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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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{ 308 comments… add one }

  • 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.

  • fast eddie fast eddie October 11, 2011, 9:39 am

    I have no idea how much money we’re talking about here, but maybe it’s enough to give him second thoughts. If it’s that much of a financial burden what the hell are they doing getting married? The guy has a point but it’s a weak one. If their incomes are hugely unequal they’re both diffusional about the fiscal realities of marriage. For the meantime social norms prevail about who pays for what. I’d be uncomfortable about putting out hundreds of dollars for her BC before we’d made woopie. There has to be a solution to this situation that leaves them both satisfied, pun intended.

    • JK JK October 11, 2011, 9:45 am

      THumbs up for the last 2 sentences. Thanks to you I´m going to have “Makin´woopie” stuck on my mind all day!!!

    • avatar callmehobo October 11, 2011, 9:46 am

      If she wants the BC to be effective when they DO get married she needs to start ASAP. BC is not instantaneously effective. Some take several months to be fully potent (my particular brand took 2 full months to get to the 99% protection range). Generally all forms of the pill take at least one month to work. (With the exception of D-pro shots or implanted devices)

      So if they are serious about not having children, she should definitely start BEFORE they start having sex, or at least use a back up form when they do.

    • avatar GatorGirl October 11, 2011, 9:55 am

      It depends on the type of Pill, but I was uninsured for a year and paid $56 a month (this was a brand name, recently released Pill). So that’s only $672 a year, the guy would only be contributing $336…not a big price tag considering the cost of a child…

      Also, they said they went to Planned Parenthood, which in my experiance has lower prices for the same medications as a pharmacy (where I got my $56 Pill).

    • avatar amber October 11, 2011, 9:57 am

      like my mother has always told my sister and i, birth control might be expensive but a baby is a whole lot more expensive! if they think this is a financial burden they should go price formula and diapers.

      and like callmehobo said, unlike condoms you have to have several months of birth control pills in your system before they are effective. so, you do sort of have to pay before delivery when you go this route. if he was that concerned about paying for something before he knew what he was getting, he should have offered to use condoms at first and then i guess ‘invest’ in bc? not really the wording i would use since really he’s asking her to go on a medication with a whole host of side effects and potential issues.

    • avatar splashes October 11, 2011, 1:00 pm

      With insurance, my pills are about $30 a month. Over the course of years and years, that certainly adds up.

  • avatar Shadowflash1522 October 11, 2011, 9:44 am

    Two things:

    1. If you’re going to be merging finances soon, then it doesn’t matter who cuts the check for the Pill. It’s all going to be coming out of the same bucket. If you’re keeping separate finances (or some hybrid of the two) then the game changes. If you both agreed upon the Pill as the only birth control between the two of you, then he sure as hell better pony up for it. If you’re going to be using condoms too, then he pays for his and you pay for yours. For that matter if not getting pregnant is the only goal here, look into female condoms and other cheaper non-pharmaceutical ways to protect yourself.

    2. The flag for me, like the others, is that he somehow thinks you’re the only one who benefits from the Pill. This implies that you are the only one who would suffer any negatives if you got pregnant, i.e. he’s a dude so he can just cut and run if things aren’t working out as planned. Now, you’re actually getting married, so such a scenario is unlikely (if just because legal marriage is harder to get out of than a live-in relationship). However, we can clearly see where all the blame will go if something goes wrong: squarely on your shoulders. It sounds like he wants to be free to resent you if/when you get pregnant. Have a real, sit-down talk about finances, sex, and children before you marry this guy.

    Good luck!

    • Budj Budj October 11, 2011, 9:46 am

      I like number one – good point.

  • Budj Budj October 11, 2011, 9:45 am

    Ok – I agree with all the communication things.

    Honestly…I’ve never EVER been asked to contribute to birth control for a girl. I’m not saying he gets a free pass on that as I think it’s logical he contribute considering their situation, but what I’m saying is guys may be clueless this is standard practice?

    I don’t think this necessarily means this guy sucks and their marriage is doomed…I think it is a perfect lesson for both of them that they need to outline financial expectations BEFORE they act on something. The LW is just as much at fault for not saying “if we are doing this you are paying half or you can go buy some condoms, foot the bill, and have a duller sensation.”

    If the LW finds herself less than satisfied with what they do as a couple as a result of him being selfishly cheap as a repeat offense THEN I would reconsider the marriage.

    • Budj Budj October 11, 2011, 9:48 am

      I’d also add that I think if you would be on the pill regardless of a committed relationship or not that it is kind of weird to ask your s/o to subsidize your BC payments (depending on how long you have been dating)…in this situation though I DEFINITELY think this guy should be contributing.

      • avatar Morgan October 11, 2011, 12:32 pm

        Agreed. I went on the pill not specifically for contraception but for other health issues, and though my boyfriend and I did stop using condoms eventually, that was well after I started the pill. I’ve never asked him to kick in, because I am at a point in life where it is not a financial burden, but if it were to ever become one, I’d probably ask him to help out, now that it has become our primary means of birth control as well.

        In your situation, you and your boyfriend decided together that this was to be your primary means as a couple, and splitting the cost would make a lot more sense. The only time I’ve ever needed plan b, I absolutely asked the guy to split the cost; he was both shocked at how much it was without insurance and absolutely willing to contribute to our not being parents at 19 and 21 respectively.

        That being said, in this case, at some point in the discussion about this being your primary birth control, you should have a)explained to him the hormones and side effects of the pill if he doesn’t get it and b) talked to him about the costs and how you were going to address them as a couple. For me, the birth control itself isn’t the biggest issue, so much as the lack of communication about something so basic.

        I’m also shocked they gave you a years supply. My doctor gave me it in a month’s supply and then a three month’s supply as we made sure it was the right pill for me. (I was also super lucky and the first pill my doc recommended treated all the symptoms and issues I needed, and side effects were basically non existent. That is not everyone’s experience.)

        • avatar Morgan October 11, 2011, 12:42 pm

          *you and your fiance

          Long freaking…day? week? universe? something like that.

      • avatar courtney October 11, 2011, 1:32 pm

        I’m in the same boat- I take birth control for health reasons and I have taken it since I was 17 (so 5 years) and I have not asked any guy I dated to contribute to the $35a month cost and I don’t plan to because I need it regardless. I think in this situation, she has a right to ask him to contribute and if he doesn’t want to contribute to birth control then fine, she should tell him he can be on his own in making sure he wraps it up because they won’t be doing it unless he does. (I know, i know, juvenile.) But really, shared issue, shared cost the way i see it.

    • avatar callmehobo October 11, 2011, 9:50 am

      I think maybe it’s just because they are getting married? I’ve never asked my bf to contribute to my BC, and we alternate on condoms. We do NOT want any babies currently, no matter how cute Jackson looks in his twitter picture :P

    • avatar ele4phant October 11, 2011, 12:21 pm

      No girl has ever asked you to pay half before? Interesting. I, and all my friends, have been splitting the costs with the boys we are involved with since the beginning. I don’t think there was ever a discussion either, with any of the guys. It was just assumed by both parties that we’d be splitting the costs together. Then again, I’ve usually used condoms, so I think that makes it a lot easier in that you go get them when its clear sex will be happening, so most likely you’ll be going to the store together.

      • Budj Budj October 11, 2011, 3:19 pm

        I’ve had few partners. I have never made a girl buy the condoms.

        • Budj Budj October 11, 2011, 3:21 pm

          AND I have yet to be in a committed relationship since my ex-gfs and I were not on their parents health insurance…so…I guess I’ve never been in a situation where “co-paying” was an issue.

      • avatar bethany October 12, 2011, 2:20 pm

        I’ve never asked a guy to contribute to my BC costs- I was on it before I met them, and I’d be on it after. I never would have even thought to ask them about it!
        I got an IUD a few years ago, and had to pay full price for it because my insurance doesn’t cover it. The thought of asking my (now) husband to help me pay for it never entered my mind!

        • avatar amber October 12, 2011, 2:47 pm

          if the two of you decided that would be the form of birth control you used to prevent pregnancies (as an engaged/married couple) would you feel the same way?

    • avatar GingerLaine October 11, 2011, 1:49 pm

      This could be, Budj. I’ve never asked a guy to pay for my birth control before. Not that I didn’t think he was benefiting, but since I began taking the pill, I was always gainfully employed and also didn’t want to deal with the drama of it with guys that I knew were NOT the one. I’m married now, and because that’s always been the norm, we don’t really have a reason to deviate from it. It’s what works for us. (Although my husband has told me that he’s been surprised that I never asked him to contribute.) If I asked, I would certainly expect my husband to be an equal contributor to the “No Babies Fund.” IF I ASKED.

      And I think that’s the start of a couple of problems here, that are definitely bigger than birth control, and a bit more complicated than communication breakdown. Somebody said that they didn’t think this was necessarily a “put a hold on the wedding” situation. I disagree, because although the LW approached this issue in a way that immediately put her fiance on the defensive (recipe for marital disaster), instead of at least hearing you out, making a compromise, SOMETHING!, her fiance has effectively said “This major issue in our upcoming marriage is your problem, not mine, so I won’t assist in the slightest.” Marriage is about being a TEAM. Presenting a united front. There is no such thing as “his problem” or “her problem” in a marriage – it’s “our problem.”

