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I don't understand men.

As you all probably know, I am pregnant by my best friend of 13 years.  When I got pregnant his whole personality changed.  He used to be sweet and kind, but now he is cold, polite, but cold.  He talks about how he would like to have full custody of the child, or at least wants joint custody that includes 50%, he have the baby 50% of the time, I have the baby 50% of the time, but when I talk to him about the baby (how I feel him moving, or what to name him, etc.) he seems nervous and quickly wants to change the subject.  Basically, I don't consider him my friend any more because of the way he is acting, and personally, I don't want him anywhere near me or my child, though he hasn't done anything, or even said anything that would make him seem dangerous.  It is just the icy coldness that radiates from him makes me nervous for some reason that I can't explain. 
He used to want to marry me, now this?

I don't understand men, why is he acting this way?  I am trying not to make this a serious post but my curiosity is getting to me and nobody seems to have an explanation for the way he is acting.  Is it a man thing that I wouldn't  understand?  Please explain, I don't get it.

Sounds like he's scared...thinking of marrying someone is all very well, but a real, live child that he helped create--well that's real life to a fair thee well! The responsibility is overwhelming. A lot of men in my experience (6 brothers, all their friends, father, husband, BILs and my own male friends) seem to retreat into anger or coldness when they are actually frightened or don't know what to do. He may be afraid to show "weakness" so he retreats into this distant mode. Not very comforting, I know. You might try to speak to him--or write him a letter about it, which might be easier...sort of "I understand you want to be part of your child's life, but from where I sit you don't seem to be very pleased about it, please help me understand" or something of that nature.

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(((hugs))) I'm sorry you are experiencing this! I agree with what Yabbitgirl said. It sounds to me liike he's scared and overwhelmed. He may feel like he's not ready to be a dad and maybe he's usure of if he'll make a good one. It's not right for him to take it out on you though and for your sake and the baby's, I hope he is able to pull it together. I definitely thinnk it would be a good idea to have a talk with him and maybe even do it with an unbiased third party, like a counselor, so that you are in a safe neutral environment. Please take care.

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Sounds like he's scared...thinking of marrying someone is all very well, but a real, live child that he helped create--well that's real life to a fair thee well! The responsibility is overwhelming. A lot of men in my experience (6 brothers, all their friends, father, husband, BILs and my own male friends) seem to retreat into anger or coldness when they are actually frightened or don't know what to do. He may be afraid to show "weakness" so he retreats into this distant mode. Not very comforting, I know. You might try to speak to him--or write him a letter about it, which might be easier...sort of "I understand you want to be part of your child's life, but from where I sit you don't seem to be very pleased about it, please help me understand" or something of that nature.

Well said.

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i wonder if part of it is him just trying to come to terms with it. i heard/read somewhere (where? who knows) that men become fathers after the birth, when the child is "there and real" since they don't really experience the pregnancy.

but i also wonder if he is being honest with you about his feelings about the pregnancy. i wouldn't get upset or press him on it, because it's probably hard for him also to think about becoming a father and what he wants to be (esp. since the pregnancy wasn't something you two planned). hopefully, once he comes to terms with how he feels about it, he'll be able to be open with you and you can both work out what will work best for your situation.

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Thanks, Charbot Kimzoid...I was just afraid a bunch of you male VWers would climb my frame for making assumptions!  ;) But then y'all are pretty coool.... 8-)

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i'm trying to remember from a couple months ago, did you say he lives in a different state than you?  is he going to move closer and help out? then you two will have time to figure out if he is capable of taking care of a child, but if he is far away, well then, that would just be really hard on a child, and your wallets.  i see kids that go from mom to dad all year, leaving school, then coming back a month later, leaving again, coming back... its really hard on them.

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i'm trying to remember from a couple months ago, did you say he lives in a different state than you?  is he going to move closer and help out? then you two will have time to figure out if he is capable of taking care of a child, but if he is far away, well then, that would just be really hard on a child, and your wallets.  i see kids that go from mom to dad all year, leaving school, then coming back a month later, leaving again, coming back... its really hard on them.

