Double standards for men and women with kids, WHY?

Grand Junction, Colorado
March 6, 2007 1:55pm CST
My brother was divorced last year after being separated for a year. He got physical custody of his 2 girls, ages 3 and 6. He joined an online dating site, and has had many match ups. Sadly most end before the ever begin, most as soon as they hear that he has custody of his 2 daughters. I'm not going to bore you with all the details of why they got divorces or why he got custody as they are irrelevant to the discussion. My questions are when women get divorced or break up from a relationship and have their kids the majority of the time, most men don't seem to mind at least that has been my experience. Why do so many women not want to be involved in a relationship with a man if they have custody of their children? He has many end email correspondence as soon as they know he has his children all of the time. Am I not seeing the whole picture? Looking for some honest feed back and all opinions would be greatly appreciated for a new perspective. Thank you in advance for your responses.
14 people like this
33 responses
• United States
7 Mar 07
Hello Everyone, As you can see by my name, I'm actually the subject of this particular discussion. My sister mentioned it to me yesterday and sent me the link in case I was curious about the responses. First I'd like to say, Thanks Sis! I appreciate what you were trying to do here. Secondly, I'd like to add a bit more info. Because while I understand my Sisters desire to protect my privacy and thank her for it. I think the lack of certain details based on a lot of the responses so far have given people the wrong impression. So, to start I am 37. I am retired and stay at home full time with my 3 year old. When she starts school I will return to work at least part time. I feel that it is very important for children to have a parent at home when they are younger and I am thankful that I was fortunate enough to be able to do that for my children. I also would like to state that I am not simply looking for a Mother for my children. I am looking for a partner, someone that is willing and capable of not only accepting my children but one that can provide a positive influence to their lives as well. I won't mention the name of the dating site that I am using. But I will say it is unique in its process. First you must answer a lot of very specific questions, about your personality, likes, dislikes, what you are willing and not willing to accept in a match etc. There is ample opportunity for anyone to opt out of matches that have children. The age range I have selected is 30-42 so I am not matched with anyone under 30 regardless of how compatible we may be otherwise. Additionally you do not flip through photos etc like say match.com this site matches people soley based on the answers to your questions and how compatible it feels you are. Generally if it progresses to the point of open communication, If I started the process I mention in my initial message that my children live with me. When the women iniate contact, invariably one of the first questions they always ask is, "How often do you see your children?". Regardless of who starts the process the outcome is almost always the same. Either no further responses, they close the match immediatly with no stated reason, or on very rare occasions I will actually get a response back that has to do with my children. Those usually leave me feeling like there is clearly a double standard at best or that a lot of single mothers are in fact hypocrits. The question I kept asking myself, and my Sister (I'll stop asking now Sis, I promise!) is: Why is it ok for a woman to expect a man to accept her children as his own and at the same time feel it is perfectly ok to not be willing to do the same? Some additional info to address some of the other responses. I do not talk badly about my Ex or at all for that matter unless it is in response to a direct question. My Ex is not involved in any decisions regarding our children, she does not support them or provide for them really in any way. She has a visitation schedule of every other weekend but it usually work out to something closer to part of every other weekend. When given the opportunity I try to make it clear that my Ex has very minimal involvment with my children and myself. Thanks for the responses so far, and Thanks again Sis for trying to help me figure this whole thing out.
3 people like this
@ladyluna (7004)
• United States
7 Mar 07
Hi Beaniesbrother, First let me say that I think it's great that you chimed in here. You and Beanie must have a good relationship. And, I'm sure it's mutally cherished. It would seem that you are asking a slightly different question than Beanie. You asked: " Why is it ok for a woman to expect a man to accept her children as his own and at the same time feel it is perfectly ok to not be willing to do the same." Well, the answer is -- it's not ok! Hypocrisy is never ok! From a different perspective: your situation is fortuitious in that you have avoided being matched up with a hypocrite! Imagine the alternative; a woman who seemingly accepts your girls, is a partner to you, but ends up not being as committed to your girls as she is to you? Shudder to think ... So, if we pull this topic out of the ethos, and bring it back down into pragmatic reality, the question begs asking ... What is it that you really want to know? Are all women hypocrites? Is there a life partner out there for you? Who will also love your children? How can you find her? What is the $64,000 question? P.S. You definitely get the gold star for adjusting your life so that you're able to stay home with your 3yr old.
1 person likes this
@speakeasy (4215)
• United States
6 Mar 07
I really haven't heard of men with kids having problems dating. My friends who are divorced and have kids find it is just the opposite. As soon as a guy finds out they have kids, the guy is long gone. He could try PTA meetings and "Parents Without Partners" to find women who like kids.
