New readers, welcome to Dear Wendy, a relationship advice blog. Read some of the most popular Dear Wendy posts here. If you don’t find the info you need in this column, please visit the Dear Wendy archives or the forums (you can even start your own thread), do a search in the search bar, or submit a question for advice at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.
To his credit, he has been very open with me about it and disclosed the pregnancy on our second date. He has been very understanding, supportive, and communicative. When he first told me, I didn’t want to shut down the idea of continuing to get to know each other, and I eventually decided being with him is worth it. I still feel that way. He has no romantic feelings for her, and the feeling appears to be mutual. She is seeing someone else (she is about six months pregnant), and she knows about me. Mike would like for us to meet, and he wants me to be a part of everything. She is completely amenable as well. He is progressing well in his career, is responsible, and is committed to being a great father (which I’m sure he will be).
We have discussed the future, want the same things, and are on the same page. He is very sensitive to my feelings about the whole thing. I’m trying to be understanding and supportive, but the reality is, I’m petrified. I feel very selfish thinking about myself, but I understand the dynamics of our relationship will change when the baby is born. I’ve just never imagined it going this way. I don’t want to put the cart before the horse, but I’ve always envisioned being the first and only woman to give birth to my husband’s children (in the way, way future). Mike understands and respects this completely. Granted, we are still getting to know each other and developing the relationship, but I am at a point in my life where I’m ready to settle down with the right person in the next few years, and so far, I could see it being with him.
I just don’t know what to expect. I want to continue the way we are going and see what happens between us, but the unknown is very scary to me. Can this actually work? Am I being naive to think I’ll be able to deal with this? How can I be supportive but make sure my needs are met as well? Is it selfish of me to even think of my needs when this situation is completely separate from me and will be very challenging for him (and her)? The idea of him being there when she gives birth, not having as much availability for me (selfish, I know, but reality), a significant amount of income going to meet the baby’s needs, etc. is daunting. He is a great guy, and if it weren’t for this situation, I would be in 7th heaven. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you! — Scared of the Unknown
Everything you’re feeling is totally normal, from the excitement that you’ve found someone you like to the disappointment that he’s having a child with someone else and the fear of the unknown. Most people, when they fantasize about the person they’ll potentially spend their lives with, don’t imagine a person who is expecting a baby with someone else. But you know what? Most people also don’t imagine in their fantasies people who have been twice divorced and have kids with multiple parents, or partners with enormous student loans, or spouses who get cancer, or people who struggle with mental illness or can’t hold a job or are deployed every other year. But we don’t live our lives in fantasies, we live them in reality where people have stuff they deal with — stuff like exes, and illness, and aging parents, and surprise babies with people they aren’t even dating.
If you don’t stick with Mike and see where things go with him, you’ll always wonder what might have been. And just because you won’t have to deal with the reality of his situation doesn’t mean the reality of the next person you date will be any less challenging. Or maybe it will. You don’t know. There’s no way to know. And the unknown is scary. It’s scary if you’re dating a man who’s expecting a baby with someone else, and it’s scary if you’re married and expecting a baby with your spouse and hoping for a healthy child. The unknown is scary, especially when the stakes — like love and health and family — are so high.
The good news is that the unknown does eventually become the known. Most things don’t remain a mystery forever. If you stay with Mike, eventually what is unknown to you will become apparent. In a matter of months, you will know what his life is like — and consequently, what your relationship is like — when a baby is involved. You’ll know how much attention Mike will be able to give you and how much he’ll interact with the baby’s mother and how you’ll feel about sharing him and his time. Within six months of the baby’s birth — which is about nine months from now — you’ll have a much clearer idea how single parenthood will affect Mike’s relationship with you and you’ll know whether your feelings for him are strong enough to invest more time.
Sure, you’ll probably be more invested in Mike in nine month’s time, and breaking up with him, should you decide to end the relationship, will be harder than if you left him now. But you’ll have answers then that you don’t have now, and that will make a big difference. And on a more optimistic note, you may find that things are better than you anticipate. Maybe the baby will bring joy to your life you never bothered to imagine in your fantasy world because this isn’t the traditional picture of happiness you’ve seen before. A traditional path isn’t the only way to happiness.
I say give love a chance. See where this path leads you. Maybe it won’t lead you where you want to be. But maybe it will. Or maybe you’ll discover that Mike, regardless of his situation, isn’t the man for you. Maybe that’s something you’ll only learn if you invest a few more months getting to know him. And maybe you’ll find he’s exactly the man for you even though his reality is more complicated than what you pictured for yourself.
If we all went around rejecting anything that didn’t match up to our fantasies or what we imagined for ourselves, none of us would ever move forward in life. We’d all be single, homeless, and unemployed. Reality doesn’t look like fantasy. It’s not supposed to. But there is joy and love and happiness to be had in the complicated and messy layers of real life. There’s richness to embrace and lessons to learn, even in heartbreak. Sometimes, especially in heartbreak. Don’t not live because you’re afraid of getting hurt. Don’t stand still because you fear the unknown ahead. Keep moving forward. Push through fear. And embrace the life unfolding in front of you. It may just bring you the kind of happiness you always imagined, even if it isn’t packaged the way you thought it would be.
You can follow me on Facebook here an Twitter here.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at [email protected].
Oldie October 8, 2012, 9:16 am
Is he going to be present for the birth of his child? I’d have thought the mother would have prefered her current SO to be with her, instead.
If he is to be a good father, some divided loyalty between his accidental family and you and your possible future family with him is unavoidable. This is really little different than marrying a divorced man with children. Paying child support is the absolute minimum involvement and interacting with his child regularly is a moral responsibility and hopefully something your bf wants to do.
You knew about this at the start of the relationship. I’m not sure it’s fair to your bf and his future child to be three months along in the relationship and not know if this is a deal breaker for you. If it is, MOA before your bf becomes more attached to you. It is very unfair to throw out the dealbreaker card months from now over something that happened before he met you, that he can’t possibly change, and that you knew about from the second date.
YOu also seem to be thinking in terms of marriage quite soon in the relationship, with your sense of your age as the rationale you give for this.That is over-pressurizing the whole situation.
iwannatalktosampson October 8, 2012, 9:42 am
Eh I don’t know that she’s saying it’s a dealbreaker as much as just a potential valid reason for not making it for the long haul. If it was a dealbreaker they wouldn’t have gotten this far. It seems she just doesn’t know how it will work in practice as opposed to in theory.
