Buster Cannon

Kids...deal breaker?

19 posts in this topic

So a few friends and I were chatting earlier, and the topic of "what deal-breakers do you have in a significant other?" came up.  A few answers were thrown around, and then someone asks "would you consider kids to be a deal-breaker?".  I said "yes" and got a couple of "that's harsh" responses.  

 

I respect single parents and all, but I wouldn't want to marry someone who already had kids.  Honestly, past sexual partners on its own would be hard to swallow, but having kids are a completely different ballgame.  You'd essentially have to come into the relationship/marriage with parenting skills already on deck. Instead of both of you learning how to become parents together, one has experience and you're sort of being tossed into the pool with the expectation that you already know how to swim.  (Not my best analogy :lol: )  Plus you might have to deal with drama involving the child's birth parent, if they're still around.

 

So, would you date/marry someone else with kids? Why or why not?

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Yes I would consider it. My dad married my mother even though she was divorced and had a child. They are still together for going on 28 years now. My older sister has just had her first child, and my dad just loves his little grand baby! :)

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It is a deal breaker for me as well, Buster. I had to turn a perfectly good guy down for it, something I still kind of feel bad about. Perhaps when I am older I'll be able to get past it. 

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Harsh or not, having children from a previous relationship is the only absolute deal breaker I have. I want to be the only person that my husband has children with - starting a family is one of the biggest milestones in your life and to know that he had already experienced that with another woman would be heartbreaking.

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I'm not sure myself. I kind of think if the relationship with his child's mother is okay ( no crazy baby mama drama) and the child accepts me then I could be fine with it. The other part of me is thinking well I kind of want us to start our own family and experience it together. I really won't know how I feel unless I am in that situation.

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Disclaimer: I want to say that I have much respect for many single parents out there. I don't think I could do it. 

 

Is it a deal-breaker for me? I've told people that it isn't, but I think that was to spare feelings? The more I think about it, the more I'm inclined to say "yes", that it is a deal breaker. I should also say that "circumstances" do matter to me. There's a difference b/w a single parent who is widowed and a single parent who met some random person at a club one day and let things go too far. I apologize if that wasn't politically correct, but the truth often isn't. 

 

Buster, I don't think it's "harsh". It's a preference just like any other. People have a variety of preferences and not wanting children from the get-go is a reasonable preference. Don't let people guilt trip you or make you feel like you owe anybody anything. Unfortunately, the "church" can be guilty of this at times, making people feel like they're "bad" for not wanting to date single parents, or for not wanting to be parents from the moment you say "I do".

 

 Honestly, past sexual partners on its own would be hard to swallow, but having kids are a completely different ballgame

 

This^ . Completely different ballgame. The time, energy, and money. Will the single parent have time to date? Even if he/she does have time, will they have the energy? Is the kid going to be tagging along on the honeymoon? I'm not saying it can't ever work, after all it has for some people, but realistically it is unnecessary stress on a relationship.

 

29k & daydreamer, thank you! You bring up a fantastic point: the experience of starting a family. I was scared to mention this b/c I thought I'd come across as selfish, and I also thought I was the only one that thought about this! I would like to hope that my wife and I could experience our first child together. It would hurt knowing that she's experienced the joy, pain, and miracle of her first pregnancy and childbirth with another man. 

 

I am really sorry if I hurt anyone's feelings. It was not my intention. Regardless of the "past", we're all beautiful people who share the same journey. 

 

 

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Just likE Olivier said to me it depends on th situation. If the kid's mom is dead or still around I wouldn't want to because it will mean he already loved somebody so hard that they decided to build a family together!

 

Also the kid age matters if he or she is really little it's gonna be scary but if he is like 14 it's totally okay!we could build up a relationship of our own

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It is a definite deal breaker for me. Of course, I'm only 21, so in no way am I ready for parenthood right now under any circumstances. But as others have said, I want us to have all of our important firsts together. Knowing that he'd gone through the most wonderful and transformative experience of one's life -- having a child -- with someone else would be utterly unbearable to me.

