What causes women to become single mothers by choice? Are men to blame?

Dina sent me this revealing article from the UK Daily Mail. It answers the question “Where does fatherlessness come from?”.

Excerpt:

My marriage ended, without rancour or argument, 18 months after it had begun. There was no recrimination, just a realisation, as sharp as physical pain, that we would never — could never — agree on one fundamental point.

I wanted children; my husband Anthony did not. You may think we should have resolved this crucial issue long before we bought a house and vowed to spend the rest of our lives together, but love had a way of blinding us to the depth of our disagreement.

By “love” she means three things: 1) he was physically attractive, 2) she became sexually active with him after one month of meeting him, and 3) she moved in with him before he made a commitment to marriage and parenting. (As we shall see) As far as I can tell, she spent her late 20s to mid 30s with this guy – a guy she chose of her own free will. A guy who never indicated any interest in children, but who indicated plenty of interest in recreational sex.

More:

Today, I am 37 and a single mum to gorgeous three-month-old twin boys Charlie and William. They were conceived through IVF, using my eggs and sperm from an anonymous donor, and the love I feel for them is all-consuming.

[…]Anthony, a policeman, was easy and fun; we chatted comfortably together, and when we started dating I was impressed by his integrity. He had passionate views about fairness and loyalty. He was attractive, too — tall, dark hair, blue eyes — and I felt we could build a loving relationship together.

“Easy and fun” = no divisive truth claims, no moral judgments, no moral boundaries, no goals, no plans, no expectations, no obligations. Perfect! The modern feminist ideal.

More:

After a month or so, our physical relationship began, but we did not rush things. It was a couple of years before he moved into my flat in Crawley, West Sussex, and I expected we’d eventually marry and have kids.

Looking back, I suppose I should have heeded the warning signals. When I broached the subject of children, he stalled. His stock reply was: ‘We’ll have them later.’

So although he was non-committal, I loved him and assumed that his paternal instinct would kick in as he grew older. But the years passed and I was not reassured.

She thinks that a man who agrees to recreational sex after a month and then agrees to cohabitation after two years is the kind of man who is capable of making a lifelong commitment to be faithful to her and to raise children. That strikes me as equivalent to saying that a man whose favorite movie is Top Gun would also make a good airline pilot.

More:

And then I reached 30. My friends were marrying; settling into comfortable domesticity, preparing for parenthood, and Anthony and I were still in this limbo.

[…]Then my best friend announced she was pregnant and the joy I felt for her was tainted by Anthony’s absence of commitment to the idea of having children with me. So we had another discussion — this time, it was a passionate one. ‘It’s a deal-breaker,’ I said. ‘Much as I love you, if you don’t want children we can’t carry on.’

But, again, he assured me that it would all happen. I just had to bide my time.

So I waited until Anthony was 30, an age when I felt he was old enough to settle down. We loved each other whole-heartedly; we’d bought two successive homes together and the understanding was implicit: my future was bound up in his.

[…]I wanted so much to believe he would warm to the idea, but Anthony equivocated. He still wasn’t ready, he protested.

[…]But then Anthony demonstrated just how strong his aversion to babies was. We were visiting a friend who’d recently given birth and, when her baby cried, Anthony made his excuses and went home.

‘I just can’t stand the sound of that crying,’ he said testily when I confronted him later. ‘If we had a baby, I’d have to move out for the first six weeks.’

It wasn’t a propitious sign, but eventually he seemed to soften.

‘If we’re going to have children, we’ll have to get married first,’ he said the next time I raised the subject, and for once I agreed absolutely. We should get married; by making a public commitment to stay together for the rest of our lives, we would be taking the first step towards establishing a secure home for our future babies.

[…]After six months as man and wife, there had been no mention from Anthony of children. So one day, as we walked home from town, I broached the subject again.

‘We can’t afford to have children,’ he responded sharply and, rather than discuss the topic further, he marched off ahead of me.

[…]This was not the life I had planned for myself: for the first time I started to feel anger towards Anthony. I felt he had forced this situation onto me.

Have no fear, the government was there to give her taxpayer-funded IVF and single mother welfare payments, free day care, free public schools, and free health care. After all, none of this was her fault. It was all that beastly man’s fault. It’s nothing that can’t be solved by taking a little money from the other single men’s pockets, though. After all, if they have less money, that will make them even MORE likely to marry and conceive children. Anthony couldn’t afford to have children, so the solution to that is to tax all the other men so that they can’t afford to have children. Fatherless children impose enormous costs on society as well, most directly through increased crime. But who cares? As long as this woman gets what she wants, right?

And it goes on and on and on, with feminists completely ignorant about how they are causing their own messes with their support for wealth redistribution and their own irresponsible choices with men. He was attractive though. Very attractive. I’m sure her friends were all impressed and envious of her on the wedding day. After all, if a man has a square jaw and enjoys recreational sex, that is a clear sign he is ready for marriage and parenting. Right?

21 thoughts on “What causes women to become single mothers by choice? Are men to blame?”

