Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Your Turn: “I’m Pregnant and My Boyfriend is Deployed”

In a feature I call “Your Turn,” in which you, the readers, get to answer the question, I’m presenting the following letter without commentary from me:

I’m 26 years old and am three months pregnant with my first child. The father of my baby, my boyfriend, is deployed for 10 months to Afghanistan. We had been dating for two months before I got pregnant — the news took me by surprise. I am excited to be a mother for the first time, but I am worried about my relationship. We are both going through life-changing events and it seems like things have changed between us.

During the first trimester of my pregnancy, I was tired and nauseated, so I wasn’t really dressing up like I did before I got pregnant. Being tired and nauseated, the last thing I was thinking about most of the time was make up and tight clothes. This should be understandable, right? Well, my boyfriend tells me that his mother was laughing and talking behind my back about how I was dressed when we dropped him off at the airport a couple of weeks ago. She tells him that I should have dressed up. My boyfriend was laughing as he told me what his mother said, so I assume that they were both mocking me behind my back. I didn’t find it funny at all. In fact, why would he tell me something like that, knowing that I am pregnant and kind of sensitive about appearance currently?

Since I have been pregnant, it feels like my boyfriend is emotionally distant. I have talked to him about it but he just says I am overreacting or reading too much into it. I am not happy with him gone, with the emotional distance between us, and dealing with this pregnancy alone. I don’t feel understood or supported emotionally during this pregnancy so far. I am trying to be strong during this deployment, but it is very difficult. I don’t know what else to do, I need some advice please! — Pregnant with Deployed Boyfriend’s Baby

344 comments… add one
  • avatar

    ReginaRey January 30, 2012, 8:11 am

    Quite frankly, I think your boyfriend telling you what his mother said (and laughing along with her) is flat out inappropriate. It doesn’t sound like his mother is very mature, and the fact that he actually decided to TELL you, and then laugh about it, doesn’t reflect very well on him, either. From this example alone, I get the feeling that maybe your boyfriend agreed with his mother – and decided that “laughingly” telling you about what she said was his way of trying to communicate what he thought, too. Which, leave no doubt about it, is extremely immature, insulting, rude, etc.

    But maybe the biggest red flag is that he seems to be brushing aside your concerns. If you’ve sensed that something has changed – that he’s become emotionally distant – then don’t let him try to tell you you’re “crazy” or “overreacting.” Playing the “you’re crazy” card is how many people, especially those inept at communication and with a severe lack of maturity, deflect talking about problems.

    I suggest that you tell him exactly what you told us: “I am not happy with him gone, with the emotional distance between us, and dealing with this pregnancy alone. I don’t feel understood or supported emotionally during this pregnancy so far.” You’ve got to communicate very directly with him in order to have a chance of getting the answers you’re looking for.

    But, as a precaution, I’m not sure your boyfriend has demonstrated the best behavior so far. His lack of sensitivity and maturity, coupled with his distance during a very difficult time for both of you, are red flags that you shouldn’t ignore. I understand that being in the military can be a very difficult, traumatic, emotionally draining time – but so can being pregnant all alone. You deserve to feel supported as much as he does.

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    • avatar

      cporoski January 30, 2012, 9:02 am

      I think you are not taking into context that he is deployed. LW, the last chance to see him before you were deployed and you couldn’t manage to dress nicely? I think that shows you don’t care about him. Also, these conversations they are having are on webcam and she is complaining that he is distant? He IS distant, he is in a war zone. You had a bad day and go home, he has a bad day and almost died. Or had to pick up body parts. Cut the guy some slack.

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      • avatar

        ReginaRey January 30, 2012, 9:06 am

        She doesn’t care about him because she wasn’t feeling well and couldn’t manage to dress up?? Seriously? That’s ridiculous. And there’s a difference between being physically distant and emotionally distant. He may not be present physically, but that doesn’t mean he has to be distant emotionally. As I said, he’s likely going through a difficult time, but I don’t believe that totally excuses him from being supportive and emotionally present for his girlfriend and mother of his future child. A little communication between these two is definitely needed.

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      • BriarRose

        BriarRose January 30, 2012, 9:24 am

        I said it below, but I’ll say it again. Dressing up to drop someone off at the aiport is ridiculous! All parties involved should be concentrating on the fact that the soldier is leaving and how much they will miss each other, etc. Not, wow, how terrible that my pregnant girlfriend isn’t all done up for my departure. I live at one of the largest military bases in the country and you can feel free to go observe any deployment departure. Those wives are in jeans and t-shirts. They are sad and upset, but trying to be strong. What they are wearing is the last thing on their minds. Focusing on what the LW wore to drop him off is completely missing the point.

        I know plenty of deployed men who still manage to send some emotional support to their girlfriends/wives through the magic of email and phone calls. Not every deplyoment is like that, no, but most people in this current war can call home once a week or so, and have email and even regular mail available to them.

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      • avatar

        Christy January 30, 2012, 9:30 am

        I think in the culture of the military and military spouses/significant others, it is expected that you dress up to drop off the deploying soldier at the airport. I’m pretty sure that’s commonly expected. It’s just the status quo for the armed forces. So right or wrong, it’s the expectation.

        (I think (I like to think) that the LW wore something like sweatpants to drop off her bf and the mom wanted her to dress up in something like jeans and a tshirt. Otherwise it’s just silly to make fun of someone in jeans and a tshirt.)

        Eh, I could be totally wrong.

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      • BriarRose

        BriarRose January 30, 2012, 9:36 am

        Picking up after a deployment, yes. Dropping off, no. Sometimes a drop off is the individual being dropped off at a civilan airport (as was the case for the LW) but typically you just take them to some pre-determined gathering point somewhere on base where they hang out for a while getting everything together and then finally getting on buses and being driven to the planes. Usually families are not allowed to be there for that. I never once actually saw my ex-husband get on the plane. Just dropped him somewhere, said our goodbyes, and I drove home, trying not to crash my car from crying too hard.

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      • avatar

        silver_dragon_girl January 30, 2012, 9:52 am

        This was (most likely) her first drop-off/deployment, too, and they hadn’t been together long…so it’s possible she had no idea she was even “supposed” (by his mom’s standards, anyway) to dress up. Which makes it even worse. But I’m sure her bf doesn’t understand how upsetting teasing her about something like that is. He probably just thinks it’s kind of a funny story.

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      • Brad

        Brad January 30, 2012, 12:09 pm

        Eh I think he’s a moron if he thought a pregnant woman would laugh about it and find it funny too. Any FYI, most service men that get deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan don’t have it *that* bad. The majority of them have it pretty good truth be told, at least the ones sent to medium and large sized bases. Not every servicemen/women is dealing with IEDs and insurgents attacking them on a daily basis (in fact many aren’t). Most of the time they have access to 4 hot meals per day, ability to shower regularly, ability to access the [shitty speed … seriously it’s worse than dsl *shiver*] internet on their downtime, gym access, shopping, and other such amenities. So unless he’s in the infantry and is out hunting around the mountains of afghanistan (doubt it) he can take a little bit of time and use his moral call home to give support to his GF, or send an email.

        But next time LW you need to wear a cocktail dress over a garter belt and some stockings with 4inch stilettos the next time you’re doing a pregnant send off. Anything less means you hate your boyfriend and are the antichrist. (<– this is sarcasm just for the record)

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      • avatar

        meg January 30, 2012, 1:46 pm

        Yea, I definitely think she needs to go black tie for the pick up.

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        silver_dragon_girl January 30, 2012, 2:15 pm

        Better make sure the baby’s in Armani, too. Even if he/she’s spitting up and having diarrhea and whatnot. Because it’s an important event!

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      • Brad

        Brad January 30, 2012, 2:20 pm

        And she definitely needs to bring him a sandwich, and a beer. The kid too I suppose, but that’s optional.

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      • avatar

        ForeverYoung January 30, 2012, 2:26 pm

        No way, it’s her job to feed the baby. He’ll deal with it when it’s old enough to go fishing and do “man things”.

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      • avatar

        cporoski January 30, 2012, 1:31 pm

        One, If I showed up at an event, any event, to support my husband and didn’t dress appropriately, I would say it showed I didn’t care. It is just as east to pull on a nice blouse put on quick mascara and lipstick. To not be able to put basic effort is rude. Second, deployments are very very hard. You both are lonely and he is dealing with alot. You can’t hug over a phone. Plus, to deal with some of the harder parts of war, you need to shut down emotionally a little to get through it.

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      • avatar

        ForeverYoung January 30, 2012, 1:44 pm

        He’s dealing with a lot? And she’s not? Not wearing make up and a blouse is not rude. Did you miss the part where she is having morning sickness? THIS WAS NOT AN EVENT. She was dropping him off at the airport. You act like she showed up to a military ball in sweatpants and a tank top.

        He needs to shut down emotionally to get through it? Well toughen up soldier, you have a kid on the way. Lipstick should be the least of his worries.

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      • avatar

        Flake January 30, 2012, 1:51 pm

        My only comment on the clothes incident is did she know that it is such a big deal? Did she know that his mom and maybe other relatives will be there? And what does she mean exactly? Because in my opinion, a clean make-up free face, with clean jeans and a regular top are perfectly fine. Slept-in sweats? Not so much.

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      • avatar

        Something More January 30, 2012, 3:45 pm

        It’s not “how was she supposed to know it was a big deal?”, it’s “the father of your child is leaving for 10 months. It should be a big deal.” Based on your answers, it wasn’t a big deal to her. So shouldn’t THAT be a red flag in itself?

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      • avatar

        Flake January 30, 2012, 3:51 pm

        I am sure that it is a big deal. Does that mean that she should have worn a prom dress? I don’t think so. Should she have made herself presentable? Yes. And this is where it seems the disagreement happened. Her level of “presentable” may have been completely different form the BF’s mother.

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      • avatar

        meg January 30, 2012, 3:55 pm

        The fact that something is a Big Deal doesn’t automatically make it mandatory to dress up. When LW gives birth to her child, won’t that be a Big Deal? Does she need to dress up to go into labor? Your reasoning here just doesn’t do it for me.

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      • avatar

        Something More January 30, 2012, 4:24 pm

        Again with the over-reacting. No one said she should show up a prom dress or the llike. But the way she describes feeling coupled with her demeaner/wording in the letter leads me to belive she wore something like sweats. When I drove my then-boyfriend to the airport 4 hours away when he left for his miltary orders and I was 5 months pregnant, I wore something a little more presentable than sweats. True, “presentable” is subjective, but there are standards for it.

        And, meg – you’re stretching with the labor thing. That’s just being ridiculous and making your entire arguement moot.

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      • avatar

        meg January 30, 2012, 5:27 pm

        Yes, the labor thing is a ridiculous analogy, thereby illustrating your faulty logic.

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      • avatar

        Something More January 30, 2012, 10:01 pm

        I’m not sure how getting dressed to go somewhere is at all comparable to having a baby. Oh wait. That’s because it’s not comparable. At all. And all it illustrates is you don’t know what “analogy” means.

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      • avatar

        ForeverYoung January 30, 2012, 10:16 pm

        Woah Something More, you’re kinda taking this all to a rude place. Listen – you both clearly disagree, no reason to start making personal attacks and essentially calling Meg an idiot. Simmer down now.

        Instead we should all start talking about the Superbowl – and possibly making predictions. Or we could take about gel nail polish at salons – lasts as long as fake nails but doesn’t damages your nails! Win-win.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray January 30, 2012, 10:38 pm

        Hey, no fair. Someone fight me on DW. I’ll make a bold, border-line disrespectful statement, and then someone say “no, Addie, you’re wrong!” Here goes: people who reheat leftover chicken should not reproduce. That shit has got to be eaten cold, or just throw the leftover chicken away. If they have babies, then their babies will reheat chicken and their babies’ babies will reheat chicken, and I will be scared to ever order the chicken curry again. Ok, go.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray January 30, 2012, 10:55 pm

        Eh, that wasn’t very scandalous. How’s this: most (all?) newborns are kind of (a lot?) ugly. Go!

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      • avatar

        Something More January 30, 2012, 10:55 pm

        O.M.G. Eating cold chicken is probably THE grossest thing I’ve ever heard of! I can’t believe people still do that! What is this world coming to? What next? Are you going to just not even cook it? Blech!!!

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray January 30, 2012, 11:06 pm

        Cold leftover chicken is so good. Especially the next morning for breakfast. You suck!

        (Sorry, I took it too far. This isn’t as fun as I imagined. Carry on.)

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      • avatar

        meg January 30, 2012, 11:12 pm

        Analogy:
        1.) A comparison between two things, typically on the basis of their structure and for the purpose of explanation or clarification.
        2.) A correspondence or partial similarity.

        I was comparing dressing up for a special car ride (a Big Deal) with dressing up for going into labor (a different kind of Big Deal) in order to clarify my opinion that the former is unnecessary…

        Guess that didn’t work (although 19 people thought it did?)!!!!!! Sorry my analogy made you so mad, Something More 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray January 30, 2012, 11:20 pm

        I’m too tired to read through the posts but here’s why my dad used to do when I was upset by something. He’d say: I’ll give you 2 minutes to make your case. But then I get 2 minutes. If you’d like, you can reserve 30 seconds at the end for a follow up, in which case you only get 1.5 minutes. So think about what you absolutely need to say and get that out first. So let’s just start over and do the 2 minute, 2 minute rebuttal thing. Ok, go!

        I just realized something. My dad tricked me into become a lawyer. That ass monkey!

        You guys, I’m drink on water. I think I drank too much. My stomach is convex. Well, it’s always a little convex.

        Why do I feel like I’m talking to myself again.

        P.S. The part I did read above was where Something More said “you’re stretching with the labor thing,” which made me laugh, because I imagine there’s a lot of stretching in labor.

        I’m going to bed. This is getting ridiculous.

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      • avatar

        Something More January 30, 2012, 11:22 pm

        Meh – I’m done talking about it. Addie Pray is a great diffuser. Even if she does eat cold chicken.

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      • avatar

        Something More January 30, 2012, 11:29 pm

        And BTW – Being strongly opinionated about something doesn’t automatically mean I am mad. Or outright trying to call someone an idiot (ForeverYoung – I’m looking at you).

        Is it because I’m a woman? If I were a man would you think like that? I bet you all think I am just PMSing. Or maybe I’m all pregnant and hormonal. Or BOTH!! Wait… :/

        And ForeverYoung – I hope the Pats LOSE, LOSE, LOSE!!! 🙂

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray January 30, 2012, 11:30 pm

        Fait accompli! Wow, I’m pretty amazing. Maybe I should be a judge. Or a counselor. Or a mediator. Or… what I really, really want to be is the person who calls people and says “we reviewed your claim and will pay 100% of your medical bills!” or “you won Justin Bieber concert tickets!” Only I want to get paid $200,000 for that work. Sigh.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray January 30, 2012, 11:32 pm

        Ugh. Something More, you may have just opened up a whole new can of worms! I’m retiring.

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      • avatar

        ForeverYoung January 31, 2012, 9:42 am

        Oh. My. Gosh. SomethingMore – we just hit common ground. Tom Brady can totally suck it. But know what? I don’t consider it a big event so i’m watching it in lululemon yoga pants and an off the shoulder sweatshirt. Kinda going for the comfy cozy look. BUT I will shower and probably have make up on. Does the make up dress it up enough? Probably not for me, because I always wear make up. Hmph. What to do. I want everyone to know that I care about the SuperBowl and take it seriously. But I don’t think they’ll get that from my outfit. Hmmm.

        Haha kidding. I’m being an arse. But hopefully I at least made someone laugh. Right? Someone? Anyone?

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      • avatar

        ForeverYoung January 30, 2012, 4:43 pm

        Wait – do you mean you don’t shower and put on make-up before you give birth ala-kardashian. What a slob.

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      • avatar

        meg January 30, 2012, 5:29 pm

        Sorrryyy, next time I’ll wear heels and lipstick so my baby knows I really care!

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray January 30, 2012, 11:27 pm

        Fait accompli! Wow, I’m pretty amazing. Maybe I should be a judge. Or a counselor. Or a mediator. Or… what I really, really want to be is the person who calls people and says “we reviewed your claim and will pay 100% of your medical bills!” or “you won Justin Bieber concert tickets!” Only I want to get paid $200,000 for that work. Sigh.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray January 30, 2012, 11:28 pm

        Fork. Wrong reply.

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      • avatar

        britannia January 30, 2012, 3:19 pm

        You know what? I do think it IS an event, to send him off. When he’s leaving, that last image of his family waving goodbye will be burned into his memory until he returns. If I was in a relationship with a man who is being deployed, I’d definitely want his last visual memory of me to be one in which I don’t look like I just rolled out of bed (and not in the good way, either).

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      • avatar

        cporoski January 30, 2012, 3:27 pm

        Trust me, dropping someone off before deployment might be one of the biggest events of my life. How much harder is it to put on a pair of slacks and a nice blouse?

        I would say toughen up to her too. I said here that she should join a support group for spouses/SO because this life is not easy.

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      • avatar

        camille905 January 30, 2012, 1:48 pm

        Are you a veteran or is your husband or other family member a veteran or family member? If not, then please keep your comments to yourself because you have no idea what you’re talking about. My brother is an Iraqi veteran and I can tell you the last thing on anyone’s mind when he left for his deployments was how we were dressed. When he returned from his deployment, yes we all made an effort to dress up a little. But you cannot begin to imagine the emotional sh*tstorm people going through when someone they love is being deployed. AND she’s pregnant. Get a grip!

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        cporoski January 30, 2012, 3:23 pm

        Camille: I am sure you haven’t read all my posts here but yes, I had a boyfriend I was with during two tours in the army but I am from a navy family. I was raised that you dress nicely to show respect for what you are doing. I will never forget that when I was talking with my boyfriend one night and telling him about my bad day, he listened to me bitch. When I asked about his, he had to clean up after a roadside bomb exploded and killed three men. It is hard, and it is scary. By saying that she couldn’t throw on a nice pair of slacks seems petty to me. Everyone thinks I am petty for saying it but how hard is this?

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      • avatar

        Something More January 30, 2012, 3:47 pm

        It’s not hard. But some people don’t get it.

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      • BriarRose

        BriarRose January 30, 2012, 2:06 pm

        Ok, but we really don’t know how exactly she dressed. And the whole makeup thing…there are plenty of women, such as my mother, who have never worn makeup in their lives. She saw my father off on plenty of military departures without mascara and lipstick, and I’m pretty sure he wasn’t insulted.

