Should I Marry My Pregnant Girlfriend?
When I was knee high to a grasshopper and walked with the dinosaurs, if a man got someone pregnant, he married her. Society expected this and it was accepted as the norm. Although sex was common, it was not as open and acceptable as it is now.
If you have made the decision to love each other that is still great advice. However, society has changed and sex with someone you are not married to or are even in love with is as common as the cold. Don’t grab that last statement and say to your pregnant hangover that I just said you don’t have to marry her and she is on her own! Read on!
A Child is Not an Accident
First of all that child is a child, not an accident. Men, only an idiot would believe that you accidentally stuck your woohoo in her hoohoo. She got pregnant because the two of you were horny and slept together. You wanted to prove how much of a man you were by the conquest of your woman. You may have even felt that you were in love with her. What ever your reason, the desire for a life-time commitment is now gone.
If the child is yours, man up! Only a buffoon would desert his offspring. You do have the right to pay for and get a DNA test, but once you know the baby is yours, you have a lifetime responsibility to provide care. You also have the obligation to ensure that there is a good father image in your child’s life.
How important are you in the life of your child? Look at these statistics from “The Fatherless Generation.”
- 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes (US Dept. Of Health/Census) – 5 times the average.
- 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes – 32 times the average.
- 85% of all children who show behavior disorders come from fatherless homes – 20 times the average. (Center for Disease Control)
- 80% of rapists with anger problems come from fatherless homes –14 times the average. (Justice & Behavior, Vol 14, p. 403-26)
- 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes – 9 times the average. (National Principals Association Report)
You as a father, by nature, are a necessary influence in the life of your child. Those responsibilities don’t go away because it was only a quickie. Most men in the world and specifically the United States could easily say “There but for the grace of God, go I.”
Sometimes another man steps in as an active father figure in the life of the child. Maybe he loved the mother of the child and married her in spite of her carrying your child. He may claim the child as his own. This is a situation that, if you enter the situation, may confuse the child. The child comes first, not your heart, or following the money you send as support.
This does not relieve you of your responsibility as the actual father. It just means that you may not have to be there as the second dad. You should still do something for the child such as set up a college or trade school fund or send money to the mother for the child.
When Not to get Married
After saying all this about your child’s chances without you, I will still say that it is not a reason to marry the mother. There are reasons to get married and not to get married, but a baby on the way takes a heavy dose of consideration. If your relationship is filled with spite for each other and all you can do is fight, consider not raising the child in that kind of home environment. A battlefield is not the place for a child. learn to get along with the mother or don’t get married.
Other reasons not to get married are that you have anger issues or addictions that will endanger the child. These are absolute reasons to not say your nuptials. Get help first! Solve the problems because if you don’t they will not go away.
You still need to be a positive influence in that child’s life. On a side tract, if this is your situation, you have an obligation to the child to never bad mouth the mother to the child. Just because you don’t have a healthy relationship with the mother doesn’t justify giving the child a reason not to listen to or respect their mother.
You as the father may be the most important influence in the life of your child. Stand up and accept your responsibilities to be that dad. Children are a blessing even when not planned. A man is not measured in the muscles on his arms, the persuasiveness of his words, or the grease under his fingers, but by what he does with the responsibilities that come his way. The foremost of these responsibilities belong to his family.