      Consider this. If 2 years from now, you’re pursued by a collection agency for a debt you incurred before you were together, would his reaction be “sucks for you!” Would that be right? I don’t believe he necessarily SHOULD pay or contribute that debt, but it’s a show of good faith. It’s a gesture that says “When you need my support unexpectedly, I will be there for you.” If he were having a problem with a boss who criticized & demoralized him every day and he wanted to quit, would your reaction be “Do whatever you want to. I don’t know what that has to do with me.”? If you can’t count on him to help you when you ASK for it – regardless of what the issue is – how can you count on him to be a thoughtful husband or parent who should do things without being asked? His reaction when you mentioned this gives me pause and makes me wonder if he has the respect for you that a wife deserves.

      Talk to him about it armed with this new information & advice from Wendy & the commenters. Give him a chance to do better. But if he won’t, you need to seriously reconsider. This is the stuff divorces are made of.

      • Skyblossom Skyblossom October 11, 2011, 1:55 pm

        You’re good!

  • avatar Buzzelbee October 11, 2011, 9:46 am

    I also agree that there is a bigger picture issue going on. I get the sense that this might be even more than just finances (which totally need to be addressed) but also your respective roles in a marriage. Have you talked about what each of you is expecting from the other? Do you both work and have financial independence? Does he expect you to be a stay at home wife/mother and be dependent on him? Do you expect that? It’s so very important to talk about expectation of roles. I know women who are more than happy to be stay at home wives/mothers and that’s great. Personally I couldn’t be married to a man who doesn’t cook or clean because we would starve in filth. Just figure out your own expectations and talk to him about his. Because if you differ on this one point what else do you have different expectations about?

    • avatar Portia October 12, 2011, 1:01 am

      Haha, I would also starve in filth! But since my boyfriend’s as bad as me about the cleaning bit, we actually get cleaners once a month or so to do an especially good job. I said if he wasn’t going to pull his weight in cleaning, an activity I loathe, we would just share the cost of cleaners. I’d rather work a little extra for that luxury.

  • avatar Lindsay October 11, 2011, 9:48 am

    Ugh. You wouldn’t need birth control if you weren’t marrying him, so I’m not sure why he thinks it’s not his problem. It’s your body, but your body can’t get pregnant on its own. Sure, nobody wants an extra expense in their life, but that doesn’t mean that you can just pick and choose.

  • avatar redheadblogger October 11, 2011, 9:48 am

    You definitely need to figure this out before you get married, it’s not something that will just figure itself out, and you probably should have said something from the beginning instead of waiting until you were so mad you couldn’t hold it in any long…but I digress. In my case, my BC is completely covered by insurance, but we also use condoms, so if he buys a box, I buy the next box so that we are contributing equally. Just seems like the right thing to do since we’re both having sex and neither one of us wants a baby right now.

  • avatar Monica M October 11, 2011, 9:54 am

    I agree with everyone else that him refusing to help with the cost is a huge indicator of his overall character. However, the kicker for me is the fact when you talked to him about paying he got “mad” at you. That is a bad sign for the future that he can’t discuss this issue with you. You need to have a really hard look at your fiance.

    • avatar Greebo October 11, 2011, 10:11 am

      Caveat: she stewed over it, let it fester and then called him out. By that time, human nature being what it is, she was probably more confrontational and put him on the defensive.

      • avatar Monica M October 11, 2011, 12:15 pm

        I don’t get that she stewed and then blew up at him from what she wrote. She said she did the opposite, that she realized she wasn’t going to get over it until she talked to him. She writes that she told him she was frustrated. I think there is a big difference between telling a loved one you are frustrated and picking a fight. Her exact words are that “He got mad at me for assuming he would…” Getting mad when having a serious discussion is immature.

        • avatar Greebo October 11, 2011, 1:27 pm

          Maybe. But I’m still reluctant to trash the fiancé for getting “mad” without knowing more the conversation. I also think that this is more about assumptions and lack of money skills and communication than it is about the cost of the pill.

          Ultimately, this $300-500 per year isn’t the point. The real issues are things like, if she needs surgery, is that “her body, her problem?” Does she normally expect or assume he’ll take on a larger portion of expenses for any particular reason? Is she a spendthrift (plenty of money for Starbucks, but none for birth control)?

          • avatar splashes October 12, 2011, 9:29 am

            Um, no one is “trashing the fiance for getting “mad”” as a standalone – they are saying that him getting mad because she wants him to contribute to pregnancy prevention is ridiculous.

            The 300-500 is an indicator for the exact type of “real issue” you mention. And what she spends money on is also not the issue. The issue is the purchase of something mutually beneficial – her health, and their prevention of pregnancy. The LW never said “I can’t afford the BC.” She said that she shouldn’t have to shoulder the entire financial burden of pregnancy prevention by herself.

  • avatar meaghan October 11, 2011, 10:08 am

    Eww the Pill. I use Implanon and it’s so much better!

    If you two aren’t talking about money then go print out divorce papers to save you some time later down the road. Most divorces are about money: they wont share, there’s not enough of it, etc. You are not the exception.

    You were wrong for knowing his stance before you went. One thing you should know by now is that something that is obvious to you is probably not obvious to him because there’s that whole he’s not a mind reader thing. Does that mean he’s right about about not paying? No. He shares the responsibility just as you do. However, this makes me wonder how he was to pay you back: check? Cash? Do you often do this?

    In the end sit down and figure out how you want this to work out. By that I mean figuring out what else as a ‘woman’ you are solely responsible for in his opinion and if you can deal with that.

  • avatar Greebo October 11, 2011, 10:09 am

    It amazes me that people get engaged without having serious conversations about money (who makes what, how responsibilities are shared, saving/spending/budgeting/retirement), kids (whether, when, how many, how not to, and what if there’s an accident) and parents (difficult ones, boundaries, caring for the aged/ill).

    LW, why would you stew over this? Do you often hold back your questions/concerns? There are times in every relationship to let something go, but if it bothers you this much, now is not that time. Work on your communication skills before you get married.

    I think the birth control issue is a red herring here. The problem is a huge lack of communication and planning.

    • avatar splashes October 12, 2011, 9:32 am

      While they SHOULD have communicated earlier, that can be worked on. His stance on “your body, your problem, your cost” can’t. I’d rather have someone who can stand some work on communication than believe that preventing a pregnancy falls solely on the woman. In this situation, a good communicator could have still said “yeah, I am not paying for it” and the LW STILL has a problem.

  • avatar meaghan October 11, 2011, 10:17 am

    For *not* knowing his stance. Ugh.

  • avatar savannah October 11, 2011, 10:43 am

    Beyond what most people have said about communication and issues of respect, I’d like to add that I think its very odd to be going on the pill for the first time and buying a years supply of it. Unlike condoms, you can’t just say ‘i’m going on the pill. problem solved.’ The LW has no idea how her body is going to react to the singular type of pill she’s decided upon. Most women need to test out a couple to find one that works for them so it’s very bizarre that she would invest a lot of money (and because she’s not covered by insurance it can be a lot, more than the $30-50 per month that other comments stated) in a pill that she has no idea how her body will react to.

    Also to speak on the issue of asking her fiancee to contribute I don’t think its odd at all considering that they are about to be married and they are in a committed exclusive relationship. I wonder if the men commentators here who say that a woman has never asked them for help with BC, has that women you speak about ever been your wife? Same question to the women here. Because if not, it’s really not the same situation.

    • Budj Budj October 11, 2011, 10:53 am

      No – but I covered those bases in subsequent postings.

      • Budj Budj October 11, 2011, 10:53 am

        And you really took my comment out of context.

    • parton_doll parton_doll October 11, 2011, 11:16 am

      I waited until I got married to have sex and I started taking birth control pills prior to us getting married and I never assumed that my fiance would help me pay for the pills prior to us getting married. Even though I was taking the pills to prevent US from getting pregnant (and I started taking them early so that my body would get accustomed to them), it never occurred to me that he would pay half before we were married. Yes, I got sick, had to go through a series of pills, etc, but honestly, I didn’t think much of it. Since the pills were going in my body I felt it was my thing to take care of. But in this couple’s situation, if they decided as a unit that she should buy a year’s worth of pills, then they both should have talked about how that expense would effect their future.

      I really think this is a matter of perspective. I don’t think the male commenters are so off. Men can be damned if they do, damned if they don’t when it comes to women’s bodies and pregnancy and what input the male has into it. I don’t think the issue the LW is having is a contraception issue, it’s a communication issue. They needed to have had a conversation about family planning and finances prior to this purchase. Now they need to backtrack, maybe get the help of a third party and fix the communication issue because defensiveness has sprung up on both their sides. Which is totally understandable and human and fixable.

  • avatar oldie October 11, 2011, 11:26 am

    I don’t think this is primarily an issue of non-communication. LW and fiancee discussed the issue and totally disagree. I do agree that there are a lot of money-related issues to be discussed before they marry. Bottom line, I think there are enough red flags here that it is MOA time. LW is lucky that this incident revealed serious character flaws in her man. They aren’t going to change with time. He will always be overly miserly, overly stubborn, selfish, impervious to logical argument when he wants what he wants. This is his basic character and more communication isn’t going to change it. If you marry, it isn’t going to end well.

  • bittergaymark bittergaymark October 11, 2011, 11:44 am

    Wow. Talk about tacky and cheap. Very. Pretty stupid, too. And oh so shortsighted… No, not you, LW. I’m talking about (hopefully) your soon to be ex-fiance…

  • avatar belongsomewhere October 11, 2011, 11:48 am

    “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.”

