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I have just found out I am pregnant but my boyfriend doesn't want kids

(25 Posts)
kdakota Mon 24-Feb-14 23:45:24

Although my boyfriend and I are very careful when it comes to contraception I have just found out that I am pregnant. I am 27 and he is 26 and we have spoken in the past about our different feelings when it comes to having kids, I've always wanted them, he doesn't. We have often spoken about marriage and spending the rest of our lives together but in all honesty we sort of swept the kids issue under the carpet with a "we'll cross that bridge when we come to it" attitude. Well we are now at that bridge, albeit much earlier than either of us expected to be, and his stance has definitely not changed. He never fully shared his reasons with me until I told him I was pregnant and we'd tried to discuss our options. His worries include the fact that he thinks he is going to die young, we lost his father 2 years ago at the age of 53, and that because he suffered from drug addiction in teenage years that any child we have will suffer the same problems, as well as the financial implications of suppporting a child and that he is angry that his "life is over" if we have a child. Although I understand his concerns I don't want to have an abortion. The physical and emotional effects of abortion that I have witnessed and researched are too much for me too risk and I feel that if I agree to terminate my pregnancy then I will regret it for the rest of my life. I have in the past suffered from depression and the thought of possibly facing that again terrifies me.
The worst part about all of this is that I feel that whatever decision we make our relashionship will breakdown either way. If I have an abortiin because of his wishes then I will resent him for it, and I fear that if we contuinue with the pregnancy and have a child then he will resent both me and our child.
Thankyou for taking the time to read this. Any advice anyone could share would be hugely appreciated, I don't know how to fix this.

Jolleigh Mon 24-Feb-14 23:56:07

It might not be able to be fixed love. I know that's difficult to hear but you already know that you'd regret an abortion for the rest of your life. If you did abort, you'd blame your DP and if you didn't, he'd blame you.

How long since you told him about the baby? Is there any chance at all of him coming round?

LiberalLibertine Tue 25-Feb-14 00:09:14

Well, it's crap timing, or is it? He may never have wanted kids when it came down to it.

How do you feel about the possibility of raising this child alone?

How far along are you?

Deep breaths, you will be ok.

Aoifebelle Tue 25-Feb-14 00:28:38

Hiya kda congratulations on your pregnancy. The good news is that at least he can articulate why he doesn't want to be a dad right now, that gives you both something to work with. A counsellor might be able to help work through the issues with his past and the premature death of his father. The 'my life is over' stuff, well, he will either man up or he won't.

Ultimately it is your decision and you seem to have a strong desire to not abort. One thing to be a bit cautious of, an unwanted child could trigger depression just like an unwanted termination. It is clear from what you say you don't want to terminate, but based purely on what you have written I get no clear sense that you want to have a baby either. Do you want this baby?

kdakota Tue 25-Feb-14 00:31:28

We only found out yesterday. I told him straight away that I didnt want an abortion and he seemed to be dealing with it in a surprisingly positive way but when I got home from work today he was in a visibly different mindset. Words were exchanged and we both got angrier than we should have. I know his anger is down to being upset and overwhelmed but he feels that I am being selfish because I alwyas knew he didnt want kids, I dont know if thats his genuine opinion or down to anger at the moment. I would love to think he could come around and I've heard a thousand stories of reluctant fathers falling head over heels with their children once they are born but I cant tell myself that this will be the case with us.
If it comes to it then yes I will have to raise this child alone but even just the thought of that breaks my heart

kdakota Tue 25-Feb-14 00:41:28

Aoifebelle, having reread my post I realise that I have only written out the negatives. I am overjoyed that I am pregnant, as unexpected as it is and even though I know that my partner isnt on the same page as me. I am torn because of my love for N and the pain I feel over our differences here

Aoifebelle Tue 25-Feb-14 00:49:24

dakota I think you have your answer there. The good news is I think with the help of a counsellor, there probably is quite a bit you could do to bring your partner with you. There is definitely some substance behind some of his reluctance, having a third party help you both work through these anxieties might help.

pickles184 Tue 25-Feb-14 01:27:43

If your boyfriend was certain that he didn't ever want children then perhaps he should have had the snip himself, it has a lower risk than most commercial contraceptive and he would be able to say that he had done everything possible to prevent getting you pregnant.

As you say your relationship would not survive an abortion and there is always a chance that he will come round. If the relationship between you is normally good then maybe you can move forward once you have gotten over the shock of knowing that you are soon to be parents.

