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      Get Smart on the Web   09/16/2016

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Guest Doubtful

Pregnant and unsure

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Guest Doubtful   
Guest Doubtful

Hello, 

My cousin and I have been together less than a year and I found out I'm pregnant. Our relationship is hidden from most everyone except a couple close friends who love and support me. I am prochoice but have always said if I were to get pregnant I would never have an abortion. I never gave any thought to this particular situation arising, but I don't feel like anybody expects to fall in love with their cousin. 

Honestly, I don't care what people think of me for our relationship. I didn't think he did either but since we've found out he has started acting like a different person. I know he's scared as am I, but he has been outright mean and told me to "get rid of it". He's also apologized and said he'd support my decision, but all the changes in his attitude have made me feel like he will not be there with me and the baby. 

I don't mind being a single mother but with the child of my cousin? It almost doesn't seem worth all the backlash from family and community to deal with alone if he bolts. I don't know that he will but I certainly don't feel I can count on him right now. And I do understand where he is coming from, I know what a hassle this will create with our present situations just barely getting by ourselves and the disowning that is sure to come from much of our family. I know this isn't the good situation to bring a child into but I just keep thinking that little thing is growing inside me because it found its way there. Any advice is appreciated 

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LadyC    99

your fears are so normal! and so are his! please don't give any more thought to aborting your child. whether your cousin sticks around or not, that little thing growing inside you is your BABY!

i remember years ago... my youngest daughter was barely 17 and pregnant. she'd never in her life considered abortion until she thought about how i would react to her getting knocked up. and until she thought about what her boyfriend's parents would say. and about having to finish high school pregnant. and about trading in her dream of college for one of being a stay at home mom. for the record, i didn't want her to compound her mistake by marrying the guy. seriously, i hated that disrespectful, foul mouthed selfish punk. he wasn't even allowed in our home. (which is why my daughter left and moved in with her dad nearly a year earlier.)

it was her sister who called me and told me, so that i would call and talk her out of the abortion. that baby, my oldest grandson, will be eleven years old next month. he has a brother who will be turning 8 in a couple of weeks, and a sister that just turned two. and that guy i didn't want her to marry? he grew up and became pretty great husband and dad.

love your baby more than you fear their reaction. THEY will come around.

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Guest Doubtful   
Guest Doubtful

Thank you for your reply Lady C. I came very close to not, but I have decided to keep the baby. He is very upset since I made that decision and we haven't talked much except for a few explosions over messaging. He is adamant about lying that he is the father - even though he claims he wants to be in his child's life. I am not a proponent of lying. Hiding our relationship was one thing, but to lie about the very existence of my child does not sit well with me. This experience has ruined our relationship and I don't know if it can even be repaired at this point - or if he is willing to do the work to do that, as he has another baby from a previous relationship that I feel like he is prioritizing over our child. There is a lot of guilt and blame going on in his head and me and our baby are catching the brunt of it I feel like. I plan on leaving back to my home state because I was offered a higher paying job and I need the money to prepare for baby, as I don't feel like I can count on him. But everyone that knows, us included, are all convinced that the baby will look just like him (as does his other baby). People has suspected our relationship before and we've always denied it. I feel like that is going to be nearly impossible to deny when I have a child that looks just like him. I don't want to lie already and I feel like I'm going to buckle under the pressure when family are grilling me about who the dad is. Do you have any more advice for me/us? I would like to show him this thread as he has not talked to anyone about our relationship or this situation. Everything is stuck in his own head.