    YES. This is exactly right.

    As others have noted above, it’s a little troubling that this couple (especially the LW’s fiance) is still thinking in terms of “my money” and “your money.” I understand, given that they are waiting until marriage for sex, that they probably haven’t lived together, and thus probably haven’t had to make many joint financial decisions. However, going into a marriage without having learned how to share money, without negotiating how money will work in their marriage, without acknowledging that getting married will mean merging their finances and stopping with this his/hers dichotomy nonsense seems a little misguided (which I see as kind of a problem with the no-sex-or-living-together-before-marriage thing). I live with my boyfriend, so the trajectory of our relationship is obviously much different than that of the LW’s relationship, but he and I agree already (and we’re not yet engaged/aren’t planning to get married for 2-3 more years) that neither of us owes the other any money. We try to do things evenly, but there are times when that just can’t happen. When we do get married, all of our money will shared. The money he earns will help pay back my debt, and the money I earn will help pay for investments in his work, etc. What I’m saying is that this is a conversation you need to have with your significant other. It shouldn’t be a deal-breaker—you should be able to find a common understanding about how finances should function in your marriage/new family. But the fact that he refuses to put a portion of his money in the common pot for a shared benefit is troubling because it makes me worry that he doesn’t understand the sharing, compromise, etc. inherent in marriage. Hell, in ANY serious relationship.
    tl;dr: LW, talk to your fiance about finances—that’s the real issue here. Yes, he should help pay for your birth control in advance of the wedding, and post-wedding he should be sharing everything, full stop.

    • katie katie October 11, 2011, 9:32 pm

      yes- it is exactly problems like these that i would never, never marry someone without living with them, sharing expenses, having sex with them, and going through troubled times with them. the last one you cant really “plan” on, but ill be damned if im not going to try everything i can to make sure i have a successful marriage- including every test drive situation i can get my hands on.

  • avatar HBomb October 11, 2011, 11:50 am

    Geez, sounds like a really considerate future hubby. I hope he at least paid for your ring, or did he make you pay for that too since you are the one benefiting from it?

    • avatar Nick October 11, 2011, 12:18 pm

      Nice one.

    • avatar spark October 11, 2011, 12:34 pm

      Maybe he thinks that after spending thousands on a ring, it’s a little nervy of her to ask for a couple hundred for the pill.

      • avatar HBomb October 11, 2011, 3:55 pm

        I think it actually bothers me more that he seemed to think he should play no role in paying for her BC. I pay for my BC, and that is how it always has been. However, if I asked mt boyf right now to split the cost with me, he wouldn’t hesitate. You know why, because we are a couple, a team.

        And just because he dropped “thousands” on a ring, doesn’t give him the right to get “mad” at her for questioning him on why he won’t split the cost with her.

  • avatar 6napkinburger October 11, 2011, 11:54 am

    I can’t believe how upset I’m getting both from reading the letter AND from reading so many of the comments.

    This came up with my last BF. I thought he should pay for half of my BC; he did not. And this was mainly an “on principle” stance for both of us; I have health insurance so before deductible, it was $10/month; after, it was $3. Yes, we were bickering about literally $1.50- $5 a month. But I don’t think it mattered the amount. By that time, we had a joint CC and we split everything that we bought for both of us or the apartment. We didn’t do “I’ll get the paper towels this time, you get the groceries”; we split both (which was easy with a joint CC.) We made roughly the same amount of money, with my salary a little higher but my loans a lot higher, so roughly the same take home pay. We talked about the future and were both saving for a wedding and house, etc; we were going to be a mainly “mixed pot” family. We talked about finances all the time. He was generous with presents; he was not cheap regarding me (though you should have heard the organic v. non-organic chicken debate of 2010, which was epic).

    But he didn’t think he should pay for my BC and it made my blood boil. Sure, some of you will say to pick my battles; that this was inconsequential, which I partially agree. And I did pick my battles. This was a battle I was willing to go to the mat for.

    It was simple. He didn’t want a baby, I didn’t want a baby, neither of us wanted condoms. We split EVERYTHING else. Why in the world wouldn’t he pay for this? Why did he think this was something different? I still don’t really get it. I eventually won (how dumb would a guy be to continue this battle over at most $60 per year to shut his girlfriend up). But hearing it in a context like yours, LW, and it makes me want to cry.

    You don’t seem to be winning. And he doesn’t seem to be willing to shut up, back down, and pay for this which clearly is important to you to make you happy. I think that is a huge red flag. That he is willing to start his marriage like this… whatever the monetary cost… over not having a baby he doesn’t want…to make his wife happy about having sex for the first time, with him and making it a feel good experience… that blows.

    Some commenters will point the finger back to you, saying that you could easily back down too and that its just as much your fault as it is his for making this into a thing. But I totally disagree with that; that’s a cop out answer. That’s one kid shoving another kid, and then again, and then again, and the kid shoving back, and the teacher telling the two kids to knock it off, as if they were equally at fault. They weren’t. It is your body but you are taking precautions on behalf of the both of you to achieve a goal (no baby) that you both want, that you both agreed on (going to the clinic together) that is logical, smart and proactive. It is allowed to be an important issue to you; you are allowed to feel confused and undervalued and pissed. Maybe not that he didn’t volunteer (Buj was right, maybe he didn’t even think about it), but that he is digging his heels in. I didn’t get it, you don’t have to, and he should love you enough to get over it — its just money and his principled stance is wrong. Not even morally wrong, but just factually wrong — it IS his financial responsibility to help prevent a baby.

    • avatar mf October 11, 2011, 1:50 pm

      I actually agree with you that this is an issue worth fighting over. The cost is moot. As you said, what bothers me is this guy isn’t taking responsibility for preventing her pregnancy. If that’s how he thinks now, who’s to say he will take responsibility if she does get pregnant?

      • avatar 6napkinburger October 11, 2011, 2:10 pm

        And in addition to that, and maybe this is unenlightened of me and not quite egalitarian, but I think its also an issue of him being unwilling to pay for something he doesn’t entirely agree with to make her happy. So he thinks it isn’t his job to pay for it. I think that stinks, but clearly reasonable minds differ, as evidenced by this column. But his future wife thinks its something he should pay for and she feels very strongly about it. If he doesn’t think her happiness is worth the amount she is asking for… that sucks.

        And I agree vice versa. How many wives think video games are stupid or would just as easily gone with the 50 inch TV instead of the 65 inch TV? Or don’t cook but seeing how happy the fancy stove makes him, say sure! How many wives say “nah, the chemo’s on you”?

        And this issue is directly related to having sex with him with no consequences! Its crazily UNselfish of her to want to “splurge” on birth control! Even if he thinks it isn’t his responsibility to pay for her BC, the fact that he doesn’t see it as his responsibility (privilege?) to facilitate her happiness when the cost is reasonable and the benefit so large is really unsettling.

        This isn’t just a blanket “happy wife, happy life” thing, I’m not saying he should pay for everything she wants just because she wants it, and he’s some sort of atm. But here, its a no brainer and he missed it.

    • cmary CMF October 11, 2011, 7:52 pm

      “though you should have heard the organic v. non-organic chicken debate of 2010, which was epic.”

      I love those things. My brother and I have The Twizzler Wars of 2007. Sorry, not at all relevant to the letter, but your line made me laugh.

    • katie katie October 11, 2011, 9:28 pm

      i completely agree with this- and the reason being that you do things to make your partner happy. if it makes her happy and gives her peice of mind to be on birth control, then she should have it. if he equally doesnt want a baby, and still equally wants to have sex, there is no person on this earth who would say that a soon to be husband, who is going to be her first and presumable only sexual experience, shouldnt be paying his fair share of that part of their lives. honestly, if you are about to be married, there shouldn’t even be “fair shares” anymore. when your married, your legally a team, so to speak. you share everything, legally. so why doesnt that spill over to the rest of your life?

      i would love to meet this guy and talk to him…. i just wonder what other gems he has in other beliefs…

  • avatar HmC October 11, 2011, 11:59 am

    LW- I don’t mean this condescendingly so please don’t take it that way, but how old are you and how long have you and your fiance been together? Sharing the costs of birth control, and communicating openly, are pretty basic values and building blocks of a healthy and mature relationship, and if you guys aren’t there yet, what’s the rush to get married?

    While there is no way to guarantee that a marriage will last because there are some deal-breaking factors you can’t control (like the other person changing drastically or giving up on the relationship), you certainly can set yourself up for the best possible chance of success by paying attention to factors you *can* control. Wait until you are old enough to know yourself and know what you want, and be with the other person long enough to really know them. It can take a while and a variety of life circumstances for a person’s true colors to really show.

    It worries me that not only are you second guessing yourself about a feeling that is very reasonable, but you were hesitant to communicate openly, and your fiance does not appear to share some very basic values with you. I say, at the very least, you should slow things down a bit and ask yourself some tough questions about this relationship. Why do you want to get married right now? Why does he? While I applaud you saving something very special about yourself until you feel the time is right, I wonder if maybe a part of you is rushing into this because you are waiting to have sex. Don’t let that be your reason to get married, LW. You will regret it down the line.

    • avatar Neatist February 5, 2013, 3:48 pm

      >LW- I don’t mean this condescendingly so please don’t take it that way, but how old are you and how long have you and your fiance been together? Sharing the costs of birth control, and communicating openly, are pretty basic values and building blocks of a healthy and mature relationship, and if you guys aren’t there yet, what’s the rush to get married?

      exactly!