I agree totally!  I don't think I said it but I am adamintly agains him having the 50% thing.  He is unwilling to move to be with me, yes he lives in a different state, and I just want to move closer to my mom.  Maybe I should move close to him instead?  I don't want him to have a huge role in raising the child unless I am there too, there are some things about him I don't like, he smokes, his house smells like dog and cat pee, he has TERRIBLE table manners, and he has no college education.  I just think I am a better role model for the child than he is, but maybe it is me just be being selfish, also his family isn't as loving as my family is, they don't seem to be as tight. 

Ugh, I could go on, but I don't want to get too deeply into it here, I don't think you all want to hear my problems.

But about him being scared, that makes sense, I guess, but I am the one who is going to have the child, the one who is going to raise the child, he is only going to visit once a month or so for a weekend whenever he can afford the plane ticket, I don't understand why he is so scared, unless he is afraid to pay me child support...yes, I bet that is it, hmmm, it is all about money.  I bet that is why he wants full custody...because then I would have to pay HIM child support, or 50% custody, because then he wouldn't have to pay child support at all.  Fuming here, so it is all money to him?  What about what is best for the child?  To ME that is what is most important.  But I guess I am not like him.  Material possesions are more important to him than his own child.  What an A**. 

Done with my rant, sorry.

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Shirking his responsibility to pay child support could be an issue, but I wouldn't assume that. Perhaps he wants a larger role in the child's life than you think, hence asking for the sole custody or shared, 50-50. Maybe he's scared that since you both live in different states that he won't be in his child's life as much as he would like.

I think you should move where you are comfortable. If that means near your family, than that's what you should do.

I don't want to come off as preachy here and I apologize if I do because that is not my intention at all. I know you must be completely stressed and understandably so. I'm not one for keeping a child from their dad, unless there is a history of violence, drug abuse, and the like. After all, stinky house aside, he is your baby's father and it sounds like he does want to be a part of his/her life. The smoking, however, would concern me greatly and I would let him no on no uncertain terms that he can't EVER smoke around your child!

My hubby came from a troubled background...never knew who his dad was, (just found out in 2006!), has an unstable mom, etc. But despite all that, he is the most loving hands-on dad. A lot of times, having a baby is a huge wake up call. It's a life changing experience, for both the mother and the father.

I hope things get better. When you talk to him, try to refrain from being accusatory, and just let him know how you are feeling and how scared you are. Let him know what you'd like for your child; like moving closer to your mom and why that's important to you. Take it one day at a time. It will all be O.K.

(((hugs)))

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SQ, i wouldnt be so quick to assume that he wants custody to avoid paying child support unless he has directly said somehting to that effect. Raising a child (even if its only 50 percent of the time) is a HUGE responsiblity. I just dont see someone willing to take on that responsiblity if they have NO intrest in the child.

I agree though that passing the kid back and forth between two states would probally not be best for your little snowbean. If he is willing to move, would he consider going to New York with you and the baby? I think you are doing a wise thing if you move closer to your mom. You'll need the emotional and mental support and love. It does not sound like that is something he can provide you with right now. Youll need that in order to raise your child in the best enviroment possible.

I would also encourage you (and I dont mean to sound harsh) to be careful about what you say about the dad. I know your baby cant hear you right now, but one day he will hear and understand. Saying bad things about his father will surely make it tough on the baby. He will understand that he is one part mom and one part dad...and if you hate his dad, the kid believes you hate that whole half of him too(talking form personal experince here) I do however, beilieve in saying what you need to say and sorting things out in your own mind. That will be important to continue to do. Just carefull not to do it in front of baby. A possitive thing about your son growning up in two differnt enviroments, is that he will have the chance to see what both of them are like, the possitives and negative of each one. he will probally be more likly to identify with people from all sorts of backgrounds. It might not be so bad.

