Dear Prudence

Dear Prudence Uncensored: The Boyfriend and the Baby

Every week, Danny M. Lavery and Nicole Cliffe discuss a Prudie letter. This week: the boyfriend and the baby.

Danny Lavery: I mean the good news here is that you really already ARE leaving

you told him he needs to focus on hiring a lawyer and that you can’t be friends, you’re talking to your sister about going to stay with her

my read is that you just need, like, a gut-check that you’re doing something sensible and sane


Nicole Cliffe: Yeah, you gotta go!

This is just….so much. And you have not been together that long.

He needs all his bandwidth to navigate this.

Even though he thinks otherwise

Danny Lavery: yeah

he’s going to be BUSY

Nicole Cliffe: Two years? I would feel differently


I would say “take a minute”

Danny Lavery: sure, although if you’d been together for two years it would have meant he’d cheated on you with her

Nicole Cliffe: but there are so many people

in that instance I would be expecting “okay so I didn’t tell you, here is your toddler”

which happens

Danny Lavery: oh gosh, right

Nicole Cliffe: It could happen to ANYONE

Danny Lavery: sure! and I’m not saying that anyone in the OP’s situation HAS to leave or else they don’t respect themselves


Nicole Cliffe: Absolutely

Danny Lavery: I just mean, it’s been five months and you WANT to break up?

Nicole Cliffe: But she sounds v sure

Danny Lavery: hell yes, break up

Nicole Cliffe: you do not have to sign into this


Danny Lavery: at five months you’re still dumping people for petty things

and this isn’t actually petty

Nicole Cliffe: EXACTLY

if someone I dated for five months didn’t think “Hot Fuzz” was funny

I would shake their hand warmly and collect my toothbrush

Danny Lavery: I don’t know why I fixated on that line about “she didn’t even bother to tell Nick until someone caught her going out”

and heaven knows this woman may very well be a difficult and/or unpleasant person


but…I can think of a FEW reasons why she might not feel eager to tell her ex she’d recently hoped she was going to reconcile with, the one who now has a new girlfriend, that she’s pregnant

Nicole Cliffe: Oh, hell yes.

The small town thing is hard, but also…five months.

You will have some awkward grocery store run-ins.

That’s okay

Danny Lavery: not if you go stay with your sister though

Nicole Cliffe: RIGHT, which yes, absolutely

But in case you wish to return once you have your shit together

he cannot be in a relationship during this time

my husband’s mom died two weeks into our relationship and he almost broke up with me just bc it was too much


which I would have understood

Danny Lavery: also i think he should definitely establish his paternity now, that was good advice, but just on a personal level, i think you should act as if you KNEW he was the father; otherwise you’ll just be torturing yourself

oh gosh

two weeks!

Nicole Cliffe: Absolutely

Danny Lavery: i don’t think i realized it was so new

Nicole Cliffe: yep, two weeks

The poor guy.

And I feel bad for Nick

And I know he’s grabbing at familiarity and prob has strong feelings for the LW

and this must be so fast and disorientating

Danny Lavery: of course!

Nicole Cliffe: He hasn’t done anything wrong and I wish him the very best


Danny Lavery: it doesn’t have to be a situation where you dump him and hate him forever



Nicole Cliffe: if it’s not his baby, what do you think?

Danny Lavery: I want to leave room for “he did SOME STUFF non-optimally”

but he may very well be a perfectly lovely person

I mean, it wouldn’t change the situation you had been in

Nicole Cliffe: Right, there’s a lot we wouldn’t know

Danny Lavery: you can say “this is too much for me” without necessarily making it a moral referendum on someone else

Nicole Cliffe: Yes. I just wanted to register that this is rough for him and it sounds like he and the LW are in love.


And I’m glad he’s stepping up.

Danny Lavery: life gets complicated and messy sometimes, and he can still do the right thing here, and maybe someday down the line he’ll find someone else who’s great for him. I hope so!

now I feel very Mr. Darcy – yes, but their mutual attachment is new, and can easily be broken

Nicole Cliffe: hahahahaha

No, but correct

it is a very new mutual attachment

And she sounds clear as water

that she’s out

so let’s warmly support that

Danny Lavery: yes!


I think especially because she can’t have children

and is aware that she has mourning to do there/ways she needs to protect herself

Nicole Cliffe: She honestly sounds v emotionally healthy.


Which, you love to see it

Danny Lavery: I’m absolutely sure that in 1 out of 100 of cases like these, someone briskly and cheerfully steps up to say “Life is so weird; let’s stay together!” and they end up making it work

Nicole Cliffe: ABSOLUTELY

my mom would

Danny Lavery: but if you know that stuff around kids is already especially hard for you? you would be breaking your heart regularly over this situation

Nicole Cliffe: it would be so hard

and constant

and unrelenting, bc infants

also an expensive legal process, potentially

my hope is that this is soon in her rear view mirror and that the parents work out joint custody

Or a form of custody that provides the maximum stability to this baby

Danny Lavery: yes!

that would be ideal. Hope you and your sister have a great time living together

and if you drive each other nuts, feel free to write in again