      Oh goodness. I dispense this with the most sincere well-wishes and good intentions:

      Please do not get married if you and your fiance cannot resolve an issue as simple and TELLING as this one. Your fiance does not unconditionally care for you and does not yet see you as lifelong partners.

      I have had an easier time getting my boyfriend to buy me camping supplies just so that I’d come join him.

  • avatar ele4phant October 11, 2011, 12:04 pm

    If you want some more anecdotal evidence that a guy will (and should!) split the cost of birth control with you, my boyfriend has split the cost of me getting an IUD (not cheap with my deductible!) and before that, he would split the cost of condoms and a couple of times paid for the morning after pill (in full!). We didn’t even really ever have a discussion about who and how much should be paid, it was both understood we’re having sex together, we’re also together in not making a baby.

    I don’t know what your finance’s problem is, but I absolutely would not let my boyfriend get away with this. I really like Wendy’s suggestion you switch to condoms, there’s no real getting out of that one.

  • avatar Amber October 11, 2011, 12:12 pm

    I guess I’m in the minority in that I would never expect my boyfriend to pay for half my birth control. I figure since I would never let him have a say in what kind I use (IUD), it’s kind of unfair to ask him to pay for half. And anyways it all works out in the end – he pays for things, I pay for things. Give and take.

    • avatar amber October 11, 2011, 12:15 pm

      this is a fiance soon to husband, not a bf. in my opinion completely different than asking a bf to split. and they decided together it wasn’t a decision she made on her own.

      • avatar Amber October 11, 2011, 12:18 pm

        I was responding to the reader comments, not the LW. The only thing I really have to say about the LW is that it doesn’t sound like her and her fiance are ready for marriage at all.

    • avatar ele4phant October 11, 2011, 12:25 pm

      I have an IUD too, and my BF did pay half. And while I’ve never let a boyfriend fully dictate what I use, before we were using condoms which he wasn’t crazy about (neither was I), so after a lot of research and thought I ended up with the IUD.

      In any event, it sounds like you and your fiance have your finances figured out in a way that makes you happy, while the LW doesn’t.

  • avatar Nick October 11, 2011, 12:49 pm

    I have different answers for different types of people. I do disagree mildly with Wendy’s saying It’s *insane* for him to not split pill costs. In this case we just don’t know enough. Are we poor? Rich? I’m guessing poor, from several clues. Every relationship has to find it’s own fiscal footing and there are few templates that are going to just work for everyone.

    My bigger rant here is about birth control pills. Ever since my wife and I read TCOYF, I have cemented a strong bias against The Pill. As so many ppl have pointed out, WHY OH WHY would you CHOOSE to go on hormone pills? There are other ways to Take Charge of Your Fertility, including free ways, that don’t change your body or personality or temperament. Look closely and don’t be a pharma tool. As a rule, never ever take a pill the government gives you.

    I know this is a fight about $ sharing, and the BC is just the proxy stage for the fight. So when you are addressing it with your fiance, I suggest forfeiting the battle in order to win the war, here’s how:

    Honey, you’re right, we should have discussed payment before making the decision. I’ll pay for this round, but if we are going to be married we need to come up with some guidelines for how and when we are going to split paying for things. How do /did your parents handle things? (great lead-in for this discussion). Etc. And then you try to arrive at a shared vision for principles that can be interpreted in each instance. If in this discussion he turns out to be a unilateral decision kind of guy, you’ll have to decide if that’s acceptable or desirable in your mate.

    Or you can just fight it out with hurt feelings, edicts, and ultimatums like losers or hotheads every time $ comes up and end up angry and alone. That’s always an option. In a world full of sublime beautiful amazing things to experience, why would anyone sweat the small stuff? There is a reason after people have a baby why nobody asks what it cost at the hospital or who paid for the delivery. Small stuff. Resolve it and get back to life.

    • avatar Morgan October 11, 2011, 1:04 pm

      I CHOSE to go on hormone pills because the hormones in them solved a number of other health issues I had. Until you’ve experienced cramps so bad you just want to cry, massive what-am-I-twelve-again breakouts, serious mood swings, and were once bed ridden for three days because you were so light headed you couldn’t stand, you don’t get to judge.

      • caitie_didnt caitie_didn't October 11, 2011, 1:23 pm

        AMEN, sister. I’ve been on various types of BCP for incapacitating cramps, anemia and out-of-control, unmanageable acne since I was 15 (that’s nearly 10 years) and NOBODY, especially not with a male name, gets to tell me that I’m making a terrible decision.

      • avatar callmehobo October 11, 2011, 2:05 pm

        I chose to go on hormonal BCPs before I even started having sex in an effort to keep me regular and predictable.

        My periods were hellish. I once skipped 3 months and then bled nonstop for three weeks. I couldn’t predict my flow- I was once sitting in a college class wearing a super plus tampon when, I looked down, and to my horror, found that I was sitting in a pool of blood.

        I ruined a pair of jeans PLUS my socks and shoes, and I had to walk across my campus looking like an extra in a cheap horror film

        I felt like your comment was very condescending. It didn’t work for you wife, and that’s fine-but don’t go knocking on everyone else for taking a medication.

    • avatar amber October 11, 2011, 1:08 pm

      i think there are a lot of women who choose to go on them, but rather the pill fixes issues they have. for me it’s ovarian cyts, i lost one of my ovaries to cysts and after they put my on bc to help prevent future cysts from forming. i also now have a more normal cycle and no longer feel like i’m bleeding to death or dying from cramps once a month. while there are side effects to the pill when you have a medical condition that requires drugs with side effects those effects are worth it, because the alternative is worse.

      • avatar amber October 11, 2011, 1:08 pm

        i meant to say don’t choose and i spelled cysts wrong. oh well.

      • avatar Nick October 11, 2011, 1:11 pm

        Yes, of course both of you, Morgan, Amber, I get it. I felt like I was running long so I didn’t nuance my comment like I could have. I totally understand why some people take pills to help their health. I really meant to limit my comment to those cases where that’s not the case. Thanks for pointing that out.

        • theattack theattack October 11, 2011, 5:28 pm

          As someone who takes hormonal birth control just for the sake of birth control, I still don’t think you should be judging other people’s BC methods. It’s common because it’s effective, and it’s accessible for young people who have not yet had children. It allows the freedom to stop using condoms when the couple is comfortable with it, and it combines well with other contraceptives (ie: condoms, sponge, spermicides, female condoms, etc). Most of us are aware of the risks when we take them, so what’s your problem with our choices? I don’t think anyone else on this thread said “Why oh why are you taking BC pills?” but you.

          • avatar Nick October 11, 2011, 6:32 pm

            Hey theattack, I appreciate that you don’t like it when people judge other people’s BC choices. And to be fair, I don’t *really* care what any stranger chooses, so I don’t want to miscommunicate. Forgive me if this side-rant sounded all too judgy, I’m not trying to be an jerk. I got p*’d off thinking about yet another woman being incautiously inculcated into this pill-centric bc world (i.e. pushing a year’s supply on this poor girl).

            I’m not on some jihad exactly to get people to give up the pills. I’m more sharing my opinion on the topic and illustrating that not everyone thinks BC pills are the best default solution. My opinion is based on lots of things, including personal experience. Is that judging? I do judge as bad the idea that people see the pill as the default.

            I think the idea of “The Pill as default birth control method” is unattractive, unnatural, and risky. To answer the question by Cookiesandcream below, I think the topic is covered well in Toni Weschler’s book. http://www.tcoyf.com/ These pills, I’ve seen and read about them hurting people more than helping. Alternatives can also prevent diseases. I DO understand they are very helpful in certain cases. I encourage friends to read up on the topic and to evaluate stopping taking pills _when they can be avoided_ without other negative health consequences (I’m not a doctor). I feel good that maybe even one future reader finds this thread and decides to think twice about bc pills.

            Yes, I realize I think differently than “anyone else on this thread.” That’s what I do. I hope that’s okay. I didn’t mean to offend.

            • theattack theattack October 11, 2011, 8:55 pm

              Thanks for explaining your thoughts on this a little more. It definitely comes off differently in your reply than it did in your original comment.

              I agree with you that the pill is unnatural, and it definitely has harmful side effects, one of which I have experienced to its fullest and deepest possibility. When I start taking any medicine whatsoever, I thoroughly read all the fine print on it and weigh the risks and benefits of it. For me, the benefits of having a birth control that is secure, temporary, combines well with other contraceptives, AND gives me the ability to control my periods better is worth it. It’s much more effective than condoms (which I can’t use anyway), and it provides a constant protection against accidents or even potential rape. For someone not ready to have a child, hormonal BC is an excellent option. The risks should be weighed, yes, but generally the benefits are higher for 20-somethings.

            • avatar cookiesandcream October 12, 2011, 3:52 pm

              Thanks for the link! Ever since I’ve taken a course on women’s issues in health, I’ve been extremely cautious about using products geared towards women. I definitely agree with you about general use of the pill.

    • avatar cookiesandcream October 11, 2011, 1:29 pm

      I hope you don’t mind sharing more of your story; I have a few questions for you. What’s TCOYF? I’m strongly opposed to taking hormonal birth control (that’s my personal stance and I would never try to impose that view on anyone else), so what do you and your wife do for BC? Non-hormonal birth control has been something I’ve been researching now, and I just wanted to get a few different perspectives.