It would be very hard for me to date someone with kids. 1 – because I don’t even know if I want kids and 2 – because if I did have kids I would want them to be with my husband/current SO. I have zero interest in raising someone else’s kid where I couldn’t be the mom. I would constantly feel like I was stepping on toes and frankly it is just not a situation I would put myself in. I don’t know that it’s a dealbreaker though – more just something I would like to avoid.
I’m gathering that the LW is the same way. She’s just not sure if she’ll be able to handle it all.
Kate B. October 8, 2012, 10:38 am
It would be hard for me to date someone with kids as well. I am not a kid person. However, the percentage of single men with no kids in my age group is very low, so I may have to deal with this at some point. I don’t know how I’d handle it, either. So far, I’ve managed to avoid it. I like Wendy’s advice. Give it a shot.
SixtyFour October 8, 2012, 12:52 pm
Yeah, I didn’t get that she was saying it was a dealbreaker either. And even if it was, we all have dealbreakers that we think to ourselves, I’ll never ever date someone with X. And then the most amazing person ever who happens to have X comes along and we decide that this person is worth breaking the dealbreaker for.
She’s not saying she doesn’t want to date a guy with kids. Just that she wants to still feel like an important part of his life once the baby comes. And she won’t know how she feels until it happens.
Amybelle October 8, 2012, 9:24 am
” He is fairly certain the baby is his.” Mike needs to have a DNA test done when this baby arrives. And I don’t know, maybe I’m just bitter, but how do these women manage to start up a new relationship when they are pregnant? I have a hard enough time finding dates without a baby bump!
tbrucemom October 8, 2012, 10:00 am
I thought the same thing, he definitely needs to have a paternity test. I too don’t understand how you can be six months pregnant and start a new relationship. I’m not being judgemental, I honestly don’t know how you’d have the physical and mental strength to do it. I’ve been pregnant and though the outcome is wonderful, it is draining! Between the morning sickness, moodiness from the hormones, logistics having sex, etc. it was hard enough having a relationship with my husband/father of my child let alone someone new.
Anonymous February 5, 2020, 9:36 pm
She’s not dating someone else at six months pregnant. He’s lying to you to control you so he can get you pregnant too and leave you. Run.
Lili October 8, 2012, 12:37 pm
OMG YES Amybelle! I’m feeling a little down on myself now..although i do have a food baby bump. Its time to abort it I guess. Wish me luck!
ktfran October 8, 2012, 9:32 am
WWS! That was really nice Wendy!
Throughout my life, I’ve had a different idea of what my “perfect” would look like. When I was little, I was going to get married and have three or four children. Then, it was college, married and two children. Next? College, career, meet someone, marry then have two kids. Now? Some day hopefully meet someone. Kids are no longer a fact. Maybe I’ll adopt? Maybe I’ll meet someone with kids? I just know I’m ready to adapt and I’ll make it work with whoever makes me happy.
The thing is, as much as we plan and think we have things figured out, we don’t. Life happens. Your idea of perfect changes because as long as you’re happy, isn’t that what matters? Who cares if your happiness comes in a rectangle box instead of square? If you found someone great LW, I would honestly want to see where it takes me. I think you should too.
Brigitte October 8, 2012, 10:15 am
I totally agree. As long as your continue to be open about your feelings, and continue to be open to listening to how the other concerned parties are feeling, this could turn out really well.
You boyfriend sounds like a stand-up guy, who’s not only doing the right thing in a difficult situation, but making sure every one turns out happy about it. I don’t think this is like divorce in the sense that there’s no long history of painful breakups for either party to get over; there’s not resentment that will be projected on to you. Yes, this kid will change your boyfriend’s life drastically, and you don’t know yet if this is something you can live with, and I think it’s worth sticking around to make sure.
bethany October 8, 2012, 9:50 am
WWS, and also, make sure they have a DNA test after the baby is born, just to be on the safe side.
applescruffs October 8, 2012, 10:18 am
My cousin was in a similar situation to you a few years ago. She is now happily married, has a beautiful stepson, and a beautiful daughter. Her stepson will grow up knowing he has 4 loving parents, and already calls her “Mama Hayley.” Relationships are always going to be complicated, and never quite how you pictured them. I say give it a shot. It might not be quite the life you imagined, but it sounds like it could be so, so worth it.
Brigitte October 8, 2012, 10:21 am
It’s not the girlfriend’s place to tell the boyfriend to have a DNA test done on his child. It just so isn’t. If he’s got doubts, he’ll bring it up himself, and maybe she should support him in that, but to tell a father looking forward to the birth of his child that he should get a DNA test done is just rude and guarantees any good faith on the part of the mother will be severely diminished to top it off. I’m sure the boyfriend had enough conversations with his pregnant friend to come to trust that she knew her own sexual history, and that she was right in saying he’s the father. Otherwise, she’d be trying a little harder to keep him around, not moving on to seeing someone else herself too.
Do no bring up DNA testing. It’s not your place, and it’s just about the tackiest and meanest thing you can say to a happily expecting father. Don’t bring that stuff up. It’s just seriously not your place to do that.
Amybelle October 8, 2012, 11:13 am
Sorry, but he is not expecting this baby with his significant other or someone he is in a close relationship with, so I fail to see what is so tacky and rude about making 100% sure it is his child before dedicating his life to being its father. A friend of mine was thrilled to be the father of his girlfriends’ baby, the boy looked so much like his dad that people made jokes about his ‘mini me’, and then through a court ordered DNA test over support issues discovered that it was not his child. the child was 3 or 4 at this time, and the situation was devastating for everyone involved. I’d rather be rude and tacky than go for years believing someone is my child when they aren’t. I fail to see what is offensive about a DNA test for someone you are not in a close relationship or married to
ktfran October 8, 2012, 11:24 am
I don’t think it’s a girlfriend’s place – especially since they have only been together a few months – to make her boyfriend get a DNA test. She could have a conversation about it with him . . . a “hey, have you ever conidered getting a DNA test?” kind of thing. But the LW can’t and shouldn’t force him. It’s between him and the the pregnant lady, IMHO.
