Q: Should I marry my pregnant girlfriend? Our relationship has always been one of convenience, and neither of us considered it permanent. She intends to raise the baby, and I want to do my part. But my girlfriend has some significant life issues, and we’d face huge obstacles if we married.
A: First, let us commend you for accepting responsibility for the choices you’ve made – including life for your baby. However, marriage shouldn’t be seen as a “quick fix.” There are many things that need to occur and questions that need to be answered.
First, sit down together and work through the practical implications of pregnancy. Once you’ve talked this out, it might be appropriate to broach the subject of marriage. There’s a long list of things you should consider, such as emotional maturity and stability, shared values and commitment, the support of your families, and adequate financial resources.
If these issues would make it difficult for either of you to commit to a life-long relationship, we’d suggest you put aside thoughts of marriage for the time being and think about how you can financially support your child and stay engaged as a dad. On the other hand, if the building blocks for a strong marriage are in place, we’d encourage you to consider pre-marital counselling with a marriage counsellor.
Keep in mind, too, that marriage isn’t the only way to provide for your child’s future. A plan for adoption may be in everyone’s best interest.
Responsibility doesn’t come without sacrifice – whichever path you both believe to be wisest going forward. But it’s important that you consider how your decisions will affect this new life. If our Family Support Services can help you through the process, please call us at 03-7954 7920 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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