do I have to tell?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-08-2007
do I have to tell?
Wed, 06-02-2010 - 9:56pm

I am 36 years old and about 5 weeks pregnant. I haven't been to the doctor yet, but have had two positive home tests. I am so incredibly excited that I'm going to get to be a mom and am trying very hard to limit my stress. However, I just broke up with my boyfriend and I'm trying to figure out if I have to tell him about the pregnancy?

I broke up with him because I couldn't handle the stress of being with him anymore. He is bi-polar and we had been together a year and a half and it was rocky for the past year. I'd just run out of chances with him. He wouldn't consistently take his meds and go to his counseling and we both ended up paying for it. I just can't picture raising a child in an environment where a simple question will send daddy into a tailspin or where a birthday is completely forgotten about because there is something else going on in daddy's world. He went through a period of depression starting a year ago and when he came out of it he started a new hobby where he was hanging out with guys 15 years younger and wilder. He makes less money than I do and I don't remember him paying for ANYTHING for us, not even a fast food meal, in the past five months (though he would spend hundreds of dollars a month on his hobby). He was getting more and more immature and irresponsible. Our relationship was on its last legs but the thought that I could be pregnant just pushed me over the edge. It was pretty mutual on the day that it happened, and then his disease kicked in and I've been subject to a torrent of voicemail and text messages for the past several days (100s of them ranging from threats of suicide to passive-aggressively thanking me for breaking his heart to anger and threats against my ex-husband who for some reason is getting the blame for our breakup - lol). I need to understand if I'm obligated to let him know, include him in my baby's life? I'm so afraid that he'll fight me for custody even though he is in no position to raise a child. I fear that his parents might push for that because he has had a child in the past and given it up for adoption because his ex didn't want to raise a child. I can't begin to afford lawyers or a legal battle on top of a baby and the unknown that I'm trying to figure out now. His parent's have enough money that if they wanted to they could out lawyer me without hardly trying.

So this is today's stress. Once I get this figured out I need to figure out how to tell my conservative, religious family that I'm single and pregnant and considering moving back to the small town they live in to raise my baby. Will they be happy? Mad? Disappointed? Ashamed? Wish I'd stay far away so they don't have to admit that their "good little girl" not only ended up divorced but also single and pregnant too. I really hope they are ok with it because I really want to move home so my sister can be my coach - she is the only person I really feel could put up with me through all of labor. So that is tomorrow's stress - just in case anyone has any extra insight.

Thank you for your time and any words of wisdom you are willing to share. I feel so alone and can't talk to my best friend in person for a few more weeks when I go home and I just can't cover this kind of stuff by email with her (lack of privacy in her home & small town gossip issues). Thank you!

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-06-2007
Wed, 06-02-2010 - 11:18pm

First of all... Congratulations! How have you been feeling?

You are not legally obligated to inform him of the pregnancy, but be prepared to defend yourself to people who think you are morally obligated. Knowing what little I do about your situation, I would probably make the same decision. In fact, I kind of did. I never regretted it, but I definitely second-guessed myself a million times during my pregnancy and the first few months of my daughter's life. I was fortunate to meet someone close to him

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-08-2007
Thu, 06-03-2010 - 10:12pm

Thank you for your congratulations. :-) Physically I feel really good. I stopped caffeine without even going through withdrawal as soon as the test came back positive and that is a minor miracle. lol Emotionally I'm super excited and equally scared. But if I can find a decent job back in my hometown I think it will all work out ok. I am far away from any of my friends that I could trust this early on with this kind of news and so I'm feeling alone and adrift. But extremely excited in spite of all of the obstacles. :-)

Thanks for your kind words of advice. I'm glad to hear that someone else has faced the decision, realistically, and made it out the other side.

I think you are right about my family. I've decided to tell my brother first and then ask him to go with me to tell my parents. My brother is more open minded than the rest of the family and has always supported me unconditionally. My parents will completely freak - probably for a month, maybe two - but then they will come around.

Thank you so much for your response. It means a lot to me. :-)

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-17-2009
Fri, 06-18-2010 - 9:11am
This is a very tough situation, but honestly IMO it isn't a good idea to tell him. My Uncle suffers from big-polar schizophrenia he can barely handle himself, the adult child whose life he has been in and out of since infancy has had many hardships because of my uncle. I love my uncle very much, but he constantly doesn't take his medication and is in and out of group homes. As a child his son didn't understand why his father acted out, or was mean to him. The sad part is, when his mental illness is not properly treated or the he doesn't follow the treatment your little one is much better off.
Your family will come around, I promise. Religion is a beautiful thing, your baby is a blessing to you and your entire family. Look for a job, go home and spend this time with your family. You will feel much better.
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