The TV will eventually be outdated, but our wedding will always be a special day and it’s important to me to have a photographer take pictures and to have a wedding album and to hang a big picture of us on our living room wall. So that $300-400 dress is important to me. I didn’t feel we needed a TV, but it made him happy so I was happy. I let it go even though I would have rather spent that money on our soon-to-be-born twins. We need new bedroom furniture right now and a new couch. We didn’t need a TV.
Also, when he has to pick up his 10-year-old daughter on Fridays, he gets in these horrible moods because traffic is bad and his ex-wife tends to be late most of the time; then he takes it out on me. I’m sick of being his scapegoat. Plus, even though I’m pregnant, he has not once given me a massage or rubbed lotion on my tummy, yet he always wants me to massage his head. He is so messy, too: He leaves clothes on the floor, beer caps and candy wrappers out, and his hair from shaving is all over the counter and sink. He doesn’t help clean.
I do love him, but the only thing he has going is he is a hard worker at his job and he is home when he says he’ll be home. However, when his daughter is here, it’s hard for me because it’s more dishes and laundry for me. I feel she should have a chore list and help out more. All she does is lounge. I have to work — I’m a hair dresser — and I need more help at the home than I’m getting, especially with this pregnancy. I also need a pregnancy belt right now and a massage. That should be his priority — not a TV.
These are all red flags to me. He’s not affectionate enough for me now that I’m pregnant. He’s not putting our family needs first. It hurts to walk right now, so I could really use that pregnancy belt. I won’t be able to work soon, so all my money has gone to bills and necessities that our twin boys will need. At this point, I’m glad I got pregnant before we got married because, with these issues, I’m not okay getting married. I was already married once for 10 + years, and, even though that marriage didn’t ultimately last, I didn’t have the issues or doubts when I married my ex that I have with my current fiancé, though maybe because I’m more mature now, I don’t know.
I do want to get married again. I believe in the sanctity of marriage, but it has to feel right and this doesn’t feel right. I need resolution. Every time I try to talk to him he doesn’t let me talk. Help? — Pregnant with Twins and Not Into the 55-Inch TV
You know, I get questions like this one all the time. And I always wonder: Was your boyfriend as much of a dick BEFORE you got pregnant and BEFORE you decided to marry him? If so, did you think he would magically change? If not, WHEN did this change in behavior occur? Have you discussed what might be the issue with him? Is he feeling stressed about the idea of caring for an additional two children soon? Are you financially prepared for that demand? Have you sat down and worked on a budget?
I’m going to guess the answer to that last question is a resounding NO. It would be the reason you are pissed that he spent money on a TV when you have so many other expenses. And it would be the reason that a pregnancy belt, which you say is a priority, and which ranges in price from like 15 to around 60 bucks, has remained unpurchased. And, look, I’m just going to say it: if you can’t afford to drop what is a pretty minimal amount of cash on what you say is a necessity right now, then you can’t afford a $400 wedding dress, or a wedding photographer, or a destination wedding, for that matter. And you REALLY need to sit down and figure out a plan for how you’ll afford your twins.
Your relationship’s a hot mess right now, and I’m sorry about that. But you have bigger fish to fry at the moment. You have bigger worries than the the TV or the wedding album; you need to figure out how you’re going to afford to raise these two babies. And since your relationship is in the state that it’s in, you should probably be figuring out how you are going to raise these babies as a single mother because, once they come along, you aren’t going to have the time and energy to work on all these issues with your man, especially if he’s refusing to discuss them with you now.
What’s your work plan? How long a maternity leave are you going to take? If it’s totally unpaid, have you started putting money aside to make up for your loss of income? Who is going to watch the babies when you go back to work? You ARE going to go back to work, aren’t you? Because if you’re having trouble coming up with an additional $25 to get a pregnancy belt when you have two incomes, how are you going to afford to feed and clothe two additional children if you go down to one income?
I know this is a lot to take in, and this isn’t the advice you want. But it’s what you need to hear: The reality is your relationship is about to take a back seat to the demands and pressures of being a mother to twin babies. If you don’t have a strong foundation to get you through the early months of the kind of stress you’re about to face, you aren’t going to have a chance to build it or work on it for quite a while. This isn’t the time to worry about a dream wedding or the bedroom furniture you say you need. This is time to get into survival mode, line up all the support and help you can, make a damn plan, and focus on being a mother. Rather than worry about your kids growing up in a “broken home” — and, ugh, that’s just a dumb term to justify staying with a d-bag who treats you like shit — you should be worrying about your kids having a home at all to grow up in.
Line up your ducks, get things in order, apply for some aid if you’re going to need assistance in the babies’ first few months while you’re un-/under-employed. Once you have those kids taken care of, THEN you can spend some of your energy figuring out where things stand with the baby-daddy and whether he’ll even be in the picture before you start shopping around for wedding photogs.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.