“Can I Get Pregnant if He Already Got Someone Else Pregnant?”

My boyfriend slept with another girl and the girl got pregnant. Now the baby is four months old. From the time he impregnated the gal, I’ve been sleeping with him but I haven’t gotten pregnant. Is it possible that if he impregnated another woman, I might not fall pregnant? — Not Pregnant

Oh, dear God. No, that’s not how it works. You can absolutely get pregnant by a man who has gotten another woman pregnant. You can get pregnant in the same season! In the same year! Even on the same day! Even if he says you can’t! Even if he only puts the tip in. Even if he already got you pregnant once before. Please, educate yourself on basic biology, use protection, and don’t actively try to have a baby with someone if you seriously aren’t prepared to be a mother and potentially raise a baby on your own (because it kind of sounds like maybe this guy might not be the type to make himself 100% available…).

I live with my partner and two young children, aged 2.5 years and 9 months, in a different country from all my immediate family. I work a job I love, and I also love being a mother despite my youngest being a very bad sleeper (I usually get about 4-5 hours a night).

My partner is somewhat of an Alpha-male; he built our house almost single-handedly and tripled its value, but he rarely helps with housework. After work he usually stops off at the bar for a beer. When he gets home, dinner is ready. After dinner he watches TV while I get the kids ready for bed and tidy up. He has never looked after both children on his own and only recently changed baby’s diaper for the first time.

Recently, I’ve gotten quite ill. When I suspected I was getting sick, I was too weak and in pain to take action and I asked him to take me to the emergency room. He said I should take painkillers and rest after I put the baby to sleep. The next day I got worse and he left me alone with the baby to “rest.” I called him to come home but he didn’t, so I called an ambulance to take me to hospital where I was diagnosed with viral meningitis and told that I may be suffering with fatigue and need to rest. I was also told that usually viruses don’t develop into meningitis and exhaustion may have had a part to play.

I was given a prescription for strong painkillers and got a friend to drive me back home. The next morning my partner took the kids to daycare and I asked him to get my painkillers on his way back, which he didn’t do because he thought I already had some. I was in too much pain to react and only cried and then went to bed. Meanwhile, his mother dashed out to the pharmacy to pick up my prescription. (Yeah, I forgot to mention that he called his mother when I went to the hospital and asked her to stay in the spare room and look after kids, cook, and clean in my place.)

He doesn’t view himself as a caregiver since I rarely ask for help and he feels that he is in need of my support, not vice-versa. I’m not sure how to approach it or what to say to him. He’s quite sensitive but reacts to his feelings being hurt by getting angry and name-calling. I haven’t the energy for an argument. I’d like us to stay together, but there needs to be long-term changes for the sake of my health. I realize I’ve made him sound like a tyrant which I suppose he is at his very worst, but he is also extremely hard-working, a caring father, and a lot of fun to be with when the going is good. What do you advise I do? — Pass The Codeine

I don’t care how hard-working the guy is or how much the value of the house he built has increased, he sounds like a grade-A asshole. And you have enabled him to be this way. So now you’ve got to let him know that his terrible behavior towards you cannot continue. Either he steps up and starts being a true partner to you — caring for you when you’re sick, pitching in with the childcare, and taking your concerns seriously, or you’re leaving him. And you need to be prepared to do just that or this is your life forever. He may be “a lot of fun to be with when the going is good,” but if the bad isn’t dealt with immediately, the “good” will be far less frequent or enjoyable.

What’s great about your situation, and where you have an advantage over many women who write to me with similar concerns, is that you have a career — and it’s one you love. Leaving your asshole husband wouldn’t be as difficult as it is for women who are completely financially dependent on their partners. If I were you, I’d start thinking about the “how” of leaving him (including talk to an attorney), so that if it comes to that, you have your ducks in a row and your defense ready.

I’m a female and I’m dating an awesome guy. But on New Year’s I snooped on his phone while he was asleep and found out he had been cheating on me with another dude. He said the guy only did oral. I think my boyfriend did stuff too. I told him to cut ties with this guy and he did. I am still with him, but every now and again I’ll think about it and get sick. He cheated for a few months while we were dating. He swears it was only for an experiment, but if he really cared about me, he wouldn’t have done it in the first place. I love him to the moon and back, and he tells me he wants to marry me and he sees me as his future, but this is killing me. What do I do? — Sick About It

