared away by the insertion horror stories online.

I get migraines so I’m only allowed the mini pill or the copper IUD, and I’m getting so sick of remembering the mini pill…

avatar Allissa October 11, 2011, 12:07 pm

I’ve had an IUD for 10 years, hardly notice its there, actually never notice. No pain on insertion, no pain ever. But after 10 years it has to be removed, perhaps replaced, I will ask my Gyno.

avatar cdjd0523 October 11, 2011, 1:41 pm

It all depends on the person, I got Mirena put in after I had my son and while I wouldn’t say it was painful it was extremely uncomfortable. A few people I know said they had pain with insertion but again it all depends. Personally I would take the insertion over having to hassle with a pill and all the side effects of it.

avatar Christy October 11, 2011, 2:07 pm

Not scare you, but my insertion was the worst pain I’ve ever experienced in my life (I don’t have kids). It only lasted a few minutes, though. I think the trick is to take lots of pain medication before. Again, benefits outweigh the discomfort for me.

avatar bethany October 11, 2011, 3:37 pm

Insertion wasn’t fun, but in my case, it only took about 5 minutes to get it in. Totally worth it!

avatar Annie1 October 12, 2011, 2:58 pm

I got the copper IUD about 6 years ago and it was life changing. I have been on the pill before and loathed the side effects–try not having a period for 9 months AFTER going off it!!–and I didn’t want to take hormonal BC in any form after that. So I signed up for an IUD, and I opted for the copper wire. My doctor told me it’s been in use worldwide for over 30 years and has gotten great reviews both scientifically and from women, so I was sold. I was a bit wary of the Mirena one, so knowing that almost two complete generations of women have been using the copper wire, thus allowing scientists a lifelong reproductive timeline of women to study for side effects or horrible diseases possibly linked to it and have given it the green light was reassuring. (Wow that was bad grammar, sorry.) The insertion made me a bit woozy and was not pleasant, but it lasted only a few minutes and was totally worth it. I literally do not think about birth control anymore, ever. The success rate of copper-wire IUDs is actually higher than the Pill–not because it’s necessarily better, but because you take the human error factor away, i.e., we gals forgetting to take our pills like clockwork. Husband doesn’t notice the thread, it has made sex more spontaneous and my cycle regular down to the calendar day (after a few months of adjusting in the beginning), and I’m not flooding my system with hormones, which was the major plus. Oh, yeah, cramps have disappeared. Nil. Plus, if you have any form of health insurance (mine paid for about 80% of the cost) and you plan to keep it in for the full 7-10 years, it pays for itself many times over. Have I sold anyone yet? Honestly, it was the best thing my doctor ever suggested. I think we’re so steeped in advertising for hormone treatments these days that the copper wire either gets no publicity, or it’s seen as “outdated” or less effective. One caveat, though, and I hope this doesn’t stop anyone from asking about it: my doctor said it’s best suited for women who’ve already had a baby. But definitely ask your OBGYN anyway if you are child-free and interested.

Firegirl32 Firegirl32 October 11, 2011, 2:58 pm

That’s what I have, and I wouldn’t go with anything else either! It’s been a godsend. My heavy, painful period for years is now next to nothing…and only once in a while. I love it.

avatar Emma February 5, 2013, 12:20 pm

I have a mirena, too. I didn’t have periods for the first year and a half (wow was that great), and now my periods are lighter and not so cramp-y (I’m not curled up on the bathroom floor every 28 days anymore!). I plan on getting another when this one’s time is up.

avatar savannah October 11, 2011, 11:27 am

It’s really important to talk to your physician, obgyn or whoever you see and trust with question and worries like that. The internet is full of scary stories, misinformation and what I call real-but-rare experiences. These are the most sensational tales which gain a lot of action given the nature of the internet and can be totally true but often are not indicative of the average spectrum of experiences or symptoms. One of the main reasons that most doctors like people to come to them first before looking online, even with WebMD, no matter what I look up, or what symptoms I have, I always seem to have cancer. And so far, so good.

avatar Christy October 11, 2011, 2:05 pm

I have Mirena and I had some extra spotting around the time of my period but now (6 months later), everything’s back to normal. My boyfriend can feel the strings sometimes, but it’s not a big deal compared to the benefits!

avatar 6napkinburger October 11, 2011, 4:54 pm

I just called my insurance and they cover most of it! whoo hoo! IUD here I come!

avatar Elle Marie October 12, 2011, 9:23 am

Check out the LJ community “iud_divas”. They have a lot of great information about IUD insertion and experiences, and really helped me make the choice to get a Mirena IUD. Insertion was uncomfy but over really quickly, and I have had a really positive experience with it (similarly, I got super-high blood pressure on HBC, and my gynecologist said she wouldn’t feel comfortable prescribing even a POP with my history, absolutely no issues on Mirena). I get super-light periods (barely even need a pantiliner) every 3 months or so, otherwise no problems. I did have spotting for a few weeks after insertion, but it wasn’t that much and cleared up pretty quickly. The strings soften and curl up after a week or so – if you’re worried about it, you can ask your provider to leave them a little longer after insertion (this actually helps them soften/curl up and not be as noticeable). It is really great to not have to worry about getting a prescription every month, and because it has stopped my body for ovulating, it’s alleviated the symptoms of my PMDD, which is a huge relief. That, and it turned out that my new health insurance completely covered the cost (no copay for the appointment, nothing!) even though it made me pay $25 a month for my previous birth control.

avatar SSBoo October 12, 2011, 2:43 pm

I have mirena (no kids) and I completely agree with helping with PMDD! Every month I would turn into a complete and total basket case, crying to my family that I needed to be locked up or something, but since I’ve had mirena, a almost 6 months now, I’ve been my happy self. The insertion wasn’t bad at all. It was just the same as sticking the speculum in. Plus, the benefit of not having worry about a pill everyday (which gave me liver cysts) or a shot everday (which causes brittle bones) has been a life saver!

avatar Tudor Princess October 11, 2011, 10:20 am

I have the copper IUD (hormone free) and, aside from my period changing a bit, I’ve had no adverse side effects. It could be another option for you.

JK JK October 11, 2011, 10:28 am

My Dr. said he preferred the mirena than usual IUD for me, not sure why. Several people that are close to me have had really bad experiences with the IUD, as well. And that kind of scares me off it! Thanks, anyway :)

CatsMeow CatsMeow October 11, 2011, 3:22 pm

Mine did too – her reasoning was that I haven’t had kids yet and there would be a higher chance of my body rejecting the Paragard.

avatar bethany October 11, 2011, 10:53 am

I have Paragard as well (the Copper IUD) and love it. It’s great being off the hormones and not having to worry about taking any pills. I’ve had it abotu 2 years now, and my husband has only commented on feeling the strings once.

avatar Calliopedork October 11, 2011, 1:12 pm

Have you had kids, I have.mirena and it hasnt been great because ive never been pregnant so i’ve been wondering if I would have less side effects with the copper

avatar bethany October 11, 2011, 3:40 pm

Nope- No kids here! I have literally NO side effects! The only downside, is that since I’m (artificial) hormone free now, I turn into a raging bitch when I have PMS, but I’ll take that over feeling crazy (like I did on hormones) any day.

KKZ KKZ February 5, 2013, 11:23 am

Ha, I had the same thing happen to me, Bethany! I used to barely get PMS symptoms at all, to the point that I (and my husband) wondered what everyone else made such a fuss about. I got a Paragard last year, and suddenly, I understood. I get really bitchy and snappy. But like you said, I’d trade 12 weeks a year of bitchy snappiness for the depression-inducing, libido-killer NuvaRing experience I had.

avatar Emma October 11, 2011, 1:13 pm

I use Mirena. I don’t know about how it might affect you, but after being on the pill for a year and going crazy (like, crying fits crazy, no libido, etc.), this was a blessing. I’m still trying to build up my libido (it’s a slow battle), but my depression is stabilized to what it was before the pill.

