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His ultimatum makes no sense! What do I do?

Tagged as: Family, Health, Long distance, Pregnancy<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (11 March 2019) 12 Answers - (Newest, 13 March 2019)
A female United States age 41-50, anonymous writes:

I'm in a dilemma - my long distance boyfriend and I have spoken about marriage and he says he wants to marry me. However, he at first didn't want a child and then agreed to have one with me "because he wants a life and marriage with me".

We have talked all about relocating for marriage and a child. I live in a big city on the east coast. He lives in middle America.

Despite previously saying he would transfer his government job to an east coast city where I could also get a good job, he has now thrown down an ultimatum. Saying option 1) I move to his affordable middle America town and we have a kid 2) we agree not to have one and can live in an east coast city.

This makes no sense to me and seems like an excuse. (Btw money is not an issue. He makes a good six figure salary and so would I in an east coast city).

We are in our 40's and together for 3 years so the child window is quickly closing and I don't know what to do.

View related questions: long distance, money

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (13 March 2019):

Honeypie agony auntI'm sorry, OP

But... AT LEAST now you know. And now you can move on. Don't let him waste ANY MORE of your time. And... learn from this.

If someone OVER the age of 30 says:" I DON'T want kids" they REALLY don't want them, and HAVE considered all the pros and cons. They are NOT likely to change their minds.

Kentucky is a lovely state though :) However, I can imagine wanting to live on the Coast as well. When we had to relocate after my husband retired, I wanted one of the Carolina's (JUST to be on the coast) but ended up in MI NOWHERE near ANY coast. Having grown up in a place where the ocean is no more than a hour away... I REALLY miss the Ocean. The Great Lakes are HUGE (don't get me wrong) but they are NOT ocean!

Chin up OP, I wish you the best.

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A male reader, N91 United Kingdom + , writes (13 March 2019):

N91 agony auntWhat a selfish idiot. Feeding you lies to win you back that he had no intention on going through with.

Well you’ve seen his true colours now anyway. Block him and move on with your life, all the best.

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A female reader, Eyespy17 United States +, writes (13 March 2019):

OP again: We had a FaceTime conversation tonight. At first he said he would have a kid if I moved there, and then he said a string of negative things about how it's a sacrifice and take up all his time. Finally when I pressed him, he admitted he never wants a kid and never wants to move from Kentucky. So despite me offering to move anywhere on the East coast and even Kentucky for a few years, he said no. Then no to a child.

This is a direct breaking of his promise 6 months ago when he begged me to take him back after ending it bc he didn't want a child. He said 100% he wanted one.

So I was correct. It was a false ultimatum. He never intended either choice. Was just hoping I'd break up with him.

Well now it's done.

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A female reader, Eyespy17 United States +, writes (13 March 2019):

OP again: We had a FaceTime conversation tonight. At first he said he would have a kid if I moved there, and then he said a string of negative things about how it's a sacrifice and take up all his time. Finally when I pressed him, he admitted he never wants a kid and never wants to move from Kentucky. So despite me offering to move anywhere on the East coast and even Kentucky for a few years, he said no. Then no to a child.

This is a direct breaking of his promise 6 months ago when he begged me to take him back after ending it bc he didn't want a child. He said 100% he wanted one.

So I was correct. It was a false ultimatum. He never intended either choice. Was just hoping I'd break up with him.

Well now it's done.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (12 March 2019):

Honeypie agony auntIf he NEVER wanted a kid, then he STILL doesn't want a kid and his ULTIMATUM is his way of TRYING to prevent having one, because he KNOWS you rather stay where you are than move to the middle of America.

I think this is more than an "ultimatum" over money and costs.

I think it's a If she refuses the ultimatums I can end this relationship and do as I please. And if she doesn't refuse, I'll either live on the Coast or here and still not HAVE kids.

Having a kid with someone who doesn't WANT a kid is a recipe for disaster and... divorce (or split up).

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A female reader, CindyCares Italy + , writes (12 March 2019):

CindyCares agony aunt I think his ultimatum makes perfect sense, from his personal perspective, the problem is that you don't share it.

Obviously having a child is not a priority, not even a fond wish, for him. He can take it or leave it, in fact, if it wasn't for you, he'd leave it.

Now, it's not a secret that raising a child is expensive and that raising him on the East Coast is way, way more expensive than in other parts of the country . A preschool in New York, for instance, will easily cost you 20.000 $ a year, for any " normal " one; if you want to send your kid to a famous one , say Horace Mann or Ethical Culture, that will be about 38.000 $ ( I am not kidding, go check ).

Yes , technically you have the money. But having the money ,and deeming reasonable or smart spending it on certain things that you don't consider absolute necessities, are two very different things.

For instance, technically I can afford to spend 500 $ for a meal in a 3 Michelin stars restaurant. Why not ; if for once I want to burn 500 $ in one meal, still I would not be depleting my savings account, or need to borrow money to pay my bills. Technically, it's feasible. But do I want to do it ? Heck no !, I am not THAT much of a foodie; although I like eating out, I will be perfectly happy with a 20 $ pizza dinner,or some other " regular " option, so the idea of spending 500 $ on one meal is, for me personally, a ridicolous, superflous extravaganza.

