Expectant unmarried father


#1

Hi,

I just found out my girlfriend is pregnant, she’s 19 and I’m 20 both in college and we’ve only been dating for 4 months. When i first met her things were blissful and pure, but after the holiday season and being separated we were drawn close together, and made some bad decisions. After some soul searching, both me and her agreed that we had stepped over the line and wanted to reform our lives, but that was before we found out about the baby.
We intend to keep the baby, (Abortion is definitely out of the picture), but she’s baptist and I’m catholic and I really wanted to raise a catholic family. She says she’s willing to be married in a catholic church, but we haven’t had much time to discuss religion and spirituality, so far we manage to tolerate our differences and discuss what we agree on.
There’s also the matter of confronting my family. My mother is understanding, but it always takes her a little while to overcome her grief and initial reactions to situations like this. My father is the same, and for him, things drag out much longer. I really need help on how to gather support for the child to be born, I don’t want my family throwing me out and leaving me alone. I don’t think they will, but its a scenario.
Also, seeing that both me and my girlfriend are still in school, can i get advice on my dilemma?


#2

Yes, don’t get married just because of the baby.

Kids need loving parents who are married for the right reasons. If you guys eventually progress in your relationship to the point where you get married, great, but don’t rush into anything because of the baby.

Just take things slowly, and make sure your girlfriend knows you are going to support her no matter what and you want to be part of your child’s life.

You’re going to be a father, congratulations- even though the circumstances are imperfect, you should still be happy about your little one that is coming. My wife is 5 months pregnant now. :slight_smile:


#3

First place to go - to visit your Priest. Talk to him before you speak with your parents, because he has helped families through this same situation before.

Many prayers for all of you!


#4

Congratulations on being commited to life! I understand that this is very difficult time. A time to depend on God and follow His path. As far as assistance goes, maybe check out this link

thegabrielproject.org/


#5

I echo this advice. Talk to your priest first, before you talk to your parents. It will help you when you do ultimately go to your parents, and it may even soften the blow to them a little bit knowing you went to your priest first. Call and make a private appointment with him.

Take everything slowly, this is going to be a very intense period of time for you. Life long decisions should never be made under pressure.

Pray a lot! And pray together, you and your girlfriend for your unborn child.

Congratulations on this beautiful new life, and God bless you for embracing him or her!


#6

I’ll keep you in my prayers - I know someone who is in the same situation, and only a couple years older than you.

I agree with others who have said it already - do NOT get married because there is a baby. Take this day by day, and realize that you do not have to make this decision right now.

Congratulations on becoming a father! Not the way I’m guessing you thought it would happen, but you are a father nonetheless. Babies are a good thing - now you just need to figure out how to make a difficult situation good for all concerned.

~Liza


#7

:smiley: I can’t believe it but I actually agree with mschrank. That’s the nicest thing I’ve ever see him post. :thumbsup:

I pray that the Holy Spirit will increase the gift of wisdom to help guide you. :gopray:


#8

In addition to you and your girlfriend talking with your priest about the situation and taking TIME before deciding whether or not to marry, I also highly recommend you contact Catholic Charities in your area. You have only been dating 4 months, don’t jump into a marriage-- making one stressful situation into two stressful situations. Take time to receive counsel and marriage preparation to decide if you two are truly meant to be married. If you don’t marry, you can still co-parent.

Catholic Charities offers counseling and they can help you with your decision on co-parenting or choosing adoption for the baby. They have peer support groups. My sister used CC when she became pregnant at 19. She ultimately chose to place her son for adoption, but if you choose parenting CC can still help you. If you don’t have a CC in your area, look for a Crisis Pregnancy Center in your area (often in the yellow pages under Abortion Alternatives).

Your whole family should go for counseling. It will help with the emotions and stress.

Take things one step at a time.

Lastly, contact your university’s student services office to find out about aid available for parenting students. They may have funds, housing, child care, etc, available to you and your girlfriend.

And, of course, visit the Sacrament of Reconciliation as soon as possible!


#9

Congratz on becoming a father! God is Great!

Even though you are in a difficult situation, God will give you the grace to make it through it with flying colors.

I agree that you need to talk to your Priest and talk with your parents. I would also offter to be with her when she has to tell her parents if you are going to support her.

While I agree that you shouldn’t “just get married for the baby” I had a friend who ended up a bad situation from that too.

I also want to stress, do not FAIL to get married because of the baby either. Why did this happen? Because we are weak human and we often give into temptation. Yet just because it’s a bad situation doesn’t mean that God isn’t leading you to spend the rest of your life with this person. Even though your Christian faiths are different, the fact that you guys have discussed it already is a good sign that you could work through this.

