I’m 23, about to graduate college, and plan to go to university to get my degree afterwards. Then, I’d like to have a child.
I feel that having a child would complete my life, and truly want to have one by my mid-20s. However, though I want children, I do not believe in marriage.
I’ve seen too many marriages fall apart and the people involved badly hurt. I’m seriously considering adopting a kid to raise after I get settled into my career, without bothering to enter the dating scene and looking for a potential wife.
What are your thoughts on a single man adopting and raising a child on his own?
- Seeking Fatherhood
Single fatherhood that’s achieved through providing a child with love, security and the inclusion of decent female role models, can be a fine way to raise a child.
BUT, seeking to raise a child in order to “complete” your own life, is a misguided approach that can lead to trouble for both parent and child.
Children are not always rewarding. They are complex, sensitive, reactive, demanding, self-absorbed, and far more, both good and bad.
While adopting a child is a worthy idea, and gives a home to child who needs one, if it’s a route chosen partly to avoid dating and marriage, it’s again, a mistake for both parent and child.
More than your desire for fatherhood, I’m sensing from your e-mail a desire to detour around adult relationships, lest they become painful for you.
Trust me, raising children won’t insulate you from challenges and disappointments, since these are involved in parent-child relationships, too.
At your age, I advise you to try to be more hopeful and courageous about dating and developing relationships, before deciding to raise a child on your own.
I've been married for 30 years, being “the everything" kind of lady for my family.
I love my husband, and have three wonderful children. However, I’ve fallen in love with a man to whom I’ve been attracted for 22 years. The feeling’s been mutual.
For four years I’ve secretly been relating to this “other man” on a deeper relational and emotional level.
I’m greatly involved and respected in my community and am trying to weigh all the consequences.
How do you follow your heart when you could destroy so many?
Is it about everyone else or is it time to allow myself some happiness?
Do I deny me and my needs, knowing I gave up the man who knows me deeper than anyone I have ever known?
- Turning Point
The man who “knows you deeply” isn’t necessarily the person who can replace all that you’ve built with your husband, children and community.
Yes, the consequences will be heavy with some of those people you’ll inevitably hurt, if you go off with this man. So think this life-changing decision through carefully, and consider talking to a professional counsellor about it.
It may be that what you needed most these past years was an “escape clause” – in other words, the right to stop being “everything” to everyone, and to start taking more time for yourself and your own interests outside the image you’ve created. You’ve spent four years fantasizing with this man and thinking that a secret romance was your only “out.”
But it’s possible to make changes in your lifestyle and meet other personal needs without having to cut off everything else and perhaps find the losses are more than the gains.
A year after he dumped me, I’m not over it - despite dating other guys, seeing a therapist and taking antidepressants.
I've tried to focus on other things (education, career) but I can't keep my mind from it. I carry a trunk-full of regret for the worst mistake I've ever made, and I have no idea how to get rid of it.
If I tried to get it off my chest now, he'd think I'm a lunatic. It's not his fault that I didn't know how to protect myself from the game he played.
- Weighed Down
Stop blaming yourself, and look on the positives that make you stronger. You now DO know to protect yourself from games-players, and to better judge and appreciate someone in future who’s sincere.
Don’t let a jerk waste more of your time. There are great people out there; you want to be among them.
Tip of the day:
Raising children is a choice that’s best made from a basis of love, not need.