We live together and I also have a 10-year-old daughter. Within the last year we have taken in his father who has dementia and is very nasty. I have taken care of him with no help from my boyfriend nor his two brothers. This man has come into the bedroom on a daily basis and made very rude and dirty remarks, even after being confronted. About a month ago he moved back home, but it didn’t work, so now he’s back at our house.
I will not live with him. My boyfriend says he’s not in his right mind and that I should not pay attention to him. I’m so upset. I love my boyfriend, but he basically is choosing his father over his child. He has two other brothers and one is power of attorney, but they don’t want him with them. What do I do? Please help me. I resent him for allowing this to happen to me. — Sick of Pills and Dementia
Move out, get a place of your own for you, your daughter, and your baby-to-be. Your relationship with your boyfriend, not to mention his relationship with himself and his addiction, is in a state of flux. Right now, you have to focus on being the best mom you can be and that means getting out of that house of cards and creating a more stable home life for the three of you. Speak to a lawyer about getting child support, and put that money toward securing a home of your own and raising your baby by yourself. If your boyfriend is already dumping the responsibility of caring for his dad on your shoulders, you better believe he’s going to expect you to do all the work in caring for the baby you share. So make what will be a difficult situation as tolerable as possible and GET OUT of that house you’re in as soon as you can.
Alert your family and friends — whatever support network you have in place — that you will need their help more than ever in the coming months. This is not the time to focus on your relationship — a relationship that, frankly, sounds pretty doomed. You’re with a man who is battling an addiction, can’t satisfy you sexually, doesn’t seem to respect you, leaves you feeling lonely and neglected, and takes advantage of you by dumping his demented dad on your shoulders to deal with. MOA. And use the time you’d ordinarily be worrying about him and focus on your kids instead.
*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at [email protected] and be sure to follow me on Twitter and ‘like’ me on Facebook.
Temperance July 24, 2012, 9:06 am
Please make sure that this man has not harmed your daughter. Not your boyfriend, his perverted father.
Take care of yourself, and RUN.
Desiree July 24, 2012, 12:06 pm
That was my first thought as well.
katie July 24, 2012, 9:06 am
WWS. could you imagine dealing with an innapropriate old guy with dementia AND an infant (AND a ten year old)?? god. sounds like hell.
katie July 24, 2012, 9:48 am
you know, im wondering now what “rude and dirty” remarks means… are these sexual? are they racist? are they potty jokes? if they are sexual, do you think that he has the potential to get worse? you have a 10 year old daughter. please remember that. it doesnt matter if he doesnt know what he is doing, or if he doesnt mean it, or however you can rationalize it, but if he harms her, it is going to have long lasting terrible effects…
Nadine July 24, 2012, 9:10 am
Your boyfriend doesnt even factor into the top three things I’d be worried about in this situation.
What if your ten year old daughter became the recipient of lewd comments when you were preoccupied with the baby? This man is your boyfriends problem, and you need to act accordingly.
It isn’t even about sex. The way you wrote it makes me think you focus the problem around his sex drive, a problem which could be “fixed” at some point and thereby solve your life. But your problem is his inattentiveness to your needs, and his creepy father.
You have no loyalty to the seedy man who currently lives with you. He has three sons to look after him. You have two kids to care for (or will do), so start caring for them and move out!
daisy July 24, 2012, 9:12 am
LW, I commend you for your compassion and your efforts to care for your boyfriend’s dad. However, regardless of his nasty comments and demeanor, he is not your responsibility and if you don’t want to care for him, then you don’t have to — end of story. This man is not your family (not even by marriage) and you don’t owe him anything. Again, your allowing him to live with you in the first place was admirable, but it’s certainly not worth your sanity and comfort in your own home.
As for your relationship with your boyfriend — WWS. Do what you need to do for your kids.
Budj July 24, 2012, 9:19 am
Yea this sounds like a horrible situation for your daughter and future child. I would definitely do WWS. I would say you MAY (underline, italics, bold) be able to work through this, but the father being in the house is just way too much for this already really tough situation.
Riefer July 24, 2012, 3:34 pm
They might be able to work through it after she moves out. That might push the boyfriend to realize what kind of situation he put her in. If he doesn’t make other arrangements for the father after that, then obviously the relationship is over.
Tax Geek July 24, 2012, 9:20 am
If he moved “back home” and it didn’t work that seems to me to mean he should be in a nursing home or assisted living facility. No way you (I assume you are not trained to deal with these type of people) should be dealing with him alone.
jlyfsh July 24, 2012, 9:44 am
Yeah I think people underestimate the issues that come along with dementia. The person has no control over what they do or say. Not a good combination to have a person who has dementia in a house with young children. I’m sure if the Father knew what he was saying or doing he would be appalled. Which is really sad. Time to let people who do this for a living take care of him, it would be better for the Father in question in the end too.
AmyRenee July 25, 2012, 1:14 pm
Having dealt with in laws with dementia recently, I can tell you, it is HARD. I’m with the 99.5% of commenters that think you should just move out ASAP, but in the off chance that there is something left out of this letter and you think your relationship with your boyfriend is salvagable, here is what you need to be aware of:
Your boyfriend and his brothers are in denial. They probably think their father is “not that bad”. They are turning a blind eye to the things he does, or writing it off as “just how he is” or avoiding him so they don’t have to see it. His dementia is only going to get worse. He is going to start doing and saying more inappropriate things. Soon that will turn into dangerous things, like leaving on the stove or trying to drive and getting hurt or lost.
You say that he returned “home” for a while, which implies to me that he has assets. This means it’s time for one of 3 things-
1) The brothers take shifts providing him with round the clock care at his home. This is least expensive, but most inconvenient, and may provide the wakeup call they need to their fathers true mental state.
2) They need to hire him 24 hr a day care at his house. This is probably the most expensive, but would allow his father to stay in his house.
3) They need to sell the father’s house and assets and put him in a care facility. If they are assholes like some in my husbands family they may resist this, because “that is their inheritance and they deserve it”. BS. It is the father’s assets and now the father needs to sell them to be taken care of. And don’t let them give any BS about how long it will take to sell in this economy. There are programs that will sell the house and it’s contents at auction and put the money in an account to care for the elderly person, and when that money is gone Medicaid and Medicare take over.
Bottom line – your boyfriends father needs more care than you can give him. Your boyfriend and his brothers need to wake up and realize this. If you need to move out to make that point, do it. And if that doesn’t wake up your boyfriend, then he doesn’t deserve you.
cporoski July 24, 2012, 9:25 am
LW – move out. There are so many people in this world caring for elderly parents. Dementia does horrible things to people including making people use words that they never would have used before. You are a girlfriend and not a wife of 15 years. This is not your responsibility so get out. There are too many issues here.
Kristina July 24, 2012, 9:26 am
Oh lordy. This isn’t a healthy environment for anyone involved. One comment that stuck out to me is: “I resent him for allowing this to happen to me”. It seems like you want to blame him for these things – you have a responsibility in this too, and right now, you have a responsibility for your daughter and your other child on the way as a parent, and a responsibility to put them in a healthy environment. Unstable relationships, drug addictions, and an elderly man with dementia and other problems are enough on its own – but there are children involved. You can change that, LW. There are so many things going on in the letter that I’m not sure I want to touch, but moving out and moving on should be a priority. You seem to know that the situation you’re in is intolerable, but you still seem really confused by it all, so I think therapy could help you out a lot. Along with support from friends and family.
It’s not easy to live with someone who has dementia, but you owe it to your daughter and future baby to remove yourself from someone who gives off that creepy or perverted vibe that makes you feel uncomfortable, regardless of his issues. You mention that your boyfriend is choosing his father over his future child, but do you want to be choosing a boyfriend over the well-being of your children?
katie July 24, 2012, 9:29 am
dang, i didnt even register that particular line..
LW, dont be a passive participant in your own life. the issues you are having are not happening TO you, you are letting them happen. take some control back! this is your life too, and even if you dont care about that very much, this is also your children’s lives! so worry about them even if you dont want to worry about yourself.
Lindsay July 24, 2012, 12:06 pm
That one stuck out to me, too. I feel for what the LW is going through, but it’s time to take some control. Going through life blaming others isn’t going to be of any help. Certainly, this guy is a loser and is causing all sorts of problems, but the only one who’s going to be “allowing” it to happen is going to be you if you don’t MOA.
Fabelle July 24, 2012, 9:33 am
LW, you can resent your boyfriend all you want– he sounds completely uncaring– but only you can “allow” this situation to happen. Listen to Wendy, & don’t LET it happen. Please get out now. The father is bad enough (and totally NOT your responsibility), but there are many factors you listed here that shows your relationship is dysfunctional. This isn’t worth salvaging.
FireStar July 24, 2012, 9:38 am
Oh hon – you need to get out. If it were just you I would tell you to ditch the situation and move on when you can but you have kids. You absolutely cannot continue to expose them to this environment. If you don’t have family or friends that you can go to now, find a women’s shelter you can stay at while you get on your feet. Parents lead by example. Do you want your kids to look at your relationship as an example for themselves? The woman does all the heavy lifting? puts up with abusive language and behaviour? receives no support from her parter? I don’t see anywhere in your letter what benefit you get out of this arrangement – I see your boyfriend’s benefit crystal clear – and his brothers’ benefit – but yours not so much. They should be ashamed of themselves for fostering off their father on you – a pregnant mother with a young child. It isn’t your responsibility to care for the lewd, delusional father. Not even close. It is however cheaper for them to use you as slave labour rather than invest in a trained caregiver for the father or to put him in an appropriate residence. Just shameful. Leave and don’t look back – there is no fix for this situation – you just have to get out. Arrange for child support, figure out visitation when the time comes but give your children the example of a mother who stood up for them, provided them a stable life and kept them safe from physical and psychological harm.
