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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In an ideal world I would like to say I see it as an honor for him to have my child in his life, he is lucky etc etc....but it isn't very true is it?

No guy (maybe infertile ones), thinks of the perfect woman as having already had another mans biological child/ren.

So to me, it's a huge deal for a guy to take on a child that isn't biologically his. Imo it takes a special kind of man to do that.

What are your thoughts?
 

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It depends.

I mean, YES, it is an honor for ANYONE to have my child in their life. It is an honor for me. It is an honor for my child's father, it is an honor for our friends and families. I don't really dance on that honor, particularly - most of what it means to me is that I am responsible for loving and caring for and protecting my child, in ways that include the possibility that if any of the other people in his life treat him callously, carelessly, or badly, they should not be permitted to continue to do so.

And I'm entitled to care and consideration from the people in my life too. If something were to happen to DH, and I were to get involved with some other guy, the notion that I was lucky he was willing to take on my kid wouldn't weigh anything with me if he treated me badly, and especially wouldn't weigh anything if he tried to argue that I should put up with poor treatment because no one else would want me, what with my kid and everything.

I'd look very askance at a male adult who wanted to be involved with my child, spend time alone with my child, etc., but had no interest in me. Good friends who offer to take my kid to the park or a ballgame are fine, but I want to know them pretty well before they try that.

But a guy who fell for me and determined (correctly) that loving me would require that he also be a generous, responsible, loving, consistent presence for my kid would be pretty special.
 

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Quote:
No guy (maybe infertile ones), thinks of the perfect woman as having already had another mans biological child/ren.
My brother did/does. He's not infertile (he had a daughter, who sadly passed away). He's always wanted to be a father, much like I've always wanted to be a mother. At his age (he's 38), he didn't want to wait to start a family, so when he went looking for a wife, having children was a plus. His lady wife isn't on very good terms with her ex, and they live in a different state, so he is her kids' father. He doesn't have stepchildren. He has children. (I do have to keep reminding my mother she has 5 grandkids, not 3. She's not trying to be mean, she just forgets them.)

Honestly, I think accepting "another man's children" as his own is something we should expect from men. Don't we already expect it of women?

My current sweetie maintains close ties with his ex-stepdaughter, even though she's grown. He has no legal or moral ties to her, but he still plainly loves her and acts as her dad. It makes him all the more attractive to me. I'm not sure I'd want to be around a man who shucks children as easily as old shoes!

Of course, that whole "takes on the father role" thing is a slippery issue. My daughters already have a father. They don't need someone to take over the role...However, when they're not with their dad, any man I marry will be their father and expected to step into that role completely. I think some women would prefer to keep stiff barriers in place. Some biological fathers most definitely would.

But, again, I expect that any man I marry should be willing to act on behalf of my children in the same loving, protective manner he'd act on behalf of his own children. It's not above and beyond behavior. It's what everyone involved in the situation deserves.
 

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A man is just as capable as falling in love with and raising children that aren't biologically related as a woman. It's purely personality if they put themselves in that position or not. If a man couldn't raise children that didn't share DNA, the world wouldn't have as many adoptive parents, foster parents and loving step-fathers.

It sounds like OP kind of thinks of yourself as damaged goods for having a child and looking for a long-term relationship. Maybe I'm wrong, sorry if I am projecting. I know I don't feel like a major catch, but that's got more to do with my experiences over the last decade than the fact that I have a 2 year old. That being said...it would take a pretty amazing person to tempt me into the waters again!!! And the criteria would be much more strict because I've got a son to take care of.

And just to prove they're out there...my brother's oldest isn't his. He started seeing his ex-wife when my neice was just three months old. They talked about adoption after they had a baby together and got married, but it didn't work out. They've been divorced for probably 8 years now. The girls are 13 and 10 years old. And that 13 year old is as much his as the 10 year old. There's nothing legally binding them, but any time he has his younger daughter, he has his older one as well. (That's the one very positive aspect of their divorce...the mother realized that it's in her daughter's best interest to keep our family as a stable part of her life!!!) No one in our family differentiates between the girls. It was a bit rocky during the divorce, because suddenly this little girl had to figure out if we were still her family and would still be around. But now, she's happily embarrassed/annoyed/rolling-eyes at us as only a thirteen year old girl can do.


So, my brother didn't seek out someone with kids...but it didn't factor in when he was dating and he loved her child as his own.
 

