AIBU to stop my ex-boyfriend of 2 months having access to our unborn baby?(107 Posts)
I was dating a guy who lives about a 3 and a half hour drive away from me for about 2 months or so and was careless about contraception because I thought he'd had a vasectomy. He's 42 and he's already got a 13 year old daughter to his ex-wife who he walked out on when the child was just 3 (the kid behaves appallingly by the way) and he made it clear he didn't want more children. I recently had an operation on my cervix which meant I couldn't have sex for 3 weeks and he was an absolute dick about it, you'd think it was 3 years which made me realise he was very selfish and not the man I thought he was (amongst other things that I discovered about him). Anyway, I found out that I was pregnant and when I told him, he ended our relationship in the same sentence and said he wanted me to have an abortion. (Our relationship would have ended anyway even if he hadn't reacted this way) I dug my heels in (as at 36 feel the old clock ticking and may not have another opportunity) and he is not amused although he says he wants to be involved with the child. I can't see how I can make this work because I have no respect for him and don't even like him anymore and if he comes to see the baby, because he lives so far away, it will all have to be at my house and I really don't want to have to spend any time with him at all. He has deep-rooted emotional problems which makes it impossible for him to open up emotionally and have normal relationships which I put down to an abusive father and a strange relationship with his mother and he was even pleased at one point a few months ago when he thought he had a terminal illness as it would be a way out for him. His daughter is off the rails IMO, she calls her mum a f**king whore and bitch to her face, she calls her Dad a f**king douche bag, prick etc and they let her away with it with little or no consequences. I cant help but feel it's in my childs best interests to keep him/her as far away from this bad influence as possible and I also personally don't want to see him either. My opinion is that if the child grows up and then wants to have a relationship with their Dad then I would try and be supportive of that when they are old enough to make the decision for themselves or am I being unreasonable? Help!!!!
Normally I would say dads should def have right to see their children, but in this case I think YANBU. Sounds like he is very messed up.
Is your ex a good dad to the daughter he has, as in does he provide for her, does he have regular contact and support her mum, even though she seems to be going through a really rebelious stage?
Gilly I'm so sorry you're finding yourself in this situation. Fwiw I had similar - a 6 month relationship suddenly getting worse by the minute as soon as I became pregnant.
I've been lucky - the father hasn't been in touch. You might find the same once it all happens, he might not bother. Everything you're saying is right, morally at least - legally you may run into trouble. I'll be back later to this, but in the meantime what worked for me was cutting off any emotional involvement - i made a fortress inside me and was polite, but absolutely resolute about not getting back with him, and not giving in to any bullying - I stayed cool somehow and laughed it all off, in a kind of casual 'you can't be serious dear!' manner. It worked - he realised I wouldn't be bullied, and stayed away from a child he never wanted to begin with...and I barely had to lift a finger.
talk in a bit
What about telling him that you've 'realised' he's not the father?
did he tell you he had a vasectomy?
he is just as culpable for not insisting on condoms... you should have checked out the situation properly , but you know that !
his knee jerk reaction was to end things and tell you to terminate, but the relationship was going badly anyway
surely he is not going to see much of this baby anyway? but your baby should at some point know who his/her father is.
but that is a long way off
make sure you have lots of support from friends and family
I would try not to get him involved. I think it would be better for you and your child. Congratulations on your pregnancy btw, I hope you can enjoy despite these problems.
Back for a moment!
Just to add that it's definitely best NOT to make any noises about restricting contact with the child. He gets wind of it and he will most likely fight you.
Stay calm - say 'Of course I shan't prevent contact, that's only right and proper' etc etc, it's YOU he can't force to like him, can't insist on seeing or being in your home, let alone your bed. Don't discuss any of the future stuff if you can avoid it - just give the idea you're doing everything correctly, and are likely to remain so, and let him hoist hisself with his own petard. He won't like any part of 'right and proper' imo...put him right off
Was in a similar situation also, the sperm donor has never seen DD, TBH, if I had to do it all over again, I'd lie and say I'd had a termination or the test was wrong or whatever, but thats me after 2 years of feeling heartbroken that my precious daughter wasn't even important enough to warrant a meet. Now, I thank my lucky stars that he isn't involved, as he was a shit father to the son he had, and I don't believe my dd would have benefitted from him ever being in her life. Good luck whatever you decide
Are you likely to run into him? Can you tell a white lie ie he's not the father? Can you move away? Normally I would say it's wrong to exclude a father who wants to be involved but I have to say I agree with you and if it were me I would be running away in order to protect my child.
Or....is he likely to be scared away by a big show of involvement ie asking him to come to every single doc apptmt and go baby clothes shopping, plan rotas and email him copies, basically get really clingy and frighten him off? Could backfire I know but some men would run a mile...
That's it, Kitbit - suss out his temperament and do whatever will disarm him. If he wants to fight, or bully you, focus on making that really boring for him. Don't play his games.