3 people like this
• United States
6 Mar 07
Who knows why this happens. I assume there are many reasons. Some women are selfish and want to have the man's undivided attention. When the man has children, obviously he will have to focus on the children first. Any woman he dates will have to take the backseat. He needs to broaden his search a bit. There are women out there who don't mind dating a man with children. He just has to remember that he should be happy that the women ended it before it went any further. Good luck to your brother. I am sure that he will meet the right one.
• United States
7 Mar 07
I really don't know why that is. I'm a woman, who is divorced, and had children before I met my current husband. However, I have dated men who have children, both living with them and only for visitations. It would seem to me that a man having his children full time would show a maturity that a lot of women claim that they want. I have noticed a lot of women say they want sensitive understanding men as well and only continue to be with the typical "cave man" persona. So I'm not sure what it is about, and I wish your brother luck in finding a mate that really appreciates him and the time and effort he gives to his girls.
• India
7 Mar 07
Quite true....a man who is sensitive enough to nurture his children from earlier marriage will be an excellent human being and likely to be more empathetic and understanding. As you rightly said, most women seem to continue living with aggressive "cave man" personalities who will happily sow seeds everywhere without the least responsiblity shown towards nurturing kids......But, when it comes to their own kids though, the very same woman will turn into a tigress in heat and hell hath no fury as such a woman whose kids from earlier marriage so much as point a finger against the step father - however kind and gentle he might have been!
2 people like this
• Grand Junction, Colorado
7 Mar 07
You both make excellent points what women say they want may not be what they want after all. That's not to say that all women, just the ones that he's been matched up with. He is a great guy, very family oriented. He's a great father, all qualities that I would have thought that most women would have been most happy to have found.
@djaboo32 (45)
• United States
7 Mar 07
I am a young divorced women in my 30's and I have not had any dates or offers since (about 2 yrs.) I have custody of my kids as well and believe a lot men are afraisd a ready made family. I have not joined any dating services of course either. I have a male friend who has custody of his two girls after his divorce and has had several serious relationships with women- One with children of her own and one without- He was not matched up with them through online dating though... So maybe he will want to explore other meeting venues. I really don't think women fear a man with kids--at least not any that I know. I also have two sisters who do not have kids of their own but one is married to a man who had custody of his daughter adn another sister who is engaged to a man with 2 kids. Maybe its the type of women he's attracting as well.
2 people like this
@ladyluna (7004)
• United States
7 Mar 07
Djaboo32,Hmmmm .... Since Beanie's brother has chimed in on this post, I would point out that you offer something here that might be very helpful, if explored ... " Maybe its the type of women he's attracting as well." On a lighter note: Maybe Djaboo32 has a third sister who doesn't have any children of her own. There seems to be a pattern of her sisters marrying men with two children. What do ya' think Beanie's Brother? (the writer writes with a cheshire grin.)
1 person likes this
• Grand Junction, Colorado
7 Mar 07
Great points, I don't think that it's the type of women that he's attracting it's the women he's being matched up to. It's a complicated process on this dating service that he joined, where in if people aren't honest then they will be matched up to the wrong people. My brother never hides the fact that he has kids. It's in his profile and because of his answers to questions and the answers the women have given is the reason for the match. I'm left to conclude that women have answered questions about men with children incorrectly. Just my take on the situation.
1 person likes this
@cyntrow (8524)
• United States
7 Mar 07
Here is a totally off the wire thought and it comes from nothing except my little brain. LOL. Women generally get custody of the kids. If I were a woman seeking a relationship with a man who had custody of his kids, I would wonder what kind of psycho ex I would be having to face. Possible???
2 people like this
• Grand Junction, Colorado
7 Mar 07
LOL, and in most cases you would be right, or even better what kind of lies did the man tell to get custody. :) In this case their was no fight my brother had an attorney write up what he wanted and after a few short negotiations she signed the papers, they never went to court they never went to mediation. The mom just isn't that in to the kids.
1 person likes this
@cyntrow (8524)
• United States
8 Mar 07
Good for your brother. What a fantastic dad to take his kids. He'll find someone, and the right someone. Best of luck.
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Mar 07
I think there's quite a few reasons for this. Firstly, girls seem to be more controlling that guys. What I mean by this is they want the guy and the guy only. They don't want to have to deal with an ex-wife in the picture that will pick up kids. It seems that guys are a little more allowing to ex-partners than girls are. At least it has been that way from what I see. The other thing I think is guys are more willing to accept woman and their extra baggage. They will talk to a woman many times even if they have the kids. Remember, women are more nurturing but also more nurturing to their own only. That's just the way we are created. THey don't want to nurture someone else's kids. Guys however, we can take anything, lol.
