• Sun, Nov 4 2012

Hell Yes, Even Single Mothers Are ‘Entitled’ To Decent, Loving Husbands

happy familyIn a recent “Anonymous Mom” column, one of our readers wrote in about how tired she is of hearing that she’s lucky to have found a kind and loving husband. Over and over again, friends and family told her that she needed to be grateful for finding a good guy. After all, this woman is a single mother with a young son. The implication was that single mothers shouldn’t expect to end up with wonderful men who want to love them and their children. Single moms shouldn’t expect any man to want them at all.

Personally, I could understand what this woman meant. I was a single mom when I got married to my husband. I heard more than a couple times that I was lucky. And at the time of course I felt blessed, but not because I was a single mom who didn’t deserve love. I felt blessed because every one who finds a partner in life normally feels like they hit a jackpot. My husband felt the same way. I think that reciprocity is the important thing. We both felt lucky, because we had both found people who we loved and respected.

However, according to some of our commenters, there was no reason for my husband to feel lucky. In fact, they think he never should have deigned to marry an American woman who expected him to be a loving step-father to her child. They think that a man raising another man’s child is the height of self-sacrifice and it should never be asked of any man. More than anything, they think that there was an imbalance in my husband and I’s luck. That I’m the lucky one and he’s the poor guy who got duped into marrying a bitch with a kid.

Well I’d like to address some of these comments. As a woman who knows what it’s like to be a single mom that found a wonderful husband, I feel like I’m in a good place to respond where our anonymous reader might not be able to.

From FuriousFerret:

“That’s huge for a guy to take on another man’s child. Most men with options when confronted with a woman with a kid run away as fast as they can and this guy married you and you are complaining about this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

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  • jack_sprat2

    Pay closer attention to the details, please. Who is making the comments (to the single mother)? Why might they be making them? Who are those who are commenting to the post? What points might they be making (which might not fit your preconceptions)?

    (1) Those WOMEN were bearding that single mother, looking for any indications that she, too, was all in, that he wasn’t just a suitable convenience for this stage of her life. Frankly, they didn’t seem to me to have gotten it, any more than we did. Too bad that she had to settle at this stage in her life, but she’s keeping her options open for the next. Harsh? Those other women don’t seem to think so. (2) That’s in line with comments from those claiming to be Millennial males. One poster baldly declares that he — plus his mates and, by extension, his generation, which is borne out in the demographics — saw the same thing happen to his father, whereafter his mother spared no efforts in running his old man down. Ditto for his friends’ dads.

    Look, in spite of the fact that I’m male, I’ve got no dog in this fight. I’m a boomer, whose parents, both of whom died in recent years, were among the relatively few who stayed together through thick and thin. They actually did cherish one another for all of their days. Not only did my father place her first, us second, and himself last, but he also kept us largely in the dark, about the worst of it, during two very miserable years at her end.
    Am I proud of him? Yes, I am, but I’m also proud of her.

    Now, the tribe of women will never cease to rally round those women whose men who walk out on their part of the bargain. Yet, God forbid that men point out how often women are now doing the very same thing. Do some notice? Of course, but too damn few, to be honest about it. Did you actually listen to the conversations out there, you should be astonished at how pathetically grateful those damaged sons and fathers can be for their rare allies among the fairer sex.

  • emery ann harris

    I stopped reading at “More than anything, they think that there was an imbalance in my husband and I’s luck.”

    “my husband and I’s”? Any high school English teacher would have red-lined this if it came up in a 10th grade journal.

    This is a *paid* writer?

  • Single moms aren’t babies

    I strongly disagree with those who are saying “if you aren’t ready to marry a single mother, don’t date a single mother.” Why? Sure, single mothers deserve good husbands — if they want them. Kind of patronizing to assume that all single mothers want to get married, right? Doesn’t a single mother also deserve “just for fun” dating, casual sex, hookups, etc. if that’s what she wants? Single moms are adults – they don’t need babying or patronizing.

