Birth Control: Should He Pay For Half?

Birth Control: Should He Pay for Half?

Should your boyfriend share the cost of birth control?

The important thing is that your relationship feels generally equal, and generally kind. If it doesn't, it may be time for the "What are we really even doing together?" talk. Because the fact that you had to ask for this—and that he had the gall to refuse—makes me worry about you guys down the road. The money is less the issue than his refusing to chip in for something you think is important. And if he continues to refuse, I'm guessing (OK, hoping) you'll be so miffed you won't have sex with him anyway—in which case, he'll surely regret not closing his yaphole and opening his wallet in the first place. His take:

His take: I know the politically correct answer is: "Absolutely! Make him pay his half!" But prepare your tar and feathers, because the nasty realist in me is screaming, "Pay for your own birth-control pills!"

First off, I don't mean to throw water on your hot coupledom, but let's face it: You and Mr. Cuddles may not last. It happens. And since you say that the cost is "not insignificant," I'm guessing you're laying in several months' supply at once—so if you do break up, why face the potential ugliness of him demanding his birth control money back? Don't you want to be able to grab your pills and flee?

You and Mr. C. are going to drive each other crazy if you try to divide the cost of every single thing you share. Try to look at the whole forest of your relationship, not just the weeds, and decide if the financial burdens of your shared life are approximately equal. If they aren't, then you have a legit complaint. But if they are, and you push him on this issue, what is he going to demand that you pay half of? The cost of the porn he watches to get himself in the mood? The health-club membership that keeps him in top physical condition for you?

One thing I’ve learned is that the more you choose to fight about in your relationship, the more you will fight, and not all fighting leads to a better place. Sometimes, in fact, it leads you back to your own place—where you’ll be paying 100 percent of everything.

Cathi Hanauer is the author of My Sister’s Bones and the editor of The Bitch in the House. Daniel Jones is the author of After Lucy and the editor of The Bastard on the Couch. They have been married for 12 years.

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