Getting it in was a bitch (I have a weirdly angled cervix), and I bled quite a bit for the first month or so, but after that, it was great. First year on Mirena was great, because I had no periods, but unfortunately, those have returned. Not a big deal, as they’re lighter, and I’m not crying on the bathroom floor with cramps like in high school.

I’m certainly not who they’ve advertised Mirena for (young, don’t have kids, not married yet), but it works, and my mother’s insurance paid for quite a bit of it.

JK JK October 11, 2011, 1:17 pm

Thanks for your input, I have 2 kids, the youngest is 5 months and I´m breastfeeding, so the Dr said it was perfect timing (my period isn´t back yet).
I loved being on the pill (had no side effects at all, but the high cholesterol).

avatar katiebird October 11, 2011, 3:16 pm

I am in your situation, I am 19 and getting mirena next week after finally reaching my tolerance limit with the side effects i’ve experienced with hormonal bc. Its good to hear a positive experience with mirena from someone similar to me because most things i’ve read online are from women who are married with children.

avatar darci October 11, 2011, 5:32 pm

I had my Mirena for about 3.5 years. Just got it taken out a few months ago so my partner and i could start TTC. Insertion hurt yes but only for a few hours with minimal spotting for about a month. After that, I stopped having periods altogether. My partner could feel the strings so my doctor just cut them completely off (which didn’t affect the ability to remove it quickly and painlessly).

I highly recommend it – it’s convenient and requires no daily thought!
*it will not protect you from STDs though so be sure to take proper precautions for that!

JK JK October 12, 2011, 8:20 am

Good luck TTC!!!

avatar OneSpiritEternal October 11, 2011, 7:11 pm

JK – I know recently there has been some controversy around a woman getting an IUD if she hasn’t previously had a child (there are several physical facts surrounding that). I got my Mirena a few months after I had my son, and I haven’t regretted it for a SECOND! I was a little worried about getting an IUD, but I kept forgetting to take the pill (what with the exhaustion that comes right after having a first kid and going back to work and all that). It has been wonderful for me in that I was actually one of those women who don’t get a period at all anymore. It’s a localized hormone (and a much lower dose), so it’s not constantly running through my bloodstream, and has been pretty good for my PMS as well. Obviously you need to make the choice that is right for your health and your situation, but for my situation, it’s definitely worth it!

JK JK October 12, 2011, 6:46 am

Thanks! The input from everyone is great. :)
I have 2 kids already, and no plans for any more, which is why my Dr. recommended Mirena.
All the advice has been great, thanks everyone!!!

avatar Kelly October 15, 2011, 12:42 am

I have a mirena and I love it!! It was the BEST birth control choice I EVER made. If you have any questions, feel free to email me! artsykelly at gmail

avatar BA March 22, 2014, 11:33 am

I actually just had my mirena removed because it made my blood pressure spike and had a lot of other negative side effects. Maybe try paragaurd? It’s a copper IUD that’s hormone free.

avatar TaxMan October 11, 2011, 4:07 pm

I’m having a hard time understanding why everyone is so mad at this guy right now. First of all she said they weren’t having sex yet, and weren’t going to until they were married. So, I’m not even sure why she is going on birth control right now to begin with. Maybe that’s something that me being a guy I just don’t know much about. I do know they need to have some major discussions about how they are going to handle their finances after the wedding though. Because then he will be responsible for his part.

Now is when I am probably really going to loose a lot of the ladies here. I’m not sure I agree that guys are responsible for paying any of that cost. Especially if they are not having sex like the guy above. I know I would have a major problem with anyone expecting me to pay for something when I won’t get any benefit. Now, if they are having sex the guy would be an ass for not at least helping to pay. Having said that though, it is entirely your right as ladies and the owners of your own bodies to refuse us privileges if we choose not to pony up some of that cost. So, if you want the guy to help with the costs then don’t have sex with him until he pays his part. Its just that simple.

avatar TaxMan October 11, 2011, 4:20 pm

Ok… I have been enlightened by a couple of posters further down about a few things, and I would like to thank them for doing so in a nice way and not just jumping down my throat. Suffice it to say that there are some things guys take for granted like medications are supposed to work immediately. We don’t think about some of it having to build up in your system. So, at least in the case of the LW I would have to say that the guy in question is probably a asshat. Having said that my second paragraph still stands.

avatar Kelly_85 October 14, 2011, 7:11 pm

I’m sorry, how is her not getting pregnant not a benefit to both of them?

Also, most women have to start birth control to see how it will effect their body, so the submitter is very smart to begin taking hormonal birth control before she begins having sex. Please read up on birth control — it does effect men as well as women!

avatar Nadine October 11, 2011, 7:57 am

Ok, this is a deal-breaker for me.
This is a whole new angle of why I absolutely DONT believe in waiting till marriage to have sex, but whatever, this is your belief and you want to stick to it. Good for you.

As Wendy says, now you have some knowledge about what kind of man you are marrying. What you do with this knowledge is up to you. I think you needed some assurance that your feelings were rational and understandable, which THEY TOTALLY ARE. This doesn’t seem to be a man who cares about your body, about how even taking birth control pills means that you are shouldering the burden of contraception.

You should absolutely settle this issue to your satisfaction before you marry him. I am not on the Pill myself, my BF and I use condoms (I’m scared of the Pill, to be honest) but to my understanding there may be few emotional effects that need to be ironed out beofre you find the pill that suits. Will he be understanding of this? Will a (possible) heightened emotional state make your resentment of him over this issue even worse?

avatar lets_be_honest October 11, 2011, 9:12 am

I’m not sure why people are saying this has to do with not having sex before marriage. While I personally agree with the whole ‘play before you pay’ concept, I don’t see how its applicable here. She’s not having sex yet, smartly planned ahead about birth control as anyone should and I realizing an issue with her fiance. (maybe I just answered my own question in that what if she didn’t plan ahead?)

avatar GatorGirl October 11, 2011, 9:35 am

I agree with you…this has nothing to do with living together or having sex before marriage- it has to do with their lack of ability to communicate. These are very very different subjects.

Skyblossom Skyblossom October 11, 2011, 10:01 am

I think you’re right. This is completely based on a lack of communication. They both went into this with assumptions and then the assumptions didn’t match. They will have to learn to more fully communicate when they talk about an issue. They did agree to birth control and they did both go to the clinic together which isn’t a bad start. They will need to talk through the what ifs and who will pay questions. Like, what if this birth control prescription doesn’t work because it makes her too weepy/emotional or sick or leaves her with no libido? Do they try another form of pill or another form of birth control? Who pays for each attempt? How often would she need to see the doctor to keep trying other types of birth control? Who pays for the visits? How do they decide if the birth control works for only one of them, say it destroys her libido and since she doesn’t want sex at that point she won’t care whether they have sex but his libido is running strong and he isn’t at all satisified with the situation. Is this still just her body so none of his business? Since you can’t talk through every eventuality before you get into a situation you have to be able to come back to a topic as many times as necessary to work through an issue.

caitie_didnt caitie_didn't October 11, 2011, 4:51 pm

It has to do with sex before marriage because having sex forces you to talk about these things in a straightforward and honest way. It also allows you to assess the character of the person you’re sleeping with- is the guy going to bitch and moan every time because he “doesn’t like the way it feels” with a condom? Maybe he’ll just go and stick it in without putting a condom on because he feels like it. Maybe he feels that that’s his right, because he doesn’t have to worry about getting pregnant. Those things are real dealbreakers, and it’s better to find out about them before your wedding night.

avatar Nadine October 11, 2011, 5:40 pm

This is what I mean. Not all subjects come up before having sex that couples need to discuss. Having sex, “trying before you buy” means that there are less suprises in store. I feel the same way about living together.

avatar jess October 11, 2011, 8:00 am

Every guy I’ve dated has offered to pay for half my birth control (or all of it). I hope the LW sees this as the red flag that it is. I can’t imagine in what other ways he will be cheap and selfish and not see them as a team. But I don’t think she’ll cancel a wedding that’s only 3 months away.