        Until the LW chimes in (if she opts to) we really don’t know how exactly she was dressed for this grand event (AKA dropping off someone at the airport).

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      • avatar

        cporoski January 30, 2012, 3:30 pm

        true. we dont know. But if in all the emotion of the moment, people were thinking how awful she looked, it was probably bad.

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        jlyfsh January 30, 2012, 3:39 pm

        you know what if in the middle of all the emotion of the moment all his mother could think about was how she looked that’s sad. come on. who cares what she wore. what she asked was for help in learning how to cope with this deployment. she’s never been here before and needs help figuring out how to move forward from this moment on, not be told how bad she looked at that moment. which for the record we don’t know how she looked. no idea. or what his mother’s idea of nice is. i hope the LW doesn’t take this part of the thread to heart. i hope she reads the helpful ideas that people wrote below of ways to connect with and support her bf while he’s deployed and ignores all these superficial comments about how important what she wore that day was.

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        iseeshiny January 30, 2012, 3:35 pm

        I don’t wear makeup. I can count on one hand the number of times I have. I’ve never been told it’s rude not to wear makeup and frankly I would be offended if someone did tell me that. It’s incredibly sexist. I’m not judging women who like to wear makeup – if it makes you feel prettier, go for it, but we should not be pressuring each other to wear makeup.

        I don’t have anything to say to the attire because I’ve never dropped anyone at the airport for their deployment, and as BriarRose says until the LW tells us what she wore we can’t really tell how “bad” it was, but I really take issue with the makeup thing.

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      • avatar

        meg January 30, 2012, 3:50 pm

        Yea, this wasn’t an event (or a work function, as you said down below). It was a car ride. Did you miss that? I’m hoping that’s why you keep using her clothing choice (which could have been jeans and a blouse for all we know–she didn’t say) as proof that “she doesn’t really care about him.” Although either way, this reasoning is laughable and incredibly shallow.

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        Something More January 30, 2012, 9:47 am

        I sort of agree. Yes, you feel like crap in the first trimester, but you’re not going to see him for 10 months. You (more than likely) still fit into all of your pre-preggo clothes. I agree that the little extra effort to dress nicely wouldn’t have hurt, especially for your first deployment together.

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        jlyfsh January 30, 2012, 10:10 am

        I’m going to have to disagree with that statement, every pregnancy is very individual and while some people might be able to fit in to their pre-pregnancy clothes from seeing multiple friends go through pregnancy that’s not true for everyone. 3 months in was an awkward stage for many of my friends, not really fitting in to their regular clothes and not really filling out maternity clothes.

        And like someone below said, if she had never been in this situation how would she know to dress us? Also she mentions being nauseated. Like before never being pregnant myself I have to rely on my friends experiences but the one had such horrible morning sickness (all day sickness really) that she didn’t care what she wore. I think they are both in a tough situation and the last thing we should be doing is picking on what she wore. Likewise I think we shouldn’t be picking on him either.

        I hope she can find friends/other military wives or girlfriends/family to rely on while he’s gone.

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        Something More January 30, 2012, 10:24 am

        That’s why I said “more than likely.” I know not everyone is the same. And from the way she explained how she was feeling, it sounds like she was wearing sweatpants and a t-shirt. She doesn’t have to “dress-up” but using the excuse that you’re pregnant to dress like a slob is annoying. Jeans and nice shirt would have been appropriate just to leave the house, let alone seeing off the boyfriend you’re not going to see for 10 months.

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom January 30, 2012, 3:17 pm

        At three months into the pregnancy I don’t think regular jeans fit many people anymore. Jeans tend to be form fitting and the belly is already expanding so they just don’t work. If she has been suffering through morning sickness she probably also didn’t feel like shopping and has been hitting the point where she doesn’t have pants that fit. Most shirts probably still fit but the pants would be a problem. I know that for myself, by 12 weeks into the pregnancy my pants didn’t fit with either pregnancy and I wore maternity pants although most people didn’t realize it. Maternity clothes are also not cheap and so she may be adding them very slowly as she is able.

        Maybe his mother was distracting herself from the thought of his deployment by picking on the letter writer, which, no matter why she did it is distasteful, rude and arrogant. Hopefully the soon to be grandmother will realize that if she wants to see the baby much she will need to be on good terms with the baby’s mother. How many of us spend much time visiting someone who is obnoxious when we can spend our time with people who are pleasant.

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      • BriarRose

        BriarRose January 30, 2012, 10:27 am

        My regular jeans stopped fitting at about 2 months pregnant. And back then (the good old days!) I weighed about 125 pounds. So no, I wasn’t fitting into any of my pre-pregnancy clothes, and most maternity clothes were way too big for me. I did see this awesome thing called the Bella Band (I think) that you can use when you’re first pregnant. Basically you just leave your pants unbuttoned and it holds them up. Too bad they didn’t have anything like that back in the day.

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        Something More January 30, 2012, 10:32 am

        I looped a hair tie around and thru the button hole and hooked it to the button. Gave me about 3-4 more inches on my jeans.

        When you’re in highschool and you don’t want anyone to know your preggo, you get creative… 🙂

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        GatorGirl January 30, 2012, 1:59 pm

        I agree with you Something More. The LW doesn’t offer up what she was wearing…which I find interesting. I would think wearing tattered sweatpants and over sized t-shirt to be innappropriet for such a big goodbye. But does she need to wear a prom dress no? Take a shower and put on something clean and neat. None of us really know what she did wear and what the mother said BUT I don’t think it’s too much to to be clean and neat exspecially when the father of your un-born baby is being deployed to war.

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        Kristen January 30, 2012, 2:02 pm

        I agree that it would be helpful to know what she was actually wearing. For all we know, she WAS clean and neat, but the boyfriend’s mom is uptight and expected her to be wearing dress slacks and a blazer. It’s hard when we don’t have all the details!

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        ForeverYoung January 30, 2012, 2:07 pm

        Furthermore, why is everyone so fixated on it? It’s not that big of deal in the large scheme of things. Maybe we should worry about what happens to this accident baby. Or how she handles the pregnancy without his support.

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        Kristen January 30, 2012, 2:12 pm

        100% agree, FY.

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      • Budj

        Budj January 30, 2012, 2:13 pm

        Yea – I was kind of wondering too. Personal preference to dress up (I would have because I like “dolling” up in the male sense), but that is hardly the issue at hand.

        It was an off comment in the letter that I think was taken the wrong way by the LW – tacky to say? For sure…but I don’t think he was laughing at the LW. And now she has to scroll through like 45 comments on this issue, haha.

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        ForeverYoung January 30, 2012, 2:23 pm

        Ha, we learn something new about you every day Budj. Everyone likes a manscapped man.

        The 72 comments related to us guestimating what she was wearing, followed by full analysis’ of whether this was or was not appropriate is super helpful. Too bad that wasn’t really her question, haha.

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      • Budj

        Budj January 30, 2012, 2:26 pm

        I was just about to respond that I think I severely undercut my estimate, haha.

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        meg January 30, 2012, 10:06 am

        This comment makes me miss the purple thumbs…

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      • Kate B.

        Kate B January 30, 2012, 10:23 am

        This comment irritates me. Women are not performing poodles. We do not dress up on command. We dress the way we dress because it makes us feel good, or comfortable or whatever we need at the moment. If she wasn’t feeling well, this is what she was thinking about. As for the expectation that military SOs dress up for seeing someone off or welcoming them home, I think it would be more important to the SO for you to physically be there, rather than how you are dressed. At least this is the impression I get from people I know.

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        Something More January 30, 2012, 10:25 am

        And I’m sure he boyfriend doesn’t want to dress in whatever he has to wear for the next 10 months, but sometimes you suck it up when you need to. She could suck it up for a few hours while they took him to the airport.

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        jlyfsh January 30, 2012, 10:32 am

        She’s pregnant and felt like crap, but she went and supported him. If she went and treated him like crap I would be a lot more concerned than her just not feeling great enough to get dressed up. Should his Mother have said what she said, no. Should he have repeated it to her, no. I mean I think we all need to stop picking on her for what she wore and focus on ways to help her be there for herself and him during this deployment. Not make her feel bad for how she dressed.

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        Something More January 30, 2012, 11:04 am

        She didn’t say how she treated him at the airport. She could have been complaining the entire time that she feels like crap. We (notice I said WE) assume she didn’t do this but she very well could have.

        Have you been 3+ months pregnant and had to drop off your SO at the airport because he was in the military? I have. I was 5 months. I wore something appropriate for being out in public. I hugged and kissed my then-boyfriend goobye and drove 4 hours home. Alone. I’m not going to go on some military spouse rant, but there are things that you have to live with because you got involved with someone in the military. And guess what? It’s not going to get easier. Birthdays will be missed. Holidays. Graduations. Births. His job comes first, unfortunately. That’s how it works. Granted, they had only been together for a very short time, but this is where they are now. If she can’t muster up enough to put on some decent clothes to drop him off at the airport, she isn’t going to like all the other shit sh’es going to have to put up with for the foreseeable future.

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        meg January 30, 2012, 11:26 am

        “I wore something appropriate for being out in public.”

        And you’re assuming the LW didn’t. There are a lot of assumptions flying around here. We don’t know if she usually wears dresses and pears and this day felt more comfortable in jeans and a blouse. If you’re going to point out other people’s assumptions, you can’t assume the LW was wearing pajamas and hair curlers (or whatever).

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        ForeverYoung January 30, 2012, 11:33 am

        Yeah I find it interesting that some people are assuming she wore sweatpants. When I read it I assumed she was casual in jeans and a shirt or something, and not decked out in a 60’s dress with curled hair or something. Either way I don’t get why what she wore is a big deal. Who cares what she wore? Maybe she was throwing up the whole way there and didn’t want to ruin a nice dress. Lay off the poor girl. I’m not even pregnant and I get extremely car sick, so whenever I go on a long road trip I am lululemon’d out.

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        Something More January 30, 2012, 12:28 pm

        “Being tired and nauseated, the last thing I was thinking about most of the time was make up and tight clothes.”

        This is why I think most people (including myself) assume she is wearing something along the lines of sweatpants – the anti-tight clothes. When you’re sick, that IS the last thing you want to do. And I’m not berating her for that. What I’m saying is she’s all hurt that she can’t get some support from her boyfriend who is a thousand miles away but she can’t be bothered to put on some actual clothes for a few hours to see him off.

        To me, that says more about the kind of person she is than the rest of the letter.

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        ForeverYoung January 30, 2012, 12:39 pm

        The fact that he was mad (assuming he was) that his pregnant girlfriend wouldn’t get all dolled up to drive him to the airport when she’s throwing up and sick says a lot about the kind of person he is. To DRIVE HIM TO THE AIRPORT. Who gets dressed up for a car ride? It’s not her “duty” to dress up for him. He clearly thought she was hot enough to bang in the first place. You’re treating her like some object to be oggled at by him. I think it’s ridiculous. Was she also obligated to give him a goodbye blowjob since he wouldn’t be getting any for a year? That’s real nice for the gag reflex. Is she also obligated to only speak when spoken to? Never raise her voice in the presence of a man?

        Further, she probably didn’t know that he was the type of pig to get mad about something like this – I doubt it had come up in the 5 months they had known eachother. Maybe had she known he would want the last live image of her he would want is make up and a dress (or whatever you’re saying she should have worn) she would have done so. But she probably didn’t think it was a big deal, and I don’t blame her for it being the last thing on her mind.

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        Something More January 30, 2012, 2:12 pm

        Holy. Fuck.

        And we just entered the “you obviously need to step away from the computer because you have some other story in your head than what is actually going on and being discussed – bullshit” portion of today’s controversial thread. Good god. No one ANYWHERE on this thread even hinted at “The fact that people are defending the boyfriends right to demand his pregnant/sick girlfriend needs to “dress up in his presence” is PATHETIC.” If someone was having a baby shower, would she say, “Well, I’m pregnant, so I’m going to show up looking like shit.” Does she work? Does she meet friends for lunch? Would she dress crappy to do any of these things? I would hope not. THAT just goes to show how selfish OH YEAH, I SAID IT – selfish she is being.She’s not the first woman EVER to be pregnant. Nor is she the first pregnant woman to send her SO off on a deployment. Her boyfriend is going to be away from his family and (most of) his friends for TEN MONTHS. Again, no one said she had to be “decked out in a 60′s dress with curled hair or something.” Seriously? And I don’t even think her boyfrined was laughing AT her. I think he was laughing at how ridiculous his mom was being. My opinion – there’s absolutely no way to know from her letter. So, for fuck’s sake, calm down. Throwing things out of proportion like you are isn’t doing anyone any good and is certainly not helpful. (not that my arguing back is, but I’m not being melodramatic about it either.)

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        savannah January 30, 2012, 3:05 pm

        Something More- as someone who is just starting out to study conflict management your message to calm down, rather the way in which you wrote, and highlighted your message, is really counterproductive. There are other totally reasonable ways to remind the DW community when we are assuming too much.

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        Something More January 30, 2012, 3:55 pm

        It’s emphasis. It’s how you infer my meaning from simple typed words. And there may be “other totally reasonable ways to remind the DW community when we are assuming too much”, but it doesn’t matter because:
        1) Those people are going to do it every time (make up their own story of events in their minds and comment on THAT) <– see? emphasis. Which I have commented in other letters.
        2) I thought my way of reminding that there is sometimes too much assumptions was perfectly reasonable.

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        ForeverYoung January 30, 2012, 4:01 pm

        Thanks Savannah, but you can’t reason with crazy 😉

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        Something More January 30, 2012, 4:16 pm

        Passive-agression isn’t becoming. It’s annoying, actually.

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        ForeverYoung January 30, 2012, 4:22 pm

        Oh my gosh everyone calm down. This is not life or death. We can agree to disagree, I was just trying to diffuse the situation by being silly (hence the smiley face) since everyone started taking everything so personally.

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        Something More January 30, 2012, 4:32 pm

        Because it wasn’t a general statement. Her comment was directed specifically to me. And you replied directly to her… about me. How is that NOT to be taken personally?

        Either way, yes, I can agree to disagree. I had more opinions on the matter which is why I continued to reply. I’m not “crazy” nor am I an asshole. Just opinionated 🙂

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        ForeverYoung January 30, 2012, 4:40 pm

        Well maybe I falsely assumed your original bolded/italicized rant was about me. But I wasn’t offended.

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        Something More January 30, 2012, 10:07 pm

        You assumed correctly.

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        MissDre January 30, 2012, 1:28 pm

        @ForeverYoung just want to say that I agree with you 100%. I really like your comment below but couldn’t reply to it for some reason.

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        ForeverYoung January 30, 2012, 1:39 pm

        Thanks MissDre! It pisses me off that the military personnel hide behind “tradition” and act totally sexist/homophobic/elitist/whatever. The fact that they JUST repealed don’t ask/don’t tell is pathetic. The fact that people are defending the boyfriends right to demand his pregnant/sick girlfriend needs to “dress up in his presence” is PATHETIC.

        PATHETIC. I don’t give blowjobs when demanded and I don’t put bows in my hair when demanded. I am a woman and I will do what I want. The LW deserved to be respected and valued in the relationship. I don’t dress up when i’m sick and I don’t allow my feelings in a relationship to be neglected when the other partner is stressed out. Well you know what? I’m sure the LW is stressed out to.

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        meg January 30, 2012, 2:00 pm

        Also wanted to reply to ForeverYoung and can’t. Just wanted to say, F*CK YES, I love your comment. And I have never seen so many people (women) on DW so down on a LW for something so incredibly shallow. Are you people for real??!! She is pregnant with his child and sick and nauseated, and she’s not PRETTY enough for him during a car ride?? I really hope these shallow, close-minded comments don’t make her second-guess herself. This is absolutely revolting and sooo backwards. There are more important things than looking cute in a skirt, people.

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      • BriarRose

        BriarRose January 30, 2012, 2:14 pm

        I can’t reply where I want to, but just wanted to say ForeverYoung, don’t worry, not all military personnel are like this. Where I live, the old-fashioned military guy is the exception, not the rule.

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        meg January 30, 2012, 11:36 am

        haha. *Pearls, not pears.

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        britannia January 30, 2012, 3:33 pm

        Pears are a fantastic accessory!

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      • Budj

        Budj January 30, 2012, 3:58 pm

        And delicious with really cool texture/consistency.

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        britannia January 30, 2012, 4:34 pm

        We should make this a Thing.

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        meg January 30, 2012, 5:18 pm

        Wear a pear: it shows you care!

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        cporoski January 30, 2012, 1:23 pm

        Trust me, if people are talking about what you wore behind your back, you were dressed inappropriately. I am sure she wasn’t wearing a sweater set and pearls.

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        ForeverYoung January 30, 2012, 2:13 pm

        If people are talking about what she was wearing behind her back they need to get some lives and do some sould searching. You’re right, her boyfriend is leaving for a year and will miss the birth of his son, BUT THE BIG ISSUE HERE PEOPLE is that she didn’t wear pearls and pantyhose. Glad everyone has their priorities straight.

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        Kristen January 30, 2012, 2:20 pm

        I think you mentioned something else that’s getting very much overshadowed: He’s going to miss the birth of his child. That’s huge, for both him and the LW. That’s a lot to deal with emotionally, and people (especially the boyfriend’s mother!) should be a lot more understanding. The clothes thing is really a non-issue.

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        jlyfsh January 30, 2012, 11:27 am

        Yeah and what I was trying to say is helping her to learn to cope with those changes is a lot more important than saying you really should have dressed up for that shame on you, his mother in law was right. I haven’t been in that situation and I can’t imagine how difficult it is. Making the fact that she needs help learning to deal with this for herself AND him all the more important. Focusing on her dressing up for saying good-bye does nothing to help her in the future.

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        oldie January 30, 2012, 11:47 am

        There are how things should be and then there are how things really are. How things really are is that how she looked when she dropped him off is how he is going to remember her in his mind for the next 10 months. The mother’s comments certainly didn’t help in the shaping of this mental image. One can say dress to make yourself comfortable, but how many people adopt that principle on a first date? How would the first date go, if they did? Unfortunately, an unwillingness or inability to pull yourself together to look your best for occasions like farewells or first dates is often interpretted as just not caring all that much. I like the no-makeup look and jeans/tee look, so it wouldn’t bother me. A lot of military guys are very traditional, however, and I would be bothered.

        Beyond the laughing at how LW looked, I suspect bf’s mother would be quite happy to have bf dump the LW and is feeling antagonistic over an unplanned pregnancy.