Im sorry you are having such a hard time. I guess ill send you a cyber hug (((((SQ))))))

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Snowqueen, I think you are going to be a great Mom! Men do go through emotional issues during pregnancy as well. He is probably thinking how his youth and life are going to be changed forever and he can't deal with it.  Men also don't really understand or deal with the baby until after it is born, at least that was my experience with my husband-they just don't understand what is going on until the baby comes and then it's like WOW Im a Dad, then they are very protective and loving.  This is just a phase you both will go through, everything will work out fine,  just sit down and talk about it with him.  Let him know you are scared to, but together you can do whats best for the baby.  Ive went through two pregnancy's with my husband of 18 years and I can tell you its a difficult, wonderful, scary, once in a lifetime experience you will never forget.  He will make it  and you will help him.  Also remember your emotions are precarious at this time  and probably everything he does bothers you.  In my six month of pregnancy with my 2nd, my husband could do nothing right and I actually went to my moms for a week, just to get away from him.  These things happen and are normal.  I Know you guys will be OK!  ((((SQ)))))))

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Hey, no problem Yabbitgirl.  Gotta give credit when it's due, and I believe it was due.

I'll offer an opinion to add perspective.  As I already stated, I think Yabbit hit the nail on the head, and I believe loulouj did as well.  Not that the other opinions aren't right, these just seem to be the most accurate to me.  Of course, these are my personal opinions and may not apply to everyone...obviously.

Whenever my girlfriend mentions pregnancy or wanting to have a baby, it freaks me out, but just a little.  It's nothing personal and I don't think it makes me a terrible boyfriend, it just kinda happens without reason or warning.  I want to be a father someday and I believe that I will be an amazing father.  But guys really do think that their life is over when a pregnancy comes (I'm in a band and want to tour, but my girlfriend always brings up the"what about when I'm pregnant / what about the baby?" questions, which haven't happened yet and I would most certainly be there for her when that time comes!!!!!), but once the baby arrives, we realize we were being silly all along and that we have this awesome new person to have fun with...except for the diaper changing in the middle of the night, of course.

Other factors / thoughts:

He lives in another state, and if I remember reading before (not today), he has another girlfriend...unless I'm thinking of someone else.  He's probably feeling a lot of guilt because A) he won't see his son as much as he would like and B) he doesn't want you to raise him alone.  I would also assume (although not positively state) that the current girlfriend is giving him some form of grief about it.

Men are not the self-centered, vindictive, pigs that tv makes us out to be.  That's not to say that there aren't exceptions, of course.  I don't think child support is an issue unless he is just a sorry piece of lowlife trash.  The fact that he wants joint custody is a good sign of this as well.  Plane tickets, gas, food, and all of the other stuff that go with having your baby seem to be more than a percentage garnished from his weekly wages.  In the end, I think he wants to protect and love your child just as much as you.

I hope I offered something insightful...

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Don't give up on him just yet.  Be sure to be honest and let him now how you feel, but in a non-confrontational way "you're sounding a little cold to me right now, is that how you want to come across, because I miss my friend and I need some support"....something like that.  Don't try to read his mind and presume things.

He just needs some time.  There's fear and even some grief (loss of the previous carefree life, now with a lot of financial and other responsibilities).  Also perhaps this isn't how he envisioned his life....perhaps he wants a partner/wife in the same town, raising a child together with someone he wants to spend the rest of his life with, rather than his best friend in another town and that reality is what he's swallowing right now.

Hopefully he'll come around and be there for you, especially when he lays eyes on his own flesh and blood.  It's not going to be easy for either one of you for sure, and it's going to be a bumpy ride.   Watch your expectations and don't expect him not to go through changes. 

It also doesn't sound like you have any of the after-birth plans worked out and perhaps being a man, he's more practical than the touchy-feely at this this point.

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I agree totally!  I don't think I said it but I am adamintly agains him having the 50% thing.  He is unwilling to move to be with me, yes he lives in a different state, and I just want to move closer to my mom.  Maybe I should move close to him instead?  I don't want him to have a huge role in raising the child unless I am there too, there are some things about him I don't like, he smokes, his house smells like dog and cat pee, he has TERRIBLE table manners, and he has no college education. I just think I am a better role model for the child than he is, but maybe it is me just be being selfish, also his family isn't as loving as my family is, they don't seem to be as tight.

if he is unwilling to move to be with you, then i don't think you should move closer to him. i've read your other post about wanting to move near your mom and i think that is probably better, if that is where YOU want to be. it'll make things easier.

i don't know this guy, and from what you say it doesn't seem like he's ready, but i feel i need to point out that not going to college doesn't mean someone can't be a good parent.