  • avatar plasticepoxy October 11, 2011, 12:55 pm

    It never occurred to me to ask for help in paying for bc, when my current bf asked if/what he should contribute, I turned him down and totally forgot he even offered, until I was partway through the comments. I do find myself surprised that some people consider the cost of bc to be something both parties pay for, although why I’m surprised, I don’t know :)

    I think LW should re-visit the issue with her fiance, and tell him that it is important to her that she feel like they’re doing this together, so from this point out, family planning needs will be discussed and decided upon fully (i mean, including finances) before proceeding. I think she should pay for the year’s (yikes! hope it’s a good fit for her!) supply on her own, since they didn’t talk about it ahead of time, but after that, this is a joint expense, just like groceries. If paying for bc put a huge dent in LW’s finances, she should let her fiance know that because she’s paying for the bc, she can’t help pay for stuff like she did before (if that’s the way things work for them).

    my dad once told me that i should never assume anything because “assumptions fall apart easily and when ‘Assume’ falls apart, you’re left with ass and me”. I’m not recreating it right, but essentially every assumption comes with the risk of making an ass of yourself.

    • avatar Blitzen October 12, 2011, 1:51 am

      Is it : *Never assume. It just makes an ass out of u and me.*? :P

  • avatar MsBorgia October 11, 2011, 12:58 pm

    Here’s a question: I’m on birth control and had to switch brands because the old one was too expensive but I liked it a lot. Should my BF of 2 1/2 years offer to pay? He never offered, but I never asked because it never occurred to me. Is that an expense the couple SHOULD split??

    • avatar Nick October 11, 2011, 1:05 pm

      Well that there is a pretty similar question to the main one here, don’t you think? Can’t hurt to ask, but “should” is a sharp thing to throw around. Running with scissors.

    • avatar HmC October 11, 2011, 1:11 pm

      I think it’s only a *negative* sign if you ask, and he scoffs. It may just not occur to him if you never ask him, which I don’t think is so bad. Generally though, I think the answer to your question lies in the context of each situation- how much is birth control costing, and how do you split finances in other ways? I get my birth control for free, and I honestly don’t recall if my boyfriend ever offered to pay half (I’m pretty sure he knows I get it free), but I know if I asked him he would gladly pay. We split finances pretty evenly in every other context, so I see no reason for birth control to be any different. And Wendy had a great point about women being burdened with the physical/emotional side of taking bc pills… why should they suffer the entire financial cost as well?

    • avatar Sarah October 11, 2011, 1:35 pm

      Show him both sides of the coin. Ask him if he would pony up half for the expensive birth control that you love or risk the side effects of having cheaper bad birth control. My boyfriend has seen me on bad birth control, and I’m pretty sure he would sell a kidney to make sure I never had to risk being on it again :).

    • Skyblossom Skyblossom October 11, 2011, 1:37 pm

      I think it depends on a variety of things. Are you on birth control solely because of this relationship or are you on it for other health reasons as well. If it’s just because of this relationship, and this is an exclusive relationship, and for the equal benefit of both of you then I think it’s fair to at least ask. Also, explain how many side affects many forms of the pill have and how it could make you moody or destroy your libido and point out that if he helped with this one neither of you would have to go through any of the trial and error needed to find another good pill. Whether he should pay I think depends on how far into a relationship you are. If you reach the point of being engaged then I think he should pay but I also think at that point you would help pay for things he needed like asthma medication or a flu shot. When you reach the point of should it is a mutual should.

    • avatar 6napkinburger October 11, 2011, 1:44 pm

      I say yes. Assuming you split most things that are for both of you, definitely. Do you live together? Who pays for hand soap? Or dishwashing soap? Who pays for lube?

      Hmm, maybe thats the rule: Whoever pays for the lube should pay for the BC. In the beginning of a relationship, of course you each have it at your house and wouldn’t expect to split it. But as the relationship goes on and you buy it together, or you get a favorite brand, it becomes a joint expense. And because EVERYONE SHOULD be buying/using lube, its an easy to figure out what to do.

      (I stand by my use of “should” there.)

      • CatsMeow CatsMeow October 11, 2011, 3:07 pm

        Wetter is better, that’s my motto. ;)

    • avatar GatorGirl October 11, 2011, 2:48 pm

      I think this is a tough call. I don’t think your BF “should” split the cost…but it would be a super nice thing if he did. But if you use condoms too, who is paying for those? That might be his contribution to the baby prevention if he buys.

      I would say have an honest conversation with your BF. I actually used this DW column to bring it up with my 4 year BF today and he offered to help with the costs. Mine is only $10 a month so it’s really not that big of a deal- it would have helped alot back when I didn’t have health insurance and it cost $56 a month!

  • avatar 6napkinburger October 11, 2011, 12:58 pm

    The bigger issue that everyone is kind of referencing, but I’m going to make its own post is this: Have you discussed what kind of married couple you are going to be, financially?

    Slate has a great series of articles on this (not all of their articles are fantastic, but I really liked this one. And the one on Signs. But anyway…)
    (http://www.slate.com/articles/life/home_economics/2011/01/all_ours.html)

    According to the article (and common sense), there are at least 3 different types of married couples:
    (1) Common Potters (i.e.: what’s mine is yours)
    (2) Sometimes Sharers (i.e.: yours, mine and ours)
    (3) Independent Operators (i.e. what’s mine is mine)

    LW — you need to discuss with your fiance which one of these (or what combination) you are going to be as a married couple. There are merit to all, and pitfalls to all. I personally cannot imagine being an independent operator in a marriage, especially with kids, but some people make it work. I also can’t imagine not having ANY financial independence. (So what if i want a pair of $250 shoes? Every single shopping trip doesn’t always need to be a discussion.) and having to explain every fiscal decision I make. It all depends on each person’s spending habits, self-control, comfort level and income. (I can’t imagine being the person who makes less in a marriage but going dutch all the time).

    But clearly, I have different financial opinions than a lot of people on this thread, and they have different opinions than each other. I think “boys pay for condoms, girls pay for pills” is borderline ridiculous, but as long as those people are happy in their relationship, good for them. The poster who said that her husband would never pay for her shampoo… ok? Yay if it works for you. I don’t know how it works for me. I like expensive shampoo, maybe that should come out of my private fund. But we shared body wash, so that came out of joint. Some couples get down to the nitty-gritty, others don’t. But all the successful ones TALK ABOUT IT in advance and come to some compromise leaving everyone feeling moderately satisfied. Or they break up. Who pays for vacations? Who pays for the food on vacations? What if travelling for your friend’s wedding? Or his friend’s? Does that change who pays? These are really important things to feel comfortable talking about and knowing where the other person usually winds up.

    For the record, now that I think about it, I think I finally won the argument that day, but I don’t think he paid for it. Because it was so little money I didn’t notice. (Seriously, 1.50 a month. buy me a candybar and we’re even.) But I don’t think I convinced him. And it still makes me annoyed, even though w’e’re broken up. And looking at my post, I wonder if it should have bothered me so much considering his monetary consideration otherwise. But I think I was right, it showed up in other places when we needed to compromise. So if you feel off about this, look to see if this attitude flounces up other places, in other compromise-necessary places.

    • avatar Nick October 11, 2011, 1:08 pm

      See that’s great the way you can draw on your experience without this particular challenge. Great article reference too. I love it when people go out and find articles for the LWs. Good on you.

  • bagge72 bagge72 October 11, 2011, 1:14 pm

    LW I definitely think you should have talked about how you were going to pay for the BC pills before you went ahead, and just bought a years supply, then when he said that he wasn’t going to pay for it, then you could have told him that you aren’t going to go on the pill, because of what it does to your body, and if he wants to have sex with you then he is going to have to buy condoms, or split the cost of the BC. Since it seems like you skipped this convo I don’t think you should be as mad at him as you are (even though the right thing would be for him just to offer to pay).
    You could also just sit him down again, and tell him that since you are the one paying for the BC that you are actually going to hold off on using it now, and that he is going to have to buy condoms if he wants to get in your pantaloons. Tell him that you would rather waste your money then have sex with somebody who doesn’t take responsibility for himself, and the one he loves.

    • avatar Nick October 11, 2011, 1:19 pm

      No doubloons, no pantaloons!

    • avatar 6napkinburger October 11, 2011, 1:36 pm

      See, I get this if it was a BF. I really do. But I don’t get this as a fiance/fiancee soon to be husband and wife.

      She bought it without talking to him about it, I guess that was bad, but that’s not the issue. Its not like its a grill or a dinette set that you should have had a discussion about and now return because it was out of budget. Its medicine! Its necessary medicine to prevent babies! I assume she talked with the doctor and they decided this was the right form of BC for her; her fiancee was with her! The purchase of it is non-negotiable, at least in my opinion. Its just a question of paying for it, and he’s just wrong. Assuming he actually wants her to be on the pill, that’s it – end of debate. Next time, you’ll talk about everything and make sure you’re on the same page, next time you’ll do everything right communication and assumption-wise. For now, you chalk it up to marriage growing pains, you cut your losses, and you just split cost. Full stop. You are going to be together FOREVER.

