Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Previously uninterested father of baby 'wants to talk'(316 Posts)
I had a very casual relationship for a few months at the end of last year. He was sleeping with other women and I didn't want a relationship with him, so I ended it. Shortly after I found out I was pregnant. My immediate decision was that I wanted to keep the baby.
I told him this and his initial instinct was to say that he didn't want another child (he already has a daughter) and to accuse me of planning the pregnancy (I didn't). This didn't bother me as I didn't really expect full support.
However, he then escalated to barraging me with text messages trying to emotionally blackmail me into having an abortion with all sorts of rubbish. I refused to give into the pressure.
He then threatened to move away and change his name so that I could not force him to pay child maintenance. I gave him a chance to reflect and sent him a single message after the 12 week scan asking if he would accept some financial responsibility or if I should involve the CSA. There was no answer.
I accepted that he would not be a part of the baby's life and instead began to sort out my finances and future childcare so that I was prepared for when the baby comes.
He has now messaged me over a month later to ask for a meeting to discuss the baby. I have agreed but do not trust him. In my mind, he would have no contact with the baby and I was fine with that. I have agreed to meet because 1. He IS the father, regardless of whether I like him or not 2. It will be easier to have him willingly support his child than to involve the CSA.
I have been polite to him and answered some questions, but I am confused with some of what he has said. He asked for a picture of the pregnancy, so I sent him a copy of the scan pic. He then texted back to say no, he meant a picture of me pregnant (?!).
I said that I wasn't sure when I would be available to meet as I planned to move next week. He asked where and why, and I told him that I needed more space now that I was having a baby (I currently live in a one bed flat). He wanted to know who with and I told him it would just be me and baby. Next message asks if I have a boyfriend. I ignore this, so he asks again. I ask why it's relevant and he says that it is to him.
Now he is messaging me as if things were like they were back when we dated, asking me what I'm reading, that he has done this... Etc. I am soooo confused as to what on earth he is playing at considering his earlier behaviour. I am also suspicious as to why he has had a change of heart about the baby.
I know this is selfish, but I really was happy at the thought of being a single mum as I meant I wouldn't have to deal with him and would have the baby all to myself. I don't want him in the baby's life (even though he has a right to be involved) as he is a terrible role model- a serial womaniser who casually uses drugs and who publicly holds some very controversial views, not to mention his earlier behaviour.
I guess my question is (and thank you if you have actually read this far!), what do you think his motivations might be (I cannot work them out) and what should I say when I meet him?
He doesnt believe the baby is his. Or he doesnt believe you are really pregnant.
He isnt interested in the baby. He still doesnt want anything to do with it.
Agree with squeaky. And as you were less-than-forthcoming on info, he's decided to feign friendship in the hope that you might let slip something useful.
Agree. He isn't really interested, he's hoping to get out of his commitments. My advice would be to deal with him only over support not over boyfriends or sending him pregnancy pics.
If you prefer not to have him involved as a father you may need to not take money from him.
agree with squeeky. this is not a newfound interest in fatherhood. he hopes to be reassured it's not his problem. he is stopping juuuust thiiiis short of calling you a liar. keep your wits about u.
Oh well done, squeaky.
I couldn't figure out the picture of you pregnant.
But it must be to be sure you are pregnant.
Hard to say what his motives are, but I'd be very reluctant to meet him, if I were in your position. Have you asked him why the change of mind?
I'd be inclined to keep it polite but official. Don't let him have your new address and don't invite him to your home.
"It will be easier to have him willingly support his child than to involve the CSA."
That isnt going to happen. He has no intention of supporting this child. The whole tale has all the hallmarks of being a Jeremy Kyle story, complete with the mandatory DNA results.
No doubt there was a "contraception fail". At least I hope that is the reason.
I feel sorry for a child being born in these circumstances to be honest.