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        Kristen January 30, 2012, 12:00 pm

        Is the LW’s boyfriend really only going to remember how the LW looks from what she was wearing when she said goodbye? That seems a little off to me. I guess I just don’t see how wearing a dress would make his deployment any less difficult than wearing jeans (or whatever she wore). I feel like in that emotional moment, you’d be thinking way more about what the next 10 months are going to be like, and how much you’re going to miss your girlfriend, than you are about what she’s wearing.

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      • rainbow

        rainbow January 30, 2012, 1:14 pm

        He’ll probably remember her naked, sweaty and panting more often than standing next to his mom at the airport.

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        cporoski January 30, 2012, 1:25 pm

        you said this wonderfully. I totally agree.

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        Patrick January 30, 2012, 10:38 am

        I am not qualified to render an emotional opinion on “what you should do” but my posting here is financially oriented and concerns the baby, not you. All active duty members are protected, and their dependents, via the medical insurance program called Tricare PRIME. The Soldier MUST declare, via “DEERS” any dependent of his in order to afford the baby great medical financial protection for the birth. The BF should see a local JAG officer to insure this is done, as well as his unit representative. Optimally, it would be best to get married to insure there is seamless protection but that may not be possible. Tricare PRIME will pay almost 100% of the birth and post natal care. If you don’t so all this financial arrangement in ADVANCE, then you and the BF will be on the hook for all the charges so read this carefully. They key is getting the BF to do all this prior to the birth so you can go to a network provider. I was Deployed for 24 months so this is all doable if he is not lazy.

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        Something More January 30, 2012, 11:09 am

        They won’t be able to get signed up for DEERS until the baby is born if they are not married. They need proof that the baby is in fact the service members child and if they aren’t married, the only way to do this is a birth certificate with his name on it. I was in the same situation and I was lucky they let my then-boyfriend come home after the birth because we weren’t married.

        LW – make sure you have all of his information at all times. You should have his SSN, his duty station name and anything else he can give you so when this baby comes, the Red Cross can get to him as quickly as possible.

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        EmLi January 30, 2012, 7:42 pm

        I’m in the military, and so is my boyfriend. When I dropped him off before he deployed, I wore old jeans and a t-shirt. The point is saying GOODBYE, not looking pretty. What I wear doesn’t matter, what matters is that I’m there.
        I also want to say we have no idea what she wore, or what service he’s in. Depending on his branch and rate, it’s probably not that bad for him over there.

        For what it’s worth, my boyfriend and I are both enlisted Navy. He went IA to Iraq for about 10 months last year.

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      lets_be_honest January 30, 2012, 10:40 am

      Surprisingly, I don’t entirely agree with you RR. While I think you’re right that she should just communicate with her about how she’s feeling, I think she’s being over sensitive about the clothing comment. Surely, this is a hard tme for both of them and they don’t have too much of a history together to be in such a tough position, but I would probably have just laughed with them about me wearing sweats to the airport.

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        ReginaRey January 30, 2012, 10:48 am

        Maybe she should have laughed it off more. But I suppose I’m more concerned with the fact that he said anything at all, rather than her reaction to it. I mean, who thinks it’s funny to relay something like that? “Oh haha it’s so funny that my mom made fun of you!!!” Really??? Was that really the most intelligent thing for the boyfriend to have said?

        I just don’t see the point of his mother bringing up her wardrobe; and I REALLY don’t see the point of her boyfriend choosing to share that with her. I think it speaks to his insensitivity. The girl is pregnant, probably barely knows the mother (heck, she barely knows HIM), she’s probably never done a deployment drop-off before (and thus didn’t know what to wear)…and you decide to make fun of her? Not classy.

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        lets_be_honest January 30, 2012, 10:59 am

        True, but maybe that was his way of relaying to her that HE was a little disappointed she didn’t make a bigger deal of the deployment farewell. And by bigger deal, yes to me that means dressing up a little. Not required, but nice. Obviously, he could’ve jsut said to her he felt that way, but seems these 2 haven’t mastered communication yet.

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        lets_be_honest January 30, 2012, 11:15 am

        IDK, I just don’t see how this is such a big deal. Let it go. The guy is in a warzone and were all crying about her feelings being hurt over the silliest comment? Come on.
        Tell the bf you’re sensitive about your looks right now and call it a day.

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      • caitie_didnt

        caitie_didnt January 30, 2012, 11:21 am

        It makes me sort of ill that so many people are drinking the hatorade for this LW because she DARED to not dress in her finest outfit to say goodbye to her boyfriend and the airport.

        Was it insensitive, stupid and immature for the boyfriend to mention that his mom said this? Absolutely.

        In the grand scheme of the relationship, is it *that* big of a deal? No.

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      • FireStar

        FireStar January 30, 2012, 11:37 am

        I agree with you LBH – it wasn’t his best moment – but in the grand scheme of things – forgivable.
        What they need to work on is communication – if she feels emotionally distant then maybe so does he. They both are at times in their lives where they need support. Being apart is the perfect time for love letters. I vote you start writing him love letters and gradually addressing your issues in them.

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        Christy January 30, 2012, 11:21 am

        I almost read it as “Man, isn’t my mom out of control ridiculous?” But that’s just a reflection of my own family.

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        ele4phant January 30, 2012, 11:46 am

        Yeah, without being there for the conversation, I’m not sure if we can truly understand his intent. I tell my BF about all the crazy shit my family does and I laugh about it.

        Maybe that’s what the BF was trying to do, and the LW is a) kind of vulnerable and sensitive right now given the circumstances, b) and doesn’t quite know her boyfriend yet so she didn’t get his intent. Thus she thought HE was judging her appearance, when he wasn’t.

        Or maybe he was being an insensitive prick. All I’m saying is from this letter I can’t really tell what was said and how it was said.

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      • Leroy

        Leroy January 30, 2012, 2:08 pm

        I read it the same way. And even if he was teasing her, it’s hardly a good reason for her to set fire to her relationship with him and his family and attempt to go it alone.

        The LW doesn’t indicate that she wants to leave him or raise this child alone, so it’s really not appropriate to try to convince her otherwise w/o something more concrete. I really doubt that some of the commenters here are as eager to MOA in their own relationships.

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      visharoo January 30, 2012, 2:00 pm

      LW, I think that ReginaRay has given you a lot of great advice. I used to be an officer in the military and I have seen guys that have worked for me in similar situations while on deployment. Yes, he can be distant because he is in a war zone, but he can also be distant due to immaturity and (it is going to sound weird) boredom. One thing that people don’t realize is that for every battle and heroic event we hear about on the news or deployed loved ones there are countless hours of doing nothing in between. It is in these hours that the guys talk to each other because they are bored. They play “what-if” games, play jokes on one another, and especially talk about the ones they love back at home. Maybe he is getting bad advice from someone who was burned by a woman they loved before, maybe an even more immature guy mentioned something about the way you were dressed at the airport because he wanted to sew a seed of doubt into your boyfriend’s mind, who knows what these guys are talking about while standing guard duty or hanging out in their barracks. The only way he is going to know how you feel is if you tell him and let him know that you will work to support him, but he also needs to put forth a little effort to support you- no matter what you wear!

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        visharoo January 30, 2012, 2:07 pm

        I forgot to mention… not only was I in the military and deployed to the Middle East, I am also a military wife with a husband that deployed to the Middle East twice. I dressed up one time for an airport pick up and I didn’t for a different airport drop off- he barely noticed the difference. He was happier that I was there taking time out of my schedule to support him. Though right now it might not seem like it, I feel that deep down your boyfriend was happy that you came out to support him despite you feeling sick.

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  • fast eddie

    fast eddie January 30, 2012, 8:46 am

    Your situation is difficult but not un-surmountable. Please don’t let a moment in time and ill chosen words endanger your relationship. Technology enables you to communicate with him in real time so hopefully he’ll be supportive of you and the baby. His mother was way rude and I hope she’ll come to regret her comments. Your first obligation is your baby. Concentrate on that and let this incident pass. He can request a parental leave when the the little one comes into the light. That’s something to look forward to.

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    cporoski January 30, 2012, 9:08 am

    LW, when you date a man who is deployed it is hard. I was with a boyfriend for two tours in Iraq. Also, we didn’t make it because of the stress and how much it changes someone. It is hard to wait and worry.

    However, I am with the mother. It was unacceptable to dress sloppy right before deployment. Would you dress nicely for a wedding? a job interview? but you can’t be bothered when the father of your future child is going to fight for our country. People are pregnant every day and seem to go about thier lives. Frankly, when you are talking on the webcam, you should dress up too.

    I get that it is scary to be pregnant during deployment but there are support groups on base for families. You need to get in touch with other women who are going through this. The armed services community is close because they understand.

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    • BriarRose

      BriarRose January 30, 2012, 9:15 am

      She didn’t say she dressed sloppy, she said she didn’t dress up. Perhaps if it was a homecoming, but really, dropping him off at the airport requires a dress and pearls? Give me a break. Why on earth would she shell out money for a maternity outfit that she might only wear to drop off someone at the airport, and won’t fit in another month or two?

      When I dropped off my then-husband for his deployment, I was wearing jeans. OMG!!! He was concentrating on the fact that he was going to miss me and his daughter, not how dressed up I was.

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        cporoski January 30, 2012, 1:33 pm

        If his family is commenting, she was underdressed.

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        Nadine January 30, 2012, 5:17 pm

        Or his family are judgemental dicks. The LW may be overreacting, but lets not forget the family might be intead/as well.

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        Caris January 31, 2012, 10:02 pm

        Really? SO now if someone is just being an asshole and commenting on your clothes it means you were under-dressed?

        I worked for about 3 months at a daycare over in the United States, the owner was a a lady who cared way too much about clothes and she would comment on my clothes and how I looked when I was in the daycare. I would wear jeans and a shirt and my hair tied up, cause you know theres kids in a daycare and you don’t really want all your nicer clothes to get vomited on or stained with food and whatnot. Yet, she’d keep saying how I should cut my hair, wear contact lenses instead of my glasses (cause glasses are for nerds ) and wear make up and tight clothes cause it would make me look prettier. She’d also keep commenting on my weight and how I was getting fat (apparently being 5’4 and 130 pounds means you are fat).

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      Kristen January 30, 2012, 9:19 am

      I think it’s silly to equate dressing up with caring about someone in this situation. She was feeling nauseated, exhausted, and sad that he was leaving. I’m sure her changing body makes it difficult to fit into the dressy clothes she had before, and she’s probably still trying to adjust to everything. The mother’s comment was really rude, especially if she knows the LW is pregnant with her grandchild (I thought the letter was kind of unclear about whether she knew the LW was pregnant, but I’m assuming she did).

      And dressing up on Skype? Depending on the time difference, the LW may be getting up at 5 a.m. to talk to her boyfriend. As long as their conversations are loving and intimate, I think she gets a pass on wearing pajamas (or jeans or whatever). Her boyfriend may be overseas, but he should still recognize that the next six months aren’t going to be a walk in the park for her, either.

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        cporoski January 30, 2012, 1:41 pm

        How hard is it to put on a nice blouse? a nice pair of slacks? just because you are pregnant doesn’t mean that you ignore how you look. The calls and the emails are the lifeline to home. They are meaningful and the soldiers look forward to it. If you can’t try just a little, i think it is sad.

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        Kristen January 30, 2012, 1:53 pm

        They’re meaningful because the soldiers get to talk to their loved ones, not because of what the person on the other side is wearing. I don’t think we can speak to whether it was hard for the LW to dress up on this particular day. Maybe she was feeling nauseated and didn’t want to risk throwing up on her nice clothes. Either way, it doesn’t really matter. Everyone should have been concentrating on the emotions of the send-off, not the way she was dressed. It just seems so silly to me that this was an issue. No matter how you slice it, the boyfriend’s mom was being rude by commenting about the LW’s clothes. How did she even have the emotional energy to be petty when her son was about to be shipped overseas?? I don’t get it.

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        britannia January 30, 2012, 3:35 pm

        When it comes to the Skyping, it’s seriously not that hard at all to just put on a nice blouse over your pajama pants or whatever else you’re wearing, and to swipe on a little blush and mascara (if you like wearing makeup). 5 minutes tops of prep work! It’s the little things like dressing nicely that are symbols of how much you care for your SO.

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    • BriarRose

      BriarRose January 30, 2012, 9:28 am

      cporoski-You say that your relationship didn’t last due to stress of deployments, and I’m gathering you were not also dealing with the stress of a pregnancy on top of that. Shouldn’t you be a bit more understanding about what the LW is going through, having been there, rather than picking on her for not dressing up? Do you have any tips for her on how to connect with her deployed boyfriend? That is what she is looking for. I never dressed up to talk on Skype because the time difference usually meant I we Skyped when it was late at night for me. My husband understood and was simply happy to see my face, and the same went for me.

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        cporoski January 30, 2012, 4:05 pm

        I said she should find support because clearly she doesn’t know what she has gotten herself into. This life is hard and you are right, I wasn’t pregnant. The relationship was so good before we left. My BF at the time thought I was whimsy and funny and silly. When he came back I was vapid and did not understand the world I lived in. He couldn’t stand me and resented me for being the same when his world was totally changed. The LW wants support and right now, he has to focus on the mission and deal with his day to day. He can’t be there for her the way he was. You know this. But I don’t think there is anything wrong with trying to be his soft place when he calls. If she shows him love and compassion, he will give it back the best he can. If she isn’t trying, neither will he. I see dressing nicely as a sign of self respect. I think you dress up like you would a date or work.

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        Kristen January 30, 2012, 4:30 pm

        Wow, that must have been really hard to have him return with a completely different viewpoint. I would have been crushed if the way my boyfriend saw me had changed after I’d spent months supporting him. Did he think that because he had been at war, he understood more about the world than you did?

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      savannah January 30, 2012, 9:39 am

      For someone who said the armed service community is understanding you don’t seem to be demonstrating that. While it might be status quo to dress up at deployments, I don’t think it means she’s as unpatriotic as you paint her out to be. Life is not a wedding or a job interview and scolding her for not dressing up for video chats seems highly intrusive and fake to me. You talk like it is somehow her duty to dress up for her man, I mean I know its the military but does it also have to be 1950?

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      • Budj

        Budj January 30, 2012, 9:53 am

        I agree with everyone that is saying it isn’t that important, but being a fresh relationship that didn’t get to live very long before becoming forced long distance at an inopportune time “looking hott/good/whatever” might help them keep their spark while away from eachother. I’m definitely not suggesting this lies solely on her and it definitely shouldn’t be a priority all the time, but I could see it being a positive influence at this point in their relationship to help facilitate positive conversations between them….think of it like a “date night.”

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        savannah January 30, 2012, 11:02 am

        I’m all for date night, I do it within my LDR. BUT I do it because I want to. Not because I feel like crap but think I have to. I just think that cporoski was laying the guilt on thick. example-“but you can’t be bothered when the father of your future child is going to fight for our country.” That’s not even guilt just to her bf, thats like she’s failing the nation by not getting gussied up, which I think is way overboard. If she’s feeling bad about her body and doesn’t want to dress up but she feels like she has to, no amount of make-up or new cute maternity dresses will make her actually feel good, and thats where the spark and date night magic happen.

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      • Budj

        Budj January 30, 2012, 11:20 am

        Just as an FYI I didn’t mean to single out your comment. You were just the last one to have a post when I did, haha. That said I understand where your coming from.

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      • avatar

        cporoski January 30, 2012, 1:47 pm

        WHat I was saying is that he is going through alot and wearing a nice blouse is not hard. It takes just a small amount of time and thought. It is basic. To think I feel sick so I am not making an effort is not ok.

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      • avatar

        savannah January 30, 2012, 1:53 pm

        She’s not sick. She’s pregnant. And if he and his mom are gonna get all bent outta shape because one this superficial and juvenile symbol of support then she’s better off finding more substantive support systems in her life. It’s also ‘basic’ to know what really matter in life and a ‘nice blouse’ does not.

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      • avatar

        Kristen January 30, 2012, 1:53 pm

        But how does wearing a nice blouse make his situation any easier?

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    • caitie_didnt

      caitie_didnt January 30, 2012, 11:09 am

      Well, glad to see that we’ve magically teleported back to 1950 in this thread, where pregnant women’s feelings should be ignored because they’re just slaves to their crazy, crazy hormones and no matter how ill you feel the MOST IMPORTANT THING is that you dress in a way your boyfriend’s mom deems appropriate. Because your boyfriend’s in the military, and going to serve his country and it is your DUTY to dress in a way that pleases him. Going to the airport to drop him off and say goodbye? Carrying his child? NOT IMPORTANT. Honey, all that matters is how a woman looks, you know that, right?

      /sarcasm, in case people can’t figure that out.

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      • avatar

        ForeverYoung January 30, 2012, 11:17 am

        If I could thumb this up 32 times, I would. I am kind of shocked by the way this thread has panned out. And by shocked I mean disgusted. She should also probably send him naked pictures to keep him happy while he’s over there, I mean it’s her patriotic duty.

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      • caitie_didnt

        caitie_didnt January 30, 2012, 11:22 am

        Right? I just posted above: the comments about how the LW is being “selfish” and “neglecting her duty” are making me nauseous. I’m going to leave this thread and get back to work.

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      • Brad

        Brad January 30, 2012, 12:22 pm

        “She should also probably send him naked pictures to keep him happy while he’s over there”

        I get that you’re kidding, but holy crap would that be a BAD IDEA! The chances of someone else not seeing them are slim to none.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark January 30, 2012, 12:22 pm

        Actually, if this was magically the 1950s, she probably wouldn’t be knocked up to begin with and in this fucking mess that she herself so brilliantly created.

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      • avatar

        ForeverYoung January 30, 2012, 12:28 pm

        You’re back! How was the vacay?

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark January 30, 2012, 12:41 pm

        I’m still on the road, actually. Driving across country. It’s been a real adventure so far. We hit the road in LA one week ago. Spent the night in Phoenix. (Saw my parents new house.) Then Santa Fe. (Great town, amazing food!) Dallas. (Spent a whole day with my nephew!) Austin. And I just enjoyed a wild weekend in San Antonio. (Alamo, Riverwalk, cocktails and live music.) Next up, a few more days in Austin. Then we’ll overnight in Lake Charles, Louisiana, on our way to a nice longggg weekend in New Orleans. From there we will drive back along to the Gulf Coast and I will eventually fly back to California from Austin. It’s wild to be out on the open road. There is so much to see and do… we truly live in an amazing country.