It is a cold hearted man who can hold his child and not fall in love with them. He will have a financial responsibility whether you are together or not, he has a choice to enjoy all the good parts about being a Dad and perhaps if he speaks with other fathers his age rather than a childless peer group he might actually start to see the good side.

pickles184 Tue 25-Feb-14 01:29:15

Oh and congratulations!

stooshe Tue 25-Feb-14 01:51:25

Congratulations on your pregnancy. Now for the practicalities....I wouldn't waste my time waiting for a man who didn't want children, but didn't want to get the snip moaning about his partner being pregnant with his baby.
Nine months is a long time living with the "when the baby is born, he'll come round" mentality...and risking him hiding resentment or him doing a complete runner so he doesn't take financial responsibility for the baby.
I know (intellectually) that a man should provide emotional support for a child that he has made. However, in this circumstance, I wouldn't depend on that, either. You have a right to as stress free as possible pregnancy. I'd sort out the financial aspects of your partner (stbx in this circumstance?) providing for his child.
Many on here will be of the mind that I am being cold. I've seen it too many times with all races and classes okay, not UPPER class, because my social life doesn't reach that far up) where a father who says he doesn't want to be one , acts accordingly. The mother bemoans the fact that the man doesn't provide "input". Well, the law can't force a relationship between father and child. But a father can be "encouraged" to provide financial upkeep, and so he should (if he's going to have sex without the snip).
Sorry to sound so unMumsnetty. I just don't know of any men in real life who had an epiphany after initially being pissed off about their partner being pregnant and going through with it. Especially if he stated that he didn't want children. Do you really want to waste your time on a fella who probably resents you going through with a decision that will affect the rest of his life (or the next eighteen years , at least). I'd start sorting out what is what, now.
It takes a cold hearted man to tell the woman who he "loves" that he doesn't want the child that his partner is pregnant with. The fact that he didn't look about his fertility (the snip) tells me that he is already blaming you for something that was within his control to prevent. But maybe you would have left him if you knew you hadn't any chance of getting pregnant for him, seeing as you wanted children?
Sort out the practicalities now, so that the first few months with your baby are not about "hoping" that this man will be a good father. He's told you what he is. Listen.

TheTruffleHunter Tue 25-Feb-14 01:58:50

Congratulations! Sounds like you're sure in your own mind what you want to do. Pay your bf the courtesy of accepting his feelings just now. They may change, or they may not - don't try to force that change.

Focus on the best future you can for your baby and keep an open mind. Wishing you strength!

TestingTestingWonTooFree Tue 25-Feb-14 06:19:42

I think counselling is a good idea, but your backstop has to be bringing up this baby without him and with the minimum financial support. How do you feel about that as a prospect?

What other support is available to you if you have to go it alone?

AuntieStella Tue 25-Feb-14 06:43:38

I don't think you can count on him to change his mind. He's always been very clear, hasn't he?

You however are very clear that you want the baby.

Do not wait around for him. This is the time to start planning on how you go it alone, and get the admin underway so you have your own home to bring your baby home to.

Now, he might suddenly tumble to what he's losing and show you he's worth taking another chance on. But do not plan your future around him and what he might do. Set up what is strong and suits your family, and then see if he's good enough for it.

MinesAPintOfTea Tue 25-Feb-14 07:50:28

It sounds as though if you want children you will have to leave him at at some stage, so an abortion will not give you a happy ever after anyway.

LastOneDancing Tue 25-Feb-14 08:25:32

I agree that any decisions you make need to be on the assumption that you will be doing this without your boyfriend. There's no compromise here.

If he has a change of heart - bonus, but I really don't think you can expect or rely on him for support in any capacity. And don't let him blame you - he was the one with such strong feelings about children, so he should have taken responsibility for his own fertility.

I hope he proves us all wrong & turns out to be a good man and a supportive father, but in the meantime please look after yourself and your baby first.

KitKat1985 Tue 25-Feb-14 11:32:42

To be honest OP you sound like you already know in your heart of hearts that you want this baby, so that sounds very much like your answer to me. Your boyfriend may possibly get used to the idea but I wouldn't be prepared to bank on it. The reality is therefore I think that your relationship is likely to struggle to get over this and you may have to accept that your decision to keep this baby means that you and your boyfriends relationship is over. I'm not saying that to be mean or harsh, quite the opposite, I just think it's worth being realistic here. In the meantime I think you could both do with some time apart to get some head space and think about what you both definitely want. If you only found out yesterday you're both going to still be in shock a bit.

I truly hope things work out for you. xxx

moobaloo Tue 25-Feb-14 18:07:10

Ultimatum time isn't it?

