Is she using their baby to keep him?

I have a friends with benefits who, I admit, I really like, but couldn't see myself actually dating. He has a baby with an ex, who he calls an ex, but I'm pretty sure they still have some kind of relationship (one that might include sex). I used to feel really guilty about our relationship, because I felt like the other woman. It doesn't help that our relationship is kept secret, which was my choice (not for reasons relating to his situation), but he happily goes along with it.

Once he admitted to me that he only stayed "with" her so that she would not bring another man into his child's life. I thought that was a really manipulative thing to do, and I felt bad for her. I also know that she got pregnant after they already broke up. He told me this way before we even thought about hooking up, so I believe him. He also claims that she dates, but I have my suspicions that she is still in love with him. Why else would she put up with him, while knowing he's out with other women? Knowing all of this made me start to feel guilty about our hook ups, like I've been intruding on their relationship, even if it's an open one.

Recently, we made plans to hang out, which usually means lots of flirting, and probably hooking up. We planned way in advance, because he wouldn't have his kid (which he watches part time), and both of us were free (we both are really busy in general). At the last minute he claimed he might have to cancel, but didn't say why. We went out anyway, but he kept getting texts. Next thing I know, the night is cut short because he wanted to see his kid before his baby's mother took the child away for about a week. I understand, but it made me start thinking differently about this whole situation. Now that I think about it, I remember a bunch of situations where he was made to go, or felt guilty about not going, to meet with her for his kid's sake. Once she even kept calling/texting while a bunch of us (mutual friends) were having dinner because their kid broke something, and she was stressed. Kids break things. Why make him feel guilty for not dropping his plans, and running to meet you, to clean up glass?

He also has changed how he interacts with me when I'm around "their friends" and admitted it was to avoid hurting her feelings. When I asked if that meant that he was hiding the fact that he was dating from her, he said no but also said it's "complicated". He has also recently disappeared from social media, which I also suspect is related to her feelings about his posts.

I know this is their relationship, and it kinda isn't my business, but I'm curious. Do you think she really just wants him around just to help, or is she just using any excuse to keep him in her life? I always thought that was an unfair label put on women in these situations, but now I can see how it could be true. I know he's the kind of guy who would do anything for his kid, so is it crazy to suspect that she would use that to make him stay?


Most Helpful Girl

  • I's possible, but...who really knows.

    I don't think that's the issue here.

    You seem unhappy in this kind of relationship. A relationship should never make you feel badly about yourself or the relationship. The relationship will only get more complicated and cloudier as time goes on. I wish you the best.

    • apparently not unhappy enough to stop, but yes it's definitely cloudy for a lot of reasons. I'm still curious, since I get such a one sided view of his parenting situation, if maybe I've been missing a something major about their dynamic. I generally have no problem talking to him directly about it, nor he with me, but I would never suggest something like this to him because I think them maintaining a good relationship is important (and not always easy). but yes I feel uncomfortable so point made.

Have an opinion?

What Guys Said 2

  • He sounds unavailable. Ditch him and find yourself a boyfriend, not a fwb!

    • easier said then done. it's the attraction that has kept this friends with benefits lasting this long. but yes, I agree that he is unavailable.

  • This is too long but yes people do that stuff and more all the time. People are very manipulative and use children as wedges quite often to drag people into their lives. Ignore 'Posts' I don't like this whole message. I can't figure out if it is you or someone else you're talking about.


What Girls Said 1

  • I assume you don't have kids if you think she's manipulating him because he doesn't want another man around his child. That's not her manipulating because in reality its very common for a parent when they are not together with the other parent to be concerned who the other one will expose their child to. It doesn't matter if they have feelings for each other or not, his child will come first over a casual sexual relationship. If they remain friends then that's a good thing for the child. It sounds like they are trying to parent this child together even though they aren't together...that's a good thing regardless if some fling likes it or not. I'm not trying to sound harsh but that's the reality of dating someone with a child. Would you really respect a man that doesn't want to help raise his child? If they maintain a friendship then that's all the better for the child that already doesn't get to be with both parents under one roof.

    You said yourself you couldn't actually see yourself dating then why do you care? You are FWB and that comes with him owing you nothing more than sex. Anything else from him is a bonus.

    • i think you missed my point about what I called manipulation. you don't have to be a parent to understand 2 people wanting to raise their child together, that's not what I was questioning. what he said to me was that he, at one point, was trying to stay in a relationship (meaning romantic) with her to stop her from dating other men and having them be in his child's life - this is even though he was dating other women at the same time - just to keep her close enough so she wouldn't move on.

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    • i thought, at the time, HE was manipulating HER in that instance. I thought he was faking a committed relationship to make her not move on, based on how he told it to me. now I think the manipulation is mutual, with her possibly using raising their child together as an excuse to keep a romantic relationship, or the possibility of one. if that's the case, then that's a dynamic I'd rather not get in the middle of. no one owes me anything. I'm just curious about the dynamic that I may have missed.

    • Sounds complicated. Might be a guy that can only offer a FWB situation. Take care!