Do You Want to Get Married and He Doesn’t? Single Moms Want Marriage
“I want to get married and he doesn’t.” “I want to get engaged now!” “How do I get him to commit?” “How can he say he loves me and the kids, but won’t make it legal?” “I want to get married now.”
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In my work as a parent educator and life empowerment coach, I hear these refrains frequently. Women who are in loving relationships but want the commitment and legal documentation to show they are loved. They want their children to have the stability of a two parent family.
Single Parenting is Hard on Adults and Children
Even though my husband Dwain and I have been fortunate to have a long term marriage and strong relationship, we have watched our adult children and their children struggle being single parents.
Aside from the huge physical work involved in running a household as a single parent, there are frequently disappointed and angry children. Perhaps the anger directed towards a reluctant boy-friend is causing a fear of commitment on the part of the male.
It may even create anxiety enough on the part of the child, he will try to sabotage a new relationship.
According to http://www.childstats.gov/americaschildren/famsoc1.asp The majority of children living with one parent lived with their single mother. Some single parents had cohabiting partners. Twenty percent of children living with single fathers and 10 percent of children living with single mothers also lived with their parent's cohabiting partner. Out of all children ages 0–17, 5.0 million (7 percent) lived with a parent or parents who were cohabiting.
Marriage or Cohabiting?
Both types of relationships value the belief that partners are there to help to support, love and encourage personal growth in all members of the family.
Then why is the single piece of paper important in establishing commitment? It is because society and most individuals (Okay, so Oprah doesn’t believe it) feel that a marriage is a promise and dedication not only to the other person but to the marriage itself.
The institution of marriage forms the third leg of the stool. This important triangle may give parents an opportunity to forgive small hurts, irritants and rough patches. By focusing on the commitment to the marriage, it will frequently take the edge off arguments and personality clashes.
Marriage is the ultimate of a commitment that one person can make to another person. It shows in word and deed that the vow of marriage is a pledge to be loyal and dedicated to the welfare of the other partner and the children in the family.
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Engaged and Empowered
I remember as a young college coed the pressure to “get the ring.” It was an expectation by society and family that a girl would get married and maybe have a career. That is no longer true and most women, like our daughters, fully expect to work and contribute emotionally and financially to marriage and child care.