Fabelle October 8, 2012, 11:31 am
Well, I think Brigitte is just saying that the DNA test idea should NOT come from the LW. I agree that it’d be totally out-of-place for her to suggest to her new boyfriend that the mother of his baby get a DNA test, if he’s not even expressing doubts himself.
Amybelle October 8, 2012, 12:18 pm
I just assumed since she wrote that he was “fairly certain” that they had talked about it already. Unless the pregnant friend didn’t have sex ( protected or otherwise ) with anyone else, for abour 3-4 weeks on either side of her EDC (estimated date of conception) she can’t be 100% sure he is the father. Obviously the new girlfriend can’t force him to get a DNA test, but I don’t see how it is so rude. If I was pregnant from a casual hook up I would not be offended in the least to have paternity testing done. Especially since both the condom broke and Plan B failed; it doesn’t sound like these two are contraception superstars.
ele4phant October 8, 2012, 12:48 pm
I don’t think its rude *at all* for him to ask this of the expectant mother – in fact, he really should.
But for a girlfriend of just a few months, I’m sorry, I don’t think its her place to even comment or suggest that it happen. Whatever discussions the pregnant woman and her boyfriend had, they’ve been had and settled before the LW came into the picture. The LW and the new boyfriend may be very excited about eachother, but they barely know each other. Its not her place, at this point in the game, to meddle in what the boyfriend and pregnant friend have already decided on.
If she’s not comfortable with the situation, that’s okay, but it is what it is, it happened before she came into the picture, and so she either needs to accept it or move on.
Brigitte October 8, 2012, 1:02 pm
Yes, confirming that I’m 100% on the side of him getting testing done. What I think is rude and tacky is for the girlfriend to just say “Mike, you’re gonna DNA test your baby right?” How is it not rude to tell an expecting father that you think he’s not the father of the baby he’s recognized and is happy about welcoming to his family?! How is that not rude? It’s not rude for HIM to ask, it’s rude for HER to ask that her boyfriend of a few months have his child DNA tested.
If it comes up in conversation, by all means, say you think it’s a good idea, but you don’t just tell a father you think he’s not his baby’s daddy. Come on.
katie October 8, 2012, 4:30 pm
I completely agree with this.
I had a friend that this happened to. He was all set on being the father, he was at the birth and saved up thousands during the pregnancy… He got a test just in case, and it wasn’t his. He was so sad, but still happy because that he didn’t want the responsibility (it was totally unplanned and he was not ready to be a father but he was going to do the right thing). It was a very weird situation. He said that he had actually gotten so excited about becoming a dad, and was ready and everything… And then it was all over. I would never in a million years had told him that “maybe you should get one, just in case”. He was so excited and had a plan and everything… It would have been totally insulting.
likikoi October 8, 2012, 4:36 pm
He might not actually be an expectant father that’s the flipping point. And no of course its not rude, it’s just common sense.
Jenny October 9, 2012, 3:58 am
Sure, it’s common sense- and if common sense, there’s no need for the girlfriend to bring it up and be rude. Because it is rude. You can be all “I say it like I see it” but that’s exactly what rude is.
Twala Herndon March 9, 2019, 7:16 pm
Amybelle, I agree with you 1oo%. It is not tacky at all to suggest a paternity test. If she’s certain it’s his child why would she not be ok with it? As a matter of fact when my son’s father asked for a DNA test I wasn’t offended at all. Add s matter of fact I welcomed it. That way I would not have to hear anything about thr child not being his. It’s better to find out early than invest time and find out it isn’t his.
ele4phant October 8, 2012, 11:54 am
I agree. Should he take a DNA test, given the circumstances? Probably, yes.
Is it he’s girlfriend of just a few month’s place to demand that he do so? Um, no, for such a short relationship I don’t think so.
Taylor October 8, 2012, 12:34 pm
There’s a difference between demanding and suggesting. I don’t see the harm in suggesting it.
ele4phant October 8, 2012, 12:44 pm
I think it all depends on the relationship the LW and the boyfriend have. If they were serious, already talking (seriously) about their future, or if he himself was expressing doubts, then I think it might be approporiate for her to bring it up.
But as the LW has described the relationship, it seems to me that while they are very excited about each other, its still a very young relationship. And so no, IMO I don’t think given the state of their relationship its her place to interject, or suggest, DNA testing be done. The situation is what it is, she wasn’t any other pretenses after the second date what was going on, so its up to her to either embrace it or move on, not question it or meddle.
At least that’s how I see it.
Alecia October 8, 2012, 10:25 am
I think Wendy has the best answer. But honestly when I saw the headline, I was feeling differently. I agree that he does need a DNA test- I saw Ne-Yo’s Behind the Music and his ex-girlfriend totally played him even after his friends kept nudging him to find out the truth. But I agree with Brigitte- he has to want to do it himself, if you push him it might put a greater strain on his relationship.
Addie Pray October 8, 2012, 10:55 am
Me too, Alecia. I saw the headline and thought “rah roh, another trainwreck!” But not at all – a lesson in keeping an open mind!
Fabelle October 8, 2012, 10:26 am
I really liked Wendy’s response to this! Plus, I mean, if this is the reality of the situation, then I think everyone involved is actually behaving in a best-case-scenario manner (“Mike” is an excited father-to-be, the mother is cool with the LW, etc.) There are still many complicating factors–obviously–but the LW has time to figure out if this is something she can handle.
I would like to add, though– LW, you’re not being “selfish” if you find that your needs aren’t being met. A new relationship can be wobbly enough WITHOUT a baby in the mix. And it will definitely be harder for you & Mike to get to know each other/reach milestones while the rest of his life is changing to such a degree.
Addie Pray October 8, 2012, 10:37 am
Aww, that was a sweet reply! Especially this: “I say give love a chance.” <— Wendy's turning syrupy!
Anna October 8, 2012, 10:40 am
Probably as a result of all the new love happiness vibes you’ve been bringing in! 🙂
CatsMeow October 8, 2012, 11:38 am
Now I have “Under Pressure” in my head.
Insanity laughs under pressure we’re cracking
Can’t we give ourselves one more chance?
Why can’t we give love that one more chance?
Why can’t we give love, give love, give love..?
‘Cause love’s such an old-fashioned word
and love dares you to care for
The people on the edge of the night
And love dares you to change our way of
Caring about ourselves
This is our last dance
This is our last dance
This is ourselves
Addie Pray October 8, 2012, 11:54 am
Yayayayaya! I love that song. But each time I hear it I get super excited because I think it’s Ice Ice Baby, but then it’s not. 🙂
Taylor October 8, 2012, 12:35 pm
I totally do that.