My advice would be to take your time, my belief is nine months is a long time. I took the view 7 months is a long way away, 6 months is a long way away, 5 months etc. I was right, after much heartache and rollercoasters, I cut all contact when I was eight months gone (after persistently trying to engage him) and enjoyed the last few weeks on my own. My DS is now nearly two weeks and ExP doesn't even know he has been born, his lack of interest has put paid to that.
Don't stress or over-analyse anything now, wait til your little one has actually arrived, by then the lie of the land will have become alot clearer! I wish I hadn't speng my pg so worried about ExP's attitudes and actions.
Just to clarify, I've not been malicious in not telling him DS has arrived, but if he replied to any of my attempts to contact him or enquired himself theeeen he would know iyswim
I agree with not giving him any personal information.
I seem to be reading op differently.
I think that he wants to be sure you are pregnant and that the baby is his. This seems fair enough to me, if you have already raised the issue of child maintenance.
You might want the baby all to yourself, but if he is the father of the child, your child's relationship with his/her father is more important than you having the baby all to yourself. He doesn't sound like a catch, but at the same time, he is the father, he will be paying towards maintenance and you chose to continue the pregnancy despite your concerns about him as a father.
I think the boyfriend questions is him hoping to 'pin the baby' on someone else. If you had a boyfriend and was moving in with him, it would give weight to 'its not mine' strategy he is no doubt planning.
I would remain calm and limit casual conversation.
I also agree that you may need to plan for him to have some contact with the baby, its only reasonable as you are planning on getting him to be financially committed to the baby.
Oh come off it squeaky - accidents do happen, and women become pregnant under all sorts of circumstances. The OP didn't ask you to feel sorry for her child, and for the record, there's no need to feel sorry for mine.
OP my daughter was born under very similar circumstances. I try not to engage with her father unless absolutely neccessary. He has agreed to pay £100 a month, in the last few months (my daughter is 3). I rarely get it. I don't care.
He also didn't believe I was pregnant or that it was his. Again, I didn't care. My advice would be to do what's best for you and the baby, in my case this was enjoying doing it on my own and keeping contact with the father to a minimum. Only you can decide what your situation warrants. Good luck!
Arcane Youve decided to be, and are happy about being, a single mother and you're moving and getting yourself organised. This is your path. Don't let his flapping from the sidelines distract or confuse you.
Thank you all for the advice, I agree that he isn't actually interested. I actually feel a bit stupid now for not guessing that the pregnancy pic was meant to be 'proof', though I thought the scan pic with my (very uncommon) name at the top would suffice.
I have messaged him to ask what exactly he wants to talk about and I certainly won't be revealing anything personal not relating to the baby.
Groupie and Veremy thanks especially for your stories, it's good to feel that there are other good mothers out there who don't need the father around in order for their children to have happy lives. For what's it worth Squeaky, I don't think my baby needs your pity: I'm a responsible woman who has a stable career and plenty of support. There are worse circumstances to be born into
Squeaky, I had an accident once, but not a baby thankfully. I won't elaborate. It was the man's fault. He couldn't seem to maintain an erection successfully without a condom. It's very embarrassing to talk about this stuff in real life. You can hardly REDEEM yourself by telling the judgemental old pearl wearers that you thought/believed he had a condom on. If I'd had a baby, forever, people would have been mean spirited about me, oh yeah, contraception fail, oh yeah! But the man was to blame. But a woman left holding a baby in those circumstances can hardly redeem herself. That kind of 'talk' necessary to clear the record, to spell out why it was not a calculated msitake, well it's eeeeooow yeuck talk and it is not going to redeem your reputation.
Ironically I have two planned children with a man who has a personality disorder. But that's another story. Planned is only the start of the story.
OP, your child will be fine. A lot of married people need to believe that their children have an advantage, that the children of single parent families are to be pitied, but study after study shows that it's poverty that holds a child back. Single parents may be more likely to have fewer aspirations for their child because more middle class mothers would terminate, but that doesn't mean that if a mother with family support and aspirations for her child is going to fit the stereotype.
