What Should I Do If I’m Pregnant and He’s Pulling Away?

Distressed couple finding out results of a pregnancy test

I recently started dating a guy a couple of months ago; we met on a dating site back in January and were talking for about four months before we actually met. The first 3 weeks were magical! Well, we had gotten into a fight because of his trust issues. His ex wife screwed with his head and cheated on him a lot so, he brought those trust issues into our relationship. We made up and got back together and things were good for a few more weeks and he became upset that I had checked my email on a couple of dating site that I used before I met him. He still has his profile up and I didn’t make a big deal about it but he didn’t want mine up. Well, hence another fight. The day we got into the fight I learned I was pregnant. We both took a couple of days to evaluate where we are and where we want to be. We finally spoke and made up a few days later.

When we first started dating he called me babe or sweetie all of the time, texted me, and initiated conversations via text. When we are together it is great! I love being together with him but, he doesn’t want to spend the night and now when I text him they are short answers and I feel like I’m bothering him. He works a lot of hours and has 2 kids so I understand that he can’t always talk, but he just seems so cold and distant when we aren’t together. I am scared to have this baby and him not want to build a life with me. All I want to know is where he stands. I am so confused and I am starting to fall in love with him. I don’t want to put all this work and energy and love into this relationship if he is just not longer interested and is just going to walk away. I’m so scared and confused. If I wasn’t pregnant with his baby I wouldn’t worry, but now that I am I just want to know that he will be there for me and with me. Please help!

–Jules

Dear Jules,

I’m answering your question in spite of (because of?) the fact that I just did a post about whether men should be forced to pay for children they didn’t want. I want to shelve that discussion for now, because my feelings about that are irrelevant to my feelings towards your own dilemma.

I’m not sure how to say this diplomatically, so I won’t: your relationship is doomed.

And let’s be clear: this is one helluva dilemma.

I’m not sure how to say this diplomatically, so I won’t: your relationship is doomed.

Why am I so pessimistic? Let me count the ways:

“We talked for four months before we actually met.”

That means you fell in love with a stranger. Fell in love before you met him. Before you kissed. Before you ate a meal. Before you had your first fight.

Your cart is way before your horse.

“The first three weeks were magical!”

So are the first three weeks of every relationship. That’s how relationships get started! You do know that three weeks isn’t a really significant amount of time, right? You do know that you don’t get to see all sides of a person for a few years, right? You do know that you can’t build a lifetime on three magical weeks, right?

Oh, dear…you didn’t know that, did you?

Well, we had gotten into a fight because of his trust issues…We made up and got back together.”

Your beloved boyfriend of three weeks has trust issues. This is a big red flag, which you probably could have seen coming if you didn’t make him your boyfriend so fast. So now, you’re in love with a man you’ve barely met, and you have your first fight! And he quickly breaks up with you! And then you quickly make up with him!

The only decision you have is whether you’re going to keep the baby.

And now everything’s supposed to be okay? Forgive me if I’m not sold.

The day we got into the fight I learned I was pregnant. We both took a couple of days to evaluate where we are and where we want to be. We finally spoke and made up a few days later.

This is where it starts getting sad and I can’t maintain any level of snark. I just want to give you a hug. Listen, Jules, I’m really sorry you’re hurting right now. You’re experiencing what everyone has experienced before you — the feeling of getting your heart broken by an unrequited love whom you overestimated due to chemistry.

The difference is that you’re pregnant.

It may or may not matter why you got pregnant. Did you forget your pill? Did he use a condom? Did it break? Did you have a spontaneous moment of passion without any protection? No matter what happened, you’re in the same place: you’re pregnant and you’ve got a man who doesn’t want to have any part in your life.

There. I said it.

You’re asking me “where he stands”. That’s where he stands.

He knocked you up, he completely regrets it, and he wants to run.

I don’t know this for a fact, of course. But the short-term nature of your relationship, the personality conflicts, the making up and breaking up, the trust issues, and the post-pregnancy pull-away give me all the signs I need to conclude that this is NOT your future husband and that you should NOT be wasting one more second on him.

I hope you can see in retrospect that he was never really your boyfriend. He was a stranger. A stranger that you feel you loved, but a stranger, nonetheless. You slept with that stranger, he knocked you up, he’s distancing himself and you’re still intent on ignoring his colossal flaws and trying to forge a relationship with him.

Babies deserve fathers who WANT to be fathers, men who are fully committed to their wives and families. Unfortunately, you can’t MAKE a man want to be this way.

Please, stop.

The only decision you have is whether you’re going to keep the baby.

If you’re not, then you can terminate your pregnancy and your man simultaneously.

However, if you ARE keeping the baby, please be aware that, by making this decision, your child will probably not have much of a father. I’m not saying whether this is right or fair. I’m saying what is patently obvious to a third-party observer. This guy does not want a future with you, nor does he want to support a baby for the rest of his life. If I’m wrong, I’m wrong. But I’d be surprised if he stepped up.

I also believe that babies deserve fathers who WANT to be fathers, men who are fully committed to their wives and families. Unfortunately, you can’t MAKE a man want to be this way. He either feels it or he doesn’t.