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p.s. *IIIIIFFFF* I ever re-marry or live with someone long-term, I wouldn't expect him to take over the "father role" since that role is currently filled by a very loving father. But at the same time, if there were someone that would be in our lives, I would expect him to love my son, and share in the raising of him. I'm too fresh in this process to know what my gut reaction would be. To be honest, until we talked about divorce a couple of months ago (which resulted in a major increase in child care by STBX), I felt sort of like I was a single parent. I wasn't of course, it's not the same. But I can see how that might translate for some people bringing a child into a new marriage. I took on the bulk of the child-care, decisions, everything. And H was a back-up. I think that if I were in a situation where I remarried, I'd have to purposefully discuss how things were going to procede up front. Otherwise I'd be likely to keep acting as if DS was just mine...which I think would be doing a disservice to any new family member. It would be hard though.

Just rambling! Good food for thought! I've never had to think about this stuff before!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
yes, and what I'm saying is, to us mothers, we think of the man as being lucky to have our child/ren in his life, and we know it is an honor because our child/ren are so dear to us. BUT to a man, when he isn't yet in a relationship with us and is just sort of looking for someone and maybe finds us attractive...the sight of us having a child/ren is going to be a turn off for most guys out there. Ofcourse if you know the guy as a friend first, then he's got to know you and your child and is probably less likely to be put off since he will know how great your kid is, but it still wouldn't be a mans first choice to attempt to get to know a single mom.

I don't see myself as damaged goods as someone suggested, I'm just throwing my thoughts out there and wanting to know yours.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by samy23 View Post
yes, and what I'm saying is, to us mothers, we think of the man as being lucky to have our child/ren in his life, and we know it is an honor because our child/ren are so dear to us. BUT to a man, when he isn't yet in a relationship with us and is just sort of looking for someone and maybe finds us attractive...the sight of us having a child/ren is going to be a turn off for most guys out there. Ofcourse if you know the guy as a friend first, then he's got to know you and your child and is probably less likely to be put off since he will know how great your kid is, but it still wouldn't be a mans first choice to attempt to get to know a single mom.

I don't see myself as damaged goods as someone suggested, I'm just throwing my thoughts out there and wanting to know yours.

See, I had a thought I was projecting the damaged goods thing! Not that I feel "damaged" -- maybe me+baggage is better! ;P

What you're saying makes sense. It probably works both ways too in terms of initially dating. I certainly wouldn't seek out someone with kids. Adding an extra layer of complication to the whole thing. STBX has kids from a previous marriage and that didn't stop me, but if I were sitting down and thinking rationally about it, I might have paused (although he didn't have custody or visitation with them since they're far away--don't ask, long story--so that might have nullified the issue for me. hard to tell). Maybe it's not a gender specific thing? Totally personality?
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by samy23 View Post
In an ideal world I would like to say I see it as an honor for him to have my child in his life, he is lucky etc etc....but it isn't very true is it?

No guy (maybe infertile ones), thinks of the perfect woman as having already had another mans biological child/ren.

So to me, it's a huge deal for a guy to take on a child that isn't biologically his. Imo it takes a special kind of man to do that.

What are your thoughts?
The first bolded part is a pretty broad statement that I don't think you can (or should) assume. While I don't think MANY men think of the perfect woman as one who already as kids, I'm sure there are some (even some who are not infertile).

As for the second bolded part... it is a huge deal for ANYONE to raise a child. It's a huge responsibility for the biological mom and dad, for adoptive parents, for foster parents, for step parents, etc. Raising a child is a huge responsibility (even though some biological parents don't treat it as such, but that's off topic...).

My fiance and I first started talking to each other years ago, when my ds was only 2 (he'll turn 6 next month). At first we talked as friends- nothing more. We talked about everything under the sun, including my son. I talked about the good and the bad. I didn't hide any of that from him, including the really ugly parts (as some background- my ds has autism. Around age 1-3 was really really hard and a lot of what doctors were telling me was not pretty at all). Heck, I even tried to scare him away, sure that any sane man would run the other way in that situation.
And for a little while- it worked. We remained friends and talked every day, but he certainly wasn't running to my door anytime soon! DP had to come to his own terms with it. He had to decide, on his own, whether he could date a woman who had a special needs child. He knew, right from the start, that I had ds and if he wanted me he had to accept ds FULLY.