Clare July 24, 2012, 9:42 am
Wow! You need to get out of that house ASAP. Your main priority should be your daughter and your unborn child. A 10 year old girl should absolutely not be living in the same house as a “perverted” old man prone to making inappropriate comments. I also don’t understand why you would continue to live with your boyfriend after you discovered his pill addiction (if you lived with him at that point). That is something your daughter should NOT be exposed to. Getting a new place immediately should be your first step. At this point, by allowing his father to stay, your boyfriend is choosing his father over your and your child, which is something you should not accept. His father needs professional help, which it doesn’t sound like he is getting.
Kristina is absolutely right about taking responsibility. You need to stand up for yourself when something is unacceptable so you don’t endanger yourself or your children. They need to be your #1 priority, not your boyfriend.
jlyfsh July 24, 2012, 9:49 am
Like Kristina above said, you have let this happen to yourself. You have to make the decision to care for yourself and your kids. The Father needs to be in a home where they are qualified to take care of people with dementia. If your boyfriend and his brothers truly loved and cared for him they would get him that help, it’s a big red flag that they would rather have you do it then get that help. Move on and focus on yourself and your kids.
call-me-hobo July 24, 2012, 9:50 am
LW, think of this fact- Your boyfriend’s father’s dementia will not improve. It is not the nature of the disease. He will only get worse.
You need to make your decision quickly, for the sake of your daughter and your baby. He could get to the point where he is literally a danger to himself, or God forbid, a danger to you and your child. There isn’t any shame or cruelty in walking away from this situation. Dementia and Alzheimer’s are one of the main reasons care facilities and nursing homes exist- Your boyfriend needs to be responsible and get his dad to someone who CAN take care of him, instead of foisting him off on his pregnant girlfriend.
Secondly- Your daughter is at a time where she is looking at you to see how *she* wants to be treated by men in the future. Do you want your little girl growing up thinking that she must stay with someone who doesn’t make her happy (someone she resents!) just out of some sense of duty or loyalty?
Good luck, LW.
MMcG July 24, 2012, 9:58 am
LW, if you had a concerned, caring and respectful boyfriend I would recommend counseling, and point out that there are elder care services and aging services in almost every state that should be able to assist you – including financial assistance depending on the situation.
BUT, you don’t have a concerned, caring and respectful boyfriend. Wendy said it much kinder than I would have… it doesn’t appear as though the 36 yr old man you are dating is taking any responsibility for his life and his family, and neither he or the brothers are going to do anything about their dad while you are around enabling the situation by being the default elder-care provider. I can’t even imagine why the brother who has power of attorney isn’t more involved, does he have authority over Dad’s finances which aren’t being used to help here??
Furthermore, and I hate to point this out, but this portion of your letter was quite alarming… “About six months after we started dating, I also learned he had a pill addiction. I got him help and he swears he is still clean.” No one can get clean unless they want to, and I’m really concerned that 6 months into your relationship you were already in a fixer mode and making him do things to deal with addiction (that he hid from you for the first 6 months) when that should have been a sign to MOA when you are the mother of a little girl. If you are left with “he swears he is still clean” than is he in a formal program? Have you gotten assistance from addict support groups to be able to help you manage, and deal with the manipulation that addicts can bring to the table??
You need to start taking responsibility for your own actions and reactions, not waiting for some magic bulb to light over your boyfriend’s head to make him a functional person, put your family first and focus on your child and baby to come. Please take the steps outlined above, please re-evaluate how quickly you get involved in relationships in the future when you have 2 children to care for — because 6 months is a little soon to commit to a relationship and saving someone that you know has serious problems and been lying to you about them.
You don’t mention how old you are, or what your history is, but if you haven’t spent any time by yourself and have instead been rushing into relationships or seeking a man to make your life complete/be your child’s father — please consider some time alone, and space to figure out who you are as a mother and adult woman, not just as a girlfriend and fixer/provider.
bittergaymark July 24, 2012, 10:03 am
Okay, I was going to comment in the “commenting” thread. Because clearly things HAVE gotten out of hand… But this one actually seemed much better as it more truly suited the reasons why I left.
In short. It was letters like these. And MANY posters’ reactions to them.
LWs like this simply set me on fire because they don’t seem to be, but in fact ARE deliberately going out of their way to do everything wrong. Wrong. Wrong. WRONG! They make the very worst choices possible, time and time again.
“DW, My boyfriend has never really been into me sexually. And he was a drug addict, too. Oh, yeah, I almost forgot — he has a sexually demented mentally ill father who is a horrible influence around my own ten year old daughter. Since my boyfriend totally ignores me and continually rejects me sexually all the time — I really thought that the best thing to do was get knocked up by him and bring a baby into this wonderful situation THAT I HAVE GONE OUT OF MY WAY TO CREATE. I mean, sure, I could have gone out and simply found a man who didn’t treat me like shit, and who didn’t expect me to take care of his crazy daddy, and who didn’t thus put my daughter in potential harm’s way… But I chose not to… Now, I am not happy! Whatever can I do!”
And instead of calling this LW on her incredibly stinky shit (putting her own DESPERATE need for a man, clearly ANY MAN, above the needs of her innocent little ten year old) — everybody is just ridiculously supportive! As if waving fairy dust will make the world a bright and shiny place for this LW and her child. (Oh, no. Make that TWO children… neither of whom will clearly ever have much a father…)
No. This woman is in no position to have another child. Clearly she isn’t even taking care of the first. God knows WHAT has already happened to the child in that house with the sexual sociopathic old man…
Honest to God — many people here think they are feminists… (Actually, a good number of you are that in fact — and bravo!) …but, in fact, an even greater number of you are actually stupidists instead. This does NOT mean what you think it means either — so I shall explain! A stupidist is no necessarily stupid, no. (Far from it!) But they instead think that all women everywhere should be able to run around making the stupidest decisions on the planet and STILL be able to count on the apparently, utterly insane Rah Rah Sisterhood of the Coddling Pants. Stupidists fully believe in a womens rights to act stupid. Unbelievably stupid. (I suppose that there are indeed stupidists out there who feel the same way for men, but there truly aren’t any of those on DW presently.)
Now that I have said all this — next up will come the claims that I am raging misogynist. Which is laughable. I mean if a man wrote this SAME exact letter and I went all batshit crazy on his ass telling him that men need to simply make better choices… would ANYBODY attack me as anti-male? Seriously? Hah. No, I think not.
And THIS is why I got fed up and blew my stack the other day. Although I will admit, that being called an asshole, who has no life, and is nothing but a pointless miserable person in not one, but THREE separate posting by the same poster certainly didn’t help. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back so to speak. I didn’t leave because I couldn’t take the heat, but rather because I couldn’t see any point in remaining. Clearly my ranting and raving that MANY women need to make better choices isn’t having much effect. Heck, what do we have today? Oh, look another letter about the same thing. And still — nobody seems even remotely fazed by it. Good God — what a horrible new normal.
It just got exhausting. (Not to mention depressing!) And that’s the REAL reason why I am taking a break. It’s simply exhausting to call out the obvious and then have many act like I have said something truly shocking… I just don’t understand why so many of you seemingly go so out of your way to support the bad choices of others… I mean, come on, reread today’s letter! It’s so over the top, it almost reads like a fake one that I would have written to prove my point!!
And once again — other than me, it seems NOBODY is calling this person on it at all…
Flake July 24, 2012, 10:12 am
That is exactly why I chose not to say anything… I am sticking to the ‘if you have nothing nice to say, do not say anything at all’. And for the record, while it does not happen too often, I completely agree with you.
katie July 24, 2012, 10:16 am
BGM! your back! if only for a fleeting comment…
i hope you dont stay away for long. because yes, your are harsh, but you put things in a way that i never think of them, and so i like reading what you have to say.
and about so many people having the same problem… well, i guess thats just the way it is right now. thats reality right now, unfortunately. i dont like it either. ive heard the theory that it is because we dont “beat” our kids anymore, and ive heard the theory that it is because no one has personal responsibility anymore (sue-happy society we have and all)… i dunno. it would be an interesting discussion. i wonder if there is any hope for our next generation… because it just seems as the days go on, more and more people are making more and more mistakes and just not taking into consideration any consequences for their actions. i dont know how to fix it. thats one reason im terrified to have kids. i dont want my kids to make these idiot mistakes in their life! i dont know how i would be able to handle that…
Clare July 24, 2012, 10:17 am
I agree with you that the LW has made a series of terrible choices (including choosing to fail to act and stand up for herself) but the reason I didn’t say that in my comment above is that saying it isn’t going to help her at this point. She needs advice on what to do NOW, not a list of the mistakes she’s already made. But, maybe a wake-up call could help her to see how the negative choices she’s made have all gotten her to this point, and that she could have avoided all these problems by not going down this path and hopefully help her avoid these mistakes in the future. I’m torn about what to say and what not to say, with all the discussion about tough love and being too hard on LWs (but, come on, having a baby with someone who is dealing with drug addiction, bringing a 10 year old into that environment, and allowing your child to be exposed to a mentally unstable man with inappropriate tendencies sure is a quite a series of terrible choices).
jlyfsh July 24, 2012, 10:22 am
which is why you need different people commenting so that the lws can read both bgm’s comments and someone who is a little nicer. i’m glad to see bgm back as well, because while i don’t always agree with how he says things or even what he’s saying i always appreciate the different view point. i mean honestly without multiple types of people commenting it would get boring and i think fewer people would write in.
katie July 24, 2012, 10:26 am
exactly. you need all those answers. the kind ones, the mean one, they are all needed and i do think they all serve a purpose.
and besides, lets be real, those days when everyone agrees with everyone else about the letter are pretty boring. there are no new thoughts formed. there are no new conclusions we come to. its a very flat all-encompassing agreement and probably unproductive for the LW.
bagge72 July 24, 2012, 10:41 am
I agree with that, if I get on DW late, and I see a thread with all of the same comments, I just don’t comment at all.
iwannatalktosampson July 24, 2012, 10:49 am
(Should out to Katie)
I completely agree. That’s why I love BGM’s comments so much. We need the people to be really nice to the LW’s, the people like Tracey who lay out a step by step “here’s what to do”, and BGM to remind them every way they went wrong.
katie July 24, 2012, 12:54 pm
MJ July 24, 2012, 10:19 am
Mark, what would you have them do? Seriously. Everyone on here is telling her to get out, to put her children first, and to make good choices. EVERYONE. Not one person is coddling this woman and telling her it will be fine and work out and that she’s a saint and the best girlfriend ever.
