I (25M) had been with my now ex (23F) for a little over 3 months. I always made sure we used lots of precaution when having sex. She was on birth control and I always used condoms.
I wanted to avoid a child. I have known for a long time that I do not want children. I find them annoying and they would severely limit my ability to do the things I enjoy (traveling, outdoors stuff, etc.). Unfortunately for me, my ex didn’t have her period when she was supposed to and it turns out she’s now pregnant.
She came to me and told me she was pregnant.
The first thing I did was suggest an abortion. We don’t live in a state where it’s legal so I offered to pay for her flight and hotel and told her I’d be happy to come with her to get it done.
I have a stable job and make good money so it isn’t wouldn’t be too much of a hit for me. She works as a receptionist and doesn’t make a lot so I figured it would be better for me to pay.
That’s when she told me she was hoping to keep it and that she wanted me to help her raise the kid as it’s father.
I have no intention of being a father. Beyond just my dislike of children, I’m not ready for that. I made it very clear that I didn’t want the baby, but she kept insisting that I’d have a change of heart once it’s born and to just try it out.
After a long exchange I told her that if she intended to keep the baby I would not act as a father. I broke up with her and told her that I would pay child support once it’s born, but that I expect her to respect my wishes and keep the child away from me.
Since then she’s been frantically texting me, begging me to come back and telling me she’d forgive me. She’s sent me voicemails crying. It does hurt to see, but I haven’t responded.
The other day she texted me saying how she can’t raise the kid alone and how I’m basically forcing her to get the abortion just by leaving. She called me an AH, an abuser, and a sexist.
She ended the text begging me to talk again. I certainly feel shitty, I really liked her and we had a good relationship before this, but I just don’t want to be a father.
I’m already bitter about the fact that I’ll have to pay child support for 18 years, which will somewhat limit me financially. I also feel it isn’t right for a parent who doesn’t want their child to be involved.
I’d just end up taking that pent up anger and bitterness out on the child who is ultimately innocent, which I feel isn’t right.
With all this said I come here to ask, AITA? I certainly feel like one, but I also stand by what I did.
Clarifying edits: On the topic of a vasectomy, I tried. I met with a doctor last year and asked about getting one, but he refused and said every doctor he knows won’t do it until you’re at least 30.
It’s a conservative state and while I dislike the politics, I was born and raised here so I’m still attached to the state and have never felt the urge to leave. Someone said I should have flown elsewhere to get one, and I guess they’re right but I just didn’t think about that.
On the topic of birth control, I bought the condoms myself so they were fine. Whenever we were done I’d throw used condoms in the dumpster so I don’t think she went dumpster diving.
I asked her on our first date if she was taking birth control and she said yes, I took her for her word. Maybe foolish to just believe her, but if she was lying she’d be the first I’ve met to lie about that.
Most girls I’ve met are honest about it. I assumed she was on the pill since that’s the main birth control I know, but maybe she was on something else that I’m not educated enough on.
That being said, I’ll follow your advice and lawyer up + get a paternity test. IDK how long that will take, but whenever I get it done I’ll update here with results. Thank you for your judgments, I’ve been away for a bit but I’m catching up and trying to read what I can.
I’ll be checking back periodically and replying to some people, all further feedback is appreciated.
Here were some of the top comments on the first post.
If she continues pregnancy you should also ask for paternity test as you were actively trying to prevent pregnancy. She can take a blood test while pregnant with no risk for baby. That has to be done before you are on birth certificate. You’ve only been together 3 months. Just be sure before you sign anything.
Honestly makes me wonder if she was actually on birth control.
Because the chances of getting pregnancy using condoms and birth control in 3 months have to be very very low.
Her thinking he will change his mind once the baby is born is a big red flag to me that she wanted to get pregnant.
NTA- to be honest first 3 months is the “getting to you know” phase of a relationship much like the 3 month probation at a new job.
You’d be wrong to try to force yourself to stay in a relationship that your heart isn’t into. It will only end up toxic, bitter and unhappy for all of you.
Pay your child support after DNA test, get a lawyer and set your boundaries.
I have hired one of the better family court lawyers in my state. She has someone representing her pro bono. It has been made clear to my ex and her representative that she is not to contact me personally and that all contact will go through my lawyer from now on.
A paternity test is scheduled for next Wednesday. I don’t know how long it will take to get results, but the test is happening. If the child is mine we will go to court to determine child support payments and will set up the process for me to sign away my rights.