Just one last thing, should I pursue him for money through the CSA? I feel obligated to provide for my baby as best as I can (including making him send the money that they will be entitled to). I can financially support the two of us on my salary alone and I sort of envisioned the maintenance money going into a savings account for when the baby is older. Should I forget this, cut off all contact and raise the baby on my terms?
I don't know. For 6 years I went it alone with no financial contribution. I was motivated to pursue maintenance because I knew the 'spin' he was planning to give my decision not to pursue maintenance. Something along the lines of it was easier for me to collect benefits. Which is bullshit, but I wanted to make sure that he couldn't fool himself or the children in the future. However, he is a wealthy professional and our children were planned. Even with that being the case, it's an uncomfortable feeling. HAND ON HEART if I only had had the one and so therefore my own career had been uniterrupted and nto so badly damaged, i think I would prefer to go it alone and never have to worry about jumping through somebody else's hoop.
If you can afford not to, then don't. I am always anxious waiting to see if it's just late or not coming at all or whatgame is he playing etc etc.....
I would take the route of raising the baby on your own, name him or her without compromise, give the child your sur name, pay for everything, make all the decisions.............
Your conscience is clear. YOu told him. He bailed out.
The other thing about maintenance is that no matter what he earns, there is no pretence at equalising the sacrifices of parenting. What would probably happen would be that he'd be ordered to pay something small like 200 a month and he'd feel like he was giving you ten pounds of flesh. Seriously, when you're running a household, 200 might help a bit but it's not going to be that much help long term. even if he earns a lot of money as he already has one dd i don't think his contribution is going ot be worth the pay off of being in receipt of it. I can't afford pride. i've two kids, nad my career fucked! but if i were in your shoes i would say 'no i've thought about it carefully and like i said, this really was an accident, you are not the man I would have chosen as a father to my child. i can be mother and father to my child. but as a courtesy i am just updating you. '
you don't know what the future holds for you, so I'd start with the CSA, because if he's already paying it and you are able to save it, if something like redundancy or illness that stops you working happens to you, you won't at that point have to start tracking him down.
Plus, never underestimate how much DCs cost in reality, you never know how useful that extra money will be. Even if it just means you can make choices about music/sports lessons, or not feeling you have to go for the cheapest possible childcare option if you arne't comfortable with it etc.
If you can save the money, great, you get to say the one thing their dad did for them was make sure they left uni debt free etc.
I wouldn't actually meet him, tbh. I would say email me with a list of your questions and I will answer any that I feel are any of your business.
I will be happy to allow a paternity test when the baby arrives so that it can be established that you are the father, at which point all issues of contact and maintenance can be discussed, but given your previous attitude, I am unwilling to meet with you in person at this time.
The grammar in the above is shocking but I'm sure you get the drift.
Earlier posters were spot on: he responded to my message telling me that he didn't believe I was pregnant. I cannot think of any possible reason why he thinks I would lie about this. I've made it clear to him that I don't intend to claim maintenance payments until the baby is actually born, so I haven't asked him for any support (emotional or financial) until that point.
Sancti I had the same thought as you: it won't be fair on a child to introduce their father and then for that father to later change his mind again on a whim. I will be the constant in the baby's life and as I far as I'm concerned, I think that will be enough.
I'm going to take your wise advice Don'tMind: you're right, I can't predict the future and that money may be needed to provide the baby with everything they need in life.
I've sent him the message that I'll wait until the baby is born before setting things in motion. He can message me if he wants to know specifically about the baby, otherwise I'm not interested.
Thanks again for all your advice, it helps to have people who know how men like this think.
If you take his child maintenance money, then he will be entitled to contact with the child. Which is only fair, in my opinion.
And if you're still reading this, this was his response:
'fuck you, sperm thief'.
That massively cheered me up!
Join the discussion
Please login first.