Obviously she hasn’t made good choices in the past. But what good is it to yell at her about that? She’s in a shitty situation, most likely of her own making, and the commenters are trying to help her get out of it and take stock of her situation.
You seem to believe that yelling at people about their stupidity is the way to go. I think you earn that right when you ACTUALLY KNOW and have a relationship with a person. Not when they are writing in to a website for help. Yelling at a stranger about their stupid choices, when you have no background knowledge of their circumstances or what might be motivating them is counterproductive at best and incredibly cruel at worst. What’s wrong with offering a bit of grace and kindness so that she knows we have her best interests in mind and don’t just want to toot our own superiority horns?
bittergaymark July 24, 2012, 10:23 am
My honest advice is that she should get out, yes. Oh, and at three months? Have an abortion. Seriously. Just have an abortion… This baby is coming into nothing but a mess. And I have absolutely ZERO confidence the next guy will be any better. And — OF COURSE! — she’ll want to have a baby with him, too, I imagine.
There. I said it. And if abortion is against her beliefs? Fine. Then adoption.
Addie Pray July 24, 2012, 10:28 am
You’re pro choice, right? The thing about being pro-choice is you give the woman the right to choose and not listen to someone else’s subjective beliefs.
And great, amazing, compassionate, successful kiddos have come from single moms who may have made one bad decision after another…. Thank goodness they weren’t aborted simply because the father figure was absent already and/or [insert whatever bad situation this LW has going for her now].
bittergaymark July 24, 2012, 10:33 am
Then adoption. This women is obviously NOT mother of the year. Hello? Drug addict boyfriend! Pervy old man in the house who is mentally ill. Odds are, the ten year old already HAS been sexually victimized. Seriously…
bostonpupgal July 24, 2012, 12:56 pm
In all honesty, both of those things were my first thoughts
1. Consider your optins i.e abortion, adoption
2. The 10 year old is probably already a victim
The conduct of this LW is appalling, and the effects of her choices are going to be seen in the life of her daughter. At absolute best, she is being taught that a man, ANY MAN, a drug addled lazy manipulative irresponsible dead-below-the-waist man is more important then self esteem, stability, security, and any and all loved ones. At worst, she is being taught all of these things while being sexually harrassed by a violent, elderly man.
LW, get out of this situation immediately. Find friends and relatives who are willing and able to offer you some healthy support. Go to counseling the figure out why you chose this awful situation for yourself. Take parenting classes. And please get your daughter to a counselor that can assertain whether she has been abused, and who can help her work through some of the damage this living situation has done to her.
Clare July 24, 2012, 1:00 pm
Totally OT, but every time I see your username, I think it says “boston pug pal” instead of “boston pup gal!”
bostonpupgal July 24, 2012, 1:23 pm
Haha I do also love pugs! Our bostons have a pug bff. I also love Boston, but infortunately don’t live there 🙂
bostonpupgal July 24, 2012, 1:26 pm
unfortunately, wow. I also just saw I put “assertain” instead of “ascertain” in my first post. Bad grammar day
MISS MJ July 24, 2012, 2:03 pm
I agree. The LW seems to think the biggest problem in her life is that the BF and his brothers dumped the father on her and she finds him repugnant and she feels resentful. That’s not even close to her biggest problem.
Her biggest problem is that her 10-year-old has been exposed to – at best – verbal sexual assault on a regular basis for the last year. That right there should never have happened and that alone should have been enough for this woman to get out of this relationship before she got pregnant 9 months after the father moved in. You don’t let your children be exposed to vileness, regardless of how sad the circumstances are that caused it. I’m sure the father would be horrified if he could help himself, but he cannot, and he shouldn’t be allowed to be around children. It is what it is.
The LW says that the BF is choosing his father over their unborn child, but in reality, the LW chose her BF over her daughter when she let the father move in a year ago. And, that’s not even getting into moving her daughter in with a drug addict, even one who “swears he’s clean,” six months after she discovered said drug addiction, at best, and possibly even sooner than that.
Her next biggest problem is that she’s having a baby with a guy she doesn’t have regular sex with, who she is resentful of, who she feels neglects her and who apparently has no objection to dumping his demented father into her lap to care for, despite her protestations. Or, in other words, a man she doesn’t love and who doesn’t love her. At least not in a healthy way. So, that’s an issue she should think about, too. What kind of situation is that to be born into? And, of course, that baby will be raised in a home with a demented old man living there, too. Nothing good is going to come from that, either. I’m actually horrified at the concept.
And yet, the LW is talking about how she feels resentful. My advice would be to consider how she thinks her daughter feels. That little girl has got to be terrified of the father. He’s someone she never knew when he was “normal” and he appears demented, mean, foul-mouthed and crude and he’s in the house all the time. That is frightening when you are 10 years old. And, I’m sure the living situation isn’t all pleasant conversation and happiness outside of the demented dad issue, either. To say this is a less than stellar situation to grow up in is an understatement. I’d advise her to think about that child she’s carrying will feel the exact same way her daughter does now: uneasy, scared and resentful – yes resentful! – and let down because the grown ups in its life couldn’t be bothered to think about anyone beyond themselves.
And, after thinking about what this is doing to her children, the LW should get out now. She should not under any circumstances bring a baby into this household. I’m not advocating abortion or adoption, although that is her choice, too. I’m advocating that if she cares at all about her daughter or her unborn child, then neither one of them should spend another night in this situation.
There are more fish in the sea, LW. Some of them even treat you right. You don’t have to stay with this one and, given the emotionally and possibly physically dangerous living situation going on right now, you owe it to your children to not stay.
Something More July 24, 2012, 12:52 pm
Honestly, I agree with BGM.
Medie711 July 24, 2012, 3:34 pm
ME TOO! my first thought was abortion…
Flake July 24, 2012, 10:35 am
My problem is that none of these LWs (at least in my perception) realize that they are making a mistake. It would be nice if at least once in the letter they said that they realize that they have made a poor decision. Instead, all these types of letters read like everything is the other person’s fault. He is the idiot for emptying my bank account, while I am smart for not keeping track of it at all… He is the mean one inviting the demented pervert to live with my 10-year old daughter, and I have no control over situation at all. It’s not like it’s my life too, and it’s not like my daughter depends on my ability to make good choices and protect her from harm…
It’s just that as much as they are asking for advice, in my opinion, they are also fishing for sympathy and pity…
bittergaymark July 24, 2012, 10:36 am
THIS!!! And NOBODY ever calls them on it… (except you and me, Flake! 😉 )
Guy Friday July 24, 2012, 10:56 am
Hey! What am I? Incredibly handsome chopped liver? 😉
bittergaymark July 24, 2012, 11:10 am
You hadn’t chimed in yet when I posted this… 😉
landygirl July 24, 2012, 11:01 am
I thought the same thing with one of yesterday’s letters too. Why do women in bad relationships think that it’s a good idea to have a baby?
Clare July 24, 2012, 10:46 am
Yeah, I hadn’t thought of it this way. Showing some accountability would go a long way, I think.
bethany July 24, 2012, 11:09 am
I agree that in MANY cases people don’t own up to their past mistakes. I think you’re right. If an LW wrote in and said “I fucked up, what do I do now?” the responses might be different.
bittergaymark July 24, 2012, 11:12 am
Yeah… They NEVER do. Or at least they haven’t when I get so irked…
MackenzieLee July 24, 2012, 2:50 pm
I think the LW’s know they’ve done something wrong. You don’t write in to an advice columnist without thinking you’ve done a little something wrong
SweetsAndBeats July 24, 2012, 3:10 pm
Well, the LW says, “I resent him for allowing this to happen to me.” Like she did not choose to be in a relationship with this man, or continue to choose to be in a relationship with him every day. Like she did not choose to live in that household with him, and continues to choose to live there every day. She shows absolutely zero personal accountability for this situation.
Addie Pray July 24, 2012, 10:19 am
First off, hi! Second, I agree this woman and lots of LWs seems to make one mistake after another after another. But now here we are, and she wants to know what to do. “Move out and get your own place and be sufficient” is something good that I know you agree she should do – and it’s also the piece of advice she will hear and follow (hopefully). But “you keep making stupid, stupid, stupid decisions and have no business bringing another baby into the world” gets her where exactly? How does that help, considering she can’t reverse time and make different decisions? I don’t see your advice or the others as mutually exclusive – theirs is just more constructive, yours gets her… no where at best, defensive and rejecting otherwise good advice, at worst.
spark_plug July 24, 2012, 10:48 am
When I make a stupid decision and sometimes I even know afterwards that I made my stupid decision, my parts start yelling at me. At that point I just get defensive and block them out. My dad is a ‘tough shit’ kind of guy and I’d say he’s been an incredibly unhelpful person in my life. It’s like you’re hurt and other then helping you he keeps beating you more.
Also, most of these decisions come from low self esteem. Telling someone they are stupid does nothing to raise it.
CatsMeow July 24, 2012, 11:17 am
Addie! You’re participating in the debate! Usually you just moderate or say something funny to lighten the mood. I like debating Addie…
Addie Pray July 24, 2012, 11:21 am
I debate! Don’t I? Maybe I just don’t debate very long. Like, I’ll say one thing serious and leave it at that. Eh, I dunno, maybe I do follow it up with light shit. I guess I do do that. (Hee hee, do do.)
MMcG July 24, 2012, 10:22 am
Greetings BGM, I have to say in a way I agree with you in that this is one of those head-slapping letters that seems so obvious that you have to wonder what humanity is coming to. I felt the rage and the WTF – why do you stay with a lying drug addict? why were you living together less than a year knowing each other, seemingly when he was still battling addicton, how do you get pregnant in this situation? But you know what, it doesn’t do any good… unless the LW has a Delorean that hits 88mph with a flux capacitor… she can’t go back in time and undo it! We can only help her try to find a better way, and hopefully be a better and stronger role model for her children.