      • bagge72 bagge72 October 11, 2011, 2:39 pm

        Ok I didn’t see any where in her post saying that BC was her end all to their choices or that it was non-negotiable, it seems like it is just what they agreed on at the time. You are right this isn’t a grill or a dinette set that can just be returned, and that is why it was very important for the LW to discuss this before hand, and then they could have gone with their second option when they found out it was too expensive. They should probably just take Nick’s advice, and she should tell him that she will pay for this year’s, and if he wants to continue on this after that instead of condoms he is going to have to pay for the next year, and I can guarantee you that after a year of the pleasure of going bare back he is going to want to stick with that option. You made a whole lot of assumptions about how their conversations went, and how they talked about their options, but we have nothing that says any of that went on so I’m personally not going to go by that, but just what she put in her letter. She always has the option of giving an update to let us all know that what we are saying is wrong anyways.

        • avatar 6napkinburger October 11, 2011, 3:02 pm

          I meant to put in that my exclamation marks weren’t directed in opposition to you.

          I didn’t get from the letter that it was “too expensive”, just that she thought he should pay and he didn’t think it was his responsibility. Not that he thought it was too expensive of a method of birth control, but that it isn’t his to pay for.

          And maybe I look at birth control differently than everyone else, but its a necessity for me. I’ve been on it since i was 15. I’m thinking of going IUD. I cannot IMAGINE just having sex with just a condoms, with no hormonal BC backing it up. How could you ever not be petrified you were pregnant all the time? When I imagine getting married, its an absolute dealbreaker, of COURSE your going to have some form of birth control, the question is which. I guess in my mind, condoms are just to keep you clean and to act as a backup. Once you’re married, no need (hopefully) to be worried about clean. I can’t imagine a marriage involving condoms, but that might just be me.

          So when you, I guess, and others mentioned that she should have talked to him first, as if that was the actual issue, as if that would have been the deciding factor in whether or not the pills were purchased, I didn’t get it. In my mind, in my understanding, OF COURSE the BC pills would be purchased and eventually taken; she’s getting married and having sex! (though I agree, a year is not wise until you’ve figured out which pill). In my understanding, that was a non-negotiable occurrence if sex is going to occur and babies aren’t wanted. Its just a matter of figuring out financial breakdowns.

          Does that make sense?

          • CatsMeow CatsMeow October 11, 2011, 3:17 pm

            I’m with you. No matter what method they use (condoms, pill, IUD, shot), they should split the cost. And any method they choose is GOING to have a cost (unless they do rhythm method, or he just pulls out – and neither option is one *I* would trust, but to each her own). They’re getting MARRIED. Not having a baby is a JOINT responsibility and an agreed-upon decision!

            And I am 100% on your side in your argument with your BF – it’s the PRINCIPLE, not the cost.

          • Budj Budj October 11, 2011, 3:31 pm

            They should have taaaaalkkkked because the pills neeeveeer wouuuld haaave beeeen boouugghhttennn. And she also would see what a dingus he is.

          • bagge72 bagge72 October 11, 2011, 3:32 pm

            No, it definitely makes sense for you. I just wouldn’t apply everything that you or I think is correct to the LW. Also you say you have been on BC since 15 and it is a necessity for you, but that to me seems like since you are the one who is choosing that form of BC, and you wont go with any other option, and the fact that you are going to be on it no matter what that maybe a guy would have an argument with you on why he shouldn’t have to pay it.
            I’m not saying this is correct, because I always offer to pay for my fiances co-pay or whatever it is, and she always refuses. So you just can’t take your personal feelings and say they apply the same exact way to the LW, because clearly there are people out there that have different opinions on how this should be handled.
            Also I’m not sure how planned parenthood works, but I think it was kind of crazy to purchase a years supply, I know my fiance has gone through many different pills to find out what works best for her, and it was like an emotional roller coaster watching her go through it.

            • avatar 6napkinburger October 11, 2011, 4:19 pm

              I just wonder why you said I clearly wouldn’t consider any other options. I *am* considering other options (the IUD). I would consider options if they somehow affected my partner (my ex didn’t like the an idea of an IUD so that went on the backburner). I actually wonder if the pill affects my sex drive, so I want to go off, but i don’t want to get back on and re-experience the weight gain. I’m very open to different forms.

              I think the “you’d be on it anyway” argument is a little loopy. But I guess I’m coming off of a live-together, spend 90% of nonwork time together relationship with joint credit cards and saving for the future that was considered “ours”. We both tried to spend less of our own money because “we” needed it in the future. The idea that “I’d be on it anyway” is moot, as far as i’m concerned, when your futures are united, or at least you both think they are.

              But if I’m dating a guy and he picks me up for dates and we go out to dinner, and spend weekends in the park, and have dates, and maybe get a key, all that, then sure, yeah, I get everyone’s point about the separation. But we’re each still paying for separate things; there’s no common pool yet. But once your lives are joined enough to have joint credit cards and a joint home, which evinces some idea of a joined future, I don’t think the “you’d be on it anyway” argument holds much water.

              • Budj Budj October 11, 2011, 4:22 pm

                I agree with this.

              • bagge72 bagge72 October 11, 2011, 9:09 pm

                and that is the thing, we both believe that we should share in the responsibility, and that is why I said that I offer all the time, but she doesn’t except. The difference is that you are assuming that the LW has they same exact feeling as you do, and you are assuming that she had all of these talks that she didnt comment on in her original letter at all. All that I am saying is that people have different opinions about this, and it is better to give advice on the information you have, not on what you assumed happened. You are so upset about this that it is almost like you want her to fight your battle you had with your ex. You actually don’t know if they pool their money together yet, my fiance and I don’t yet, and we don’t plan on moving in together or combining accounts until we do get married (well besides the joint savings for the wedding).

  • avatar cdobbs October 11, 2011, 1:29 pm

    LW are you sure you want to marry this guy? I can see paying for it before you are married, but once married shouldn’t everything be 50:50? isn’t that part of what marriage is, a partnership where each partner helps take care of the other. “Its your body, so its your responsibility”? God help you if you get sick and need more serious medical attention (like a kidney or something!). Ok this response is a little melodramatic, but still! I wouldn’t want to marry someone like this!

  • avatar cookiesandcream October 11, 2011, 1:34 pm

    LW, there aren’t any set rules about who should pay for birth control, but why wouldn’t your fiancee want to help you out when you’re short on cash for something very important? Does this attitude of “you pay for you, I pay for me” extend to all facets of your relationship, or does it apply to just birth control? If it has to do with the pill alone, then remind him that the pill prevents HIS little swimmers from fertilizing your eggs.

  • avatar Calliopedork October 11, 2011, 1:58 pm

    Hm, not a red flag but a growth opportunity. Use this as.a time to discuss finances and children. How will you split large purchases and small? Will one person work more or make more, will you have private funds (what comes out of those)? Will you use condoms as a backup, will he help you remember to take the pill, if it fails what will you do, who’s decision id it, who pays for morning after pills, is abortion an option? I dont think you have to cancel your wedding but these things have to be discussed.

  • avatar Sarah October 11, 2011, 1:59 pm

    I think so many other commenters said it better than I could about getting your finances set before getting married, and frankly if your fiance is being a cheap douchebag for something as important as not getting pregnant, then how is he going to act for all the little things that need taken care of? A guy who is immature to try to deny responsibility with birth control sounds just like the guy who would argue with you every time you pay the water bill because you take longer showers than him and a new haircut because you don’t need it.

    You neeeeeeeed to get this figured out before you get married. No more of this “expect shared payment now and then resent it later” nonsense. You felt it was important enough to save your body for marriage, your financial freedom is just as important. I’m not married, but I can say that without a doubt money trouble would be a huge problem between my live in boyfriend and I. Neither of us make a fortune and we have to go over our finances together every few weeks to make sure that our spending is on track. There are also fun parts to working out finances with your partner as well. For instance, my boyfriend and I noticed we get an extra paycheck in the same few months as each other, so we’re going to use a chunk of those to buy each other new commuter bikes as early Christmas presents to each other.

    Also, now I’m not saying I don’t trust your fiance’s judgment (ok, I don’t), but before you get married he NEEDS to get checked out by a doctor to make sure he isn’t carrying any STIs. Unless he’s a virgin too, having sex without a condom is like begging for an STI unless you know its safe. He may not even know of some because a lot can stay dormant until they’re passed on to the partner. 1 out of 4 people have Herpes. 1 out of 4. If you’re doing your part to prevent pregnancy, the LEAST he can do is make sure the sex is safe as well. Also, if he wont do it because his insurance wont cover it, take him to a clinic and pay for half to show him what a responsible partner does.

  • avatar Chilosa161 October 11, 2011, 2:07 pm

    This is bullshit, plain and simple.

    It’s one thing that I pay the full amount of my birth control, because I’m single and it’s a measure that I need to take to protect myself and yes, my body, from the potential complications of an unplanned pregnancy. But HE IS YOUR FIANCE. YOUR FUTURE HUSBAND.

    Sorry for the caps, but I really couldn’t feel more strongly that he is being an irresponsible asshole. Could this have something to do with the fact that you are not having sex until you are married? I’ll go out on a limb and say, hell yes. If you are both virgins and have little experience with sex, its mechanics, and its consequences…it’s not surprising that he is a bit naive in your mentality about how to prevent pregnancy and how important it is to do so. You need to have a serious talk with him about his support of your potential offspring…if he is this irresponsible and checked out now, I shudder to think how he would act as a father.

