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Want redemption? Be a good father

Want redemption? Be a great father

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

D.C.: Long story short, there are two women pregnant by me at once, due within three months of each other. I am not currently in a relationship with either one, but I still plan to support and help raise both baby girls. I have always wanted children and am, despite the circumstances, very excited to be a father.

You'll probably say this is the least of my worries right now, but how do I deal with the (understandable) assumptions people make about my behavior? One of the mothers is my ex-fiancee and the other is a woman I dated casually for a short while after we broke the engagement. Neither pregnancy was planned; I was diligent about protection.

In other words, I'm not a cheater, and chance had more of a hand in this than irresponsibility did. I am 33 and I know where babies come from. How do I deal with all the judgment that's pouring in from my parents, my sister, my closest friends, the mothers' families, even my boss?

On top of just being the best dad I can be, what else can I do to redeem myself here?

carolyn: Interesting. The claim to being "diligent about protection" may mean you need a refresher on how these things work, since the effectiveness of, say, condoms is 85 percent for "typical" use (which I assume means not absolutely perfect use), and you had two failures in three months.

That being said, even these oopses don't erase the underlying facts, which are that you impregnated two women through the kind of behavior the people judging you probably have engaged in themselves: adult, consensual sex within a monogamous relationship.

So, short of pointing that out every time, all you can really do is know, in your own heart, that you aren't as bad as you look, and be the best dad you can. Your behavior over the long haul will have to mount your defense for you.

• • •

To Mr. "Diligent About Protection":

He had better make sure he doesn't sign any birth certificates or paternity acknowledgments before seeking DNA confirmation.

Obviously, if he isn't concerned about paternity and wants to raise the kids regardless, he needn't raise the issue.

• • •

D.C.: To clarify, there was only one condom failure. My fiancee had been on birth control, which I later found out she discontinued without telling me. Which is why she is now my ex-fiancee.

• • •

carolyn: Now I'm at the point where I can't believe the people in your life are giving you a hard time. Although I suppose you can't go into detail with anyone but your family and close friends; you don't want to go around ratting out your ex-fiancee.

In that case, though, it becomes another argument against our judging people before we have all the facts. Everything is an argument for that, come to think of it.

Want redemption? Be a good father 08/11/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 2, 2010 10:41am]
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