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Advice – I got pregnant. My boyfriend and his mom are not happy.

My boyfriend [19M] and I [18F] have been together for 4 years and we’ve been sexually active the entire time. We stopped using condoms two years ago because he said it didn’t feel the same with condoms. I was on birth control for a little while but I stopped taking them a year ago, for personal reasons. I’ve been living with my boyfriend and his family for the past year because of problems I was having at home.

3 weeks ago I found out that I’m pregnant, I told my boyfriend and his mom at the same time. His mom [43F] told me “I guess you’re happy you trapped my son now” and my boyfriend basically told me there’s not a chance that I’m keeping the baby and that he’s not ready to be a parent. I just sat there crying, while they were letting me have it. I didn’t climb on top of myself and get pregnant, he did! Why is it only my fault? I told my boyfriend that I’m not getting an abortion (that’s what he wants) he basically told me that if I don’t get an abortion, he’s not gonna let me carry my baby to term. I don’t know exactly what he meant by that but I know coming from him, it’s not good. He still expects sex from me every day though.

I don’t know what to do. I don’t have any support from anyone about this, nowhere to go. Maybe I should just get the abortion. I can’t handle being treated like this. Every day has been hell since I told them.

Anonymous
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Dear Anonymous,

I am so, so sorry that you are in this impossible situation. It sounds like there is a lot of factors at play here that we need to lay out before we can move forward.

First things first. I want you to put your hands on your belly. This is your body, and no one else gets to choose what you do with your body. Not your boyfriend. Not his mother. Not me. Only you get to decide what you want to do with your body.

Second. You also do not have to consent to having sex with your boyfriend at any given time for whatever reason. He does not get to expect sex from you as a form of entitlement as your boyfriend, regardless of your pregnancy status. Again, this is your body, and no one else gets to choose what you do with your body. Not your boyfriend. Only you get to decide what you want to do with your body and with whom.

You said in your post that your boyfriend decided to stop using condoms about two years ago and you decided to stop taking birth control medication about a year ago. So I’m not sure what kind of contraceptive methods you two were using to ensure that you did not end up pregnant or transmit STIs with each other. Pregnancy and STI transmission are both serious risks inherent in recreational sex. And it needed to be a discussion you two needed to have had: the first time regarding STI transmission risk when he stopped using protection, and the second time regarding pregnancy risk when you stopped using birth control. He does not get to selectively consent to recreational sex with you without accounting for the inherent risk of STI transmission and pregnancy in the same way he does not get to selectively consent to live while driving intoxicated and without wearing a seat belt. He does not get to claim negligence or ignorance when it comes to the pregnancy risk. He has consented to the STI transmission and pregnancy risk implicitly when you two have continued to engage in unprotected, risky sex despite timely disclosure.

Photo by Lovefood Art on Pexels.com

You mentioned that you have been living with your boyfriend’s family due to your personal family happenstance. So the first thing to do is to start looking into the resources for the support you need since you have decided to keep the baby.

You did not specify which state or country you are from. But the first step you need to take is to look for women’s support group, women’s shelter, or any kind of transitional housing that you can escape to should this current situation with your boyfriend continue to escalate. TANF and WIC are both good places to start if you are currently residing in the US. Things are not going well in this current relationship where there is a very distinct power imbalance. And it is not safe to raise your child here. So develop back up and back up back up plans to ensure that you and your future child can be safe. If situation with your family has any chance of resolution, also consider reaching back out to your family. A five minute call with your family is absolutely worth your safety and sanity.

Also consider the costs associated with parenthood. Raising a child is very expensive, financially, physically, and emotionally. Depending on where you are from, childcare can represent a bulk of your income. So if you have decided to keep the child and abortion is really out of the question, you’ll need to figure out how you can afford to be a parent. Delivery is also going to be very expensive. Depending on your healthcare situation, delivery can cost several thousand dollars here in the United States even with insurance. So you’ll have to figure out how you can afford that one-time expense months down the line.

Pregnancy and parenthood is also very physically taxing. You’ll be kept up at all hours of the night all the while being asked to keep all your other life responsibilities afloat. And the hormonal changes that come with and following pregnancy are also formidable and very unpredictable. If you aren’t already seeing a therapist, I strongly urge you to look for someone who can provide professional guidance to managing your body and mind throughout and following pregnancy.

Photo by Lucas Guizo on Pexels.com

Please consider the financial, physical, and emotional consequences that come with the moral decision you continue to make. The behaviors your boyfriend and his mother have been displaying are very unhealthy and borderline abusive. Deciding to bring a child forth into this chaotic world is already a difficult decision even with all the right resources with all the support from family and friends. You are only eighteen, and about to make a decision could define your twenties, thirties, and likely forties.

Even if you choose to not keep this baby, are you sure you want to keep choosing to be in this relationship where your bodily autonomy is taken away from you?

Good luck.

Tea Time with Tomato is an informative relationship and sex advice column for both monogamous and polyamorous folks. By submitting your post, you agree to let me use your story in part or in full. You also agree to let me edit or elaborate for clarity.

I want to hear your thoughts and feedback! Please feel free to send me your questions and comments at teatimetomato@gmail.com. If you liked my advice for this post, please subscribe below to get alerted when my next advice column is published!

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