It’s interesting that people use phrases like, “half of couples living together will fail and break up before marriage” – as if it is negative thing. Personally, I think living with someone, getting to know them, and realizing they are not someone you want to spend the rest of your life and breaking up BEFORE you marry them with is a GOOD thing. Marrying someone without really getting to know what life with them will be like is the failure in my book.

It’s a shame the LW has already committed to marrying this person and started planning a wedding without realizing major things about him. Good luck LW! Let’s hope this is a fluke event and not indicative of his behavior in the future.

avatar Painted_lady October 11, 2011, 8:57 am

Amen to your views on living together. If we use the test-drive metaphor, when I went to look at cars, there were three I really liked before I test drove them. There was only one I liked afterward. Does that mean test-driving cars makes for terrible car-owner relationships? NO! And nobody says that. So why do people use that as reasoning for not living with someone? Boggles my mind.

avatar lets_be_honest October 11, 2011, 9:15 am

No, it just makes you a car slut. ;)

avatar Painted_lady October 11, 2011, 11:19 am

Yup, that’s me! Dirty, dirty auto-whore.

avatar Britannia October 11, 2011, 12:34 pm

It’s so true. You don’t see how the car really works until you take it out on the road a little… (metaphor intended)

Alena Alena October 11, 2011, 9:51 am

I’m guessing that the actual statistic your referring to is that more people who live together before they are married end up divorced than people who don’t live together before they’re married. The average divorce rate was just about 50% at the time of the study, I believe, so really, half of all married couples will fail and break up even if they are married! I would imagine that the amount of couples who live together and break up before they get married is even higher than half, and I agree with you, I’m not so sure that’s a bad thing.

However, one little thing no one mentions, and most people don’t know, is that they did not include people who were engaged when they started living together among their results. I think that changes everything. I wish I remembered where I finally came across the stupid, actual study, not just references. (In case anyone was wondering, the study went on to hypothesize that couples who lived together before marriage got divorced at a higher rate because they didn’t want to break up and have to try to divvy up possessions and possibly have to split up finances, so they just got married instead of getting out of the relationship, as they might have otherwise.)

I agree with you wholeheartedly, you should definitely know someone as much as possible before committing to a life with them (though some people do not include sex in this, and that’s fine, though I don’t think it would hurt to have some sort of discussion about what you’ve noticed turns you on, etc, if you haven’t done much at all. For example, they might run into problems if both partners wanted to be more submissive in the bedroom.) Also, I am doing the same thing as you, hoping this little display of his is a fluke, not a common behavior.

avatar HmC October 11, 2011, 12:11 pm

“(In case anyone was wondering, the study went on to hypothesize that couples who lived together before marriage got divorced at a higher rate because they didn’t want to break up and have to try to divvy up possessions and possibly have to split up finances, so they just got married instead of getting out of the relationship, as they might have otherwise.)”

I’ve read that too. Living together before marriage is soooooooooo common, as Bittergaymark likes to point out, couples are super quick to “play house” nowadays. It hardly seems to mean anything to some couples. I mean really, couples all around me shack up regularly after being together less than a year. I try not to judge other people for doing so (I know this must sound judgmental, especially without the benefit of tone), because it doesn’t affect me and frankly it’s none of my business. But I have to say, I think there’s some merit to placing a higher value on this step.

For myself, I’ve chosen to wait until I’m married to live with my husband. It helps that my boyfriend shares this value. And it is frustrating sometimes, when people start in with the test driving analogies to condescend to my feelings on this issue (not a jab at Painted Lady, I just mean in general!). You know what would really help you discover who someone is? Have a baby with them! Then you can really test drive before you make the big scary marriage commitment! No. I feel like there are certain ways to know someone enough to know I want to marry them, and living together goes into the having a baby category for me- no matter how much it would show someone’s true colors, I want to wait until marriage to do it.

avatar splashes October 11, 2011, 12:47 pm

My b/f asked me to move in with him after about a year. I said no because I also want to wait until I am married – or at least until engaged. To me, I would not be satisfied just pretending to be married indefinitely without a defined end date to the end of the pretending.

avatar camille905 October 11, 2011, 1:33 pm

I definitely think people should live together before marriage but it is definitely up to personal preference. My bf and I are living together BUT we had many long discussions about it and plan on getting married in the next year or so though we aren’t officially engaged yet. Both of us think it is important to live with someone before you marry them (engaged or not).

Also I have never lived with anyone before and the only reason I am is because we plan on getting married. Just extra personal information there :)

CatsMeow CatsMeow October 11, 2011, 2:16 pm

I personally won’t get married unless I’ve lived with the guy first. But next time I move in with someone, it’s going to be a step toward marriage.

I lived with a boyfriend once, and it was a NIGHTMARE. We hadn’t known each other long enough yet, we hadn’t discussed finances and division of labor the extent that we should have, and we just weren’t prepared to deal with the issues that living together presents. It really can put a burden on a relationship.

For that reason, I want to be with someone for a much longer period of time before making that decision, and I want to be as sure as possible that we’re going to LAST as a couple. But also for the above reasons, I’m NOT going to save the moving in bit for after marriage, because I know that it presents a unique set of challenges, and I want to make sure that we can work out all the kinks first.

honeybeegood honeybeegood February 5, 2013, 8:27 pm

Amen CatsMeow!

I had an ex-bf sneak moving in with me. I felt like I was in a Seinfeld episode. Finally one day I was like, “You need to start paying rent.” Rofl. Yeah obviously that didn’t work out.

I think moving in when you’re in a COMMITTED ltr is totally different from moving in when you’re just in a ltr. My bf and I were in a ldr for 2 years before we moved in, and we are planning to be together for the long haul. Fortunately it’s working really really well so far. =)

avatar wendykh February 6, 2013, 1:54 pm

actually….. my husband made a habit of dating single moms. Because he wanted to know how HIS kids would be treated by her. I know. He’s odd. But he felt confident I’d be a great mom :-)

Skyblossom Skyblossom October 11, 2011, 8:03 am

The well being of both partners is the concern of each partner. I don’t get how he could be this cold and unconcerned and still want to marry you. You both definitely benefit from birth control unless he secretly desires a large family and hopes you won’t be able to provide your own birth control. His position is so coldly calculatingly based on his maintaining as much of his money for his own self that I would be very afraid of this relationship. Is he this way in other matters? What costs does he share? Is he this way because he expects to financially support you and a family and so figures the cost of birth control is minor in comparison? The two of you really need to talk. I have seen dads who are like this and they expect the wife to pay for the children’s clothes, shoes, school supplies and activities out of her own pocket. Be very wary of ending up with a spouse who sees his money as his own and your money as being for yourself and the children. Take it slow. Work all of this out before marriage and if it isn’t worked out delay the marriage until you can get married with the confidence that the two of you are compatible. He may need an eye opening moment to get to the point where he grows up and shares responsibility. Right now he is showing a level of selfishness that doesn’t work in marriage.

caitie_didnt caitie_didn't October 11, 2011, 8:16 am

Right?? This guy sort of scares the crap out of me.

Skyblossom Skyblossom October 11, 2011, 8:19 am

Scary pretty much sums up the entire situation.

theattack theattack October 11, 2011, 1:30 pm

You made a reeeallly good point. This definitely could be a sign of him turning into a “my money” and “your + kids money” type of guy.

I’m very curious about what the understanding is about how finances are going to work in their marriage. Are they going to share money, or are they keeping things separate? If they’re planning on merging anyway, it really shouldn’t be a big deal for him to share the cost. Most soon-to-be-married couples I know stop worrying about who’s paying for what because it’s all the same anyway.

honeybeegood honeybeegood February 5, 2013, 8:30 pm

I was totally going to say this theattack, but in your infinite wisdom (and getting to DW sooner) you did first. ;)

It’s always “your kids” in these types of situations too- never “our kids.”

CatsMeow CatsMeow October 11, 2011, 2:23 pm

Yeah, I was wondering if they have discussed how they’re going to divide their money once they’re married. If they’re sharing everything, then it’s really a what’s-mine-is-yours deal and in the future it won’t matter who pays, if it’s coming out of a shared account. But if they’re keeping their money separate, or having both a joint account and separate accounts, then I think it’s really selfish and ignorant of him to think that the financial burden of birth control should be on HER alone.