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Buster, I don't think it's "harsh". It's a preference just like any other. People have a variety of preferences and not wanting children from the get-go is a reasonable preference. Don't let people guilt trip you or make you feel like you owe anybody anything. Unfortunately, the "church" can be guilty of this at times, making people feel like they're "bad" for not wanting to date single parents, or for not wanting to be parents from the moment you say "I do".

 

The single parents should be less picky (unless rape). It's their issue, not anyone else's. A lot of times, you get people who have slept around and now have kids. They want someone who was attractive, like the person or people they've slept with, but nice this time. They'll go to church thinking they can get that. All the best to people in those situations, but they aren't going to get that, and it's no one's job to give it to them.

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I know this is a sensitive topic for many people, but I like how we've been able to be honest yet be respectful at the same time. Single parents do have a unique struggle with dating/marriage that others don't. It is fair? Maybe, maybe not. But it is what it is. The heart wants what the heart wants and I don't think it's wrong to not want to be with a single parent and I certainly don't think it's wrong to be with one either. To the single parents out there, I do feel for you and I hope you will find someone who will love you and your children.

 

I used to flat out say no to single moms. But I've met a couple wonderful single moms over the years that made me change my views slightly. I personally would be with a single mom but only in rare cases. Being with a single mom does have it's unique challenges so it would have to be under certain specific circumstances for me to be onboard. Here are my concerns:

 

1. First and most obvious are the children. Not only do I have to impress the woman, but her children as well. So if the kids hate me or refuse to see me as their father, I won't do it even if I have a great relationship with the mom. I'm not going to be a source of stress between the mother and child. It's not fair to me or to them. If "sperm donor" is not around, I feel that if I'm willing to raise the child, i should be acknowledged as their real father. Simply sowing your wild oats or simply giving birth to a child doesn't make you a parent. Loving and caring for one does. Another thing of concern is that the child will always come before me. Which is understandable since I wasn't there in the beginning. But I believe that a marriage comes first since it is it the closest human relationship possible. That may sound controversial but that's what I believe.

 

2. The mother herself. Since she has already experienced the most intimate act with another man of sex and creating a child together, I would feel hurt that I wasn't her one and only. I'm willing to look past that but she must assure me that her heart is completely mine and that she has moved on from her ex. I won't settle for anything less and I do not want to feel like the ex got her at her best and not me. I will love her with everything I have and I expect the same in return.

 

3. The biological father. How involved is he? I know it sounds bad but I'd prefer it if he wasn't part of the picture at all. But if he chooses to be part of the child's life, then I can't deny him access to his own child. But I would feel like I'd be competing for attention of the child. That is a tricky one. I also want his relationship with the single mom to be strictly about the child. 

 

4. The lack of alone time with the mother. I love kids and I don't mind raising someone else's child in the right circumstances, but I would seriously be disappointed that the mother and I would never get at least a couple years of alone time between us. I know it sounds selfish but I don't like the idea of the single mom's attention being divided at the get go. Especially if the child comes along for the honeymoon. It wouldn't feel as romantic if we constantly had to tend to their needs when it's supposed to be just her and I.

 

The single parents should be less picky (unless rape). It's their issue, not anyone else's. A lot of times, you get people who have slept around and now have kids. They want someone who was attractive, like the person or people they've slept with, but nice this time. They'll go to church thinking they can get that. All the best to people in those situations, but they aren't going to get that, and it's no one's job to give it to them.

 

That's a gross generalization and I don't think that is fair to say because many single parents do end up in loving and happy marriages later on both inside the church and out. Yes, there are many who just want to find someone to dump their baggage on and give nothing in return, but there are also many single parents who are genuinely trying to make amends and have a lot of love to give. No one is obligated to be with them of course, but if they are putting honest effort to better themselves I think they deserve to seek after someone great just like the rest of us.

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29k & daydreamer, thank you! You bring up a fantastic point: the experience of starting a family. I was scared to mention this b/c I thought I'd come across as selfish, and I also thought I was the only one that thought about this! I would like to hope that my wife and I could experience our first child together. It would hurt knowing that she's experienced the joy, pain, and miracle of her first pregnancy and childbirth with another man. 