2 people like this
@alexam (20)
• China
7 Mar 07
It's hard to expain why ,but in my opinion ,maybe every woman have a will to have her own children.If the divorced man already had custody of his 2 kids ,there is less chance to have their own kids once again. What's more,economical factors should be of reasons.
2 people like this
• Romania
7 Mar 07
Hi, my name is Daniel, I`m from Romania and please, excuse my english. I`m also not so young, and maybe this is the motive for what I can explain you what is happening with the mans with chidren. Isn`t my situation, but I have a brother with same problems. Anyway, what I`ll say you isn`t related with my brother experience. He now find a women with a child and they will marry soon. Maybe is a good advice to your brother to ask for a women with 1 -3 childrens. Their chances will increase. But about why the women run away from mans with kids is because the women have a high maternal instinct, but they preffere to look after their children. So, they preffere to have their children not other. Plus, the women have a very powerfull materialistic instinct . They want to be sure that their future is safe for her and their childrens. Is a conservative instinct and is natural. This why they appreciate that other women childrens could be a potential danger for her safety. You must know that many of them don`t think this things, they feel them, all the procees develop in their subconscious. But if they already have childrens they could accept and other childrens, and is very good if they are small children. The maternal instinct (paradoxical)help in this case. About your brother hope he will find his destiny and to be one good. I hope don`t offense you with my oppinions, so I must specify that they are and exceptions, women who can take care about their husband childrens and sometime they can be a very good mother. Nothing is 100% in this world, so what I said before is from my personal observation; The women feel more than the mans, but many time this process is in their subconcious. Is a gift in fact, almost every time they take the right decision for their future just feeling the direction. The mans they are more rational and that could be a handicap. Daniel
@ladyluna (7004)
• United States
7 Mar 07
Excellent points Daniel!!! You're absolutely correct that the territorial instict is deep within the subconscious mind. And, good luck to your brother and his fiance.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Mar 07
Well, in the first place, I don't think that all that many men are thrilled when it comes to dating a woman with kids, either. Part of the problem is that when someone is looking for a mate online, they want to be the only one that the other person has children with. The second reason may be that they simply don't want children. I would recommend that your brother put his children in his dating profile so that women know that upfront and those who aren't interested in being with a man with children won't respond. If your brother wants a woman who will accept his children, he needs to be up front about it. I think that a lot of women would be interested in a man who has taken on the responsibility of raising his daughters because it's a hard thing to do. It's just that if they don't know about it initially, it can be perceived as him trying to hide the kids and manipulate them. If he simply lets women know up front that he has two children he is raising, then he can avoid the women who aren't interested in a family man. It will save him and the woman time and hurt feelings. I hope that helps.
2 people like this
• Grand Junction, Colorado
7 Mar 07
Thank you for the response, unfortunately that's not the case with him. The particular dating service that he belongs to ask questions of you the answers that you give, match you up to the most likely match, meaning the women with the qualities that your looking for and her for him. His children are in his profile. The first set of questions that he sends include that he has his kids all the time. The way that the women have answered the questions to get matched up with a man with kids means that they weren't honest in the answers they gave to begin with.
1 person likes this
@Lakota12 (42681)
• United States
6 Mar 07
I dont know why but men might want ready made families and women dont thats the only thing I can come up with
2 people like this
• United States
7 Mar 07
Well I'm am a single parent now I think it is good when a man has custody because its telling he wants to be a father and have a family, it also shows he it taking care of his business of being a father. Some woman don't want to be in the middle of baby mama drama,cause some woman act crazy when they know the ex has moved on and they want to make trouble. I hope he finds someone worthy of him and his children god bless.
1 person likes this
• Canada
6 Mar 07
I'm not sure why but it seems that a lot of times, knowing that a man has custody of his kids scares a woman off. I know there are a lot that feel they want to date the man and not be bothered about the kids, whereas some probably just feel that they don't want kids. Some of these women too are only looking for online correspondence. I'm sorry your brother is having a hard time, but I would honestly have chosen not to join an online dating agency because they're really not that reputable. It's a sad fact that people take advantage of the whole online thing these days. I would suggest that he join a dating agency in the area he lives in. That way he has more of a chance of getting matches and women are more likely to not actually be bothered that he has kids. I wish him luck.
2 people like this
@susan50 (110)
• United States
7 Mar 07
Most women are not looking for a ready made family, most are just out for a good time. When joining an online or conventional dating service, your brother should be honest and open in his profile about his daughters living with him full time. Actually, if he were to spend more time and energy with his daughters and less worried about the dating scene, before he knows it, he will find someone else that shares his ideals and accepts his girls too.