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      • Budj

        Budj January 30, 2012, 12:46 pm

        Argh – you are totally making me want to pack a car up and drive without any destination in mind.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark January 30, 2012, 12:51 pm

        Do it, Budj… This whole trip is a real lark. It was wildly unplanned and unexpected and I am just going with it… The luxury of being lost and adrift professionally, I guess.

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      • Dear Wendy

        Wendy January 30, 2012, 12:46 pm

        Lake Charles, sung by the incomparable Lucinda Williams:
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Na1Lv3eAcCk

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      • Budj

        Budj January 30, 2012, 12:54 pm

        For the record I saw “dung” before it was edited and it made me laugh.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark January 30, 2012, 12:57 pm

        Hah! Thanks, Wendy! Funny, I knew that town sounded vaguely familiar somehow… We kinda picked it at random due to its location on the way to New Orleans…

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      • Dear Wendy

        Wendy January 30, 2012, 1:31 pm

        I love NOLA so hard. Have fun!

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      • avatar

        painted_lady January 30, 2012, 2:20 pm

        If you’re a meat-eater, a burger from the Clover Grill is an artery-clogging MUST. Grilled under a hubcap, served by a line cook who couldn’t give two shits whether you enjoy it, and possibly the best burger I’ve ever had. Also, Drag Queen Bingo on Sunday afternoons – the bar is across the street from LaFitte’s on Bourbon St. (the gay bar, not the blacksmith shop). It’s hilarious and they give pretty decent prizes, like free dinners and stuff.

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      • avatar

        LolaBeans January 30, 2012, 6:03 pm

        Have fun in NOLA! My fav city!! Make sure to go to Commander’s Palace for a nice treat for brunch if you’re there over the weekend.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow January 30, 2012, 1:03 pm

        haha. You said “dung”. 😉

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      • avatar

        kittyk January 30, 2012, 5:33 pm

        Great song!

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray January 30, 2012, 12:51 pm

        j.e.a.l.o.u.s. i’m eating a turkey sandwich in my office. the up-side, if there is one, is that this sandwich has the juicy pickles i’ve ever had. bgm, can you drive by Marfa, Texas? i’ve read good things. my dream roadtrip takes me through there.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray January 30, 2012, 12:51 pm

        * juiciest.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark January 30, 2012, 12:54 pm

        We missed Marfa, sadly, as we came in via Santa Fe along the northern route. But everybody here in San Antonio has been raving about it… It sounds AMAZING… So yeah, you should definitely make that trip…

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      • avatar

        ForeverYoung January 30, 2012, 12:59 pm

        Austin is the one place in the U.S. i’m dying to visit. If you come back all ‘eat play love’ the site will be missing a valued voice of cynicism, so don’t smoke too much from the peace pipe. 😉

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark January 30, 2012, 1:01 pm

        I am definitely looking forward to my two days in Austin!

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray January 30, 2012, 1:05 pm

        Agreed. P.S., FY, I love you.

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      • avatar

        ForeverYoung January 30, 2012, 1:46 pm

        The feeling is totally mutual.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray January 30, 2012, 2:11 pm

        Requited love! Let’s move this to our own forum board…. No, I’m not that kind of girl.

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      • avatar

        ForeverYoung January 30, 2012, 2:20 pm

        Ha, I just lol’ed. I can’t get into the forum board yet. Maybe we can go to some letter written long ago that no one checks anymore for some privacy? Maybe like a November 2011 post?

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray January 30, 2012, 2:27 pm

        Sneaky and smart, FY! But is that a “can’t” or a “won’t”? Because if you really cared for me, you would recognize how important the forum boards are to me, and you’d become a “member” already. (High five to our first official fight!)

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      • Jess

        Jess of CityGirlsWorld.com January 30, 2012, 1:20 pm

        Must laugh at this because pretty much ALL my older relatives (grandparents, etc) who married in the 1940s-50s did so because they got knocked up. It’s amazing how many “honeymoon babies” were born back then 😉

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      • avatar

        Foxxdye January 30, 2012, 2:03 pm

        That kind of thing happened then just as it happens now–young ladies weren’t as chaste as society’s fiction pretended they were. I suspect my grandmother’s sudden marriage at the beginning of WWII may have been precipitated by it.

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom January 30, 2012, 3:47 pm

        When my husband began doing genealogy he found that his parents had to get married and so did his grandparents. It was definitely common.

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      • avatar

        cporoski January 30, 2012, 1:55 pm

        Ok, I didn’t say it was the most important thing, but it had to be inappropriate because people were talking about it. If my husband showed up at my office in his weekend painting clothes, I would be upset. If someone showed up to an interview in jeans or sweats, it would lose them the job because they didn’t care enough about the interview to try and look nice. What is the difference here? It isn’t a female/male thing. It is being careing and supportive. She wasn’t running to the supermarket, she was going to a work function.

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      • avatar

        ForeverYoung January 30, 2012, 2:04 pm

        SHE WAS NOT GOINT TO A WORK FUNCTION. She was dropping him off at the airport. She was in a car driving. As I mentioned above, I get carsick all the time and i’m not even pregnant. So I am in yoga pants 95% of the time I go on a roadtrip.

        Why are you making such a big deal out of something so petty and superficial? She wasn’t feeling good, and didn’t dress up. You should be much more concerned about the fact that the boyfriend is emotionally abandoning his pregnant girlfriend. Or you should be concerned about the fact that she is overly sensitive. Those at least are legitimate concerns. But to pick her apart for not wearing make up and a dress? Lots of women never wear make up anyway. Do you think she should have worn spanx to to cover up her fat stomach? I mean how rude of her! So inconsiderate.

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      • avatar

        MissDre January 30, 2012, 4:53 pm

        LOL I am just loving all of your comments today! Way to go, ForeverYoung 🙂 I really hope the LW pays attention to your comments and not the negativity over her choice of clothes.

        Honestly LW, if anybody cares what the hell you wore to drop him off at the airport, they are just shallow. You were there to hug him and kiss him goodbye, to tell him that you’ll miss him, to tell him that you’re proud of him and to tell him to be safe, and that you and his baby will be here waiting for his return. THAT is what matters.

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      • avatar

        Kristen January 30, 2012, 4:56 pm

        Amen.

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  • BriarRose

    BriarRose January 30, 2012, 9:12 am

    This is a tough situation. Your pregnancy came pretty early on in your relationship, while you two were still in the phase of figuring each other out and trying to see if you were compatible. On top of that, your boyfriend is deployed, and nurturing a relationship during a deployment (been there, done that), is challenging at best, nearly impossible at worst. Not to mention that many (not all!) military men tend to be a bit more emotionally guarded/distant to begin with, simply due to their profession and that when they’re deployed, they can’t be spending time worrying about what’s going on at home when their more immediate concern is their personal safety.

    All that said, being pregnant and alone, is hard, sad, even depressing at times (also been there, done that). You want and need emotional support, and I gotta say, I was supremely disappointed that I missed out on what I always thought a pregnancy would include…a loving guy there to rub my back, get me popsicles in the middle of the night, tell me I looked beautiful when I felt like a whale, go baby paraphanelia shopping with me. Doing all that alone SUCKS. You can try to be understanding about the difficult position your boyfriend is in, but you’re human, and you are 100% authorized to acknowledge that your situation sucks.

    Now the big question is, what do you do with this sucky situation? Do you succumb to it, or do you woman up and realize that you’re about to be a mommy? You’re about to be the most important person in a baby’s life, and you need to be strong for that baby. I am not saying turn your back on your boyfriend-you definitely need to be upfront and say that you realize he is in a tough spot, being deployed, etc, but being pregnant is difficult and emotional, and you need support, and more importantly, he needs to be on your side in this, not his mom’s. But beyond that, I’m very sorry to say, you need to look for support and strength elsewhere. Even in the best military relationship, a deployed boyfriend would not be able to provide a ton of support during your pregnancy. This is your time to lean on family and friends. This is the time to meet other mommies-to-be and talk to them about what you’re going through. I agree with ReginaRey, my confidence in your boyfriend isn’t that high, and I’ll be blunt…I think you need to face the very real possibility of raising this baby alone. Hence the reason you need to start now with finding support from other sources than a boyfriend who can’t be bothered to be sensitive to your feelings during pregnancy.

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    • avatar

      MsBorgia January 30, 2012, 11:45 am

      I was going to say that this reminds me of the story arc in Scrubs where JD gets his girlfriend pregnant on the first date and then they can’t connect emotionally because of the stress of, well, having a baby with someone you hardly know.

      He’s in a warzone, you’re both relatively new to the relationship, this is probably way sooner than he planned on having a baby, and it’s just an all-around stressful situation— I’m not going to touch the mom’s comment, but no wonder he’s distant. He’s probably freaking the hell out!

      I would suggest that the two of you agree to call it quits for now— you can find a support structure, raise your baby, and do it with the confidence that you *can* do it alone. When he comes back, you guys can revisit the idea of a relationship, a relationship in which he would be able to get to know you and your baby as the package deal that you are.

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      • avatar

        Flake January 30, 2012, 12:10 pm

        That is exactly what I was trying to say.

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    • avatar

      WatersEdge January 30, 2012, 4:00 pm

      BriarRose, I 100% agree with everything you said.

      PS- someone said “patriotic duty” up there and I thought of you!

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      • BriarRose

        BriarRose January 30, 2012, 4:46 pm

        Hehe, yep, I saw that! I’ll never look at those words the same again! And I bet you won’t either 🙂

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  • Betsy

    Betsy January 30, 2012, 9:15 am

    I think it is important that you find a support system outside of your boyfriend. The road through your pregnancy is only going to get harder, and the emotional bond between you and your boyfriend is only going be more difficult to maintain. I imaging that it is also very hard on him that forces beyond his control are taking him away from you in your time of need. This feeling of inability seems to be making him put up walls and make excuses. Continuing to try and drag emotion out of him that he just can’t feel right now is going to breed resentment.

    Since he is proving to be unreliable to you right now, you need to turn to other people in your life to make you feel less alone. If you don’t feel like you can reach out to people you know personally, you should look to see if there are groups on his military base for women that are in similar situations or an online community.

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    • avatar

      Mel January 30, 2012, 10:47 am

      “find a support system outside of your boyfriend”

      That’s what I was thinking. I don’t mean “stop trying to reconnect with your child’s father”, but more of a “just in case”. Keep trying to reach him, explain what you’re feeling and everything a lot of people already mentioned, but also talk to friends, your family and a therapist. Or maybe other military wives. I haven’t got the faintest idea as how this works, but you may be able to get in touch with other women in your situation.

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  • avatar

    Amy P January 30, 2012, 9:20 am

    Pregnancy makes a lot of women over-sensitive, weepy, humorless, irritable and high-maintenance. (Vicki Iovine’s Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy is very good on this.) Unfortunately, while a woman is in the middle of the pregnancy hormones, it’s hard for her to get perspective on how weird she’s being and how hard it is to live with her. That may be happening to you. I’d give your boyfriend the benefit of the doubt and try to keep on an even keel for all your sakes. For all you know, he was actually laughing AT his mom, not at you. Also, where he is now, the last thing he needs is drama from thousands of miles away.

    Take your vitamins, eat your fruits and veggies, rest, send the happiest emails to your boyfriend that you truthfully can (send the weepy ones to a female friend), get some practice taking care of a friend or relative’s infant, go to all the classes that are offered locally and save money for baby stuff and (possibly) a wedding. Once the baby arrives, makes friends with lots of other mothers and build a support network. If you and your boyfriend do eventually marry and you become a military wife, your happiness is going to depend on your ability to create a support network and interests of your own to carry you through moves and deployments. You can’t just live from phone call to phone call or email to email–you have to have a real life of your own.

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    • Jess

      Jess of CityGirlsWorld.com January 30, 2012, 9:28 am

      Great practical advice in my opinion.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Wendy January 30, 2012, 9:33 am

      The first couple lines of this comment really bother me. Pregnant women aren’t “humorless” or “high-maintenance.” They aren’t being “weird.” If they’re being “weepy” or “irritable,” that’s a perfectly normal response to the enormous and incredible changes happening in their bodies to create a new life.

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      • BriarRose

        BriarRose January 30, 2012, 9:41 am

        And why is a woman married to or dating a military man always told to just “have a life of her own”? How is living alone, handling everything NOT having a life of your own? How is it creating drama simply wanting to occasionally hear from the one you love and sharing pieces of your life with him? The women who command other women to live their lives without expecting to hear from or get support from a deployed loved one make me want to poke my eye out. Would any civilan woman want to undergo pregnancy and childbirth alone, and be told to not bother the father of the child with any of her concerns simply because he doesn’t need drama in his life?

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      • avatar

        BeckyGrace January 30, 2012, 11:08 am

        BriarRose – I do see your point. My husband isn’t military but he is gone about 90% of the time for sometimes a month or longer. You do have to have a “life of your own” if you choose to be with someone that you can’t spend a lot of time with. It’s not easy and I can’t even imagine if I added the stress of war and being gone for 10 months + too. You have to make sure you enjoy all the things you love even though your partner is not there to share it. And… you do have to make sure to balance out when you complain or share with your partner the difficulties because it will “poison” the valuable time you do have with that partner. As unfair as that may seem it is a choice to be with that person. You don’t have to make that choice.

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      • avatar

        plasticepoxy January 30, 2012, 11:28 am

        I agree that the emotional response to all the extra hormones is normal, but I also agree that it’s wise to keep in mind that how you’re feeling can be amplified by that hormone surge, especially when newly pregnant. My thought reading the letter was that her boyfriend was trying to share something with her, in an “isn’t my mom over-the-top??” kind of way, something they could bond over. I can understand though, how it wouldn’t appear that way to her in the moment, or now.

        Unless she’s saying that she’s overly sensitive now, she shouldn’t expect her BF to adjust how he treats her because of her pregnancy. That’s like having her cake and eating it too. Just doesn’t work both ways.

        I can’t imagine how hard it must be for her. I’m 4 months pregnant and I have, at times, felt my husband could be more supportive and help me feel less alone. He doesn’t know what’s going on with me at each stage, he can’t understand when I try to describe it, it’s frustrating! I can only imagine how I would feel if he were so far away I had to communicate through Skype/email/etc.

        I didn’t interpret Amy’s statement as dismissive of the LW’s emotions, rather that for her own peace of mind, she may want to revisit some of her feelings try to focus on her positive thoughts. But maybe I’m projecting, because that’s definitely what I try to do. So much about being pregnant can be shitty, IMO, that I really need to focus on the exciting, happy parts or I’ll get bogged down in feeling gross, uncomfortable, unattractive, frustrated and unhappy.

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    • Leroy

      Leroy January 30, 2012, 9:56 am

      It does read as though she’s alone and anxious and perhaps blowing some things out of proportion – e.g. she “assume(s) that they were both mocking me behind my back”.

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    • avatar

      meg January 30, 2012, 10:21 am

      “Also, where he is now, the last thing he needs is drama from thousands of miles away.”

      I’m pretty sure she could do without the drama too, and it seems to me like he is the one who caused it. She REACTED to his insensitive comments and SHE’S the one causing drama? No.

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  • avatar

    Amanda January 30, 2012, 9:21 am

    Two months is a very short time to build a solid base in your relationship before 1-deployment and 2-pregnancy. By my addition, you are in the fifth month of your relationship and so you are undoubtedly still getting to know one another. Both of you need to make more of an effort if you want to stay together. Communicate to him your concerns! If possible, have a sexy Skype session to let him know what he is coming home to. Talk to other members of deployed families for support. You are not alone. Good luck!

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  • Jess

    Jess of CityGirlsWorld.com January 30, 2012, 9:26 am

    Your boyfriend’s behavior here is far from perfect but, then again, so are the circumstances –for both of you.

    As you said, major life changes all the way around. I don’t condone his behavior, emotional distance, etc (in fact, it’s downright annoying and frustrating). I also don’t know how likely he is to come around and get “with the program” (being a dad and partner).

    However, I WILL say that you need to remember that this “stuff” is happening to HIM also. Not just to you. Yes, you are physically carrying the pregnancy but the impact on him is enormous and just as unexpected. I suspect he is processing this in his own (more stereotypically male) way. That may mean suppressing things, ignoring them, joking about them, and/or venting the emotions through other outlets. It will take him some time to adjust to this new reality and, hopefully, he rises to the occasion.

    Just as you crave and need support in this pregnancy, he will need support too. Support from friends easing his fears about fatherhood, commitment, responsibility, financial burdens, and caring for a new girlfriend (aka spouse) who has pressing needs. And this isn’t even touching the pressure he must feel in…. oh you know, defending our nation. 😉 Does he have people in his life (probably NOT his mother!) who he can turn to for advice, wisdom, support, and consolation? He’s going to need that now.

    All I want to say is to keep in mind that the burden he must be feeling (even if not expressed) has got to be enormous. And you guys are really just getting to know each other. AND at a distance. So be patient and understanding. Acknowledge his burden in this. Let him breathe. Welcome and encourage him into this process rather than guilt and pressure him into it–if you can.

    I’m not saying that this will work, but a slight shift in perspective might help a bit.

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  • leilani

    leilani January 30, 2012, 9:30 am

    If the incident with his mom was the only comment he’s made about your appearance, I would let it go. He might have just thought it was funny that she said that and not realized it was something you were at all sensitive about. I wouldn’t want to let one instance of him being thoughtless get way more weight than it deserves.

    As for the last paragraph of your letter, it makes sense that you don’t feel fully supported in your pregnancy when your relationship is still pretty new and your boyfriend is half a world away. I imagine it would be difficult to feel close to someone and keep a connection alive under those circumstances. What really sucks, though, is that you’ve tried to talk to him about it, and he hasn’t tried to make any changes to make you feel better at all. Its hard to say how much of the distance that you’re feeling is due to the physical space between you, and how much is due to him being an insensitive person. In my opinion, only time will tell if this is circumstantial or if its just the way he will always be.

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  • Budj

    Budj January 30, 2012, 9:38 am

    “My boyfriend was laughing as he told me what his mother said, so I assume that they were both mocking me behind my back. I didn’t find it funny at all. In fact, why would he tell me something like that, knowing that I am pregnant and kind of sensitive about appearance currently?”

    You assumed he was laughing at you. That description sounds like he was laughing at his mother. Drop this issue and focus on your pregnancy and working on your communication with your boy friend while he is deployed…maybe you really are reading into his emotional distance too much? So stop focusing on how it sucks in the present and try and get both of your minds on the things you’ll do when he gets back in the future…

    I’ll add that if you two are skyping and you are miserable / always telling him how hard it is for you with him gone I would not blame him for being a little distant during the conversation. You are both in tough spots right now and need to be strong enough to support yourselves and eachother – positive thoughts might help boost you both – rather than leaning heavily on a guy that has a lot of other stress to deal with. There isn’t anything you can do about him being deployed so start focusing on other factors in your control.

