‘I’m trying to get pregnant without my sexual partner’s consent – is that unethical?’

InLalalaletmeexplain's hit column, readers ask for her expert advice on their own love, sex and relationship problems.

With over 200k Instagram followers, Lala is the anonymous voice helping womankind through every bump in the road. An established sex, dating and relationship educator, she’s had her fair share of relationship drama and shares her wisdom on social media to a loyal army of followers. Every week thousands turn to her to answer their questions (no matter how embarrassing), and her funny, frank approach to love and relationships has made her the ultimate feel-good guru.

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Dear Lala,

I’m 35 and I’m in a situationship with a man who has three children from a previous marriage and doesn’t want any more. He also doesn’t want to feel trapped by commitment and considers what we’ve got as being his ‘break from reality’.

I see him at least twice a month when he’s child free, always at night at mine. He always leaves after sex, but when we’re together, he treats me like his girlfriend. He’s kind, romantic, caring. I’m in love with him, and I think he feels the same, but he’d never admit it because he is so clear about not being trapped again.

It’s been 18 months now and I can’t contemplate the thought of being with anyone else, but I also can’t contemplate the thought of missing my chance to have a family by wasting my last few fertile years with a man who doesn’t want any more children.

I’m not on any form of contraception, and we don’t use condoms anymore – he pulls out. If we have an ‘accident’, we’ve agreed that I’ll take the morning after pill. But I feel like if he really didn’t want any more kids then he wouldn’t be having unprotected sex with me because he understands the risks.

For the last three months I’ve had a physical feeling as though my biological clock is shouting at me to get pregnant. I’ve stopped taking the morning after pill after ‘accidents’ and I’ve been encouraging these ‘accidents’ to happen more often.

Basically, I’m trying to get pregnant.

My friend said that I’m being unethical and that it’s unfair on him, but I believe that he’s giving signs that he wouldn’t be too mad if it did end up happening. Plus it’s his responsibility to not ejaculate inside me if he really doesn’t want to be a dad again, surely?

I’m curious to know what other people think and whether you think it is unethical?

Lala says…

I need to give you some brutal tough love here because I feel like you’re about to make a catastrophic mistake that could really make your own future life very difficult.

I don’t think he’s in love with you. He only sees you occasionally at night for sex and he always leaves after, he has been very clear with you that he doesn’t want any kind of commitment. Your relationship hasn’t progressed outside of the bedroom in nearly two years. It’s not going anywhere.

Do not attach meaning to him having unprotected sex. He’s doing it because it feels better. Simple as that. He’s being reckless, and the fact that he’s placing the onus on you to take emergency contraception instead of taking personal responsibility and using condoms or getting a vasectomy, tells you everything you need to know.

He’s treating you with respect and kindness when he’s with you because that’s what people are supposed to do. Perhaps you’ve been used to previous situationship partners being less kind and connected, which is often how a lot of men who are simply sleeping with women are. Just because this guy is being lovely doesn’t mean he’s in love. You are his break from reality – there’s no ambiguity there.

He doesn’t want serious. So, your desire to do the most serious thing that two people could possibly do together against his will, is a terrible idea in my opinion.

Do you want a baby or a family? You said family in your letter. I don’t think you’ll get a family out of having his baby. I think the most likely scenario is that you’ll end up as a single parent. The reality of that is not one that most women would choose. We make the best of it. We find our feet and we end up thriving. But parenting is a two-person job and doing it alone is extremely tough, especially if you didn’t sign up to do it alone.

I don’t think he will come through with the support you need like you think he will. Have you got the money to do it? And the support network? If you work, your baby will possibly need to go into childcare, that could cost you upwards of £1000 a month on top of all the money that you will need to provide for your child. He has three children already, so you won’t get much out of him via the child support agency as it’s split depending on the number of children they have.

Can you imagine a life where you have his child, and he still only visits sporadically, and you are then far less able to find a partner and a family because you can barely go out? Why would you choose that if it’s a family you want? If you want a family, then you need to shut this situationship off and get out there to look for what you want and deserve. It’s going to be hard and painful to cut it off, but you need to liberate yourself. I think therapy would help with this.

If it’s a baby you want and you’ve considered the ways in which single parenting is extremely tough, but you know that you have the means and capability to do it, then I still don’t think it’s right to do it this way, with him. There are other options, like sperm donation and egg freezing, both of which are costly, or adoption/fostering. Though fertility does decline in men and women after 35 you are likely to still have time unless you have low egg reserves – it might be worth getting a fertility check if you can, to put your mind at ease. It would be far preferable to find someone who reciprocates your feelings or at the very least, someone who isn’t expressing being completely averse to having a baby with you than it is to do it with a man who really doesn’t want to.


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