I also know someone who’s husband expects her to pay for all of her own stuff, PLUS their baby’s stuff. I don’t think it’s a fair division, personally, especially since he probably makes about 3x as much money as she does. However, that was their agreement, and she knew what she was getting into. LW, make sure you figure this stuff out NOW – and know what you’re getting into.

avatar honeybeenicki October 11, 2011, 8:14 am

I’ve never run into this problem – even though my birth control has always been covered (and I now take it for medical reasons, not birth control reasons) by insurance, my boyfriends have always offered to pay half the copay and my husband did too. I just don’t understand why your fiance seems to think he is not going to benefit from this. On top of everything Wendy and other readers have said, think about this:

When YOU get pregnant, will only YOU be affected? Sure, he said he’d split the costs if there was a child, but can you be sure? It will be your body, your labor, your baby. I’ve seen it more than once working in the criminal justice field – “well, I’M not the one who got pregnant!” – and its sad. Not only do you need to discuss finances, but maybe if you plan to have children in the future, now is a great time to discuss responsibilities involved with children. Who’s to say he won’t do the same thing then? Or how about housework? How about working outside the home? These are questions you need to ask and explore NOW.

And just two quick sidenotes:
Kudos to you, LW, for using Planned Parenthood. It is one of my personal favorite organizations. Also, some PP’s let you do volunteer work to lower the cost of birth control or other services.

And Wendy – awesome use of the words boning and boink.

avatar GatorGirl October 11, 2011, 9:44 am

Quick comment on your side note…I am a huge fan of the idea of Planned Parenthood, but I will not be going there again or recomending anyone I know go there. I’ve had to go twice for UTI’s to two different PP in two different states and was treated with little respect. Even after explaining I’ve had the same partner for 4 years and that we were both STI tested before being intimate, the doctors told me I most likely had an STI and insisted I get expensive tests. I was also told that I should assume my BF is sleeping around, because “well every one does.”

My expensive tests came back negative and my antibiotics cleared up my UTI, but I can no longer support them after the way they treated me twice.

avatar honeybeenicki October 11, 2011, 9:55 am

Oh wow, have you reported them to PPA? Ours here is fantastic and I’ve always been treated with the utmost respect. I know a few people that have had a problem at one in a different state that complained to Planned Parenthood of America and it was taken care of for them. No one should ever be treated that way, especially at a place that is supposed to be a safe haven for reproductive health! I can understand why you wouldn’t want to go back or recommend it – I’d probably feel the same way. Another good organization is NARAL.

avatar GatorGirl October 11, 2011, 10:03 am

It was two different offices in two different states, I didn’t think to report it. How ever the one visit was only two weeks ago so I probably could.

I understand their point in wanting to explore all possible causes of my discomfort- but it should be done in a respectful way. Using phrases like “everyone cheats” and “you most likely have an STD” are going to make anyone feel crappy, even if that is their situation.

avatar honeybeenicki October 11, 2011, 10:47 am

That makes me sad :( Planned Parenthood is supposed to be a safe haven. There is no reason for anyone to ever be treated that way and they should know better than to assume that everyone cheats or that everyone that comes in will have an STD. I imagine they are pretty jaded because I’m sure they see a lot of that, but come on! Not cool. I work with the PP here, so maybe I’ll talk to them about it (since it seems to be a widespread issue).

avatar GatorGirl October 11, 2011, 11:28 am

To be fair, both are offices were in major college towns, and I’m the random late-20’s professional coming in (I had trouble getting my health insuranced switched after I moved states when the evil UTI made an appearance)…so maybe that has to do with jadded their stance. But I still was left with a very bad impression of both places. It is very saddening considering so many women (and men) have PP as their only option for reproductive care.

avatar CG October 11, 2011, 10:35 am

This happened to me too! I had a couple UTIs within a six- or 12-month period, and the second was resistant to the antibiotics. Planned Parenthood said it couldn’t give me stronger antibiotics to clear up the second infection because I probably had an STD and they would have to report me to the county health department! I was like, “Or … I have an infection that needs stronger meds. And you realize this is F-ing up my kidneys too, right?” They wouldn’t budge. So I had to call my primary care doc and get drugs from him. And this is why I no longer go to Planned Parenthood.

avatar honeybeenicki October 11, 2011, 10:49 am

It really makes me sick to hear this stuff. I wish I could just go around and slap them all, but I doubt that would help :) It makes me want to get more deeply involved in the organization to put a stop to this treatment. No one should ever be treated that way. I think its time for an overhaul of the organization.

avatar 6napkinburger October 11, 2011, 2:25 pm

Um, that doesn’t really sound like PP being a dick, it sounds like they were following protocol. If they aren’t allowed to give you higher dose meds without reporting you to the county for having an STD, but they didn’t think you had an STD so they didn’t want to falsely report you, what were the supposed to do? Where you willing to have the STD test and kidney test to determine exactly what was wrong? Was it that you didn’t want to wait for those, which is probably what my stance would have been?

PP is under a crazy amount of scrutiny. Imagine that they get written up for dispensing high doses of antibiotics to people who could possibly have STDs but they don’t put them on a mandatory registry, because the patient wasn’t willing to wait until the test came back? Goodbye funding.

I’d have done what you did: go to the doctor, who isn’t under the same scrutiny and is not funded in the same way, and get the drugs I need. PP is awesome for what it can do, but it can’t do everything. And most of all, it needs to play by the rules.

I understand that that stunk for you but I can’t say I fault them.

bittergaymark bittergaymark October 11, 2011, 10:00 pm

Yeah, I whole heartedly agree. Nothing is dumber than demanding stronger antibiotics and (I guess) diagnosing yourself on the internet. To be perfectly frank, in that situation it was beyond irresponsible not to simply get tested for STDs…

CatsMeow CatsMeow October 11, 2011, 2:35 pm

All positive STD tests are reported to the local health department regardless of where you’re tested.

As someone who works in an STD clinic, I would also be leery of treating someone for a UTI twice without first ruling out STDs. Painful urination is a really common symptom, and antibiotics that treat UTIs won’t necessarily treat STDs.

As an aside, I had a couple of UTIs once within a relatively short period of time, and my doctor just said, “Empty your bladder after intercouse.” I started doing that, and I haven’t had any problems since. :)

avatar hhr October 11, 2011, 12:47 pm

Right, will she be responsible for all the medical bills during her pregnancies? He said he would shoulder responsibility for a child, but, while it’s still just a fetus, I’m guessing that’s going to be all on her (according to the fiance’s logic).

avatar ReginaRey October 11, 2011, 8:17 am

LW, I hope you know that how he’s acting right now – selfish, dismissive, cheap, insensitive, immature – are NOT confined to this particular incident. These qualities are part of his character, and they will absolutely rear their head in the future. I think you need to ponder long and hard about whether or not you want to marry someone who showed you some pretty questionable character traits over an issue that is very important and sensible.

If you need to, slow down the timeline of this wedding. I don’t know how long you’ve been engaged, but I have to question whether you’ve known this man all that long. If you had, these character traits probably would have surfaced before. Maybe they have and this is the first time they’ve been extremely apparent. What I do know is – you deserve a husband who is a PARTNER to you, who shares burdens with you and who is compassionate and understanding. You don’t have that right now. Right now, you have someone who dismisses things that are important to you and who refuses to see things any way but HIS way. That does NOT bode well for a marriage.

avatar honeybeenicki October 11, 2011, 8:52 am

My guess is the traits have probably surfaced, but the LW might have either ignored them/explained them away/thought they were confined to specific situations/etc. The idea that love is blind sure seems to be true.

FireStar FireStar October 11, 2011, 10:47 am

Agreed. Marriage is all about compromise and, at times, putting your partner’s needs before your own. Fair enough if it never crossed his mind to pay – but as soon as she brought it up, his response should have been way different. Sharing the cost for birth control is not a hard issue to compromise on – that he didn’t even try to is troubling.

avatar Addie Pray October 11, 2011, 8:18 am

Wendy read my mind! My first thought was, how the hell is this engaged couple planning to handle their finances once they’re married? And my next thought was: regardless, that jerk can wear a condom for the rest of his life!

