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Customer Discussions > Romance forum

Is He responsible?


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Showing 1-25 of 108 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 12, 2012 6:02:56 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 12, 2012 6:05:50 AM PST
Shenanigans says:
Ok, so i was reading a book today, wont mention the name since i really dont want to sour an otherwise great book for anyone.

The Heroine is with a guy who is a party animal and immature and she gets Pregnant (not on purpose, ofcourse, but shes aware of his lifestyle and his priorities). He says he doesnt want ANY responsibility. Suggests she get an abortion. Is he an a*hole? Should the heroine be badgering him for child support and holding him responsible?

Before you answer, put aside all your motherly/womenly intuitions and instincts aside. Look at this situation NEUTRALLY.

There are times when a woman is not ready for a baby and the man is. And ultimately it is the womans call on whether she wants to keep the baby or not because its her body.

Im not berating anyone on their personal opinions and nor is this topic about abortions and whether if its right or wrong, religiously or otherwise... So PLEASE try your best to keep the topic clean and fight-free. My purpose for opening this topic is to ask: why is the guy an a*hole if he doesnt want the baby and considers the baby non-existant when he made it clear that he doesnt a baby (ofcourse, this was after the pregnancy).

Also keep in mind, women are equal to men. Equal standards must apply.

Posted on Nov 12, 2012 6:22:30 AM PST
L. Burns says:
I don't think he's an a*hole for not wanting "any responsibility", but when you really don't want to have children then you need to be diligent about birth control. In this situation they were both foolish. Yes, I know that no birth control is 100%, but with all that's available out there today (and with a "party animal" I'm sure the h insisted on a condom...right?) if you really don't want a pregnancy you can avoid it.

-BUT-

The bottom line is they had sex, she is pregnant and if she decides to keep the baby then he does have financial responsibility. He's not a jerk for wanting her to have an abortion, but he would be a jerk to ignore his responsibilities is she declines to do so.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 12, 2012 6:32:11 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 12, 2012 6:33:12 AM PST
Shenanigans says:
But thats precisely my question: why is he a jerk if he didnt want the baby BECAUSE of the responsibility it entails? Hes not ready, clearly.

And thanks for the response :)

Posted on Nov 12, 2012 6:37:44 AM PST
It's very sad that she didn't know his true character before she slept with him. He sounds incompatible with women in general.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 12, 2012 6:44:20 AM PST
Shenanigans says:
She was into "bad boys"

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 12, 2012 6:48:33 AM PST
L. Burns says:
<<why is he a jerk if he didnt want the baby BECAUSE of the responsibility it entails? Hes not ready, clearly.>>

IMO he isn't a jerk for not wanting the baby, but he IS a bit of a dumbazz for not making sure that the pregnancy didn't occur in the first place. But once the pregnancy happens and the woman makes the choice to keep the child, then - ready or not - he's got to man up. Oh, and I'm not giving the h a pass on this one either. She should have protected herself and she better think long and hard about what it means to have a child with a man who doesn't want one.

Here's the thing: In Romancelandia, when a man doesn't want a baby he ALWAYS changes his mind and turns out to be the best father/husband in the world. HEA. In real life, it's usually a frickin disaster of epic proportions. Parenting his hard when you BOTH want a child; it's a recipe for heartache when one of you feels angry, unprepared and resentful.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 12, 2012 6:50:02 AM PST
L. Burns says:
<<She was into "bad boys" >>

Well, looks like she got herself one, lol!

Posted on Nov 12, 2012 6:57:40 AM PST
D. Arnold says:
Both made a conscious decision to have sex and BOTH knew of the consequences whether there was birth control or not. If he chooses not to have anything to do with it, then that is on him and his sense of responsibilities and he is still a jerk. If he was forced or she made it so he didn't have a 'conscious' choice, then he is not a jerk for wanting no child. Since that rarely happens, this sounds like a oops what have we done and he needs to step up! Even if his lifestyle wasn't a manwh*** and he was all innocent, he is still responsible. No one probably wants a baby that is unplanned the minute that realize there is a baby. That doesn't make a man/woman a jerk, that is normal feelings in these situations. What he/she does with this responsibility after the initial shock shows if he/she is a jerk. If you are 'man/woman enough' to have sex, then you should be 'man/woman enough' to take care of the consequences! Stepping up or stepping away from child shows if you are a jerk or not.