"I want this baby and I will have it. I want you to be involved and stay with me because you love me and we will both love our child. If you can't do this then we will have to separate. You can have as much or as little input in your child's life as you want but you will pay CM as it is your child."

You need to be prepared for a split. However I think it's best to inform him of your intentions (keeping baby) clearly and then back off to give him space.

It's scary and stressful, but you can and will get through it.

Congratulations on your pregnancy! thanks

EirikurNoromaour Tue 25-Feb-14 18:20:03

If you terminate this pregnancy you will regret it. If you terminate and stay with him and never have children you will regret it and hate him. If you keep the pregnancy you will have a baby if all goes well, you may still have your relationship or you may not. What is clear is that you are having a baby. So congratulations!

Foodylicious Tue 25-Feb-14 18:49:24

Are you living together at the moment? you mention that you have often talked about getting married etc, but do his actions match up with this?

It may well be that at the moment he is just shocked and scared and will come around, however...
I have a friend who after lots of long conversations with her OH, decided to have a baby (prior to this he kept saying he was not sure if he wanted them at all or if he was ready)
Initially he was pleased when they got pregnant, but has on and off resented her since (LO is now 3yrs old) and she has almost sole responsibility for him despite the fact they live together, Basically it is up to her to make all child care arrangements etc and they both work. He justifies any argument with the fact that she was the one who really wanted a baby, not him.
Obviously there is a lot wrong with my friends relationship but she never quite manages to leave him when things get rough now that they have a little one. I don't think she would have put up with the rest of his emotional/manipulative crap if not.
What I am trying to say is if you have concerns about his reaction/anger and phrases like "life will be over" it might be a sing of a part of him you don't know well at all, so be careful.

He might be lovely, but it might be worth telling him clearly what you are going to do, moving out/getting him to move out and telling him he can carry on the relationship if he honestly wants both of you.
If it goes well, fine move back together, but a bit of time apart might give you both some perspective on how you feel about each other.

Sorry I've not been very articulate (baby brain!)

Incidentally my OH said he did not think he wanted kids when we first got together8 years ago - I said I had always envisaged myself with children in the future but would deal with PG or maternal urges as they arrived! (oh and I did tell him that if he was not prepared for the possibility of children you should not have sex!)
After TTC for 2 1/2 yrs we both very happily 24 weeks pg.
Basically he was scared about being crap at it and did not want to admit to wanting something that he might find hard or will make him emotionally vulnerable. I started getting maternal urges 3 years ago I think. I have spoken to him about he fact that I too find it scary!! grin

good luck taking this through with him, hopefully you will be able to figure out what you need to do in the next few weeks. It may well be ultimatum time soon, but give yourselves both a bit of breathing space to process this.

RosaParksIsBack Tue 25-Feb-14 18:55:46

Does he think this was no accident? Not trying to be insulting, just wondering whether he feels that because you're happy about it perhaps it wasn't due to contraception failure? That could be the elephant in the room that's drving his anger (however undeservedly) and if you talk about it perhaps that would help?

I understand that contraception is 50/50 and if he was that adamant he should have either had the snip or not had sex, but just trying to think what might be behind his behavour.

perfectstorm Tue 25-Feb-14 18:59:31

he feels that I am being selfish because I alwyas knew he didnt want kids

He's being selfish, not you. You were careful with contraception, but none are infallible. He could have had the snip. Abortion is about a woman's right to bodily autonomy, not a man's right to opt out of paternity by forcing her to terminate.

I'm really sorry you are facing this. It's hard. I've had a termination by choice (another was due to an ectopic pregnancy, so I'd have died otherwise - most pro-life types will give me that one!) and never felt regret about it. But I knew it was the wrong time and I couldn't give a childhood a child should have. If you know this pregnancy is wanted, and you feel a connection with it, then terminating would IMO be a very bad idea. Pro-choice means just that. It's your choice. It's a woman's right to choose because it's her body. He has no right to pressure you or be angry that you won't exercise that choice at his convenience, especially when it would be so deeply traumatic for you.

His reasons may be heartfelt and sincere, in which case I think couple's counselling could help. Or they could be manipulative bollocks, in which case he is an arse. You will have an instinct on which. But none of them sound sane, in all honesty, other than the money. And the idea it will "ruin his life" is laughable. It's a child, not an agonising, incurable disease.

If he does walk away, bear in mind that CSA payments are not calculated when you get tax credits etc - it's a top up, so the child benefits from that parental money instead of the taxpayer. I mention that because it could make things easier financially for you, perhaps? I'd work out what you would be entitled to as a single parent in terms of state help, unless you're on a very high income. It will give you some clarity, going forward, if you know what position you'd be in as a single parent. You can also calculate what child support he'd have to pay, there are calculators for that online.

