23 answers

Marriage - Hazelwood,MO

So I asked a question earlier that really had nothing to do with this, but received a couple of comments asking about it and wanted to respond seperately and partially see if it really is that big of a deal.

I am pregnant with my first child. My boyfriend has a crazy ex (see other post). No we are not married. We are not even engaged. We do live together and split finances. When the baby is born he will be staying at home with the dad and I will be supporting the household, which I have no problem with. It is going to help us with childcare costs for out child and be better for his daughter with his ex. If we break up, then I will simply place my son in childcare, which I could do now, collect my child support, and he will move out and maintain his relationship through visitation. We haven't actually talked about this, because I don't see us breaking up in the near future, but i have figured this would be how I would handle it. He is fairly laid back and tried to keep the situation with his ex as limited in drama as possible. The most important thing to him is to have a relationship with his kids.

We are not planning to get married anytime soon. The reason for this is because we were not planning it before I got pregnant. We had just started living together when I got pregnant. Yes, we have been together sometime, but we hadn't had a lot of discussion about marriage, just that one day it would happen when we were ready. Now that we are having our son together, people seem to be very focused on the marriage thing (It's not just here, as the two comments that were made weren't really that big of a deal it just got me thinking). We don't want to be forcing ourselves into a marriage just because we are having a baby together and didn't think the timing was good. It would feel like that to us since we weren't really talking about it before. I believe that marriage should be done because two people WANT to get married and are READY to get married. We started planning for the baby because he surprised us, but honestly, we still have some control of the marriage part and want it to always be remembered as something we did for each other by both us and our families. Also, I REALLY won't get married to him just to help reinforce to his ex our relationship or because one day I might be in her position. I could be in her position even if we do get married. I actually had someone at work tell me that I should kick him out if he does not "do right by me" and it seems like the first question I get asked when they talk to me about the baby is when we are getting married.

I guess I just don't fully understand what the big deal is? I have no problem with marriage. I wanted to be married when I had my first kid, but it didn't work out that way for me. But, I certainly won't marry someone when that is the main reason it would be happening at this time, or at least it's the way it would come across. Plus, marriage is not anymore secure as any other relationship now considering how many divorces there are. My parents have been married for 30 years and would love for that to happen one day, but I just don't think now is the best time, so why do people keep bringing it up?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Just a few things.

For the record, it is not that we are not ready to get married. It's just if we get married right now it will forever be viewed as the wedding that happened because "I got knocked up." We love each other. We are very committed to each and have been for a while now. We have talked more about marriage since I got pregnant. We just don't want it to be because I'm pregnant, so we are waiting till it becomes more about us and our decision to get married. Even though we love each other and even though we talk about spending our lives together, right now it would feel like it was for the wrong reasons.

I absolutely hate to believe that marriage is what commits a man to taking care of me and my child. If he doesn't want to be there to take care of either of us in whatever way, then marriage is not gonna all of sudden change everything and make him do it. He'll just find a way within the marriage to avoid responsibilities. Also, I'm not of the mind-set that fathers are supposed to 100% financially support their children while mothers care for their children. I believe both parents are supposed to do what is best for the child. In this case, he is being the stay at home parent while I work. I don't think it would be questioned nearly as much if it was the other way around. I actually discussed with a lawyer about the events of our break up because we were both in the process of having wills created at the same time so I thought it would be a good idea because you don't always know whats gonna happen. I am a planner. It's how my mind works. That is why I had a general idea of what would happen. It's not that I'm sitting here thinking we're gonna break up or having doubts about our future. Would you think the same thing about person who has their fiancee sign a pre-nup to protect their assets? Probably not and people do that all the time! Most of the marriages that I have witnessed ending in divorce are because they either 1) got married for the wrong reasons (i.e. baby not because they loved each other, this is what happened with my dad's first marriage) 2) they fell out of love 3) financial conflict and then finally 4) due to cheating/abuse/alcoholism. In my experience, the last one is RARELY the reason most people get divorced. Also, all of the people I know who have gotten divorced had long drawn out battles in trying to get everything they felt they had a right to. Not all unmarried dads are dead beats, as it seems to be implied. Like I said before, he spends every day with his daughter and takes care of her as much as possible. He would do anything for her and would drop everything if she needed something. He is just excited about our child.

Also, I know all the statistics about single moms and such. I work in social work with juvenile delinquents. Those kids have many other issues too that they are exposed to each day that causes their problems. My son will have two loving parents in his life. That is all a kid needs to be successful and he will have that. I would have put the baby up for adoption if I didn't think he was going to have both loving parents around. I focused on all of my options when I found out I was pregnant because I was going to make the best one for him. In the end, we knew we could do this together because we are both mature adults about things.

Oh and the palimony thing was actually something my lawyer did bring up, but said that there had to be a legal agreement for him to recieve it. Instead we are in the process of drawing up forms stating that he will not ask for it in the event of our seperation. No I don't think this is a dooms day thing. I don't think we will seperate. I think we will get married one day. Just not today and I want to be covered.

