Not Engaged Yet

Getting married because of pregnancy

A friend of mine told me she's pregnant.  I was sharing the good news with a few of my family members and each one asked if my friend and her BF are going to get married now.  Yes, her and her BF have been together longer than FI and I have been, but  I don't think they were planning on getting married any time soon.  Do you assume a couple is going to get married if they have a baby?  Do you feel a couple should get married if they end up having a child?

I'm not talking about a planned pregnancy, I'm talking about a surprise pregnancy.  



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Re: Getting married because of pregnancy

  • heyimbrenheyimbren member
    2500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I don't really assume anything. I know a few people in this situation, who are very young, and as soon as they  had the baby they went and got engaged. They're "engaged" but not planning anything by any means and I'm not even sure they'll ever get married (they keep breaking up on and off again, oy).

    I guess it would really depend on the age of the couple. If they were older and it was a surprise pregnancy, I'd probably believe that they might stay together and get married. The younger they are though, I have more doubts.
  • motoLynmotoLyn member
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    edited December 2011
    I don't think that two people HAVE to marry if she's pregnant, my BF is a product of two people who did not marry.  We joke about how he's the black sheep of his family, his stepdad, adopted him officially and has his step dad's name.  He has five half siblings and everyone gets along.  He's still very close to his biological father as well.  

    On the other hand I just wished my friends a happy one year anniversary recently.  They found out she was pregnant in February 09 and married in August 09.  The pregnancy was a surprise and they weren't planning on getting married that year, but he proposed in April and she had 3-4 months to plan a wedding.  Baby Sofie was born in October 09.  Mommy is 28 fully employed and owns a house, daddy is 23 finishing up his last year of college as an engineer and works as an intern at a firm.

    Its all about lifestyle, and personal choices.
  • Hazel_BHazel_B member
    2500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Although I very much would like to do things in order...marriage before a carriage.

    I don't expect it from other people. If anything I think it is a terrible idea to decide to get married because of a pregnancy, if no real talk of marriage has occured. After growing up in a small town where lots of people got pregnant, people at my university were always shocked by my reaction at people getting married. Since I knew so many people with kids they all expected me to think nothing of a marriage.

    Accidents/surprises happen and you deal with them and make the best of it, but you have the luxury of making a decision when it comes to a marriage. Marriage is a big deal and the decision should never be taken lightly. I don't care what order society expects things should be in or what others may view as an ideal family.

    If they wait a couple years after the baby is born and they deicide to get married then it is fine. 

    A friend from highschool got pregnant within a month of dating a guy. They ended up getting married when their son was 3. The father was determined to get married ASAP when he found out about the pregnancy, but my friend held off.

    Essentially it depends on the circumstances.
  • mysticlmysticl member
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    edited December 2011
    People should not get married just because of a pregancy, it's not fair to anyone including the baby. 
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  • edited December 2011
    I guess I was just surprised at how many people assumed that they were going to get married now that she's pregnant.  They're not young, but like I said, I don't think that marriage was on the plate any time soon.  I guess I was surprised at how old fashioned my family was being.  
  • dollface76dollface76 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    That way of thinking is pretty old fashioned, not to mention not realistic. I wouldn't want one of my friends getting married to someone just because of a pregnancy. I feel like there would always be a lot of resentment in a relationship based purely on that.
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  • leia1979leia1979 member
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    edited December 2011
    I have two high school friends who got married about 6 months into their pregnancies in the last couple years (so both were in their late 20s).  One even moved halfway around the world as a result. Another girl I know got pregnant at 18. To have her baby baptized in the Catholic church, she had to promise she and the father would get married. While I haven't seen her in years, I don't think they ever married.

    I certainly don't think marriage is a requirement--it's purely a personal decision for the couple.


  • edited December 2011
    I don't think that people should get married just because they got pregnant, but if I were in that situation and I was already planning on getting married, it might speed things up a little bit.
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  • edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_getting-married-because-of-pregnancy?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:136Discussion:9a4ce2fe-9344-478b-9704-7993c10df719Post:ce6a1f5f-b911-47bc-aaf7-843976c391e9">Re: Getting married because of pregnancy</a>:
    [QUOTE]I don't think that people should get married just because they got pregnant, but if I were in that situation and I was already planning on getting married, it might speed things up a little bit.
    Posted by Narwhal[/QUOTE]

    This!  If we got pregnant, we'd never say, "Well, then we'd HAVE to get married."  But if we got pregnant now, after already being very open about our plans to get married, it might affect our timeline a little and speed things up, or we might delay it so that we could get situated as a family and enjoy the pregnancy and birth and infancy of our child before going through the stress of planning a wedding.

