An email: Child out of wedlock

Sharing an email.

How easy would this choice have been if this young, courageous mom was living in India?

Hi there

I really like the fact that your blog empowers women. I was reading through your articles and came across the article about having a child out of wedlock and if any indian girl would marry the guy. [Would an Indian girl refuse to marry him knowing that he has a child out of wedlock?] It has piqued my interest because I am in a similar situation of sorts. Hopefully she reads the blog and maybe my story can be of some consolation to her.
I hail from kerala and have been living in new zealand for the past 5 and a half years. like any other girl i too had great aspirations of a fanatastic career and eventually a family. Last year this time i found out that i was pregnant. At that point of time me and my boyfriend M had been seeing each other for almost 6 months and were living together. He is from punjab. Our plan was that eventually we would get married in a year or two. Getting pregnant was never a part of the plan. Initially when I found out that I was pregnant I was scared and very confused like anyone else. A part of me wanted the baby and a part of me was scared as to what would people think more importantly what would my parents say. When I told M that i was pregnant , his first typical response was that let’s get an abortion. To this I added anyway since I am pregnant why not get married as eventually that was what our plan was. That was when his true colours came out. To this he had a thousand excuses. I still wasn’t sure as to what to do.
When I was about 7 weeks pregnant I told my father about this. As any indian parent would be he was very very angry at me. He refused to talk to me for a couple of months.
After a lot of dilly dallying and going back and forth I knew what my options were. Have an abortion and be with M. Or raise the baby alone. M tried everything in his power to make me have an abortion. I didnt budge. Even though he did stay with me through the pregnancy he treated me badly to which I didn’t say anything as I thought and hoped maybe once he saw his own daughter. flesh and blood. he would probably change his mind. I guess you can never change anyone.
He had promised me that he would be there for the birth but then he never turned up. He eventually came on the 2nd day to see her and it was really sad that he was so indifferent. Initially he too went back and forth saying that he wanted to be a part of her life and then he didn’t and then he did. I told him that I would rather not have someone like that be  a part of her life. the bottomline being  that his parents live back home in india and they will prolly never know coz he will never tell them.
The last I heard of him was that he was engaged to be married to some girl. The girl obviously oblivious to the whole situation. It’s hard being a single mother. I work 6 days a week and have to put bubs in chilcare but when I come home and see her smile it makes it all the more worth it.
We don’t need such men in our life.
Related Posts:

Would an Indian girl refuse to marry him knowing that he has a child out of wedlock?

If she was born somewhere else.

How are mothers treated in Indian culture?

Teenage Pregnancies – not our culture…

121 thoughts on “An email: Child out of wedlock

  1. Such a beautiful girl! She indeed is an angel sent by God🙂
    Nobody can say whether your choice is right or wrong, but if you’re happy.. Then that’s fabulous! I’m sure her smile would make single parenting worth it.🙂
    And you’re right.. We don’t need such men who don’t own up to their actions. You never know what would follow.
    Good luck, I’m sure you’d be a wonderful parent!!

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        • yes..she must be…
          a tad sad not to get to see the photo…but its ok..

          kudos to the mummy for the brave decision to raise her up..watever has happened is happened..i loved her bravery to stop complicating her life any more than that has happened and adored her brave decision…

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  2. What an adorable angel. soooo cute. love her give her everything you can.
    Glad he is out of your life his loss not yours.

    she will so glad you had her. she will resent her dad if she ever meets him

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  3. His behavior was poor, no question about it. That said, from his perspective, he didn’t want this baby and yet you went ahead. As a man, that’s always how it is. Had it been the reverse situation where he wanted the baby, and you didn’t, it’d still have been your call. I guess the big mistake was having unsafe sex after a mere 6 months of knowing each other. You also need to remember that the moment you disagreed on such a big decision, having a baby or aborting it, your relationship was essentially broken. So after that point, he was probably just not into it at all. I wish couples would take things like having a baby more seriously (including married couples).

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    • Contraception can fail. In such a case, a difficult decision might have to be made. Moreover, they had plans of getting married eventually. Did he happen to have other thoughts, which he didn’t intend to share with her?
      The guy was sleeping with her and so, should take responsibility for parenthood too, if it happens! And it’s easy for a guy to demand an abortion – he’s not going through it, after all.

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      • I would say the guy needs to contribute as a dad, but he does not have to maintain a relationship with the OP. Any chance of that was ruined when they disagreed about having the child.

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        • How would you define ‘contribute’? Does it involve sharing parental responsibility and/or child support? This man clearly doesn’t want to have any of that either, so I am surprised he has been let off the hook!

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        • I mean financial support. I would think given how he never wanted the child, it’d not be fair to expect him to actually parent the kid. Eventually if he does want to share parenting responsibilities, good for him, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he did not do that.

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        • The guy should not have anything to do with my niece. He lost all his rights as a parent when he did not even bother turning up at her birth and when my sister needed him the most.

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  4. After reading first 3 comments…..Just a thought…… If this girl was not cute, had some congenital deforming malformations on face like cleft lip and facial hemi atrophy…….. …… wil it change?

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    • I would say it’s just a psychological statement. In don’t think anyone means the baby will win a beauty contest, they mean “cute” as in all babies are cute. But I agree, it’s a strange way of expressing that!

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    • I think people are commenting about the baby being cute because the OP kindly shared the picture and the baby is indeed cute.

      I knew a family who had a kid with a birth defect. An educated family. They absolutely doted on this kid. They almost loved it more than they would have if it was normal.. at least from what I could see. Obviously not all parents are like that.. to some parents a baby with a vagina is a birth defect. But most parents will love their baby nonetheless. Such is biology. Nothing sinister about calling a baby cute.. all babies are cute. The family I mentioned absolutely found their baby cute too.

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      • My thoughts seems to have disturbed some people. Let me make myself clear.
        The point of baby being beautiful or not is not relevant here. The comments though harmless and in good intention suddenly had an implication in my mind…. the baby should be protected because it is pretty…..May be my mind is to blame -:)
        Parents , close relatives will love equally or more not so pretty babies too.

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        • @Arun : Totally agree. That was my first reaction too – why bring up an irrelevant and superficial point here as the very first thing, pushing the crucial point of choice & responsibility to later?

          It may be harmless in immediate effect – but it has a way of permeating through psyches and make us lose focus. I wonder if the Indian obsession over fair skin too would have started with such initial harmless comments : “oh, how fair-skinned she is!” in a totally irrelevant context.

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        • Yep, it was a fair thing to bring up. Questioning our reactions is the only way we can unearth subconscious biases, if there are any.. so it’s good to question. I just thought I’d share a relevant example from real life (the only one I personally saw).

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        • @ Arun and conjecture girl, It could also be that they are merely being polite?
          Whenever we meet a friend with a new born baby, isn’t that the first thing we say? Whether we mean it or no….

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        • @sarkywoman : Yes, people are just being polite and have no intentions to say something superficial. That much is clear.

          I just happen to wonder if these things that we all take to “mean nothing” and just some nice words to say, have the potential to roll around, gather moss, and come back to us as scary biases. Deeply subconscious biases getting social approval and ending up finding a place in the not-so-deep subconscious mind?

          I mean, everybody reacts to a beautiful person instinctively as “he/she is so pretty”. That is natural. But if we keep putting it in words in all situations, however irrelevant, wouldn’t that evolve to be THE first reaction? And perhaps being the subject of those nice words becomes more important than other things?

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  5. Your baby is beautiful. And all that matters is that she has loving parents in her life. Considering the way her dad treated you, I suppose it’s for the best that she doesn’t have that negativity around in her life, and instead has a mum who loves her. I don’t think it matters HOW many parents one has, just that they love them, as you obviously do. Good luck.🙂

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  6. She is absolutely adorable, little bundle of joy🙂
    You are a very brave person. Stay strong just the way you are.
    Sending loads of good wishes and positive vibes to both of you🙂
    Yes, we don’t need such men in our lives!