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LadyC    99

doubtful, i'm so glad you are not aborting the baby. i'm sorry that your cousin is being this way... but he's scared. and a little spineless. and a lot irresponsible. all that is beside the point. your child has only you to protect and defend its very life! and you're doing a great job of that.

listen, i agree. no lies. but that doesn't mean you have to just blurt out the truth, either. you can just tell people "this is MY child, the father wishes to be unidentified, and i'm respecting the father's wishes. for now." however.... IF you do that, then behind the scenes, privately, you need to have him sign over any parental rights. if he's not going to man up and BE a father to this child, which includes acknowledging his child AND helping to support you and his child, then he needs to terminate any rights. NOW. don't take this for granted and don't just try to be nice about it. because you need protection too. 

the cost of raising a child is high not just in terms of finances, but in terms of emotional strain. especially when you're being a single parent and trying to do it all. you NEED his financial support. if he's not willing to give it, then he needs to be completely out of the picture. totally. without that, you're going to have to deal with complications for the next 18 years. if you want to get married to someone, your cousin is going to be a part of that decision. if you want any future husband to adopt and become the legal dad to your child, your cousin can stop you dead in your tracks and keep that from happening. if you want to move out of state, he'll be part of that decision. if your child needs any major medical stuff, your cousin gets a say. if, God forbid, something happens and you become incapacitated, HE will have the legal ability to take away all decisions, including who takes care  of and raises your child. 

so right now, before the baby is born, give him the ultimatum... go public with his parenthood and agree to pay child support, AND have a legal document signed by a judge spelling out his rights and responsibilities, or give up any and all future paternal rights. and if he chooses the latter,  you can honestly tell people that your child is fatherless. that you alone are your baby's parent and and who donated the sperm is not up for discussion. 

and if it all seems overwhelming and the thought of aborting crosses your mind again, please consider adoption. (you'll also need him to sign over parental rights for that, by the way.) there are so many people who would give anything to provide your child with a safe, loving home to grow up in. and your medical expenses would be paid, that way. let that be your only alternative to being a mom to your own child!

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Guest Doubtful   
Guest Doubtful

Again, thank you for the advice Lady C. I showed him your suggestion and he didn't have much to say. We have developed a very dramatic relationship and I told his other baby mama that I was pregnant and that we have been together this whole time (because their relationship was a huge issue of contention and mistrust in ours - no matter how right or wrong I was to do this, it's done). He was livid and said the most horrible things to me and called me all kinds of names, but the worst thing was "i keep praying you have a miscarriage...this is the worst mistake of my life". So I made him sign a document signing over his rights, got it notarized and everything. Only come to find out it's not legally binding because the baby is not born yet. 

We (however stupidly) kept lingering around each other and communicating. I moved to the next state over and we've seen each other twice when I have made the effort to meet him somewhere he was already going (out of state trips). The encounters were ok, and he has been exceptionally nice once we part afterwards and he was showing interest in the baby but definitely still bitter. We even told his mother (no relation to me) I am pregnant and she was supportive of the baby and our relationship. We were going through the minimum motions of hanging on but it didn't feel like he was committed. I have told him repeatedly that if we are not going to try and work through all the issues and be together that I want nothing to do with him, he can contact my mom (his great aunt) to see the baby. So I called him out on his lack of willingness to tell any of his friends, co-workers, our relatives about me/the baby and his non-planning for ANYTHING to do with the baby/once the baby arrives. We can't even be in the state he's in because we're committing a felony and he dismissed it when I told him our child could end up in CPS.

He basically made it clear he doesn't want to try to do the work to make our relationship work but he wants to be in his childs life - giving it his last name, and being parents/living together, and work on "being friends" - we also have been sleeping together throughout this time. I am livid at this suggestion. After everything he has done and said I cannot forgive him and "be friends" with someone that could put me through this - and not even try to make amends. Not to mention this is such a huge embarrassment having a baby with your partner and then they decide they don't actually want to be with you, just avoid committing but use you as a place holder and do whatever they want without being held accountable. I still love him and cannot move on with my life with him right there using me in the meanwhile. Right now the only family that knows is our moms and my sister. I am conflicted how to proceed. I told him goodbye and stopped talking to him last week and now I am wondering if it is even possible for him to be in this child's life at all. I don't want people finding out who my childs father is if he's not even going to be there to face the criticism with me. There is a huge difference between "we love each other, this is our child, so what, you're the hater" vs. "we had a baby but it was a huge mistake, i'm here because i feel obligated to be". The latter is embarrassing for me, ESPECIALLY since we're cousins. And honestly, if he could just leave me as a filler and not be willing to make our relationship better I don't want him around, I don't want to share the birth experience with him, I don't want to see him ever again. And I don't know if his mom can see the child without it causing other people to figure out who the dad is. I just don't know what to do. 

