Thinking About Your Partner
The following excerpt is from the book’s chapter that deals with your partner’s readiness for parenting.
The ideal partner will be passionate, permanent, partner-ready, problem-solving, parent-material, productive, personable, and protective. Yet partners are just human. It’s okay if the biological father doesn’t pass all the questions in this chapter. The essential question for you: Does the biological father pass enough of them for you to bring a child into the relationship?
Do you love the biological father? Does he love you? Are you a priority in his life? Is your child a priority as well? Some men step up to fatherhood while others just aren’t ready. Can you make a clear decision about his passion to be a dad?
Can you count on your relationship to be permanent? Has he a dangerous occupation that could result in his death? Is he in good health? Does he have a history of being unfaithful in past relationships?
If you cannot count on the biological father, do you have a father, grandfather, other close male relative, or best male friend who could provide some fathering for your child? If you died suddenly, is there someone else who could raise your child if the biological father could not?
Is the biological father ready to be an active partner in raising your child? What examples of him making sacrifices for others might make you think he would make sacrifices for your child?
How he treats others, especially people like his mother and those in a service role (like store clerks, secretaries, or waiters), may give you a clue about how he will treat you and your child. Have you seen him be kind, considerate, helpful, and loving to his mother in various situations over a long period?
A good partner accepts advice from his mate. Can you think of examples where he has accepted advice from his dad or from his boss? Can he accept advice from women as well as men?
Does he look at life the same way you do? Do you believe the same things? Do you think you would be able to agree on how to parent? Do you have the same dreams?
Is the biological father a problem solver? Has he shown intelligence, persistence, and the ability to tolerate frustration when he tries to solve problems? How have you worked together to solve problems?
Will he be able to be close to your child?
Will he put you and your child first? Has he other obligations that make you and your child a lower priority?
How has he done at child-care experiences like babysitting, working at camp, or taking care of brothers and sisters? Is he a responsible pet owner? How does he respond in situations around other people’s loud, needy, messy children?
Has he the skills and personality that he needs to keep a job and be a productive provider for you and your child? If he has difficulty in taking responsibility for his mistakes and always blames his boss, he may have problems keeping a job. Does he have a legal history that will hold him back?
When you are in love, it is easy to overlook things in your partner or think you can change his personality with your love and care. After all his years of being a certain way, it may be quite difficult for your partner to change his views and approach to daily life.
Is he ordinarily happy and satisfied with life or is he always down on himself? If he views himself as a victim, will he start to blame you and your child for holding him back?
Does the biological father think about others or is he self-centered? If he is demanding, will he become jealous when you show attention to your “other child”?
What evidence do you have that the biological father has the ability to trust? If the biological father is suspicious of you despite your efforts to earn his trust, he might also have trouble having a close, trusting relationship with your child.
Is the biological father honest and trustworthy? For example, does he tell you what you want to hear to avoid conflict? If you have talked about your pregnancy, did he say what you wanted to hear although he actually wants something different instead?
Does the biological father exercise self-control by saying no to himself or his friends when necessary? Would he make impulsive decisions that would affect you and your child?
Is the biological father looking out for you? Has he been protective of you, or do you feel worried about being protected from him? Has he been violent toward you? Has he isolated you from your friends, shown unjustified jealousy, or bullied you? Would he bully your child? Will living with the biological father place your child around unpredictable people who make your child feel insecure? Would you be living in an unsafe neighborhood? Would you have to live with a partner or his relatives who are unstable because of their addictions or mental illness?
Do you feel safe telling the biological father that you are pregnant? Would the biological father feel uncontrollably angry, trapped, or desperate if he knew that you were pregnant and were thinking about keeping the baby?
Excerpt from Exploring Your Unplanned Pregnancy © 2015. All rights reserved.
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