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    • avatar

      Something More January 30, 2012, 9:53 am

      I agree with you that he seemed to be laughing at his mother.

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    • avatar

      Muffy January 30, 2012, 6:20 pm

      I like the line about not leaing heavily on a guy who has a lot of other stressors to deal with. LW: you need to stop talking about how your needs are not met. Just tell him straight up once and then drop the subject. He will not be more likely to meet your needs just because you keep telling him they aren’t met

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  • avatar

    silver_dragon_girl January 30, 2012, 9:40 am

    As someone who just had a big “I don’t feel like I’m important to you anymore, blah blah blah” fight with her long-distance boyfriend this weekend, I can totally commiserate here, LW. Of course, I’m not pregnant and he’s not in a war zone, which helps a LOT. But I know how frustrating it can be when you 1. feel your needs are not being met and 2. don’t even feel like your SO understands the needs you’re talking about.

    So my advice would be to give him something specific you’re unhappy about the next time you talk about it. If you say general, sweeping things like, “I don’t feel like you’re being supportive and loving,” you’re probably putting the guy on the defensive right away. Try giving him something specific to work on, or better yet, using positive reinforcement instead of negative. Instead of voicing objections to things he does that you don’t like, be super excited and happy when he does something you do like. Don’t be afraid to say, “I love so much that you called the other day just to talk,” or “that last email you sent really got to me when you talked about missing me.” Or whatever. I think when a lot of guys hear generalized statements, all they really get out of it is, “I’m not happy,” which isn’t something anyone likes to hear.

    I also agree with the above commenters- you NEED to be building your own support system and life while your bf is gone. Being pregnant can probably easily lead to increased isolation- don’t let that happen! Go out and socialize, keep up with your current friends, get in touch with some old ones, and make new ones! There are probably some “expectant mother” groups/events out there…that could be a great chance to get out and meet other ladies, some of whom are probably in similar situations. And definitely do some stuff that’s unrelated to your pregnancy, too. Take a class, join a book club, a gym, whatever. If your bf gets back and the relationship doesn’t work out and he doesn’t turn out to be a very involved father, you need to make sure that you still have a life of your own.

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    • CatsMeow

      CatsMeow January 30, 2012, 11:13 am

      Good avice. BTW, how did it go with your BF? Do we get an update?

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      • avatar

        silver_dragon_girl January 30, 2012, 11:24 am

        Honestly? It did not go well. I guess I wasn’t communicating very well because he ended up getting upset because he thinks I was mad at him for one reason when I really wasn’t, felt very attacked, etc. etc. and the whole thing just blew WAY out of proportion. So for now I’m just letting it go and will try talking about the actual reason I’m upset in a couple weeks when I see him in person. Hence my advice to this LW…focus on one, specific thing at a time. Sweeping statements like “you always” just make things worse. In fact, there was just an episode of the Big Bang Theory that touched on this.

        I talked to my best friend about it and we both agreed that I have a lot going on with baggage/issues from past relationships and it’s really affecting the kind of stuff that bothers me in this one, and that I need to be careful I’m not projecting past problems onto the present. If that makes any sense whatsoever 😛

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    Flake January 30, 2012, 9:47 am

    I know that this is not going to be a popular opinion, but it still needs to be said. And I really, really, really hope that I am wrong.
    I understand that you are trying to make the best out of an unconventional situation. You have known your BF for 5 months. You have had no chance to get to know each other as an individual. and you won’t have that chance once he comes back either. You are a grown woman, so I will refrain as much as I can from making a comment on how this could have been avoided (I don’t really believe in “surprise” pregnancies, unless one or both of the partners were infertile, for whatever reason; every other pregnancy is not a surprise). And I think in this case, that might be a problem. I don’t think your BF wants to stay in this relationship. I think he is trying to say and do the right thing, but his true feelings and intentions are showing. At the very least, so far, he has been less then enthusiastic and supportive. I think your best bet is to build as much of a support network around you that does not include him. Friends, family and mom-to-be groups are the best choice.
    I know this is hard to hear when you are pregnant, but I truly think that at this point, you have to make you and your baby your highest priority. You also have to make sure that you are staying in this relationship for the right reasons. Doing it mostly for the baby is not. Also, you have to decide if you would be OK with your BF staying with you just because of the baby, because I think that at this point that’s what he is doing.

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    • Budj

      Budj January 30, 2012, 9:55 am

      If you are wrong this is a very dangerous seed to plant in the LW’s head.

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      • Budj

        Budj January 30, 2012, 10:00 am

        Just meaning to say that I would ask the LW to be sure she isn’t projecting these thoughts on to him having heard it on an advice column and that if she suspects him of doing this that she should talk to him about it before it gets internalized and becomes a source of anxiety and stress for her.

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      Jenny January 30, 2012, 9:59 am

      Yeah, I think this comment is very presumptuous and a little mean. You do not have nearly enough information to make that assertion, and saying this to a girl who is pregnant and dealing with a deployment is pretty cruel.

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    • avatar

      Flake January 30, 2012, 10:08 am

      Nonetheless, the fact is that she will be without him during this pregnancy and the first few months of the baby’s life. She has to be selfish right now, and extra careful. If it were I, I would treat this relationship more as a friendship at this point then a romantic one. And in this case, it is better to be prepared for the possibility that this may not bring them closer. I do not know of a single relationship, especially a long-distance one, and one where both partners are under incredible amount of stress, where having a baby made things better.

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      • avatar

        Jenny January 30, 2012, 10:21 am

        She’s having a BABY with this man. I think she owes it to herself, and her baby, to try and make this relationship work. Now, I don’t mean that two people who have a baby should rush off to the altar and ignore any problems in their relationship. Not at all. But I do think that the couple should try to stay together if possible. Nothing she said makes me think it’s time to cut and run here. We’re getting one side of the story, and the one example she cited really isn’t that bad. I would say my currently long-distance relationship with my husband is being made better by the fact we’re about to have a baby…it’s a bright shining light during a time of darkness. Like in Rihanna’s song…”we found love in a hopeless place”. I just don’t think we should be so negative or root for their relationship to fail. This girl needs support, not for us to make assumptions like her boyfriend doesn’t want to be with her…have you ever been deployed to a war zone before? Their situation is not ideal, but it’s reality, and they have to deal with it the best they can. Distance is a mind-fuck. There’s no need to plant horrible thoughts in the LW’s head without having the evidence.

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        Flake January 30, 2012, 10:32 am

        Having a relationship with him does not necessarily mean they have to be together. They can be friends and support each other much better then if either one of them is forced into a romantic relationship he/she doesn’t want to be in. I did not say that she should break it off, neither did I say that they have no chance. But, like it or not, the odds are against them maintaining a romantic relationship, that didn’t even have a chance to grow in the first place. That doesn’t prevent her from staying in contact with him and even raising their baby together.
        I still think that if she is not finding the support that she needs from a man she has only known for 5 months, instead of dwelling on it, she should go and find it elsewhere.
        P. S. My guess you and your husband have been together for more then 5 months… And that is a huge difference in terms of making it through stressful times.

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        lets_be_honest January 30, 2012, 11:10 am

        I guess you won’t be surprised by this, but I really think this was out of line. Sure, there’s a chance they could be better off apart or just friends, but there is NO way of knowing that yet. You’re not even giving them a chance.
        You saying she has to be selfish right now, well, doesn’t he too then? He’s at war for god sake. She’s a few months pregnant. Of course she needs support, etc. but I’d say he’s in a far worse position than her. In any event, I don’t think telling someone, anyone, to be selfish is great advice in almost all cases.
        You are right int hat babies don’t make things easier, but let’s give em a chance.

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    • leilani

      leilani January 30, 2012, 10:17 am

      Eh, I disagree that only infertile couples have “surprise” pregnancies. When I am using birth control correctly and consistently, I basically consider myself to be infertile, and would be pretty shocked and unprepared if I got pregnant.

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        Flake January 30, 2012, 10:22 am

        No birth control is 100% effective, and even the effectiveness rate of 99% means that every 100th time you have sex, there’s a chance of you getting pregnant.

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      • JK

        JK January 30, 2012, 10:37 am

        It actually means that out of 100 couples that use the method as indicated during one year, 1 (of those 100 couples) will become pregnant.

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        meg January 30, 2012, 10:37 am

        Yea, Leilani, birth control is only 99.99% effective, so don’t act allllllll SURPRISED when you get knocked up anyway, amirite??

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        Flake January 30, 2012, 10:40 am

        “The effectiveness of birth control pills depends entirely on how they are used. While the stated effectiveness is 96-99% in reality this rate is much lower, around 87%. Poor user habits are the reason for the discrepancy. Taking the Pill at different times of day, missing days or skipping pills all decrease the effectiveness.”

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        Flake January 30, 2012, 10:44 am

        Condoms: typical use failure rate is 15%, and perfect use failure rate is 2%.

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      • avatar

        meg January 30, 2012, 10:56 am

        So no one should EVER be surprised to become pregnant on BC. Ok Flake.

        Somehow I’ve managed to have sex thousands of times in my life without creating a baby, but if I were to have a positive preg test tomorrow, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. It was bound to happen!

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      • avatar

        Flake January 30, 2012, 11:08 am

        I am sure that you would be surprised, but not in a same way as an infertile person.

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      • landygirl

        landygirl January 30, 2012, 11:31 am

        This makes me think of the show “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant”.

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        britannia January 30, 2012, 3:25 pm

        That show makes me almost want to vote for certain mandatory sterilization campaigns.

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        savannah January 30, 2012, 3:29 pm

        yes, eugenics is hilllllarious…..

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        Flake January 30, 2012, 3:35 pm

        What makes you think that you are capable of deciding who can or cannot have kids?

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        britannia January 30, 2012, 3:38 pm

        Savannah – And the inevitable reality of an Idiocracy is SO much better!

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        Flake January 30, 2012, 3:40 pm

        @britannia: I guess you would rather have the Gattaca thing going on..

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        britannia January 30, 2012, 3:49 pm

        At this point there’s no logical reason for indiscriminate breeding among humans… it’s not like we’re going to go extinct or have too few people to properly support our civilization. If we ever hope to continue evolving into a smarter, healthier species, we need to start being more selective with the genes we pass on to our future generations.

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        Flake January 30, 2012, 3:58 pm

        You have got to be kidding me.. People do not “breed”, they raise families (and yes I know that there are “breeders” out there, but they are definitely not the norm). And what genes would you like to pass on?? And what would you do with the people who are less then your idea of “perfect”?? You know that a lot of people that we consider “geniuses” may have been mildly autistic?? Beethoven ended up deaf, very probably because of a genetic disorder, would it have been better if he had been “bred out” and never lived??

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        savannah January 30, 2012, 4:00 pm

        yeah…its just that ‘smarter, healthier and more selective genes’ has often not worked out so well in the past for anyone who is not very tall, very thin or very white. Hell, my grandmothers family was all three, but that didn’t stop them from getting burned up. like in a furnace style. From people who thought they knew better. People who thought they were part of the idiot problem. Didn’t want the rats to breed more. Guess they were not smart enough or something.

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        britannia January 30, 2012, 4:07 pm

        Breeding is the mating and production of offspring by animals. We ARE animals. So yes, anyone who produces a child is breeding and thus a breeder. Healthy and intelligent genes are the ones that should be passed on. As far as your comment about autism, there’s no scientific evidence that autistic people shouldn’t be breeding, except that they may have some difficult providing proper emotional support for their children (which can be helped through outside resources)… it’s conventional thought that people who can’t “socialize normally” are “inferior”, but I disagree with that. Geniuses are vital to our species because they are the springboard for technological advancements.

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        Flake January 30, 2012, 4:07 pm

        That kind of intolerance is freaking scary…

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        britannia January 30, 2012, 4:11 pm

        @Savannah – If you’re talking about the Nazi regime, of course that eugenics system was flawed from a scientific perspective because it was based on religious and superficial ideologies instead of actual scientific data, and from a humanitarian perspective because they tortured and killed people. I don’t believe at all in extermination of any species, nor do I believe that White=Right. There’s a big difference between being a white supremacist and believing that we should be conscientious about how our species is evolving.

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        Flake January 30, 2012, 4:11 pm

        Soon enough we will be talking about a “master race”..
        I think that happened not too long ago.. You may want to look up “World War II”.

        Also, there is no gene for “genius”. And there are no guarantees that whatever you intended to “breed” will grow up a decent and productive member of society.

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        Flake January 30, 2012, 4:19 pm

        Actually, Nazism has nothing to do with religion, and everything to do with thinking that a certain race (Aryan) is better then any other.

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        britannia January 30, 2012, 4:21 pm

        Actually, there IS evidence of genius running in families… here’s just the very first article that shows up on Google: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2007-02/wuso-gag022607.php

        Maybe your Google-fu needs some improving.

        And just as a side note, there’s no reason why conscientious evolution will lead to a “master race” type of situation. Diversity is the breeding ground for future leaps in evolution, so as long as everyone (including people like you) stop trying to factor religious or any other sort of non-scientific ideology into it, that sort of thing won’t happen.

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        britannia January 30, 2012, 4:26 pm

        The Nazi regime was ALL about religion, at its base. Hitler actually wanted to be a priest, but he became enamored with a certain man’s philosophies… a man by the name of Leopold Poetsch. That’s what truly ignited Hitler’s antisemitism (well, also his specific negative experiences with Jews, but his philosophies probably wouldn’t have developed to such a level without Poetsch’s initial influence) the eventual horrors of concentration camps.

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        Flake January 30, 2012, 4:36 pm

        Actually, I am not religious at all.
        And non-scientific??
        “Eugenics was practiced around the world and was promoted by governments, and influential individuals and institutions. Its advocates regarded it as a social philosophy for the improvement of human hereditary traits through the promotion of higher reproduction of certain people and traits, and the reduction of reproduction of other people and traits.”
        You can spin it any way you want, but the fact is, people are not dogs, and thankfully, so far, there is such a thing as Human Rights, and that includes being able to reproduce regardless of what of what other people may think about individual’s worthiness as simply a carrier of genetic information.

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        ForeverYoung January 30, 2012, 4:38 pm

        Hey! You two! I tried to separate you both below. Check out the forums and you can argue about the super human race all you want. You can even get into the intricacies of whether or not Nazi’s had a point if you want. But this poor LW’s actual question is being ignored, and I feel bad!

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        Flake January 30, 2012, 4:45 pm

        While I am working on my Googling skills, you may want to look up Nazism. Religion had absolutely nothing to do with it. And as a graduate of Jewish High School, trust me, I have spent a fair amount of time researching the subject.

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        britannia January 30, 2012, 4:51 pm

        Yeah, as the child of a Jewish mother and as a child who spent every day after school at the local JCC, I understand plenty about the Nazi regime. That doesn’t mean jack shit when looking at the science of evolution. Separating your emotions from the facts does a world of good for logical thought. But, like I said below, I’m not going to keep this conversation going on this forum, just like FY said. We’re being rude to the LW at this point. If you want to continue this discussion (which is moot at that point, because we’re both obviously beating each other’s dead horses), feel free to continue it on the DW message boards.

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      • Budj

        Budj January 30, 2012, 4:52 pm

        I thought Hitler wanted to be an artist.

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        iseeshiny January 30, 2012, 9:53 pm

        Wow, brittania. Just… wow. I agree, some people probably shouldn’t reproduce. But who are you or any of us to decide who? And using evolution and science to back it up? That’s crazy overlord talk, and not the cool kind. http://www.npr.org/2011/12/28/144375339/a-brutal-chapter-in-north-carolinas-eugenics-past

        See the link for some small examples of what you’re actually talking about. Tell the girl who was sterilized at twelve that she had no right to have children.

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    • avatar

      mf January 30, 2012, 10:18 am

      Honestly, I got the same vibe about the BF and his true feelings. But I really hope I’m wrong about that.

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    • avatar

      Flake January 30, 2012, 10:36 am

      Also, if the only reason everyone is telling this LW what she wants to hear is the fact that she is pregnant, why is it so impossible that the BF is doing the same thing? (And he is not even very good at it) I have a feeling if you take the pregnancy out of this equation, and given the length of their relationship, the advice would have been different.

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    • Leroy

      Leroy January 30, 2012, 10:39 am

      I think that your psychic powers are failing you.

      There’s really nothing in the letter to indicate that your assumptions are correct. The LW isn’t asking people to evaluate her relationship, she’s looking for some support and understanding. I think that she’s in a better position to evaluate his intentions than any of us are.

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        Flake January 30, 2012, 10:51 am

        I really hope I am wrong on this one, and that has absolutely nothing to do with “psychic powers”, and I am pretty sure I am not the only one with this impression.

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        ForeverYoung January 30, 2012, 11:04 am

        Yeah, I don’t agree with everything you said, but I am definitely surprised at how many people think this has any shot at all of working out. This is like the perfect storm of relationship failure. Getting pregnant after knowing eachother for 2 months followed up by a deployment? Yikes.

        LW, I would worry about you right now. You are going through a lot and if he can’t support you, you need to find friends/family/strangers who can.

        *Warning – this is about to be an extremely unpopular opinion!* Relationships are supposed to be mutually supportive. You both don’t know eachother well enough to have a solid foundation. You can’t be wasting your energy trying to support him. If he can’t support you, you don’t need to be supporting him. No, I don’t mean punish him, but I mean pregnancies are stressful, especially unplanned pregnancies. You can’t be shouldering the burden all on your own. Unfortunately you might not have the emotional energy to worry about your pregnancy, worry about his deployment, and worry about your relationship. The one thing that can’t go is the pregnancy. Focus on your emotional well-being and the future of you and the baby. Y’all can worry about your relationship when he gets back.

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        Kristen January 30, 2012, 11:11 am

        I see where you’re coming from, but I feel like the chance of them having a successful relationship when he gets back will be all but zero if she decides to focus only on herself for the next 10 months. It’s already going to be difficult, but she’ll all but completely squash that chance if she takes your advice. She might as well do all she can to make it work (and hopefully he’ll reciprocate), and then if it doesn’t work out when he gets home, she will move on knowing she gave it her absolute best shot.