Another clarifying edit: I was gone for a while and while reading through some comments I have found a topic I’d like to clarify for anyone left who still checks here and cares.
At the beginning I said I made sure to use lots of precautions. I had thought people would take away from that the idea that I had made my intention to not have kids clear at the beginning. Just wanted to make that clear. She told me she wasn’t looking to have kids.
I should have been more clear about this I guess. I was under the assumption that she didn’t want kids, which is why I was blindsided by her change of heart once she was actually pregnant.
I understand it happens, feelings change or whatever, but for me it was a big shock. When I go to get the paternity test started she will also have an ultrasound and we’ll talk then. I’ll update on Wednesday.
BTW the text will take a few days to process so I’ll also update with results.
This is a somewhat old update for my AITAH post, someone suggested I post it myself since the post in AITAH wouldn’t update anymore. Here it is:
Sorry for the lateness, but I got the test done and the results are in. The baby is a girl and is indeed mine. When I saw my ex I had a talk with her. We talked about birth control, and she told me she was on birth control and had no intention of having children, but once she found out she was pregnant she changed her mind.
I believe her. She was hopeful that I would come around to that perspective, so I made it very clear that I will not be part of the child’s life and gave her 3 options.
Option 1, get an abortion in any state of her choosing and I’ll pay for her to stay there for a week, so she could basically take a vacation to Hawaii or NYC or LA on my dime, but I need to come with and get confirmation that she had the abortion.
Option 2, put the child up for adoption and I’ll pay for all the medical expenses that come with having a child.
Option 3, keep the child and I pay my court ordered child support, sign away my parental rights, have my name taken off the birth certificate, and have absolutely 0 involvement with her or the child beyond my monthly payments.
It was a tough conversation and she didn’t take it well, she ended up crying for a while. She kept telling me that I would be a loving and kind dad, asking me to try fatherhood and think about how well our relationship was going before this happened, and to imagine our future together with a daughter.
I told her I’m still firmly against fatherhood and she was devastated. She refuses to get an abortion, but is scared to be a single mother at 23 even though she wants the child.
She told me that if I’m with her during the birth, see and hold the child, but still feel nothing for the baby after all that then she will consider adoption. She also said if I change my mind about fatherhood she will be waiting with open arms to enjoy parenthood together as a loving family and would hope I’d propose.
I have made it very clear I don’t want any involvement. I’m not sure what I should do since I would prefer for the baby to be put up for adoption rather than have to pay child support for 18 long years, but I also don’t want to be around the baby at all or present during the birth. Advice is appreciated.
All further updates will be posted to my account like this.
Here's how commenters felt at this point.
You’ve placed your boundary from the moment you told her you didn’t want kids, so don’t let her keep trying to move it on your ex’s assumption that you’ll want her kid.
Her thinking that you’ll say yes would mean you’re pressured into being in a position you’ve firmly state that you’re not comfortable with, making any role in the kid’s life is not consensual and is unfair to you and her kid.
It’s best to say no and leave before anything gets worse and any of you get hurt emotionally and/or mentally.
You mentioned all contact through lawyer.
Have you thought about finding ways for her to witness your pain and vulnerability in the situation? Could you record a video from the heart about the dreams you had for your future? About the fears you have of this making it harder to save / focus on the things that you really want? Talk about how YOU feel. Don’t blame, some try to convince her of anything, just open up.
Ideally this would be in a therapy session but I understand you want to be very careful about what you do say so she doesn’t think you’re going to be more involved than you are.
While her reasoning isn’t making sense to me, you might be able to convince her heart.
Could you offer/send her resources or perspectives from mums in similar situations?
Obviously none of this without your lawyer reviewing first of course.
Gentle commentary here - OP has the right to do as he see fit, but he would do well to heed my words. OP doesn't seem to realize the cost of not having a family... In his old age, should he reach it, he may well end up alone without family as time and the Grim Reaper takes them all out of our lives, one beautiful person at a time.
Before you know it, they are all gone.
I speak from experience OP, having never had kids and am in my 60s and the vast majority of the people I loved are now gone. You would best listen to the voice of that bitter experience.
The only ones left in my case are my so-called "family" who are more interested in what I have that they can take and what I can do for them, rather than to love me for who I am.