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  7. You have a sweet little child there. Luckily, she is not going to be raised in India! Good luck with everything and may you hold on, no matter what happens.

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  8. Just curious, how does the law (of any given country) see this? Can the man be tried in court for this? What are his legal responsibilities towards the mom and the kids?

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      • And why would that be since it was solely the mother’s decision to have the child. In a marriage, the father of the child should take responsibility. But I dont understand the same logic in this situation.

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        • Marriage or no marriage, a child is the responsibility of both parents. (Unless the father is a sperm donor).

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        • @Reader:
          If the law says so then I think its unfair. The mistake is on both their sides for having unprotected sex. Now the solution for that is abortion which the mother was not willing to take for whatever reasons. Its like not willing to take medication / treatment after a road accident and wanting the other party to pay for your expenses for lifetime !
          Ya may be its a crude comparison but I believe you get the gist.

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        • Abortion is not the solution but an option. And since there always is the possibility of fathering a child while having sex, think before you act. Since he was part in the production, he should share finianical obliagations for the 18 years raising the child. Nothing more,nothing less. Actually alimony is a very small part compared to what a single mom has to put in. So if he doesnt want to see the kid, his loss but he should still be forced to put money up. Sex is not a road accident, but to be assumed to be consentual. If you want to dance,you have to prepared to pay the piper.

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        • @ anna
          “If you want to dance,you have to prepared to pay the piper.”
          Bad analogy. You pay the piper as long as the music lasts, not for all the music he plays for the next 18 years. He could always pay half for the abortion. Thats the limit of his obligation, unless he wants to partake in fathering the child. Besides, your line of reasoning is how apologists justify marital rape, “If she didn’t want to have sex, she shouldn’t have married in the first place.”.

          I understand that raising a child takes far more work than mere alimony, but then there is always a choice, isn’t it? She didn’t HAVE TO have a child, unless you use the argument that maternal instinct is inescapable (which again, would sound uncannily like rape apology).

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    • I don’t know exactly what the laws in NZ say about this but in the US and most other western countries, she can take him to court and ask for child support (as in sharing the financial cost of raising a child). Since they were never married, he has no legal responsibility towards the mother. He does have one towards his child until that child turns 18. It is inconsequential whether he likes it or not, the fact is that he is responsible for the creation of that child. If proved to be the father in court, he will be held financially responsible (partially) for it.

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  9. Cute baby.. and apart from paying child support for the life he helped!! creat i don’t see anything missing int his picture.
    — Both had sex – nothing wrong , they are after all consenting adults
    — Both didn’t take precautions – or it failed – whatever it’s failure on both their parts especially if they did not want a pregnancy.
    — he didn’t want the baby she did — again nothing wrong not everyone wants kids or has to have them if contraception fails
    — she wanted to get married he didn’t – again why should marriage be tied to this ? if they love each other and wantt o be with each other it’s diff. if he didn’t want kids and she did then it’s a major issue..

    so basically i see nothing wrong on either end. as long as he pays for child support ( he may not want the kid and contraception failed, etc, etc, but if you have sex you could have a kid and irrespective if you want or not you ahve to contibute financially)
    and no he doesn’t have to take an interest in the child or even acknowledge it. but he shouldn’t lie to his future spouse either – that is a moral issue and plain wrong.

    Whatever they may feel or need. the child is certainly lucky to have a responsible, accepting andloving parent and that’s all that matters.

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    • Agree with everything that you have said.
      Just curious though about the part where you say he needs to participate financially- Is this what the law says or do you say this because you feel this is the right thing for him to do?

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      • The only place I would disagree is where the dad has to pay financial support. If the father made his intentions about the baby clear before the pregnancy went past the allowed time line for abortion, or if the mother for some medical reasons cannot undergo abortion, then, he should be asked to pay.

        It was the choice of the mother and the mother alone. Though I respect and applaud her decision to take an unpopular stand because she felt it was the right thing to do, I do not think it is fair that the dad be asked to pay.

        Regarding him getting married, it is likely the bride does not know about it. The perils of arranged marriage. What can I say?

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        • Sex comes with a rare side effect called unplanned/unintended pregnancy. Every couple that mates should be aware of it be no matter what foolproof contraception they use. And the sad part is there is no insurance coverage for this accident like we have for crashes, fires and earthquakes; even those have clauses that state what is not covered.
          No matter what his intentions about being a biological parent he has to pay the child support (by law) because he was part of the mating exercise that came with potential side effect and the decision to continue or discontinue the term will and should always rest with the body that will carry it to term or will go under the knife.
          It is as simple as “you break it you buy it” why complicate the matters. You knocked someone now be ready to accept the consequences be it active or absentee parenting or abortion.
          It is interesting how a question is raised and the readers/comment writers take it into all directions.
          Peace,
          Desi Girl

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        • Clueless chick – I have to disagree. The decision to have an abortion or not is the choice of the mother and mother alone because it is her body that we are talking about. You can not make someone undergo a surgical procedure unwillingly. Period. Intentions without actions can only take you so far. Saying it was never my intention to have a kid “after” getting someone pregnant is like saying I never intended to hit this guy with my car but it happened and he is dead, but since I never intended it …I shouldn’t be held responsible for my actions. That simply is not how it works !

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        • @desigirl,
          //Sex comes with a rare side effect called unplanned/unintended pregnancy. //

          I was composing a reply to this post in bits and pieces since last night and wrote the same thing about sex and the side effect of pregnancy almost word for word. I hope that you think of it as a weird coincidence of two people having the same thought at the same time rather than as an attempt by me to take your words and make them my own.

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        • This is a tricky one but I agree with girlsguidetosurvival.

          We know that men and women are equally responsible for creating a baby, in case of consensual sex. The onus of failed contraception also falls on both. So, on face value, men cannot be absolved of the financial responsibility as it is a consequence to their own actions. They probably can be absolved of emotional support (if they don’t want the baby), but they cannot be absolved of all accountability for something that happened out of their willing participation in sex.

          For me, this is because abortion is not a straightforward yes or no. It’s a potentially serious surgical procedure, depending on how far along you are and the type of pregnancy you have. It could have serious implications for the mother’s body and mind, including death. So even if the dad wants the abortion, it’s not a straightforward choice for the mother. She might not really want a baby, but might have to decline it for medical reasons or because she doesn’t want surgery. The baby deserves to be taken care of financially and the father was as responsible for it’s creation as the mother.

          Picking up on concerns in other comments, could this lead to women tricking men into pregnancies just for getting money out of them? Perhaps. However, if that’s not the default/ primary scenario, it cannot blanket-absolve all men involved in unwanted pregnancies from financial responsibility. I imagine it would be very hard to prove later that the woman got pregnant on purpose and misled the man. Certainly a reason to be careful with contraception with partners you don’t trust.

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    • I agree, he needs to pay child support but other than that he owes her nothing.

      Also I don’t think the OP is in a position to judge whether his new girlfriend is aware of this kid or not. Given that they aren’t on good terms it’d be a near impossibility that she’s privy to their relationship details.

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    • phew. I read the post and then was going to write my comments after reading others’. As I read Radha’s I neednt add anyhting because she said exactly I had to say

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  10. What a lovely baby!

    Hats off to you, girl. You did the right thing, keeping your baby. It wouldn’t have been worth staying on with that spineless man. She’s lucky to have a courageous mum like you. All the best. and keep rocking!

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  11. I will like to raise a question here.

    Is this scenario not exactly why indian culture does not support pre-marital sex? Pre- marital sex might be an accepted choice on this forum, but in this case have not the choice failed miserably ? Has not the live-in relationship failed here?

    Also how fair is to blame the man here? He wanted abortion , she did not , so is it not fair that she takes the responsibility of the child ?

