Dear Amy: I’ve been with my partner for two years — he is 15 years older.
We don’t want kids together for the foreseeable future.
I hate using birth control. I hate what it does to my body/hormones, despite the fact that it protects me from unwanted pregnancy (which I am grateful for).
I’ve asked my boyfriend if he could store his sperm at a sperm bank and get a vasectomy so that I can go off of birth control.
He comes up with excuses as to why he shouldn’t, such as: “It’ll change me as a man” and, “I need to do more research.” I certainly understand needing to do more research — who wouldn’t! However, it’s been almost a year since I originally brought this idea up to him.
The idea behind this decision is: If we decide to have kids later on (I’m still in my 20s), I’ll still be able to try and conceive with the sperm that we’ve stored.
I resent that I’m forced to continue to use birth control, despite the fact that neither of us wants children, just because “he doesn’t want to.” I also resent the fact that a man’s only forms of “birth control” are abstinence and condoms.
If we were the same age, I would probably just get sterilized myself. But again, I’m in my 20s and I don’t see this as the best option at the moment.
He’s in his 40s and has yet to conceive children.
I feel like I’m forced to suffer just because my partner doesn’t understand my point of view and isn’t viewing this situation in the most ethical, economical sense.
What should I do? — Not Planning on Pregnancy
Dear Planning: Underlying this birth control challenge might be questions about your relationship, as well as perhaps unexpressed feelings (on his part) surrounding the idea of possibly never having children.
A vasectomy is a surgical procedure that, while low risk (and surgically reversible in some cases), is considered permanent. In order for your boyfriend to participate in your plan, he would “donate” and store sperm, and then also have this surgery. Either of these things might cause anxiety in some men — the idea of having both of these experiences might be paralyzing for him. His: “It will change me as a man” is a nonstarter — but is indicative of how reluctant he is to make this commitment. He should communicate with other men who have had this procedure, to see what it is like!
You should both do additional research with medical sources (I am not one), and you should do this together — and share and discuss your findings. Together.
Otherwise, you should investigate using an over-the-counter spermicide along with him using a condom. Every single time. This more-or-less balances the responsibility for birth control between the two of you.
Your other option is abstinence. You might force the conversation by exercising this 100 percent effective form of birth control until you two have come to a mutual decision that works for both.
Dear Amy: My boyfriend and I have been dating for a while now — long distance.
Things were going well, then he started not returning my calls or texts, and flat-out ignoring me.
Before we got together, he posted on his social media that he deals with anxiety and depression. We are in a long-distance relationship, so I can’t go to him in person.
Why is he ignoring me, if he said the day before that he loves me so much and values me?
I am genuinely confused. — Confused
Dear Confused: During this very anxious national moment, a lot of people are seeing their anxiety and depression spike. It is possible that your boyfriend is pulling away from you because he is pulling away from everyone. Unfortunately, you cannot force him to the phone if he is dodging you.
For the next few weeks, be extremely gentle and understanding. Ask him if he is OK, tell him that you are always available to talk, but do not push too hard.
One resource for people in crisis is Crisis Text Line. Simply text 741-741 and a crisis counselor will quickly connect with you.
Dear Amy: I was somewhat taken aback that “Lea, in Santa Cruz, CA,” refers to her adult children living at home as “tenants.” What’s with that? — I’m a Mom, not a Landlord
Dear Mom: Well, the law considers adult children living at home with their folks as “tenants,” also. Parents quickly learn this when trying to “evict” them.