 

Funny you should say that; I honestly feel like the fear of being perceived as selfish is one of the most difficult aspects of being a waiter.  I can't speak for anyone else here, but I tend to have a pretty good idea of what I want in my future marriage. When non-negotiables like children come up, I end up feeling like I'm being selfish because I'd prefer to start my own family as opposed to a pre-made one.  I shouldn't feel guilty about wanting that for myself (shoot, it's the way that God intended it), but yet I do, almost as if I'm being unreasonable in this day and age...  :( 

 

I guess it's like you said, the 'church' can sometimes make you feel bad because the key component of Christianity is forgiveness, and it's often assumed that you can just forgive and all of the issues related to their past behavior will disappear, and if you're struggling with dealing with the other person's past it's somehow your fault and not theirs.  I hate to say it but it feels a lot easier talking about topics like this here than with peers at church for this very reason. :superwaiter:

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Selfish or not, it's far better for people to follow their gut instinct about their relationship standards than to try to settle for a situation that makes them deeply unhappy out of guilt.

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It honestly depends on how old I am. I'm only 17 right now, and I want to live more of my life before the possibility of meeting someone with a kid. If I were in my 30's it would be no problem at all, but through my 20's I'd like to stay away from a single parent relationship.

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It honestly depends on how old I am. I'm only 17 right now, and I want to live more of my life before the possibility of meeting someone with a kid. If I were in my 30's it would be no problem at all, but through my 20's I'd like to stay away from a single parent relationship.

 

Age is an excellent point. Obviously this is hypothetical for me, but before I met my husband, a single parent was a deal-breaker. I LOVE children, but for all of the reasons listed above, I really didn't want to date someone with kids.

 

That said. The older you get without marrying, the less picky you can be about your future spouse, unless you'd rather be single for the rest of your life than marry a less-than-ideal spouse. I definitely would have reconsidered my perspective on dating single parents if I had reached a certain age without getting married.

 

I want to add to the reason of not wanting to date a single parent because the kid would come first. I completely understand that and agree with that. But when my husband and I have kids, I still plan on putting my husband first. Obviously the physical needs of babies/children have to be prioritized, because they can't take care of themselves, but I will always prioritize my relationship with my husband. I wish I had the link to this article I read several years ago, but it was from a Christian writer who explained his or her (don't remember) reasons for putting the spouse first. The basic premise was that the most important lesson you teach kids is how to love, and the best way to do that is to be a model for a good, loving marriage. So, with that perspective in mind, it would be even more difficult for me to be in a relationship with someone who has already established his kid as his number one priority, when he would be my number one priority. It would feel almost unfair to me, as petulant as that sounds.

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Its use to be a deal for me but now I'm not so sure because it seems llike everyone has children these days. Unless you .can find another waiter. I seem to be the only waiter in Georgia right now lol. It really just depends on the guy.

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I can honestly say that I would not have an issue with it at all. If it were an issue where he wasn't involved with them I would have more of an issue. I would also prefer it (from a purely selfish standpoint) if the mother were not involved just because it seems like it would be a harder, more confusing transition for them. If the mother were involved though or had primary custody I still think we could figure something out.

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Well I have dated a girl with a child. I love the the little girl, part of the problem with it.... I got so attached and now I haven't seen her for almost a year. I personally want to say I would again, but I have no idea honestly. It was extremely hard for me. So it is a tricky situation.

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That's a gross generalization and I don't think that is fair to say because many single parents do end up in loving and happy marriages later on both inside the church and out. Yes, there are many who just want to find someone to dump their baggage on and give nothing in return, but there are also many single parents who are genuinely trying to make amends and have a lot of love to give. No one is obligated to be with them of course, but if they are putting honest effort to better themselves I think they deserve to seek after someone great just like the rest of us.

It is a gross generalization, by which I mean it's generally true. 

To me, it's not a question of, "did they come around at the end of the movie?" Mistakes were made, beautiful children were created, and now this has effected the single parent's life. Reality is harsh for the parent. The children will always deal with the aftereffects. No matter how sorry the feels. 

No one is obligated to be with them, true. The obligation is for the single parent to be realistic in selecting a spouse. It does potential suitors a disservice, if single parents believe themselves entitled to the chaste(-r) version of the original lothario. Life's a tangled mess, but if you let someone with a previously active sex-life sit on a shelf as they search for the perfect spouse, things are only going to get tangled-er. 

