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Couple Holding Ultrasound Photo TogetherIf you've found yourself with an unintended pregnancy, you may be wondering about getting married. It's possible that pregnancy before marriage was not in your life plans, and the idea of being a single parent may not be appealing to you. This thought process can lead you to believe that the best decision for you is to get married to the baby's father. However, a shotgun wedding is not always the best idea. Having a baby together simply isn't enough reason to get married. Before you do anything drastic, here are some items to consider before getting married because of pregnancy.

How Well Do You Know the Person?

One thing you must consider before marriage is how long you've been dating the father. Maybe you haven't been dating very long, or perhaps you weren't dating at all. You must consider how well you really know the person before you think about getting married. Are you compatible? Are you really ready to spend the rest of your life with him? The divorce rate, especially amongst people who get married because of pregnancy, is very high, and that is a painful and messy process you probably want to avoid. If the two of you aren't truly well matched, then getting married is probably a bad idea.

Unhappy Marriage

Jumping into a marriage right away could lead to you being in an unhappy marriage. While you may think that you are doing what's best for your child, staying together for the kids isn't always your best option. Children who see their parents fight all the time are often more stressed and more likely to be unhappy. It may also negatively skew their views on what a healthy relationship is forever. It may be better to stay single and figure out a custody arrangement so the child can see both parents without dealing with constant fighting between the two of you.

Marry for Love

When you really think about it, do you want to get married out of obligation, or because the two of you are in love? The fact is, marriage can be hard, and if you aren't in love, it isn't a sure bet that the marriage will last. Also, things like infidelity are statistically way more likely when the couple does not truly love each other. It may seem like you are doing the honorable thing by getting married, but you have to think about the long-term ramifications of that decision.

Wait It Out

Just like getting pregnant doesn't mean you have to get married, it also doesn't mean the two of you need to break up. Take things slow and let things progress naturally. The father of the child should make efforts to attend some of the doctor's appointments and do what he can to help support the child. The mother should keep the father informed about how the pregnancy is progressing. Open communication between both parents is paramount, and both parties should consider treating the pregnancy as a partnership. Even if the two of you decide you aren't meant to be together, you need to choose how you are going to co-parent. Other things you need to figure out include the following:

  • Whether the father wants to be present at the birth
  • How things are going to be handled financially
  • Once the child arrives, how custody will be handled

It May Work Out

If you take things slow, you may find out that you two are meant to be after all. This is especially true if you were dating or even engaged before the pregnancy occurred. What's key is to take things slow and don't let the pregnancy determine whether you stay together.

Having to face an unexpected pregnancy can be scary, but don't let it lead to rash decisions. In modern times, the stigma against single mothers has faded with time. Although more old-fashioned friends and relatives may have their opinions, it is not their life: it is yours. 

You and your partner should not be getting married because of pregnancy, and you shouldn't unless you are certain your partner is who you want to be with forever.

Category: Marriage Society

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