    This is why I have always been confused and ambivalent about pre-marital sex? Good fun till it lasts , what when the things go wrong?And this is also why I believe in marriage as strongly as I do, without it , it is ju
    st too easy to walk out.

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    • So people should get married so that they can start having sex? And if they marry in their thirties or if they never marry? Or does the no-sex before marriage rule applies only to women, because they are the ones who the society/Patriarchy blames?

      What happens to the children when marriages are abusive or violent?

      Also, what do you think happens to children born out of wedlock in India? Or in Afghanistan or any other nation where we see marriage as means to start having sex? From the baby and mother’s point of view – it’s better to support individual choices.

      Take a look,
      1. If she was born somewhere else…
      https://indianhomemaker.wordpress.com/2010/01/29/if-she-was-born-somewhere-else/

      2. “A clandestine, and irresponsible, affair may prove dangerous. A city girl learnt it the hard way,”

      https://indianhomemaker.wordpress.com/2011/07/12/a-clandestine-and-irresponsible-affair-may-prove-dangerous-a-city-girl-learnt-it-the-hard-way/

      3. What would Taliban say to Juno?
      https://indianhomemaker.wordpress.com/2009/04/04/what-would-taliban-say-to-juno/
      4. Teenage Pregnancies – not our culture…
      https://indianhomemaker.wordpress.com/2010/01/27/teenage-pregnancies-%e2%80%93-not-our-culture%e2%80%a6/

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      • Dear IHM, I will respond to yours and others response to my comments in this note itself

        @IHM//So people should get married so that they can start having sex?//
        Do I support & encourage pre-marital sex (PMS) – NO
        Do I say people should get married only for sex – NO
        Do I say people should remain celibate before marriage – NO

        I know my stand on PMS conflicts with each other . That is why in my note I had mentioned that I am ” Confused and Ambivalent” about PMS. Those two words cleary indicate that I do not have a clear stand on this. The truth is, I do not have the answers , I am seeking them. May be, each one of us needs to find their own answers.

        //Or does the no-sex before marriage rule applies only to women, because they are the ones who the society/Patriarchy blames? //
        Where have in my post, I made the difference between man & women with respect to PMS ?; for you to raise this question to me.

        //What happens to the children when marriages are abusive or violent? //
        You are extrapolating my strong support for marriage to support for abusive marriages also.Wrong assumption. I know the difference between the two, Just like my support for driving does not mean i support rash driving , or my support for alcohol consumption does not mean I support alcohol abuse.

        [IHM: If it is okay for married mothers in abusive marriages to raise their children as single parents, isn’t it also fine for unmarried mothers to raise their children as single parents?]

        //From the baby and mother’s point of view – it’s better to support individual choices. // I have read the various threads you have mentioned even before, as I have spent lots of time on your blog. I am not arguing against a women’s right to have a child, even outside marriage. I support individual choices, or rather believe they are the only choice, in reproductive rights. And I don’t think a single mother deserves to be isolated or discriminated against

        @Carvaka//I don’t see how the live-in or the pre-marital sex concept has failed here. Their relationship didn’t work out but both are happy and leading a good life.//

        The way I see it, the two had a relationship , but when it faced the acid test, the guy just bailed out. Without remorse, or making even a geniune effort to resolve the scenario. Simply because it was easy to do so, without the context of marriage. That is where the live-in relationship failed.To uphold people to their commitment ( or is that commitment not supposed to be there in this case ). Do you think the guy could/would have bailed out so easily if the two were married?

        I am not talking of the specific relationship here, but the general concept of live-in relationship here.How do you bind people to their commitment in a live-in relationship?

        //It’s only in Indian culture that live-in relationships are seen as a casual thing//
        This is the cultural difference . In US people can get sex much easily, and so to stick to one person is seen as commitment. In India It is reversed. People dont get one person to have sex with, so having a partner becomes a luxury, and without commitment – a casual thing

        //both are happy and leading a good life?// I don’t think this make a difference. Say a person get an accident, but recovers fully and is happy. Does that mean road safety has not failed?

        @Sanjana // But it IS his child and I feel he should definitely be held responsible for it by at least acknowledging it and providing financial assistance for raising the child.//

        From the guy’s perspective, he did not wanted the child. When she decided to give birth it was her decison and he does not hold himself responsible for its consequences. You can say that he caused the pregnancy, but his willingness to abort resolved him of his role, at least in his view.

        Is it right or wrong – who can say ?I cannot

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        • //The way I see it, the two had a relationship , but when it faced the acid test, the guy just bailed out. Without remorse, or making even a geniune effort to resolve the scenario. Simply because it was easy to do so, without the context of marriage. That is where the live-in relationship failed.To uphold people to their commitment ( or is that commitment not supposed to be there in this case ). Do you think the guy could/would have bailed out so easily if the two were married?//

          Regarding a guy bailing out during tough situations, my opinion is that I would not like to be married to a guy who stands by me only because there is a legal piece of paper that makes it difficult for him to get out. So, in a matter, live in relationships are the perfect way to weed out guys who will not survive the acid test.

          Secondly, why should the guy be “punished” ? No one, man or woman should be punished for having consensual sex. Yes, he changed his mind about marriage, and everyone is allowed to change their minds. Parenting and marriage should never be a punishment, especially because it ends up hurting other people than who it was intended for.

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        • [IHM: If it is okay for married mothers in abusive marriages to raise their children as single parents, isn’t it also fine for unmarried mothers to raise their children as single parents?]

          I am not disputing the women’s right to have the child or be a single mother. What I question is the wisdom of the PMS / Live-in Relationship, which could so easily lead to such unwanted and unpleaseant scenarios.

          Any relationship will have its ups and down.What is important is that the relationship provides the framework to go through the downs together till better time comes.This is where I doubt the Live-in-relationships , they do not seem to provide that framework, it is too easy to give up on the downs and walk away.

          Marriages tend to break when people go wrong. Live-in break when circumstances go wrong, even if people are right.Like this case.

          @cluelesschick//I would not like to be married to a guy who stands by me only because there is a legal piece of paper that makes it difficult for him to get out//

          Marriage is not just a legal piece of paper. It is an explicitly expressed socially declared, accepted and entered into commitment. And once you do that , you are much more likely to work on the commitment than move out; as compared to the live-in relationships where the promise is just limited between two individuals with no way to enforce it.

          Human emotions can be relied upon only that much, In stressful scenarios, even the best can be tempted to simply take the easy way out. Marriages counters this tendency.

          PS: I have given mutiple replies to this post and I do not want to hog or spam the post. Hopefully I have made my points clear and would not be needed to clarify again

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        • I also want to add that men and women are more than just penises and vaginas. That is exactly the idea of restricting pre marital sex propagates. No one talks about people bearing their souls to each other and then getting hurt when it does not work out. No one talks about how one feels betrayed after imaging an ever after with another person. Do people recover from those feelings just because they did not have sex?

          Yes, one of the unintended consequences of sex is an unwanted pregnancy. But today contraceptives are 99.9% effective. And there are after options available to people who want to purse those options. I would rather live with the person I love ( which involves a lot of other things apart from sex) and take my chances than live in fear.

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        • “Marriages tend to break when people go wrong. Live-in break when circumstances go wrong, even if people are right.Like this case.”

          I disagree. Any relationship is as good as the individuals in it. If a woman is married to a self-centred cad who shies away from investing in the marriage, then the marriage is as doomed as a live-in relationship with the same man.

          A caring, committed man or woman will be as committed and caring whether they are in a marriage or a live-in relationship.

          Its much instead, to choose your partner carefully, choose somebody who has the emotional stability and maturity to take the rough with the smooth.

          An immature, committment-phobic person will be a bad spose AND a bad live-in partner.