What's his mother like?
Oh yes and I'd also probably not tell him, if I had to do it again - not worth it for a second - but a bit late for that now
If he is a crap dad to the child he already has he will be just as crap to yours. Totally agree with the "right and proper" approach . He will, like as not, hate it!
Make lots of noises about things being done all official like and what your expectations and his responsibilities will be. It's bound to send him running for the hills and you won't have done a thing wrong. You will probably save your child a lifetime of being dicked around and when he or she is old enough to go looking for him they can do so safely since it will be too late for him to fuck them up!
Also, if you can avoid it don't have his name on the birth cert - that gives him full parental rights and responsibilities as if you were married parents.
Many thanks to you all for your supportive comments, very much appreciated!! I'll try and address the main points that some of you have raised all in the one go!
I brought up the subject of using condoms and he refused point blank to use them and he knew I wasn't on the pill because I suffer from migraines and my doctor took me off the pill because of this. I think his refusal was because he suffered from erectile disfunction most times during sex which made it very awkward to have a discussion about it because he was very embarrassed. He almost always lost his erection which led to a lot of stop starting!! I was stupid though not to press him about the contraception issue and I just wrongly assumed he had had a vasectomy because he knew we weren't using anything and he definitely did not want more kids. I asked him about this after we split as to
why he didn't use contraception if he didn't want kids and he hasn't given me an answer yet, he just says that there is no point in discussing it now as it's too late but I would really like an explanation as to where his mind was at regarding this but he won't be pinned down on it unfortunately.
I have a great family and loads of friends who have all been very supportive so the baby will not be short of suitable male role models and lots of females queueing up to babysit which is fab!
I did think about saying the baby wasn't his and I also thought I could tell him I'd had a miscarriage but my big concern with going down that road is that whilst I would be perfectly comfortable explaining to my child that I didn't keep contact with their Dad because he didn't want me to have the baby and because of his emotional problems I think the kid may resent me if he traced his father and was told that I had lied about the whole thing from the outset thus denying him any opportunity for involvement.
He does financially support his other daughter as I know he pays £300 a month in child support to his ex and he has his daughter living with him for part of the week but neither parent seems to provide stability or discipline. My big concern here is if he has my child to stay and his daughter is around it will adversly affect my kids behaviour. Especially when she refers to her Dad as f**king douche bag etc to his face!! This can't be acceptable to most parents surely?? He never does any activities with his daughter or takes her anywhere as she refuses point blank to be seen out in public with him and he just accepts the situation so they always just sit in his flat when she is round there.
There is no option for us getting back together in the future as neither of us want that and I think I would rather turn lesbian than go back with him lol!! and the fact that he lives in Manchester and I live in Scotland, I just can't see how it is going to benefit anyone him being involved with this baby. I certainly wouldn't allow him to take a young baby or child under 3 away down south and it's such a long way for him to come just to visit for an hour or two with it being a 7 hour round trip. It would be over my dead body I would allow him to stay in my house overnight and the thought of him arriving for hours at a time fills me with horror and dread!
Do you think if I let him be involved he will get bored of the logistical nightmare of it all and back off? It's a big risk though. One of my friends says I shouldn't let him even see the baby because then if he bonds with it I might not be able to stop him gaining visitation rights and access whereas if I don't let him see the baby initially he may just not bother and slink off into the background. What a bloody nightmare!! I've always wanted children, but not under these circumstances, it's not at all what I envisaged all these years! AAaaarrggghh!!!
YABVU - Your child needs you to give his/her dad every opportunity to step up to the plate. Just because he has been unreliable with his other child doesn't mean he shouldn't be allowed to see this one.
The things you describe in the OP, whilst nasty and childish are things that were in his relationship with you and have nothing to do with his relationship with his child. You have no right to withold contact, the baby is half his.
You can't control what he does, only how you handle it.
Saying that you can certainly be clever about it.
I'll emphasise this: DON'T be tempted to refuse him any access he asks for initially, albeit on a very informal basis - just don't let him know you're uncomfortable with it. You can say 'well obviously I'd rather not have to meet with you, after it all went a bit wrong between us, but obviously it's your child too' and so on and so on.
Often a man like this wants to be 'let off' the responsibility, so he doesn't lose face - like mine, trying to get back into our lives, saying sorry, being pathetic etc etc - (in a slimy non committed controlling way, I'll add) - he was just waiting for me to say 'It's Ok, I understand, I don't hate you - you didn't want a child and I am sorry I chose the other option, because it isn't nice for you' bla bla - I was really sympathetic and friendly. once he knew I didn't expect him to step up to anything, he felt it was Ok to bugger off and never show his face again.
It was a fine line, a bit of a tightrope - but one thing I know, is if I'd said' No way are you seeing this kid' he'd have been to the solicitors like a shot.
I would give him a chance. Otherwise your child is likely to ask, or wonder in a few years if the reason her dad isn't in her life is his or your choice.