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        Flake January 30, 2012, 11:16 am

        Which is why I think they have a better chance if they treat each other as friends who are each going through a rough time.
        And personally, I would just really make sure that she wants this relationship for the right reason. Being in it just for the kid is bound to cause resentment for both of them. I think the best thing for the kid would be a happy mom and a happy dad, but they by no means absolutely have to be together.

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        Kristen January 30, 2012, 11:21 am

        I agree. I just think advice like, “You can’t be wasting your energy trying to support him,” isn’t conducive to ANY type of supportive relationship, whether that be as co-parenting friends or romantic. I think if she wants any type of good relationship with the father of her child, she should yes, focus on her own health and happiness, but also make an effort to understand his needs and support him, too. I would hope that her being encouraging and positive would lead to him reciprocating that support.

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        Flake January 30, 2012, 11:35 am

        And I also think that if they succeed at building and maintaining their relationship as friends, that will give them enough of a base to build a romantic relationship, if they both still want to. I find it will be a more natural transition.

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        ForeverYoung January 30, 2012, 11:27 am

        Yeah but I just don’t see how the burden of trying to make the relationship work needs to be on her shoulders. If he is being selfish and doesn’t want to put forth the effort, she should worry about herself and the baby.

        Another unpopular opinion of mine – people give way to much leaway to people in the military to act like jerks. She didn’t climb on top of herself and get pregnant. (I also can’t help but wonder how/why they got pregnant – i’m assuming he knew more than 5 months before his deployment he would be leaving – so if I were them I would have double/triple wrapped it all up. Like birth control & condums & the pull out & only do it with the woman on top (kidding on the last one) – but it’s a little late for that discussion). I feel like people just assume that if you’re deployed the world caters to you. Just the same way I don’t think girls can act ridiculous and claim PMS or pregnancy hormones, I don’t think guys in the military can be totally selfish. Just my opinion.

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      • avatar

        Flake January 30, 2012, 11:12 am

        “LW, I would worry about you right now. You are going through a lot and if he can’t support you, you need to find friends/family/strangers who can.”

        Exactly.

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    • Kate B.

      Kate B. January 30, 2012, 3:09 pm

      I agree with you, Flake, and I had the same thoughts when I read her letter. Advising someone to be selfish is not necessarily a bad thing. Selfish means “to think of oneself” and she certainly must do that. I don’t think she can get the kind of support she wants and needs from his family (at least not based on the example we have been given) so she must find it somewhere else. (Where is her family? Her friends?) If there is one thing I have learned in my life it is that no one can ever take as good care of me as I can. I may find someone who understands me and loves me enough to stay with me forever, but there is only one person who is guaranteed to be around for my whole life: me. This does not mean that we are advising her to be unsupportive and unkind to anyone. it simply means that she must ask herself “how is this in my best interest, and by extention my baby’s best interest”? By all means, if she feels she wants to continue this relationship, she should do all she can, amd talking to the BF is high on that list. But, she should also think about what she will do if the relationship fails. This is not defeatist, it is prudent.

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    • avatar

      spark January 30, 2012, 7:08 pm

      I 1,000% agree with you, and I was surprised to hear that few of the comments addressed this. It sounds like he’s getting ready to MOA. Face it–a pregnancy on top of a 2-month relationship doesn’t bode well.

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  • avatar

    Jenny January 30, 2012, 9:50 am

    Hi, LW. I’m also pregnant with my first baby, and my husband is deployed. It’s tough for sure. You’re in a very vulnerable position and your boyfriend can’t be there with you. It doesn’t help that you two hadn’t established a history or a strong bond before you got pregnant and he got deployed (not to discount your relationship, it’s just hard to really get to know someone in a couple months). My husband hasn’t been able to contact me in over a week due to operational security reasons. The way I’ve been able to get through the deployment so far is to reach out to other people — my friends, other military wives. Stay busy. Focus on your health and your baby. When I have hard moments I think about how this experience is going to make me a better mother…how can I take care of someone else if I can’t take good care of myself? The time will pass and he will come back and you will be okay.

    As far as the stupid comment regarding what you were wearing…just let it go. Unfortunately your boyfriend can’t really comprehend how crappy it feels to be pregnant sometimes. If you two are in it for the long haul (which, I hope you are) then there’s going to be times you both say something stupid or insensitive and need to let it go and forgive.

    If you focus on your own health and the health of your baby, you’ll find you don’t need to rely on your boyfriend so much. When I start to feel down or upset with my husband for being gone during my pregnancy, I remind myself that this is hard for him, too…and just as I’m going through something he can’t really understand, he’s going through an experience I’ll never really understand either. Be there for him, and support him, and he will be more likely to return the favor.

    Stay strong, LW!

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    • avatar

      jlyfsh January 30, 2012, 10:03 am

      I hope the LW reads and appreciates your comment. Being the significant other of someone who is deployed seems to be difficult at best. It’s great that you have a support system to rely and I hope that the LW can find one for herself too.

      And I agree on the comment as well. We all say things we regret, even to the ones we love.

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    • avatar

      Kristen January 30, 2012, 10:03 am

      Great perspective!

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    Calm January 30, 2012, 9:51 am

    I’m a Marine wife and this letter sounds like you’ve got trouble. Deployments are hard. If you’re going in with problems they’re going to be magnified tenfold.

    It sounds like he hasn’t been deployed very long. What stands out to me is that you’re feeling he is emotionally distant. This is a common and natural coping mechanism that comes with deployments. He’s going to pull away. He’s probably going to be crabby, tired, homesick, bored, and potentially be in a lot of danger depending on what his job is. This may pass as he adjusts or it may last the whole deployment. This is normal. Crappy but normal.

    It sounds like he hasn’t been deployed very long. What exactly is he doing that is unsupportive? Does he not communicate with you enough? Does he not ask about the baby? Figure out what it is exactly and see if you can’t ask to work on it together. Do you resent that he’s not there to help you?

    I also wonder what exactly did his mother say? If you’re showing up to see him off dressed looking like you rolled out of bed then yeah his mom is probably going to want to know why you aren’t putting in a little more effort for her baby. I don’t think he should’ve told you that but maybe he’s feeling the same thing too. I’m not sure exactly what happened or if they were truly mocking you but it sounds like it struck a nerve.

    Worry about your baby. Worry bout your health. Give both of you some time to adjust to this new situation. Make some new friends or call some old ones who will be there for you because you’re going to need them. Talk. As much as you can anyway you can. Skype, phone, letters, everything. Communication is the key to any relationship but again its magnified here because its all you have. Remember you are both going through very stressful situations.

    The bottom line is your relationship is going to change. You’re going from the start of a relationship straight into the tough stuff and it going to make or break you. But hopefully when it all is over it’ll have been worth it.

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  • avatar

    Something More January 30, 2012, 10:10 am

    LW –

    First, stop feeling sorry for yourself. Altho your letter doesn’t mention anything about it, I am assuming you have family near. Hit them up for some emotional support. Also, even tho his mom made a jerk comment about you when he left, you DO have a few things in common, so maybe you can reach out to her. Maybe if she knew how hard of a time you were having, she might not be so quick with the snide comments.

    Also, unfortunately, because you aren’t married, you probably won’t be able to have all of the military spouse support that would otherwise be available to you. But there are other ways. Have you boyfriend put you in touch with the ombudsman for his group. There is also usually an e-mailing list he can add you to so you can stay up-to-date with the happenings of his group. When my ex deployed, the wives set up a Yahoo group forum and I was able to meet a lot of spouses thru there. Depending on how large his group is, there might be some other pregnant wives/girlfriends out there for you to hang out with.

    And lastly, when you are on Skype, talk to him about how you are feeling. Let him know that you feel like he’s not emotionally available and are not feeling supported. But, please. Do not dwell on it. Yes, you are here pregnant by yourself, but he is alone, too. What if he is also not feeling emotionally supported by YOU because all you are thinking about is how miserable you are? He needs support, too. Bake him some cookies (layer them in mini-marshmallows – no breaking!!). Definately send him a hand-written letter. Make sure he knows that while you are both going thru this difficult time, you still care about him and that if HE needs to vent or talk about things, you are there. I’m pretty sure he will realize that it’s great to be supported like that and realize he hasn’t been taking care of his side of the deal.

    Good Luck!

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    • avatar

      Kristen January 30, 2012, 10:36 am

      I love the cookie package idea. It’s a great way to surprise him and show she’s thinking about him. She could also send him a print-out of her latest ultrasound so he can look at it while he’s there and think about the baby they’re having!

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      • avatar

        Something More January 30, 2012, 10:46 am

        Thanks. My ex always loved the cookie packages. And I would always send two batches – one he could share and one he had permission to keep all to himself 🙂 And yes, definitely the ultrasound pics!

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        britannia January 30, 2012, 3:16 pm

        I’ve been told it’s the little luxuries that soldiers really miss, like comic books and junk food and “special” toiletries. I received similar packages for holidays when I was in lockdown in Jamaica, and they absolutely made my month when I did receive them. It’s the acknowledgement that “home” still is out there and waiting for you to return that really helps you carry on.

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  • avatar

    Kristen January 30, 2012, 10:37 am

    LW, the more I think about this, the more I think it’s important that you do whatever you can to focus on the positive parts about your relationship and nurture it the best you can. When he gets back, you’re going to have an infant, and the last thing you want to do while you’re waking up for midnight feedings is still be holding resentment about what happened during your pregnancy. So, I say that you throw yourself into this relationship as much as the distance allows. Send him cookies, cards, photos. Make a list of things that come up throughout the day that you think he’d like to hear about, and talk about those things on Skype. Make him excited to talk with you, and tell him about the newest baby developments. How big should the baby be right now? How much longer till you find out if it’s a boy or a girl? What kinds of names does he like?

    As much as this situation sucks for both of you, I think you will feel so much better if you do whatever you can to put the bad stuff behind you and focus on everything positive. Share all your fears and insecurities with your mom and your best friend, and spend your Skype sessions telling your boyfriend how much you miss him and can’t wait till he comes home. That way, when his deployment’s over and he steps off that plane, you’ll be thrilled to see each other instead of still resenting the way the last 10 months have gone. I think it will be worth it for the two of you, and most of all, for your baby.

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  • avatar

    lets_be_honest January 30, 2012, 10:56 am

    Sorta off topic, but this letter reminding me of something.

    A few years ago, my boss’ wife was in the office talking to me about wanting her husband to go with her to Nordstrom’s to pick out a dress for a wedding they were going to. He was too busy I guess. I told her to just go alone since I prefer shopping alone. She said she never picks out a dress without him. Of couse, I started to think how ridiculous that was for a grown woman to never choose her own dresses. Then, she said to me that there is only going to be one person at this wedding she wants to look pretty for and that’s her husband. I thought it was very sweet, actually.

    Reply Link
    • Lili

      Lili January 30, 2012, 3:52 pm

      Haha-the story above reminded me of this one story I heard about my ex’s parents. His dad is a super busy lawyer who hates shopping for ANYTHING clothing related, even for himself. One time his wife dragged him shopping (also to Nordstroms) he ended up just telling the sales assistant to pack up about 20 pairs of jeans in a variety of sizes and styles. He went a grabbed a coffee at the cafe, then just paid and said he’d return what didn’t work later (or have his wife or assistant do it most likely), I don’t think she’s ever asked him to go to Nordstroms again…

      Reply Link
  • Jess

    Jess of CityGirlsWorld.com January 30, 2012, 11:24 am

    FYI, I started a semi-related Forum topic under “Give Advice/Get Advice” after reading this letter. The topic is “How Long does Your Relationship Need Before Having Kids”

    I welcome your thoughts on the topic!

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      lets_be_honest January 30, 2012, 11:54 am

      This is an easy one! Minimum 55 years. Amiright?
      Isn’t it true you’re never really ready though? I think that at least.

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      • avatar

        ForeverYoung January 30, 2012, 12:00 pm

        I’ve heard that. I have a friend who is 31 and her and her husband have been married for 7 years. They aren’t “ready” to have kids, but they both know they really want to. They both have stable jobs and have advanced in their careers, and they have a house. They have started trying anyways because they figure if they don’t feel ready now, they never will.

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    • avatar

      britannia January 30, 2012, 3:13 pm

      I think having children should be similar to the adoption process for a greyhound or other special dog breed…

      Questionnaires. Meeting(s) with a counselor. A “home visit” to make sure your home is up to snuff to house a new addition. And then, you pay for a license.

      There’s way too much indiscriminate parenting going on in the world. I’m not saying that everyone who gets pregnant accidentally ends up being a bad parent, but I really don’t think that pregnancy should be unplanned.

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      • avatar

        Flake January 30, 2012, 3:21 pm

        I am sorry, but having kids has absolutely nothing in common with adopting dogs.
        So people who do not have nice enough houses, or cannot afford the extra expense of a license should not have kids? That is just wrong on so many levels.

        I realize that that is an exaggeration, but still….

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      • avatar

        britannia January 30, 2012, 3:27 pm

        Yeah, your response is quite an exaggeration. Many people really do raise children in completely unsuitable environments… hence why CPS is such an over-worked service. If certain people knew that their homes needed to be baby-proofed and a healthy environment before having children, there would be fewer neglect cases.

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      • avatar

        britannia January 30, 2012, 3:30 pm

        Also, just because dog adoption is more stringent than child production doesn’t mean that the two SHOULDN’T be similar. Seriously, dog adoption groups but people through the ringer more than our society puts potential parents of a human child through their paces to prove they’re up to snuff, and that’s just sad.

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      • avatar

        Flake January 30, 2012, 3:32 pm

        Actually the exaggeration I was referring to would be your statement that a license should be needed to have kids. If you think that money and wealth and not being certifiably crazy is what makes a person a good parent, then you are way off…

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      • avatar

        britannia January 30, 2012, 3:39 pm

        I never said a thing about money OR wealth leading to solid parenting.

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      • avatar

        Flake January 30, 2012, 3:44 pm

        So what would your criteria be?

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      • avatar

        britannia January 30, 2012, 3:54 pm

        A consciousness that your home should be conducive to a happy childhood – relative cleanliness, peacefulness, all necessary amenities like food, water, and proper living/sleeping space… a safe surrounding area or the necessary precautions to make sure that the home itself is safe from the outside world… a lack of negative human influences like mentally unstable or behaviorally unpredictable persons living in the house… Etc.

        Also, I really do believe that parents should go through some sort of basic training. Like – your kid needs medical care. Your kid needs emotional support. Your kid needs an education of some sort. Your kid needs a stable home environment… and here’s how to give all that to them. If we have to go through training to know how to operate a motor vehicle, why shouldn’t we at least be required to sit through a few hours for a crash course on basic parenting?

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      • avatar

        Flake January 30, 2012, 4:03 pm

        All of those things are relative. According to your criteria, the Third world should simply die out. You forget that you live in a privileged society, and that 2/3 of the world most densely populated areas do not.

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      • avatar

        britannia January 30, 2012, 4:16 pm

        3rd world countries would not be 3rd world countries if 1st world countries didn’t so drastically over-consume and hog their resources, like deliberately BUYING all the rights to the water that 3rd world countries have physical claim to and exporting it to the 1st world countries… There is no logical reason for anyone living in such abject poverty anymore (I believe in capitalism, but I also believe that a good person shares his wealth with those who could really use it), so I think that our future children should be entitled to such luxuries as constant availability of food, water, and protection, and if they can’t be provided that, they shouldn’t be put into that situation.

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      • avatar

        ForeverYoung January 30, 2012, 4:20 pm

        Woah woah woah! All of you calm down, this is a forum discussion as it has nothing to do with this LW.

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      • avatar

        Flake January 30, 2012, 4:26 pm

        Well. I have news for you… It is not going to get any better.. Natural resources and oil are going to be depleted, water is being polluted as we speak. Sooner or later, someone will push the button and blow all this happiness to shits…My son will probably never see a tiger, or a polar bear, or a whale in their natural habitat… I don’t even want to think about my grandchildren or great-grandchildren. But to imply that my son would be better off had he never been born is not very smart. He exists, he enjoys life, and I am sure he appreciates the fact that I did not say simply “fuck it all, my kid may not have a perfect life, so he may as well not be born at all”.

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      • avatar

        britannia January 30, 2012, 4:30 pm

        ForeverYoung – Yeah, I’m going to stop responding at this point because I really don’t think this is going to go anywhere productive and also because we’ve taken up too much space on topics irrelevant to the LW. LW, if you read this, sorry for deviating so much from your original question… we just love to end up debating philosophy on here, it seems! I hope you don’t take offense to the intellectual tangents we go through on here.

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      • theattack

        theattack January 30, 2012, 5:19 pm

        Seriously, everyone is so angry today. I don’t think I can keep reading DearWendy today if people dont’ stop showing their teeth and running off on really serious, angry tangents.

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  • Fabelle

    Fabelle January 30, 2012, 11:28 am

    It’s pretty early in your relationship, & you’re pregnant unexpectedly while he’s deployed in Afganistan– this is a stressful situation that might not be bringing out the best in either of you.

    With that said, I’ll give my (controversial, judging my some of the earlier comments…) perspective on the dressing-up-at-the-airport thing: I would have put in the effort to dress nicely, if I knew that was the last night my boyfriend was going to see me for the next ten months. Even if I felt like shit. “Dressing up” doesn’t always mean tight, uncomfortable clothes– I have dresses that are loose-fitting & just as comfortable as sweatpants and a tee (and definitely MORE comfortable than jeans) Leggings are also really forgiving and can be paired with a loose top. Not to be all condescending-fashion-advice-y, it’s just that people sometimes wrongly equate nice clothes with discomfort.

    I do think it was rude for your bf’s mother to say something about it– however, it’s not like she said it TO you, right? I know my mother will make a snide comment here or there about my boyfriend (to ME) but that’s the dynamic we have & I know she’s not being malicious. Honestly, making comments about someone’s attire is kind of just…harmless gossiping 101? You say you’re feeling particularly sensitive about your appearance though, so I understand why you might be picturing your boyfriend & his mother laughing together over it or something. (I sometimes have super-colorful daydreams about all my friends talking shit about me, so…I get it)

    But from reading what happened in your letter, I’m thinking your boyfriend was more laughing AT his mother? And was just trying to share it with you, like, “Wow, can you believe how silly this woman is?” Did you tell him the comment actually hurt, or just try to force out a chuckle? If you told him you “didn’t find it funny at all”, how did he react? Was he like, “Sorry babe, of course I wasn’t mocking you”? Or even if he WAS poking fun a little, I mean, I still don’t think that makes him a jerk. Most of the boyfriends I’ve had would jest lightly at me, and I’d do the same for them. Of course, if a comment was just over the line, or if I felt kind of senstive that day, I’d TELL them & they’d apologize. So yeah, basically, I guess I’m saying you shouldn’t read too much into the airport incident..