  • avatar kali October 11, 2011, 2:49 pm

    I just reread the letter. Maybe, LW, if you’d spoken to your boyfriend before the trip to PP this would have had a different result? Perhaps you had a bit of tone in your voice (I know I do this so I’m not accusing, just asking) after ruminating on the topic of financial responsibility and it aggravated him and he did not respond well? Whatever. As others have said, this bodes more discussion about finances. Trust me, lack of agreement and communication in this area will sink a marriage FAST!

    Just a suggestion, but you might want to discuss child-rearing, specifically division of duties to see how he feels about diaper changes and cleaning up barf. I’m sensing a bit of male chauvinism here and that would also be good to be discuss/negotiate prior to your nuptials.

    Get on the same page, LW. I hope it all works out for the two of you. But if not, at least you found out now.

    • avatar oldie October 11, 2011, 3:21 pm

      They went to PP together.

  • avatar AKchic October 11, 2011, 2:59 pm

    I’d still be making him “brown bag it”. Birth control pills are not 100% effective. I know. I have two children thanks to faulty birth control pills. Other medications negated the effects of my Pill.

    He should be helping pay for any birth control method that is chosen. He benefits from the usage, and he doesn’t have to deal with any of the side effects. He gets more benefits out of it in the long run. Sex, carefree, uninhibited sex, and about $20/mo in cost depending on insurance. You have to deal with hormones, weight changes, skin changes, cramping, risk of clots, strokes, unusual bleeding, IUDs possibly shifting and going outside of your uterus (if you go that route), infections, hemmorages, fallopian pregnancies, pregnancy/miscarriage, failed birth control, etc.

    If he doesn’t want to help, then he shouldn’t benefit from it. Walk away from such a cheapskate.

  • avatar Painted_lady October 11, 2011, 3:14 pm

    Sigh. I know premarital sex and all that aren’t really the subject, but I also think a whole bunch of people brought it up simply because sex absolutely forces you to talk about these things. Painted_dude and I had talked about our options if birth control failed, but the first time I had a pregnancy scare I saw he meant what he said and that I could trust him at his word. I’m not questioning people’s values, but sex is one of those unknown-unknowns that brings up all sorts of questions you’d never know to ask otherwise.

    I wonder how he feels about birth control at all. Does he want you to be a baby machine? Does he even know how this works?

    I suggest you stick the birth control in your desk drawer, buy yourself a nice vibrator, and then on your wedding night, pull it out and explain that the vibrator can’t get you pregnant. As such, the vibrator and your relationship will be a monogamous one until he figures out how a man might possibly have some share in the responsibility of a pregnancy and therefore an equal share in its prevention.

    What a douche.

    • avatar splashes October 12, 2011, 9:46 am

      I laughed. A lot. After reading your comment =)

  • avatar TaxMan October 11, 2011, 3:36 pm

    Ok, I have a couple of issues here, and I will probably get blasted for them but here goes. One, the LW said she wasn’t planning on having sex until she was married right, and she isn’t married yet is she? So, she is essentially asking the guy to pay for part or all of the birth control pills when there isn’t even a real need for them yet. I wouldn’t want to pay either. I mean what is she expecting, a immaculate conception? No sex means no baby. Now, if they were having sex I see no problem with her asking him, and if he said no then he shouldn’t expect privileges, so to speak. If they were married already though, then I will agree this is a major problem. I mean at that point what is hers should also be his. So, they should be sharing expenses evenly. Regardless there seems to be some major communication issues here. They really need to sit down and talk about some of those major issues that can cause problems in marriages like fiances, when or if they want children, etc. In my humble opinion nobody should be getting married with out some intensive premarital counseling. It is designed to help couples discuss and work through issues like these.

    • avatar amber October 11, 2011, 3:40 pm

      the issue with bc is that if you want it to be effective in december when you’re going to start having sex you need to start taking it now so that it’s in your system and effective. so in a sense he should be helping to pay for it because he will benefiting from it.

    • avatar Sarah October 11, 2011, 3:48 pm

      It takes a few months for birth control to work to its full potential. Also doctors recommend taking a pill for three months even if your side effects are bad to be fully sure if the side effects are because of the drug. If she were to wait to take birth control until they got married, she would have to endure three months of bad birth control which could involve a substantial break from newlywed sex to transition to a new pill.

      • avatar TaxMan October 11, 2011, 4:12 pm

        Ahh… Thank you ladies for enlightening me. I guess you learn something new everyday. I guess I am going to have to revise my statement and say this guy is probably a asshole then. The only pass he might get is if this is a long engagement, but even then I’m not sure.

        • Skyblossom Skyblossom October 11, 2011, 4:37 pm

          Maybe the fiance doesn’t understand this either and can’t see the reason to be paying for birth control now when they aren’t using it now.

          • avatar splashes October 12, 2011, 9:47 am

            I see what you are saying…but then why would he not use THAT statement as the reason he was unwilling to financially contribute?

    • avatar ele4phant October 11, 2011, 4:13 pm

      Regardless of whether or not he is currently getting the “privileges” of her being on birth control now, it sounds like he was involved in the discussion of what the birth control method should, so much so that he went to PP with her. Given the level of input he was given, its only fair that he also contribute financially.

      If he was worried about not getting his money’s worth, then would have been the time to make his case, not after he helped her select a birth control method that worked for the both of them.

      If she had gone to PP on her own and chosen the most expensive bc option there without consulting him in any way, I could maybe see your point. But he was part of the conversation since the beginning.

  • avatar L October 11, 2011, 5:44 pm

    Do not marry this guy. Seriously.

  • Lyra L October 11, 2011, 6:02 pm

    Tell him it’s now his job to buy you your tampons from here on out. It’s only fair.

  • avatar Betty Boop October 11, 2011, 6:37 pm

    Here’s the thing, it totally sounds like you blindsided him with your frustration that he didn’t automatically offer to pay for b.c. Why would you assume he would? Money is never, ever a given, it must always be discussed, often in excruciating detail. From you description it sounds like you went to him him already pissed off and he responded in kind and said some stupid shit. Maybe he meant it, maybe he didn’t but you’re not gonna know until you go talk to him about it! When you can calmly talk to him, revisit the conversation, let him know you’re upset at the implications of “it’s your body so you pay” mentality and have an open discussion about money for your future. Who knows, he may still be bothered as well and wants to work it out. In the future, don’t assume, you just prove the quote right. “Never assume, you’ll make an ass out of you and me”

  • katie katie October 11, 2011, 8:27 pm

    what really worries me is the lack of respect/compassion/love that this man seems to have for you. i am in the process of maybe getting an IUD or changing birth controls, and I was almost going to go on the ring, and then I found out that it was 90 dollars a freaking month! i was so mad. and you know what my boyfriend said? he said that if that is the best birth control for me, that i should have it, and i shouldnt worry about the costs. my boyfriend and I share all of our costs- we refer to it as “our money”, not mine or yours. he told me that he wants me to have the best- and his rationale was that he buys the best contacts for his eyes, so why shouldnt i get the best birth control for our freedom? he loves me that much- he doesnt want me to just scrape by, he wants the best. i was so happy when he said that.

    also, my birthday is coming up, and i told him that i would love to go shopping to buy a certain face cream that is, to me, pretty expensive. he just said to me that i could go and buy that whenever i want. if i want it, i can have it. he then proceeded to tell me that he doesnt want to go shopping for my birthday, but that i can take his credit card and just go with my mom and sister…. lol, i wasnt sure if i should be mad or happy.

    look, the point is, you TWO decided as PARTNERS that this was a good idea. i think that this isn’t so much a testament of how douchey he is (which i do think he is), but of how the two of you are not viewing each other as partners in crime. and you have to be!! you absolutely have to be- you have to help the other one for the benefit of the partnership, and that is where he (and perhaps you, as well?) are majorly dropping the ball. i completely agree that you should not marry this guy without some major heart to heart talks and/or pre-marital couseling. save yourself the heartache and worry, take some extra time, and make sure that the two of you can walk down the aisle TOGETHER, as partners, towards a future.

    • avatar splashes October 12, 2011, 9:50 am

      It sounds like you found someone who really loves you.

  • landygirl landygirl October 11, 2011, 9:44 pm

    I would totally pay for my Husband to be on birth control.

  • avatar Meredith October 11, 2011, 10:33 pm

    I can’t tell if your fiancé is being a douche or a tightwad but either way, if it was really expensive and you couldve use help paying for it, he should have offered. To refuse even after you asked is just wrong and really rude. Hopefully he’s generous in other aspects of y’alls relationship or this scenario could be indicative of what’s to come, til death do you part. Yikes. On a side note I hate being on bc..the Side effects suck! But my husband and I are going to start trying for baby #2 soon so no point in switching. Then hubby said he would get snipped so I won’t have to deal with bc anymore :) Just a wild guess but I’m betting your fiancé wouldn’t go for that…

  • avatar tinywormhole October 12, 2011, 1:34 am

    What. A. Douche. Seriously.

    Sorry, I have nothing more eloquent to say, other than I cannot IMAGINE marrying someone who didn’t feel the relationship was truly a partnership – and it’s clear this guy does not. Wow. I hope you are planning on some pre-maritial counseling, so that he can be enlightened to how drastically he needs to change his attitude to deserve marrying you, or that you MOA MOA MOA MOA MOA.