Though I agree with Wendy that the pill is benefiting BOTH of you, LW, is it possible that your fiance refuses to pay because he feels like you don’t contribute to the relationship and, now, the one time that you are, you are being cheap and asking him to pay half? I’m not saying you are – because I don’t know how you handle finances *now*. It’s something to think about. Does your fiance do the same to you (ie, ask you to reimburse him for your share of everything that benefits you both)? When he cooks for you, does he ask you to reimburse him for the groceries he bought earlier that day? Does he ever pick up the dinner tab or do you always split it (and, if the former, do you ever reciprocate?) It’s possible he does make you pay for half of everything, in which case I’d be really pissed too about his refusal to pay for the pill. But if not, I can’t help but wonder if he is fighting this battle because he’s sick of you nickel and diming him.

Either way, you’re clearly not on the same financial page now. It would be good to get on the same page before you get married.

avatar Addie Pray October 11, 2011, 8:28 am

I know so many people who are oblivious to the generosity of others – they don’t realize [or purposefully ignore?] how much things cost and how much people do for them. And then the one time they pay for something, they fixate on the money and demand reimbursement for half… it’s tacky to say the least. I just can’t help but wonder if that’s what is happening here. [Of course, the fiance’s attitude about birth control and responsibility is a big red flag – but if we’re focusing on the question of whether they should be sharing in this cost, I just don’t think we know enough about how they handle shared costs now.]

avatar LA October 11, 2011, 8:42 am

There is a huge difference between footing a substantial bill and paying for dinner occasionally. Plus, paying for a night out or groceries is him doing something nice for the LW, while paying a couple hundred dollars for a mutual life decision is a different story. I don’t see how the two could be on the same, especially because I assume she’d at least say thank you for picking up a dinner tab or making her dinner, while he considered the whole birth control thing her issue, more than that a women’s issue.

avatar Addie Pray October 11, 2011, 10:27 am

Pills can’t be more than $50 a month – at most. Probably more like $30 a month. That’s like picking up (cheap) groceries or a dinner tab once a month. I’m just saying, if the fiance is footing the whole bill on shared things like this, I think it is tacky to make him pay for half of the pills, especially if she never contributes money to their shared costs. Everyone is siding with the LW because of the fiance’s douchey attitude about whose responsibility it is to pay for protection – and rightly so. But if she never contributes, paying for her pills is the least she can do.

avatar Addie Pray October 11, 2011, 10:38 am

And I want to add again: I see your and others’ point – it is terrible that he is considering the whole birth control a women’s issue. It’s just a possibility that she never contributes and he’s had enough. And maybe he’s just picking the wrong battle/time to make an issue out of it… I don’t know. I’m just trying to understand if there’s something else going on here.

avatar amber October 11, 2011, 10:48 am

i get what you’re saying, but this is not the time/place to be picking this fight. if he’s upset that she doesn’t contribute to groceries then he should say something the next time he makes a purchase like that. and i’d also be interested in knowing if they do split things 50/50 now and he wants to keep that going how he plans on handling his own medications. say he has to start taking blood pressure pills in 2 years. will he expect her to pay half or since they’re only benefiting his body will he pay for them separate. if this was an issue and they were just dating my stance would be completely different but they’re getting married. this is a ‘we’ issue not a you or me issue. as soon they will find are groceries, nights out, etc. unless they’re both going to go dutch for the rest of their lives and have separate accounts. which sound exhausting.

freckles cdubs October 11, 2011, 8:41 pm

He probably doesn’t see it that way though. He probably sees it just as ‘I pay for a lot, why are you asking me to split this.’ Birth control isn’t an ever-present thing for men, like it is for a lot of women. They don’t know a lot about it, it’s very far-removed for them. I’m not saying it’s an excuse.

Now, the LW wrote that she confronted him about not paying. Yet most of the comments here are saying he’s a dick for thinking it’s a women’s issue. Those are two different things. If that’s the part that makes him a dick, then the LW should talk to him about THAT. Don’t tell him she’s upset because he wouldn’t pay. Tell him she’s upset because he looks at it as a women’s issue, and she’s worried about what that means for their future, and how he’ll view other things. Then have a talk about THAT.

Also I would suggest not buying a year’s supply in the future. You might need to switch kinds several times, and if you don’t like whatever you just got, you’re going to have a lot of wasted leftover.

avatar amber October 11, 2011, 8:49 pm

birth control is not a women’s issue it’s a ‘we’ issue when you’re engaged to be married to someone. they made this decision together, they should pay together. and birth control should be an ever present thing for any man that is sexually active as should protecting himself from stds etc, if it’s not then he’s just not being smart or educated about his own health. and really the larger issue of birth control should be something that men know about, if they don’t they shouldn’t be having sex. and what i think makes him a dick is thinking that it is only benefiting her body, she’s taking the pill because they decided as a couple that is how they would prevent pregnancies, which benefits them both, not having a child before they were ready. if it was him writing in because she wouldn’t split the price of condoms i would feel the exact same way.

FireStar FireStar October 11, 2011, 8:21 am

How interesting. “We decided” that you should get on the pill but there was no “we” when it came time to the only sacrifice – money – he had to make regarding his joint decision. This is a red flag – don’t ignore it. It just doesn’t speak to his money management but his character. If he can’t see joint decision + joint benefit = joint responsibility he is either stupid or all shades of selfish. You need to get into pre-marital counseling and don’t even think about setting a wedding date until you hash out how he plans to deal with the changes he needs to make to become a decent and supportive spouse. Oh and in the meantime you can tell him your birth control pill will be backed up by condomns each and every time since everyone taking responsibility for their own bodies is so important to him.

avatar lets_be_honest October 11, 2011, 9:18 am

Excellent point about the use to “WE” in deciding but not paying.

avatar Riefer October 11, 2011, 10:58 am

Hahahaha, love the last bit about making him wear condoms as well, since everyone has to be responsible for their own bodies.

avatar Rabbit October 11, 2011, 12:18 pm

I see a lot of people suggesting that she “punish” him by making him wear condoms in addition to the birth control. I thought using more than one method of birth control was the recommended thing to do, anyway? I’m on birth control and my boyfriend uses a condom every time… I guess I just figured that was the norm. :p

Anyway, what I really wanted to object to was the idea that condoms are punishment. Really, people? It’s just plain good policy to use them.

avatar splashes October 11, 2011, 12:52 pm

I think the thing is that, given the choice, men would generally prefer not to wear them. So, although it is smart to have a backup birth control method, the fiance in this case is assuming that the pills will be THE birth control method. Meaning that to him, he would certainly feel as though he were being punished.

avatar Rabbit October 11, 2011, 2:24 pm

I guess you’re probably right, which makes him an even bigger asshole than he already was.

katie katie October 11, 2011, 8:11 pm

i use birth control the same way, and my BF hates it… we dont always start out wearing one, but i make him wear one for the end of it… it just scares me so bad.

i would definitely make this guy wear condoms, and then when he had bought a bunch, tell him that they irratate me, and make him buy a whole bunch more…

avatar Kelly_85 October 14, 2011, 7:20 pm

My boyfriend and I do the same thing and I have never regretted it (BC pill + condom every time). He may tease me a bit about my paranoia, but I would much rather be careful than at my wit’s end every month thinking I’m pregnant.

avatar oppositeofzen October 11, 2011, 8:22 am

My big thing here is the lack of discussion on fiances and who pays for what. LW, did you tell your fiance in no uncertain terms what you expected of him? I’m not talking about just saying “Hey, I’m going to go look into BC pills” and leave it at that. Before you go any further in planning your wedding and what-not, you need to sit down and have a “come to Jesus meeting” about how you will set up your fiances in the future. Like Wendy said, how are you going to do your banking? Are you going to have a joint account, separate and joint accounts or separate accounts? You both need to be upfront with how you will be spending both of your incomes.