2 people like this
• United States
9 Mar 07
I'm going to be brutally honest here......... The reason, as far as I'm concerned is two fold. First, most women already have kids of their own full time and adding more kids onto what they are already handling alone as a single mom isn't something they really relish. A man who "shares" custody instead will only have "his kids" part time and could be a little less stressful. Most women who are divorced simply don't want to start again with another person's kids. Second, I think a red flag goes up for many women because they think the guy is probably actually looking for an instant nanny/cook/maid/lover/replacement mom. Most men will go into a relationship with the thoughts that he brings himself and if the woman has kids they sort of come along with the deal. Women play an entirely different role in a family and generally will be taking on a ton more work and effort when he brings kids with him, as opposed to her already playing the role of mom to her own plus everything else (fill in dad, etc.) The man will generally step in and assume possibly fill in dad but for the most part won't be pushed into a full time one. A mother's position is very different. If she's cooking and cleaning and running for her own kids,she will obviously be expected to run for his now and full time. I'm not saying ALL women feel this way by any means. AND I'm not saying it's correct to assume that is how life will be if she takes on the extra roll but I will admit I am one who steers away from guys with kids that they have full time alone. There are a lot of stresses involved and at this point in my life, when I'm on my own already with 3 kids, the last thing I want to add on is the magnification of problems of someone else's kids trying to blend in as one happy family. But in the same respect I also understand when a guy doesn't want to get involved with women for the same reason.
@horsesrule (1960)
• United States
8 Mar 07
Being a stepmother is a responsibility that can become a huge burden. I don't know if I would be upset with any of the women that have run away simply because it's such a HUGE responsibility to take on someone else's children. You would have to love that man A LOT, and through him, love his children [until you could love them on their own as the special little people that they are]. Plus, I am not so sure about men not minding about a woman's children. Men seem to mind the fact that my daughter has three small boys. She doesn't get to date much. Would your brother want to be with a woman that had children of her own or would he prefer that she not have any children? Because if they got together, that would be his kids and her kids [I guess like that old TV show, The Brady Bunch?] And then, sometimes it's really hard to be a stepmother. My experience with it is that it is horrible. My stepchildren didn't like much of anything that I did and they went to their family who interferred every day. The two kids went to school and said that I wouldn't feed them so they called CPS to come and pick them up from school without telling me and then they nearly got my own baby taken away from me. They were rarely truthful about anything it seemed. They twisted everything until it made me sound like I was a demon or something. It was bad, really bad. It was nearly 30 years ago and it still gives me the shudders thinking about how awful it was. Plus my husband did not stand behind me on anything. I am very glad not to be married to him anymore. But I have a beautiful daughter out of the marriage so that makes me super happy.
2 people like this
@Darkwing (21588)
7 Mar 07
I'm not sure about this but I would suggest that perhaps the women looking for a match possibly feel that with children aged only 3 and 6 years, that your brother will be tied to the house most evenings, when they would like to be dating and going out somewhere, having a fun time. Perhaps they find the idea of a couple of kids pretty daunting, and also, the girls' ages might make them thing firstly that your brother hasn't been alone too long and secondly, that it might be pretty difficult for them to build a relationship with the kids. If I were your brother, I wouldn't give up home, because these women are not right for him. The right woman will come along some day and he'll be glad he had to wait for her. Brightest Blessings.
@ethanmama (1746)
• Philippines
7 Mar 07
I'm not really sure, but I THINK it's because women are expected to care for and nurture the children. So it's kinda scary for a woman to be instant "mothers" with children to take care of. Men, on the other hand, don't have to, in most instances. At least that's what my observation in my country (Philippines). I don't know if it's different in other countries.
2 people like this
• Romania
7 Mar 07
I just read the ladyluna comments. She ( he) has right, looking for infertile women is the best option for your brother, but I think that also is a good step for him and his daughters to find in the possible short time a mother for the childrens. I know how hard is to take care for the childrens lonely . I`m married and we don`t have enough time for them ( I have two boys). I wish your brother succes and I have a good appreciation for your care. I think you help your brother with his daughters. Isn`t ? Daniel
2 people like this
@marlyse (1056)
• Switzerland
7 Mar 07
i really dont know why this happens. maybe they are scared or they want their own kids. did you brother try to participate in one-parent groups? i know there are more women than men and maybe there he finds more satisfaction than dating agencies. i wish him luck and a good woman
• United States
7 Mar 07
I have never been in that position but I honestly think that it would would be much more difficult to be a a step mom than a step-dad. The step-mom has to supply all the TLC that their birth moms did and a lot of kids dont believe that anyone else can supply that. Step-dads just have to be fun (as most moms will not let step-dads discipline the kids)
2 people like this
@yanjiaren (9050)
6 Mar 07
I think any type of sexism is discusting and i really don't think it is fair that your brother has to have such a hard time of it. That is grossly unfair.Maybe there are dating sites especially for single parents and maybe there he can find an appropriate match..just a suggestion though.