    I have a close friend who got pregnant by her boyfriend two years ago.  Their little boy is super cute, and they're such an adorable family.  They plan on getting married when their little guy is old enough to walk down the aisle as ring bearer.
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  • edited December 2011
    I don't think people should get married because of pregnancy. I think sometimes a pregnancy can make a couple think "Hang on, so what have we been waiting for, anyway?"

    I think if a couple feels that marriage before children is a necessity, then they shouldn't get pregnant before they get married. There shouldn't be any shame in a pregnancy. Sure, if you get knocked up before you're married there may be consequences in a society that still values the old-fashioned way of doing things. But honestly, a couple should do what's right for them.

    If a couple doesn't think marriage is necessary before having kids, then they should still be wary of an unplanned pregnancy before they can actually support children. If they want to remain unmarried until they decide if they're cut out to be married, then that's cool beans. Great decision.

    But getting married "for the baby" is a stupid decision. I'm of the opinion that kids will do much better with happy parents who can admit their mistakes, part on good terms, and seek out fulfilling, loving relationships apart rather than with parents who marry because they feel they "have" to, end up unhappy and resentful, part on awful terms (or stay together in an unhealthy, unwanted marriage), and then use their kid as leverage against each other.

    I have seen that last scenario so many times, it's horrible.

    Above all, I really think that no matter what decision people make about their marital status, they should make that decision for the RIGHT reasons. Of course baby comes first! That goes without saying. But a couple needs to really consider what IS best for baby... not what family, friends, or society pressures them to BELIEVE is best.

    For the record, no... I am not perfect. I think a certain MUD brought up that touchy subject with me before. The fact that I have made mistakes in my past has led me to the exact opinion I have now.

    DH and I agreed not to have sex until we felt fully prepared to welcome an unplanned pregnancy, if it should happen. Because honestly, it doesn't matter what kind of protection you use-- if you have sex, you COULD get pregnant. It's just a fact. It's never impossible. And to me, a 1% chance of creating a human life is a HUGE risk to take before I'm ready for that kind of responsibility.

    I consider myself incredibly lucky that I woke up and realized that before I ended up tied to an ex-boyfriend for the rest of my life because of an unplanned pregnancy. I do think even if you aren't married to your baby-daddy, they will ALWAYS be a part of your life, no matter if they have contact with mom and baby or not.
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  • edited December 2011
    I agree with Hazel, I personally want to do be married before baby comes.

    I have a friend who got married as soon as they found out she was pregnant - they had been together for a while, but he decided being married gave him the right to turn into a jerk, started drinking heavily, lost his job, etc.  By the time the child was 2, she was filing for divorce and he just became insane.  He started threatening her, stalking her, even rammed her car with their child in the backseat. It took 2 years to make the judge believe she wasn't imagining all of this and he finally ended up in jail.  As she says, all this just because she "wanted to do the right thing".

    I have another friend who had a baby with her boyfriend, stayed together but they have their own apartments.  3 years later she got pregnant again.  She wants to marry him, but he's enjoying "bachelorhood" and only wants to be with her and the kids when it's convenient for him - so good thing she didn't marry him with baby #1.

    It really all depends on the couple and the situation - they have to do what's right for them.
  • jemmini6jemmini6 member
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    edited December 2011
    I have a friend who is doing this right now.  I'm assuming her FI is the traditional one that thinks because she got pregnant (after 2 WEEKS of dating) that they have to get married.  I assume this just becuase she said he doesn't believe in abortion, so she didn't have a choice other than to keep the baby.  I think they (or she) is being relatively smart about it though, given the situation, because she knows that they don't know each other that well, so she wants to have a 1-2 year engagement to make sure things can really work out before they get married.  He will also be moving in with her shortly before the baby is due.  Of course, I hope that it all works out for the best, and I'm sure it will because she has a good head on her shoulders (except for the part about getting pregnant after 2 weeks. lol) and she does seem to genuinely care a lot about him.  You never know the weird way some things work out...

    I did have another friend who called me to tell me she just went to the courthouse and got married.  The first thing I asked her was if she was pregnant.  She was.  She was 19 at the time, but it seems to have worked out so far.  They are still married and now have 2 kids together.
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  • edited December 2011
    *ahem* having an abortion or raising a baby are not the only choices.
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  • edited December 2011
    Good point... adoption is a very valid option, and something people often overlook.

