“My Boyfriend Blames Me For Everything Wrong in His Life”

I have been seeing a guy who’s going through a divorce and we were good friends before that. He is living with his mother right now. He talks all the time about our getting married, and when he is in a good mood, our relationship is perfect. He talks about how much I have helped him and how he wouldn’t be able to do things without me and how I am his life. But when he is in a bad mood, he completely shuts me out and makes everything my fault. It’s like he is a completely different person. He doesn’t care what he loses and doesn’t need help from anyone.

How can you tell someone they are your life and how much they need you one moment then the next how you don’t need anyone? I have my own house and if I don’t consult with him to make decisions, then he seems to get upset about it. I really care about him, but I don’t know if I can handle everything. I have been married twice and have been divorced for three years now. I haven’t dated at all since my divorce. He is the only one I have even talked to and I don’t want to date and I don’t want to date anyone else. I just want to live my life with him, but I also want to live my life happy. — Twice Married, Once Shy

Yeah, you’re not going to live a happy life if you stay with this guy. He hasn’t processed his divorce yet (which isn’t even finalized, it sounds like), and he’s already glommed onto you, relentlessly discussing marriage (while being legally married to someone else), talking about how he wouldn’t be able to do things without your help, emotionally shutting down whenever he’s in a bad mood, blaming you for everything when he’s unhappy, acting like one person one minute and another the next, and even getting mad at you when you make decisions about YOUR house.

He sounds like a weak, sad person and you’re his scapegoat for everything wrong in his life because he doesn’t have the guts, moral wherewithal, and inner strength to take responsibility for anything. He can’t even divorce the right way. He runs home to Mommy and gloms on to the first woman who can help him “do things.” He needs to learn to do things for himself before he can ever be in a happy, mutually-satisfying relationship. He’s not even close to being ready and right for someone like you. You don’t deserve this shit. MOA.

I broke up with my ex-girlfriend around January this year and around June I got tempted and slept with her twice on different days. I had just started dating someone new, whom I am now in love with — but we were still taking things slowly because she wasn’t quite sure if she was doing the right thing. So now my ex has texted me, telling me that she’s pregnant and it’s a baby girl. How can I tell my current girlfriend about the whole situation and what if she breaks up with me? I honestly love her and I was planning to send my elders next June to her elders to discuss the lobola. I’ve got four months in a relationship with her, so am scared to lose her. — Maybe Baby Daddy

Well, yeah, you might lose her, and that sucks. It’s never fun to be broken up with by someone you’re falling for. But if this child is yours, you have bigger issues to deal with than the disintegration of a four-month relationship. First, pick up the phone and call your ex — discussions about potential parenthood shouldn’t be had over text. Ask if she’s sure you’re the father, ask if there’s anyone else it could be, and tell her that, if the baby is yours, you will support it and you will be there. Explain that you’d like to have a DNA test done to confirm paternity. If the baby is indeed yours, you’ll have to figure out how to be a supportive dad. (Even if you and your ex both agree that you won’t be part of the baby’s life, it’s the right thing to be financially supportive.)

Next, tell your current girlfriend you have something serious to discuss with her. Tell her how you feel about her and how you’ve been imagining a future with her but also that you’ve just learned some news that may affect that future and potentially your relationship. Then tell her that your ex is pregnant, that she says the baby is yours, and that, based on when you last slept with her — which overlaps the beginning of your relationship with your current girlfriend, it is indeed possible the baby is yours. Tell her that you’ve asked for a DNA test when the baby is born to confirm paternity, and that, if the baby is yours, you’ll want to take responsibility. Tell her you are sorry for any pain that causes her, that you understand if she needs time to process the news, and that you’ll also understand if she decides that this is not a situation she wants to be part of. Let her know how much that would break your heart and that you hope she will stay with you and that, together, you two can work through this, but also that, if that isn’t what she wants, you will respect her choice and never bother her.

This is all you can do. There’s no magic solution here. You made a mistake and this is the consequence, and the best thing you can do is take responsibility and be respectful of everyone’s feelings. If you end up losing your girlfriend, then she wasn’t meant for you. There will be someone else. And you may find that the baby fills your heart and brings more unexpected meaning to your life than you could imagine. Sometimes we don’t get the things in life we think we want. Sometimes we get something — or someone — else completely different that’s even better.


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


  1. artsygirl says:

    LW1- This guy is manipulative and sounds verbally abusive. Perhaps it is the stress of the divorce or perhaps it is his personality. No matter what, you need to end this relationship.

    LW2 – I am a little suspicious about the ex’s story. At most it would be 13 weeks into her pregnancy and typically you do not find the gender of the baby until about the 19th week (at least in the US). If she had an amniocentesis done (say if she was older) that is done at 16 weeks. It sounds like the only way she should know the gender this early was if she CVS test – which is rarely performed. Follow Wendy’s advice and ask for a paternity (don’t accuse her of anything!) and be upfront with your GF.

    1. He said ‘around June’.

      Let’s say he slept with her on June 15th and she told him last weekend, that’s 15 weeks and 4 days.

      If he slept with her June 1st that’s 17 weeks and 4 days.

      I think there are different laws depending on where you live (even in Canada I think it varies by province?) soooo I dunno. I guess it’s possible that she would have found out at 16 weeks?

      I just don’t like the idea of assuming a woman is lying so I prefer to give the benefit of the doubt when possible (but of course he should still ask for a paternity test without accusing her of anything).

    2. RedRoverRedRover says:

      There’s a new test, I had it with my last baby. They can get the baby’s DNA out of the mother’s blood. You can get results around 10-11 weeks. It’s not a routine test yet though, so unlikely to be covered by insurance. Which means she would have paid out of pocket for it. If I were the LW I’d ask a few questions about how she found out the gender. It’s *possible* but not probable that the timelines are right.

