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'AITA for going fishing with old friends the day my ex was giving birth?' UPDATED 3X

'AITA for going fishing with old friends the day my ex was giving birth?' UPDATED 3X


Staying friends with an ex can get super complicated if you're in different emotional spaces.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a man asked if he was wrong for going fishing the day his ex gave birth. He wrote:

"AITA for going fishing the day my ex was giving birth?"

I (M29) ended a relationship with this woman, Maria (F27), about 1.5 years ago. Our relationship was largely casual, and I made it abundantly clear to Maria that I didn't want a serious long-term relationship.

Maria agreed since we had such wildly different values and beliefs, but after being together for about 11 months she confessed that she wanted a serious relationship with the prospect of getting married. I declined, as I thought (and still think) we're way too different to start something like that. We continued our relationship for a few more months when Maria brought up marriage and starting a family again.

She started saying things like how her family and friends liked me as well and how we'd be a great fit. At this stage, I decided to break things off with Maria. I felt like we both wanted different things, and it was better if we went our separate ways. Maria was devastated by our breakup and begged me to remain in contact, so I did, and we kept a decently close friendship for the past 1.5 years.

Since then, Maria's life has been through a downward spiral. She hasn't gotten into any serious relationships (she's been in many but they've only lasted 2 months at most and most of the guys were not very good), this lifestyle has caused a lot of friction with her parents, and she tells me she no longer speaks with them because of it.

Maria has also failed out of graduate school and has struggled to find work before finally landing a job she hates a few months ago. One of the guys Maria was with got her pregnant at some point, and she was scheduled to give birth at some point last week. Leading up to the birth, Maria started calling me a lot, and she seemed very apprehensive. She told me that she was terrified of becoming a mom.

I tried to reassure her that she'd make a great mom, visited her several times in the past few months, and helped her out whenever I could. Maria ended up giving birth last week, on the day I was going fishing with some of my old friends that I hadn't seen in a while. When I found out about the birth the following day (from one of Maria's friends), I called her and congratulated her.

Maria sounded exhausted but was happy I called. Later that week, I started getting a lot of messages from Maria's friends telling me how I should have been there since Maria was so afraid (none of her family showed up), and she was hoping I'd come. One of her friends (Katie F28) was particularly angry.

She said that I needed to be more supportive of Maria since she felt alone and I was ab*sing the trust Maria had in me. Honestly, I get helping out and being there for friends, but I feel like it wasn’t exactly my responsibility. Also, she had two of her other friends (Katie and another girl) with her on the day of the birth, so I don’t know what I could have added. AITA?

Shortly after posting, OP shared a few updates with more context.

UPDATE 1: For those wondering, the father is back in Austria, and there is like a 60% chance he doesn't even know about the kid. All of Maria's friends know he's the dad but they just refer to him as "some AH." While I do want to maintain a cordial relationship with Maria, I have NO interest in raising her child.

UPDATE 2: For those wondering, I knew the baby was supposed to be born last week. He was scheduled for Saturday but the little guy decided he wanted to come earlier so was born on Wednesday. I left town Tuesday night and planned on coming back on Friday.

The baby was born on Wednesday and I only found out on Thursday. I called Maria afterwards and congratulated her. I did not make any promises about being there for the kid's birth.

The internet had a lot of thoughts about the situation.

JosKarith wrote:

NTA - guarantee that she had this fantasy where you bonded with the kid and came back to her. Time to walk away

Federal-Ferret-970 wrote:

Dude. Shes looking for a daddy. I'd back away from the friendship. Forgot verdict since my comment got traction. NTA.

Disastrous-Sthe wrote:

Was about to type this! Next, she will be asking you to do fatherly things with her kid cause the kid has no father figure and pressuring you to get together. I would cut the friendship now.

f*ckmeoverabarrell wrote:

NTA. Not your baby? Not your business. Poor Maria but this is not your problem. Block her overbearing friends.

Havranicek wrote:

NTA it’s not your kid. You don’t owe her anything but you have been kind nonetheless.

superflex wrote:

NTA, but dude be real. Maria totally wants to get back together and have you long term as a husband and father to her kid. Her friends know it and apparently the strategy of the moment is to guilt, shame and harass you towards a role & relationship that you don't want.