SarahKat October 8, 2012, 1:57 pm
I always go the opposite way. Ice Ice baby is like a little miracle every time.
Anna October 8, 2012, 10:39 am
I agree with Wendy. Sure, we all dream that when we meet The One we will be the first woman ever to have his babies. The reality in today’s world is that there are a lot of nontraditional families out there and a lot of people have kids but are not married. If you met a great single dad whose child was fully born, would that be more acceptable to you? Or is it a dealbreaker for you if a dude has kids already? That’s what you have to decide for yourself. Yes, it’s true that he won’t have all of his time to devote to you and his child will always be top priority. As long as he still makes an effort in his relationship with you, cut the guy some slack and be happy you met someone you click with.
LindsayLu October 8, 2012, 10:42 am
Wendy’s right. I probably would have moved on after finding out about the baby (I had a similar experience, but it involved an ex and I was lied to about it), but I’m probably not as understanding or mature as the LW. The LW will just have to take things as they come and see what it’s like after the baby actually arrives.
As for the DNA test, I realize that it’s a touchy subject, but if this guy honestly does say he’s just “fairly certain” that the baby is his, it seems sort of odd not to do a test, IMO, considering he’s not “with” the friend and would not be raising the child if it wasn’t his. I mean, if I took Plan B, I’d be all over the pregnancy tests directly after, so I imagine the “certainty” comes from something similar, which seems pretty clear unless she’d had other condoms break/unprotected sex during that time.
Ally October 8, 2012, 10:54 am
I think Wendy’s advice is spot on. I just wanted to add my experience, my boyfriend has a son ‘B’, who was 3 when I met him and like in your case my boyfriend and his mother were never in a relationship. At first I was a little hesitant about it, especially as I was quite young, but I gave it a try. We are now 5 years down the line and I could not imagine my life without either of them. My boyfriend is a fantastic man and his son is growing into such an amazing person. We all get on really well, so I’ve gained a great relationship, a new friendship with B’s mum and as someone else mentioned B (and his half-brother) both have so many people in their lives that love them. All I’m trying to say is that it can work out for the best!
mf October 8, 2012, 11:13 am
Also, I don’t think you’re being selfish at all. You’re being smart and mature for thinking this through before you get in any deeper. It sounds like you want the best for Mike and his child – you’re just not sure if what’s best for them is what’s best for you. You seem to have your head on straight, so to speak. Whatever decision you make, I really think you’ll be fine 🙂
ebstarr October 8, 2012, 11:19 am
Just want to say I love Wendy’s advice. So beautifully written and true.
Sasa October 8, 2012, 11:30 am
I love Wendy’s response. I’m just going through a phase of terrible heartbreak after some intense confusion, and I am right now re-learning the lesson that sometimes life is just messy. I thought my path would look a certain way, and now it probably won’t. Losing somebody you love is painful, but I certainly don’t wish that I had never dared loving him… And he’d say the same, I’m sure. So I think this is all about listening to both your heart and your gut. Do you really want to be with him, but fear that this non-traditional situation will later cause some problems? Or do you already sense your gut warning you? Do the doubts come from the way you think about this, or the way it makes you feel? Btw, from my own experience, I can interpret these things better if I don’t think “What do my feelings tell me?” but “What does my instinct tell me?” I’ve found that my instinct is way ahead of my feelings, not to mention my thoughts.
Kate B. October 8, 2012, 12:02 pm
On my way in to work, something else occurred to me. What does teh BF mena when he says he wants the LW to be “a part of everything”? Picking out baby clothes? Decorating the baby’s room? Going to the hospital for the birth? This seems like a lot to ask of someone who is not even related to the baby in any way. I think he’s indulging in a little fantasizing himself.
Kate B. October 8, 2012, 12:03 pm
*the BF mean* O spell check, where art thou?
Taylor October 8, 2012, 12:37 pm
Wendy, an addition to your list of quotes that go up in people’s offices: “…there is joy and love and happiness to be had in the complicated and messy layers of real life. There’s richness to embrace and lessons to learn, even in heartbreak. Sometimes, especially in heartbreak. Don’t not live because you’re afraid of getting hurt. Don’t stand still because you fear the unknown ahead. Keep moving forward. Push through fear. And embrace the life unfolding in front of you. It may just bring you the kind of happiness you always imagined, even if it isn’t packaged the way you thought it would be.”
Especially the first sentence, love it!
SarahKat October 8, 2012, 12:44 pm
Wendy is dead on. I say stay with him and give the sitch a chance. The worst thing that happens is that you figure out that a relationship with a new dad isn’t working for you. And if that’s going to happen, no amount of worrying beforehand is going to prevent it. So try not to pre-worry. Don’t blow your worry before its time to worry. You’ll get worry everywhere.
The best thing is that you get to be a huge part of a moment your boyfriend will remember for the rest of his life. You’ll be an integral part of his celebration, and you’ll also be a wonderful respite from all the literal sh*t (sidenote, is it like, nature that keeps parents from realizing how gross baby poo is? I love my nephew but it grosses me out so bad when everybody celebrates him taking a dump.) that he’s going to have to adjust to.
BUT keep checking in with yourself after the fact. Ask yourself, is he blowing me off? Is he ignoring my needs? Is he losing touch with who I am? If that stuff starts to happen, let yourself rethink the relationship. I have a feeling it wont though, judging by how healthy he’s being about the whole thing now. I think once it happens you’ll be relived at how fun it can be. Except for the baby poo. *Shudder*
katie October 8, 2012, 12:45 pm
WWS. loved it.
i find it interesting, LW, that you say you always ” envisioned being the first and only woman to give birth to my husband’s children (in the way, way future).” To me, that sounds like a man saying that he always invisioned that he would be the only man his wife has sex with, or a guy saying that he hoped that his wife would be the mother of only his kids, ect… i mean, it sounds a little messed up, in my opinion, and i think that when men make those comments it is messed up. so think about that, and remember that families come in all shapes and sizes and are created by a so many different ways in our modern age.
ele4phant October 8, 2012, 12:53 pm
Eh, I think there’s a difference between wanting to be with a guy that doesn’t have children already and wanting a girl who is a virgin.