This topic is often mulled-over in the Christian blogs, and with good reason. Waiting for Prince Charming to save them has a very low probability of working-out. Forcing churchgoing men (or women) to feel guilt about not marrying singles with kids is also a bad idea. Reality dictates that many single moms will go to church and not find a man to marry there: the gender ratio is not in their favor, and unless they meet compatible single men with kids, well... Any man there who approaches a single mom should be given a very good chance (obviously, unless he has real problems, i.e. abusive tendencies). 

 

Likewise, if anyone on here starts seeing such a person, realize what a catch you are. Not many people are willing to put that much work into someone, with still such a high-rate of failure.

For more information, Google "Alpha Widow." Not all of those articles are very nice, but at least the issue is addressed head-on. One of the reasons that I'm waiting, is because I think this social dynamic is disgusting, and not being active is the only way to stop it. Alpha Widows, sadly, have a very low likelihood of marrying at all, let alone marrying well. Their lives were basically spoiled forever so that our society's men could get some pleasure and gain experience.

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No one is obligated to be with them, true. The obligation is for the single parent to be realistic in selecting a spouse. It does potential suitors a disservice, if single parents believe themselves entitled to the chaste(-r) version of the original lothario. Life's a tangled mess, but if you let someone with a previously active sex-life sit on a shelf as they search for the perfect spouse, things are only going to get tangled-er. 

 

Now that we're in agreement. Having a child is automatically going greatly limit one's dating options. Whether or not that is fair, it's simply reality. Even so, I still maintain that a single parent can still have an objectively legitimate right to pursue after a good spouse, provided they are holding themselves to the same standard of being the best spouse possible for a potential suitor.

 

 

I want to add to the reason of not wanting to date a single parent because the kid would come first. I completely understand that and agree with that. But when my husband and I have kids, I still plan on putting my husband first. Obviously the physical needs of babies/children have to be prioritized, because they can't take care of themselves, but I will always prioritize my relationship with my husband. I wish I had the link to this article I read several years ago, but it was from a Christian writer who explained his or her (don't remember) reasons for putting the spouse first. The basic premise was that the most important lesson you teach kids is how to love, and the best way to do that is to be a model for a good, loving marriage. So, with that perspective in mind, it would be even more difficult for me to be in a relationship with someone who has already established his kid as his number one priority, when he would be my number one priority. It would feel almost unfair to me, as petulant as that sounds.

 

I agree. To add to that point, I remember reading an article about a Christian woman who received much criticism from her women's group because she stated that she valued her marriage over her relationship with her kids. It is common, in our culture at least, that mothers find relational fulfillment in their children to the point where their husbands feel like they are put on the back burner. I think that if you asked the average mother who they would save first, their husband or child, from a burning building, she would choose her child. That is the general mindset in today's world, the children comes first. I think this is wrong in relational level and it's wrong biblically.

 

First let's look at the practical. When you marry your spouse, you are vowing to stay by their side "for better or worse, till death do you part." In other words, your spouse is your life partner. You are joined with this person in body, mind and spirit. It does not get any more intimate than that. That kind of union is not present with your kids. They will not be by your side forever as they will eventually grow up and leave the nest to start their own families. You also do not have a sexual relationship with your kids (at least you shouldn't), which is supposed to be the most intimate physical act two people can have which also creates a unique emotional bond you don't have with a child. Putting a marriage first actually puts you in a better position to raise kids. Because if a marriage is strong, then a couple is able to raise kids in harmony with each other instead of arguing.

 

Then there is the biblical side of things. In Ephesians, Paul talks about how marriage is modeled off how Christ loves His Church and how marriage is meant to be something holy and without blemish. He then appealed to the Book of Genesis which says that a man will leave his parents and unite with his wife and the two will become "one flesh." Once again, you do not have this kind of relationship with your children. If a marriage is analogous with Jesus' love for the Church, then it ought to be the most important relationship on earth. If someone puts another earthly relationship above that with their own spouse, then they would be undermining what a marriage is supposed to be.

 

That is not to say that you shouldn't love your kids sacrificially and provide for their immediate needs. But the children benefits when the marriage is strong first.

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