While I do think it’s stupid for the fiance to claim he gets no benefit from birth control pills, I think it was stupid of the LW to get a year’s prescription and just assume he’d pay for half without asking him. Not to mention that she doesn’t say if this is the first BC she tried. Maybe I had several bad experiences, but I tried about 5 different BC prescriptions before I finally gave up and switched to another form of BC because the side effects outweighed the benefits. If I’d bought a year’s worth of each, I’d be livid that I wasted that much money on something I couldn’t use.

avatar artsygirl October 11, 2011, 9:32 am

THIS…While I think the LW is completely in the right to want her partner to help with BC, I also wonder how she approached the issue. Her letter makes it sound like she stewed on the issue for a while before confronting him. It is possible that he had not thought about financially helping out with the bill and was then blind sided. She also might not have been calm when she spoke about it since she had some time to get cheesed off about it (also BC can turn rational human beings into shrieking banshees – my sister in law threw a vacuum cleaner at my brother in law). LW I would sit down and calmly discuss the issue and bring up all the other points made by Wendy and the other posters and if you feel like he is not adequately explaining his feelings I would think hard on if this is a person you want as a partner.

avatar Shep October 11, 2011, 11:01 am

This isn’t related to the letter, but a vacuum cleaner? That’s really dangerous and I think your brother-in-law should have left immediately after that. I don’t care what excuse she had.

avatar artsygirl October 11, 2011, 11:34 am

She is normally a completely calm and nurturing person – she had a REALLY bad reaction to her BC. Her doctor instantly took her off it and within two weeks she was back to normal. She felt so bad and honestly no one believed she did it at first. It is now one of their favorite stories because it is so out of character for my 110 lbs sister in law married to her 240 lbs husband.

avatar Guy Friday October 11, 2011, 8:36 am

You know what? I disagree with the LW for one reason: I don’t see anywhere in this letter where the LW (or even some of the commenters who have responded thus far) even HINTS for a second that she has or ever would split the cost of condoms for her fiancee. If she had said that she had ever offered to pay for all or part of the condoms as an alternative, then I might sympathize with her. But if she’s not even bringing up the condom price-splitting, I don’t know why it’s such a crime that his mentality is “we pay for our own birth control”. If she wants to require that he wears a condom if he doesn’t want to split the cost, hey, it’s her call on that. (Though, really, if a guy wrote in and said his girlfriend wanted to have sex with him but refused to split the cost for condoms, I find it a little hard to believe that the majority of the responses would be “Yeah, she’s wrong!”)

Another aspect that bugs me a great deal about this letter is that she talks about how “we decided” to go on the Pill, so she obviously had a conversation about it with him, and yet she couldn’t be bothered to discuss the price-splitting with him BEFORE she got the Pill? Really, LW? You’re going to sit there and pout and be grumpy about it afterward because you expected him to read your mind and offer to split the costs? When exactly did you think the appropriate time was to raise the issue? How about when you were talking about it in the first place? It’s not like this wasn’t on your mind throughout the process anyway.

Side note: when I read things like “His position is so coldly calculatingly based on his maintaining as much of his money for his own self that I would be very afraid of this relationship”, I wince, and I sincerely hope that the majority of the readership on this site don’t honestly hate men so much that they would jump to such an off-the-wall, over-the-top ludicrous conclusion like this. Coldly calculating? Hardly. I’m not speaking for every city in every state in the USA, but I know that I personally pay for my own condoms and my fiancee pays for her own birth control, and neither of us have ever approached the other requesting that the other contribute. And, for the record, of all of my and my fiancee’s friends, I can tell you that this discussion has come up before (more than it probably should have, honestly; some things don’t need to be talked about over drinks :-) ), and none of them would ever consider asking their significant others/fiancees/spouses either. If this LW doesn’t want to be on the Pill, don’t be on the Pill. Make him wear a condom. Problem solved.

avatar amber October 11, 2011, 8:55 am

I think this is probably a case of assuming on her half, if they have in previous cases split other things. Also, they’re waiting for sex until marriage so perhaps they’ve ‘decided’ not use condoms and are just going with the pill? I kind of got that from the letter. Although, I like your idea that if she really doesn’t want to take it she can tell him to just use condoms. But, I think the pill has already been purchases…..Kind of too late to talk about it now with him, in my opinion, she should have done that before they were purchased!

Just another example of why assuming is bad and why talking about money before getting married is so important. Because I can see where before they are married not splitting, but after really? What else are they going to keep separate that they’re not discussing and is going to be a surprise to both when one or the other gets upset over it.

avatar amber October 11, 2011, 8:58 am

and as a side my husband does pay for half my bc in the sense that we share finances so i guess technically i’m paying for half of his thyroid meds and his contacts, etc too. we don’t ever discuss it like that though, it’s just ‘our’ money….

caitie_didnt caitie_didn't October 11, 2011, 8:55 am

I totally disagree with you, and I think your response comes from the arrogance of male privilege. Being on the pill isn’t the same thing as tossing on a condom. The pill is a prescription drug for a reason- it has negative side effects; strokes and blood clots, depression, mood swings, and a multitude of others. Presumably, “we decided I should go on the pill” means they had a discussion about it where they decided this was the best birth control option for both of them- so why the hell WOULDN’T he help pay if it’s the best option? If condoms were the best option, they should split the cost. But keep in mind that the pill is significantly more expensive than condoms.

It’s also incredibly naive and arrogant to say “just make him wear a condom”. So naive, and so arrogant that I can barely even formulate an explanation as to why, plus I have to go to class now.

avatar amber October 11, 2011, 9:01 am

perhaps neither of them took those things in to consideration either, they’re looking at it as strictly a form of birth control. which is naive in its own right, since it does come with so many side effects. i think he needs to be sat down with the risks and explained what she’s taking on by taking it, once again something they hopefully discussed before but it doesn’t sound like it….

Budj Budj October 11, 2011, 9:51 am

I know not all people saving themselves for marriage are clueless about sex….but a lot of them are…so I don’t think you can reason this situation out how you would yourself and have it apply to their situation.

LadyinPurpleNotRed ChicagoWoman October 11, 2011, 10:15 pm

A lot of couples don’t share the cost of condoms, so why shouldn’t the same apply for birth control? Yes there are hormonal changes, but if the reason she wants to go on them is because of the sex, then the same idea applies as the condom. And if she didn’t tell him she expected him to pay for half BEFORE she bought them, then I’m totally with him…even as a female.

avatar honeybeenicki October 11, 2011, 9:03 am

Well, she said they both decided that she would go on the pill (and it even sounds like they both went to Planned Parenthood to get it). Maybe they have decided to only use BC and not use condoms. If they were using both, I could see each party paying for their own (although condoms are less expensive than birth control), but it doesn’t seem like that’s whats going on. What it comes down to is shared responsibility for NOT getting pregnant. And taking birth control isn’t even close to using a condom. It is a hormonal medication that can mess with your body quite a bit and condoms don’t have any adverse effects (unless of course you find out you’re allergic to them).

avatar Mel October 11, 2011, 9:15 am

There are hipoallergenic condoms. The hipoallergenic version of the pill is cutting the fallopian tubes.

avatar honeybeenicki October 11, 2011, 9:56 am

You’re exactly right.

theattack theattack October 11, 2011, 1:51 pm

…Or a hypoallergenic snip snip.

avatar Mel October 11, 2011, 9:12 am

Ugh, I wrote about three different responses and then I deleted them. I simply disagree with you, sir. I’d like to point that out. Good day.

Skyblossom Skyblossom October 11, 2011, 9:51 am

I said it’s coldly calculating because it is. He refuses to see any benefit to himself from the use of birth control and says since it’s her body it is none of his concern. Her well being is his concern and his well being is her concern. It is so basic to marriage to care about the other I don’t see how it can work any other way. When my husband had cancer the first antinausea medicine he was prescribed didn’t work and he was horribly ill. Not only did I call the doctor for him and go get the prescription for the more potent antinausea medication, I didn’t mind the $30 per pill cost of the prescription because he needed it and I loved him and wanted him to feel better. The pills he needed were for his body and did nothing for me but I was glad to buy them (joint account) because I’m his wife and his well being is important to me. The $900 worth of pills needed to get through radiation therapy was well worth giving up whatever else we would have spent the money on at that time. The money spent on birth control pills should be well worth it for him because it provides them with some childfree time at the start of their marriage and it is of benefit to both of them. But, even if there was only a benefit to her he should care enough about her well being to want what is best for her.