Because kids are going to really impact a relationship. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but come on, dating a single father makes for a very different relationship than a man with no kids. Priorities will be different (as they should be), availability will be different, the stepmom will have to navigate potentially fraught and difficult relationships with the kids. Its a big deal, and not everybody’s up for it.
But wanting a virgin. Whether or not a woman has already has sex will make NO difference to what a relationship will be like (well, maybe it says something about mismatched values, but still). There won’t be, for lack of a better term, baggage or additional burdens. Except of course a man’s bruised ego for not being the first.
katie October 8, 2012, 12:59 pm
well, i also think that there is a difference in saying that you dont want to date a man with kids because of the increased problems, and saying what the LW said, “I’ve always envisioned being the first and only woman to give birth to my husband’s children (in the way, way future).” the wording was what set me off on thinking that it is messed up.
its like she isnt saying that the problem is that the child will bring problems to the relationship, it is simply the fact that she wont be the first to give birth to this guy’s kids that is the problem. i dont like that.
theattack October 8, 2012, 1:33 pm
Wendy, this is probably my favorite response of yours ever. Absolutely perfect advice, and so well said! You seem really on your game lately.
Wendy October 8, 2012, 1:51 pm
Thank you. Sometimes it just takes the right kind of question to inspire me, you know?
Lumpie October 8, 2012, 1:38 pm
I don’t comment often but just felt that I really wanted to say that this is a beautifully written response Wendy and it resonated with me.
CSP October 8, 2012, 1:55 pm
I think Wendy is right here. LW, as you will find out, the older people get, the messier thier lives get. Honestly It is easy to find a guy in his early 20s with no baggage. However, the older you get, the less likely you will be to find someone without a history.
KKZ October 8, 2012, 2:40 pm
Excellent advice, Wendy – I second what theattack said above.
One thing I didn’t see in the letter is whether the LW had discussed what kind of role she herself would be expected to have in the child’s upbringing. Pending that she and Mike stay together for the long haul, is she going to co-parent with him and the child’s mother, especially as the child gets older? Would she indeed be a full stepmother, or would her relationship to the child be more like that of an aunt? If the LW and Mike have kids of their own one day, how will their relationships and parenting roles with this child be affected? Are Mike, the child’s mother and her new BF all on the same page about these details?
Not that they have to figure it all out now (and not trying to give the LW more things to be nervous/worried about), but these are just some things to be aware of that will likely become pretty significant as the child grows up. A non-traditional family model requires some pretty flexible problem-solving skills and may call for unconventional solutions.
Best of luck to the LW – would love to see an update on this one (and hope it’s a good update)!
LW October 8, 2012, 3:00 pm
Thank you to everyone, and especially Wendy, for the beautiful and supportive responses. I really needed to hear this, and she is exactly right. I can’t imagine my life without him right now so I will take a chance and see where it goes. I’d rather be disappointed than always wonder. As far as the paternity test, we had already talked about it when he was less than happy about the situation. He does plan on having one as soon as the baby is born, but he is approaching the situation as though he is the father now (as am I). I understand some of the comments on the mother and her dating someone else. I think it is a bit strange myself, and I have doubts on how much of an accident this all is on her end, but at the end of the day, those aren’t helpful or productive thoughts. It is what it is, and I want to just be supportive and not put negative thoughts that are really of no consequence in his head or my head. I really appreciate all the kind words and thoughts. It really meant a lot to me.
iwannatalktosampson October 8, 2012, 3:46 pm
Am I missing something? Why exactly are you insinuating that this girl trapped your boyfriend? It seems like she moved on pretty quickly in a drama free manner – doesn’t exactly seem like she’s pining after him. Does he have some super turbo genes that you’re convinced she wanted to steal and then go be happy with her new boyfriend? Do you doubt that she took plan b or that your boyfriend wore a condom or both? Because frankly I find it a little insulting that you assume your boyfriend is not at fault for his own irresponsibility and it’s all her fault. I’m guessing she isn’t exactly living her fairy tale either – yet she seems to be maturely making the best of it.
ktfran October 8, 2012, 3:53 pm
Well, I personally thought something was off if both a condom and Plan B were used and this person still got pregnant. Even if the condom broke, both of those methods together really should work. I think the pregnancy is suspect and someone is stretching the truth. Could be the girl. Or could be the guy. The LW was the relationship with the guy so of couse she would believe him. I probably would too.
iwannatalktosampson October 8, 2012, 4:00 pm
It is exactly that naive idea – “that because she is in a relationship with the guy so of course she would believe him” – that I take issue with. Why would you believe someone just because you’re dating them? That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. That makes them no more likely to be honest – if anything it makes them more likely to lie because they have something to lose. Instead of just blinding believing the boyfriend – if it really matters to the LW whether the pregnancy was intended or accidental – why wouldn’t she do some fact checking? Why would she just bitchily sit back and assume the girl is lying instead of giving her a chance to defend herself? Hell maybe the two of them both know that a condom wasn’t worn and plan b was never on the table. But the boyfriend wouldn’t say that to the LW now would he?
Lili October 8, 2012, 4:08 pm
I totally agree with IWTTS. I’d personally respect him more if he was like, yeah, I was dumb and didn’t really use one/pulled out and expected HER to take plan B… but yeah things happened. And now she’s pregnant, but we’re friends so I’m gonna step up for now, and ask for a paternity test later. The point about him having more to lose is very valid.
And IDK, if she’s able to get a new guy while pregnant, I’m kinda in awe of what I can only assume is her awesome personality.
ele4phant October 8, 2012, 4:29 pm
Maybe she met someone before she knew she was pregnant, and just like the LW and her BF, the new guy had enough feelings to give it a shot?
IDK, I would think most guys would not want to get involved with a woman who’s pregnant with somebody elses kid, but if it can happen in reverse with the LW, I guess it can happen for a pregnant gal.
SevenEleven October 8, 2012, 4:06 pm
I see where you are coming from, but your response seems a bit harsh since she also admitted her thoughts about that weren’t helpful or productive and she isn’t acting on those thoughts in any way.
ele4phant October 8, 2012, 4:22 pm
I don’t want to be harsh LW, but I have to agree with iwtts. You seem to be a bit resentful towards this woman, and I’m not sure why (well, aside from the fact she very well could be carrying your BF’s child).
