Shoul I feel obligated to stay with the father of my children?

United States
May 31, 2007 8:00am CST
I've been with the father of my children for almost 6 years and the relationship seems to be stuck in one place right now. He wants to marry me, but I always ask him what will change once we are married. That's just one question that he's not able to answer. I'm not at all interested in getting married because I know that things will not change for the better. I'm not willing to take that chance with my happiness. I'm really with him right now because he's the father of my two children. I kind of feel obligated to be with him because of them. Should I feel this way? Would it be wrong of me for my children to leave him?
6 people like this
19 responses
@eden32 (3976)
• United States
31 May 07
I guess it depends. Are you just in a slump? You're almost to the "7 year itch" point. Perhaps just a little energy from both you & your partner and the relationship can be saved, improved and make you both happy again. There are definitely some real benefits to choosing to remain with the father of your children, for you & your children. However, if the relationship can't be saved your children will also benefit from seeing you & their father choose to parent together while living apart, kwim?
1 person likes this
@livewyre (2455)
1 Jun 07
I would say that your partner wants to make the relationship 'more permanent' that is why he wants to get married. Getting married won't actually achieve that, yet it sounds like it is important to him. I expect that you are at the point where you take each other for granted, and I suspect that if you split, you would probably both realise quite quickly why you got together in the first place. Look at it this way: You are loved and he wants to marry you - women all over the world are crying out for that sort of attention. You are together with the father of your children - that is healthy for your family unit and for the stability that your kids need. Personally I believe that loving someone is a voluntary action that you decide to take when a relationship becomes serious - you are trying to step away from this responsibility and from what you have written it looks a little selfish (sorry I can only comment on what you have written - I KNOW I don't know the full story...) Things may improve if you get married if it makes your partner feel happy - let's face it, he's not stupid - he senses your reluctance and is insecure. I don't suggest that you marry him because it will suit just him, but consider the benefits, and then consider what will happen if you don't. He will feel more insecure, you will back away and this relationship is doomed - your children will certainly suffer because you can't see why you should commmitt yourself to a man who has fathered your children. Again I re-iterate that I am aware that I don't know all the facts, and my comments may seem harsh, but I think it is bizarre that you are considering leaving this guy because he is not promising you the earth once you get married - face it, what you have is a marriage in all but name....Yes your relationship is stuck...what do you expect after 6 years and you are one half of the relationship after all. Do you think there is someone who can offer you more, and offer the same to your kids? Sorry, I can't see past'SELFISH' on this one - for the record I don't think you should JUST stay with someone who is father to you kids, but I think you have to have a damn good reason for leaving - from your comments...you don't!
@multisubj (451)
• India
1 Jun 07
1. What is informal becomes formal. 2. Uncertainities are minimised. 3. In our country (India) we marry for our life time. If there is mutual understanding, the system works well. 4. Normally children feel better and prefer to stay with mother. 5. If he ill-treats you or your children beyond tolerable levels, of course you can leave. If you remarry, the step-father may not look after your children well. 6. Children develop better and mature into responsibile persons when they grow up with their natural parents.
@lynboobsy11 (11345)
• Philippines
1 Jun 07
No your not obligated to be with him if your not already comfortable or no love at all. But As you said it was the father of your children, and if you think that you given all your love,support for him to make him change for the better and it seems like no changes at all this is time you make decision out of him, but if It can fixed your relationship with him give it a try, at least for the last time you've tried and if it's doesn't work, don't be guilty for your self as long as you can take care and love your children emotional and financially take the risk for your happiness. There is a saying you can give love to others if you love your self.
• China
1 Jun 07
I think if you love the man,you should marry with him.The man want you to marry with him,That means that he love you,and want to give you a home. Home does not mean live together,and homomeny and happy. Right?And find what you really want.and answer him.