    The rest is trickier– “emotionally distant” is a vague phrase that could encompass a lot. Does he seem to actually be pulling away, or is he just…well, deployed? and not able to talk to you as much? When you do get to talk to him, do you want him to pepper his language with “I miss you”s and “I love you”s? He might just still be unsure how to best talk to you while being physically apart– in which case, you’ll need to develop a rapport that makes you feel like he’s thinking about/supporting you. At the same time, you should make sure you’re being encouraging and positive towards him. If you’re telling him things like “I don’t feel supported, don’t you understand I’m alone with your baby?” that doesn’t leave the conversation very open. It just sets him up to hollowly deny your feelings (Of course I support you, you’re just being crazy!)

    The next time you talk to him, ask how he is, what it’s like there, etc. & also tell him how you’re feeling with the pregnancy. If you’re on Skype, let him look at your belly or whatever. Talk about other things besides how far apart you are or what the state of the relationship is. If he still seems “emotionally distant” to the point of being uninterested in your life, the baby, or just not in love with you anymore– then it’s possible that a larger issue exists.

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    • avatar

      britannia January 30, 2012, 3:10 pm

      “it’s just that people sometimes wrongly equate nice clothes with discomfort.”

      THANK. YOU.

      It baffles me that most people don’t seem to realize that it requires the exact same amount of physical effort to put on sweats and a t-shirt and sneakers as it does to put on a dress, cardigan, and ballet flats. It makes a world of difference, and since you’re going to expend the energy anyways, why not make fashion choices that DON’T make you look like a slob?

      LW, please at least TRY to get used to dressing nicely. Most dresses are more comfortable than pants, for women who have back and/or stomach pains.

      Reply Link
  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark January 30, 2012, 12:13 pm

    Great. Yet another brilliantly planned pregnancy where everything will turn out just swell…

    Reply Link
    • parton_doll

      parton_doll January 30, 2012, 1:47 pm

      welcome back!

      Reply Link
    • Lili

      Lili January 30, 2012, 2:24 pm

      YAY BGM is back 🙂

      You were missed!!!

      Reply Link
  • AKchic_

    AKchic_ January 30, 2012, 12:34 pm

    Ugh. You are going to have trouble all around.
    1) You were early in your relationship when you got pregnant. Never a really good starting point at the best of times.
    2) He’s deployed, and that changes people. Trust me. I’ve been there.
    3) He’s not only allowing his mother to denigrate the mother of his child (and HER grandchild), but he laughingly tells you, the woman who is not only being insulted, but who is hormonal and liable to have an emotional fit due to being lonely, and an emotional/hormonal wreck thanks to the seed he’s accidentally implanted inside you.

    Are you getting ANY help from him during this pregnancy? Financial or medical? You should be getting access to his military medical benefits for HIS child. You should be getting some financial support to help you with the added expenses of a pregnancy, especially since you’ll need to be taking time off of work to recover from child birth. Is anyone else helping you out with your pregnancy? Family? Friends? You are going to need their support more than ever, because I really doubt you will get much help/support from the father or his family. Ever.

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  • landygirl

    landygirl January 30, 2012, 12:37 pm

    Instead of focusing on things out of your control like what his mom thinks of your attire, focus on what you can control. Focus on your health and preparation for the arrival of the baby. Keep your friends and family around you for support. Also, give the bf a break, he is in a place where his life is on the line daily and is not going to react to you the same way as if he were on a business trip on Iowa. Things don’t always happen the way we think they should and we need to adjust our expectations accordingly.

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  • avatar

    oldie January 30, 2012, 1:37 pm

    What is not being commented upon is that LW says that her bf has been distance since she became pregnant, not that he has become distant, since he was deployed. LW doesn’t mention what bf’s reaction was to impending fatherhood, but I suspect that this is what he is not adjusted to.

    Reply Link
    • CatsMeow

      CatsMeow January 30, 2012, 3:38 pm

      Yeah, I think there’s WAYYY too much focus on the outfit when LW has so, so much more to worry about.

      To that I say, LW, I feel for you and I wish I could offer you some concrete advice that could help you deal with your situation. However, this one’s a toughy! – and out of my scope of expertise. I would simply say to not put TOO much pressure on yourself to make this relationship work, even though you must be feeling IMMENSE pressure (from outside and from within) to do so. This is a TOUGH situation and anyone would have a hard time navigating this, so don’t feel bad if it’s not coming naturally. Don’t expect perfection, but do your best to keep communication open, reach out to friends and family, maybe spend some time getting to know his mother better if you can, and try to enjoy your pregnancy as much as you can because this should be a really special, celebratory time in your life (even under less-than-perfect circumstances). (And no, I’ve never been pregnant but I *hear* that aside from the nausea, swollen ankles, mood swings, and stretch marks that there is a certain “magical” aspect, no?)

      Reply Link
  • Lili

    Lili January 30, 2012, 2:42 pm

    I don’t have anything to add that hasn’t been mentioned before, but I just wanted to comment and say that this discussion has been really helpful to me. Not because i’m in any position at all similar to what the LW is in, but the way it has touched on something ingrained in society-that men are ‘visual’ creatures and women need to dress up for them. I

    I’ve really enjoyed seeing both sides and appreciate all the comments-whether I agree with them or not!

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    • Budj

      Budj January 30, 2012, 2:48 pm

      Maybe I missed a few of the comments above, but I never got the impression you did from that. I took that as some people were saying it is respectful of the event to dress up while others are saying it isn’t necessary. I don’t think that the people saying she should have dressed up would have changed their answers if gender was reversed. Don’t want to put words in anyone’s mouth so please reply if I misrepresented anyone.

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      • Lili

        Lili January 30, 2012, 3:08 pm

        I thought I saw a few comments up there about how she should have dressed up because that’s what he will remember-how he saw her last…so thats what I was referring to. I don’t have an opinion on her dressing up or not, since its all about personal preferences. I mean love and respect is shown in different ways and to some its always looking nice for your partner ‘when it counts’ but I think women feel this pressure more in general and its also imposed on them by other women-like the BF’s mother bringing this up to him.

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      • Budj

        Budj January 30, 2012, 3:18 pm

        Yea I can see that.

        I guess I don’t really see it as a gender issue because I had it engrained in me as a child to dress up at events like that…like I feel guilty going to an air port and travelling myself without wearing dressed up clothes (not necessarily khaki’s and a tie….).

        I certainly don’t judge other people for their choices though…it’s my choice to do it.

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      • Lili

        Lili January 30, 2012, 3:33 pm

        I think its awesome that you were raised to dress up for certain occasions-such as travelling! Personally I feel the same way 🙂 I like to look a certain way and I choose to do it. I’m probably projecting a bit about the gender issue because this past weekend after a makeup buying spree I landed into a debate with two of my friends on opposite ends of the spectrum and neither was as clear on their reasoning as people here 🙂

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  • avatar

    painted_lady January 30, 2012, 3:11 pm

    Wowsa, this is getting heated.

    Just want to chime in as a few (or quite a few) people have made the connection between pearls/heels/dress, the blatant sexism that can be (but is not always) present in the military, and her right to dress just like she pleases. LW, maybe you wore ratty sweats and everyone felt embarrassed for you and your boyfriend didn’t know how to tell you tactfully. Maybe your BF’s mom is one of those uptight Emily Post types who still insists that any woman stepping out of the house should wear makeup on her face and lycra on her thighs. And maybe this was your first time dropping a man off for a deployment and you had no idea what you were in for.

    If you were expected to dress up – and sexism aside, that happens at work, at church, at certain types of parties, and at the theatre without anyone feeling repressed – someone should have told you. Whether or not you’re pregnant, if you walked into the symphony wearing sweats, you’d get some scowls. But I don’t think anyone on here would be unable to identify with you for being inappropriately dressed for an event without having any idea that was going to be the case. It’s exactly why many women will check with someone else before an event to see what they’re wearing. If you had no way of knowing, well, shame on your boyfriend and his mom for letting you embarrass yourself because you obviously are self-conscious now.

    However, occasion-appropriate or not, there are some people – myself among them – who view someone putting an effort into his or her appearance as a way to show affection and consideration. It’s not sexism for me; it’s manners. I have an ex who wore the same nasty jeans, pit-stained shirts, and talking sneakers whether we were at home on his couch, out for dinner, or seeing the national tour of “Spring Awakening,” and it made me crazy. It was so unattractive that he didn’t care enough about himself to look in the mirror before he left the house. It wasn’t even about being attracted to him, it was about him wanting me to find him attractive. It sounds like your boyfriend’s mom thinks that way, and your boyfriend may as well. I’m not saying you don’t get days where you feel gross and don’t care how you look, but then part of loving someone means sometimes doing things you aren’t thrilled with doing so someone else can feel good.

    All the same, your boyfriend handled this badly. There are more tactful ways to say someone was inappropriately dressed. And laughing off your concerns is not okay. I would explain as clearly as you can how much that hurts you. He must understand what a scary place this is. If he doesn’t and he refuses to acknowledge how he makes you feel, perhaps your energies are best directed toward keeping yourself and your baby healthy rather than hanging onto a relationship with a man who doesn’t value your feelings.

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    • avatar

      britannia January 30, 2012, 3:42 pm

      “However, occasion-appropriate or not, there are some people – myself among them – who view someone putting an effort into his or her appearance as a way to show affection and consideration. It’s not sexism for me; it’s manners.”

      I love this bit! I think that’s what the pro-dressing-up people are really trying to get at, here, which is relevant to LW’s letter because she seems to take such offense to the mother’s disapproval.

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      • avatar

        meg January 30, 2012, 4:15 pm

        In a general sense, I agree, but—another way to show affection and consideration for your partner is not to judge and criticize them for not going all out when they are nauseated due to being pregnant with your child.

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    • bittergaymark

      bittergaymark January 31, 2012, 10:39 am

      This whole sexism argument is fucking bullshit. If it was a woman shipping out to a war zone — which now happens all the time — and the guy showed up in sweats and a rumpled t-shirt, I’d say the same exact thing. As would pretty much everybody else on here… For crying out loud, this is the LAST time you are going to see your significant other for months upon months… So put a little fucking effort into it! The world at large, it seems, has gotten so fucking lazy… Everybody just loves going around looking like utter crap. It’s seriously fucking depressing. Americans USED to be pretty damn snazzy, now far too many people look like they just wandered in from fucking Walmart… If feminism REALLY wants to be all about going around looking like shit — thank the maker I am gay.

      Reply Link
  • Heather

    Heather January 30, 2012, 3:29 pm

    I’m dating a military man right now who will eventually need to do a deployment. Here’s the thing-when he goes, I will dress up nice for him because it’s what I (emphasis on I, because I can’t capitalize it anymore) want. I want to look nice because I know it will be the last time he’ll get to see me for a while. Will I feel obligated to though? No.

    Like many of you, the above thread made me angry. For more reasons than one. First off, like many mentioned, women are not dolls for men. Never. If the LW had dressed up nice, great, and nice, and I’m sure the BF would have liked it. If she didn’t though, because she was tired and pregnant and just out of sorts, and this was her first experience with deployment and god forbid she didn’t read the fucking “Military Bitch Drop Off Protocol” book that some of you seem to have think she should have bought at Barnes and Noble ahead of time, screw the mother for her mean-spirited comment. And shame on the BF for laughing about it. I can’t discern from the letter if he was making fun of her, or maybe laughing off what his mother said because he thought it was stupid and accidentally insulted the LW.

    Second of all, and I am certain I will get hell for this but here it goes-I have several friends in the military, and I can assure you that just because someone is deployed doesn’t mean they’re fighting some epic battle, or living a life existentially more difficult than someone who lives in the US who’s homeless, or a volunteer in a third world country rampant with death and suffering. Obviously, there are dangerous combat zones. But seriously, we need to quit treating every enlisted person as some epic hero who braved the slings and arrows of the enemy on the front line. This is not disrespect for people who’ve enlisted, again as I said, I have many friends in the military. But personally I believe that in today’s society, especially in America, we put enlisted people on a pedestal that not all of them have earned.

    That being said, LW, lean on the people you do have around you-friends and family. This deployment will be difficult, and although I think you should at least try to make it work with your boyfriend, remember that being a mother is different than being a girlfriend/wife. And you will be doing your child no favors by staying in a relationship that truly makes you unhappy. If you can make it through it with your baby’s father, it will strengthen your relationship.

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    • CatsMeow

      CatsMeow January 30, 2012, 3:43 pm

      AMEN. I completely agree with the part that you think you’ll get hell for. And I say this also as the girlfriend of a military man.

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      • avatar

        silver_dragon_girl January 30, 2012, 4:49 pm

        I agree, as the ex-gf of 2 military guys. They are not all paragons of selfless patriotism. They’re just people.

        And seriously, PLEASE write a “Military Bitch Protocol” series. Or do a blog. That would be AWESOME. 🙂

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    • avatar

      MissDre January 30, 2012, 5:01 pm

      I really loved this comment 🙂

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    • katie

      katie January 30, 2012, 11:17 pm

      gosh. where were you like 5 months ago?? lol… i got sooo much shit on the this one letter for saying that the military guy was acting badly. all the “america’s heros!” people came out and ripped me apart for it.

      you are so right though!! just as there are people in the military that are deserving of respect and valor, there are also murders, rapists, liars, cheats, and general assholes. the military isnt some Alpha race- they are just people, with the same flaws of everyone else.

      thank you.

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      • Heather

        sunsetdrive January 31, 2012, 12:26 pm

        Haha thanks guys! I figured I would catch some heat for my, ahem, more strongly worded phrases, but this just got to me. And of course I have a base level of respect for someone who does something difficult, which joining any military branch isn’t easy.

        Also, I’m going to write a “Military Bitch Protocol” novel, and will give out free copies as testers to the DW community, what do you guys think? 🙂

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  • avatar

    lets_be_honest January 30, 2012, 3:39 pm

    Can we let this be a lesson to any of us attending a DW meetup? You will be kicked out if you don’t show up in a prom dress or tux. I won’t be seen with slobs. Mmkay?

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    • Budj

      Budj January 30, 2012, 4:01 pm

      If I go to one and see sweatpants I am going to keep walking.

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    • Lili

      Lili January 30, 2012, 4:09 pm

      Actually…Can we? I’m serious! One of the depts at work had a ‘Prom throwback’ holiday party theme and it looked SO Cool! The girls wore their old prom dresses and the guys rented tuxes. They wore them to work and it was so fun to see them in the elevator and lunch room. The dept that did this is fairly young in age all around though (21-24 ish) , so maybe thats why they all could fit still.. I doubt mine would at this point, but if it was the DW dress code-i’d get it tailored. I love you all that much!

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      • Budj

        Budj January 30, 2012, 4:15 pm

        I would have to rent a tux…and if I was going to spend the money renting a tux it better be a fancy meet up with alcohol.

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      • Lili

        Lili January 30, 2012, 4:36 pm

        Does anyone here read Dear Sugar? She’s planning a big bash for her reveal…maybe we should have a ‘Wendy Reveal’ party in the same scheme-we all know Jackson would bring it in the Class Dept. His outfit in the last pic was AWESOME 😀

        I would so fly to NY for that (As long as I had like a year to plan, and save $$)!!

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    • avatar

      AKchic January 30, 2012, 4:27 pm

      *laugh* Fine, but anyone doing that in Alaska had better realize that I’ll keep on walking! Jeans and a flannel, baby!

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest January 30, 2012, 4:34 pm

        read that as “jesus and a flannel”
        thanks for the laugh!

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      • AKchic_

        AKchic_ January 30, 2012, 5:50 pm

        *snicker* *snort* HAHAHAHA!

        How in the hell am I going to wear Jesus? Do I skin him? Wear his hair? Steal his sandals? This bears some discussion.

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      • Lili

        Lili January 30, 2012, 5:57 pm

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      • AKchic_

        AKchic_ January 30, 2012, 6:37 pm

        Okay, point taken…

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    • avatar

      MsMisery January 31, 2012, 1:00 pm

      My prom dress was black & red leopard print and I wore a dog collar and feather boa. My idea of dressing up is askew.

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  • avatar

    XanderTaylor January 30, 2012, 3:52 pm

    Let me explain to you what the problem is: It is not your clothes. It is the fact that you have known him 5 months & are 3 months pregnant. This is not going to end well. I am sorry to be so blunt, but as a mom of 2 children that apparently missed out on the fact that birth control is helpful to avoid unplanned pregnancies, I just want to tell you that you need to look out for you. Don’t depend on your deployed boyfriend of 5 months to be able to provide you with a whole lot of emotional or other support. Please help yourself & your baby – yourself. And get a paternity test done as soon as he comes home so that your child will have access to all available benefits through the father.

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  • avatar

    ForeverYoung January 30, 2012, 4:12 pm

    Is anyone else super excited for the update on this one? “So, um thanks readers. I was wearing a comfortable dress and ballet flats and his mom expected high heels. But thanks for the colorful discussion on exactly what would and would not make me a caring girlfriend. And a special shout out to the 6 commenters that actually commented on my question.”

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      lets_be_honest January 30, 2012, 4:17 pm

      awesome.

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        oldie January 30, 2012, 4:36 pm

        Well, if that’s what LW was wearing, then her attire wouldn’t be the problem. In that case, she needs to contend with issue that bf’s mom just doesn’t like her and probably thinks she got pregnant on purpose to trap her son. Nothing you can do about the woman, in that case. it is bf’s job to bring her around, if that is possible.

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      AKchic January 30, 2012, 4:25 pm

      Actually, that would make a depressing update. But yes, I anticipate something like that.

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        britannia January 30, 2012, 4:32 pm

        Of course it’s going to happen like that. It always does!

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        ForeverYoung January 30, 2012, 4:49 pm

        Well except this time it wouldn’t be the LW’s fault. She probably didn’t give a detailed description of what time she showered that day, the height of her heel, and what size earrings she was wearing because she assumed stating that she was appropriate to be out in public sufficed.

        Also she wasn’t asking if what she wore was inappropriate, she was asking how to handle the situation she has found herself in – a 5 month relationship, a pregnancy, and a boyfriend deployed. I was actually making fun of the commenters not the LW this time.