    1. I agree. My guess? He never once implied that it was anything other than recreational sex, and she is the one who was operating on hormones and fairy tales and wedding pictures and baby pictures and emotional roller coasters and chick flicks like “Pretty Woman” and “Bridget Jones”. Her pastor, if she had one, would be backing her right up in her delusions, as well.

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  1. This is a really interesting perspective and one that I haven’t really thought about too much. The family is core to society not just because it provides the best environment to raise children, but also because it doesn’t take away from other areas of society to do it (through taxation/wealth distribution). A healthy, traditional family spends less than it takes in and saves the difference, and the outside society is not impacted.

    I think this relates to what CS Lewis described as individual morality being much like sailing a vessel. What we do in our own lives and our own homes and families really does affect society. We can tell ourselves otherwise, but all actions eventually impact others for better or for worse. I’m still trying to figure out any supposed benefit in a “post-family” philosophy of society…

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  2. The irony of your post is that you yourself are of an age where, if you were female, your fertility would’ve in freefall, and you yourself would need IVF.

    So which of your life decisions do you blame for your chronic single and barren state?

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    1. Well according to 1 Cor 7, I am fine with being chaste. However, if I had to pick one decision that stopped me from getting married, I would say that it was my decision to depend on the church in order to meet Christian women, rather than taking the initiative to write my blog. I’ve met lots of intelligent, marriage-capable women through my writing. I mean chaste women who have studied apologetics and have integrated Christianity with economics and politics. The local churches in the three states I’ve lived in have been disasters.

      Men don’t have the same desire to marry and have children as women. I am fine with being able to retire at 40 and being able to live as well as I am now (while working) without having to work.

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    2. Ah! We’ve attracted a fan of IRONY to the blog. Good.
      Mark’s concern for the host’s “barren” state
      is heartwarming and rarely seen in men (Mark IS a man, right?)

      I’m glad Mark saw fit to draw up a weird hypo
      crabbing about the differences between male and female fertility (while we’re at it, suppose WinteryKnight were a female preying mantid? He wouldn’t be intelligent enough to have a blog. And he’d eat his lover during copulation. What if he were a female cat? He might slaughter his young shortly after giving birth. And he also would not blog (but only because keyboards are not paw-friendly, not due to low intelligence). We can do these “ironic” hypotheticals
      all day long).

      A couple of purely irrelevant things you’ll never hear wome-ahem-I mean, MEN like “Mark” ponder:

      -Whether it’s wise to fornicate with someone within ONE MONTH of meeting them, despite fundemental differences in values, so long as your fornication partner is “tall”, and has “dark hair”, and nice eyes. And then pat yourself on the back for “not rushing things”

      -Whether it’s fair to expect one’s parents to pick up the tab for sin and poor decision making that wasted one’s prime childbearing years, even if they are gracious enough to do so. And whether or not young women without parents wealthy enough to sponsor this nonsense will turn to their surrogate parents (Western Governments) to compel resource transfers from taxpayers so that Liberated Womanhood can satisfy its baby rabies

      -If childbearing is a narcissistic act of self fulfillment, akin to raising a prize purebred dog. Or whether it is something with profound consequences for your fellow citizens, as revealed by the statistical correlation between single parenthood and government dependence, poor school performance, violent/antisocial behavior, sexual predation, etc.

      -Then again, perhaps the Marks of this world don’t believe in antisocial behavior, preferring to hand-wave about “alternative lifestyle choices”. At least, of course, until the results of said lifestyle choices are walking behind them in an alley at 2AM. Oh well.

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  3. Interesting. My email address & name I used to leave a comment on another blog yesterday came up automatically.

    Of course it’s the woman’s fault! Is it ever the man’s fault anywhere on this blog? Feminism’s fault!

    Do you think the reality might be that this guy strung her along for several years & then got married under false pretenses?

    Wintery, could you please just admit that you are a secret member of the MRM?

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    1. Well, of course he strong her along. He’s a cad. The point though is that she chose him because of he was handsome, fun and non-judgmental. And do you know what happens with men who are non-judgmental? They cannot be counted on to take morality seriously. Duh. This woman is an idiot and her fatherless children will pay the price for her stupidity and immorality.

      Of course I am a secret member of the MRM!

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    2. “Of course it’s the woman’s fault! Is it ever the man’s fault anywhere on this blog? Feminism’s fault!”

      So much for female moral agency. Note the resentful tone of Bundle’s comment, and the anger at WK for his awareness of the FACTS – all admitted by the writer – that can be gleaned from the article:

      -She had casual sex with a man whom she’d only known well for about a month

      -She failed to exercise self control and foresight when making an extremely important decision

      -She deliberately left her children fatherless

      -She finds herself, as a teacher, ill-prepared to explain to impressionable children how her decisionmaking produced the weird family arrangement she’s left with today

      -Rather than examine Bentham’s own words, I guess it’s more fun to hypothesize about how this poor, helpless lady COULD have been strung along.