I mean, unless you’ve left out some major details, the woman doesn’t sound like someone who’s trying to trap your BF. I mean, is she pursuing him? Getting pouty about you? Demanding his unending support (which she does actually kinda deserve – if its his kid). It sure doesn’t sound like it. She’s dating somebody else, she doesn’t seem to be needling in between the relationship you and he are building, she’s excited to meet you. If those details are incorrect, please clarify.
It does sound improbable that they were having safe sex and plan B failed, but even so, it doesn’t mean she was purposely trying to get pregnant with his child. People get dumb when they’re turned on, maybe there was no condom (and that would make it his fault too!). Maybe she is lying about taking plan B because she is embarassed that she didn’t, or waited too long, and doesn’t want a lecture or pitying looks about something that’s too late to change.
Anyways, yeah, you seem a wee bit displeased with this woman, and based on what you’ve shared with us, I don’t think you have grounds to be.
CatsMeow October 8, 2012, 4:30 pm
Yep. There’s no way I’d buy that “the condom broke” AND Plan B failed.
ele4phant October 8, 2012, 4:33 pm
Yep, but I also don’t think that being unsafe or forgoing plan b automatically means “It was on purpose.”
Plenty of people get lazy and make dumb decisions, thinking it won’t happen to them, only Suprise! It can and it did.
CatsMeow October 8, 2012, 5:12 pm
Oops, you said that before I clarified. I agree, it doesn’t seem like it was on purpose. They were both probably just foolish.
CatsMeow October 8, 2012, 4:34 pm
But aside from that, everyone seems to be handling this situation maturely.
I just get annoyed when people always accidental pregnancies on birth control failure when it’s more likely they were just careless. Why can’t people just admit when they’re careless? It’s a personal pet peeve of mine.
ele4phant October 8, 2012, 4:37 pm
Oh I agree. Just own up to it, its not the end of the world to say “Well, whoops I thought it wouldn’t happen, and it did.”
theattack October 9, 2012, 12:38 am
It’s not the end of the world, but people will sure think you’re dumb, and you’ll get a lot of lectures from people who have no business giving them to you. If you’ve learned your lesson, you really don’t need to invite the nastiness that’s going to ensue from saying that in the heat of the moment, you thought you were an exception to biology. There’s so much judgement toward people who have accidental pregnancies. Just look through a lot of DW comments over time for proof of that.
ktfran October 8, 2012, 4:37 pm
Ok. I agree that this chick trying to trap him sounds extreme and it’s obviously not the case because none of her actions since the pregnancy support that claim. And I kind of also doubt she purposfully got pregnant. I might think that is she was like in her 40s and desperately wanted children, but they are late 20s.
Anway, either he didn’t wear a condom and is lying to save face. Or she didnt’ take Plan B in time and is lying to save face. Or they are both lying and didn’t use a condom to save face. Or, both a condom and Plan B failed – thank god that didn’t happen to me because I did have a condom break once and immediately bought Plan B. I would be really pissed if that happened.
Anyway, I guess none of it really matters because it is what it is and the two people most effected sound ok with the outcome now.
I wish everyone the best!
theattack October 9, 2012, 12:43 am
I see your point and agree that it’s unlikely. But I got pregnant when a condom slipped off the guy’s penis without either of us noticing (I usually just lie and say it broke so that people don’t think he has a tiny penis). I took Plan B TWICE in the time frame I was allowed to. Still ended up pregnant.
ele4phant October 9, 2012, 4:21 pm
I also think its possible that she didn’t take Plan B because she was consicously or unconsicously hoping she would get pregnant.
One time I needed it, but it was the middle of the night and in the mid-sized town I was in, nothing was open right then. In the morning, I tried multiple different pharamcies, and they were either “out” or didn’t carry it (despite legally, they were all supposed to). Eventually I had to go to work, then class, and I didn’t have time to keep looking. I eventually thought “Well, I’m in the latter half of my cycle anyways, what are the chances I’m still ovulating? I can’t spend all day running around trying to get Plan B.” For me, it ended up not being a problem. But I wasn’t hoping *at all* that I would get pregnant, and I would’ve felt like a HUGE idoit.
*Post-script* I would not do this again. Today, I would do whatever it took to get my hands on plan B, even if that meant calling in sick. But at the time I was young, and frustrated, and thinking my odds were good, so I made that choice.
E October 8, 2012, 5:42 pm
They had sex once, the condom broke, and then Plan B supposedly didn’t work…that’s an awful lot of coincidences. Plan B is 95% effective if taken correctly (my BFF had to take it after an assault and I was her moral support). The odds of getting knocked with all three of those factors in play is miniscule. I understand why LW and the boyfriend are suspicious, so no need to freak out on the LW. I sincerely hope LW’s boyfriend gets a paternity test once the baby is born.
Brigitte October 9, 2012, 4:54 am
They didn’t have sex once- they had sex once and the condom broke, and then they had unprotected sex again. Since it’s being called Plan B, I’m assuming this took place in the US where the availability of Plan B is rather patchy at best, and nearly impossible to get in other areas.
If you take it within 72 hours after you’ve had unprotected sex, Plan B can reduce the risk of pregnancy by up to 89%. If you take Plan B within 24 hours, it is about 95% effective. So considering how hard it can be to get Plan B, chances of taking it within 24hrs are slim, which means chances of pregnancy increase. It’s not strange or a coincidence: it’s a rather specific political agenda when it comes to birth control that makes this exact situation very likely to happen.
BecBoo84 October 10, 2012, 12:06 pm
Where are you getting that they had unprotected sex again after the condom broke? That was not the gist I got from the letter.
BecBoo84 October 10, 2012, 12:07 pm
Okie dokie, just read the LW’s response below, which is making this make more sense.
ktfran October 8, 2012, 3:48 pm
I like your attitude LW! Sometimes, it’s helpful to vet things with a third party. Good luck to you and your boyfriend.
SixtyFour October 8, 2012, 4:29 pm
I think the LW is right to trust her gut on this. She knows her boyfriend. She knows the baby mama. She knows the baby mama’s boyfriend. We don’t. She obviously has more insight into their personalities and why she thinks this might not have been an accident than we do. And she’s really being so mature and thinking this whole thing through that I think it’s really harsh to come back at her and directly insult her when she was kind enough to write a response on this thread.