We talked on the phone and online for well over a year before we decided to meet in person. We hit it off right away and the rest is history. It helps that my son is uber cute and got dp wrapped around his finger very quickly


Do I think my fiance is a "special kind of man"? Of course. But it's his personality.

Someone else discussed acting like the child was hers and not "theirs"... We had many talks about this before ds and I moved in. DP did NOT want to take on a parenting role, and I didn't want him to. DP was ds's friend. Nothing more. He got the fun parts, I got all the work. LOL! But it worked for us! Naturally, on their own and with no input from me, ds and dp have developed their own relationship. Now dp does take on a parenting role and he wants to. DS it completely fine with it. But, what works for us may not work for another couple!
 

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i think it depends a lot on the situation. when/if I remarry they will not be his children and it would be somewhat offensive to me if he tried to take that position with them or went into it thinking he was going to get to play daddy to them. or like he was gaining his own children. I know it scares me to think that my Xh girlfriend wants to be their mommy and wants to take on that role (she met them for the first time last week and was ready to attend their school open house.!!!!!). People keep telling me no one will every take my place and I don't need to be worried blah blah blah but isn't that we are talking about here? is the desire for our future men to take on the role of father? I don't even want my children to have a second mother figure. If it were someone else (she is the other woman) I could accept that she could be their friend and that is all i expect my future husband to be to my children. a really good friend.

although I don't think there is anything wrong with a guy feeling that way and I do think there are guys who are more that willing to step into a parenting role if that position is open (such as the dad not being in the picture, the children being really young etc). How is it any different than a guy wanting to adopt a child? It is totally possible for a man to love and bond with a child not his and certainly not all men see this as a down side.

In this day and age a lot of guys truely have no reason to see kids as a down side considering for every single mom there is a single dad somewhere......
 

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Quote:
BUT to a man, when he isn't yet in a relationship with us and is just sort of looking for someone and maybe finds us attractive...the sight of us having a child/ren is going to be a turn off for most guys out there.
For some. Not for all, and I don't even think for most. Goodness knows WD isn't thrown by my kids in the slightest.
I wouldn't be wasting my time with him if he did. Honestly, as far as I'm concerned, a man who sees a woman's children as a drawback is far too shallow for me to bother with.
 

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hmmmm.... well. as a single mother whose dd only has one involved parent, if i choose to remarry, that man will have to be willing and happy to become a father to my dd. this is because she doesn't have anyone except me. her biological father has not bothered to see her in several years. that man would have to love her as much as i do and want only the best for her. he would also be stepping into a situation where he would be relied upon to be a parent.

i feel that if someone loves me enough to expect that kind of commitment from me, he also has to love my dd and i do believe that you can love a child who is not biologically your own. it would be the same if i had adopted as a single parent. he would have to also love that little one and no one would be related by biochemistry. but it is most definitely a package deal. there are still some who may shy away from it, but at least you would know in advance. i think that single parenting is more common than a lot of people realize, so it truly isn't a big deal.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by samy23 View Post
BUT to a man, when he isn't yet in a relationship with us and is just sort of looking for someone and maybe finds us attractive...the sight of us having a child/ren is going to be a turn off for most guys out there...

...but it still wouldn't be a mans first choice to attempt to get to know a single mom.
I STRONGLY disagree with these statements and generalizations.

Since my divorce, 6 years ago, I have NEVER dated a man, and I have dated a few, that felt that way! And, all the men I have dated are single, mid-30 - early 40 year olds, never been married or divorced and NO children of their own.

In fact, for a few of them, it was even a turn-on and something they were looking for.

There are ALWAYS exceptions to such generalizations and I believe you set yourself up to see less of those exceptions if you already believe in those generalizations. You find what you believe... what you think.
 

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This thread caught my eye... My DH and I have a wonderful relationship - except where DS is concerned. He told me once while he was upset and venting that he doesn't believe he would have ever dated me had he known what it was like to date a woman with children even though we are perfect for each other. For the longest time I felt like I was holding him back by having a child. Now I am pregnant with his child and I fell less resentful of these things that he has confided in me. There are some issues with DS's father and DS's behavior but most importantly, DH doesn't feel like he can relate to DS because they are so different. I do not know that they will ever form a great bond and it is something I have resigned myself too. They do not argue and DH is never mean to him and they may become buddies but they will never be inseparable or have a wonderful relationship (I would like that but I don't see it happening - realistically). I am ok with this arrangement.
-- Just my two cents and experience
 

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I also wanted to add that I don't resent a guy who doesn't want to get involved with me because I am a single mother. Praise God he can be honest about it. I would much rather he look in himself and say "I am not ready for that" rather than fake it and ending up breaking my heart and that of my children.

and I do have one guy i was thinking about dating (we are friends) and he was actually really excited about my kids about having more etc...he already loves them and hasn't even met them
it made him super sexy. I won't lie. Like I said I wouldn't expect him to step into the father role but I would expect him to be madly in love with them. and often I think the turn off may be more about the drama with the ex than the kids.