So we as commentators can try to point out where to go next, or we can repeatedly point out how poor her behavior is and how it has contributed to the situation, with a goal of her maybe seeing it better next time.
So to put your message in a slightly different way, I would ask the LW:
-under what circumstances have you ever left a relationship? do you realize that it is entirely in your power who you spend time with and allow access to your children?
-do you frequently move too quickly in relationships, ignoring red flags to you and your children’s detriment?
-do you take your physical health and well-being seriously enough to have protected sex with drug addicts?
-even if there was no child involved, do you think the wisest course of action is to live with someone and become immersed with their family when your “SO” seemingly does nothing to support you, respect you, care for and love you?
-why do you love someone who treats you so badly?
-what has happened to you, what relationships did you mother have that shaped you, that makes you think this is the best you can get?
Once my internal rage subsides, I just feel so bad for this LW and others that clearly have so little self-worth and respect for themselves that they cling to anything… that raging like you BGM probably just reinforces their terrible self-worth/self-image and will make it harder for change and become someone who can be a model for their children so the cycle doesn’t repeat.
Lili July 24, 2012, 1:38 pm
THIS. Its exactly what I think as well! I also think that I’m a bit nicer of a person in real life, so I do filter a lot of the initial reactions to ‘dumb choices’ people make because I don’t know what has happened to them to let them think this kind of behavior is ok. I don’t know if I’m best qualified to really know how to empower women. I mean, the power and control wheel is all good ( no matter which one you are referring to) but its hard to to explain all that without writing a academic paper in a comment….
Lynn July 24, 2012, 10:26 am
BGM I agree with you. I get frustrated reading letters and comments a lot because often times no one ever holds the LW accountable. I’m very much not a feminist, and I also grew up in a “tough shit” household. You dig yourself a grave, it’s up to you to dig yourself out. I had a friend once tell me if I acted like some of the LWs on here, she’d slap me across the face and say, “This is for your own good.”
LW – I understand this is a sucky situation. We ALL get ourselves in some questionable situations, but it’s sad that you say you resent your boyfriend for “allowing” this to happen to you. No one allowed anything to happen to you. You did it to yourself. More often than not, things that happen in life (obviously there are exceptions)… We did it to ourselves. I’ve been going through a rough time over the last several months because of something that happened as a result of what I did, and I’ve taken full responsibility and am working to get myself to a better place with support of my family and friends.
You should have walked away when you felt lonely and neglected when your boyfriend couldn’t fulfill your sexual desires. You can love him all you want, but love isn’t always enough. And love often times blinds us from seeing the truth. I’m glad you recognize that this is a situation you don’t want to be in, but my goodness gracious… leave! If not for yourself, then for your daughter and baby. Don’t let them grow up in a family where Mommy feels abandoned by Daddy with a “sick pervert” in the picture too.
Pretend your friend wrote this letter. What would you say to her?
Get your big girl panties on, move out and get on with it. No one put you in this situation. You put yourself in this situation, and you need to be an adult about it and leave. I mean c’mon… I don’t want to be ugly, but seriously now? Look yourself in the mirror, slap yourself in the face and say, “This is for my own good.” And walk out and don’t look back.
CatsMeow July 24, 2012, 11:33 am
Off topic, but I’m curious…. how do you define feminism? I’m not criticizing, but I’ve noticed that a lot of people embrace feminist beliefs (you seem to, by putting an emphasis on being self-sufficient and independent and responsible), but don’t identify with the label because of the negative connotations.
Savannah July 24, 2012, 12:11 pm
Cats- Have you read Catlin’s Moran How To be a Women ? Its been out in the UK for about a year and just recently got published over in the States. Its hilarious and serious at the same time. case in point: My favorite part is when she quotes a survey which says that 71% of American women don’t identify with feminism. Her response is “What part of ‘liberation for women’ is not for you?” she asks. “Is it freedom to vote? The right not to be owned by the man you marry? ‘Vogue’ by Madonna? Jeans? Did all that good shit GET ON YOUR NERVES? Or were you just DRUNK AT THE TIME OF THE SURVEY?”
Nadine July 24, 2012, 11:08 pm
God I love Caitlin Moran.
Another great bit:
Put your hands down your pants. do you have a vagina? do you want to be in charge of it? Great, you’re a feminist.
KKZ July 25, 2012, 1:00 pm
A lot of women agree with liberation for women. Not everyone jives with the feminist movement, or the label. That could explain it too.
katie July 24, 2012, 12:16 pm
there is definitely negative connotations… once on here i was called a feminazi, and i was just saying things in the wrong way, but it still happened… and i think thats why a lot of people dont like it… because if you feel strongly about it, you get called other names. and also, because im sure a lot of people dont want to associate with the actual feminazis. i dont know who they are, but im sure they exist somewhere.
Lili July 24, 2012, 1:43 pm
How many feminists does it take to screw in a light bulb?
The very choice of patritypical hyper-macho sexual imagery in reference to what one might do with a light bulb exposes a deeply held and hegemonic bias objectifying the light bulb as both passive, willing victim and as compliant proxy for the colonial fate of southern hemisphere alterity.
Teehee-good reminder for me that we shouldn’t take ourselves so seriously in the cause that the message is lost in academic terms and vague ideas.
Lynn July 24, 2012, 12:22 pm
Honestly, I don’t have a very good definition of feminism. Unfortunately I do look at it with the negative connotations it seems to hold, but to me feminism is all that rah-rah women’s rights in social, politcal and every sort of aspect.
I’m all about being self-sufficient, independent and responsible strictly because of how my parents raised me. I think every person should be that way… you know, simply as a human being. I don’t care if you’re a man or a woman or combination of both – you should know the difference between right and wrong and should be able to take care of yourself regardless of what life throws at you.
For me personally, I am rather conservative. Socially and fiscally. I do not embrace women like Sarah Palin because I think she tends to make conservatives look bad, however I do respect her for marching to the beat of her own drum.
My brother and I are very close in age, and growing up my parents treated us differently because he’s a boy and I’m a girl. And quite frankly? That never bothered me. He could stay out later, hang out with guys and girls more often than I could, and yes, it could be annoying, but it made sense to me. I knew why my parents did it. As we got older, we were treated more like equals, and that’s that. I personally believe I have the greatest parents in the world, and I love how they raised us.
I also secretly and not-so-secretly hope that my future husband makes more money than me. For my age (early 20s), I’m pretty well off, and I hope to meet someone within my bracket, and I would like for him to be the breadwinner (yet us have separate and joint accounts). I kind of expect the man to be the breadwinner. All my friends think this way, and for the most part, it’s worked out for us.
And then in the work place… I have never once worried about a male co-worker making more than me. I don’t really care. I beat out a guy for my job. I have a mix of female and male vice presidents for bosses. CEO is a man. COO is a woman. Whoever does the best job should get the job. So if it’s a man 99 times out 100, so be it. People aren’t as sexist as some people try to make it seem like. I feel like the media just tries to overexaggerate isolated incidents. I could be wrong, but oh well.
Honestly, where I live, sometimes it doesn’t matter who or what you are… what matters is what university you attended. That’s what I care about because that is what directly affects me, and fortunately I’ve been blessed to come out on top.
Sandra Fluke’s situation annoyed me to no end because I didn’t agree with her, and I personally wasn’t offended by what Rush said. I don’t get offended by words. They’re just words. Who cares? If someone chooses to use ugly language, then that’s simply unbecoming of them. I was raised to take the high road and not look back. And minus a few bumps here and there (been going through a rough time as of late), I have been a very blessed person. I haven’t lived in some perfect world, I have seen some of the worst of the worst, but I recognize it’s life.
So maybe all of what I said is feminism, maybe it’s not. I have no idea, but I don’t identify as that even if I may embrace some ways. I chalk everything up to how I was raised and where I grew up. I basically identify as someone with rather conservative values who has trucked through life being myself and being the person I want to be. I’m grateful for the women before me who did fight for voting rights and whatnot, but in the time and day we’re in now… I don’t even think about it. I live life as it is infront of me. I’ve always been a go-getter, never expected things to be handed to me (even though it’s happened), who puts all her faith in God, and I believe in simply being a nice, self-sufficent human being who trusts God and holds themselves accountable for the good and bad things that happen.
I’m sorry for the novel.
Savannah July 24, 2012, 12:42 pm
This is really interesting. I don’t think I’ve ever had someone explain this issue out in detail as (what I’m interpreting) a very strong sense of individualism.
Lynn July 24, 2012, 1:13 pm
I mean I guess that’s what it is? We live in a country where if you don’t like something, then you can do something about it. I may not agree with you, but who cares if I do or don’t? I’ll just vote for the person who reflects my opinions and values and hope they make it into office.
I believe in God, and I believe in traditional values. If you believe in other things, I’m not going to judge you. It likely has no bearing on me. And that’s just who I am. Haha, honestly, if I had it my way, I would just want people to see me as a sweet pea Southern belle.
And back to the LW…
I think I get frustrated with people who want pity parties and wonder why bad things keep happening to them without ever looking at the mirror and realizing that THEY are the reason why. Admit you have faults. Admit that you make mistakes. Stop blaming other people. Just stop. Even if they do play a big role, understand your mistakes first. I respect people who do that. I respect people who have put themselves in God-awful situations but then realize why they got there and admit that they likely played a big role in that and work on ways to get out of that position.
LW, I am happy you wrote it. But I sincerely wish that you would have admitted at least one mistake or fault. At least just one, but instead blame fell on everyone else, and that saddens me. You’ll never get anywhere if you don’t take a good hard look at yourself and really think.
Man or woman. You live once. Once. Do what you want. Do what you need. If something doesn’t feel right – bail. Things don’t have to stay awful if you would just pick yourself up and be proactive.
My goodness, it may be stormy now, but it cannot rain forever. Do something about it.
Budj July 24, 2012, 1:59 pm
Victim complexes hold a lot of people back. I agree – taking responsibility for one’s actions is a huge leap forward into taking control of their life.