@smacksman (6074)
1 Jun 07
Get real and get married. Put down the magazines and books where perfection is on every page. You have a man. You have children. You have more than many, many other women would die for. Be thankful. With an attitude like yours, your man is probably finding you quite difficult to live with and yet he is man enough to be standing by you. Great. Maybe you could put yourself in his shoes. Would you like to to have your proposal rejected like that? So yes, you should feel obliged to stay with your family. You chose him to father your children and from what you say it was a good choice. Just knuckle down and become a wife and mother like most other people. Change your attitude and life can be good. Hugs from me and good luck.
@maean_19 (4661)
• Philippines
1 Jun 07
There's a difference between obligation and decision. If you see that the only reason of being with him is not love, but because of your children and he being their father, be truthful to yourself. Live a life that you want. Focus your attention to your children. You are right, don't marry him if you feel that he is not the right man for you and the man who could give you and provide your family. Being the father of your children doesn't follow that you have to marry him if you foresee that your relationship won't go strong and harmoniously happy.
• Philippines
1 Jun 07
It depends on your children if they still want to be with their father or not...Because as I see your point is you don't love the father of your two kids...does he loves you??Your problem is you want to leave him alone but you can't because as you say you feel obligated because of your kids?Then my opinion will be:Why don't you just clear it to him and when time comes talk to your kids and explain your situation with their father...But I hope that things will get better between the three of you including your kids..
• United States
1 Jun 07
Ok, I'm not trying to make you feel bad or be rude. It's just my personal feeling though that you are wrong for feeling like you are obligated to the man. Appearently he isn't making you very happy, and you said the relationship isn't really doing anything. If it's not going in a good direction now then it will more than likely stay the same or even get worse if you were to marry the guy. Being a guy I normally don't talk down about other guys, except if they don't make their woman happy. Then in that case I have a lot of bad things to say. My best advice is just move on and ditch him, you don't need him and the children don't need feel like they are at fault in the long run. So finally I suppose I'm saying it's not really so good for the children especially when they finally pick up on the fact that you're really not happy. I hope for the very best for you, find someone that really cares and makes you happy!
• United States
1 Jun 07
This is only how I feel so you can take it or leave it, but if you are just with him because of the kids you are cheating yourself of happiness. The kids know, mine did and they even asked why mom, why did you stay as long as you did? My parents stayed together because of me and my brother i watched them not talk for days and if they did they were fighting, and i hated seeing them this way, it made me wonder what is love is this what marriage is supposed to be like? When I get married is it going to be like this? I would not stay with anyone just because of kids. You need to find happiness, if your happy and enjoy being with someone i believe it helps the kids at least they will know what love is.
@tombiz (2039)
• Philippines
1 Jun 07
Staying with someone though you are not happy anymore with that person is not always a good option for your own growth as a person. Granted, I also admire your strenght and sacrifices for your children but this situation could not last long for you will always be longing to have your own freedom. Think about it seriously, this is never an easy thing to decide. Think of yourself many years from now and picture yourself. Pray and decide.
@Rozie37 (15499)
• Turkmenistan
31 May 07
It sounds like you are disappointed in the relationship with your childrens father, but what are you doing to make the relationship better? If you are living your life with one hand on the door knob, looking for every excuse to run, then the relationship will never get better. As long as he is mnot abusing you or the children in any way, I don't see why you don't want to marry him. Maybe that will be just the spark your relationship needs. Remember, the grass may look greener on the other side, but someone still hast to mow it.
• United States
31 May 07
I would recommend that you go for some professional help dear. You are in a stressful situation. Getting married, is a committment for life. If you are not sure, don't. If you were in love with him, you would not have a fear and would not hesitate for a second. So, do you want to stay in this relationship forever? If not, move on. He can still be their father and see them. You need to be happy to be healthy for yourself and your children. Good luck.
• India
31 May 07
hi i am married and have a child of 5 years. what i feel that father play a very important role in the life of achild. with parents children loose their vision of life so i feelthat you must get married to him let your children have his father known to him. thing are always not bad as you may think ./ i love my child and my wife. we are happy and enjoy thing s togather, togatherness increases youjr happiness and lowers your sorrow. at times it maght turn to be opposit e but that depends on you bot h , how you both understand each other and respect each others feelings. good luck and god bless your family.