FireStar FireStar October 11, 2011, 9:51 am

Your argument of “we pay for our own birth control” would be totally valid – if that is what they were doing. But, from the letter, they both decided on ONE form of birth control… and then he washed his hands of everything except the benefit of it.

avatar savannah October 11, 2011, 10:54 am

“(Though, really, if a guy wrote in and said his girlfriend wanted to have sex with him but refused to split the cost for condoms, I find it a little hard to believe that the majority of the responses would be “Yeah, she’s wrong!”)”

Please go have a conversation with your fiancee about the differences between purchasing a condom/wearing one and the process of going on the pill and taken the pill. Perhaps she can enlighten you to the vast differences between those two experiences and the respective costs for each method, and I’m not just taking about money here.

avatar ele4phant October 11, 2011, 12:13 pm

Uh, I would assume as she has said she was WAITING UNTIL MARRIAGE, they have not had sex yet, and therefore the cost of condoms thing never came up, as THEY WEREN’T HAVING SEX.

Also, I can’t speak to your experiences but until recently I have always used condoms, in this relationship and in past, and I have always split the cost of condoms, because it benefits me. Just like he is benefiting on her being on the pill.

avatar Calliopedork October 11, 2011, 1:28 pm

i think the point was that they wouldnt be using condoms and they decided together that the pill would be their control.

avatar thyme October 11, 2011, 2:34 pm

Hmm… why do you think we all assume that the cost of condoms is the guy’s responsibility? I haven’t read all the comments on the post yet, but I haven’t seen that anywhere.

I’ve always bought my own supply of condoms to have at my house/in my purse, and my partners have always had theirs at their house, etc. We use whoever’s condoms are available at the moment. I don’t think that is at all uncommon.

CatsMeow CatsMeow October 11, 2011, 2:46 pm

Yup. Supplying condoms has been a shared responsibility in my relationships too – except for when I was able to get them for free at work. Or if a dual method is used, some type of agreement has been made, like, ok YOU pay for condoms and I’LL pay for the pill.

avatar Painted_lady October 11, 2011, 6:36 pm

Wow. And it’s men like you who make me extremely grateful for Painted_dude. I’m on the pill and we use condoms. I once asked whether or not he wanted me to help with the cost of condoms. He pointed out that I was consuming synthetic hormones that mess with my body and mind so that we didn’t have to deal with my getting knocked up, while all he was doing was popping on a bit of latex and the least he could do was fork out some money.

So thanks. I’m going to call my boyfriend and tell him I love him.

avatar DDL October 11, 2011, 8:39 am

My BF and I don’t expect the other to pay for the other’s for birth control; we pay for our own. Honestly, I never thought about asking him to split the cost because if I’m going to have sex with him, I’m going to protect myself and not always depend on him to wear condoms. But that’s just me, and I like knowing that I’m protected.

However, LW, you seem angry at your fiance for not paying for it, after YOU bought a year’s supply. So you just assumed he would pay for half and got pissy when he didn’t? Did your discussion go something like: “Honey I’m going to take birth control so when we have sex, I won’t get pregnant” “Okay.”? Cause obviously it did. I would think that had you asked your fiance, previous to buying the birth control, to split the cost, he might have said yes. Instead you assumed he’d pay for it cos you agreed to take the Pill.

Yeah, he probably thought that you’d be paying for it because you probably buy your own face cream and shampoo, which he doesn’t use (hopefully) so to him it probably doesn’t make sense since he’s not taking the Pill himself.

And don’t forget LW, it sounded like you blind-sided him with this “pay for half my birth control” and he’s angry about that. It’s not that he doesn’t care enough to contribute, it’s that you EXPECTED him to pony up after you had already paid for it.

But he’s not off the hook either. If he’s not going to wear condoms, then yes, he should be contributing to your birth control since it’s a benefit for him too. And he shouldn’t be so damn rude about it. Seriously, Fiance?! You don’t really have a right to say it’s all her responsibility to pay for it and take birth control! Man up! She’s going to be your wife and you two will be buying shit to contribute to your household! Are you going to tell her that because she drinks more coffee than you in the mornings that it should be her responsibility to pay for the coffee herself? No, cos you like coffee too… just like you like having worry-free, baby-free sex.

Yeah, you two definitely need to discuss your finances, preferably before the wedding…

Budj Budj October 11, 2011, 9:54 am

I think the first half of your post outlines the most likely scenario. If it was an expectation up front they could have calculated out a payment situation they were both happy with and anger / stubbornness / guilt would not be contributing factors.

CatsMeow CatsMeow October 11, 2011, 2:50 pm

Yeah…. maybe they should have talked about it first…. I guess she just assumed that her fiance wasn’t a giant douche.

Budj Budj October 11, 2011, 3:17 pm

Maybe his reaction would have been different if she hadn’t bought a years supply that she probably will have to throw out because she will have to switch to another brand anyways.

CatsMeow CatsMeow October 11, 2011, 3:27 pm

It’s not about the money, though. He’s saying that it’s HER body and therefore HER responsibility, regardless of the cost. And THAT’s what I think the LW and most of the commenters here are disagreeing with.

avatar LA October 11, 2011, 9:01 am

So, this is a major issue and honestly I would make this guy use condoms AND pay for them. And that doesn’t even come close to how much she paid for birth control. He needs to recognize that she’s making a sacrifice even taking the pill instead of using condoms or giving birth and that it’s not a woman’s problem, it’s the couple’s problem.

A few years ago, my boyfriend wanted to stop using condoms because he didn’t like how they feel. My response: you want to get pregnant and have a baby? No? Then we’ll use condoms and you’re the one paying for them. Eventually we broke up for other reasons, which made me more sure I had taken a stand on the right thing, and when we got back together, he said we could use condoms until we want a baby.

What I’m trying to say is that he’s trying to make it look like this was your decision and you need to remind him that it was not only a practical decision you made as a couple but an emotional and financial decision. And a year’s worth of birth control is far less expensive than a child. I would also make sure that you are on the same page about children, that he also definitely doesn’t want children now, too. That’s just as important as the financial decision and it’s possible that those emotions could be playing into this minidrama.

avatar Mel October 11, 2011, 9:18 am

You said birth control is a couple’s issue, and to illustrate that point you said you made your ex (or boyfriend? Not sure) pay for the condoms you both used. I don’t really understand what you’re trying to say.

avatar LA October 11, 2011, 1:48 pm

Oops, I must have edited this out, but I was on birth control and paying for that at the time, so it was a couple’s issue since I was paying for “half” of us not having children and I thought he should cover the other.

avatar ele4phant October 11, 2011, 12:16 pm

Uh, I couldn’t take hormonal birth control because of an interaction with another drug I have to take, but I have never made a guy pay for them. We split the cost, as we both don’t want a baby. Fair’s fair.

JK JK October 11, 2011, 9:12 am

From how I read the letter LW is the only one that saved her virginity for marriage. So they should probably use condoms anyway (the guy sounds like such a huge ass I don´t really see him going to get tested for STDs, anyway).
I can´t believe this couple is planning to marry without having talked through something like this… I can only imagine what other things they haven´t spoken about.

avatar Mel October 11, 2011, 9:21 am

You don’t really know how much of an ass he is. Though he took an ass-y stand of this subject. You don’t know either about they guy’s sexual history. I think you’re simply making a lot of assumptions because you didn’t like his opinion on this subject.

FTR, I pay for half the condoms me and my boyfriend use, and I’d expect him to pay for half the pills if and when we started using that. But I think outright calling him an ass and assuming things about him is going a bit too far.

avatar Mel October 11, 2011, 9:22 am

Ugh, typos.