The course you are on eventually will see you experience Thanksgivings, Christmas, and New Years alone, living only with memories of the people you loved who are gone. Your choices, like mine have, WILL catch up with you.
This is the point of having children who WILL be there if you are lucky and who will make your life have meaning in the end. OP, I feel sorry for you, because later on, down the road, that little girl WILL likely come looking for you to ask the pointed question: "Why?" And she might be very angry when she shows up.
I only wish I was in your shoes as a do-over and could change course and be part of that to have that little girl be my daughter and experience it all. You are missing out on the greatest gift life can give and all because you wanted your fun time alone, over and above having a loving family life.
My best to you and I hope you consider my words.
OP responded to this one:
Heard and I understand where you’re coming from. I still really don’t want the kid. It’s looking like a possibility for my sister to help take care of her. I’m going to write her a letter explaining my situation and why I’m not going to be present.
I’ve decided it’s best not to remove my name from the birth certificate. If she needs closure beyond the letter I write I feel I owe her an in person explanation when she is an adult.
If by that time I have changed my mind we will see and I can talk to her then, but I don’t want to be present right now and will hold by that unless she decides she wants me present and I also feel that way. I feel this is best for everyone involved.
Finally back with another update. Over the past few days I’ve gotten a new influx of advice. Some of this advice has been helpful or interesting. Some really good ideas were given to me, so I set up a lunch with my ex yesterday and we had a long and productive chat.
It was the 1st time we had talked in over a month, all our communication had been through lawyers.
I decided the best way to ensure the conversation was productive was to set ground rules and make sure we were operating from reality. Both of us haven’t been being realistic. I told her that I was giving up on abortion or adoption, it was what I wanted but I already know it isn’t gonna happen at this point.
My ex wants the baby, I know she does, and I told her I know. I won’t be bringing up abortion or adoption to her again, it just isn’t worthwhile. I have to work within reality, and at this point that means under the assumption that she will keep the baby.
I also told her it’s time for her to give up on me. I made it very clear to her that I will not be getting back together with her no matter what, even if she aborts the baby. She will never have the happy family with me that she wants.
I made it clear she needs to drop the idea because it won’t happen and it makes it impossible to find any real solutions to this situation. She acknowledged that there will be no happy family between us.
I think reality has finally set in for both of us at this point. Nobody is going to get what they want, so it’s time to compromise.
The new goal that we have agreed upon is this: Provide my ex and our daughter with the support that they desperately need right now while also allowing me to have 0 involvement with raising the child.
In other words: I will not be involved in raising the child whatsoever, but will try to give my ex the resources she needs to make sure the child has a good life. I won’t be in the delivery room and I will never see her, I will simply provide money.
My ex has 25K in student debt that she needs to pay off, she is only making around $60K/year from her job, and she will be a single mother which means child expenses and such.
By contrast I only have around 10K in student debt left to pay off and after a little over 2 years working at the company I’m at I just got a promotion and significant pay raise so I’m now making roughly 150K/year.
Additionally there is plenty of room for further growth in my field, with income growth potential all the way up to 325K/year, although that is still pretty far off in the future. I don’t say any of this to brag, just to put our situations in perspective.
I’ll have all my debts paid off by the end of 2025, plus I’ve been setting aside money into a savings account and investment funds. What I’m trying to say is I have money and she doesn’t, so I will be making up for my lack of presence with significant financial support.
I would prefer to avoid court, so I worked with my ex to find a fair monetary support system. All of what comes next is a handshake agreement between the 2 of us, if someone has a problem they can go to court and determine child support that way.
We talked for a while about what a fair payment system would look like and this is what we decided on. I will pay for all of my ex’s medical expenses that come with her carrying the baby including doctors visits and hospital bills.
When the baby is born I will pay my ex 2K/month in child support to pay for the child’s expenses. This will leave my ex with breathing room and allow her to continue paying off her student debt.
We don’t have exact math, but our estimate we found using phone calculators was that it would probably take her between 6-8 more years to pay off all her student debt. Once she has paid all her debt off, the monthly child support payment will drop to $1K/month.
If my ex finds a man who she marries and takes on the role of a father to the child then my child support payments will stop since he will be able to provide an extra income stream.
Additionally, I will create a savings account that my ex will be able to see. Starting the day the baby is born I will deposit $500 into the account. I will then deposit $500 into the account on the 1st day of the month, every month, until the girl turns 18.
