[Two Pronged] Pregnant with my boss' child and he isn't ready for marriage
Rappler's Life and Style section runs an advice column by couple Jeremy Baer and clinical psychologist Dr Margarita Holmes.
Jeremy has a master's degree in law from Oxford University. A banker of 37 years who worked in 3 continents, he has been training with Dr Holmes for the last 10 years as co-lecturer and, occasionally, as co-therapist, especially with clients whose financial concerns intrude into their daily lives.
Together, they have written two books: Love Triangles: Understanding the Macho-Mistress Mentality and Imported Love: Filipino-Foreign Liaisons.
Dear Dr Holmes and Mr Baer,
Pls hide my name under Ms Accountant.
As I write this letter, I'm 7 months pregnant and turning 27-years-old in November. I met the father of my baby, "Sir Boss," at work. He is one of the big bosses and is 32-years-old. At first we started talking about work, my interests, and my religion. Sir Boss is a Catholic and I am a member of Iglesia ng Dios.
We started going out to dinner. Not long after, we started going to a motel near work. When we had sex, he did not wear a condom. One night when we were doing it, he came early and tried his best to withdraw quickly. He panicked. He said that "wala naman siguro nakapasok (nothing seemed to get through)." He asked when I had my last period.
A month later, I did not have my period. I told him. His first reaction was to tell me to exercise so I would get my period. I just told him that I jogged but I didn't. I wanted the baby and I wanted to settle down with him.
A month later my stomach started showing. He said that there was nothing we could do about it. He told me that he will not escape from his obligation to the baby. I asked him that in the meantime we live together and he said he will think about it.
At 5 months, my foster parents asked me about my growing bump. I told them everything. Sir Boss eventually went to our house to apologize. My foster dad asked what were his plans and he said that he will take care of the baby. My foster dad asked what will happen to me and he said that he was not ready for marriage. All he could say was sorry and that he was not ready for marriage. My foster parents were very disappointed because he had a steady job.
What could be holding him back? I confronted him. He told me that we did not know each other too well so I told him why did we do it. All he could do was apologize. Right now, he regularly checks up if I ate, drank my prenatals, if anything was hurting. He would accompany me to my appointments. He would also drive me home sometimes.
I also only met his parent after I became pregnant. I felt so ashamed because I never knew them before when we were already sleeping together.
I want him to make a commitment to me. I have not mentioned marriage to him because he said he isn't ready. I eventually want to get married.
Thank you so much for your advice.
Dear Ms Accountant,
Thank you for your email.
There is a certain irony to the fact that your deep discussions of religion with SB (for the avoidance of doubt this stands for Sir Boss, not son of a bitch) seem to have paved the way to premarital sex and the prospect of a baby out of wedlock. As I understand it, neither the Catholic Church nor the Iglesia ng Dios are exactly sympathetic about enjoying the pleasures of the flesh before dutifully undertaking the ritual procession up the aisle and indeed they can hand out significant punishment to those who err.
Anyway, having decided with SB to have sex, you both appear to have chosen to live dangerously by not using any form of contraception. Big bosses and accountants can be presumed in this day and age to understand how to avoid pregnancy yet you two elected for some reason not to bother yourselves with these “minor details” and consequently find yourselves two months away from parenthood.
You do not tell us where SB works but given his sole advice to you to terminate the pregnancy was to exercise, I just hope he isn’t in the medical field.
Your email however is not specifically about the religious or medical aspects of your pregnancy but more about the hopes and expectations of those involved. You seem pretty clear that you want to settle down, live with, and then marry SB.
SB for his part seems to want to avoid entanglement beyond his obligations to the baby because “he is not ready” (it’s not clear whether this is his code for commitment phobia or he just needs some time to come to terms with developments).
Your foster parents simply want you married off to the father of your child whose principal virtue in their eyes is that he has a steady job.
It is a sad fact of life that men are far more willing to embrace the opportunity to have sex than they are to embrace the joys of marriage.
We cannot know, based on your email alone, how likely or unlikely it is that SB will be willing to consider marriage but perhaps after the child is born he may see things differently. Nevertheless, marriage to a man who can say to the mother of his child that he doesn’t know her too well may not be a union made in heaven.
It is instead well worth remembering that there are literally thousands of single mothers making a success of bringing up their children in a one parent household, a success that you could replicate, especially given the support promised by SB.
Wishing you the best of luck,
Dear Ms Accountant:
Thank you very much for your letter and for being so honest and clear about what you want from your relationship with SB: commitment, then eventually marriage.
He, on the other hand, says he will take care of the baby and, in fact, seems true to his word even now, before the baby is born. He has not cut and run. Instead, he accompanies you on your prenatal visits, checks if you have taken your vitamins, etc.
However, now is not the same as 10 years, or even 1 month, hence.
Thus, it might be wise to get a legally binding document to ensure that both you and he will be responsible for the baby’s needs – financial and otherwise.
“Shotgun cohabitation” is like a shot gun marriage in that a woman who was single before conception moves with the father of the child after pregnancy.
Shotgun cohabitations in and of themselves are neither good or bad. It all depends on the circumstances. For you, it would be wonderful, and I understand 100% why it would be.
But for SB, who seems to feel as Mae West does — “Marriage is a fine institution, but I’m not ready for an institution” — it would be a disaster (at least for now).
Each of your choices is ok; what would be not ok is trying to force the other to do what one wants. In the future, what would not be ok is poisoning your baby against the other.
You wrote: “What could be holding him back (from marrying me)? I confronted him. He told me that we did not know each other too well so I told him why did we do it? All he could do was apologize.”
Dearest Ms Accountant, please do not think I am blaming you for being pregnant.
But I don’t think you should blame him either.
True, he did not make it clear that “having sex with you does not mean I want to be married to you,” but you did not hold him to this, did you? You did not say to him: “Before we make love, please reassure me we will get married/live together if I get pregnant.”
Neither of you did or said anything to ensure certain behaviors from the other should pregnancy occur.
I hope you continue to be friends, regardless of whether you continue to be romantic/sexual partners.
Your relationship with SB is not static, it will change as circumstances change. It will change as you change. In my clinical experience, it is often the woman who may have initially wanted marriage and later decides she is happier not being entangled further with the father of her child (except financially perhaps).
Like you, I do not know what will happen with your relationship with SB. That is not completely under your control. What you do have better control with, however, is the sort of mother you want to be to your baby, the sort of daughter you want to be for your parents, and the sort of person you wish to be not only for SB but for your friends and, indeed, any person you come across.
True, there were a few really nakakainis things that happened in the past, but boyoboy, are there grander, even better things that might happen in the future!
All the best,
Need advice from our Two Pronged duo? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with subject heading TWO PRONGED. Unfortunately, the volume of correspondence precludes a personal response.