So understand, Jules, if you choose to bring this baby into the world, you are also choosing to give yourself and your baby a great hardship: a tempestuous, mistrustful, busy absentee father who has no interest in being a part of either of your lives.

If it sounds like I’m weighing heavily in one direction, that’s because I am.

You have the right to do whatever you want. All I wanted to make clear was the consequences of your decisions.

I’m sorry you’re in this position, my friend. I hope you make the right call for you and your family. Please come back and let me know what you chose.

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Comments:

  1. 121
    you'll delete it

    What bad advice, and no mention of adoption, instead this advice columnist says to get an abortion.

    Yup, her body, her life, her decision. Know all your options. Totally disgusted with this article.

    1. 121.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      It IS her decision. She was asking me very specifically about the MAN who got her pregnant. If she wants to have a child and give it up, she certainly may. Advice isn’t obliged to present every single option – she KNOWS every single option already; it’s designed to help the OP think through her decision more clearly. Which is that should she have the child, it will be without the involvement of the father. What she does from there is up to her.

      And by the way, I don’t delete critical opinions; there are literally thousands on this site; I delete people who insult me personally. Do it again and your next one will be deleted.

  2. 122
    Isabel

    I have seen an ultrasound guided abortion while studying medicine. Many medical doctors refuse to participate as a matter of conscience.

    I am not religious, but I would not euthanize a rat or any living being in that way. That comes from my personal observation, scientific education and conscience, not religion

    In my view it is inhumane and at odds with the ethos of Western Medicine and Civilization.

    It also has dangerous social implications for an increased commoditization of life :

    The real push for on demand abortion comes from cosmetic and pharma corporations who profit from the supply of pluripotent cells. But corporatist media neglects this nuance

    Also neglects the women and children who are sexually exploited and forced to have abortions in order to protect their abusers. On demand abortion industry make it easier.

    The principles of Do No Harm and Non Aggression Principle are not religion. They are an important moral framework that protects the most vulnerable and defenseless from exploitation

  3. 123
    Kathy

    It pisses me off reading the amount of comments condoning being a single mother. Did people suddenly forget that growing up in a traditional household with parents doesn’t guarantee a child will have a happy life? my best friend grew up with her parents and his father raped her when she was only 6 years old. Her mother never found out but she was always happy with just her mother. She would always beg her to divorce and leave but never did cause she wanted her daughter to have a father figure. Other people I know grew up watching her father abusing their mother or their parents arguing all the time.Also, Many mothers out there are in abusive relationships as well and choose to leave the relationship to protect their children but y’all condone them? Stop judging single mothers. Its better to have one parent than have one who could only hurt their own children. And no, abortion isnt the solution as other have stated.

    y’all think that this woman should have an abortion because growing up with a father is essential? It really isn’t. What matters is the effort, time and dedication your parent gives you, which could be a mom, a grandma or even an older sibling. I grew up without a dad cause mine died when I was only 4 years old. After that my mom took care of me and gave me all the love that I needed. I grew up fine and I’m very close to her and im so grateful because shes such a wonderful woman. I am now 17 years old and will be attending the university of my dreams this fall. The reason why I mention this is because I get annoyed whenever i read comments that children with single mothers are more likely to drop out or go to jail and thats honestly bullshit because EVERY single person I know from my high school who grew up with parents are actually on drugs, and have dropped out of high school. They grew up with “everything” meaning two parents but ended up being a failure. Those statistics that only serves to further perpetuate the idea that being a single parent is “bad”, should change their focus on analyzing why children who grow up in traditional households do end up failing in life if they supposedly had a higher chance of success. We should hold accountable bad parenting from all parents not only single mothers(Im only saying single mothers because society always condone them and only praise single fathers which is unfair)

    A lot of y’all are hypocrites. Many mothers out there are in abusive relationships as well and choose to leave the relationship to protect their children but y’all condone them? Stop judging single mothers. Its better to have one parent than have one who could only hurt their own children. And no abortion isnt the solution as other have stated.

  4. 124
    Anita

    Dear Jules, I understand the situation you are in and I am sorry… as I know how it feels . Unfortunately you felt for a wrong man … I am in a similar situation but I already have 3 children from my 14 years marriage. I met someone new, we have been together for over year and he promised me a world … I found out I am pregnant just few days ago and his reaction was the worse … don’t listen to things like child deserve a father who will be present … no relationship can guarantee that … it doesn’t matter how it happened if you would Merry a decent man he would behave like a man not like a pussy … I decided I will keep my baby … despite the fact that “he doesn’t want to have anything to do with it “ . You are perfectly capable to bring up this baby yourself if you decide so . Having two parents doesn’t always mean the child will grow up in a healthy environment, and it definitely doesn’t mean it won’t be happy!!! You just need to do what is tight for you … and first thing it’s to have s conversation with him . I know it’s scary , but you have to . Just follow your heart when it comes to deciding whether you keep your baby or not . None of the options will be easy but just do what you feel it’s right . Sending you lots of love …

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