Am I, really, being unreasonable?


#1

I was talking to a guy friend of mine the other day and he told me he thought I was being unreasonable:eek::confused:.

We were talking about me moving on and the possibility of starting over again with someone. I’ve known him for many years, we worked together and then became good friends, we don’t talk often cause he’s busy with work and his family, but we try to stay in touch. I trust and respect him and his judgment, he’s a good family man and we went through some tough times at our former job:mad: and we supported each other through that.

Anyway, I mentioned to him that if I were to enter a new relationship I really wanted it to be with someone who didn’t have any kids. I told him that it was hard enough having my own without having to deal with someone else’s children and baby’s momma drama:blush:. He was quiet for awhile, then said he thought I was being too picky.

I told him, had I followed my own rules (this was one of my rules before I met stbx) maybe I wouldn’t be in this mess, it seems I compromised a lot of what I wanted and didn’t want in a marriage/husband for this man and it blew up in my face (and I take full responsibility for the choices I made:o).

He again said he thought I was being unreasonable and, to a point, discriminating…because I was cutting out a population of men who, other than having a child(ren) could be a very good husband to me. He also said that I was being hypocritical considering that I had a child myself:blush:, albeit from a marriage. I didn’t know what to say, except that I felt I had the right to choose who I would consider “husband” material or not.

He asked what I thought of men who had my same “rules” about women with children, I told him that it was their right to choose not to date women with children and it didn’t bother me. He said most women would be screaming male chauvinist…how dare he:shrug:.

That whole conversation got me thinking, am I being unreasonable or am I discriminating a group of men for no good reason? Am I just being picky…or in my situation should I have the “beggars can’t be choosers” attitude? I can’t say he changed my mind on the matter…but he did get me thinking, what’s your thoughts on this? I would like to get everyone’s perspective on this matter…especially men, thanks.


#2

I think its okay to have an idea of what you want and don’t want, but you have to still be open to what God wants. I’m 27 and would really prefer a guy who does not already have children, but if that’s what God gives me than I will gladly take it. So I think the question you have to ask is will you put your will before God’s, and if the answer is yes than I think you are being unreasonable. If the answer is not than you just fine.

Historybrat


#3

Personally, I don’t think you are being unreasonable. Now if you said he had to be X years old, 6’4, blond haired, blue eyed and a millionaire, I’d probably say you were pushing it! :slight_smile:

But I also think that people with small kids should be VERY cautious and if at all possible wait to date until the kids are older and out of the house. I’ve seen too many blended families that went wrong. The divorce rates for second marriages is astronomical!! Probably not a popular opinion but it’s my 2:twocents:


#4

Most definitely NOT putting my will before God’s…I pray that I will always recognize what His will is for me and for the courage/strength to do it because it’s very hard to do:o.


#5

Nope, you are not being unreasonable, you are being prudent.


#6

I don’t think you are being “picky.” You are trying to do what’s best for you and your children. You have had a rough time with this in the past, and there’s nothing wrong with taking it slow or being extra cautious with the next potential spouse. Who wants to have a repeat of last time, especially if it caused you much pain and grief? You are just protecting yourself and your children from that, and there is nothing wrong with it.

One thing I am going to point out is if you are really desiring to get married and find Mr. Right you might filter out a lot of the good Christian men with your plan. Many men who would be willing to take on a future wife with children will either most likely have children of their own (whether through annulment or being a widower). If you rule out this type of man, you might very well rule out any chances of marrying anytime soon, or finding the man that would be truly best for you and your children. Not saying you can’t find the exact match you are looking for, but you might rule out several really great matches in the process and might spend that many more years alone. Just some things to think about. I know its tough.


#7

I don’t know Lexee. I guess I would be suspicious of someone around my age who had never been married, never had kids and kind of wonder about them. I think one benefit of someone who does have kids is that you can see what kind of a father he is and see if your parenting styles are similar.

I do think it is a good idea to know what the qualities that you are looking for in a potential relationship are…to have a good objective idea of exactly what is really important.

For me personally, having kids or not having kids is something a little further down the list…although I guess having some really great kids would be a really big plus for me. Everyone is different though, and I guess with my own list of what I would be looking for it would pretty much be a needle in a hay stack too.


#8

I think you are being discerning. You did use the term “wanted” rather than “demanded”. For one thing it is entirely your choice as to whether or not you enter another relationship. You are perfectly free to say, “I like this man but I chose not to get involved because he has children,” just as you are free to say, “I like this man and will have a relationship with him in spite of the fact that he has children.”

