Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Response to a Widowed Mother

The most visited entry on this blog, by a mile, is about why men shouldn't date single mothers. It has garnered hundreds of comments. One came in today from Anonymous that prompted me to respond:

You really broke my heart, I'm new to the dating scene. My husband passed away for years ago I'm in my young forties and I have three little girls that I love dearly. My husband died of no fault of my own and I'm widowed. It looks like I have no hope to ever find someone to love me because I have 3 kids even though they have their own checks that come with them until they're 18 men don't know that unless I tell them. If what you say is really What Men really think then I have no hope. My heart is so broken your article is so sad
Anonymous, I'm so sorry that that happened to you. You have my sympathies. I can't imagine what you've endured.

As I wrote in the entry on dating single mothers, it's a little different for your situation (being widowed through no fault of your own).

The "good" news for you is that there are PLENTY of men who don't think these things through and will take on a woman with kids, even though people like me would urge him not to.

But there's a lot of bad news and potentially bad news, including that the pickings are slim for a woman in her 40s even if she is child-free.

While your situation is different from a never-married or divorced mom, there are still enormous risks for a man. And there are problems for you, too. Here are some of the problems you're still facing:

1) Marriages in which there are stepchildren (which your children would be to him) have a 70% divorce rate, and the other 30% aren't all happy.

2) That's just marriages. Most relationships do not even get to that point. Do your kids really need the drama of a new man coming into their life, and then the breakup and him going back out of their life? And you being upset about it?

3) What if he has kids? If you're looking for a serious, lasting relationship, most men in the age range you should be dating are going to have kids; some are even going to have grandkids. That makes it even more complicated and chaotic. Let's say he has minor kids. And he marries you. So now his kids get to come VISIT him raising YOUR kids. How do you think that makes those kids feel? And do you think your kids will want to deal with these interlopers?

4) Kids whose parents do not bring around a new lover into their kids' life have a much lower risk of being abused than kids who are exposed to their parent's new lover(s). In other words, it appears that bringing your new lovers around your kids makes it more likely they will be abused. Imagine for a second the mind of a pedophile. I know, it's an icky thought. But do you think a pedophile is more likely to choose a woman who has kids (and their father isn't around!) or a woman who has no kids? So, you're a target. Scary thought, but it's sadly true.

Seems to me the best thing to do is: 1) Make sure you're done having kids, either through tubal ligation or hysterectomy or whatever. 2) Until your kids are grown, date when your kids are with their grandparents or aunts or uncles or friends, so your kids never have to meet your new lover(s) while they are still minors.

And, if you do things that way, the good news is that you can expand the age range of men you'll date. So, for example, if you want to try being with a younger man, go for it! You can find a lot of them willing to date a mother in her 40s because a lot of the their age are too busy with older men to date them.

I hope I've given you some perspective.

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