Do you love her? Sometimes it’s difficult to know what love means at 20 but if you are both committed to life and desire to truly understand, together, what a sacramental marriage means then maybe you guys are being called together.

The same person that married his long time GF for a baby then got a divorce, met and married his wife of now almost 20 years in 4 months.

Besides talking to your priest, your parents, her parents etc… YOU TWO need to keep talking and more importantly PRAY together. If you are comfortable enough to be “together” are you comfortable enough to pray together? If not pray for strength then work towards that, pray and ask God what He wants for your life, to take care of you guys as a couple and to take care of your unborn child.

So many people today breakup after years of a loving marriage due to infertility problems when they desire children. If both of you want a family, at least you know that infertility is a roadblock you probably won’t have :slight_smile:

As a Convert (well almost convert, I come into full communion at the Easter Vigil) who was raised Baptist I would continue focusing your prayers when together on the Father or Jesus right now. Until she has some time to attend an inquiry period or read some books I would not muddy the situation with our differences but continue to focus on our similarities. If she loves Christ, He will bring her to where she needs to be. We are truly much closer in beliefs than most people realize or would admit too.

You guys are in my prayers and congratulations again! Children, especially when you are trying to go to school and work aren’t easy but they are definitley worth it. My guess is that your parents may be more understanding than you think about having a grandchild. Especially if you have asked for God to soften their hearts. A prayer to St. Joseph or the Blessed Mother for their intercession would be good as well.

Sincerely,
Joe


#10

I want to thank all of you for giving me this advice.
I’ve talked with Cindy and she agreed to come with me to see a priest first. Also we’re going to start praying together, and also understood about not marrying just because of the baby. All of you have been most helpful and I thank God for granting me his guidance through you in this forum

I’ll be back to update


#11

Read this:

usccb.org/laity/marriage/children.shtml

It is a document by the bishops stating why children need married parents.

If you don’t step up to the plate, who will?


#12

Ok - I don’t want to turn this person’s thread into a debate, but I hardly thing it is responsible for two people who have only known each other for four months to get into a possibly invalid marriage (based on the circumstances) which could end up a disaster. That is NEVER good for a child - trust me, I am a product of such a union which ended in divorce.

Better that they should wait and make sure they are making all the right decisions, and NOT jump into marriage only because she is pregnant.

Gone are the days of the shot gun wedding - at least one would hope. :rolleyes:

~Liza


#13

Well, it’s not responsible for two unmarried people to just hop in sack, either.

I’m very serious about this. The bottom line: the kid needs a father. Is he going to “man up” and step up to the plate, or is he going to leave it to others to “clean up his mess” while he goes off to have more fun?

Lather, rinse, repeat…


#14

Seeing as my thread my turn into a debate I have this to say, I’m going to take the approach first recommended to me, and not marry just because she’s pregnant. However, I fully intend to be a father to the child, in every way I can, and I do plan on marrying her once our relationship matures to that point. That being said and done, advice on where to get help with raising the child once its here, would be more important. Once again, thanks all involved for their insight and support.

God Bless,

Matt


#15

That is incredibly rude and insulting and extremely presumptious!!! He’s coming here for help, has said that he wants to do the right thing, and you suggest he will be off to “have more fun”?

That is just disgusting and I think you owe him an apology.

The child needs a father - yes. But he needs a father who loves his mother, and wants to be there. There is no guarantee of either given the fact that they don’t even really know each other.

:mad:

~Liza


#16

I didn’t take any offense, no apology is needed.


#17

Matt - I wish you the best and I think you are doing the right thing. You didn’t deserve that comment.

I will keep you in my prayers.

~Liza


#18

I appreciate it, we really need everyone’s prayers at this point. Thank you all so much!


#19

Best wishes with this challenge. As a parent of a 20 year old college age daughter I know that even though I would be disappointed in this situation I would also be very excited about the prospect of a baby!

Keep your parents in picture and ask them for help and advice.

We were all young once and many of us made bad decisions at one time or another! We have all needed help from time to time.

The posters who counsel you not to get married for the sake of the child are right. Marriage is a wonderful thing though. Give your courtship the time it deserves and take care of your precious child together.

Peace!


#20

My best advice that I would give to you as you encounter the challenges that lie ahead is to remember what true love is. It is Christ dying on the cross for us. It is not about a pleasant feeling, chemistry, or what’s in it for you. It is so much deeper and more meaningful than that. Love is not a feeling, but an act of will, a conscious decision. It is sacrifice, but ultimately it is what will bring you lasting happiness. Remember this when times get tough. You will need to give it everything you have got and then some. If you both have this commitment, then there is nothing on this earth that will stand in your way.


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