A little information about my situation; I am a 30 yo, 17 week pregnant female engaged to a 41 yo man (Marc), together for 3 years and living together for 1 1/2 years. We had not planned this pregnancy, and previous conversations suggested that he wasn’t interested in having children. I had already went through a very hard pregnancy many years prior that ended in a still-born, had multiple surgeries for endometriosis and large cysts, as well as a collapsed ovary and did not want to ever go through such a situation again.
When my boyfriend (we were not officially engaged at the time, though he had asked me 2 years before) found out I was pregnant, he went into blame mode. Accused me of forgetting a pill, said I ruined his life, we got into an argument that would ultimately make or break us. I gave him an ultimatum. If he wanted to leave, we could go our separate ways and I would have an abortion. The other option would be to finally make our engagement official and we would do the best we could to start a family. At first he chose to leave, so I set up the appointment and went to the first appointment. On the morning of the day I would have the procedure, he stopped me and a few days later bought a ring. It wasn’t romantic, or how either of us wanted, but it was a piece of mind where I needed reassurance that he wasn’t going to up and leave the second our child was born.
I quit my career to be with my fiancee a couple of years ago, as I would have had to travel to find work and finish schooling to continue on. It was a difficult choice, and financially I took a blow, but managed to buy a house for us by working around the clock. It’s a bit cramped for the two of us even, but it’s my first house. My fiancee works for himself as a gardener and does well. He is financially secure and has plenty saved up to where he doesn’t have to ever really worry about money. He helped me start up a similar business of my own. At first we were partners in my garden, he was making 50% as well as what he was making at his own business. Eventually I had enough to pay him for any expenses he had put in and ‘bought him out’ and took over the work. However, since he built the greenhouse, the agreement was that for the next 6 months he would receive 30% of the profits for his efforts. The 6 months are up, but until all of what is already growing is harvested and payed for by the florists, he will continue to receive 30% and it will probably still be for awhile. I have managed to save up a little, enough to last me a couple of months if something happened. But with a child on the way, and a vastly changing market for this kind of business, we aren’t sure how much longer we will be able to continue in this line of work. I want to have enough saved up to where I can open up something else so I won’t have to weigh tables. There’s no option to go back to what I was doing before, unfortunately.
Our living situation is similar to that of roomates, as far as finances go. We split everything 50/50 and if we buy anything for the house (shower curtain, toilet paper, etc) It’s written on a piece of paper on the fridge and we split it at the end of the month. If we go out, it’s split 50/50 most of the time since our engagement. We pay all of our own finances seperately (insurance, etc) It doesn’t matter who’s better off financially, everything is cut evenly in half and is the plan for the baby as well. All of the pregnancy necessaries I pay for such as maternity clothing, vitamins, etc. I do all of the shopping for the household, all of the cooking, and most all of the chores besides garbage. Marc says that if I don’t want to clean he doesn’t care, and that he shouldn’t have to do it because if we weren’t living together he would only clean twice a year, so he feels that if a clean house makes me happy then I should be the one to do it. Same thing with dinner, I do all of the grocery shopping but he says if I wanted to we could just feed ourselves separately and he could just eat pizza and sandwiches every day. So he shouldn’t have to do the shopping or the cooking. He will wash his own dishes and the plates we use at dinner. Every once in awhile if he’s out of something, he does laundry. Is any of this normal?
All of this I could live with, reluctantly at times, but it was doable. Since my pregnancy, I have been so exhausted and stressed that getting everything done has become a great struggle. The entire first trimester I had been practically bed and couch-bound for the first 4 hours after waking up, and sometimes for entire days. I threw up constantly. The nausea is still very much there and most days the very act of standing for a period of time makes me see spots and I’ve come very close to passing out. I work as a country club waitress 16 hours a week also, which involves standing, lifting, and pretty intense labor. A case of wine can weigh up to 30lbs and a tray of food or a stacked tray of dirty plates even more. I come home and sometimes get right back to work in the greenhouse. I work 7 days in the garden, as my fiancee does at his. He has no other job besides his garden. Sometimes the day can be 2 hours long, sometimes 8 or more. There is a lot of physical labor involved there too, lifting 20-30lb pots of dirt, everything is watered with multiple 5 gallon buckets of water. Then pruning can be done sitting, but it takes 4-6 hours. On top of this, the normal household chores. I’m feeling overwhelmed.
Marc will pick up dirt for me at the store while he is buying his own, as it is too heavy. My garden is attached to our house so it’s convenient. I have asked him on special occasions to help me move buckets of water, since my back really has been hurting and he will help reluctantly, but reminds me that the business is mine and that he shouldn’t be expected to do anything extra unless he is getting a percentage or exchange in work. He says it would be easy to just scoop out the water from each bucket with a smaller bucket and make multiple trips instead of asking him. He also has taken over the responsibility of spraying my plants (to prevent bugs) since I shouldn’t be breathing it in. Occasionally I will ask him to make the bed or pick up clothes piles or do laundry, and he tells me I’m ing and complaining about things that don’t matter to him. I even got him to clean the bathtub once since I could not use bleach, and he said that he’ll never do it again at that I can just use a respirator. But here is our problem, and what has caused an enormous disagreement between us. He says that since he has to spray my plants, that I should make up the work at his greenhouse by spending equal amount of hours there or pay him. Spraying is a lot of work, and he will have to do it for about 2 hours every 4 or 5 days for the next 2 months. I did it before pregnancy, and wish he did not have to do it for me now. The problem is, I am already physically and mentally exhausted with everything I already have going on. Marc tells me to stop using pregnancy as an excuse and that I’m just being lazy. He calls me selfish and says that if I want 100% of the profit for my garden than I should do 100% of the work. He tells me not to bring up cooking and cleaning because it’s not related and that he doesn’t care if I ever clean or make dinner again.
So what should I do? I feel so uncared for and unsupported in every way possible in this pregnancy. I’m exhausted and frustrated and so is he. We are fighting over this issue and there doesn’t seem to be a good solution that will make it any easier. I never said that I wouldn’t help him in his garden, but I did mention that I will not over exert myself and that I already do too much as it is. Isn’t being pregnant enough work in itself? Should I really have to pay him back for anything that I cannot do because of it? Does anyone else’s husbands or boyfriends demand repayment for extra work they’ve had to do while they were expecting? It seems so thoughtless that he thinks I’m using pregnancy as an excuse to get out of responsibilities, often I question how much he really cares about me, he calls me selfish and tells me that I’m basically calling him a bad person all of the time and complain too much. I’ll call him greedy and eventually he leaves the house and stays at his garden for the night and blocks my number so I cannot reach him. Often times he tells me that he hates the fact that he’s ‘stuck’ with me. Am I being unreasonable? I just want him to come home and ask me how I’m feeling every once in awhile, I don’t expect to be pampered or weighed on, but if I say my back hurts he says his too because he worked out. If I ask for a back rub, he says if he gets one too. If I say I’m tired, he says he is too. If I talk about feelings, he leaves the room. I am at my wits end and do not have any idea how to get through to my fiancee. He has no knowledge of what it means to be pregnant and tells me I’m exaggerating. I have rupturing cysts, endometriosis pains, my back hurts constantly, I’m nauseated all of the time and am constantly crying because I don’t feel understood or emotionally supported and he has no desire to learn about pregnancy or what I am going through. Our last fight was a bad one and I am feeling so lost.
Please help, any advice would be well appreciated.