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        • @ biwo
          “If a woman is married to a self-centred cad who shies away from investing in the marriage, then the marriage is as doomed as a live-in relationship with the same man.”
          The implication does not always work in the reverse. I cannot speak for women, but from a male perspective, live-ins do not involve the same level of commitment as marriage. Hence, they are less likely to invest as much in a live-in relationship as they would in a marriage (one which involves alimony, child support, etc. which makes them think more seriously about getting involved). I think women instinctively know this, which is why in spite of my best efforts to maintain the status-quo, my past live-ins always ended up with the woman pressurising marriage and obsessing about ‘the future’ of the relationship. It is as expected as a hurricane every four years in United States.
           
          Commitment phobia is not synonymous with immaturity or self-centredness. They are completely unrelated aspects of life; some people might might be too pragmatic and independant to accept the social conditioning that see marriage is the ideal or family as the end goal of their existence. If thats not what you implied, then my apologies for misreading the implications.
           
          I agree with your advise that contraception shouldn’t be left to chance if the man is commitment phobe. Unfortunately, it doesn’t pan out that way in the real world, where at times where sex ‘just happens’ and where commitment phobes rarely wear a label in their foreheads that says, “Beware! You are not special enough to change my stance on relationships and commitment.” I find it amusing how the OP throught she could change his mind if he sees the baby. Talk of magical thinking…

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        • The way I see it, the two had a relationship , but when it faced the acid test, the guy just bailed out. Without remorse, or making even a geniune effort to resolve the scenario. Simply because it was easy to do so, without the context of marriage. That is where the live-in relationship failed.To uphold people to their commitment ( or is that commitment not supposed to be there in this case ). Do you think the guy could/would have bailed out so easily if the two were married?

          Someone could do exactly the same in a marriage.. people leave their families without much remorse in marriages too. I personally know marriages that broke because the guy had an affair or actually once had a separate family altogether. There are many acid tests for marriages too. ANY relationship can break. If you protect your assets, it’s better that it’s easier to leave live-in relationships so you’re not stuck for years in a broken relationship after it has died. Marriages are just as likely to fail but harder to leave. Hence so many people stuck in dead or abusive marriages in our country.

          I am not talking of the specific relationship here, but the general concept of live-in relationship here.How do you bind people to their commitment in a live-in relationship?

          Again, there is commitment in live-in relationships.. that’s the only reason you live with each other. I should know as I was in one. A marriage doesn’t always mean commitment (e.g. strangers in arranged marriages). A live-in relationship does, in cultures where it is common, because you stay together out of commitment, not a legal requirement. There’s a difference in being legally bound to someone and being committed to them and the two are not necessarily related.

          //It’s only in Indian culture that live-in relationships are seen as a casual thing//
          This is the cultural difference . In US people can get sex much easily, and so to stick to one person is seen as commitment. In India It is reversed. People dont get one person to have sex with, so having a partner becomes a luxury, and without commitment – a casual thing

          Yes, exactly.. so it’s better to look at places where live-in relationships are common already to see how the dynamics work. Live-in relationships are not about casual sex in the least. You would live by yourself if you wanted the freedom to have casual sex.

          //both are happy and leading a good life?// I don’t think this make a difference. Say a person get an accident, but recovers fully and is happy. Does that mean road safety has not failed?

          Well, if live-in relationships don’t have road safety, neither does marriage. Marriages are just as likely to fail, but they’re more difficult to leave. Extending your example, if you were in an accident and stuck in your car, would you rather be in a car that you can get out of and save yourself or in a car which keeps you trapped in and continues to crush your leg or something?

          All your points are based on two assumptions:
          1) Marriages are less likely to fail than other human relationships.
          I absolutely disagree with this. All relationships involving two people are equally likely to fail. It’s about the people, not about the relationship.

          2) Marriages are more ‘committed’ because they are harder to leave.
          I again disagree completely. Being stuck with each other legally while hating each other/ abusing each other is much worse than being together out of personal choice.

          Ofcourse there are good marriages too, just like there are good live-in relationships. Just equally likely for either to not work out. It’s difficult to understand live-in relationships in the traditional Indian framework as one has no choice in partners there whatsoever so any choice (even to commit to one person) becomes frivolous. Look at live-in relationships from the perspective of a culture or a generation that believes it has the choice to find it’s partner (or partners), and you see how live-in relationships are committed.

          Like

    • Well, I don’t think this has anything to do with their being married or not. Just that for some reason the OP decided that because she was having a baby (despite that not being a joint decision), she wanted to get married right away. So it was her assumption that having a baby warranted an immediate marriage that was out of normal here. People have out-of-wedding babies all the time, it’s no big deal.

      And in any case, marriages are not permanent either. Couples with kids get divorces all the time.

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    • Well, the guy didn’t want the baby, the girl did. And they made their own choices. There is no blaming the man for choosing to not want the baby. But it IS his child and I feel he should definitely be held responsible for it by at least acknowledging it and providing financial assistance for raising the child.

      As she rightly said, being a single mother is difficult. She works 6 days a week. He should at least pay for day-care and health etc.
      People need to start taking responsibility for their actions. He did the deed, he has a child now, whether he wanted to or not. He must man-up and put in his bit to care for her too.

      Discouraging pre-marital sex would not make sense, as we have clearly seen the effect that has on our society and in places like Saudi Arabia where segregation of the sexes is taken to crazy levels!

      Like

    • I don’t see how the live-in or the pre-marital sex concept has failed here. Their relationship didn’t work out but both are happy and leading a good life. The OP has a lovely baby and if she wants to find a partner in the future, I’m sure she will be able to, where she lives. The guy in question is already engaged to be married, so he’s fine too. How has anything failed here?

      If you mean that the live-in or the pre-marital sex failed because the OP ended up a single parent out of it.. well, married couples with kids get divorced too. There is a never a guarantee that a relationship (marital or otherwise) will work out. Indian marriages are as likely to fail as western marriage/ live-in relationships so the OP could still have ended up a single parent that way too. Lower divorce rates do not mean successful marriages (and are rising as people have more financial independence).

      A bit off the topic, but I have something to say about live-in relationships. I lived with my now husband before marriage for many years. It’s only in Indian culture that live-in relationships are seen as a casual thing. In the west (where it is common), it’s very much a sign of commitment. You are getting to know the person and adjusting to their quirks etc. You are destroying chances of casual sex as you can’t really bring another girl/ guy home or spend the night away. You move all your stuff together and set up shared bills/ mortgages/ rent. There’s nothing casual about it.

      For us, it was a great decision as it gave us time to focus on ourselves and our career. If a live-in relationship works, you know each other and yourself really well by the time you marry. We were already one unit when we married and never had issues with parental/ social interference, etc. If it doesn’t work, better a break-up than a divorce with the stigma and legal issues involved. This doesn’t quite apply to India yet where live-in relationships are not socially accepted, which is a shame from my perspective. It’s absolutely better to live together before you marry.

      Like

    • @ Carvaka
      I agree that live-ins are a good way to try out a relationship before you go for more formal commitments. Your anecdotal situation is the ideal, but most Indian people don’t have that kind of moral clarity or honesty about pre-marital relationships, to make live-ins a viable option.
       
      For instance, for a lot of men in urban India who live far from their homes, live-ins are treated as a good way to get home cooked food, their clothes washed and the house taken care of. The women at times, don’t complain about the unfairness of it all, if they think confronting their partner might make him less willing to commit (for marriage). Also, because of the stigma against pre-marital sex in India, particularly for women, they also tend to stay silent when domestic abuse happens in live-in relationships, just to keep their ‘sin’ hushed up so that their ‘value’ in the marriage market stays intact. The latter is more common in relationships involving North Indian women.

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      • @AI, yes totally and many times Indian marriages involve men wanting just a cook and a maid (and sex) and women put up with abuse in case the husband divorces them. That is similarly a big stigma for the woman too. Obviously living together (or any per-marital relationships) are social less accepted but other than that, marriages can be abusive or one-sided for the exactly same reasons.

