Having an open relationship has become an increasingly common option for couples who wish to continue dating.
But when a baby enters the mix, continuing to date can be more complicated than before, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor PhilosopherReady5992 was sort of excited for his girlfriend to have a baby and to start a family with her, but he was aware the baby might not be his.
But when his girlfriend fretted over child support, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if this was the relationship for him.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for making my girlfriend go after her baby daddy for child support and ‘ruin’ his life?”
The OP set boundaries when his girlfriend’s baby was born.
“I met my girlfriend on Tinder, and we were not exclusive, to begin with. But we get along great and I thought we had a future.”
“She got pregnant, and we were kind of excited to start a family. But she was honest with me and said she wasn’t sure if the baby was mine or someone else’s, and we agreed to get a paternity test.”
“When the baby was born, it was very obviously not mine.”
“I did not sign the birth certificate. I also did not break up with her. But I also told her that I would not be making myself financially responsible for the baby.”
There were then issues with attaining child support.
“We had planned for her to take a year off work to be with the baby. She had already taken her maternity leave.”
“I said she needed to go after the father for child support.”
“She didn’t want to because they were ‘friends.'”
“I said I understood but then pointed out she had to take full financial responsibility for the kid.”
“I would help her with all the childrearing, like changing diapers and feedings and the like, but not for paying for any of it. She agreed.”
“Push” eventually came to “shove.”
“She ran through her savings in about six months.”
“She talked to me about helping her with baby formula and stuff and I said no. I pointed out that wasn’t our agreement.”
“She called him and asked for money. He gave her a few thousand dollars to pay for the baby stuff but told her not to contact him again.”
“That was when she understood what their ‘friendship’ actually was.”
“So she went after him for child support.”
There were serious consequences for the biological father.
“His fiancée found out about the whole thing and started thinking of breaking things off.”
“The child support was enough that the baby would be well taken care of and would not affect our finances.”
“He called her crying because we f**ked up his life. He said that I could easily afford to take care of them and that I’m an a**hole for dragging his life through the mud.”
“She feels terrible about it and blames me for not stepping up and considering her a single mom.”
“I love my girlfriend and the baby, and I have no problem raising the baby. But I don’t think I should be held financially responsible when the father has resources and tried to evade responsibility.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some pointed out that the OP’s various points of view didn’t go together very well.
“Thing is, it’s not ruining baby daddy’s life, it’s making him accountable for his actions.”
“However, if you’re going to be a father to this baby and plan a long-term future together, then I’m afraid the future is on you paying for s**t.”
“NTA for your current actions, but loving the baby and refusing to pay a dime don’t go hand in hand for a long-term relationship.” – always-indifferent
“I totally understand the ‘this guy fathered this kid and needs to step up’ and the way you pressured your girlfriend to go to him, and you’re NTA for that… but I’m kind of wondering where you’re planning to go from here.”
“If you’re going to raise the child as your own, and it sounds like you are, you can’t realistically keep up the ‘I’m not taking financial responsibility for it’ in the long run.”
“Even legally speaking, in most countries, if you’re ‘Dad’ for all practical intents and purposes even if you aren’t on paper, you’ll be asked to step up if necessary.” – Garden_Weed_Tender
“OP said in another comment that if he was forced to buy formula for the baby, he would do it but he would also break up with the mom/his girlfriend. That makes me think he’s TA.”
“Parenting can’t be about keeping score and if I was your girlfriend, I’d be devastated to know that $20 would be the end of our relationship.”
“YTA for your all-or-nothing attitude, OP.” – dumposaurusrex
“How about when you go on a holiday, who pays for that? Presents? Do you get a say in school selection, since you’re not paying for anything?”
“You want a committed relationship with your partner, but you aren’t willing to deal with one of the major stressors in a relationship, finances, even-handedly.”
“If she spends all her money on the kid while you spend all your money on gaming and boys’ trips, how do you think that will play out? What happens if the boy’s father does a runner?”
“Kids are expensive, stressful, and hard to deal with. They require a joint effort on all fronts to be successful.” – briareus08
“Honestly, guy, I think you’re drawing a really weird line.”
“What happens in five years when the kid is eating solid foods? Is your refrigerator going to have a shelf just for the food the kid eats? If you go to a movie, will you keep the receipts to deduct the kid’s ticket?”
“That kind of ongoing micromanaging is going to get burdensome and ridiculous very quickly.” – TeachlikeaHawk
Others found serious fault with the OP’s girlfriend.
“Seriously, definitely NTA because you have nothing to do with this… but get the f**k out, bro. What are you doing with yourself?”
“You not being exclusive doesn’t really matter too much… she got pregnant from one of her friends who’s engaged to someone else, and she went through her life savings in six months because she doesn’t know how to budget.”
“Every interaction it seems she has with you is, ‘Well, can you do this? No? Okay, that’s fine,” but in the worst way, like it seems she can be manipulated into doing things she doesn’t actually want to do pretty easily.” – dereksalem
“Babies are knowably expensive. He didn’t say she asked him for help with an unexpected pediatrician bill, but with paying for formula. Even if you didn’t think ahead to research prices and plan things out, at the end of month one, multiply your costs by six and see where that takes you.”
“Down the line, the kid is going to get unexpectedly sick, violently injured, or afflicted with musical talent and need an instrument, or whatever. The idea of ‘I’ll stay with you and the baby, but I won’t take financial responsibility’ would only work with an exceptionally financially disciplined partner, and OPs lady isn’t that.” – EquationConvert
“She’s not a single mother. She has a partner at home who is helping with all the parenting duties.”
“The ONE thing OP asked is that she get child support from the bio dad.”
“She couldn’t be bothered because she didn’t want to risk ‘ruining’ the friendship… meaning, she valued that friendship more than she valued the relationship with her partner who was helping her raise the baby.”
“(Single mothers don’t get money from ‘the state.’ The state helps single mothers collect child support the bio father pays.)” – Gold_Principle_2691
“The biggest red flag for me here is that there doesn’t seem to be an agreement on the use of birth control with other partners (also known as ‘fluid bonding’).”
“Most functional open relationships have some sort of collective understanding on issues that might affect the various partners in such a major way.”
“Kudos to the OP for being able to run with a situation I’d struggle with, but OP seriously needs to sit down with his girlfriend and get some of these things better figured out before something happens that they cannot ultimately handle.” – BitingCatWisdom
“With most babies, it’s impossible to tell by looking at them who the father may or may not be. If the baby hadn’t looked dramatically different from OP (I can only think of different races?), it sounds like she would have let him believe he was the father and had him sign the birth certificate.”
“Then, when OP very fairly and generously offered to help raise the baby in all ways except financially, the girlfriend accepted the terms and then later tried to guilt him into paying for the baby anyway, because she didn’t want to ‘hurt her friend.'”
“I think the girlfriend is more in love with the friend/baby daddy. OP is NTA, but his girlfriend is.” – BaitedBreaths
The subReddit was thoroughly puzzled by this whole situation and how the OP and his girlfriend were choosing to handle it.
Some were left with mostly side-eyeing the OP, as his refusal to chip in financially for the baby would eventually become too complicated for anyone to keep up with. But others were more suspicious of the girlfriend and why she was so reluctant to seek out child support.
They wondered if her refusal was a reflection of her feelings for the other guy over the OP and if this was a relationship even worth the OP having.