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LadyC    99

your mother is his great aunt? that makes him your first cousin once removed. it's not likely a felony, since first cousins once removed are only forbidden from marriage in 6 states, and i'm not sure it's a felony in any of those six. 

that being said, he's still not doing right by you. don't underestimate the power of that notarized document. it shows his intent, his state of mind, etc. and it may be strongly considered by a judge in any future court proceedings. a judge can terminate his parental rights even if you can't get him to voluntarily sign them away... it's just a whole lot easier (and cheaper) to have him do it without a judge ordering it.

you're right that he's using you. my question is why are you allowing it? ok, i get it, you love the jerk. but he's not going to change, and you need to start putting yourself and your child first. because honestly, NO love for another person (man or child) will ever be the healthy kind of love it can be until you learn first to love and take care of yourself. how to nurture YOU.  not in a selfish or conceited way, of course, don't get me wrong. but in the sense of respecting yourself, setting goals and achieving them, and making sure that you are not putting yourself in harm's way. (including emotional harm.)

that's not an easy thing to learn to do, but you need to start now, before your child gets here. you might consider counseling... IMO christian counseling is best, and many churches offer counseling free or on a sliding scale. you might also consider a 12 step group for people who are suckers for a bad romance. something like LAA or SLAA (love addicts anonymous or sex and love addicts anonymous.) there are probably dozens of others, but those are the two i know have been around since the days when i needed similar support. and if none of those are an option, at least start keeping a prayer journal and ask God to help you make better choices for yourself and your baby. it's kinda amazing when you keep a journal and you can look back and see how far you have come.

in any case, you have got to stop sleeping with the guy. you can do this! you are stronger than you think you are. you deserve better than to be used and tossed aside like yesterday's garbage. only you can make the decision to let him be a part of your child's life or not, but i'd strongly encourage you to have his rights terminated. then if he wants to be a part of this child's life, he can do it as a family friend, NO STRINGS ATTACHED. because as long as he has parental rights, YOU will always be bound to HIM... but believe me when i say that even if he has parental rights, he son't necessarily meet his obligations. (i'm still waiting for the day that will never come... the day that the courts might make my ex husband pay me the child support that he never paid.)

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Guest Doubtful   
Guest Doubtful

For informational purposes, this link is to a lawyer breaking down the state law, we were living in Nevada. This was the most information I could find online. Video in link: http://www.shouselaw.com/nevada/incest-laws.html

More drama ensuing upon telling him he needs to terminate rights. Will update later. 

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LadyC    99

ahhh, the lovely state of nevada and their law that makes little sense. i lived in las vegas for ten years, by the way. mark and i were married before we moved there though, so we were safe from their laws.

here's the thing with nevada. the law states 'closer than second cousins OR cousins of the half blood'. that's actually two different things! first cousins share 12.5% of their DNA. second cousins share 3.3% of their DNA.

but first cousins once removed, AND HALF FIRST COUSINS, share an identical amount... 6.25%. 

someone needs to someday take something like this to court and demand a ruling on which it is... is it incest to be with someone with whom you share more than 3.3% (2nd cousins) or with whom you share more than 6.25% (cousins of the half blood and/or first cousins once removed).

but it should not be you. you need this guy out of your life. if he wants to create drama, go to court and ask to have his rights terminated. actually, i think if you apply for assistance through the welfare department for medicaid or food stamps, they will force him to either pay up or terminate his rights. on paper they are supposed to, but i don't know if they ever follow through with it.

 

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