SweetsAndBeats July 24, 2012, 3:41 pm
I highly recommend to anyone, whenever they bring up defining feminism, that they check out GirlWritesWhat –
She is an incredibly literate and intelligent conversationalist about neo-feminism, 3rd Wave feminism, and gender differences.
Fabelle July 24, 2012, 10:50 am
Yeah, I’m actually glad you jumped back in for this letter, BGM– they frustrate me as well (pretty much any LW who’s like “and to top it all off, now I’m pregnant!!” makes my jaw drop)
I choose not to dwell on those aspects though, because it’s kind of too late? She’s already gotten herself mired up in this awful situation. Eviscerating her choices probably doesn’t help her, but it does give all of us who are biting our tongues some release by proxy (which is why I think everybody misses you– we see your comments & go “thank GOD somebody else said it!”)
Guy Friday July 24, 2012, 10:55 am
Well, BGM, for the record, I would have said something to this effect if you hadn’t beaten me do it. I probably wouldn’t have transitioned into the general commentary — which isn’t to say that I think you’re wrong in the vast majority of it — but I would have made the points to the LW that you made.
I think a better way of paraphrasing BGM’s comments (and forgive me, BGM, if I’m misstating your point), is that he gets sick of people on this forum picking the obvious issue to respond to — in this case, “What do I do about living with this father-in-law with dementia?” — and either not noticing the underlying issues or noticing but not caring / deciding it’s not worth mentioning (in this case, “Why did you choose to have a child when this life situation is so messed up?” or “Why is it OK to blame everyone else for this situation but not yourself?”). Put another way, so we advise her to get out of the house, and that’s great, but what does that advice do about getting her to avoid getting into another equally fucked-up situation down the road? Because while it would be great to assume that simply removing herself from the situation would magically cause her to recognize how to avoid these cases in the future, I don’t see how you make that link.
So, basically, I think the debate BGM started can be summarized as such: when LWs write in for advice, is it our job as commenters on these letters to limit our advice to the questions explicitly asked, or do we have a moral/other expectation to point out anything we can to help them? Put another way (to paraphrase the old saying), do we give a man a fish, or do we teach him how to fish? Because, honestly, in reading this letter I definitely had a lot of the same thoughts that BGM did. I mean, come on:
-“I resent my boyfriend for allowing this to happen to me?” And we’ve had, what? Two people jump on that line so far (as I’m typing this)? Since when is it OK for the mother of a child to shift this blame on to the boyfriend rather than accepting her own share of responsibility for not doing her part to prevent her child from being a party to all of this?
-She goes into detail about how awful this boyfriend is to her, how he had/may still have an addiction, how she feels lonely and neglected . . . but, oops, she got pregnant? I know that no form of protection is 100%, but even if you set aside the question of WHY she was still having sex with this guy, the way she describes it doesn’t sound like (a) she made efforts to prevent pregnancy, (b) she’s given thought to what kind of situation this baby is coming in to. And, honestly, in my opinion it’s a little irresponsible of the LW to have allowed herself to get to that point without these thoughts. I’m not knocking single mothers, I’m not advocating or condemning abortion or adoption; I’m just saying that the fact that it was done without thought bothers me a great deal.
So, can we go round and round through thread after thread as to what’s a nice way to say things or what’s a mean way? Fine. But that kind of misses the point. Instead, we should be asking whether we’re doing LWs any favors by simply answering the superficial questions they ask — and I mean “superficial” not as “stupid” but as “obvious/at the surface” — or whether we should also be pointing out the issues beneath the surface that, if addressed, could result in dramatic improvements of their situations/lives/etc.
MMcG July 24, 2012, 11:25 am
This hasn’t been mentioned yet, I don’t think, but I really hope the LW gets tested for STDs and makes sure her OB/GYN is aware that the future father is a drug addict so that the baby’s health can be monitored if needed.
She only mentions addicted to pills… which can be situation (a) where he had a serious injury and ended up addicted to pain meds that were over prescribed and it’s been taken care of with the help of his physician or situation (b) where the pills are oxy that he’s getting from friends making a drug run to Florida pain clinics so he can crush them in lieu of doing heroin, and the getting help was going to a few meetings and getting better at lying to her. I don’t think it matters either way, because the guy is a douche who doesn’t respect or care for her and she needs to MOA, but just wanted to raise it as part of the more global conversation.
Plus, even if she MOA’s her terrible decisions mean her unborn child has this sad sack of a man as the dad forever… I think we forget that sometimes when we advocate MOA MOA MOA – yeah, but you already saddled the kid with the genetic yahtzee of having a shitty shitty dad that they can’t MOA from… so sad.
GatorGirl July 24, 2012, 11:44 am
Oh you can move on from a shitty birth father. Just because someone contributed to your DNA does not mean they have a right to be involved in your life or considered part of yourfamily. Yes, some people will forever dream of having the “prefect” father-child relationship but pleanty of people carry on their lives just fine with no father (or mother) in the picutre.
MMcG July 24, 2012, 12:00 pm
@ GatorGirl, I agree if all parties want to cut ties. It is all fine and good if the dad agrees, and the child has no desire to know about his/her past and family.
We often assume the “bad/poor” father goes away and that isn’t always the case… shitty shitty dads can get visitation and have legal rights (esp if they are listed on the birth certificate and contributing child support – which is the child’s money and I can’t begin to tell you how much I disagree with parents making the decision to not seek it and taking those resources away from their child, unless there is serious abuse involved, but that’s a whole ‘nother tangent). Shitty dads can also appear out of nowhere and manipulate a child into having a relationship when all they wanted was money or a kidney.
And what if the child wants to find out more about their father and when/how they came to be? Curious about their families? What if there are half-siblings out there that reach out to the child someday?
I guess what I was getting at is … I wish people would think more about who they procreate with because the parenting relationship can last much longer and have more of a significant impact into adulthood than a bad girlfriend/boyfriend situation.
GatorGirl July 24, 2012, 12:32 pm
I guess I said what I said because the way I read your comment was that a child *has* to be saddled with this guy and I don’t beleive that. All of the things you said in this second post are true- names on birth certificates, court ordered visitation, showing up out of no where. BUT it is possible to walk away from and make a clean break from someone who contributed to your DNA. I made a clean break with my birth father and haven’t regretted it for a minute. I know a few other people who are in the same boat. (For example my fiance had a court ordered relationship with his birth father until he was 18 and has not interacted with him since that birthday) It’s not the *right* or *best* decision for everyone, but it can be done.
I 110% agree that people should be more careful about bringing children into the world and think harder about how their actions as a parent affect the child. I also whole heartedly beleive that you do not have to have someone in your life just because they contributed to your genetic make-up. I commented because I want people to know that you can have a choice as to who you call your family.
katie July 24, 2012, 12:42 pm
” I also whole heartedly beleive that you do not have to have someone in your life just because they contributed to your genetic make-up.”
that is so true. but, i do think that this only applies to adults, though, or semi adults (like mid to late teens where they are starting to make decisions for themselves)… with kids, and with the laws that protect parents rights, sometimes they dont have the option, like your fiance didnt have the option… and then, by the time 18 comes around, the damage could be done already. its very sad.
rachel July 24, 2012, 3:30 pm
MMcG, I’ve mentioned this on here before, but I don’t know my father. My mother divorced him when I was only 18 months or so old, after he was arrested for domestic assault. She chose to not go after him for child support so that he wouldn’t have visitation rights with me and my sister. I DO have half siblings that I have never met. We could definitely have used money growing up, but I never missed knowing my father, and I think we were better off not having him present in our lives.
MMcG July 24, 2012, 4:56 pm
Rachel – your mom sounds like a strong and wonderful woman, and definitely given the arrest made a wise decision to avoid all the visitation/custody issues. You are probably much better off, and it sounds like you have made peace with it (like GatorGirl)… maybe that’s what makes y’all such good commenters, because of your perspective and the positivity/hope you can bring the LWs!
I can’t speak to the experience of having a crappy family, my Mom & Dad were great not all sunshine, rainbows, etc… but I know I was blessed. I think my concerns come from lawschool (learning the many ways the law can screw you instead of protect you) and my mom’s experience working in county social services. She can come home with a WTF tragedy almost every day… and often it’s the second, third or fourth kid that’s so damaged and you just want to run around mandating reproductive licensing tests and birth control by the dozens.
MMcG July 24, 2012, 5:00 pm
Mind you , before anyone yells eugenics, I’m not actually mandating sterilization or anything of the kind.
OT: It just strikes me as kinda odd and bizarre that it’s harder for me as a US citizen to get a fishing/driving license, or do minor repairs to my home, than it is for me to have children or automatic weapons… or both at the same time!
rachel July 24, 2012, 5:13 pm
Agreed! I do sort of think people should have a license to have children…but of course it would never happen, and I can only imagine what kind of thing people could turn that into (speaking of eugenics).
GatorGirl July 25, 2012, 9:07 am
My mom and I have always joked together that you should at least be required to take a class before going home with a baby.
katie July 24, 2012, 12:13 pm
that is true, but i wonder how many of them make any kind of a clean break… in situations where the father is never present (ie not on the birth certificate, never met the child, child might not even know fathers name, ect), i feel like that is pretty easy. but, in the vast majority of these cases, i dont think there is any type of a clean break. like MMcG said, they still have rights and a lot of the time use them.
i dunno. my opinion is that these women are stacking the deck against their kid. because while a clean break may be possible, that is rare. and then after a messy break happens, there is shit from it that the kid will deal with perhaps for the rest of their lives… so, ladies, dont stack the deck against your kid! stack it FOR you kid. this is another reason i dont know about having kids yet- i feel sometimes like the whole world is stacked against people, and how could i bring a kid into that, you know?
GatorGirl July 24, 2012, 12:39 pm
I know I’m the exception to the rule as far as breaking away from a crappy birth father but I think it’s important to let the LW know that her child doesn’t have to have a relationship with their birth father. And I think it’s important for people to know that as adults we have full control over who we have relationships with (the LW needs to learn this lesson). If you don’t want someone in your life don’t let them be in it!
katie July 24, 2012, 12:44 pm
Clare July 24, 2012, 12:45 pm
That is a great reply! And not just for the child with the boyfriend, but for the 10 year old daughter too — that she has the power to do the best for herself and not stick around in a bad situation.
