I recently recieved an email from a woman with the following problem:
I'm getting married in December to a man I love very much. I'm waiting to have sex until I'm married, so I've never been on birth control. Since obviously we'll be having sex soon, we decided I should get on birth control (the pill). Since my insurance doesn't cover birth control, we made a trip to Planned Parenthood where I got a year's supply of birth control. While far less expensive than what the pharmacy charges, a year's worth of birth control pills was not cheap. I went ahead and paid for the birth control, and assumed my fiancè would offer to contribute towards the birth control, however he did not.
I was frustrated that my fiancè didn't offer to contribute, considering that he benefits from birth control as much as I do. My logic was that if we were to have a child he'd be splitting the cost, so why not split the cost of not having a child? He doesn't see why he should be responsible for contributing toward birth control. He says it's my body and I'm the one benefitting from it. I said we both benefitted equally from my not getting pregnant.
What exactly is the protocol for birth control with a married (or soon to be married couple)? Am I crazy to think that we should be splitting this cost?
Truth is, I have a pretty unhealthy "hit 'em up style" attitude toward men's financial responsiblity, so my first instinct was "Make him pay for the whole thing!" And your pap smears, too.
I feel like women, with our amazing vaginas and breasts, hold the balance of power in a sexual relationship and that if we are consenting to let a dude touch our stuff, then he ought to pay for everything it takes to get us there -- dinner, condoms, the hotel room, sex toys, Boone's Farm.. After all, I can so easily go find someone else to bang who will willingly provide those things.
After 7 years together, however, my boyfriend is no longer impressed with this line of reasoning and even I have had to revise my thinking. I am not currently on birth control, but my feeling is that a lady's vagina is like her apartment -- sure, it technically belongs to her, but you both spend time in there, so you want to keep it nice.
I'm pretty sure most of us agree in theory that splitting the cost is fair, but I'm curious to hear how other couples work this dealie. Hold on: I'm gonna go ask my boyfriend what he thinks.
OK, he says he thinks it should be split because "it's for both of you." I woke him up to ask him that; he loves me. He also suggested he should answer reader questions from now on, so I guess if you've got a question for Pete, leave it in the comments?
If you're into sexually manipulating people, as I obviously am, you can always tell him that if he's not willing to contribute to birth control then he's not allowed to contribute semen to your vagina. Or just get pregnant and be like, "Oh, I'm sorry, didn't you want a baby? I couldn't tell from your lack of contribution to my birth control fund."
I'd also be interested to know what his refusal to split the cost is really about. Is he having financial difficulties? Or is he perfectly capable of contributing but just stuck on the principle of the thing, in which case, gross. Or maybe he's just cheap? If it's the latter, are you sure you want to marry him? What if he's one of those husbands who makes you split an appetizer? Everyone deserves their own appetizer.