No matter what anyone says, it is usually very hard on children when a parent marries someone who is not their biological parent, particularly when that biological parent is still alive. I think that in times past there was the idea that a woman needed to remarry so that her children wouldn’t live in poverty and that a man needed to remarry so his children could be cared for while he worked.

I would be particuarly cautious about marrying someone whose children did not live primarily with him. It’s just not fair to a child to have someone else’s child spending more time in the home with the father than that child does. (Conversely, I’d caution a man who wanted to marry a woman who did not have primary custody of her child.)

I do think that parents have to consider


#9

Hi Lexee:)

No, I don’t think you’re being unreasonable…you have every right to be choosy–selective. I believe it’s better to be selective, than settle…never settle. I will say though if you put that as a pre-requisite, and a particular man seems like a good match for you, other than the fact he has children–then it might be seen as unreasonable, because the man could easily say–you have a child–but you don’t want a man who has a child(ren). :confused: <<—that is the man’s face haha

So–a perfecty good man might view that as a double standard. I personally would just go with the flow…and you never know–if God places the right person in your path who happens to be child-less–then great…if the right Godly man has children, I would also say great–because it could also be God’s will for you.

Just don’t ever settle…good luck to you Lexee.


#10

Thank you all, I think you have all made some great points…and made me feel better about thinking the way I do.

I do agree that I could possibly weed out potentially good men by seeing them…kids, no…no kids, yes…etc. I also want to make clear what I meant…I would, for sure, consider a widower. My concern is having to deal with a “live” ex, annulled or simply a baby’s mother, you know what I mean?

Dulcissima you made an excellent point, I’m in my early 30’s so I think I would consider men that are in their mid to late 30’s, so at this age it still wouldn’t creep me out too much if he didn’t have kids, now if he was in his 40’s then I’d start to wonder what the heck’s wrong with him;) .

SMHW, I also worry a lot about bringing an outsider into my child’s life and I have thought about staying single until he’s grown and out of the house. Then I remember how old he is:eek:, that would be another sixteen years and by then I really wouldn’t be in the baby making business anymore:crying:. If I had more children and they were older when my marriage ended that would have been a definite possibility.

I worked in a public school for five years and I saw how bad “boyfriend, step-parent or step-siblings” situations affected kids…the sad part was that the parent either didn’t see it or didn’t care:(. I know that now more than ever I have to be very cautious of who is in our lives.

Whatevergirl I love that:confused:…men do look like that don’t they:rotfl::rotfl: . You hit the nail right on the head with feeling like I have a double standard, which is why I posted this question, but I also know I have to be prudent and careful, especially this second time around.

God has given me a second chance by blessing me with the annulment, I certainly don’t want to mess it up. I guess just getting to know someone is the first step, I don’t have to tell “him” how I feel about men with children. I can keep my options open, get to know the gentleman and decide how to proceed from there.

I also wonder if a man with kids would treat ds better than a man without kids, I’ve heard stories of men w/o children who marry women with children and all is wonderful…until they have a child together and it all comes crumbling down, the step-child is forgotten and/or treated badly by the step-parent…that really worries me too. I would hate for ds to ever feel this kind of rejection…it would break my heart:(.


#11

You are certainly allowed to choose your own criteria on who to date and possibly marry.

That said, you may be excluding some very good men.

As long as you don’t have a problem with men excluding you because of your children, you should do as you choose.


#12

Lexee, there might be some men who already have children and who’d make a good husband for you. So yes, having hard rules ruling them out could reduce your pool below what would be good for you. On the other hand, you shouldn’t feel pressured to accept someone whom you don’t find proper for you just in order not to be discriminating. You need some rules for when you’re in the heat of the moment - then it’s easier to stick to the rules than to make reasonable decisions. On the other hand, absolute rules in matters which don’t warrant them can be quite inhibiting. So, well, I suggest you pray and trust and if let’s say one day a man shows up who’d be otherwise a great husband but has a child or two, then maybe it wouldn’t be a great idea to discount him without considering him. But I suppose in such a case you’d consider making an exception for him anyway. :wink:

What your friend also regarded as unreasonable was that you wanted a man without children while you had children yourself. Your friend believed that to be unequal. On the other hand, you said you accepted the possibility that some men could discount you as having children, which made it fair in your opinion. I don’t want to say that the truth is somewhere in the middle since relativism is not quite my philosophy, but I’d say just be yourself. Don’t make rules which aren’t really fully warranted, but don’t force yourself into not following your preferences. Even if you don’t meet those preferences yourself. After all, you want a man and you aren’t one, correct? :wink: :smiley:

Cheer up and courage! Don’t need to weigh yourself down too much with such things as this one. :wink:


#13

You can set whatever standards you want.