MMcG July 24, 2012, 1:47 pm
Can I say tho, how sad it is that this child is barely beyond the first trimester and we are already talking about cutting off the relationship…
Can we have a new rule? If a woman is unable, with even half-serious contemplation and thought, able to see a role in her child’s life for the father — before the child is even born because of all the problems and concerns and issues — PLEASE consider adoption. There are so many men and women who would love to take care of a child… I might be one of them with the loudness of my clock ticking;-)
iwannatalktosampson July 24, 2012, 5:04 pm
YES on adoption. Two of my cousins were unable to have kids of their own and they each adopted two kids (with husbands) and the kids are loaded and loved and awesome. Seriously. Consider adoption y’all.
MMcG July 24, 2012, 1:23 pm
I completely agree, and it’s wonderful that you were able to make that clean break, but many can’t (or do, and then for reasons beyond their control either involving the courts or facebook or other relatives or a family member that needs your blood get sucked back in. No idea why I’m hitting the shitty parent will come calling for your organ button, but I guess that’s the most extreme example I can think of). I wasn’t trying to assert that DNA=AutoFamily – and of course you have control over who is in your life when you are an adult… but not necessarily when you are a child. I think Katie may have explained it a little better than I did about stacking the deck against your child.
As adults we learn that we have full control, as you wrote above, but as a parent you are also responsible for who you bring into your child’s life and that starts from the moment of conception and should continue until they are 18/mature enough to make those decisions for themselves. And if you make bad choices you could be setting your child up for serious consequences… not sure if anyone has seen this but there are fillial laws in the US and around the world that require children to care for their parents ) and there was one case where it didn’t matter that the mom had abandoned her kids, she still wanted them to pay up and was dragging them to court: http://blogs.findlaw.com/law_and_life/2011/09/mom-sues-abandoned-son-for-parental-support.html
Clare July 24, 2012, 12:39 pm
I read this article over the weekend and am not trying to be inflammatory about posting it, but I thought it had some interesting arguments about single motherhood, socioeconomic status, etc.
It seems like a big part of what he’s talking about is lack of supervision when there is a one-parent household, so as long as the parent is able to manage this and supervise, there is a better chance their child will succeed in school, etc. But, that’s true in all households, whether there is one parent or two. It seems like quality of parenting wins out vs quantity of parents, obviously, but that would be hard to study scientifically.
katie July 24, 2012, 12:49 pm
submit that for friday links!
BriarRose July 24, 2012, 1:01 pm
I wonder if the only single moms who read articles like that are the ones who are actually doing a halfway decent job of raising their kids and are filled with guilt the entire time, and then read an article like that. Really wished I hadn’t clicked on it. I should know better by now!
lbh July 24, 2012, 1:30 pm
Here’s the thing (a few points, actually) that bugs me about articles like this and posts like this (I actually like the second paragraph, which hints at what I’ll say).
I clicked on the link, and the FIRST line of it was an article opposing what this one says. Why not post that too? Why focus only on the negatives, of any issue? If we only heard one side to every story, all our viewpoints would be terribly skewed, no?
Some of the other things that bug me are:
-What’s the point of saying children are not better off in one parent households? Do we really thing so many people are setting out trying to have a kid in a one parent household that this can be advice for them? No. The only people who set out to have a one parent household are celebs, from what I’ve seen. What would be better is posting advice for parents who end up raising a kid alone (reading any of the letters coming in about parenting, its clear a lot could use advice on how to do it well).
-Do people really think that even in two parent households that the norm is both parents actively and equally involved? Pretty much every household I’ve witnessed or even been a part of has shown me that one parent usually takes on the burdens more than the other. (disclaimer: of course, as everyone has said a million times, there will always be exceptions)
-Couldn’t we say that after a divorce, the same issues arise? Usually they do. Maybe not to the same degree, but they do nonetheless. Should we stop saying marriage is a good idea because marriages often result in children, and often result in divorces? Of course no one is going to say that. Should we say no one in the military should have children because one of the parents may have to go to war? Of course not.
-In life, many things are out of our control (apply disclaimer again here). For instance, would we make widows feel terrible about the fact that their kid is less “well-off” because they only have one parent? No. Do we even know they are less well-off? I know I wouldn’t agree with that, and I’m sure there are others who feel the same. Would we make divorcees feel terrible about the fact that their kid is less “well-off” because they only live in a one parent household? No. Do we say that single people who adopt are putting their child in a bad position by having only one parent? No. So why make single mothers feel that way? Do we think they, generally, do not know they have to work harder? Do we think that its only the mom’s fault their child has one parent? I hope not, although it seems that way often. Do we really believe that it is so detrimental to the child’s life that they have only one parent that the cards are “stacked” against them? I don’t think that. I think a child with one or two parents who suck have the cards “stacked” against them. I think a child with one or both parents who behave as parents are in a great position and have everything at their disposal to grow into wonderful adults. Finally, are we really out to place the blame on the parent who has stuck by their child, rather than the “parent” who abandons their child? For everyone who blames a parent who is raising a child or children alone, we do not know what brought that situation about. We do not know that when mom got knocked up the guy was a POS at that point. We don’t know if the other parent dropped dead, became a drug addict after the kid’s birth, joined the military (or was already a member) and can’t be active in the child’s daily life, decided it was all too overwhelming and left after the kid’s birth, whether one parent was anti-abortion, etc. So those are some of my thoughts, for whoever cares to read them (didn’t intend to be so long winded). Going back to real life again, its very oddly less bitchy and childish than the internet has been for me lately.
BriarRose July 24, 2012, 2:11 pm
Great response, LBH. I often wonder why some single parents (widows, those who choose to adopt, etc) are congratulated for all their achievements raising their child alone, while those of use whose spouses divorced us (as in, it was not our choice/decion to initate the divorce) are apparently screwing up our kid’s lives. Believe me, I wish my daughter had her dad around. I didn’t want a divorce, and I certainly don’t like having an ex-husband in the military, because he’s never around anyway. I want my child to have every advantage in life, and it pains me that I can’t give her such a crucial one: a father figure.
The crux of this issue is that these articles over and over again tell me if I don’t want her to get knocked up at 16, she needs to have a dad/father figure in her life, but my good sense tells me not to bring a parade of men through her life, so what’s a mom to do? We have no family nearby and I don’t have male friends. No matter what, I’m apparently screwing up my daughter (said somewhat sarcastically, since I think I’m doing a pretty decent job).
CatsMeow July 24, 2012, 5:29 pm
Oh! Here’s a response piece.
Clare July 24, 2012, 2:21 pm
I didn’t post the other article because the author used mainly anecdotal examples while this one referenced sociological studies. And I absolutely agree with what you’re saying — what I found interesting about the article is what I said above, the focus on the time spent with the child and the parent keeping an active, involved interest in the child’s life, which is obviously important for a child no matter how many parental figures they have. Obviously what matters most for a child is the environment they grow up in and the love, support, and attention they receive from those around them, and I absolutely don’t think that is directly tied to how many parents a child has.
I didn’t post the article to make anyone angry.
BriarRose July 24, 2012, 2:34 pm
I didn’t think you did 🙂 I was just more laughing/yelling at myself. If I’m usually pretty confident I’m doing an ok job w/ my daughter, why do I read articles about the topic? It was an interesting article, though. And I grew up in a two-parent home, and I think my daughter gets more love and attention from me alone than I got from two parents combined.
Clare July 24, 2012, 2:37 pm
That’s all any parent can really do. Quality over quantity!
theattack July 24, 2012, 5:49 pm
You changed your name! Why?
iwannatalktosampson July 24, 2012, 6:01 pm
Ha that’s funny I didn’t even notice it was different.
landygirl July 24, 2012, 10:58 am
You took the words right out of my mouth. Thanks BGM.
Mainer July 24, 2012, 11:15 am
Here’s one of my issues with this commenting section, which is why I rarely comment anymore. It’s a “commenting” section, which exists for leaving “comments” on the advice given or the situation or the letter in general. I think you’re one of the few on here who uses it for precisely that, leaving your comment on the situation. Sure it’s usually harsh, but it’s never inaccurate. This is not really an “advice” section, though it has essentially turned into that. And as such, whenever someone simple leaves a comment, they’re called out on not contributing or not leaving helpful advice as if that is the only reason this section exists. The LW wrote in to get advice, which she got from Wendy. It is not every commenters job or responsibility to also give the LW advice. We can, and most do. But we’re also allowed to comment on the LW’s situation, which is usually what BGM does. I don’t see anything wrong with that, so I always struggle to understand why people get so bent out of shape over his views.
MJ July 24, 2012, 11:20 am
When I’ve gotten bent out of shape with BGM it’s been because he likes to make sweeping generalizations like “women are idiots” or “women never put out so their husbands cheat” or “if you’re a feminist you should be screaming at these LWs”…things along that line. It’s the misogyny, not the harshness, that bothers me.
CatsMeow July 24, 2012, 11:36 am
Yeah, aside from the “Your Turn” columns, I thought we were here to either offer advice, comment on the advice given, or comment on the letter in general. Maybe I’m wrong? Are we supposed to limit our comments to advice only?
iwannatalktosampson July 24, 2012, 11:38 am
Oh my gosh Mainer I never thought of it that way. But any comment that makes it okay for Mark to say ridiculous things I support. Is he not funny sometimes y’all? Do you never laugh by yourself while you’re reading his comments and look around in your office all like “did anyone else just see what he said?!?!”
soulja July 24, 2012, 11:48 am
It’s just gotten redundant at this point. Everyone’s an idiot. Women are stupid. Rah rah sisterhood. Sweeping generalizations. He’s right, you’re wrong. And then, of course, applause from the peanut gallery.
