Post # 1
So during my own waiting marathon (SO and I have been together 3 years), I’ve noticed a stark difference in my own group of friends in long-term relationships.
There are the engaged people, who do not have kids and got an engagement after 2-10 months. And then there are the waiting girlfriends… who all have kids (usually around 2), and no engagement. They have all been dating their men 6-11 years, waiting patiently for a ring. I’ve talked to them, and they all really look forward to getting a proposal… one day. The girl who has been dating her SO for 11 years has a promise ring from 2005.
I don’t know what I think of this, but I am seeing it more and more in my group of friends. Do you think that getting engaged is the right thing to do if you both have the lifelong commitment of raising children together? I know if I found out I was pregnant, I would hope that SO would have the decency to man up, and at least make me his fiance or wife. I would feel used if I raised our children and maintained our household as a “live in girlfriend”, and had to wait years (or forever) before he would ask me to be a wife. At the same time I realize I am responsible to ensure that this doesn’t happen, and that we use protection to prevent a pregnancy before marriage…but things happen too. I also wouldn’t want him to propose ONLY because we have kids together either. What do you think?
Post # 3
I am pro-choice and the decision for me personally is to not have a child unless I have someone who will co-parent. I definitely wouldn’t deliver this as an ultimatum, because that would be cruel, but if the man was unwilling to commit to me, it would play a big role in whether or not I chose to keep the baby.
This is one reason why I am a hardass about birth control. I don’t want to put myself in that situation by getting lazy.
Post # 4
@Love4Keeps: in response to your poll question- absolutely not. I would not want someone to propose to me just because I’m pregnant. I also would never try to have a baby if I wasn’t married, however, I know plenty of people who choose to get pregnant when they’re not married yet.
Post # 5
My SO and I use two forms of birth control, and we have agreed that if we somehow got pregnant between now and next summer (we’re getting engaged summer 2014) we would just push up the engagement as its not that far anyway. I wouldn’t want to be the pregnant “girlfriend” thats just me though. I dont judge others for their choices as everyone is different.
Post # 6
I’ve never really thought about this situation before, but I personally would want my SO to marry me. It’s important to me and FI now to get married so that we can be a family “unit” if we ever have kids in the future… and that’s just a future plan. If I was actually pregnant it would be even more important to me. But if he said no, would I actually leave the relationship with the father of my child? Both for the child’s sake and mine, I think that’s unlikely…
Post # 7
I don’t think I’d accept a “shotgun” proposal!
I’d be TERRIFIED he was doing it out of obligation instead of want to be married.
Post # 8
@Love4Keeps: Eh, I think it is really dependent on the relationship, age and maturity of the couple. I don’t think having children together necessarily means you should be married. Ideally, you should be in a committed relationship before having children, but things happen.
I think the situation is what would dictate my actions.
If I got pregnant and wasn’t in a committed relationship or wasn’t at a point where we could support a child, I would consider an abortion.
If I were young (18-22), was dating less than 2 years and got pregnant/kept the child, I wouldn’t want to rush marriage. I would want to make sure the relationship was going to last and was strong. You can raise children together (in a responsible and respectful way) without being married/even in a relationship….if things don’t work out. It’s harder for sure, but no need to bring in the legal precedence if it isn’t going to work out.
If I were older (25+), had been together for a while and was certain it was heading for marriage any way, then I would want to get engaged at on a reasonable time line.
FWIW, my DH and I dated for 9 years before getting engaged, married at the 10 year mark. We were in no rush for a variety of reason. We don’t have any children together (just two dogs), but we started dating young, wanted to be established and wanted to married in our mid/late 20’s. It worked for us.
Whatever happens, I do believe the couple should be on the same page. It is not acceptable to string someone along.
Post # 9
interesting question. I’ve seen it alot in my group of friends, who are actually all trying to get me to “hurry” up and have kids, but for me personally, I’ve made it til age 29 without having kids because I’ve chosen not to have them until I’m married. My friends all claim that you don’t NEED a husband to have a kid, which is 1000% true, but if that’s what I want, then that’s just the way it is. My SO has in the past week stated that since we plan on getting married, I can stop using my bc pills now, which is a really nice thought, but we’re not engaged yet and since I’m still working on my Master’s, it doesn’t make sense to stop using them. However, if I did get pregnant today, I wouldn’t want to feel like he was only proposing because I got pregnant. At the same time, I wouldn’t want him to think that I’d stick around forever waiting for him after the baby came, because I wouldn’t. So, for me, this is why I won’t have kids til after we’re married. I don’t know how to vote though, because I am not a patient waiter lol!
Post # 10
Nah. I don’t think you should marry someone just because you have children together. I think it’s a ridiculously old fashion notion.
Post # 11
There are a bundle of rights (and legal obligations) contained within the institution of marriage. I think one could choose to co-parent, own a home, and even save $ alongside another without wanting to make a legal commitment. Therefore, having a kid wouldn’t sway my opinion.
There is such a thing as indefinite spousal support in Canada, so this clouds my judgement. Clean break divorces occur in instances where the two parties are in equal social and economic footing. Should one party develop some sort of disability, the partner is on the hook, possibly indefinitely. Also, under common law marriage, you would only have to pay child support until your child is 18. Under the federal Divorce Act, you are mandated to pay until the child finishes schooling, or indefinitely if the child becomes a dependent on social assistance (ie disabled).
Marriage in Canada literally invites the govt and the judiciary into your private matters, and this is why common law schemes provide equalization of assets minus the indefinite dependancy that the federal marriage scheme allows.
My FH and I are getting married knowing the true extend of the commitment that legal marriage imposes, but at the same time, I’m cognizant of why others may have children and have long term cohabiting relationships and still not marry.
Post # 12
I think it definitely depends on the relationship.
If it was me, I think both me and my SO would want to get married if we got pregnant earlier in life than intended (& chose to keep baby). We have been together 6 years (since 17 so still young) and know that we’ll get married one day, so I think we would, albeit earlier than originally intended. Also, our parents are fairly traditional – my mum has actually said to me, ‘if you get pregnant, he better marry you’, which sounds awful but in our situation we’d want to anyway.
If however, I got pregnant unintentionally with a guy that I’d only being seeing casually or for a short while, it would be totally different. And abortion would unfortunately probably be more of an option.
Post # 13
- Wedding: September 2014 - White Point Garden, Charleston, SC
I definitely think it’s a horrible idea to propose because of existing children or a pregnancy. Marriage isn’t about kids.
Post # 14
Hell to the freak no. I was that 22 year old that got pregnant by a man I dated for 11 months. We got married 2 months later. That ended in divorce last year. I think it is an old fashioned custom. You do not need to be married to be a family. In the end that was the worst choice I could have made, and as a result, I stayed longer for fear if scarring and depriving my son. In the long run I was doing more damage by being unhappy all the time. Don’t get me wrong, some people could work it out. But in my case, I wish to hell I had waited.
Post # 15
I’m going to guess that many men feel that raising kids together is a big enough commitment so why do you need a wedding commitment.
Post # 16
Even if SO and I got pregnant now, I wouldn’t want him to propose just because I was pregnant. It seems terribly antiquated.