And to the other one who asked. I have a power of attorney who can make medical decisions for me. It is my mother. She is also the executor of my estate if anything were to happen to me and gets custody of our son if anything were to happen to both of us.

Featured Answers

OK...I totally get what you are saying. I agree, that you shouldn't get married, just because a child is involved. But what I can't understand...how in the world are you two ready for a child...if you aren't ready for a marriage?

5 moms found this helpful

I agree with you. But if he is good enough for you to have a child with, why isn't he good enough to marry? Or vice versa? What will take you too to decide you are right for each other?
Living together hasn't convinced you, having a child didn't do it for you, you're dealing with all his past as if you were his wife. What's missing?

4 moms found this helpful

More Answers

I think you're mentally opposed to marriage right now, and your mind is already made up. So it doesnt matter what is said in the responses you get.

I will mention this: The first 5 years (and especially the first 36 months) after the baby is born are very challenging on relationships. You will be sleep deprived, stressed from juggling work and home demands, adjusting to not having any personal time, feeling distant and unappreciated from your spouse/partner.... Sometimes, the one thing that keeps a couple together during this time is the fact that they are married, that breaking up isn't easy--it would involve attorneys, divorce court, and the money to do it. And then, once the child is older and the time demands/distractions are less, the relationship gets back on track.

So, I suggest that you keep this in mind over the next few years: You will have ruts and bad times with your boyfriend--sometimes those bad stretches last many months, perhaps even a year or so. The goal is that you reconnect with him after the infant and toddler drain. If you stay together without being legally married--great, kudos to you both! You just need to be able to see the forest through the trees, be able to recognize what influences the baby is exerting on your relationship at those times when you feel like ending the relationship out of frustration.

And keep in mind, you and him never promised to stay together through financial hardship, illness, hard times. While half of marriages may break those vows and get divorced when the marriage becomes inconvenient, the other half do honor their vows and see marriage as a life long journey. It all depends on how you as a couple perceive marriage--are you together because it's convenient or because you're a partnership on a life-long journey.

Good luck!

6 moms found this helpful

OK...I totally get what you are saying. I agree, that you shouldn't get married, just because a child is involved. But what I can't understand...how in the world are you two ready for a child...if you aren't ready for a marriage?

5 moms found this helpful

I agree with you. But if he is good enough for you to have a child with, why isn't he good enough to marry? Or vice versa? What will take you too to decide you are right for each other?
Living together hasn't convinced you, having a child didn't do it for you, you're dealing with all his past as if you were his wife. What's missing?

4 moms found this helpful

Ok you want to know what the big deal is? I'll tell you, as the child of parents who NEVER married and after 20 years brokeup. Then Daddy goes and marries the next bimbo who pops up. It sure made me and my sibling feel like less than_______. What my mom was good enough to marry just to "PLAY HOUSE" with but not worth marrying? Before people start living together I really wish every one would think about the what if's. No your baby is on the way it's time to stop playing and be Adults. Stop and think were your parents ever married? If they divorced how did that make you feel?

4 moms found this helpful

I'm all for people living together without being married and especially prior to marriage before you legally commit yourself. HOWEVER, when kids enter the equation -you need to be married! Legally and financially you are miles ahead if you're married and then you break up. You can't count on him to do anything when it comes to a break up -it doesn't matter HOW you think it would go -you actually have no idea. I will also say this -I was talking to some friends the other day and we're all married. We are good friends with a couple who split up last year after being together for 22 years. They were engaged but never married. We started talking about the fact that, yes, it IS different when you're married. We're all very modern, educated women with very liberal social viewpoints, but we all agreed that there's a level of commitment that comes with marriage that you just don't get by living together -even if you have a baby together. If you don't want to marry this guy, then you need to have some legal papers drawn up regarding your child and what will happen if you ever split. Did you know that by supporting him and working while he stays at home with your baby, he can sue you for palimony and receive it if you break up? How does that sit with you? You want to send him a check and pay for childcare if things go south? Think long and hard about it.

4 moms found this helpful

My best guess? Because here's how it might look to some: He's already knocked up two women he wasn't married to and brought babies into the world with them, there is no indication he has any motivation to stop this behavior, and in all of the detail you provide, there is never any discussion of HIS role in the whole situation. You work, ex creates drama, daughter deals, and he sows seed. I think asking about marriage is sort of a way of saying, "How big of a sucker are you?" Then again, there is a big Christian posse on this board. No doubt for some of them it's just that. Do what you want to do. You don't owe anyone an explanation. But if I were a betting woman, my money would be on more baby mommies in your man's future.

3 moms found this helpful

I support you 100%. You are obviously more mature than many women in your situation, and I suspect things will work out for the best simply because you are going into this with your eyes wide open and have a good head on your shoulders.
People keep bringing it up b/c they are looking at your situation through lenses colored with their own personal opinions and religious beliefs. You do what is best for YOUR family, and ignore everyone else.

The fact that people who live together first have higher divorce rates is not true.
See here: http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2008-07-28-cohabitati...

Best of luck to you.

3 moms found this helpful

You sound like a very smart lady. Stick with what is right for you and your child.

2 moms found this helpful

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