    3. Avatar photo Dear Wendy says:

      If the LW had sex with the ex in early June, then his ex would be four months pregnant, which is exactly when a woman might find out the sex of her baby. And even if she weren’t that far along yet, as other shave said, there’s a newer test available now — usually only recommended for women over 35 or with a high-risk pregnancy — that can tell you the sex as early as 10 weeks. I knew Joanie was a girl when I was 11 weeks pregnant with her. So… it’s very plausible that the LW’s ex could know the sex of the baby. (Of course, it’s also plausible that she’s full of shit, which is all the more reason the LW definitely needs a DNS test to confirm paternity).

    4. If you’re willing to spend a little more money there are procedures now that let you find the gender really early.

  2. Northern Star says:

    LW 1 frustrates me. Yes, the guy is behaving like a jerk. Yes, obviously he needs to be dumped, hard. But how stupid is it to date a good friend going through a divorce? And she “doesn’t want to date?” So, straight to third marriage (and then inevitably, third divorce)? Is she INSANE?

  3. LisforLeslie says:

    LW #1 – WWS. MOA. This guy is immature as fuck. You know who can’t process emotions well? Babies and hormonal teenagers. Not grown-ass men. It sounds like he’s relying on you (and mommy) to make him happy. You can’t shoulder the emotional health of two people – you are responsible for yours and yours alone.

    LW#2 – Definitely get a DNA test. If your new girlfriend bails, you’re going to have to live with that. Going forward, be smarter about birth control. It’s just as much your responsibility as it is your partners’.

    1. Avatar photo Skyblossom says:

      This for LW2! Be smarter about birth control. This situation is a direct consequence of your actions, your choices.

  4. LW #1 now knows why her bf’s wife divorced him. He seems extremely dependent and clingy and borderline mentally ill. You need to figure out, as a 3-time divorced, why you choose such an obviously unacceptable guy as this.

  5. Leslie Joan says:

    LW 1, whaaaat??! I don’t understand you at all. “You don’t want to date, you just want to live your life with him?” So, I don’t get how this is even supposed to work, or how you even connected with this particular guy to begin with. Like, you just start talking to him, and all of a sudden you’re supposed to be happily living together? Like, not dating and not getting married protects you against a shitty destructive controlling relationship, because, hey, at least you aren’t married?

    You are talking about having him live with you, which is why he’s acting like he has ownership rights and input into your house. He sounds awfully controlling to me (hello, there just may be a reason he’s going thru divorce! ), but he didn’t get there on his own. You can’t skip the “getting to know you and to decide if we work as life partners” process by saying you’re going to avoid dating. It’s like saying you’re going to avoid cancer by never going to the doctor. Doesn’t work that way.

    You would be crazy to let this guy move in. And despite “not dating”, the guy is showing you that you need to keep your distance.

  6. Leslie Joan says:

    And, if I misunderstood you, and you really were only intending to have him move in as a friend/housemate, and there’s nothing romantic going on between you, then you have other things to consider. First of all, before any housemate moves in, you need to learn about landlord-tenant law in your state and city. You might be really surprised to see how quickly tenant’s rights kick in, and how this could become a nightmare for you. If you just intend to be housemates, what happens if he decides to date someone else and move them in? If you are more than intended housemates, and there is sex between you, then please stop kidding yourself and realize that he isn’t capable of making any decision about his future for now. His volatile reactions are nature’s way of saying, stay the heck away.

  7. I think LW ones “friend” is trying to set up a future living situation. If he has child support to pay (umong other things cause divorce is expensive) he may need to get on his feet. I smell a manipulative moocher here and she seems like an easy target. She shouldn’t be so gullible. Some woman hear the word marriage and go all stupid. A woman shouldn’t be so desperate for attention. Bbbbuuuuttttt he LOVES me!!!!!
    Yeah, right!
    LW 2 He made his bed…Wendy is right, he needs to concentrate on his possible baby. I seriously doubt the new girlfriend will stick around…I sure as hell wouldn’t.

  8. LW1, “How can you tell someone they are your life and how much they need you one moment then the next how you don’t need anyone?”
    Why don’t people realize that words mean nothing? Actions are what’s important.
    How can he ? Easy, because someone can SAY anything. It takes no effort on his part to blow smoke up her ass.
    This woman has been married TWICE. Hasn’t life taught her anything?
    “Words are meaningless and forgetable”!!!!!!

  9. *forgettable… sorry, my spelling sux

  10. Morecoffeeplease says:

    LW1 – wow, your boyfriend sounds like a winner.

  11. wobster109 says:

    LW1 – How crazy does this sound? “I don’t want to try on shoes. This is the only pair I’ve looked at. I just want to buy this pair.” No good, right?

    LW2 – You “got tempted”? No, you CHOSE to cheat on your girlfriend with your ex. I’m not blaming you just for fun. If you point fingers and say “it was all the evil ex’s fault, and I’m just a victim,” then nothing will change, and you won’t become a better person. Look at yourself, figure out why you made that choice, and change that about yourself.

  12. On LW2, I think Wendy’s answer is perfect and spot on – and of course he should take responsibility. However, I would point out that it is not necessarily clear, as some commenters have said, that he cheated on his current girlfriend. He says, ” I had just started dating someone new, whom I am now in love with — but we were still taking things slowly because she wasn’t quite sure if she was doing the right thing.” I read that as they were dating but not yet exclusive when he slept with the ex. Could be wrong, but worth considering.

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