        I guess if live-in relationships become common, it will have to be along with other cultural changes too. Personally, my relationship is/was an equal one at all levels, be it dating or living together or being married. That leads me to think that it’s about the people involved, not the type of relationship really. I don’t mean it depends on the goodness of people’s hearts (that too) but on how self-dependent and ‘equal’ they believe they are. Until women stop putting up with unequal relationships (live-in or marital), there will be men who take advantage. If I am willing to give, why wouldn’t someone take?

        It has to start with women being more self dependant and standing up for themselves for relationship dynamics to change (live-in or marital). Perhaps more fundamentally it needs girls’ parents to treat them ‘equal’ and offer them every opportunity they would offer a boy. I really believe the change here starts from women and their parents, rather than men and their parents.

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        • I wish more women thought like you Carvaka, myself included. So many Indian women are conditioned to believe that marriages are fundamentally unfair and unqual and that men “are like that only”.

          If women don’t demand more of the men in their lives, why will the men offer more if they can get away with offering less.

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        • Biwo, you hit the nail on the head with ‘men “are like that only”’. This is said so much and by so many people that it really sounds undeniable.

          One of my friends always seems to find one abusive partner after another. She continues to blame herself and says “love/ marriage is sacrifice.. I should have adjusted”. She puts up with their initial small unfair demands and then it just escalates as the relationship grows.

          Before things came to a head with the last guy, she once laughingly said ‘he pushed me because I talked back to him.. but men have to have some ‘male ego’.. otherwise they will be women (!)’. That, in a nutshell, is why she finds these jerks. She just won’t see it. Hopefully, she will, eventually. As an outsider, the most ironic thing is that she was the better looking, better earning, better educated partner. Just not the more confident one.

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        • @ Carvaka
          I am glad you pointed out what her ‘problem’ is. A similar observation from a man would have him attacked for being in the same league as those who ask her to ‘adjust’. If people find abusive partners after abusive partners, the problem might not be men/women in general, but the kind of men/women they fall for.
           
          Your friend needs professional therapy, to change her socially conditioned paradigm that it is right for men to get physical when she ‘talks back’ because ‘men have egos’. As someone trained in psychology and a socio-cultural observer, I don’t think male egos are all that different from female egos. The only difference is cultural, some cultures give some men too much license to act like delinquents, which is where the problem lies.

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        • @AI, yes ‘ego’ is not an extra appendage men are born with. It’s certainly not fundamentally different for men and women, as you say. Men are just culturally given more cultural leeway to act that way (‘men are like that only’).

          As an independent woman, she or I can decide not to continue giving that leeway and not accept such behaviour. As long as we put up with it, there is no incentive for these men/ MILs/ whoever to stop taking advantage of it.

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        • Carvaka, I see shades of myself in your friend.🙂
          I’ve come to believe that the Law of Attraction really works.
          If a woman has low self-esteem and doesn’t respect herself, she is GOING to attract a man that treats her badly.

          Women often reward bad behavior in their partners in the hope that it’s an isolated incident.
          Many realise, too late, that too many instances of inconsiderate, disrespectful behavior form a pattern that’s hard for the man to break out of.

          AI, a big thank you. You’re finally confirming what I suspected anyway. That the fabled and mythical male ego is just a smokescreen that some men choose to hide behind.

          It’s not a default condition associated with biological maleness, as many Indians believe.:)

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    • “Also how fair is to blame the man here? He wanted abortion , she did not , so is it not fair that she takes the responsibility of the child ? ”
      ———–No one blames him for not wanting to be a parent, he can feel free to relinquish his paternal rights entirely if he wants to. What he can’t do is run away from the financial responsibility of the life that he helped create. It is as simple as that. No one can force him to be in a relationship with the mother of his child but he can be made to pay child support. As far as the mother being responsible for the child goes, in this case she already is.

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    • Indian culture does not support pre-martial sex because it glorifies virginity and making it to be something that women have to treasure and sometimes guard with their lives.

      It is fair to blame the man too because he was 50% responsible for the baby being made. If he did not want a baby then it becomes HIS responsibility to make sure that he does not have a baby. Either he should have not had sex at all or taken precautions. himself. He cannot blame the woman if either his means of conception failed or if the woman was entirely responsible for she was careless about it.

      “This is why I have always been confused and ambivalent about pre-marital sex? Good fun till it lasts , what when the things go wrong?”

      I think most of these problems can be solved with a little bit of education and a sprinkling of common sense.

      What do we do if we want to play cricket? We learn about the basics of the game.
      Get equipment that will help us play and prevent injury.

      Why not apply the same rules to sexual activity as well. Wouldn’t a little bit of education and some precaution make sexual activity fun not only in the moment for even afterwards.

      People who are married have abortions too and married men and women have also abandoned their families in many cases. So marriage does not insulate anyone against abandonment or guarantee that every pregnancy will be carried to term.

      What provides insulation is commitment, a sense of belonging in the relationship, love for the partner and feeling responsible for the well being of the partner.

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      • Oops! I meant to say…
        Either he should have not had sex at all or taken precautions. himself. He cannot blame the woman if either his means of conception failed or if the woman was entirely responsible for preventing pregnancy and she was careless about it.

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    • Many Indians get married exactly due to those reasons. Marriage is seen to be a legitimate way of having sex on demand.

      If sex were decoupled from marriage, people’s sexual behavior would become more freely and responsibly chosen. You seem to think all Indian marriages are strictly monogamous with no philandering on the side.

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  12. I heard your side of the story. Something doesn’t add up.
     
    1) Did you both plan on eventually getting married, or is it something you believed was the eventual outcome of your relationship?
    2) Since he wasn’t willing to father the baby, did he make the promise of being with you during the childbirth, out of his own will? Without pressure?
     
    Unless we change the current biological reality where men don’t have much of a choice whether the woman chooses to have the baby or not, we cannot hold a man responsible for a child, if he is unwilling to be a father. Or hold him hostage to implied contracts, “if I am pregnant, you have to marry me” OR “if we have sex, you have to marry me”.
     
    But I think, you are well within your rights to tell his future wife that you have his baby and let her decide if she wants to marry him or not. Don’t fall for the claptrap that ‘it is his loss’, unless you make it his loss. He is not losing anything if he does is getting married to a woman after abandoning you and does not face any consequence for his actions.

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    • I am ambivalent about holding men responsible- financially or otherwise- for children they never wanted in the first place, especially when as I woman, can technically be absolved of all responsibility toward a child I’m unprepared for- whether termination or adoption.
      I guess there the bottom line is that there are certain biological differences between men and women that even complete social equality in all other respects cannot overcome. The only ‘solution’ is that women actively and sensibly use contraception- and have a think about what they will do if an unexpected pregnancy occurs- before it happens.
      I’d also like to salute the OP- she’s made choices that were hard, and also very brave!

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      • I agree. Nature has given males a little more freedom in the matter of parenting and raising offspring.

        It’s easier for them to walk away from unwanted parenthood than it is for women.
        That’s why there are more deadbeat dads than there are deadbeat moms.

        All the more reason that women pick their sexual partners with greater care and discuss beforehand how their partner will respond to an unplanned pregnancy, if it occurs.

        If the man is a commitment-phobe, then unprotected sex should not ever be an option.

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      • I completely agree. Forcing a man to take responsibility for a child that he did not want in the first place will also create incredible resentment. It may make the man sue for custody or otherwise seek revenge. They have such laws in the western countries. But their family courts are also clogged up with messy custody battles.

        I believe that the best way at the end of a relationship (which has produced an unexpected pregnancy) would be:
        1. If possible, negotiate a reasonable financial settlement with or without legal help. Indian women may feel too proud or virtuous to do so.🙂
        2. Go your own way and do the best you can for yourself and your child
        3. Don’t interfere in the man’s future like telling his wife etc. If he wishes to be dishonest, that’s his business. If he decides to get vengeful, he can make your life and your child’s life very unpleasant.

