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…