Fabelle October 8, 2012, 4:44 pm
“…she’s really being so mature and thinking this whole thing through that I think it’s really harsh to come back at her and directly insult her when she was kind enough to write a response on this thread.”
Effie March 6, 2019, 11:49 am
Hi there, I can’t see any date on this article, where are you with the situation now can I ask? I’m in exactly the same situation at the moment, I’ve been with my boyfriend for 6 months but we’ve been best friends for the past couple years. We were both in relationships prior and he was with a girl who he saw once or twice a week and soon knew they didn’t click so ended things after a few months. A few weeks after he ended things he called me to meet for coffee and he’d found out she was pregnant. She’s 37 and apparently he was her first ‘relationship’ if that’s what you can call it. I wouldn’t ever want to assume she did it to trap him but she had told him, if she hadn’t met him she was going to look into getting a donor. I know he’s not an innocent party either so please don’t jump down my neck people but he was under the understanding she was on a contraceptive. So I’ve known from the very beginning, and tried to be very understanding but she’s due this week and I’m nervous I’m going to lose him and everything we have. Can I also point out we were both single when we started dating, I’m not a home wrecker! I loved him as a friend anyway but I have really fallen in love with him and can see a future with him. I, like you by the sounds of it, am feeling very nervous about it all. If this was a while ago I’d love to hear what happened/is happening and I’m praying it’s a happy ending! I don’t think I can bare to lose him but it’s not the life I envisaged either. Lots of love xx
LW October 8, 2012, 4:48 pm
Whoa! I’m sorry I said anything! It’s in the back of my head, but it is negative and frankly, irrelevant, which is why I didn’t really get into it in my original email to Wendy. I just wanted to respond to some of the comments because they were all thoughts/feelings I had. There are obviously other factors that put that thought in my head. I don’t resent her, and it’s not my place to judge her or her decisions. My boyfriend told me about this on our second date in an effort to be honest with me and start things the right way. He had no reason to lie to me and has never been anything but honest with me. They did have unprotected sex once immediately after the condom broke (which is just as much his fault as hers), and she was then supposed to take plan b (which he paid for). I didn’t want to get into all these details because it is beside the point, but there it is. I don’t know if she did take plan b or not, and it doesn’t matter. Do I have doubts because of some of the things that happened? Yes, absolutely. I didn’t say my boyfriend has super genes or that she was trying to trap him. I do think she may just want a baby, but I don’t think she did it maliciously or completely intentionally. The way she acted after she found out she was pregnant is what made me suspect it as a possibility, but this is all irrelevant. Regardless of why, she is pregnant and that is reality. I’m not going to hold a grudge against her because it is counterproductive, and it just isn’t worth it. I want things to go smoothly and for everyone (her included) to be happy. I’m not getting into further detail or defending my feelings anymore, but you are entitled to your opinion. I really appreciate the support and understanding from most of you. It’s not easy, but your words of encouragement made me feel like it might just work if it is meant to be. I only want for all of us to have a good relationship with each other, for the child’s sake. We will see. 🙂
ele4phant October 8, 2012, 4:59 pm
First of, this isn’t meant as an attack, but I just wonder, is your boyfriend a hundred percent okay with this yet? You say he is, and maybe I am reading between lines that don’t exist, but does he maybe still have some negative feelings about this (which, btw, would be totally legit)?
I mean, you say you haven’t meet her yet, so everything you’ve heard has come from him (ie, her reaction about the pregnancy is his recounting, not your own personal observation). Is he trying to put on a brave face despite still being pretty conflicted? It would be totally understandable if he does, but that would be something he should unpack fully in the next three months, not stuff it down and put on a fake happiness.
Anyways, I didn’t mean to critize, and you really do seem to be handling this the best you can. I know if it were me, I wouldn’t be a big enough person to stick around.
LW October 8, 2012, 5:13 pm
Thanks ele4phant, I really appreciate that. That was really sweet of you. I know it’s hard when you only have so much information, and I have really appreciated all the really sweet and helpful feedback. I was a little more offended by someone’s comment that I was being bitchy. I really appreciate the way the mother is handling things right now and am trying really hard to be open-minded and understanding on all sides so being called a bitch for expressing my feelings that I have not allowed to come out for fear of being negative and counter-productive was really disheartening. I know I’m not the one who is pregnant (because no offense to her or him – I would never let that happen right now), and I’m only the girlfriend and have a very limited role in the situation. And honestly, I’m incredibly grateful to have any role in it at all because I know she doesn’t have to be receptive to me.
I have definitely seen him transition from completely distraught, sad, and negative to excited, hopeful, and happy about the situation. I think he is worried about how he is going to make it work (in all ways), but he has definitely accepted the situation and making the best of it. I think he will be a great dad and will only get more excited. As someone whose dad was somewhere between absent and horrible, it is very important to me to see him stepping up to the plate. He is committed to being a successful and involved father. I’m just more scared about what it will mean for our relationship, and I want to handle it in the best way possible. You guys have been so sweet. Thank you so much for the reassurance.
CatsMeow October 8, 2012, 5:20 pm
Sorry, LW. I think everyone is handling this situation wonderfully. By the title of your letter, I totally thought this was going to be a trainwreck, but you clearly have a good head on your shoulders. But as you may well know, DW gets kinda riled up when there’s an accidental pregnancy. 🙂
Brigitte October 9, 2012, 4:48 am
I think it’s good to stick around and see if the changes coming will be things you can live with or not. I think it’s so normal to wonder. Heck- it would be normal for you to be apprehensive of the changes coming if you were the one pregnant. Things will change, but they might be wonderful.
LW October 8, 2012, 5:26 pm
Lol thank you CatsMeow. I was a little scared of the reactions, but everyone (with one exception) was so sweet, and it was such a nice surprise. Love you guys!
Beth October 9, 2012, 10:41 am
This is the same situation I am in. I am pregnant with someone’s child, who has refused to acknowledge it. I started dating someone about 2 months after I slept with the person, and then realized I was pregnant about a month into the new relationship. The boyfriend was not supportive at all, which was really hard, as we had been close friends before we started dating. I think it shows a great amount of character for your boyfriend to want to be involved and to be so honest with you about it all.
mcj2011 October 9, 2012, 12:00 pm
I have a friend who was in the same situation. She was dating the guy very briefly when his ex told him she was pregnant.