        I wish the courageous lady all the best. I think many suppressed Indian wives and daughters-in-law would secretly envy her if they knew of her situation. At least she doesn’t have to put up with a spoilt, insensitive husband, manipulative in-laws and a narrow-minded society. She should consider herself very fortunate.

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  13. Dear mail writer,

    I am glad your baby has a very loving and responsible parent in you and wishing the lil one the very best. Also many kudos to your courage and strength in making a choice of bearing the child and raising her. However, what I really feel bad is that you chose to wait for him to have a change of heart and suffered all the bad treatment meted out by him during pregnancy. WHY ? The moment he expressed his intentions of not going ahead with the child birth and insisting on an abortion you should have realised that he was never interested in any long term relationship despite claiming to get married eventually. That should have rung a bell and you must have categorically stated that having a child is my choice and you are free to walk away or stay happily instead of going through the mental trauma. Anyways, the past is done and you and your child are indeed better off without him. Stay happy always.
    PS :You can try and inform the future wife about this and warn her of what she is getting in to.

    Like

      • “Well, actually, I don’t think the LW should tell her ex’s fiancée about their child simply because it’s non of her business.”
        It is his fiancee’s right to know. She needs to know what she is getting into, in terms of having a man without much of a paternal instinct OR a future inheritance dispute. If he is deceptive about his past, LW could do a good service to his finacee by making her aware of it. What his fiancee wants to do with that information, is ultimately, her business.

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        • HI,

          I don’t think anyone is disputing the woman’s right to know. The question to ask is whether it’s the letter writer’s duty or responsibility to let the woman know.

          It is the man’s responsibility to reveal any and all information that will affect his future spouse and their lives together, Then it is also the responsibility of the woman and her parents to “investigate” the groom before saying yes to getting married.

          These days everyone knows someone who works or lives in these parts of the world and its actually easy to find a lot about someone just by knowing some basic facts about them.

          The only responsibility the LW has not deny the truth when asked.

          Like

  14. In answer to IHM’s question :

    “How easy would this choice have been if this young, courageous mom was living in India?”

    This choice would obviously have been extremely difficult if not impossible.
    The orthodox elders of my generation in India would obviously argue as follows:

    1)Sex before marriage is wrong per Indian traditions.
    2)Living together instead of getting married is also wrong per Indian traditions.
    3)Both knew this and yet decided to live together and have sex.
    4)With all the modern methods to prevent conception freely available, it was rather careless on the woman’s part to get pregnant.
    5)Even though the pregnancy was an accident, the consequences could have been escaped if there had been agreement on abortion. Even if abortion is wrong in the eyes of some, sex outside marriage is also wrong and one more wrong would not have mattered. This woman is being selective in deciding what is wrong and what is okay.
    5)This fundamental disagreement between the couple on the issue of abortion makes the couple ineligible to have a happy life together as a couple.
    6)The man made his preference for abortion clear very early on and this is an extenuating fact and now he should not be forced to accept the child if he does not want to.
    7)Just as he cannot force an abortion on the woman, the woman cannot force a child on him.
    8)It is the woman’s bad luck (or “kismat”) that she chose such a man for a partner and later ran into a situation like this.
    8)When she has no sympathy from her own family, what can she possibly expect from others?
    8)She has no option but to go it alone in facing this situation. Her “mistake” has also deprived her innocent baby of a father which the baby is entitled to.
    9)May this be a lesson for all modern young women.

    I am sure all of IHM’s readers will be up in arms when they read this cruel and inconsiderate comment. But this is not my opinion. I am merely predicting the usual reaction from traditional Indian society.

    And now, let me give my personal opinion and advice.

    a)I salute the email writer’s courage to go ahead with what she believed in even if she did not have the support of the man and her own family.

    b)If the law of the land makes it obligatory for the man to support the child, she must follow it up to it’s logical conclusion. The man, even if he was unwilling to have the child, cannot disown his offspring. He must pay for the maintenance of the child.

    c)The email writer and her baby are better off without a husband/father like this man. Even if the man has a change of heart later and offers to marry her she must reject him.
    Time will heal the wounds and hopefully in the country she lives in, she will find another person to partner her and who will also accept her daughter. From the picture of the daughter that has been posted, I don’t think that should be difficult.

    I wish the email writer and her baby all the best.
    Regards
    GV

    Like

      • Hello DG!
        Yes, I admit, it’s been a long time. I am out of Bangalore now and stationed at California.
        I was following your blog, when you wrote regularly but I noted that of late there were long gaps between your posts.
        During the past year, I had to cope with some health issues too and this made me limit the time I spend on blogs and I was compelled to be selective in reading and following blogs.
        IHM’s blog is my favourite blog because of the quality of the comments and the extent of participation from a wide cross section of readers.
        I must publicly acknowledge the fact once again, that it was you who brought me here and made me aware of this blog.
        Thanks! I have made quite a few friends here and some even correspond privately with me.
        I will resume following your blog. I just read your latest post “GGTS is 3”.
        Congratulations on completing three years!
        Regards and best wishes
        GV
        Camp: Fremont, California.

        Like

  15. @ desidaaru12
    “…when as I woman, can technically be absolved of all responsibility toward a child I’m unprepared for- whether termination or adoption.”
    Bingo! I used to be more amivalent about CS till I remember reading a Daily Mail article a couple of years back, which did one on women who deliberately get pregnant, lied about being on birth control and seek child support payments. A lot of these women were in the bottom rung of the economic ladder and justified their decision with platitudes like, “I thought would have made a great daddy. He just needed a push’ OR ‘What can I do? I wanted to have a kid, my biological clock is ticking and he wouldn’t commit.”
     
    The last one reeks of the same attitude as rape apologists, who often use biological drive as a justification for what is a crime against a person. I think the onus of contraception should be emphasised on men as well, since the state would rarely ever accept a man’s decision not to be a baby daddy. For those who want to make a Kohlberg’s Stage 3 appeal to law – just because it is a law doesn’t mean it is ethical or fair.

    Like

    • Well, child support, in all fairness, means different things in different places. In the UK , the bulk of it is state-payable to the single mother- and you really dont need to depend on the baby daddy. I’m not so familiar with the USA, but I think the father is responsible for paying support.

      Unwanted pregnancies are in my opinion, one of the toughest dilemmas any young woman can face- young men , to a much lesser extent.

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  16. Good you did not decide to abort the child and buy a groom for yourself as famously as it happens in patriarchal keralite societies! As for the guy having a say in your abortion, well since he wasnt responsible and sensible enough to support you its amazing that you dint give two hoots to his advice! As IHM said in the previous comments, it is great to support individual choices! And you did the right thing! I am in awe of daring mall girls like you! You guide the many who buy themselves grooms in the arranged marriage system and then crib about how things could have been better for them, had it happened some other way! A word of respect for you from an enraged malayalee dame! Keep shining!😀

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  17. The couple were together in everything right from living in up to the failure of contraception, if they were using any. Then how does it suddenly become only the woman’s responsibility when she becomes pregnant?

    Does having consensual sex imply that the woman consented/accepted to bear alone the responsibility of any unplanned outcome of the sexual act? If the couple had a talk on whether or not to have a baby in case of an accidental pregnancy before having sex, then the woman cannot complain that the guy deceived her. But as is apparent from the email, all they planned was to get married in a year or two. What made the guy refuse marriage once the woman got pregnant is something to be questioned. Would the woman have consented for sex if the guy hadn’t agreed for marriage in the first place is something she can only tell.

    Bringing marriage into it is useless because the woman is much better off not marrying such a guy. But the guy agreed to marriage, as told in the email, which may have led to the woman agreeing to having sex with him. Which becomes a case of fraud on the guy’s part IF the woman expected him to marry her.

    A woman should have the right to decision on getting an abortion because it is her who has to undergo the procedure and not the man. Abortion is not like having an enema. It has serious physical and mental after effects even if a woman voluntarily has an abortion.