A real situation: My hubby was left with his dad by his mom when he was a baby. She didn't want a male child. She rarely saw him as he was growing up, but she does try to keep in touch with card, gifts, spoiling our children. etc now. He and I don't really ever talk to her. Emails, pictures and through the grapevine is all she is capable of. She has two daughters, one was deaf at birth and she gave her to her sister to raise and kept the other one. Do I think she is a jerk? H*** yes I do. Do I begrudge her a little sight into the world she gave up? No. I know she will never hurt my hubby again, it may sting a little for him when he sees all that she bestows on our boys, but he has me and doesn't need her. We are in our 40s and this has been dealt with a long time ago, but the sting will always be there.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 12, 2012 7:14:01 AM PST
Reader79 says:
In both real life and fiction I think that the feelings of both the man and the woman become secondary to the fate of the child. Certain facts apply: two people chose to have sex with the knowledge that conception was a possibility (no matter how remote) and that child deserves every chance in the world for a great life. Either party is absolutely a "jerk" if he or she refuses to accept responsibility for his or her actions and a child suffers as a result.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 12, 2012 7:30:52 AM PST
Shenanigans says:
I agree, if you're old enough to have sex then You're old enough to know that the fun also has consequences you should be prepared to own upto. Unfortunately, not everyone is Prepared to do that.

Heres my take on it: when a guy says he doesnt want the baby or any responsibility and offers to pay for an abortion, then he becomes nothing but a sperm donor. Is he a jerk for not stepping up and failing to offer atleast financial assistance? Yes he is; but thats my bitterness speaking.

But if i look at this situation as a completely neutral observer, It was his choice to not have a baby because of the responsibility, then it was her choice to have the baby knowing shes in it alone. So why is he a jerk because he doesnt offer financial assistance? Yes, its wrong, but thats precisely why he never wanted children. Is he so wrong for exercising his right? I mean, the woman is also keeping a baby he doesnt want coming into the world, but hes letting her exercise her right. The argument, its his baby afterall, doesnt hold up, IMO, because he doesnt want the baby.

Posted on Nov 12, 2012 7:39:01 AM PST
Dog Lover says:
This has been a question for me for a long time. I'm surprised that more legal challenges haven't been raised. If it is the "woman's right to choose", then how can the man be held responsible (legally) if that woman decides to keep the baby?

All womanly feelings and cultural expectations aside, I've come to think that a man (married or not, btw) cannot be legally held responsible for parental obligations if he (at some early point in the pregnancy) has decided against having the child. Jerk? Absolutely. I do think, though, that if he has been ruled to have no voice in the termination decision, then he has no obligations thereafter.

One of the best TV shows I've watched (YEARS ago!) was when a married couple became pregnant and he wanted the child and she did not. The court said he couldn't override her abortion decision and I immediately thought of the reverse situation.

All this is value-judgement independent. I'm thinking that legal systems, though, need to start addressing this side of that choice.

DL

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 12, 2012 7:40:46 AM PST
Shenanigans says:
Yes!!!! My thoughts exactly!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 12, 2012 7:42:50 AM PST
HJ Leonard says:
This is probably one of the most eloquent posts I've read.

+1000

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 12, 2012 7:43:49 AM PST
Shenanigans says:
Lol i was abt to edit my post and write the same thing. U beat me to it!

Posted on Nov 12, 2012 7:46:18 AM PST
i conceived while on the pill. now that my baby is 30+, i don't recall if i had been sick enough to negate the pill as you read/hear so often nowadays.
the fact is, anytime you have sex you could be making a baby.
as far as i am concerned, taking responsibility for that baby can take several forms...adopt it out to people who want to be parents, abortion, parenting. obviously the particulars of the situation would impact the choices, and i would like ot think the man did more than offer money for an abortion (ask her if she wants one first) but offering the money for an abortion does not make him a jerk. it wasn't so long ago that society would have patted him on the back for knocking her up, denigrated her for trying to trap him that way(at the very least) and considered him well out of it.
granted i was spoiled for having my husband so long, but he always said (and he said it to many of the young men in the family) that a man raises his child.
of course, not being a jerk doesn't mean you are a man...

Posted on Nov 12, 2012 8:00:47 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 12, 2012 8:01:56 AM PST
I agree that the main responsibility is ultimately to the child. I wouldn't consider him a jerk for disagreeing with, disliking or even resenting her unilateral decision to have the child but I would for denying that child afterwards. She (wanting "bad boys" and motherhood is not a winning combination) like he is to blame but not the child. The child shouldn't pay for either of their mistakes, though sadly usually they are the ones that do.

No contraception is 100% but a combination of birth control plus a condom is pretty close and for anyone truly adverse to having children there is also surgery (that is reversible if one changes one mind afterwards) or gasp abstinence.