• United States
31 May 07
I think it's more wrong for you to stay for those reasons. You should be involved in a relationship where there is friendship, love, and understanding, not because of a misplaced sense of obligation. And the fact that he wants to marry you and you are not comfortable with that tells me that you two don't have a healthy relationship. Why does he want to marry you? Is it because you are the mother to his children? Does he love you like no other and can't imagine his life without you? Are you the only one in the relationship that feels the way you do, or is it both of you? I have a feeling that you two are together because it's easier than being apart, and as humans, we like the easy way, hands down. However, by doing it the easy way, what kind of lesson does that teach your children? What kind of model for adult relationships are you giving to them?
@coffeeshot (3786)
• Australia
31 May 07
This is a hard one. I think you should NEVER feel obligated to stay with anyone. You should be with someone because you love them and the relationship is healthy and you're both happy. You could try couples counselling to work out your problems. Getting marries doesn't guarantee that anything is going to change. In your last sentence, you mention leaving him. If you're considering leaving him then you definitely should not be considering marriage at this point. Marriage is for life and you both have to be 100 % sure you're committed to eachother. there was a discussion on the radio this morning about whether couples who have fallen out of love should stay together for the kids. Most people said 'no', because if the parents aren't happy together and there is tension in the house, the kids will definitely pick it up that something's worng and it will have a negative effect. If you do leave your partner you MUST maintain a friendly relatioship with their father so they don't end up blaming themselves for the separation-which is what kids often do. Good luck and I hope everything turns out right for you and your children.
• United States
31 May 07
If you are unhappy with your current situation that will have a bigger impact on your children and cause them to be unhappy as well even if you can't see it in them. It's better for them for you to be completely happy then to just stay together with your partner just for them! No I don't think you should feel obligated to stay with him just for your children. His relationship with the kids shouldn't change just because you and him part ways. I don't think it would be wrong of you to leave him for the children, it may even be better for them. A happy, healthy mom makes happy, healthy children or at least that's what my therapist tells me all the time. The better you are emotionally and physically and mentally, the better your children will be! Hope this helps and God Bless
• United States
31 May 07
After being together o long you have the 'nothing is new under the sun' syndrome. You know about as much about each other as you want to and unless something happens to reinvigorate the relationship it's doomed to become colder and more distant. Staying with him for the kids is the worst reason any mother ever gives. The other thing being the automatic assumption that you get full custody of the children because of being the mother is something that also bothered me. If he bothers to want to try and get custody you'll go through a lengthy court battle, but probably win since you aren't married. The end result situation wil be determined on the grounds of, do you still deeply love him and want him to be with you. if honestly no,and nothing changes, then sadly move on. The kids deserve a happy family life, not an apathetic one.
@lucky_witch (2711)
• Philippines
31 May 07
Well... I understand how you feel... its not easy to maintain a romantic relationship for 6 years... you will sometimes feel tired, fed up, but that is sometyhing you can make remedy... sometimes we need to refocus in our relationship... I myself...w/ my partner right now... doesn't always feel good or dramatically in love with him all the time... I don't always open my eyes in the morning and thinking he was Brad Pitt look alike... And there is no butterflies in stomach everytime he kisses me or touches me... I get irritated by his snore during bedtime I guess he sometimes feel that way too... But that doesnt mean that I don't love him anymore... The fact that even without those romantic feeling... I STILL "WANT" TO STAY RIGHT BESIDE HIM ...AND I CANT PICTURE MYSELF WITHOUT HIM... Somewhere along the way...we will find someone better than him/her... and you have to be true to yourself when the time comes...but as of now... The best thing that I can advice you... is "you're in that relationship" so make the most out of it! have more timre with him... do things that you dont usually do...have fun together... kiss him 5 minutes straight! Cook something special for him... Have his picture recopy 10 times larger and post it in you room... have the feeling that you will enjoy and love at the same time... DO YOUR BEST TO MAKE THINGS WORK! If in time... its not really meant to be... You wont have regrets being at your best... And he wont blame you....for doing everything to make things work...