And finally - congratulations. Being a mum is wonderful. smile

k4mi Tue 25-Feb-14 19:06:28

I just wanted to share a positive experience with you that demonstrates men cam come around (given time). My DD1 is now nearly 3. When i got pregnant (by accident) I was 28 and partner same age. We had only been together a year, were living together but in no way thinking about kids. I had always known I would want kids 'eventually', he hadn't given it much thought but certainly didn't want them at that point. It was a BIG shock for him, me not so much because I kind of knew I couldn't abort and I think all along knew I would keep the baby whatever he decided.

Fast forward 3.5 yrs. My partner (now husband) is the most devoted father I have ever come across. He is quite simply smitten byy his daughter and fatherhood. We are TTC number 2 at the moment on HIS request.

The first 3 months of my pregnancy were incredibly hard. He took a long long time to accept it was even going ahead. Every day he came home feeling 'different' about it. My feelings were all over the place. Some days he thought he'd 'cope' others he wad panicking and angry at me / the situation. We nearly broke up 3 times. I cried A LOT. In fact I'd go as far as to say at times I hated him for making me suffer. I couldn't understand how someone could be so unhappy about having a baby. Anyway he was. In the end it took several conversations with his elder brother (who has kids) and friends who had one (literally we knew no one else with kids at that point). Those conversations didn't help him to realise he 'wanted to be a dad' but they helped him see that the way he was dealing with it wasn't useful to me in any way as ultimately I'd decided It was going ahead with or without him. His brother also told him to grow up and stop being selfish. Very very gradually he came around. 9 months is a long time, if you can, give him a few weeks to adjust (be angry / hurt / sad that it's not perfect) but give him a chance if you can do. As someone else has said counselling would be brilliant but perhaps let the news sink in for him first then suggest it.

Of course your situation is different (they all are) and I don't know your other half but I just wanted to say that it doesn't always end badly. I came on Mumsnet all that time ago asking for advice...and pretty much everyone told me to ditch him. A lot of people said he wouldn't change, men are cowards etc etc. In fact I'd say it was the opposite, he is incredibly thoughtful and likes to know he can provide / do something properly if he's going to do it. He was basically worried he wasn't good enough to be a father. I am 100% glad I didn't walk away from him as he is the best father I could wish for for my daughter.

Feel free to message me if you want any support as I have been in a similar place to you.

Get some emotional support elsewhere in the meantime if you can do and perhaps find a counsellor too.

perfectstorm Tue 25-Feb-14 19:09:28

k4mi that's lovely to hear. Really happy for you all.

lizzywig Tue 25-Feb-14 19:25:42

Congratulations! I'm sorry that it's tainted with some difficult decisions for you. I always feel sorry for men, ultimately it's not their decision, whichever way it goes and whatever they want. Sorry I'm honestly not trying to make you feel bad. I just think that sometimes we could all do with walking a mile in the other persons shoes, that of course works both ways. That being said I also agree with the other posters and think that if he was serious about not wanting children he should have had the snip. No contraception is 100% & whilst it's a small risk to those who accept the risk, it's a massive risk to those who don't want children and for that reason alone he's beyond unreasonable for giving you such a hard time.

Plan for the worst but hope for the best. My oldest (male) friend hated all children and never wanted any. He didn't want to be around mine or any of our mutual friends' children. It didn't bother us because he'd been like that since as long as we could remember and certainly since before we had children. Last year his girlfriend fell pregnant. I don't know all of the in's and outs but i know he loves and adores his son. We were all totally shocked but he stepped up and is a wonderful father. You just never know how life will turn out.

wishing you all the the world!

ashley2212 Tue 25-Feb-14 20:49:32

Congratulations on being pregnant smile
I have been in your situation twice over and both times I have made different decisions.
I myself had an abortion as even though I felt ready my partner at the time didnt. And guess what... 1 year later we split up because of a completely different reason. Three years ago I had been with my boyfriend for two months and we found out we were expecting and we were both overjoyed! 9 months later my gorgeous little boy was born and then guess what.... 2 months later my boyfriend and I split up! I am now currently pregnant with my new who wasnt happy at first and neither were his family as it was his first and my second and so on.. but now we both and his family cannot wait. My point too all this is... you do not know what the future holds out for you even if your partner was ecstatic about the pregnancy there is no certainty that you would stay together forever just as much as there is no certainty that if you do decide too continue with the pregnancy that he wont come around. Do what is best for you what you want not what anyone else wants.
And good luck!
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