Ashley asks: "My boyfriend told me he never wanted kids. It wasn't very surprising when he told me that his ex wife stopped taking birth control pills so she could get pregnant. It also wasn't surprising when he told me that he signed all of his parental rights for his own child away and got a divorce. The thing that surprises me is that we met through an online dating site. He knew from my page that I had a child that lives with me part time, yet he pursued me anyway. I do not try and force him to spend time with my child, but at the same time it would be great if he did. Is this relationship worth staying in?"
It depends on what your definition of "worth" is, as well as what your relationship expectations are. If you'd like your boyfriend to one day become your husband, then yes, I'd say you and him need to have a talk pronto. If you want him to be a more active role model in your child's life, once again, the two of you need to discuss your wants and needs. But if he's already been married and chosen to divest himself of all parental responsibilities, then its highly unlikely he's going to change his mind now - although of course, anything is possible.
There is also the chance that this man may see your relationship a means to an end: he needed to rebound, learn to trust again after such a horrible betrayal, and/or (maybe) see that raising a child isn't so bad. He likely doesn't see your relationship as being something lifelong however, but rather one to help him through a difficult time in his life with someone he cares about, and with someone that doesn't pressure him into dealbreaker situations.
Have you spoken with your boyfriend about the situation? Casual and low key would be best here, because the conversation is weighty for the both of you (but for different reasons). When the two of you are alone, ask him what kind of role, if any, he sees himself playing in your child's life. Tell him outright you aren't looking to pressure him into anything, you'd just like to know to avoid confusion, as well as what would be the best way to go about interactions with your little one, if at all. Because frankly, if he doesn't want any role in your child's life, it would be best for you to stop all contact between them now to alleviate any serious issues down the road, as well as to re-evaluate the relationship between the two of you, and whether or not you have a future together or if you're ok with the way things stand.
Reader Question - He Doesn't Want Kids But I'm A Single Parent originally appeared on About.com Dating on Monday, August 10th, 2009 at 16:14:47.
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