10 years later they are married and in addition to his daughter that they raise, they have two other children!
Go for it, sometimes things aren’t what you planned they are better!
laxhaxtax October 9, 2012, 12:40 pm
This is my suggestion. Get to know each other in real ways. The “honeymoon” stage is not real. How does he treat the women in his family? Is he nice to the soon to be mom? What kind of father will he be? You will have to wait to know all these answers so going slow makes the most sense. This “mistake” is now going to be a human being who should be loved by all of you. I wish you, the dad to be, the mom to be, and most of all the baby, joy.
wha-haat? November 8, 2012, 10:57 pm
The condom broke AND Plan B failed? That is super duper suspicious. The condom broke? Does he not know how to put one on? And she wasn’t on the Pill, Depo, etc, as a woman perfectly comfortable with “casual hookups” – and he didn’t ask about her BC prior to getting off just for S&G? I don’t really get these things. I’m no prude, slept around more than I care to admit before I was married, but sheesh, even in my craziest or most pathetic hour no babymakers came near my hooch without properly fashioned protection… And that’s while I was on the pill! If a guy looked like he sucked at doing the condom right leaving the tip for the jizz, I would put it on for him. Hello? I should teach classes. How to be a Ho and Not get PG. It can still be sexy without being stupid, folks.
These aren’t clueless teens here. How is it that between 2 so-called rational adults, they both managed to muck up the magnitude of an unborn bay’s future? I question what kind of parents they would be. Can he drive without hitting someone?
What was she doing being sexually active without birth control, and he going around without a condom in his wallet? They’re lucky they didn’t get something much worse from each other. Really, is contraception and family planning a joke to people today? First you get knocked up, and then you plan? Many a liberated pioneer busted their … to bring us to easy access of all kinds of options.
I sincerely think it’s great and commend how it’s all unfolding with you all trying to be so cool about it, but that kid is gonna miss growing up with his dad. I would question this guy’s ability to keep it in his pants. He made a pretty big error in judgement only 6 months ago. i would keep my guard up as she is a bit more, good girl. My goodness, make him put a hat on that thing!!!
Any chance her new boyfriend is childless and sexy? You two may have more in common. Just a suggestion.
To the person who said bringing up the idea of DNA testing is “tacky and rude,” I have to wonder what enormous life choices that person weighs against keeping appearances. That’s some upside-down priorities. Geez, having the audacity to speak the unspoken sometimes is called being courageous, not “tacky.” In a relationship such as theirs should be moving toward, if this guy gets offended by her opening a dialog, he should take his walking papers. If he’s a glowing expectant father I doubt a mature conversation about DNA testing would ruin his spirit. That would be pretty darn immature. Sounds like this guy might have a reasonable explanation as to why he hasn’t taken the test. He always has a right to politely refuse and ask to drop the issue. Comical how I found that person’s comment both “tacky” and quite “rude.”
Oh, one more thing. Phooey on the person who said “deal-breaker card.” The deadline on that is the wedding ceremony, good heavens! Anyone is free to walk at anytime and has a right to whatever amount of time they need to be sure of a relationship as levels of commitment heighten, so long as the other party wants to hang in there, too.
Your life belongs to YOU. None of us has to be prisoners of “being cool” about things due to group consensus. There is NO statute of limitations on doing what’s RIGHT FOR YOU.
Rose October 9, 2013, 4:33 am
I wanted to thank you Wendy for your words of encouragement, for I am in
a similar situation. Although I have never thought about leaving my beloved, my situation is a little different in the sense that the mother of the baby that is on the way is not at all
open to me being involved in his little girl’s life.
They met online and only dated each other for about 2 weeks before realizing they had two different personalities. After the break up they found out she was pregnant. He gave it one more shot but found the same negative results.. and felt it would ultimately be better for their child if they aren’t living together since they really don’t get along very well.
Sadly she seems to not understand this at all.. and only feels bitterness and anger toward him, constantly accusing him of abandoning her and the baby. Even though he too goes to the doc appointments and wants to be there for the birth. He is even willing to stay over when her mom cant if in the event a c section happens. I think that is pretty stand up considering most men would not do this after being treated the way she treats him.
I digress. My point is, I’m glad I read all of this.. because I sometimes feel really sad that he is having a child with someone else. Before we dated we were close friends for about four years and share a tight knit circle of friends. So there is no question how much I love him and support him through this, I’m just glad to see that I’m not the only one who struggles with feelings of jealousy and fear of how it may change the relationship overall. Thanks for the question Scared, and thank you, Wendy for the awesome encouragement. 🙂
Kat January 23, 2014, 2:50 pm
LW and Rose I am in a similar situation, and would love to know how things worked out for you both so far. I’m very torn in the situation, because of all the unknown details that have yet to still be worked out.
I’m trying to not be selfish in my decision making, but also am trying to be cautious of my own needs. Would love to hear from you both! Thanks a lot!:)
Jessica May 13, 2017, 7:09 pm
I am going threw the same thing I get so scared at times when I think he gonna go back to the mother of there child I have that fear of being heartbroken I surport him 100 percent with his sistution but I just heard from him saying that lets a take a break for awhile he saids he needs to be alone for a while I just don’t know what to do we been going on for 2 months today I am so scared I don’t know what to do
Alyssa Figueroa July 14, 2018, 10:39 pm
I’m currently dating a guy with a 11month old daughter. It’s definitely a hard situation.
Thank you December 7, 2018, 2:13 pm
6 years later and the response is still very helpful to me and my situation today. Thank you.
Andy December 29, 2018, 2:29 am
What ended up happening? I am in somewhat the same situation and would love to know how everything went down once the child was born.
Bittergaymark December 29, 2018, 6:14 pm
It NEVER ends well. And dumb people never ever learn.
ScaredoftheUnknown2 July 14, 2019, 3:34 am
Hi, I have the same situation as you right now. I’d like to know what are the updates on you both? Are you guys end up together?
scaredoftheunknown3 April 20, 2022, 4:35 am
So, this post is 10 years old. I am in the same situation. The baby came yesterday and yeah he was in hospital and excited etc. You all can imagine what I feel.
I would really like to know how it ended for you, did you finally get together forever or?
That advise, has just made me decide to try to hold out longer, I love him too and I know he loves me as well but, I tend to have solid decisions when situations are unknown (for example: quitting the relationship and going through the motions in the aftermath).