  • bittergaymark bittergaymark October 12, 2011, 3:05 am

    You know, it’s funny. I originally was pretty snide about the dastardly boyfriend of this poor LW. But come to think of it, my partners and I have never really kept score over who bought the condoms either…

    • avatar amber October 12, 2011, 8:13 am

      true, but in a hypothetical world if the two of you decided together to start having sex, then decided that you would use condoms,then went to the store together to buy them and purchased a years supply, would just one of you foot the bill?

      i would feel the same way if the couple in this instance decided to use condoms and then went and bought a jumbo pack. if you’re going to decide together on one method of birth control then you should pay for it together.

    • avatar splashes October 12, 2011, 9:53 am

      I also personally have no issue with paying for my own pills…but for me the issue is not that he didn’t just offer, it was the response when asked. I definitely can’t fault the b/f for not thinking of offering on his own, but I can find fault with the response once approached.

    • avatar j October 12, 2011, 3:07 pm

      Except condoms are treeeeemendously cheaper than hormonal birth control. My pill is $50/month.

      • LadyinPurpleNotRed ChicagoWoman October 12, 2011, 4:35 pm

        Not necessarily. Some birth control pills are only $3-10 a month…that’s cheaper than condoms!

  • avatar crazymary February 5, 2013, 10:13 am

    Condoms it is. Let him chew on that for a while…

  • avatar mf February 5, 2013, 10:24 am

    I would love to get an update from this LW. If you’re still lurking on this site, perhaps you could post a comment?

    • avatar jlyfsh February 5, 2013, 10:44 am

      I know I forgot about this letter, but I definitely want an update!!

      • avatar kerrycontrary February 5, 2013, 10:49 am

        Me too!

  • avatar MMcG February 5, 2013, 11:03 am

    11am and already 275 comments. I’m glad everyone else has covered this so well, because my rage was making it hard for me to type. For Fucks Sake :(

    • avatar lets_be_honest February 5, 2013, 11:06 am

      lol, its an old letter. the comments are all from the original posting.

      • avatar sarolabelle February 5, 2013, 11:33 am

        it was covered well 1.5 years ago!

      • avatar MMcG February 5, 2013, 12:11 pm

        Damn, Wendy is tricky… and I obviously was not paying attention ;)

        Still, it’s good to remind anyone new to the site of the crazy of this scenario.

  • avatar Addie Pray February 5, 2013, 11:32 am

    By now this couple is likely married. I wonder if they ever worked out their finances! Or went their separate ways. LW, WHERE ARE YOU? UPDATE US!

    • avatar ebstarr February 5, 2013, 12:53 pm

      Seriously, I kind of hope they went their separate ways! Unless he apologized for the “It’s your body” comment till he was blue in the face.

  • avatar Franny February 5, 2013, 12:18 pm

    1.5 years have passed and most birth control is free now!

    • avatar GatorGirl February 5, 2013, 12:57 pm

      On a semi related note- I took my fiance to his first gynocologist appointment last week. Man was he traumatized.

      • avatar MJ February 5, 2013, 1:09 pm

        I feel like all dudes should have to experience this with their SOs.

  • avatar Amber February 5, 2013, 12:18 pm

    I STILL think the issue here is that she brought it up after fact, and in a huff.

    I mean, she didn’t even clear the cost by him, OR the fact that she was buying a years worth. If they are both going to pay for it, these are things they BOTH should have input in.

    This is why I wouldn’t ask my SO to pay for my birth control. It’s a personal decision between me and my doctor and that’s how I like to keep it. Yes my SO benefits, but in the beginnng he was buying the condoms and never asked me to split the cost, and it never would have occurred to me to offer.

    The issue here is communication. The LW went about this poorly. The BF’s response was also poor, but in this context, I am more willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that he was just reacting to the situation.

    • avatar jlyfsh February 5, 2013, 12:26 pm

      In the LW’s defense they went to PP together. And they made the decision as a soon to be married couple to choose one form of bc because together they decided they weren’t ready to be parents. It just seems like they have poor communication, but he should realize that he is benefiting from this choice of bc too, not just her. They both went about the whole thing poorly together, not just one or the other.

  • avatar Oldie February 5, 2013, 1:15 pm

    It is impossible to determine the ‘right’ answer to whether or not bf should share the cost of the pill, without knowing how this dating and now engaged couple handle their finances in general. When they go out on dates, do they split the cost or does bf pay for everything?

  • fast eddie fast eddie February 5, 2013, 2:45 pm

    Money is an ongoing issue that never ever goes away. Any couple getting together in any form needs to form agreements in advance. I’m assuming that the lack of it is the source of this conflict and will continue for the duration. Sooner rather then later they will want the intimacy of sex without a latex barrier. The risk of pregnancy is a mutual responsibility as is the result of conception. Yes it’s selfish of him but it might be mitigated by a compromise, ie. he pays for groceries and gas. If they love each other and stay together it will be an endless list of compromises. That’s real life, my wife and I still disagree about money after 24 years and no end in sight.

  • avatar cdobbs February 5, 2013, 3:10 pm

    WWS times infinity…Wendy’s quote “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” is exactly what i would have told your fiance!

    • avatar cdobbs February 5, 2013, 4:28 pm

      doh! just realized this is from 2011 :(

      • honeybeegood honeybeegood February 5, 2013, 9:17 pm

        Me too. I was like, “hrmmm this sounds familar…”

  • theattack theattack February 5, 2013, 4:40 pm

    I still stand by that birth control is a shared responsibility, but I read this letter very differently as an engaged woman than I did as a girlfriend when it was originally posted. To me this whole conversation is odd now for an engaged couple. Splitting up costs of anything (as long as it’s not huge) is odd for an engaged couple, IMO. If my fiance and I had a big expense to come up, one of us would just pay for it and then the other would cover more of the regular expenses to make up for it. We don’t see the need to itemize anything because realistically, it’s all coming out of the same pot even though we have separate accounts. If this LW’s fiance didn’t pay for the birth control then, it still left less money that he benefited from in their shared expenses at that time or when they got married later. In my relationship this would go something like “I just bought all of that birth control, so my money’s tight. Can you take care of the groceries and utilities?”

    • avatar lets_be_honest February 5, 2013, 4:48 pm

      I find the itemization very bizarre as well, and I’m not engaged, just shacking up. I love the idea of keeping $ separate, but not like that. If my bf ever was short one month, or I was, I can’t imagine the other one not happily covering.

      • theattack theattack February 5, 2013, 4:58 pm

        Exactly. You can have separate money and still share expenses and help each other out. My fiance and I officially split our rent, utilities, and internet down the middle, but we just make all the other purchases without even thinking about it or ever considering a split. It’s all the same to us unless one of us is short. His needs are my needs as well, and vice versa. It really concerns me that this LW’s fiance can’t seem to think of her needs as his needs too.

        • avatar lets_be_honest February 5, 2013, 5:01 pm

          That’s exactly what we do too. I agree. Wish we’d get an update!

      • avatar GatorGirl February 5, 2013, 5:48 pm

        We itemize it, sort of. Everything that is a joint purchase (groceries, alcohol for the house, most dinners out) we use our joint account for and every two weeks my fiance ads it up and we each transfer that much money from our personal account. All the normal bills (rent, cable etc) come out of that account too. But if I buy new clothes for me, or go out for drinks with a friend or buy some decorative crap for the apartment I use my own money. Same thing is he buys expensive whiskey that I’m never going to drink or something like that. So we’re pretty itemized about it (we keep a spreadsheet with all of our purchases listed and categorized) but it’s not tit-for-tat.

        And of course we’d cover each other if needed.

    • avatar jlyfsh February 5, 2013, 5:50 pm

      you’re living together though, right? i wonder if this LW and her fiance are not and that played in to it as well. if you weren’t living together i’m sure your finances wouldn’t be quite so meshed together as someone who was. and that might play in to it as well. i’m going to guess that the month of december was a big shocker for both of them if they got married. so many new things all at once. sex, living together, finances, etc. makes me so glad my husband and i went about things like we did :) that would have been too much newness at once for me!

      • theattack theattack February 5, 2013, 6:07 pm

        That’s true that our finances are more meshed than they were before we moved in. They were still fairly laid back though, because we knew they would be combined eventually, and we cared for each other so who paid for what just didn’t matter. I guess to me it’s just odd to go from wanting things 100% separate to then being okay with combining all at once one day. Her financial situation probably didn’t change too much from October to December, so if they combined finances, their joint finances as a married couple were still affected by the birth control purchase, ya know? He didn’t avoid paying for it, because she would have brought less money into the marriage because of the purchase.

        • avatar jlyfsh February 5, 2013, 9:12 pm

          Oh yeah I get that. I think thought that for some people if they have things completely separate until the day they get married that concept is probably a little harder to wrap their head around. Especially if they haven’t had very many conversations about money.

  • avatar tbrucemom February 7, 2013, 6:36 pm

    I never thought to ask my then fiance (now ex-husband) to pay for part of my birth control. Don’t know why, maybe my insurance covered it, it was like 30 years ago and I’m “fixed” now so it’s not an issue. I also guess I have the mindset that if you’re married, or engaged to be married, that your money and his money are the same so it wouldn’t make a difference. Still not sure why she felt the need to get a year’s supply though, it would have been cheaper buying it by the month and I guess I don’t know enough about Planned Parenthood but I thought it was free (or really cheap). My daughter takes it and it’s $9/month, no insurance, regular pharmacy, private gyn.

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