At that point she will be given access to the account as a college fund. Based on the math we did the account will have roughly $108K in it, not including interest. I don’t know how much college will cost by then, but that should be a significant help for her to pay for college.
If she decides not to go to college I will empty the fund into my personal savings account, so she only gets the money if she attends college. The fund has another condition on it, but I’ll get to that later.
Beyond money, my ex and the child will need emotional support. This is where my lovely sister comes in. She and her wife love kids, they had been looking into adoption for a few months now.
Based on another comment I got (which I cannot find anymore and it’s driving me crazy, I think whoever wrote it deleted it) from a woman whose brother was in a similar situation. The woman decided to take on an active role and helped his ex raise the child of her own volition because she liked kids.
Knowing my sister was already interested in raising a child with her wife, I reached out and asked her if she would be interested in helping my ex. She was very excited about the prospect if my ex wound have her. I asked my ex what she thought and she said yes.
My sister and her wife will act as a support system for my ex. When they have time they will help my ex with things like babysitting, giving her any advice she needs, or just being there for her to talk to. They’ll also be extra family for the child, helping make things like birthdays and holidays special.
This is where the 2nd condition for the college fund comes in. As I’m sure you’ve noticed, my sister is lesbian. I’ve gotten many questions asking why I don’t want my parents involved with the child, let me answer them.
My sister came out at 14, from then on she was the scum of the Earth in our house. My parents are extremely religious and very homophobic, so as soon as she came out they hated her. No more birthdays, no more Christmas, no more family dinners.
They gave her the absolute bare minimum necessities to survive and then left her alone otherwise. Obviously it was extremely toxic, what the did was awful, and my sister has rightly gone no contact with them.
My 2nd condition for the college fund is that my ex cannot tell them about the child or let them meet her. What they want most in the world is grandchildren, and I will not give them that joy.
My ex has my sister’s help and support, so she doesn’t need my parents. I made it clear that if I ever find out about her visiting them with the child there will be no college fund.
Finally I want to talk about me writing a letter. Based on advice from someone whose father came back and then left, they told me not to come back but to write a letter to my daughter as closure. I don’t want to come back, so I thought it was a great idea.
The letter will explain why I’m not around and this whole situation. I’m going to be truthful but try to also be gentle in the letter. The goal is to make it clear that I didn’t leave because of a particular hatred towards her, but just because I never wanted to be a father in the 1st place.
I’ll also include something about how hard her mother tried to make me reconsider and how much her mother loves her. I’ll end it by wishing her good luck in life. The letter will be officially notarized and will be signed by both me and my ex.
When she turns 18, if she has questions about me and wants them answered my ex will give her the letter. If the letter still can’t satisfy her and she wants further answers I’ve given permission for her to talk to me in person.
I feel I owe it to her to answer her questions in person if that’s what she needs for closure. My ex also felt strongly about wanting my name on the birth certificate, so I’ve agreed to that.
In summary: My ex will keep the child, I will provide child support payments, I will provide a college fund on the condition that the child goes to college and my parents are never involved in this situation, my sister and her wife will help my ex by acting as an extra support system for her, and I will write a letter to my daughter explaining why I am not present that will be given to her only if she wants it as a way for her to gain closure.
Full thing won’t post in comments so I’ll post it in chunks. BTW this will likely be my last update, things are mostly figured out. Thank you for all the advice and help. Also for anyone who hasn’t seen I’ll be getting a vasectomy in Colorado in February 2024. I’d already said so, but I’ll put it here too.
Here's how readers took the final update, with all its details.
I already see multiple comments regarding this, but please have child support payments agreed upon and documented in a legal document through the courts.
My husband and his ex-wife did a verbal agreement and she took him back to court for child support and was successful in getting a judgement entered against him for about $72,000 for two years of unpaid child support, when he had already paid her slightly more than that over the previous two years.
It came out to be about $6k per month for those two years, which was about half his income after taxes.
Good idea to involve your sister. For everyone. Is the baby allowed to know that she’s your sister and her aunt?
Sounds like you managed to come away with over 90% of what you set out to achieve originally. Definitely sounds like you had to be willing to pay more than you would liked the medical department just to get it done. I would still get this agreement done legally binding just to make sure.
I do have questions about if she married you stop paying support. How do you enforce that? She gets married it dropped or she get married and the childs legally adopted.
Either way it's good to hear your ex came back to reality and you were able to hammer out this agreement.