So, I sort of regret saying it, but I think that your bf's position is logical and understandable, insofar he IS already making a compromise, and not a small one, too. From " never wanted a child " to " ok, we'll have a child if it means so much for you " is quite a compromise; now he does not want to compromise also his future savings, or his current lifestyle and spending habits, by chosing the most expensive area of the country to raise said child.

I think the real problem is another, though . Do you really want to have children with a man who never wanted one to begin with ?... Is it totally a wise move ? Oh sure, maybe- once the child is there ,your bf will grow attached to him/ her and will turn out a good ,caring parent same as any guy who was elated to be a father . But.. you never know, and I think this is too delicate and important to gamble with it. Ideally, every child deserves having two parents who both wanted him/ her will all their heart ( although clearly not always this is what happens, and yet children wing it somehow ). Your bf sounds like he would be happier staying childless and accepts to become a father only as a lesser evil ,in order to be able to keep you around. Which makes him perhaps a dedicated lover- but a committed, loving parent, uhm, - frankly I have doubts.

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A male reader, N91 United Kingdom + , writes (12 March 2019):

N91 agony auntI think this is probably the end of the relationship here.

He doesn’t want a child, end of. Why’s he trying to make this into some kind of business deal? I’d feel sorry a child who’s father only wanted it for the sake of keeping a relationship going.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (12 March 2019):

OP here - @Honeypie - yes. His reason is that he feels it would be cheaper in middle America to raise a kid. I should mention he has only lived there for 3 years and has no long term friends or family there. Just new friends. I have also offered to move to the place where he grew up.

He also says he "feels like he is giving up everything" He never wanted a kid, so that's a compromise. And compromise two would be also moving to another city.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (11 March 2019):

I've addressed this issue quite a few times here on DC. I'll jump-in and give my two-cents every-time this topic arises!

Women far too often make all the sacrifices in the name of love.

They hinder their careers, relocate, postpone their dreams, and give-up having children. To be with, or to please some man. You want to be a mother, that's a natural-instinct that comes from deep within you. It's not a random thought that just popped into your mind. If a guy really wants to be a father, no one is going to talk him out of it.

Anybody can make a kid. The hope is that he wants to take responsibility in raising the kid to maturity. Always in their lives, and cherishing their children for life! Not just to impregnate a female; then wander-off like a stray dog.

Wanting a child is a wonderful and powerful need in some women's lives. Never look at it as the window closing; because we have more options than they had a few decades ago. Noting that women are having children near or around 50...even in their 60's! You have IVF, surrogate birth, fostering, and adoption. Where there is a will, there's a way!

You have to decide what you can live with for the rest of your life, without regret or resentment. Without making a sacrifice greater than any man would make for you.

In your little deal, it doesn't appear he is making any sacrifice to match what he expects from you. It's win-win for him either-way. In fact, he's offering you a one-sided deal. You must move and give-up your job; or forgo having children. You can do whatever you like, as long as it's what he wants! He's got his thumb on the scale!

Let's not split hairs. Either he wants to be a father, or he doesn't! Children should be welcomed into this world by two parents who want them. Fathers are allowed to be detached and absent in most kids lives nowadays. Men should be more than sperm-donors!!!

Don't force fatherhood on any man who shows even the least indecision or reluctance. Children deserve better than that! It's not along the same lines as choosing whether or not you want a pet. It's a much more profound decision in an adult's life.

You want babies; so you should have a partner on exactly the same page about it! Not negotiating it like a business-deal!

Seriously?!!

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A female reader, janniepeg Canada + , writes (11 March 2019):

janniepeg agony auntYou may think where you live has no bearing on whether to have a child. His reasons could be that he wants to have a lot of savings for the future, like a child's education and living expenses will be cheaper where he lives than in a big city. He may also want his parents to be near the child if you move to middle America. It seems like he wants to be with you by making you decide quickly but did not give you his reasons so you can take your time to make a good decision. You have to discuss the pros and cons, and the logistics. This is not something to discuss on the phone. Maybe you should meet in person before jumping into a serious lifelong commitment.

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A male reader, N91 United Kingdom + , writes (11 March 2019):

N91 agony auntAs you said, they make no sense whatsoever.

Sounds to me that he doesn’t want to move so he’s trying to reel you in by promising you a child. If he has to move to you, you miss out on a child. Where’s the logic in that? Sounds like he’s trying to blackmail you to move to him. I don’t see why where you live would affect your ability to raise a child there.

Is this guy right for you? Throwing out odd ultimatums like this?

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (11 March 2019):

Honeypie agony auntWhy is HE the only one o you who can make these decisions?

Sounds like MY way or the highway, here.

And have you asked him for his REASONING with these 2 choices he has thrown out there?

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