There must have been trust issues to begin with or you wouldn’t have gone snooping on your boyfriend’s phone. So, you snooped and discovered he’d been cheating for months. I can’t imagine that solved your trust issues, so no wonder you’re still feeling like a mess. You say you feel “sick” about this, which I infer is because your boyfriend “did stuff” with another guy. You didn’t just say you found out he’d been cheating; you said you found out he’d been cheating “with another dude.” Cheating is cheating. The only thing “sick” about what your boyfriend did is that he was dishonest with you and betrayed you. Maybe you feel worse that he betrayed you with a man instead of a woman, and you need to ask yourself why. Is it because you think homosexuality is “sick”? Or is it because you can’t trust that your boyfriend is into women? Regardless, your trust issues remain, you don’t believe your boyfriend cares about you, and you feel sick over his behavior. It’s a good thing you aren’t married! Leaving him would be much more difficult if you were.


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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.


  1. Oh my goodness to LW1. This is why sex education is important! I mean, it’s possible the LW is very young, but still.

  2. Avatar photo Guy Friday says:

    With LW2, I wonder if getting his mom involved in this discussion might be helpful as well? I mean, I don’t usually suggest bringing in-laws into it, and I don’t know enough to be sure about the MIL’s position based on the letter, but it does kind of sound like as soon as the MIL found out the LW was sick she dropped everything to come over and help, including “dashing out” (which seems to imply doing so immediately) to get her the medication she needed. It may be that the MIL would be an ally in this situation, and if she wants to try and keep the marriage but change his attitude it might take his mom going “Is this how little you think of me too? How could you do this to your wife?” to shock some sense into him? I don’t know.

  3. LW2: What does it matter that he built your house and is fun to hang around “when the going is good” if he is an absolute DICK when you need him the most? He showed you what to expect of him if things get hard. “Alpha male” and all of that is bullshit. I know many “alpha male” types that can f#cking drive their wife to the hospital.

  4. For what it’s worth, I didn’t take the “sick” comment to mean that she feels ill thinking of the homosexuality part of the cheating. For me, when I used to think of my ex, remembering how easy it was for him to lie to me and cheat on me throughout a very large portion of our relationship made me feel sick, every time. It had nothing to do with what he did with them – it was just that I trusted someone who betrayed me. (emotionally and physically).

    With that said, WWS to everything else.

    1. RedRoverRedRover says:

      I agree, and it might also make me sick to realize that my partner is a closeted gay man because that means we’re done.

    2. dinoceros says:

      Yeah, I think a lot of people feel sick thinking of their partner having various forms of sex with another person.

  5. ele4phant says:

    How is LW1s even a question? Like, is she not aware of anyone who has a half siblings? Where people share only one parent, and then have different dads or moms?

    How do you see that those relationships exist in the world while wondering if it is impossible to get pregnant by a guy after he’s already impregnated someone else?

  6. wobster109 says:

    LW2 – Hold on a minute. You are in bed, crying in pain with viral meningitis. He angrily calls you names because his sensitive feelings are hurt. What???

    I think after you recover, you should say, “Hey, I’d like to go to the bar and watch TV on Thursday. Please get dinner ready, feed the kids, and put them to bed.” He’ll probably say “I need to relax after work”, and you respond with “I understand that, because I also need to relax after working all day to take care of the house and kids. We can take turns going out, or we can do housework together and relax together afterwards.”

    It also sounds like you did as he said and put the baby to bed even when you were too weak to drive. Reading that made me sad for you, that he orders you to work even when you’re in incredible pain. This is some Disney-level villainy. Instead say “no, I need to go to the hospital. If you won’t take me, I’ll call an ambulance”.

  7. LWI: My take on this is different. I thought she was wondering if she was infertile because he had gotten another girl pregnant.

    1. ele4phant says:

      Oh maybe that’s what she’s asking.

      You can still get STIs though, so if she’s not using protection she should.

      1. I don’t think she is making wise choices, but I also don’t think her question was whether a man can impregnate two women.

      2. dinoceros says:

        Well, I think she’s asking “why haven’t I gotten pregnant yet” and is trying to cover the bases and make sure that it has nothing to do with him having impregnated someone.

  8. LW1: So then how do people have more than one child if a woman can’t get pregnant once a man gets someone pregnant once? You need some serious sex education and birth control. You should know how your body works WAY before you get pregnant. Also do NOT get pregnant by a man who just had another child (or is about to or whatever). That situation isn’t even close to settled and functioning yet. Please do some research on biology….you do know men have more than 1 single sperm right??

