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Read Letter

Mistake Pregnancy

My dear Jack, no one can force you to marry whom you don’t want to marry. Choice of marital mate is your prerogative. Marriage is an act of will. It’s why we say, “I do”. That presupposes we can say, “I don’t”, even at the altar! You shouldn’t marry under compulsion. If you don’t want to marry someone, don’t! But that doesn’t absolve you of responsibility for the natural consequences of your actions: If you impregnate someone you’ve got to take responsibility for the pregnancy. And please don’t tell me the pregnancy was a mistake. Considering how pregnancy comes about, how can it be a mistake? You went into a young woman. You impregnated her according to the order of nature. If you were not mistaken with penetrative deliberateness, how come the result of your ardour is now tagged a “mistake”?

And all this talk of her family being bad, evil and not nice people… Didn’t you know all this before? Or are these terrible attributes of theirs suddenly emergent, especially now you don’t want to marry girl? When you were copulating with her, the character of her family was not an issue. Now she’s pregnant, it’s suddenly an issue. Truth is, the sex with the young woman was opportunistic. Unfortunately you were caught in your own device. You had no desire to marry her, and you had no vision of monogamous commitment. You just wanted sex. If you can at least admit that to yourself, there’ll be salvation for your soul – there’ll be hope for you. Responsibility defines a man, not virility.

And now the family is insisting on marriage, you suddenly have segregational capacity. In an Edenic twist you now know the difference between good and evil: the sex was good but her family is evil! The argument of her family is a simple but powerful one, if logically invalid: If she’s good to sleep with, she’s good enough to marry. That’s their single premise argument. They’re insisting you damaged the marital prospects of their daughter, so finish what you began. It’s a terrible argument in that they imagine they’re defending an innocent. But their daughter is not innocent. The family needs to reconcile themselves to the fact she had consensual sex. Neither you nor the girl can be absolved of moral responsibility. You share guilt in equal measure.

But you can’t keep pretending you’re not in town by disappearing from your house so you don’t meet her or her family. How long will that last, and are you going to go under a witness protection programme, alter your identity? The earlier you face your adversaries and take a stand the better. As it is now they just think you’re a responsibility-shirking truant, a rascal and scalawag. You should have heeded my dating advisory: If you can’t marry her, don’t date her. If you date whom you don’t want to marry and an “accident” happens, the mother of your child becomes a Biblical Leah. Leah was fecund but unloved by her dedicated impregnator, her husband Jacob. If you insist on opportunistic sex you must accept opportunistic pregnancy.

And now you’ve met someone you’d rather marry. Surprised you’re asking if you should inform her of the pregnancy. Are you for real?! You’re going to marry someone and not tell her there’s an expectant woman somewhere! You’re not going to tell your intended you impregnated someone?! You want to marry under deceit. Do you want to live a double life, become split into two? Do you want to master artifice, double-dealing and duplicity?! You want to preserve your “good image” with your fiancée… So what happens to the child and the mother? They’re going to disappear? You’ll take care of them in secret? I’m not sure you understand women. And I’m not sure you understand the circumstance and situation of your baby mama. She’s got nothing to lose! You have everything to lose, including the edifice of marital deceit you’re constructing. Of course you’ve got to tell your fiancée someone else is expecting for you!

Of course you run the risk of losing her, but what other option do you have than to tell her the truth! If you don’t, you’ll greatly complicate your life, lay yourself open to embarrassment and blackmail. And at some point the other child will show up, either at your doorstep, or at your graveside. The earlier you accept and take responsibility for your actions, the better for you and your future. You’re a baby daddy. You have a baby mama. These are the facts. Deal with them. And if you marry your fiancée under false pretenses, when she finds out, God help you but the marriage is over! Same way you’ll feel betrayed and shattered if you discover your wife has a child she’s keeping from you.

Sex is a powerful urge and I understand the pressure on young men. Marriage has capacity to contain that urge but it does not obliterate it. You still need discipline after marriage. And so the notion that once you marry, sexual pressure turns itself off is grossly mistaken. It’s why you need to learn discipline and self-restraint now. And you should be afraid of free sex. Turns out the price of free sex is very high. Sit down with the family of this young woman and make your determination clear: You don’t want to marry their daughter, but you will take full responsibility for your child. Be straightforward. Of course they’ll not take kindly to what you have to say. But that’s part of the consequences of errant sex. Sit down with your fiancée and tell her the truth: you impregnated a girl before you met her. And I hope you’re not marrying this other woman to duck marriage to your baby mama. Learn to take responsibility for the natural consequences of your action. Be a man!

Your mentor, LA

© Leke Alder


Tags : Responsibility, Pregnancy

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