He might sort it our and for some kids even a bit of a rubbish dad is better than no dad unless their is violence or other nastiness.
Btw mine's mother was controlling, liek he was - it was her he felt he had to prove himself to, not me. So she clipped his ear for being a loser, at first, that was why he made a brief effort. He was v confused as to which of us was his girlfriend and whichw as his mum.
Agree that you have no right to withold contact.
This is the situation you chose. You chose to have sex with him without being sure it wouldn't end in pregnancy. You chose to have a relationship with someone you knew had a 'background' and a daughter who is clearly messed up. You now choose to have the baby.
Fine, great, you can make all those choices and I think that's fine. It doesn't give you the right to choose not to allow your child a relationship with him
the adult thing to do is to set that relationship on a safe, sensible footing from day one. Since you're no longer together, a solicitor's arrangement and/or a contact centre for them to meet initially would seem a good road to try.
I agree with the previous posters that have said be fairly relaxedin talking about access with him.
He may not want a great amount of involment but i do think bringing up the subject with denial in mind will have the opposite effect that you want.
He does not sound like the greatest of men but he does pay for his excisting child and have contact with her,regards to the daughters behaviour 13 can be a bad age and if you look at different families with more than one child the childrens personalities can be very different,i don't think it is all about the parenting although obviously the way it is dealt with is.
Your child at some point will in my view almost 100% ask about his or her father and in my opinion if at all possible you should be honest about the parentage it is after all the childs almost right to now were he or she came from,good or bad (within limits) and in all honesty i see nothing in your post that leads be to think that the situation is so terrible that you would be living a lie with the person you will love most in the world.
Best of luck.
YABU - he was an idiot but I think you would find it all easier to explain to your child if you did allow contact. I would be very unimpressed with my mum (and would have been plaon disgusted as a teenager) if she hadn't allowed my father's name on the birth certificate. He doesn't sound perferct with his daughter but he is having regular contact and financially supporting her, which is surely all positive really?
sorry - I meant to also add congratulations on your pregnancy and good luck with everything!
I don't think OP should actively prevent contact unless he really is abusive (this includes emotionally)
What I think she wants is that he doesn't pursue it himself.
If you see the effects of court imposed contact where the children don't want it, the parents don't want it (yes some people try and get it to spite)
and the parent with care is sick every time from stress and anxiety, a screaming child being handed over - the courts don't give a shit about this stuff. They only care that the father sees his kid, at whatever cost to its emotional security. (usually)
I agree the child has a right to know its father, but that should only happen within the context of a happy enough situation, not an abusive one, and not one where the parent with care is falling apart due to the father's involvement.
Sadly overlooked by the legal system lately. I am totally in favour of doing what is best for the child, and the father's involvement is NOT always ideal in this respect.
It depends on a lot of things. OP will need to decide her own case.
Firstly it is BOTH your baby, not just yours.
Secondly you will need financial support.
Thirdly he may realise he messed up and missed out the first time and may want to put things right.
Fourthly it doesn't have to be directly at your house, he could stay in a hotel or b and b.
Lots of assumptions.
YABVU. Your child deserves a father and to have the choice to NOT see him when she/he is old enough to decide.
I've never met his parents who split up a number of years ago. All I know about them is that the mother allowed the father to beat the living crap out of her and the kids and she never did anything to stop him. I had a violent husband when I was 18 (thankfully no kids involved) and whilst I'm no expert, it's one thing if you choose to stay in a violent relationship yourself, but I think it's totally wrong if you have kids not to get them the hell out of there. His Dad apparently used to go into trance like states when this was happening and claimed he didn't remember a thing about it the next day. His Dad used to attack his Mum with knives etc and he told me that sometimes him and his brother and sister would all be swinging off their Dad's neck and limbs trying to get him off one of them, whoever's turn it was I guess to get the doing! He still sees his Dad and his Mum from time to time but I don't really understand why because he only ever bitches about how much they've messed him up but not having been in that situation myself I guess I'll never really understand why he maintains contact, especially with his Dad. His brother and his sister don't have contact with either parent at all anymore.
Slowreadingprogress: In my defence to the fact that I chose to have a relationship with someone who had a 'background' and was clearly messed up, due to the short nature of our relationship, I didn't find out most of the stuff I've talked about here until after we had been dating for a month or so and I had already fallen pregnant by this stage although I didn't know it until much later. Most of this stuff was unravelled when I was unable to have sex following my surgery when his attitude towards me changed overnight and I never had sex with him again after the way he treated me during this time. I would not knowingly put myself in this position had I known the half of it at the outset and I certainly would've made damn sure I didn't get pregnant because I wouldn't have dated him or had sex with him in the first place but hindsight is a wonderful thing unfortunately!
The contact centre thing that you mention, I don't really know anything about them but would I have to leave my baby with strangers for him to then go in and see it?
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