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I know neither you nor your boyfriend, but how would you respond if he tells you that he has read this series of posts?

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I know neither you nor your boyfriend, but how would you respond if he tells you that he has read this series of posts?

wow that is a good thought.  To tell the truth, I would be happy.  I have told you guys things in this post that I wish I had the guts to tell him myself. 

But I think you all are totally correct.  All the perfections he has that never seemed to bother me that much before, well except the smoking one, is suddenly bothering me a lot now.  And I do think that he wants to be part of the childs life but he is  upset because he isn't willing to "move away from family" and "can't give up my house".  Then I guess in his defence, he has no idea where I am going to be.  But then again, in my defence, my plans would be a bit different if he was here.  I just want to be with my mom in Syracuse becuase I don't want to be alone here in Houston, but if he was here with me, then I wouldn't be alone I would plan to stay in Houston, I mean, I have a really good job down here, but otherwise I hate Houston, and I did tell him this by the way.  But he insist on me finding a job in Indianapolis and moving up there to be with HIS family, HIS friends, live in HIS house.  I just feel very uncomfortable with that scenerio.  I hardly know his family, and don't know his friends at all, and I looked for jobs in Indianapolis, and there is nothing there for me. 

But I think you all are right, I have known him long enough to know that he isn't the jerk that I am making him out to be.  And maybe once he sees the child then the house he lives in and being close to his brother and sister won't be so important anymore.  One thing is, that if I lived in Syracuse, I would be only a 10 hour drive, where here in Houston I am a 16 hour drive.

Thanks everybody, you are a big help, help me to see things more clearly, and to not jump to conclusions.

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Oh, by the way, he does not have another girlfriend.  He is 32 and has been in love with me since high school.  I haven't recipricated his feelings all of the time.  He has never had another relationship with anybody else, where I have had several, but I haven't had another relationship with anybody else for the past 3 years...or more...can't remember exactly, which was why I was considering marriage about two years ago.  But those plans were put on hold when I came down to Houston a year and a half ago.  He is waiting for me to come to him, has been for years.  I have been telling him for the past few years that I hate Indiana, if he wants me he has to come to me, but he has always been unwilling to move, even before I got pregnant.  For him, moving is very hard.  It is his personality type.  But I tried...for two weeks...to live in Indiana and establish a relationship with him about 5 years ago, it was a disaster.  I had to leave.  It was nothing he did, I just couldn't live there.  It is a very long story. 

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You lived with him for two weeks. That is the length of a vacation. It is not a sufficient time to develop the sensitivity to hear and access the activities and opportunities that occur in a quiet midwestern city.

Your relationship with your boyfriend has changed. It is difficult for a guy to become a father when the mother is so far away. I question how he could know what you are going through at a time like this. You also need to start thinking like a mother.

For the sake of your child, I suggest that you will have to move to Indianapolis for a few months at least. Take a leave of absence from your job (for a length of time that may include maternity leave) and make sure you have COBRA so that the delivery is covered. Get a counselor as part of your obstetrical care so that you have a place to rant. Your mother should be invited for frequent visits.

If this doesn't work out, you can always move to live with your mother. However, you don't want to regret not trying to live with him at a later time in your life.

Once you have the baby, it will make less difference where you live. You will be very busy as a new mother and it will be harder to have the time to notice the benefits of living in Indianapolis, Houston or Syracuse. Your employment needs will change as you will need a workplace that will support you as an employee and mother.

By living in Indianapolis, you will have a future opportunity to convince him to move to a different city. However, you will have to be the one to arrange the move of you, your boyfriend and your child.

Please accept what I have written as one of many options.

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