My best friend and I were living together when I met my boyfriend. When I became pregnant, he started to stay over every night because I got off work late and he was concerned for my safety. She started to become very distant and eventually moved out.
After she left, she called to say that we should split the remaining bills three ways because my boyfriend was always there while I was at work. Needless to say, I told her I wasn’t interested in being friends anymore. I also felt like she wasn’t happy for me to have a baby, which always pissed me off. Am I wrong? —Anonymous
Yes, you are wrong, entirely and unequivocally. I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt that you are so excited about, focused on and consumed with this pending baby that you’ve become distracted and dropped the ball.
Take a step back for a moment and consider this scenario from your best friend’s perspective. She and her bestie moved in together with hopes of having a fun bachelorette pad. You get a boyfriend soon thereafter, which isn’t a bad thing, and then you became pregnant. Life happens. But she signed on for two adults to live together. Not you and your man and a crying newborn.
Having a boyfriend is fine. But having him there “every night”? Not so much. Every time she wanted to run from the bedroom to the kitchen or the bedroom to the bathroom, she had to throw on some pants or a robe, lest she flash her goods to your man. It meant that when she came home from work, she couldn’t just chill out, braless, in front of the TV to enjoy Scandal. It meant that she had to turn up the stereo to drown out the sound of you and your man getting it on. It meant that she couldn’t ever just be comfortable in her own home anymore, unless she was secluded in her room. That’s no way to live.
If your man was at the house “every night” and, if she is to be believed, was also there while you were at work—did you give him a key?—that means he lived there. You moved him in as the third roommate without discussing it with your roommate. If you wanted to cover his bills, so be it. But you had your friend picking up your man’s financial slack. And you started a family while you were living down the hall and said nothing to her about it. That’s why she was distant. The baby didn’t have anything to do with it.
Now, about your boyfriend. I’m concerned about your situation. I’m unclear about the type of man who lays up at his lady’s house 24-7 and doesn’t offer anything for the bill—or did he provide it to you and you didn’t extend it to your roommate? If your boyfriend was concerned about your safety, why didn’t he go meet you at your job and get you home safe instead of sitting up in your—and your roommate’s—place waiting on you to get home?
And he was there while you were at work? Huh? Where’s his job? Where is his place? I’m confused about the stability and finances of a man who, upon finding out that his lady is pregnant, thinks, “Yeah, I’ll move in with her and her roommate and start my family there.”
Your roommate did herself and you a favor when she moved out; it’s what you should have done when you got pregnant. You and your man have started a family, and you, he and the baby need your own space.
The only wiggle room you have here is that your friend should have spoken up about this situation before she left and let you know that you were going too far. A “Hey, my name is on the lease, too, and I’m not comfortable with him moving in,” or “Hey, since he lives here, he needs to pay rent and utilities, too,” would have worked wonders. She didn’t do that until after she left, which is passive-aggressive. I get how you could be bothered by that. But considering how bad you’ve wronged her, agree to her demands and pay her the two-thirds of the remaining bills. Really, you and your boyfriend owe her at least that.
Demetria Lucas D’Oyley is a contributing editor at The Root, a life coach and the author of Don’t Waste Your Pretty: The Go-to Guide for Making Smarter Decisions in Life & Love as well as A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life. She answers your dating and relationship questions on The Root each week. Feel free to ask anything at email@example.com.