    The woman had the courage to tell her father about the pregnancy which is something extremely difficult as a girl wherever on earth she resides. But the guy didn’t even have the guts to tell his parents that he had parented a child, even if it would or would not be troublesome. It is simple for a guy to walk away saying he is not responsible for a pregnancy. But it is not possible for a woman to say so because she is actually the one getting pregnant.

    As for informing the guy’s prospective wife about his child out of wedlock, she should be informed. Not for the sake of any revenge or malice on the ex girlfriend’s part but solely for the benefit of the unsuspecting girl who may face a similar situation even after marriage to that guy.

    Would the scenario be a bit different had the child been a male? Just wondering.

    Like

    • I agree with you that the new wife should be told about the child. She has a right to know what type of guy she is marrying. Also what if the child decides to search for her father when she is grown up? That would be more of a shock – imagine being married to a guy for 20 yrs or so and then his daughter shows up out of the blue????

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    • Yes, they had decided to get married- but that does not automatically imply that they decided to have a child together as well- I quote from the OP-“Our plan was that eventually we would get married in a year or two. Getting pregnant was never a part of the plan.”
      In this situation(when both didn’t want a baby), it is tricky to lay responsibility at the guy’s door. All a woman can really do is choose if she wishes to change her mind about parenthood or not. Hoping that the guy will change his mind when you have already discussed and ruled out having children is optimistic at best and pointless at worst- be it boyfriend or even husband. The responsibility , unfortunately, is mostly the woman’s- nature has decreed it so and no amount of hand wringing over men ‘manning-up’ will change it.

      The other option is to legally force payments out of this man but that will not generate any real sense of love in his heart for his child.
      Ultimately, this story is more about how a bad partner can make a tough time worse (re: his treatment of her during the pregnancy, failing to keep his promise, hiding his past from his future wife), and less about him not wanting to be a parent- he could have done that without being such a jerk. Let’s not conflate the two.

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  18. You are truly a brave woman. It can’t be easy being an unwed, single mother. Hats off to you! I want to say that you will find a better guy… but I no longer think that every woman can only be happy with the right guy (thanks to IHMs blog) so instead, I wish you and your daughter a wonderful life.

    Regarding the woman he is marrying knowing about the child, I think she has the right to know. After all, your daughter may want to know who her father is and decide to seek him out when she is older and the woman will end up with an unpleasant surprise if it happens 10-20 years later.

    Knowing about your partners child born out of wed-lock and marrying them with your eyes open —-> better than —> getting married and then finding out after a few years.

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  19. I read a lot of comments here, some of them even say its OK for the guy to not want the baby….Seriously…how does that fit in anywhere…if its OK to have SEX and live with a girl (isn’t that an indication of Love…..if not, I don’t understand this world), If Yes, and if the result is a pregnant girl and if she wants the child, how in the world can you leave her alone and settle with another girl. This kind of an irresponsible person in my perception is not fit to marry anyone and be a parent. How could he even be able to face his wife everyday knowing that he has a child somewhere which she is not even aware of. First he cheated the girl he slept with ( its not that he did not wanted to be married and have a family, he just did not want to marry this girl he was sleeping with) and now he is cheating his wife…..What a LOSER!!
    Gosh, I am loosing my mind right now!!

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    • It’s strange, but true – a woman’s approach to relationships is vastly different from a man’s. A man can have sex with a woman without having any kind of feelings for her. But a woman will find it tough to sleep with a man and not expect anything in return. Sex for sex’s sake, is how a man, not a woman, would look at it. (If I’m wrong, I apologize in advance.)

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      • On the same note, something intrigues me – A woman who sleeps around willingly (with no persuasion needed) is disparagingly called a ‘slut’ by men. And, a woman who does the same for money, is again denigrated as a ‘whore’. Plus, a woman who likes to be courted but does not agree to get into bed is a ‘freeloader’.
        So, what kind of woman is acceptable to men? Apart from their mothers and sisters, who occupy a different dimension altogether, no woman can be good enough for a man!

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        • Its a paradox. The male equivalent is the dating paradigm of today’s world; where to court a woman, a man has to show he is trustworthy and ‘not after that one thing’, by not pursuing sex. But then, when he doesn’t pursue sex, he doesn’t get sex because she ends up wondering if he is gay or ‘has issues’.

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      • Men give love to get sex and women give sex to get love eh?
        That’s a dangerous generalisation that has harmed both genders. Due to this sterotype, men are seen as sex-obsessed maniacs while women are believed to be chaste little touch-me-nots.

        I’ve had casual sex with a man whom I found attractive with absolutely no expectation of marriage or of being loved. Neither did he. It was just about sexual pleasure.

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        • That’s a generalisation, yes, but given a sample, you’d find more men willing to indulge in sex with a stranger than you would women. The reasons may vary from social conditioning to personal preference. This doesn’t apply to celebrities, of course, what they like is beyond the scope of the average person.

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        • @Reader.. well, no, that is a generalisation. It heavily depends on the geography, financial status, education (or sex education), access to contraception and and age of your sample. For example, you would find drastically different results amongst young British university goers compared to middle aged Afghan rural folk. It is really not a universal rule.

          Attaching psychological characteristics (like how someone perceives relationships, how ‘logical’ some is and so on) to a gender is a pitfall. It’s stereotyping based on anecdotal hearsay or cultural expectations. Psychological characteristics have statistically been shown to shift with women’s increasing independence in the west, proving that they are not an absolute. An example of changing perceptions: http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode.cfm?id=attitudes-towards-sex-are-changing-12-08-19

          The biological differences are absolute because they can be demonstrated to exist despite age, background, other differences in the sample. They remain even with celebrities you see. That’s the scientific requirement to empirically prove something. For psychological characteristics that change with variations in the sample, it’s better not to stereotype these characteristics to a gender and to consider everyone as an individual.

          Like

    • Why is it not OK to NOT want a baby? And why should agreeing to marriage mean agreeing to babies? What if the case was that the lady got pregnant and did not want the baby, but the guy wanted the baby. Would she be a LOSER?

      Yes, they both had sex. They both are responsible for deciding / agreeing on the course of action. It is a totally different issue if it was too late for anything. But there were options on the table. The lady here specifically chose an option the guy was not OK with. It certainly makes their relationship incompatible. If he has not told his future wife about it, THAT makes him a jerk. Not the fact that he did not want a baby.

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      • Nothing wrong in calling him a loser, if he doesn’t acknowledge his child who’s already been born. He will love his future children because they are ‘legitimate’ and born of a woman he loves enough to marry, but he couldn’t care less for a child born of this woman – who was once his girlfriend, not just a one-night stand!

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  20. Dear letter writer,

    I am so sorry that you had to go through so much emotional turmoil during your pregnancy. It’s hard being the parents of a newborn dealing with sleepless nights and a baby who needs attention almost the entire time. I cannot even imagine how hard it must be for you working 6 days a week and then taking care of the baby too.
    But, why do you have to work 6 days a week? Is it because of the nature of your job or is it because you are doing it to make ends meet?
    If it’s just the nature of your job, I’d recommend that you take a tiny step back, take some time off for yourself and just try to heal and process what has happened over the past few months. If you are working 6 days a week just to make ends meet and provide for the baby then it’s time to ask the dad to pitch in if he is still in New Zealand.
    You mention that getting pregnant was never the plan, then how did you guys end up pregnant? Did birth control fail or did you guys not use birth control at all? If you both did not use birth control, then I don’t think your ex has anything to complain about and it was wrong for him to compel you to have an abortion.
    (I also wish that people would stop thinking of abortion as some sort of magic wand or an eraser that clears the slate. While abortion can be life saver for many women, it is still an invasive procedure that carries the risk of infection, scarring, future infertility and in some cases even death. I’d rather people were more into education and prevention than abortion.)
    But if it was birth control that failed, I don’t think he was wrong in considering abortion as an option, just like you asked him to marry you, although I maintain that coercion is still wrong. I also think that while the final decision to carry the baby to term or not lay with you, it was your responsibility to give your ex a fair hearing which I don’t know if you did.
    Having said that, you need to set the legal process in motion that would make your child eligible for what she in entitled from the other parent. Its high time people realize that one of the side effects of sexual intercourse is getting pregnant and birth control can fail either because of improper usage or failure to use at all. So it is morally not right and most of the time legally impossible to shirk parental responsibilities at least when living in developed countries.
    I do not know the exact law of the land in NZ but here in the USA, if the parents are unmarried and the father has not voluntarily signed the birth certificate with his name, then parents have to go through a process called “legitimizing” the child where the court would most likely order a DNA test and based on the results confirm paternity. This would make the child eligible for child support, insurance coverage, social security/ military benefits and inheritance.