    The fact is, lots of (not all, of course) single mothers got where they are because they go crazy over rebellious, irresponsible bad boys or otherwise unavailable men. They like the chase, the challenge. Sure a lot of them say they just want to meet a nice, sweet guy and settle down, but that’s because that’s what you’re SUPPOSED to say. What they really like are bad boys. So if single mothers are attracted to me and I’m attracted to them (for dating and sex), I’m supposed to deny single mothers my company just because I don’t intend to marry a single mother?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=614049708 Mary Wysong

    I have found that many people are ignorant and judgmental about single moms. Yes, there is a stereotype that single moms are stupid young women who sleep around and refuse to use protection and I’m sure those people exist, but there are other realities. Birth control DOES fail sometimes even when used properly. This could happen to anyone. Picture a 30 something college-educated professional woman with a professional boyfriend and a birth control failure–broken condom for example. Or, what about the goody-two-shoes who gets date-raped? Or the woman who is married to her first sexual partner who decides to move on without her? Say a woman who doesn’t fit the stereotype gets pregnant–not by her own choice or lack of responsibility–and is against abortion? It isn’t uncommon. Yeah, when I was single, I didn’t want to date a single dad. I didn’t want to get tied down with that, and that’s totally fair. I get it. But, I wish people would be careful about judging women and making assumptions about how they became single moms.

    • Deep Dickens

      Generalizing allows us to live our lives Is anyone denying that there are some single mothers who made the very best choices they could? Of course not. If I say, “the Nazis were evil,” you could correctly point out that Oskar Schindler was a card-carrying Nazi and was a wonderful human being.

      If you see a group of teens in a dark alley wearing “urban” gear coming towards you, it’s possible they are Christian rappers going home from a concert. Or they could be gang members. But you have 10 seconds to decide whether to duck into the well-lighted convenience store or to walk confidently into their midst.

      Of the women I’ve personally known who’ve had children out of wedlock, in each case they fit the pattern of the woman who is (or at that point in her life was) attracted to men who would be considered by most not to be the “marrying man” type. And of those I keep in touch with, I can see from their posts on Facebook that (at least publicly), they consider themselves victims of their situation. This man should’ve stuck around, but he left, he’s no good.

      But he was always going to be no good at being a family man. What he was good at was making her feel special, calling her “babe” all the time, making love to her, keeping things exciting, being independent and charismatic, etc. Fact is, it’s not that hard to find a man who WILL stick around. Most boring guys with middling careers, unimpressive physiques and small penises will be more than happy to find a woman to marry and settle down with and will be more than happy to show up for every piano recital and soccer game if a woman will give them a chance. But those guys aren’t getting laid so they’re not part of the deadbeat dad population.

  • Mr. O

    For a non-widow, only date when the children are with the father. Then you can spend more time together and get married after the children are all grown up and out of the house/in college. The kids don’t even need to be invited to the weddings.

    Why not just date a single father? As one myself, I won’t date a woman who doesn’t have kids!

  • Sam

    There are lots of single mothers out there who have unfair expectations that a guy must financially support their children regardless of the fact they are already receiving adequate child support. There are also a number of guys out there who are totally clueless to the fact that by doing so, they may be on the hook for maintenance payments until the child turns 18 or finishes university.

    Basically, the courts no longer look at who is the biological father and only consider the best interest of the children. And although there is nothing wrong with this, is anyone surprised that men have become leery of becoming step-fathers when there is a likely financial penalty involved should the relationship fail. And is it not so surprising that there are a lot of men out there who are aware of this and thus play along without any intent on furthering the relationship beyond anything more than casual.

    I have to give credit to Leap of a Beta when he commented on the reasons guys will strings single mothers along just to obtain sex, as he is at least being honest and voicing what many men are practicing but remaining silent about.

  • exoskeleton

    The lines needs to be drawn at “dating” and “in it for the long term”. You shouldnt be putting all your needs and values on the table when you’re just testing out the waters. Meet a guy, see how he is, simple as that. Don’t be a bitch and condemn him for not being a “real man” who cant handle you and your kids. He didnt father them and christ sake he shouldnt have to. Or be picking up the missing pieces of your life that he didnt lay. Women are entitled and it needs to end.