Carolyn Hax: ‘Paranoid’ boyfriend tracks her period every month

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Adapted from an online discussion.

Dear Carolyn: My boyfriend and I have been together for about six months, and he’s a great, loving, generous, fun and caring guy, but he’s so paranoid that I’ll get pregnant that it makes me crazy. When we got together, he told me that he’s not sure about kids and definitely isn’t ready now. That’s fine by me; I’m 24, six years younger than he is, just starting out in a competitive field and not even totally sure about kids yet, either. I’m on reliable birth control and have been since I was 18 with no problems. He also wears a condom, which is also fine by me.

On top of that, he tracks my periods, and on the day I’m expected to get it, he’ll text me until I assure him that I got it. It makes me feel as if he doesn’t trust me or have my back, so I finally talked to him and he said he went through a pregnancy with a girlfriend when he was younger, and although the woman terminated in the end, it was all horrible.

I’m finishing up something big at work, something that’s either make or break for the next step in my career, and, as always when I’m super stressed, my period was late last month. I explained this to him, but he still insisted I take a pregnancy test, which I did. Of course it was negative. He still didn’t relax until I got it. He asked whether the same thing could happen this month, and I said probably or that I might not even get it, and he’s completely freaked out but also asking me to be patient and not break up.

I think I might love this guy, but I’m also wondering whether he’s worth this stress.

— Is He Worth It?

Is He Worth It?: Yikes.

He didn’t ask me, but here’s my advice to him: Start work ASAP with a therapist on the trauma of the previous experience. If the anxiety doesn’t start to diminish soon, then talk to your doctor about sperm banking and getting a vasectomy.

He is 30, and unless you left something out, he is self-supporting, reasonably mature and has no significant health issues. If a reasonably mature and healthy self-supporting 30-year-old is this maniacally opposed to raising a child, even an oops, then he needs to take full responsibility for 100 percent effective birth control, which means surgery or celibacy.

My advice for you is to decide whether you see this as a potentially lifelong relationship. Obviously it’s early, but you probably have some idea. If you do think there’s something durable here, beneath the contraception-cray-cray, then it’s time to let him know that you will not live or scramble or talk/text/test in service of his trauma and that you would like him to get professional help.

Approach him kindly with this, but don’t mince words.

How he responds to that — to the line itself and to the fact that you’re drawing one — will tell you a lot about his willingness to face difficult things, which in turn is the single most useful predictor of whether people are able to hold up their end of a long-term commitment, to you or anyone else.


Source: WP