    Also, please do not contact your ex’s girlfriend to let him know that he has fathered a child with you. While the woman most definitely needs to know about it, you do not owe the woman this information. It is the duty of your ex to tell her or for her and her parents to find out. It would have been a different case had she been your friend or relative. Also the only way for you to obtain information about his personal life is to get it from mutual friends, extensive and detailed internet research or snooping which may or may not be illegal and depending on where you live he could land you in trouble for harassment.
    Even if you do end up contacting her and she in turn breaks off the engagement, what next? It may make you feel a little better but what after that? Your ex will most likely view it as an act of jealousy and malice by you. And you will end up hurting any chances of your daughter having a relationship with her father in the immediate or near future. Also, what about the next woman or the one after? So by contacting her and making her reject him, you may win the battle but not the war.
    Your only concern should be to make sure that he is up to date on his child support payments and making sure that you get full physical and legal custody of your child so that you can make any and all decisions for her. Any time and effort that you put into any activity here on should be for you to heal or to make your child’s and your life better.
    I also urge you for the sake of your child to rather maintain a cordial or civil relationship with your ex. What he did was not the most honorable thing to do. People react in different ways to life changing situations, you chose to fight and he chose flight. But thank god that parenting is not a 100m sprint, but rather a long marathon with second and third chances. It also never hurts to have another person on your side even if he takes up parental duties only during emergencies. I am not asking you to forgive and forget what he did to you, but to not alienate the child from the father if he chooses to be in her life.
    Lastly I want to request the LW and commentators on the forum to google the story of Steve and Lisa Jobs. Lisa is the oldest daughter Steve Jobs and he refused to acknowledge for years and her mother even went on welfare to support herself and the child. He eventually acknowledged her and she even came to live with him and his wife during her teens and was even rumored to be by his bedside when he died.

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  21. Pingback: Being a single mom | The Era I lived in

  22. I absolutely admire OP for being the person she is. She made a choice, stood by it and told her father. I wish we had parents who instead of ‘coming around’ to it are proud to have such strong child and show full confidence in them. Having said that I also wish we had men who would realise that only a woman has right to her body and it is upto her whether she keeps the baby or aborts it because it is her body that is going to be affected either ways. He is well within his rights to state his wish whether he wants the child or not but ultimately it’s the woman’s decision. Also not everybody wants a child so just as its completely okay for her to decide if she wants the baby its okay for him to not be part of raising the child. But since he was part of the accident he has pay for child support. Childsupport is for the being for he was equally responsible to bring into this world though invlountarily. Also if he has not told his fiance about the child that would be something entirely deplorable.

    When I was reading about it another thought came to my mind. Though he has right to walk out of the relationship and he would feel perfectly justified doing it (maybe not honorable but justified). How would he feel in retrospect after few years. When we are young we are not quite ready for lot of responsibilities and there is nothing wrong in that. There are so many things one would like to do and responsibilities like childrearing would come in the way, so one may think. But after few years when one has done quite a lot in terms of having fun and taken on responsibilies even more daunting. When one thinks back and that problem,would not seem as big as it was then or might not even feel like a problem. How would a person feel then. Would he wish he had done things differently? He may or may not. I dont know what made me think all this. Maybe I was putting myself in his shoes because even I dont have motherly instincts and am made to feel bad about it by some people.

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      • Chasinghope,

        Nicely put question. I often wonder the same thing. I love kids, I have baby sat at least 3 of my cousins and adore them (and they adore me back😀 )

        BUT, I don’t want to have kids. Babysitting your cousins for a couple of days is far, far different than being their mother. I don’t see myself making that kind of sacrifice – the sleepless nights, being responsible for another human beings every little need. It scares the hell out of me. I really don’t like having anyone dependent on me. I like my independence and the freedom that I have as a Single girl.

        This is very different from me in my teenage years when I wanted to have a 100 kids (Yes, exactly 100😉 and I had a little diary in which i wrote down NAMES of my kids too. Btw, I was very generous too, of those 100, 50 would be adopted)

        So, I also wonder. Will I regret this decision? What if I am in my late thrities/forties and suddenly feel an urge to have kids? I used to read women’s era magazines when I was a teen because I loved their short stories, then stopped reading them because that magazine is too darn conservative… Anyway, why I bring up that magazine is – I read a story in it in which a “career” woman who chose not get married and have kids is shown to regret her “empty” life. (I told you – conservative)

        But, then I came to the conclusion – It’s OK to not have kids. I KNOW I am not ready for that responsibility right NOW and it is better for a person like me to not have kids rather than have kids and inflict them with an irresponsible mother like me. If and when I am ready to have kids and it is too late biologically to have kids – I can ALWAYS adopt!🙂

        And hey, if you can’t adopt, you can always marry one of these mama’s boys that we have available in India😉😀

        Like

        • Very true, IHM. That story started my disgust with the magazine, soon many similar ones followed…

          One that really got my blood boiling was about a young tennis player who wanted to wear short skirts to play tennis. Her grandmother was against it and she has a fight about it in front of her soon to be fiance. She goes to her room to cry and the boy follows her. She sits up and tries to pull her “Short skirt” lower…. and the guy says “So, you have at least some sense of decency. I thought you were completely shameless” (!!!!) And then, the story proceeds with the girl changing into a salwar kameez to go play tennis with the same guy…. whom the girl ends up marrying.

          >> Tennis.
          >> In a Salwar Kameez.
          >> In Indian Heat.

          And the very fact that the whole World gets to tell the girl what she ought to wear and not wear.

          We don’t really have a proper Women’s Magazine in India. Maybe you should start one, IHM. It would totally Rock!😀

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  23. This story reminded me of a recent Daniel Steel book that I read called ‘Happy Birthday’. Though the story had a happy ending, I am sorry that was not the case with you. It is an incredibly brave decision to have a child alone. Many probably would have given it up for adoption. Bringing up a kid is very difficult even with two parents around and for a single parent it is very difficult.

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  24. I was looking over google about topic of child – out of wedlock and I came across on your blog. It turn out we have same case..same situation! My Indian boyfriend and I was living together in Somewhere in Middle east. I got pregnant last year and same thing he advise to me, If I am not ready, we need to abort the baby.. He said that we could not marry as because of their tradition, he could not marry me because we are different in terms of religion and tradition. He must follow his religion. I defended my baby, I went back home but still talking to him and he even supported my pregnancy. After I gave birth to our son, I’ve heard from him that He got engaged by this Indian girl and they are planned to be married in November (which I think already done by now). We always have a fight. He never even bother to check our son. And now, we do not have communication anymore. I guess he decided to forget us. Same as you, I am working hard to give my son all he needs, I am just so thankful that my own mom and siblings accepted me and helped me for what happen. My son is now 7th months old. I know its very hard to be a single mom but we can do it.. We don’t need such a coward and irresponsible man! Cheers..🙂

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  25. Pingback: 47% of children being born in UK were out of wedlock. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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