      -Add to this one fact that Ms Bentham refuses to acknowledge, perhaps because it’s too painful for her to admit: She remains deluded about her sexual market value. She brags about “someday finding” a man worthy of raising her children.
      The reality is, she is overweight, close to forty, divorced, and saddled with offspring who will not share a biologocal connection to her second spouse. What’s more, her promiscuity has left her with a diminished capacity to bond with a new mate (while our present company works itself into a lather over “misogyny”, I recommend other visitors read WK’s excellent posts about chastity. Especially his statistical write-up re: how female premarital sex influences divorce rates & marital bonding. I will try to link to it later).

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    3. HE strung HER along? Sounds to me like it was the other way around. She admits in the interview that he had a steady job as a policeman, strong views about “fairness and loyalty”, and “integrity”. He spent about 10 presumably faithful years with her. He married her on the date they had set despite being seriously injured only a short time before. His supposedly being attractive does not automatically make him a bad person. Other than exercising, keeping up good hygiene, and maintaining a healthy weight, there is little a person can do about his or her appearance.

      Her only complaint was that she could not force him to want children. If she wanted children so badly, she had about 10 years to break up with him and find someone who wanted children, but she insisted on pursuing her happy family fantasy that was never going to happen, but she apparently finds the selection of a mate based on whether he would be a good father and husband depressing. Girls just wanna have fun, right? Heaven forbid this woman not get EVERYTHING she wants in life!

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  4. She waited a whole month before beginning a physical relationship, then dated (with sex included) for a couple of years before he moved in with her. Then they lived together for several years until she finally got him to marry her. Only after a period of time as a married couple did she finally accept that he wasn’t interested in having kids. I have a great suggestion. Determine if the guy is marriage material and a likely father for your children before you shack up with him, and even better still before you get “physical”. Our culture is so messed up by this stuff. Now she gets to marry the “state” and let the taxpayers be her baby daddy. Good grief!

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  5. It’s very easy to blame feminism, without feminism we’d have no need for contraceptives, without contraceptives we’d have more babies being born to young couples, with that happening these women wouldn’t have exited their marriages.

    Sounds simple enough to me. As for the males, they can understand that once you get around a female who isn’t contracepting you’ll most likely have a baby and have to support it, so the recreational sex would be out and the marriage would not be entered into until he was ready for the baby (financially and otherwise).

    Yes women make all the difference here.

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  6. Wintery,

    You wrote: “Have no fear, the government was there to give her taxpayer-funded IVF and single mother welfare payments, free day care, free public schools, and free health care.”

    No it wasn’t. The article states clearly that her IVF was paid for with help from her parents, not the government. They went so far as to mortgage their house for her.
    As for the rest, you haven’t any evidence to assert, even sarcastically, that she receives government assistance of any kind. I’m curious why you would criticize her on both counts when one isn’t true and the other you don’t know.
    Besides which…this is the UK we’re talking about. Why would you care who’s paying taxes for what in a country you don’t live in?

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  7. Not wanting to have children (or couldn’t agree on the number of children) just seems to be a very convenient fabricated excuse for ending a marriage. The reason makes both parties look good and respectable. Its akin to confessing to the sin of “pride”. Every one knows pride is a sin, but its like a designer sin and really doesn’t make you look bad in your church.

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    1. “Not wanting to have children (or couldn’t agree on the number of children) just seems to be a very convenient fabricated excuse for ending a marriage”

      But nobody needs an excuse for ending a marriage. That’s what no-fault divorce is all about.

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      1. Legal reasons are not the same as reasons given to your actual marriage mate & your social/family circle. Most people will want to know WHY their spouse is leaving them, as will their family & friends. This excuse provides a relatively “no blame” reason to dish out to people.

        This woman obviously made a bad decision, or a series of bad decisions, when it came to dating/marriage. I don’t agree with the “single mothers by choice” philosophy nor do I defend this woman, other than to say the financial comments were unnecessary.

        The demographic of women who make this decision are usually educated & career-oriented. They often put off having children because women are pushed to “have it all” in society now, and they will be seen as losers if they marry young & have children but never use their potential outside the home. Women are given very high expectations nowadays as far as what they should accomplish by age 30 or so, and so no wonder they seek a lot in a mate also. In contrast, men are given less expectations by society, and so few will live up what those women are seeking. You have women who feel they must “settle” then, and men who don’t have to settle at all (just keep sleeping around, committed to bachelorhood).

        Welfare mothers, however, are not the “single moms by choice” crowd who get IVF. They are the kind who get pregnant by accident, have poor education, and low job skills. They settle for the low achieving men with nothing to offer because they have low expectations given to them by their situation. Instead of putting kids off for careers they’ll never have, the women get knocked up as teens & young adults by men (or BOYS) who are not ready for fatherhood emotionally or financially, but who still make the decision to have sex.

        So I would not blame this all on women or feminism. These are cultural values & customs that men have had a hand in (and “benefited” from) as much as women. Many ideals & values associated with feminism grew out of ill treatment of women as 2nd class citizens. The pendulum has swung from one extreme to the other.

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  8. Well most women can really be to Blame why so many of us Good men are still Not married today since the women of today are certainly Nothing at all like the Good old fashioned were.

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