  9. Juliecatharine says:

    WTF is right! Ladies, honestly, all three of you have set the bar so low an ant could trip over it. Get your heads in the game and ffs aim higher.

  10. Is it me or does it sounds like LW1: is trying to get pregnant from this guy?

      1. RedRoverRedRover says:


    1. Avatar photo Dear Wendy says:

      Bagge! Was there an announcement you wanted to make? This could be a good thread for it. 😉

      1. RedRoverRedRover says:

        And where’s SpaceySteph? I hope everything’s gone well with her.

      2. Haha yes, you mean my beautiful baby girl Veronica Jean, who was born on 4/12. She was born at 7:19pm, 6lbs 13 oz, and currently sleeping on my chest as mom naps until her next meal!

      3. Avatar photo Dear Wendy says:

        Yes! Congrats! Enjoy those newborn snuggles.

      4. LadyinPurpleNotRed says:


      5. RedRoverRedRover says:

        Awwww!!!! Congratulations! I know everyone says to enjoy every moment, but you won’t, lol. You can’t. Enjoy the love though, you’ll get through!

      6. Congrats bagge!

      7. Thank you everyone!

  11. LadyClegane says:

    LW2, Please remember the one thing we can all be sure of: in this life, things are going to go wrong. Maybe not seriously, maybe not irreparably, but our plans for our lives only go so far. What will happen to you and your children if you got seriously ill? Will your husband nurse you through a sustained illness? Support you through a death in the family? Help with parenting issues that require real consistency? My mother had cancer and there is no doubt in my mind that she did as well as she has because of the way my father took care of her. Will your husband hold you while you vomit? Take over maintenance of the household? Cook you medically tailored foods? A household’s care work can’t fall on one person, it’s an invisible investment people make in each other and it sounds like your husband is conditional with his love. It makes me feel incredibly sad to imagine living a life with someone I couldn’t trust to take care of me as I would them. I hope you can consider your life as if it were someone else’s. Would you want your mother/sister/daughter to go through what you do? Love yourself that much.

  12. LW2: this is unacceptable. I would prepare my return to my country – professionally and personally – if I were you. What shocked me most in your letter is your concern for his hurt feelings. Are you afraid of him? Of his reactions?
    He just sucks as a partner, stop admiring him like this and take action because this is the only thing way. There is a strong power unbalance in your relationship and what he didn’t do and did to you is a real shame. This isn’t an “alpha-male”: this is a miserable macho selfish guy, and you are treated like his mother: like his servant. Yuck!

  13. The second my partner decided that he got the evenings off to relax even though we both work would be the second I’d pack my bags. The other stuff is just an awful manifestation of that attitude.

  14. LW1: The question isn’t whether you can get pregnant (you can), it’s whether you should, and the answer is no. Please sort yourself out before many lives, including your as yet unconceived child’s, suffer for your poor understanding of biology and people and the world in general.
    LW2: A dick that big is not needed outside of a porn shoot, so MOA from the self-involved jerk.
    LW3: You have a rare opportunity to dodge a bullet after it has been fired. Orientation: unimportant. Honesty: priceless. Go find someone who can be honest with you.

  15. dinoceros says:

    I wish everyone got sex ed.

  16. Lw2. Only you know if your husband would be willing to change. From your letter it’s hard to tell if you have actually asked him, or he has you so well trained (or afraid) that you haven’t asked. I’m not sure what culture you are from and if this is expected, but I come from macho Hispanic south Texas culture, and I know people are capable of change. My dad was a welder and sounds like your husband. Didn’t help with cleaning raising me, or cooking. He worked 7 days a week, built things and did the traditional man things around the house. Fast forward to retirement. He did before my mom, because working in the oil fields is a young mans game, even after double knee replacement. He got into cooking, had dinner ready for my mom everyday when she got home. People who love you step up. They adapt and change. Don’t let the alpha male persona cloud your view of what’s going on here. He is not treating you well. He pawns off your care to other people, as well as your children’s. Despite the virile man show he gives the world, at his core he is empty and useless.

  17. LW 3 – it is ok to feel sick finding out your bf is having homosexual relations behind your back. You can be accepting of homosexuality and still not want to have sexual relations with someone who is homosexual. Don’t let anyone tell you you do. That is your personal choice and he took that choice away from you by not being honest and upfront with you about his true sexuality. If someone is gay I have no issue with it, but still would not care to be sharing my man with another dude. Let the other guy keep him. I seriously doubt oral was the only thing going on. Do the specifics really matter? He is a dishonest cheat no matter who or how. That isn’t love and you should move on and let him be bi or gay or whatever and let him date someone who is aware of that. He may be in denial or ashamed of his sexuality. He needs to face it and be who he is and be honest with himself and his partners.