It seems like you think you're trying to be a good guy/good friend here, but if your and Maria's hopes and expectations for the future don't match, maybe it's time to rip off the bandage and walk away.

Knittingfairy09113 wrote:

NTA. People seem to think you're going to step in as a substitute father. I don't know if your ex has intentionally promoted this thought process or not, but I think backing away some would be a good idea.

A few days later, OP shared a major update.

Before I proceed with my update, I'd like to clarify a few points that have been raised. Many people have been wondering about my statement regarding Maria's values and beliefs not aligning with mine. By this, I meant that Maria and I differ on various topics, such as religion, finances, and culture.

While I do respect Maria and enjoyed my time with her, for a long-term relationship involving marriage and children, I'd prefer someone who shares more similarities to me. My own family also felt that Maria and I weren't a good match in the long run, though they did acknowledge her as a nice girl. Firstly, Maria and I have very different opinions on religion.

I don’t want to get too bogged down in the details, but I feel like this was a major obstacle to us forming a lasting relationship, especially considering how we both wanted children eventually. Second, we both come from different places financially. Maria is in a significant amount of debt (both student loans and credit card debt).

While I don't judge being in debt, I do think Maria could be more careful with her finances. I admit, that I have a more privileged perspective than her, so I might not fully understand her financial struggles. Nonetheless, during our time together I felt that she would typically spend more than she should. Lastly, Maria and I have different cultural backgrounds.

Though we're both Americans, we come from different walks of life, which was a point of contention for my family (especially my older sister, F36) and sometimes for even myself during certain points in our relationship. I’d also like to acknowledge that I’m fairly certain Maria still has feelings for me.

Whenever we talk privately, she loves to reminisce about our time together and usually refers to it as the happiest time of her life. Not to mention, if I mention to her a date I’ve been on, I can tell it hurts her but she tries to hide it.

Moving on to the update:

I spoke with my older brother Brad (M32) over the phone since posting, and he said that he thinks it’s time Maria and I completely part ways. Our differences were already big, and now with her having a child, it's completely unrealistic for anything to ever work out between us.

Brad believes that by maintaining contact, I'm only giving Maria false hope of us getting back together. He also thinks that given how Maria’s friends reacted to my absences, it’s clear they are all hoping we get back together. I hoped I’d be able to remain friends with Maria, but after hearing my brother and doing some self-reflection, I realized that I couldn’t do so in good faith.

I don’t plan on suddenly cutting contact since Maria just had a baby and all, but I will be winding down contact in the coming weeks and months. However for the next month or so, I will mostly act like I normally do since it is a very difficult time for her, and her social circle is already small.

Monday evening, I got a call from Maria. We chatted for a bit, and she mentioned how she'd like me and some of our other friends to come and meet the baby in a few weeks when he gets bigger and stronger. I did agree to this, and we’ll all be getting together at her place in about a month to see the little guy.

She also shared some photos of him with me and again mentioned her nervousness about raising him alone. When I asked about the father, she admitted she hadn't spoken to him in a while, which is frustrating. Aside from this, there isn't much else to report. I wish Maria all the best and hope she finds her way through parenthood.

People kept it real in the comments.

ittlebitfunny21 wrote:

Please just cut contact. "I did agree to this, and we’ll all be getting together at her place in about a month to see the little guy."

This is not cutting contact. This is laying the groundwork for her to use as leverage to say that the baby loves you and misses you and needs to have you in his life. Just block her and be done with it.

nowhere_near_Berlin wrote:

"Brad believes that by maintaining contact, I'm only giving Maria false hope of us getting back together."

I agree with bro here. This friendship needs to end so that Maria can move on. She won’t if you stay in her life, unfortunately. It sucks to lose a friend. I’m sorry.

forcryingoutmeow wrote:

Are you perchance flat and rectangular, with WELCOME written across your face? Because you're acting like her doormat.

Block her and move on with your life.

Additional-Hat6160 wrote:

YTA. Don't visit the baby. Just cut ties. She needs to get the father involved or go for child support. Don't help her with anything if she refuses to involve the father. Her parents were smart to cut ties. She needs to sink or swim on her own. She is too old to be acting so f**king dumb.

If she does not like the father, then she should have gotten an abortion like a normal person. She can also still give the baby up for adoption if she simply does not want to grow up.

The internet has made it sufficiently clear where they stand.

Sources: Reddit
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