JK JK October 11, 2011, 9:39 am

“I’m getting married in December to a man I love very much. I’m waiting to have sex until I’m married, so I’ve never been on birth control.” For me at least that reads like the fiance isn´t a virgin.
I aslso said the guy sounded like an ass, not that he is one.
I believe that all commenters have to assume quite a bit, letters of course only tell one side of the story, and don´t always contain all the pertinent details.

avatar lets_be_honest October 11, 2011, 9:14 am

I’m looking forward to Nick’s response so hopefully he chimes in. I think its a stretch to cancel the wedding based on this one issue. Sure, it could bleed into a host of issues as to finances, but we don’t know that. Of course, I agree that he’s benefitting 50% so should be liable to pay for same.

JK JK October 11, 2011, 9:23 am

Yeah, def. sounds extreme to cancel the wedding, but I think the LW should use this as a cue to either start having serious talks with her fiance about all the things that pop up in marriage and how they would manage them (family, kids, finances, etc), or possibly even premarital counseling.

avatar lets_be_honest October 11, 2011, 9:30 am

Oh yes, absolutely. I hope this serves as an important reminder for LW that they really need to discuss future finance plans.

avatar amber October 11, 2011, 9:23 am

I think this is the perfect time to sit down and ask him how you are going to split finances in the future. For instance my husband takes rather expensive thyroid meds, they don’t benefit my body, however, they make him less moody, less tired, healthy, etc and since I care about him and want him to be less moody, less tired, healthy, etc I have no problem ‘splitting’ the bill. I would ask him how he plans to deal with other medical expenses in the future or expenses that only benefit one or the other of you. Because while the pill may have been chosen for birth control it is a medication. Maybe you’re both forgetting that? This is not something you can get without an exam and a prescription. And I would hope that Planned Parenthood would have gone through the effects with you both. If they didn’t perhaps you could call them and ask if someone could sit down with you as a couple and discuss what potential side effects you are taking on by deciding to take the pill.

On to finances, Are you going to have separate bank accounts to cover separate expenses? How much of your monthly income will go in to covering separate expenses? Things that should definitely be discussed before marriage, perhaps even some sort of pre-marriage counseling would be good so that you can both discuss how you see certain parts of your marriage working.

avatar GatorGirl October 11, 2011, 9:25 am

I think the biggest issue here is a lack of communication. The LW and her fiancé should have discussed how the Pill was going to be paid for before her appointment. The cost of the birth control method should have been a factor in their decision just as much as the effectiveness and side effects. The LW was wrong to assume that the fiancé would pay for half (even though I agree that he should). They need to have a long, serious discussion about life…finances, an unplanned pregnancy, children, ect, ect, ect…BEFORE their wedding.

I also think it was irresponsible of Planned Parenthood to allow a first time Pill taker to buy an entire years worth in one visit. The side affects are numerous (headaches, weight gain, loss of sex drive let alone strokes and blood clots) and a follow up visit is definitely needed after a month’s use. I have had to change my Pill type a few times over the past 6 years, as different symptoms have come to light and new Pill types have been released. Hormones are serious business.

avatar Kerrycontrary October 11, 2011, 9:34 am

Yeh I’m switching to a new pill after years on my old one, and while my doctor gave me a full-years of refills I’m only getting one pack a month. That way if I don’t like it after 3 months I can come back. I don’t know anyone who buys a whole year at one time. That WOULD be expensive.

JK JK October 11, 2011, 9:37 am

So true the last paragraph, my OB/GYN wants me to get Mirena, and I just can´t mae the decision, because of all the negatives I´ve seen online, and because commiting to something for 5 years, when I don´t know how my body will react scares me a bit.

avatar Kerrycontrary October 11, 2011, 10:05 am

Mine suggested Mirena too! I’m trying progestrin (sp?) only pills first to see if I like them or not. Mirena is easier because you have to take the progrestrin-only pills at the exact same time every day (or within 3 hours) which is harder for most people. But yeh I’m still a little fearful of IUDs because my mom has told me some horror stories of them from the 70s

avatar amber October 11, 2011, 10:15 am

after being on the minipill or progestin only pill for almost a year i finally like them. however, my cycle is different (sometimes longer, sometimes shorter) and it varies each month in other ways as well. i had a few freak outs at first because it was like i wasn’t having a period and i was convinced i was pregnant. if you can last for 6 months things get better. hopefully you find you like them! and my husband and i both set an alarm and i got a cute pill keeper for my purse when we go out and i need to take them.

JK JK October 11, 2011, 10:16 am

For me the pill was great, but it shoots up my cholesterol, so can´t use it anymore. My dr. said mirena has no bad side effects, but from what I´ve found online it would appear that there are. So we´re sticking to condoms for now (2 kids are enough!!!)

avatar spanishdoll October 11, 2011, 2:29 pm

I’m just gonna put it out there— I love love love love my Mirena!

It ain’t perfect, but it’s a million times better than the pill, and no period!!

avatar Lindsay October 11, 2011, 9:43 am

I didn’t think about that after I read it, but it’s so true. I’ve had some terrible mood side effects from various pills and had to change. I would not have been happy to have bought so many at once.

CatsMeow CatsMeow October 11, 2011, 2:54 pm

I guess I’ve been lucky. I’ve been taking the same pill for the past 10+ years – it was the first one I tried, I’ve never had any side effects, and it WORKS, haha (although I’m PSYCHO about taking it at the EXACT same time every day, so I’m sure that helps). Also, it’s cheap since there’s a generic – I think it’s only $30 without insurance.

rainbow rainbow October 11, 2011, 9:26 am

I once dated an abusive douchebag and he didn’t want to help me pay for my pills. Later I realized it was because he was obsessed with getting me pregnant, so he was hoping I wouldn’t be able to afford them.
This “ok, it’s your body, your problem, except after you get pregnant” thing makes me think if you did get pregnant he’d consider it his choice, because it’s “not only your body anymore”, to abort or keep the baby. I don’t like this guy on so many levels.
Did you wait until marriage for religious reasons? Is this guy religious? Could it be that he thinks birth control is a sin, so that’s why he doesn’t want to participate?
Anyway, I hope you dump his sorry ass. Take care.

avatar Sue October 11, 2011, 9:26 am

I have never asked or expected my boyfriend to pay for my BC, but my birth control is only $9 a month so it never seemed like a big deal. That’s less than the condoms we bought each month before agreeing to just use BC. I figure that at the end of every month things just average out with dinners, gas, etc.
BUT that is our arrangement and I get that it doesn’t work for everyone. What I’m more worried about here is their lack of communication when it comes to their finances. When they get married, will they have a joint account? Will that be used for medical bills and will she use it for next year’s supply of BC? Will he use it for his athlete’s foot medicine and mood stabilizers? I think they need to sit down and decide how their finances will be taken care of. Do they have couples’ therapists that are also financial palnners?

avatar thyme October 11, 2011, 2:48 pm

I also have never considered asking my boyfriend to contribute to the cost of my BC because I paid for it myself when I was single, my co-pay is pretty low and, well, it just didn’t occur to me. But it does make sense, particularly if the LW going on the pill instead of using condoms was a joint decision.

avatar Kerrycontrary October 11, 2011, 9:31 am

I think Wendy is totally correct that there is a bigger issue here than your birth control: clearly you and your fiance have not discussed finances before getting married. I would assume you are waiting to have sex for religious reasons, in which cases most people attend pre-marital counsel where they discuss huge issues in marriage-like finances!! It’s an unpleasant discussion but before you get married you and your fiance need to discuss specifics. You need to discuss questions like- How much money exactly do both of you have in your checking accounts? How much in your savings? How much debt(credit card, mortgage, student loan, or otherwise) do both of you have? How much do you contribute to savings each month? Are you operating on the theory of “What’s mine is yours” or are you keeping separate checking accounts? What happens if one of you becomes unemployed? If you HAD discussed these issues you probably wouldn’t have the problem of deciding the cost of anything, especially birth control. And BTW, I think your fiance is an idiot for not helping pay. Especially because you are going to be MARRIED.