  18. And please get tested/use protection no matter who is sleeping who. All the sleeping around unprotected is what is really SICK! Value yourselves and your health!

  19. Kelly Walters says:

    Leaving the asshole husband isn’t going to help her exhaustion. She needs to hire a housekeeper/nanny and make him pay the bills.

  20. Avatar photo Dear Wendy says:

    From LW2:

    Yes, he is being an asshole thanks for the advise!

    When I read my letter back to myself I was taken aback by how horrible he sounded and that I seemed scared of him. I told him the next day that I can’t stay with him because my health is suffering from doing too much and he’s not looking after me. I thought it would lead to an argument but he was quite ashamed and said he felt out of his depth looking after me and caring for the baby (paraphrasing what he said). Since then his mum has gone home and he has been looking after the kids (changing nappies?!), cooking and cleaning.

    I told him in the long term I need a better lifestyle, so we’ve hired a cleaner once a week to take the weight off some of the domestic stuff and he’s also promised to help with chores. Plus now he’s had time with the baby and is more confident, he said he’ll take the kids a couple of times a week after work so I can socialise with friends.

    Yes I am in a financial situation where I could leave him, and I always know that option is available. I earn good money and I help him with his business so he’d suffer in that respect if I went. I’m not stupid nor am I usually a pushover, but I’d like to stay with him – though he needs to be more supportive.

    Thanks for taking the time to go through this and give your thoughts. It was hard for me to get perspective by myself, I did talk to some friends but they know him well and just sort of rolled their eyes and offered to take the kids. It’s clear that he was extremely negligent at a time when I was at my most vulnerable which is worrying because this probably won’t be the last time he’ll need to look after me when I’m sick. He’s got a long way to go before he wins any husband of the year awards, but I’ve got to at least tell him what he’s doing wrong before I start picking custody dates.

    Thanks again.

    1. I don’t know, I mean, great that he seemed ashamed of himself and started changing some diapers, but you almost died and he wasn’t shaken up enough to make any changes, he just got his mom to come in until you’d presumably be back on your feet and able to start doing it all again.

      I’m appalled that he didn’t take you seriously when you were ill and get you to a doctor / hospital. He also could not be bothered to get you your meds. Do you know how NOT NORMAL that is for a spouse?? I feel like you’re lying to yourself that this is acceptable because he’s an “alpha male” and “sensitive.” He sounds like an asshole who turns it around on you when you dare to call him on it. Your friends know what’s up.

      My prediction is he’ll “help you” temporarily with the housework and child care (which, by the way, he SHOULD have been sharing equally with you all along), and then things will go back to how they were and you’ll burn out again.

  21. Yeah… No “alphamale” calls his mum when things become tough. He has to grow up and deal with the situation by himself. It was more than negligence. It was a lack of concern for you and a fail to take responsability. The first role of any partner in a marriage is to support the other, especially in health concern.
    So good for you to have started a talk and hired a cleaner. I would go on with a couple therapist to establish a new balance and have him realize what went so wrong, because it is really worrying. One reads you and thinks: this woman is not safe where she is! This is abuse.

    1. Agree, telling you to “rest” for almost 24 hours, refusing to come and take you to the hospital so that you had to call an ambulance (you were deathly ill!) – that’s abusive. And you said when you try to discuss things with him, he gets angry and calls you names. So this is physical and emotional abuse. Yes, abusers show remorse when they’ve really hurt you, but they don’t stop abusing.

  22. baccalieu says:

    LW1: All I can say is that I hope MoeP was right about what she meant, because, otherwise, Wow!
    LW2: I would not say he was an asshole so much as someone who continues to believe in 1950’s standards about gender roles, and has no experience otherwise (the fact that he called his Mom to bail him out when LW2 went to hospital supports that view). His not taking her illness seriously, while horrible, is also part of that. (Remember the joke about the housewife’s epitaph: “I told you I was sick.”) However, it is not acceptable that he stay that way in this day and age, and if he can’t change, you need to leave. Given your second letter, I think there is some hope for him and I would give him a chance to make good on his promises.
    LW3:His bisexuality is clouding the issue of his cheating, which is the main question. If you would forgive him (and trust him not to do it again) had he slept with another woman then I would think you should forgive him this. If you really can’t get over the homosexuality part, though, you ought to break up for both your sakes.

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