I know I would be hesitant to get involved with a guy who had kids. I know it seems like a double standard but....thats how I feel and i think it is only fair to everyone I am honest about that.
 

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Lilyka,

I'm right there with you with what you described. Including the double standard. Right now, I'm not at a place where I'm interested in dating so I don't have to deal with sorting through the reasoning for my thoughts. I'm glad I don't have to deal with them right now. Because those thoughts are so convoluted.

That said, I'm glad for this thread because it's given me some excellent things to think about.
 

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I asked my mom about this, as she was a single mom with me. Her response was "If a guy wanted to stick around after meeting you, I considered whether there was something wrong with him."

She did say this jokingly.
In her defense, though, I was a complete brat. I mean, my step dad went through A LOT with me. Like A LOT. Like if I were him, I'd have RUN for the hills.

To be honest, when I was single, one of the reasons I didn't date men who had kids was because I remembered how I behaved! I think it does take a special kind of person to want to step into the role of step parent. Kudos to them all, I say!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by lilyka View Post
I know I would be hesitant to get involved with a guy who had kids. I know it seems like a double standard but....thats how I feel and i think it is only fair to everyone I am honest about that.

Quote:

Originally Posted by RollerCoasterMama View Post
It probably works both ways too in terms of initially dating. I certainly wouldn't seek out someone with kids. Adding an extra layer of complication to the whole thing.
I feel the same way, and that's why we can understand why a single mom isn't a man's first choice for initially dating....a single dad isn't our first choice either.

Quote:

Originally Posted by StephandOwen View Post
While I don't think MANY men think of the perfect woman as one who already as kids, I'm sure there are some (even some who are not infertile).
I agree, I am making a generalization, but there are going to be some exceptions. -There is with most things really.

Quote:

Originally Posted by StephandOwen View Post
DP did NOT want to take on a parenting role, and I didn't want him to. DP was ds's friend.
That seems like the best way to do things! I personally wouldn't want a future partner stepping in acting like a father for my dd....maybe if she was younger? But she's 6 years old so it wouldn't seem right to me. Her thinking of my partner as her friend would be a great solution to that. However...if you're all living together, then he is going to be contributing financially to raising your child, no? ...which confuses the idea of him being just her friend, doesn't it?
:

Gosh this stuff's complicated.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by samy23;14332182 However...if you're all living together, then he is going to be contributing financially to raising your child, no? [U
...which confuses the idea of him being just her friend, doesn't it?[/U][/b]
:
Perhaps it confuses the idea for the adult, but not for the child. Adults tend to complicate and add their own baggage to issues.
A child wouldn't look at his financial contribution when determining the status of their relationship.

For our newly formed family (my dp just moved in 2-3 months ago), I have stepped back and allowed ds and dp to determine what dp's role/label will be for ds. I figure it is not my job to determine what their relationship will be, it is between the two of them.
 

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Originally Posted by Holland73 View Post
Perhaps it confuses the idea for the adult, but not for the child. Adults tend to complicate and add their own baggage to issues.
A child wouldn't look at his financial contribution when determining the status of their relationship.
: DS has no idea who pays the mortgage. He has no idea who pays for the food or clothing or toys or whatever. He doesn't know whether that money comes out of dp's account, my account or my other account that the child support goes into. He has no idea, and that's the way it should be!
 

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Originally Posted by Bad Mama Jama View Post
hmmmm.... well. as a single mother whose dd only has one involved parent, if i choose to remarry, that man will have to be willing and happy to become a father to my dd.

<snip>

but it is most definitely a package deal. there are still some who may shy away from it, but at least you would know in advance. i think that single parenting is more common than a lot of people realize, so it truly isn't a big deal.
Agreed. As someone whose children don't have a father in their lives, my answer would be that it is something that's basically EXPECTED. Any man I get remotely serious with had better love my kids, and if he thinks he's going to marry me, he'd better be prepared to be their father.
 
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