Posted on Nov 12, 2012 8:05:38 AM PST
lovebooks says:
If the mother of the child needs state assistance at some point in time, the father of the child will clearly be held responsible. Not only will he have to pay child support but the state will enforce it by garnishing his wages or putting him in jail. She could also take him to court for child support. Even if he wants nothing to do with child, he will be legally responsible until he/she is 18. He who plays - pays!! lol

Posted on Nov 12, 2012 8:06:37 AM PST
D. Arnold says:
Any way you look at it, he didn't want a child then he should have refrained from sex or got fixed. Since he did help conceive the child, whatever choice he made after that knowledge was what makes him a jerk. If the choice doesn't correspond with hers then there is the problem. If all he wants to do is pay for an abortion, fine he stepped up in his own way and she needs to take the money for the abortion and have him sign papers immediately given up his rights and good riddance . She is then left to make her decisions concerning the child. To often the in romance land the H shows up later to accept the child and she and the child are forced into blackmail and the like. If he signs his rights away, he still manages to get her and the child. (Shattered Trust (Harlequin Presents)) In real life, they may or not come back and she and the child are left with the uncertainty of parental rights. In romanceland, he is a jerk and in reality, he may not be in the best interest of the child!!!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 12, 2012 8:11:12 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 12, 2012 8:12:14 AM PST
Dog Lover says:
It is precisely that point that I think is, from a legal standpoint, contradictory. Again, not addressing the jerk- factor and only considering legal factors, these seem inherently wrong to me. (Assuming he stated his position early enough for a legal abortion to be performed.)

Just to clarify my stance: My personal position is Pro-Life so you can see that I am talking only to (IMO) unresolved issues in the legal system.

DL

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 12, 2012 8:27:04 AM PST
Reader79 says:
I don't think that offering to pay for an abortion negates his responsibility. I completely see your point that he doesn't want the child and is willing to pay to make it "go away." However sometimes life just isn't fair (when did I turn into my mother??) and his actions have consequences that he has to own. Sometimes we can't buy our way out way out of a problem or pretend it doesn't exist.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 12, 2012 8:27:52 AM PST
Reader79 says:
I also think this is a great post. Shakes up the romance forum in a good way:)

Posted on Nov 12, 2012 8:39:47 AM PST
D. Arnold says:
I like this post as well. My take on post is the question is for the romance novels not real life. Real life is a whole different galaxy when trying to compare it to romanceland. Romanceland is fiction and that is why it is placed there. Some scenes, plots, endings may resemble real life, but are in fact just fiction. Real life needs to be dealt with based on the couple. Romanceland deals with anything and everything about an unplanned child. My post were leaning to romanceland and not real life. There isn't enough pages to write about my feelings about the unplanned child in real life and what should or shouldn't be done for them.

Posted on Nov 12, 2012 8:43:46 AM PST
misty9 says:
if you state upfront you don't want kids, your actions must carry out your words, either by abstaining or by having a vasectomy.
If you have a child on the way, whether you're a man or a woman, the child's rights take precedence over yours
He didn't choose to be born, but you DID choose to have sex, with all that entails.
I don't think it's so much a loop in the legal system (it's more or less the same over here in Italy too) as the recognition that the baby's needs must come first, and when you do something that can have conseguences, you must be held accountable.
Let's use a non inflammatory example: I don't want to hurt anyone, but accidentally bump a vase onto someone's head and kill him.
Am I not responsible even if it was absolutely not what I wanted?
It seems like the same principal to me- you do something, even without choosing it - you take responsibility

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 12, 2012 8:52:01 AM PST
L. Burns says:
<<I do think, though, that if he has been ruled to have no voice in the termination decision, then he has no obligations thereafter.>>

I'm torn on this one. If the man's point of view is "I do not want a child. I do not want the financial responsibility of a child. I do not want to be a father in any sence of the word", then he better make darn sure that he doesn't impregnate anyone. When you have sex with someone you knowingly assume some risk, one being that pregnancy can occur. Do you get to throw up your hands and say "No way. I didn't want this outcome and I'm not responsible. YOU want the baby, it's all yours. I had nothing to do with this"?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 12, 2012 8:54:49 AM PST
Dog Lover says:
However, it IS a choice to terminate or not. Kinda different than "accidentally" killing someone, yes?

If the man is to be held responsible post-birth, shouldn't he have equal rights in the termination decision?

DL
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Discussion in:  Romance forum
Participants:  27
Total posts:  108
Initial post:  Nov 12, 2012
Latest post:  Jan 3, 2013

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