Every. Single. Post.
soulja July 24, 2012, 11:50 am
However, I don’t get bent out of shape over anything. It’s the internet!
bagge72 July 24, 2012, 11:53 am
Hmm this is all very true, and I have never looked at it this way, I guess I was just use to everyone just giving extra advice, which I liked, because if I go on a news website or anything like that, I stay away from the comments section, because of the fact that people feel the need to say whatever they want, and most of it is just rude and useless. I guess with that fact nobody should get bent out of shape when somebody questions them on their comment, because it goes both ways. Yeah sure you can comment on something, and say what you want, but the other commenters have every right to tear into you if they want, and if that makes people stop commenting that just really means they can’t take what they dish out.
iwannatalktosampson July 24, 2012, 12:05 pm
“They can’t take what they dish out”. I totally agree. Listen I don’t get offended easily but I also don’t censor my thoughts on the regular. But I can honestly say I’ve never left DW at the end of the day stewing. I doubt BGM does either. Anytime someone disagrees with him (pretty much all day everyday) he has an argument back and can take it. It’s really frustrating when people say really ridiculous things or have really strong opinions even if it’s not ridiculous – and then get mad when someone disagrees. Don’t you kind of expect that when you have such a strong opinion?
But all that aside I hope EVERYONE (even the people I disagree with) continues to share their opinions because the most interesting letters and comment sections are the ones where everyone brings something different to the table. Sometimes I even don’t like it when Wendy gives such great advice that no one can say anything. Like she’s so thorough there’s nothing left to be said. Those are sad days.
bagge72 July 24, 2012, 1:11 pm
Yeah I can say that I honestly have never left this website pissed off at commenters (LW’s maybe) I’ve been arguing with BGM on a couple of things the past week or so, but I am never mad at him just because I disagree with him. I think he can be light harted, and funny too, especially when just chatting instead of giving advice, and if you ask him a serious question he wont mind answering it. If I have seen something that has pissed me off on here from a commenter I don’t reply to it at all, and this keeps me from getting mad at that person (and somebody else will call them out on it).
bagge72 July 24, 2012, 3:26 pm
I also miss LBH today!
bittergaymark July 24, 2012, 11:19 pm
You know, Mainer: You really articulated something that I have been trying to say for ages but somehow never got the wording right. And that is that this IS a comment section. And you’re right — I don’t feel the need to dole out advice to each and every LW. If I did, I’d start up my very own site. DearBitterGayMark.com. Hah! Wouldn’t that be a gas! Although I somehow suspect that I would rapidly run out of letter writers… but I digress.
I have said several times that I am just spouting off about the letters in general. That my comments aren’t necessarily aimed at helping some LWs because often I have no advice that I think would actually do anything… Plus, Wendy usually nails it. When she doesn’t, I will perhaps offer up my own bit of advice. The most recent example of this was the letter last week about the coworker with the decidedly odd eating habits…
Anyway, yeah. I don’t think that we all need to chime in with our own advice either.
kf July 25, 2012, 12:42 am
Not only that, but with all this “what’s done is done” stuff…
It’s a public site. The LW is not the only person reading this thread. Presumably each thread gets hundreds if not thousands of pageviews. Is it so hard to fathom that there might be someone out there reading this, with an eight year old child, in the very early stages of a relationship that involves intimacy issues, drug addiction and a pervy dad who may eventually end up living with them? Who might be entertaining the idea of getting pregnant to get the guy to stick around or whatever? It might help such a reader to understand what a complete shitpile this whole situation is.
bittergaymark July 25, 2012, 9:02 am
Yeah, I’ve said that before as well, kf. But this is a great time to say it again!
kf July 25, 2012, 10:56 am
Also, the best parts of the letters often have little to do with the actual problem or advice.
In this case, nobody seems to have commented on:
“When we first met, I knew he had a problem getting an erection.”
Wait, what? How the heck does that happen? “Hi Susan, this is Jimmy. He’s the limpdick I was telling you about.” Or did they meet at an orgy?
Biglight July 24, 2012, 11:30 am
What about this, BGM? What if you focused on the actions, “this was stupid, this was stupid, THIS was stupid,” but didn’t take the next step of talking about how terrible the letter writer was. What if you pointed these things out in the hope that the letter writer would recognize them and not make the same mistake, but didn’t go on to assume that the letter writer is a moron and a terrible person. What if you took some of the assumptions about motivations for the mistakes out and focused on the mistakes themselves? I’m not suggesting that everyone is a perfect little flower, I’m just suggesting that there is nothing gained by assuming and pointing out the letter writer’s shortcomings as a person. The real key here is to focus on changing the letter writer’s actions, so that’s a good place to focus.
“… I have absolutely zero confidence the next guy will be any better… OF COURSE – she’ll want to have a baby with him, too.” I think these are the things that you want to see the letter writer avoid, but it needs to be phrased in a manner that will be heard for your wisdom to be helpful. So instead of assuming that she’s a loser and will definitely do it again, you point out the mistakes and give some advice on how to avoid them. So perhaps by focusing on the actions instead of the person, and giving the advice to avoid these mistakes at all costs in the future, you can give a message that will be heard.
The letter writer certainly has a laundry list of awful mistakes to her name, and a dose of realism seems totally warranted here, I’m only suggesting that a different method might more effectively deliver your message. Perhaps I’m way off on that idea though, it’s only a suggestion.
bagge72 July 24, 2012, 10:35 am
Honestly, what’s done is done, and she is trying to figure out what she can do to fix the situation, she didn’t write in asking for everyone to exam where she went wrong.
bittergaymark July 24, 2012, 10:43 am
Last comment for the day — simply because I have way too much to do today in my “real” world… But I would argue that by NOT calling her out on her own very bad behavior we are all but guaranteeing that she will do it again and again and again.
She seemingly thinks she is completely blameless for this mess.
Heck, I don’t even think she wants to leave, but she wants us to magically solve everything so she can somehow stay… She needs a reality check. Big time. “I resent him for allowing this to happen to me..” Hello! She needs to blame herself for her insane desire to be with her not-so-great boyfriend to begin with.
parton_doll July 24, 2012, 10:56 am
Agreed – Sometimes the solution to a problem is two-fold, you have to stop making the mistakes that you are making right now or at least admit the “problem” completely AND implement the solution. So many times I see people just focus on the immediate solution and use that as a reason to ignore the other aspects of their problems. Then they just fall right back into them. We should give people credit enough to know that they are strong enough to admit and accept their mistakes while fixing them.
bagge72 July 24, 2012, 10:58 am
Oh I don’t think she want’s to leave, or that she will, beacuse she probably doesn’t want to be a single mother again, but all you really can do is give someone advice and hope they take it. I don’t think that most of the people writing in are looking for an easy way out, and aren’t going to take the advice anyway, and the people that would might be scared to write in, beacuse they know what the did was stupid, and they don’t want to be told that again, they just want help. There has to be a better way to call somebody out on their past mistakes instead of telling them how stupid they are, how bad of a person they are for bringing a life into this world when the father isn’t all there. You can tell somebody what they did wrong without trashing their whole life and making them feel absolutely worthless. Wendy finds ways of doing it all of the time, but people feel like the LW’s are to stupid to understand that, and that is is their jobs to rip her a new one incase the LW didn’t realize how fucked up their life really is.
bagge72 July 24, 2012, 10:39 am
Also when you went back and asked your parents for money, did they call you out on every single thing you did wrong in life so you could see why you are struggling, or did they actually support you, and help you out, because they probably realized that since you are making the step to ask them for money you must know what went wrong.
Budj July 24, 2012, 10:52 am
My parents made sure I knew what I did wrong. haha. And typically..it was the exact opposite of what they advised so it was followed by an I told you so.
bagge72 July 24, 2012, 11:02 am
Oh mine did too, but if I came to them with a problem they wouldn’t be like “you are fuck up, and you will always be a worthless fuck up that should never do this or that, because you made this one mistake, and it shows that you will be a fuck up the rest of you stupid fuck up.”
Desiree July 24, 2012, 12:19 pm
I agree with your views regarding people’s stupid decisions. It isn’t enough for a person to take the good advice given here. People also need to identify and acknowledge the poor choices and decisions that created the situation if they are in to have any chance of avoiding similar bad situations in the future. So many have lost touch with the concept of personal responsibility.
Temperance July 24, 2012, 1:02 pm
I have worked with victims of domestic violence, so letters like this one, that would make a rational person see red and want to shake the LW, read differently to me. If that makes me a “stupidist”, then yes, I am one.
Plenty of these women are so psychologically damaged that they see this as a normal, rational situation that they have to deal with, or they’re so used to defending their loser, bonerless boyfriend to friends and family that they’ll defend him over their own interests, setting up an us vs. the world dichotomy. I don’t support her being with him, obviously, but what does reaming her out over her “stupid choices” do?
Vathena July 24, 2012, 1:12 pm
I nominate this for Comment of the Week.
theattack July 24, 2012, 5:53 pm
Same here, Temperance!
Lili July 24, 2012, 5:59 pm
PS-Attack I have a date with HIM on Friday. He called me last night and set it up!!! I’m SO PUMPED. He’s planned dinner at a nice seafood place, then his fav local bar for drinks and a walk in the park if its still light/nice out!
theattack July 24, 2012, 6:27 pm
Yayayyayay!!!!!!!!!! I’m so excited for you! He really didn’t waste any time after your first move. He must really like you too! You have to keep me updated on how it goes!
Caris July 24, 2012, 2:20 pm
I agree with you bgm, and I agreed with you the other day. This LW and the LW from the other day don’t seem to realize that the decisions they made are what brought them to their current shitty situation. They just blame everything on some one else and complain of everything bad just happening to them, when in reality they have the power to get out of their situation. Letters like this one bother the hell out of me, they make me angry.
If the LW had recognized anywhere that the decisions she made had a part on this, then I would agree with everyone that pointing out her mistakes doesn’t help her. In this case I think it might help the LW realize that she has to take responsibility for her actions. That she can’t just blame all the bad things that happen to her on someone else. Realize that you made very big mistakes, get out of the situation and do your best to not get into something like this ever again.