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      • avatar

        britannia January 30, 2012, 4:56 pm

        It would have probably rendered the whole argument pointless if the LW had just said something along the lines of, “His mother thought I was dressed inappropriately, but I think I was fine and I’m not going to let that comment get to me.” But obviously it’s a point of contention with her in the way she feels about being accepted by his family because she didn’t defend the idea that she WAS dressed appropriately (which indicates respect for the LW’s baby’s father’s deployment), which leads to a big old field of discrepancy about the facts of the situation. I think it’s fair for people to be commenting on it because it’s obviously a big enough issue to the LW that she devoted an entire paragraph to it.

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      • Leroy

        Leroy January 30, 2012, 5:32 pm

        +1 – I suspect that she’d have reframed her letter if she recognized that people were going to fixate on that incident at the deployment ceremony.

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      • Lili

        Lili January 30, 2012, 5:52 pm

        “Deployment ceremony” interesting choice of words…

        I’m not trying to be snarky I swear. I was just commenting on how you phrased it because the word ceremony make me think occasion to dress up.

        Ok I’ll go back to my lunch of diet coke-which follows a breakfast of coffee. Man is today a bad eating habits day (thus making it a crankypants day!)

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      • avatar

        amber January 30, 2012, 6:55 pm

        yeah except for it wasn’t a deployment ceremony it was dropping off at the airport or maybe those are the same things to some people.

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      • Leroy

        Leroy January 30, 2012, 11:40 pm

        oops you’re right. No that’s not a deployment ceremony.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest January 30, 2012, 8:07 pm

        You’re just Hangry.

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      • Lili

        Lili January 30, 2012, 11:24 pm

        I am going to start using this as a legit condition. I’m HANGRY-btw how do I pronounce that? Like where is the emphasis?

        kthnxbai!

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      • katie

        katie January 30, 2012, 11:47 pm

        it is a legit condition!!

        you say hANgry, like you almost have a southern accent …

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      • theattack

        theattack January 31, 2012, 12:34 am

        Input from one of the token Southerners around here: We say “hongry,” not “hangry.”

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      • katie

        katie January 31, 2012, 1:29 am

        oh yes, i know that- i meant that the emphasis is sort of in the same place, not that southerns say hangry.. although that would be neat if they did. lol

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    • AKchic_

      AKchic_ January 30, 2012, 5:54 pm

      I also have to say – I betcha that if the undesirable should happen (the LW’s BF dies while deployed), that grandmother is going to be all open-arms towards the LW because she carries the only living thing LEFT of her son.
      I know that nobody wants to think this, but it happens. When I got pregnant with my 3rd, my 2nd husband’s mother started calling me daily. She wanted to get to know me right away. She was so worried her son would get deployed (it was 2003 at the time) that she wanted to ensure that we had a good relationship, “just in case”. I’m surprised that the mother isn’t making any effort to get to know the mother of her future grandchild.

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    • avatar

      rachel January 30, 2012, 6:50 pm

      You’ve got a new gravatar! Does that mean you’re going to join us in the forum?

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      • avatar

        ForeverYoung January 30, 2012, 7:23 pm

        Oh what the fuck?!? So yeah, I do. But it got all fucked up so I ended up creating a new username (iwannatalktosampson) and exhausting like every email address I have and it wouldn’t let me register!! I have a rant about it in the book club thing. So now i’m really all bamboozled. I have no idea what’s going on. But I am now going to have a jekyl and hyde thing going on. ForeverYoung is kind of a ballsy chick that likes to call it like it is. Iwannatalktosampson is the nicer girl that just wants every LW to not feel alone, and know that I too, have been there.

        This could either get really fun or really weird. We’ll see how it plays out.

        But on a serious note if anyone could let me know what’s going on why my multiple username’s and email addresses but why I can’t actually register on either of them that would be great. This is why I was afraid of the forum to being with. At least I got my gravatar to work. ForeverYoung/Iwannatalktosampon = 1, Dearwendy = 0.

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        rachel January 31, 2012, 1:21 pm

        I can’t click on the book club thread. I still have a hundred pages left to read!!

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  • Chaotonic

    Chaotonic January 30, 2012, 5:09 pm

    As a military woman, I could care less on how my significant other dresses when it comes to dropping me off for deployment. I have too many other things on my mind to notice if you dressed up or not. My main thought usually being “Hmmm did I remember my portable DVD player, game boy, extra batteries and my bank card…oh god I forgot my bank card…oh…god…I won’t be able to order books from amazon…I’m going to jump over board if I don’t get that new Sookie Stackhouse novel….oh god…oh..god..oh god. WAIT I put it in my sea bag!”
    People put too much into looking nice, you’re just another sack of bones, muscles, organs and flesh crammed into plant and animal threads, like every other person on earth besides the nudists.
    Now for the boyfriend being distant, that comes with the job of being deployed and the shock of possibly being a father in such a short time of being with you. You’ve been together 5 months and now he’s going to be “stuck” with you for the rest of his life or his child’s life and thats a lot to handle during and right before a deployment. He probably doesn’t know what to do, what to say, or he’s even feeling right now. Plus he’s probably tired, I know I was.

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    • avatar

      Muffy January 30, 2012, 6:04 pm

      I agree. You got pregnant within 2 months of dating. I’m not sure if by 2 months he is expected to be there for you emotionally in all the ways you want it. I think you are fast forwarding this relationship because you are pregnant but you might have to accept the fact that he is simply not in love with you-and might never be. Like I said below, I think you should tell him you feel a distance and then back off if he doesn’t answer in a way that eases your doubts.

      And even though he is deployed it does not mean that you are obligated to feel like sh*t fo the next 6-7 months or whatever the timeline is. If you don’t like the answer, you have every right to stop contacting him as much.

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  • theattack

    theattack January 30, 2012, 5:27 pm

    Holy crap, guys. Dear Wendy is seriously having a cranky day today.

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    • Lili

      Lili January 30, 2012, 5:37 pm

      I had to work through lunch and am starving-couldn’t even leave for 5 min to grab something. That plus Monday is enough to make me cranky. Someone send me a sandwich please!!!

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    • avatar

      silver_dragon_girl January 30, 2012, 5:39 pm

      I think the world is cranky day today. Everyone I know is having a rough Monday, including me.

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    • AKchic_

      AKchic_ January 30, 2012, 5:56 pm

      Dude, it’s Bubblewrap Appreciation Day, and Inane Answering Machine Message Day. They are annoyed with the messages. Send them bubble wrap to cope.

      Loves ya 🙂

      *and for the record – it’s 7 degrees and snowing in Anchorage – I’m doing a happy dance*

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      • theattack

        theattack January 30, 2012, 6:26 pm

        Wowwwww, which part of 7 degrees and snowing is worthy of a happy dance? Do you like the cold?

        Also, I want bubble wrap! I stayed away from cranky people today because I woke up feeling awful and called in sick.

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      • AKchic_

        AKchic_ January 30, 2012, 6:41 pm

        It’s been -5 as a daily high for a few weeks, which means most parts of town have been seeing -10 or lower. At night, -15 was the high, but many areas saw -20 and then add the windchill, we saw -30. In Fairbanks, the high is -62.

        I walked 45 minutes to work this morning (my transmission went out Saturday morning), and I ended up unzipping my jacket, took off my hat, and was still warm. You get acclimated to cold temperatures pretty easily, and when it starts warming up to above 0, it feels WARM.

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      • theattack

        theattack January 30, 2012, 8:37 pm

        Umm… wow. Just wow. I can not imagine unzipping my jacket in 7 degrees. But I’m from TN, and since it can be 20 one day and 60 the next in January, it’s hard to ever get acclimated to cold. (Yes, 20 is cold here!) What are your temperatures like in the summer?

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  • avatar

    Muffy January 30, 2012, 5:56 pm

    Here’s the thing: every woman on this site could agree with you that you don’t have to dress up or wear makeup to see your boyfriend off if you don’t want to. But that does not change the fact that men like women who look good. Why make the last image he sees of you for 10 months one in which you look your worst? Do you show up to work looking sloppy because you barely slept and had nausea? No! You still wear work attire. Especially early on in a relationship LW you should really be avoiding the whole sweatpants, hair unkempt look. Even if you feel like that on the inside.

    Now I don’t know if the reason you told us the way you dressed at the airport was because you think it has a factor in creating the emotional distance you feel between you and your boyfriend or because it is just an example of how he has been emotionally unsupportive. Honestly, I would just tell him straight up that you feel that there is a distance growing between the two of you and ask if he feels it too. If he responds with a “your crazy” or “you’re reading too much into things” then ease up on communicating with him and let him reach out to you for a change.

    please do not make this situation any more complicated for him though – he is afterall in a war. Just ask him straight up and if you don’t like the answer, back off a little. Make your conversations less frequent, don’t initiate as many emails.

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  • theattack

    theattack January 30, 2012, 6:47 pm

    “Since I have been pregnant, it feels like my boyfriend is emotionally distant. I have talked to him about it but he just says I am overreacting or reading too much into it. I am not happy with him gone, with the emotional distance between us, and dealing with this pregnancy alone. I don’t feel understood or supported emotionally during this pregnancy so far. I am trying to be strong during this deployment, but it is very difficult. I don’t know what else to do, I need some advice please! ”

    Honestly, everything else seems irrelevant but this paragraph.
    1. He can be physically distant without being emotionally distant. Yes, he’s dealing with this stuff himself, but you would think dealing with it would include wanting to get closer to you and bond over this pregnancy.
    2. He accuses you of overreacting when you tell him how you feel. A partner should be there and should never invalidate your feelings, even if he doesn’t understand them. At the very least he (and any other partner you have) owes it to you to understand that your feelings are important. Most of us demand more from our partners than that – like attempting to understand, being sensitive to them, and trying to work through them with you. Just because he’s having a hard time too doesn’t excuse him from this basic function as a boyfriend. And you, likewise, owe it to him to reciprocate those same things to him.
    3. You don’t feel understood or emotionally supported. These are both important things to feel from your boyfriend, especially when you’re having a baby together. You can’t go on in a happy relationship without these things.
    4. You are not happy with him gone. But I venture to say that you’re not happy with him period. If you removed the physical distance from your relationship, what would change about all the other factors? He might still be emotionally distant, or he might magically become a supportive partner to his gf of 5 months.

    If your situation was anything besides a pregnancy, and if people weren’t caught up in the part about what you were wearing, which was completely irrelevant, I think most people would be commenting that you need to MOA. It’s my personal belief that relationships shouldn’t be forced just because there is a pregnancy. It’s better for children to grow up with parents who have a good solid friendship than with parents who tried to force something and instead ended up resentful and hateful of each other. If you end up hurting each other, you can’t take that pain back, and it WILL affect your child. If you go ahead and end things now and try to make a good friendship with him, you will always be able to go back and build up a romance later. I don’t know what your own values are, so I can’t tell you what to do. But if I were you, I would break up with him now, maintain a good co-parenting relationship, and worry about what’s best for you and your child for now.

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  • avatar

    Meredith January 30, 2012, 7:44 pm

    Ok I’m not going to tackle how you were dressed the day he left for deployment..I think everyone else has addressed that enough. I will say when I got pregnant with my daughter I was seriously so miserable..my hormones were just all over the place. If my husband looked at me the wrong way I was crawling all over his ass. It seems taboo on this thread to mention the fact the hormones could be causing you to feel emotions more strongly than you would if you werent pregnant, but im going to throw out the idea anyway. Because it’s what i went through. You could have some very valid reasons for feeling the way you do, but perhaps are feeling them more acutely at this point. I think it’s very important for you to establish a support system at home to help you cope while your boyfriend is deployed.
    My husband got really nervous/anxious about becoming a dad and if he would be a good provider. It caused him to become distant during my pregnancy and was very difficult for me to understand at the time. I wonder if your boyfriend might be going through the same thing, particularly because this pregnancy was unexpected for the two of you. This coupled with his deployment could be the reason behind the distance you feel. Try to keep the lines of communication as open as possible without arguing if you can. Remember fighting and stress can put your baby under duress, so you want to stay as calm as possible (it’s sooo hard, I remember!) Also remember your boyfriend is facing a lot of stress being a soldier on deployment as well. This is a difficult situation for both of you, but if handled well, can help you become a very strong woman and mother. Congratulations on your pregnancy, I wish you the best!

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    • avatar

      Kristen January 30, 2012, 7:49 pm

      Great thoughts, Meredith. How did you and your husband work through the distant issues?

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        Meredith January 30, 2012, 9:26 pm

        Six months of marriage counseling! Plus we are both super stubborn and were determined to make it work 🙂

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  • avatar

    EmLi January 30, 2012, 8:03 pm

    Not everybody even owns ‘dressy’ clothes… I’m guessing LW wore a pair of jeans and a t-shirt and the mom was miffed because it wasn’t a nice dress or skirt and heels.

    Honestly, my wardrobe is either casual (jeans and t-shirts) or super-formal (like a long fancy gown for the military ball). I don’t wear skirts or dresses, because I don’t own them. I don’t need them.

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  • avatar

    LolaBeans January 30, 2012, 8:15 pm

    Hi LW,

    I’d say forget about the clothing comment your bf and his mom made. Just let it go, unless it is a recurring thing.

    I would suggest focusing on you and being healthy as you have a new baby coming. Surround yourself with friends, family and people that care about you. Enjoy your pregnancy and try to be strong through his deployment. Being a military wife/girlfriend is hard, and I think this will be one of many challenges ahead.
    I don’t want to suggest that this relationship won’t work out for you and your bf or that he doesn’t care about you as some other readers have suggested. Keep positive, keep realistic.

    Good luck to you, LW.

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  • avatar

    AnotherWendy January 30, 2012, 8:36 pm

    Wow, just skimmed through the 300 plus comments. I read about theories on why and when to dress up, the effectiveness rate of birth control methods, eugenics, places to eat in New Orleans, emotions experienced during pregnancy and deployments, theories on gender and attire, weather in Alaska and a whole bunch more! It was like being at a big party and listening in on all the different conversations going on! Thank you all for the great brain stimulation and best of luck to the LW, the soldier and the baby-to-be!

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  • avatar

    heathacat January 30, 2012, 8:51 pm

    LW,
    My only advice about your boyfriend is to communicate with him. Ask him why he made/what he was trying to communicate with the offhand remark about his mother’s comments if it is hanging on your mind and let him know that you found it hurtful.

    Also, you say you haven’t felt supported or understood by him in the pregnancy SO FAR, not just since he has been deployed, and I am curious if you two are on the same page about the pregnancy? I don’t want to read too far or instill negative thoughts if you are, but that’s the first thing I thought of regarding his distance. Mostly because it happened to my cousin.

    Which is why I wanted to share this site with you! [http://www.baby-gaga.com/] My cousin used it to find some local and non-local “Due Date Buddies” that added to her support circle during her pregnancy. The baby daddy wasn’t (and still isn’t grrrr) very present or supportive of the pregnancy/baby, and she found the whole website really helpful.I’m sure there are also resources or groups on base for you to pursue as well that will help deal with the deployment aspect, but this is one you can start from home. HTH.

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  • avatar

    Mwalt January 31, 2012, 1:24 pm

    Face the fact that you are going to be a single mom now, and MOA.

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  • avatar

    John Rohan February 1, 2012, 6:00 pm

    WOW. I am a little late to this party, but I am currently preparing to go on deployment myself.

    1. I have deployed twice already, and preparing for my third. Everyone’s preferences may be different, but I really don’t care how someone dresses when they drop me off. People are seriously making too much hay out of a little inappropriate joke by the LW’s boyfriend’s mother.

    2. For the man-haters today (like Regina Ray), I think you are waaaay off base. There are no “red flags” here other than the LW’s insecurities (which, given the circumstances, are understandable). The fact that he told her about the joke is a huge clue that it wasn’t a big deal to him, and it shouldn’t be to her.

    3. Obviously both of them have major issues going on in their lives right now, and it’s unfortunate they can’t be together. But that’s life. You don’t always get what you want when you want it. If the bf is still distant when he comes back, then it’s time to go into counseling or consider moving on. Right now is not that time.

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  • avatar

    Ra June 19, 2012, 11:10 am

    And really, if you expect much of someone you knew for two months, you’re kidding yourself. Had you not gotten pregnant (and yes it’s his fault too) you most likely would never have seen this man again. Prepare for single motherhood is what I’d do. You barely know this man and he is now faced with being a father to a child with a woman he doesn’t know or love. I’d be distant too.

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  • avatar

    Jess October 13, 2012, 4:23 pm

    Honestly, I had a very similar thing happen to me. And the brushing off of concerns really is a big red flag. Who cares what you wore to the airport? Actually having a kid come along unexpectedly and being used the single (or dating) life, I doubt you actually had any clothes that would be even romotely comfortable and cute at the same time. Also more than likely, he wasn’t supporting you financially at that point and who knows, you may not have had money or energy to go get a whole new wardrobe in a few weeks. I was sick a lot too.

    In my case, we had been together a very short time before I found out I was pregnant, and that was only two weeks before he deployed. We discussed the baby and what to do. I was against abortion but was also very scared to raise a child either alone or with someone I barely knew. I wanted some to time to think about it, but he went ahead and told his whole family. He acted very supportive and excited about having a baby, his family was supportive and he proposed so after. So I thought I was good, that he would be a good father, and that this was the beginning of a happy family. Oh yea he good during the deployment, meaning called me every day and was emotionally there for me. But once he arrived home and I was in labor, forget it. It was all about going on leave and seeing his family, hundreds of miles away. He even seriously thought about going straight to his family instead of us. I had already made up my mind that if he didn’t show, I was not marrying this guy. I wish he hadn’t showed up. Anyway, he came to the hospital and we were married three days later. But after that I and my newborn were dragged around the country, giving me a hard time about stopping just to feed or change her. He was really angry when I insisted on staying put for two weeks to recover and to get her newborn checkups done. That said, this man I married because I was trying what I thought was right, is a terrible husband and even worse father. Abusive, no (if you don’t count the controlling behavior). But supportive, forget it. My kiddo is 2 now and we are still married, but I hate him. I have raised her totally on my own. He pays for everything, but that is because moving all the time makes it hard to keep a job. The behavior has gotten a lot better, but I am far from happy. I have never been able to go out with friends, get to they gym regularly, etc because he still does not want the responsibility of having a kid. If I do leave the house, he begs me to stay saying he wants to spend time together, but then turns on the xbox all night while I take care of my daughter and cook dinner and do all the chores.

    I was military first, came from a military family, so I knew what I was walking into. But you need a supportive husband, because you just plain don’t have anyone else when you’re married to the military. Living outside the US as newlyweds and new baby is a very real possibility (that’s where I am right now). DO NOT IGNORE THE RED FLAGS.

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