Just don’t be offended if you meet a man who has no interest in marrying a woman w/ a child.

I can’t imagine how hard it would be either way.


#14

I’m going to chime in to say what everyone else has said - they’re your standards, and you can set them as high as you like. Too high is better than too low, in my opinion. However, make sure that if you make exceptions to your rules, they’re exceptions that are okay (like he has children) rather than exceptions that aren’t okay (like he has a drinking problem).

I had a list of things I wanted in a husband, before I met my BF. I didn’t think I wanted a religious man, or a man with children. I really surprised myself by admiring him so much. It took me six months of getting to know him to decide that he was a valid exception to the rules. I’m still worried about being a stepmother, but I know that with the kind of man my BF is, he’s going to help me through it and we’re going to be able to become a family. However, this isn’t for everyone, and if you know you won’t be willing or able to handle it, it’s wise of you to avoid it altogether.


#15

My DH was never married and 42 when I met him, and he’s absolutely awesome and there is nothing wrong with him.


#16

See, I knew there were (are) good men out there that haven’t had children yet:dancing: :clapping: :love:, now whether I’ll find one is quite a different story:wink:.

I’m assuming you didn’t have kids either though…right? As I figured, and it was pointed out to me on this thread, “those” guys might not consider me for marriage because of my ds:shrug:.

It would be interesting to hear from guys who’ve been in this situation, marrying a women with a child(ren) from a previous relationship and how they felt about their step-child(ren) before and after they had their own “natural” children?

I’m really glad you found a good one:thumbsup:, way to go!!!


#17

You are not being unreasonable.
I set the same rule for myself. My ex husband had a child and dealing with his ex brought HUGE grief to our marriage and to our children. Once we divorced I decided that my children were enough to add to a new marriage and I decided that any man that came into my life would have no children. I couldn’t imagine that compounded by two. It was my standard that I set and I am perfectly happy with that. My husband now had no children from any previous relationship and we are both glad for that. He’s perfectly fantasic and I am glad of the choice I made.
You are not being picky, you are living by lessons learned.


#18

I think you know exactly where I’m coming from:thumbsup:. I’ve found out how hard it was to be married and to have to deal with all the outside factors that come with exes & children only made things harder.

I found out, after we separated, that my stbx was still sleeping with his babies mamas, using the excuse that he was going to see his kids:eek: and it’s my understanding that this is NOT uncommon among divorced couples:shrug:.

Considering what I’ve been through and that I am sure I have significant trust issues now I don’t know how well I would do in a relationship where there was going to be “another” woman in this man’s life…forever:eek:. I don’t care what anyone says the connection doesn’t end when the child is 18yo, I will be forever connected to stbx because ds is “our” son as much as I don’t like it:(.


#19

My story.

Married at 24, two kids later divorced at 27.

Later, I was “set up” for a Christmas party blind date, with a wonderful girl who was 24, and had never left home. She had no children.

20 years later, and one child together, we’re still going strong. She’s everything I could have ever asked for. She treated my children as if they were her own (except once).

Where would I be today, if SHE refused to date someone who was divorced and already had children?

Yes, there were hassles with my ex over the years. But my kids from my previous marriage actually confide in my wife more than they do ME.

Don’t be in a hurry to cut yourself off from a big part of the field to choose from. It’s not what you get out of life, it’s what you give that counts.


#20

Though I’m still waiting on a nullity decree, I have been thinking about this already.

Having young kids myself (and primary custody), I’m actually uncertain about marrying someone who didn’t have kids herself (and thus had already gone through the learning process herself to have a clue from the start even if mine ended up being a couple years older than hers (or me with hers if they were a few years older), though I do recognize that someone who was an older sibling of a group of lotsas or experienced as a nanny or pre-K would have enough of a background to transition fairly well.

I would be cautious about trying to blend a family where there was a big gulf in the ages of his kids vs. her kids.

In my case, given the bias in the law towards women having custody, I have ruled out a woman who didn’t have primary custody of her kids. I think your target would need to be a guy who who had at least 50/50 possession

As for your fears of a guy continuing to sleep with his ex, that wouldn’t even be an issue for me, as if my ex had any interest in that direction I wouldn’t have insisted (with a priest’s backup) that she get a second opinion on her mental health treatment (followed immediately by her leaving, and refusing forever to get that second opinion). In other words, rule out the guys where it was them who left an ex who wanted to work things out (but you probably wouldn’t be interested in those guys anyways. From a more pragmatic / difference of the species perspective, if a women was not wanting to work things out with her ex, she wouldn’t be opening her bed to him still.


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