(I didn’t read ALL the comments, but I saw someone mention how it wasn’t helpful to them to have their parents point out all the mistakes they did. I agree, it happens to me too, the difference is that I know and recognize what my mistakes are, I don’t just go around complaining of things magically happening to me, so yes, when my mom points out what I already know it’s annoying and it makes me mad. )
Trixy Minx July 24, 2012, 11:26 pm
Preach it BGM!
KKZ July 25, 2012, 12:51 pm
Here’s the thing. People write in here to get help for NOW and the FUTURE. Not to have their past decisions and mistakes evaluated and then spit back out at them with no constructive advice whatsoever.
It’s rare that even the feminists around here say to the female LWs, “Don’t worry, you did everything right, you are not to blame at all, everyone else is at fault and you are a sweet perfect angel.” Even on this thread where you say everyrone else is being supportive… uh, no? I scroll up and see at least five people who say the LW shares some of the responsibility for her situation. But guess what – you can point something like that out WITHOUT resorting to insults, and without making sweeping generalizations about LWs, or women, or (insert group here). It’s possible. We do it here all the time. Some of us, anyway.
Unless you can say something helpful to get a LW out of their current situation, berating them for their bad decisions and then attacking/dismissing anyone who is actually trying to be helpful … well, no wonder you make enemies.
bagge72 July 24, 2012, 9:25 am
WWS and everyone else! This guys is taking advantage of your kind heart! Move out, and when this guy tries to make it work, and if you feel like you want to try to make it work for your new child then tell him that you need to go to counseling together, and that you really still need to live on your own to make sure he is sincere. We all know that somebody will change for a very short period of time to make you think things are better, and then once you move back in, things are back to square one.
FireStar July 24, 2012, 10:45 am
There is a difference between supporting someone’s choices and supporting a person so that they have the strength to make better choices. No one said the LW should stay in her situation. EVERYONE said she had to leave. She wrote in asking for advice. The advice is to leave, to stay with friends, to find a shelter, to focus on your kids. The advice cannot be you have made terrible decisions. There is no benefit to that statement unless you want to hold her up as an example of what not to do – which isn’t the purpose of this site. All of us can be held up as an example of what not to do to varying degrees and in different situations. Darling, you aren’t perfect. Neither am I. Nor are any of the LWs. Do your imperfections affect children – maybe not. The consequences are of course more severe when choices affect children – which is why a lot of people in this community offer advice using supportive language when children are involved. People just are going to be more responsive to someone telling them “think about these things and do x” rather than “how could you? you are an idiot” while offering no actual advice to improve the LW’s circumstances.
Ultimately it comes down to motivations. If your goal is to help the LW then the bottom line is your advice has to reflect that. If your goal is to be witty and cutting and to show off a sharp wit with no regard to helping the LW then I guess my opinion of that is that that type of behaviour is beneath you. Only a coward kicks someone when they are down. There are some letters that aren’t heavy – like should I date a man with no teeth – but the letters where the LWs are faced with life decisions and they are asking for help – help them. If you are witty then be witty – if you can only be witty at the expense of someone else then work harder at your wit. Railing against someone’s poor decisions doesn’t take a lot of mental effort on your part and serves no end. So why bother? This isn’t a PSA forum where every letter is a cautionary tale – this is place to get advice from people who perhaps have more life experience than you do or a different perspective or a solution that you didn’t think of.
I, personally, think you do have a unique perspective and I don’t think you need to be rainbows and kittens but the point is to let people benefit from your perspective and not merely get berated for asking for help.
FireStar July 24, 2012, 10:54 am
oops posted to the wrong place.
MissDre July 24, 2012, 11:04 am
Bossy Italian Wife July 24, 2012, 10:50 am
You need to get out of there. Absolutely, no question about it.
You have a 10-year old daughter, and that should be your biggest concern right now. She should in NO WAY be subjected to this kind of chaos; it’s risky to have her exposed to someone who is always making perverted comments and coming into your bedroom. MOA!
If you stay, I am concerned that your daughter will be put in harm’s way.
What you need to do is to move out, file for child support and if, in the future, your boyfriend wants to grow and pair and be more responsible, HE can move in with YOU and his father won’t be welcome.
Beth July 24, 2012, 12:50 pm
I think you need to go ahead and move on outta there. There are three main problems I see:
1. Your boyfriend is not on the same page as you intimacy wise. If there isn’t something medically wrong, something could be going on mentally. Perhaps you could seek counseling…that will also help with:
2. That he isn’t doing anything to help you with taking care of his dad- do you think he will help you when you have a baby? Does he help you with your 10 year old? It sounds like there is a lot of resentment that is building.
Problem number 3. Living with someone with Dementia is very draining and very difficult. Mentally he is prob. not at the same level that he was before when he is functioning…and unfortunately, it declines- so it prob. will get worse.
My suggestion is to move out to a healthy environment for both of your children- if you are interesting in working on the relationship- seek counseling together to discuss the above mentioned issues. Or seek counseling individually to help you get through MO from this relationship.
XanderTaylor July 24, 2012, 12:58 pm
I have been reading Dear Wendy for over a year now & I guess I have totally missed something huge. I thought this was a safe place for people (mainly 20 – 30 – 40 something women) to come to get advice and support. Not a place for the LW to be made fun of, criticized, or told how stupid they are. I go to Dear Prudence on Slate for that nonsense.
kf July 24, 2012, 5:49 pm
This is exactly the #1 problem with this place. Too many people think it’s a “safe place” for people to come and get coddled. Nobody has made fun of this LW, nobody has called her stupid, and it’s completely impossible to offer her good useful advice without criticizing her.
“I resent him for allowing this to happen to me.” Good Christ.
AKchic July 24, 2012, 1:12 pm
As busy as I am, I had to say something.
LW, this problem is as much your own making as your boyfriend’s. You “allowed” this to happen. Not him. You could have said “no” at any fucking time. 15 times you “allowed” him to have sex with you. He didn’t get you pregnant, you both took the risk. Period. He didn’t just dump his father on you, you allowed him to bring this codger into the home, and you took care of him. He didn’t force you. He didn’t put a gun to your head. You did it. Yes, probably because nobody else would, but that is neither here nor there. This man had/has a home of his own. There are elderly services available. At a cost, I’m sure, but available.
Are you so desperate for a man (any man) that you will put up with such crap, at the detriment of your self esteem and the poor example to your 10 year old child? Obviously. Woman up, darling.
If it’s not your home, get the fuck out. If it is your home, kick him out. Move on and start planning. Either abort, get adoptive services in place or figure out how you’re going to get child support if you’re keeping the child. Make sure you’re getting medical treatment. Make sure that your daughter hasn’t been too damaged (mentally) and hasn’t been physically harmed by dear ol’ demented. Get some therapy for yourself and for your family unit and for the love of all that is holy – stop dating. Until you can respect yourself, stop dating.
KKZ July 25, 2012, 1:16 pm
“Liked” because this is the perfect way to point out how an LW fucked up their own situation without resorting to insults and sweeping generalizations. This comment is helpful and constructive and not coddling. This is what I like to see at LW. Thanks, AKchic. I’ve missed your voice around here.
Chrissy July 24, 2012, 3:31 pm
I feel pretty bad for the Dad in this situation – 3 kids and none of them seem to really want to help him in this situation. Having seen what caring for a loved one with dementia is like, it’s hard for me to not have compassion for the BF in this situation for at least trying to do the right thing for his Dad (but not quite getting there). One thing that bothered me about the letter was the line about how she feels her BF is putting his Dad first and his child second, however the baby is a new revelation – the dad being sick has been in the picture for a year already (possibly longer).
Chrissy July 24, 2012, 3:35 pm
Replying to add, hopefully her moving out and on with her life will help everyone involved. I hope it would force the brothers to get the proper care that is needed for their father, as well as LW being able to get her life back on track with her children in a safer environment.
honeybeenicki July 24, 2012, 5:45 pm
I haven’t had a chance to read the responses yet, but i agree with Wendy. In addition, it sounds like you aren’t convinced that your boyfriend is clean and neither am I. Sexual and erectile issues are a hallmark of drug (specifically narcotic) abuse. Who knows, maybe he is clean and it is a different Issus, but are you willing to risk that? You’re responsible for 3 lives – yours, your 10 year olds and the baby.
Laura Hope July 24, 2012, 5:47 pm
I’m sorry but I can’t help wondering why she got pregnant. (I don’t believe in accidents). I suspect that either she was trying to cement the relationship so that her 10 year old would have a father or he was trying to cement the relationship so that his father would have a care giver. Either way, it doesn’t work. She’s got to get out.
theattack July 24, 2012, 6:02 pm
You don’t believe in any accidents at all? Like spilling your bowl of ice cream can’t be an accident, or only bigger things like getting pregnant?
Caris July 24, 2012, 6:13 pm
Clearly if you spill a bowl of ice cream it’s on purpose 🙁
the other guy July 25, 2012, 6:14 am
Clearly unlike you I would treat having kids as slightly more important than spilling ice cream. The boyfriend is a mess with issues, use protection or if that fails terminate. Not hard, any other result means Laura Hope is right.
The LW already has a kid….
theattack July 24, 2012, 6:00 pm
You’re trying to be a supportive girlfriend and help take care of his father. That’s admirable, but it’s a little off here. You’re compromising, but what is he doing? Nothing. He’s only making the situation worse. At the very least, you need to sit down and have a conversation with your boyfriend about what exactly the two of you are bringing to the relationship, and you need to make your needs 100% clear. If your boyfriend is unwilling to meet those needs (ie: finding his father another place to live, staying clean, etc), then break it off immediately. You need a partner who will give and not just take from you.
Sue Jones July 24, 2012, 11:40 pm
Oh Lord, Get OUT of there!!!! Put your children first and move out!
the other guy July 25, 2012, 6:09 am
Like WOW, why do women keep having kids in unstable stiuations?
Boyfriend – drug issues, sex issues, etc, sorry but why? Another kid brought into a crappy environment.
Sorry but women have to learn some responsiblity and not keep breeding. Next time get a stable guy, maybe even marry him first, just saying…