    For me, I have always been strongly pro-choice, regardless of what someone's choice would be.  But I have always known my choice would be "no" so I know what would happen if the precautions to prevent pregnancy didn't work.  If I was 18 years old and got pregnant, I'd probably strongly consider adoption.  At my age today, I would be a good mother and would be interested in raising my own child.
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  • heyimbrenheyimbren member
    2500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Jemmini - I used to have some friends in a situation like that. The girl got KU after 3 months of dating. She kept the baby, and for their one year dating anniversary he proposed. They keep "breaking up" and fighting over facebook. As much as I would love for that baby to have two parents together who love each other, I have to agree with Jeana on this one. Two people sticking it out but fighting each other and hating each other half the time just are not good.
  • jemmini6jemmini6 member
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    edited December 2011
    Adoption didn't really come up with them because he already has 2 kids from a previous marriage and they are both capable of raising the baby even if, God forbid, things didn't work out between them.  Abortion was probably only mentioned because of the short time they've known each other, but once they decided to continue the pregnancy, they knew they would be raising it together.

    As for the people staying together for the kids...that doesn't work either.  My sister is actually moving into an apartment this weekend and is finally getting divorced from her verbally abusive husband.  Her son is 2 and a half and she tried to put up with it for him, but in the end, I think it will be better for my nephew to have 2 happily divorced parents than 2 miserably married parents.
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  • edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_getting-married-because-of-pregnancy?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:136Discussion:9a4ce2fe-9344-478b-9704-7993c10df719Post:e5960b15-3f39-4dd0-8293-cd301b165460">Re: Getting married because of pregnancy</a>:
    [QUOTE]Accidents/surprises happen and you deal with them and make the best of it, but you have the luxury of making a decision when it comes to a marriage. Marriage is a big deal and the decision should never be taken lightly. I don't care what order society expects things should be in or what others may view as an ideal family. If they wait a couple years after the baby is born and they deicide to get married then it is fine. 
    Posted by Hazel_B[/QUOTE]

    Pretty much what I was going to say. Marrying just because of an unplanned pregnancy is just a recipe for disaster.

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  • breezerbbreezerb member
    500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    BF's brother and his GF found out they were expecting a little while ago and they had only been dating 4 months, but they are both in their late 20s.  They are a dedicated catholic family but surprisingly his mom sat him down and said that by no means does this child have to equal immediate marriage.  She explained that although the child would be born out of wedlock she would rather they take the time to really get to know each other and that having a baby is stressful enough without having to plan a marriage. She would rather have them take their time and focus on the baby than have a quickie wedding and risk divorce later. 

    I will be getting the best and most understanding MIL in the world.
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  • desertsundesertsun member
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    edited December 2011
    I agree that it would be one thing if the couple had been together awhile and already knew they wanted to get married.

    But getting married SOLELY b/c of an unplanned pregnancy seems like a bad idea to me.
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  • edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_getting-married-because-of-pregnancy?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:136Discussion:9a4ce2fe-9344-478b-9704-7993c10df719Post:16c302b2-8cc5-4452-be3b-d68f8d97a5d2">Re: Getting married because of pregnancy</a>:
    [QUOTE]although the child would be born out of wedlock
    Posted by breezerb[/QUOTE]

    Here's another pet-peeve of mine! (not picking on you, breezer, but it caught my eye). Isn't the sin the premarital sex, not the giving birth?

    I mean, come on. Let's be honest here. If you get married before the baby is born... well... you're not "making things right." What is that about? Trying to fool God or something??? I don't get it.

    I mean, okay if your beliefs dictate that premarital sex is a sin (mine do, it's cool). But if that's your belief you can't pretend you didn't sin... and even if you're not pretending... then what's the marriage for?

    WHAT IS THAT ABOUT!!! I don't freaking get it!
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  • leia1979leia1979 member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 100 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    Jeana, on the other hand, some religions say that if you get divorced/annulled, any children who had previously been "legitimate" are now "bastards." I'm using quotes because I don't agree. It's certainly not the kid's fault, so why should he/she get stuck with a label?
  • edited December 2011
    Leia, that's redonkulous.
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  • breezerbbreezerb member
    500 Comments
    edited December 2011

    Jeana - I know you're not picking on me and I am just quoting what others said so hey, it's not my opinion anyway. I don't really like the word wedlock (sounds like an institution) or the word bridegroom for that matter...

    Just a thought, but maybe its that although premarital sex is the sin, it can easily be hidden or lied about but once a birth happens, the secret is out?

    I'm not sure, I am not necessarily religious and instead pretty "new" fashioned (as opposed to old) and believe that while marriage before children is the way that I want to do things, I do not condone those who choose otherwise... I have quite a few friends that have children and are not married and they seem to be very happy and comfortable with their lives

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  • desertsundesertsun member
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    edited December 2011
    I don't think having a child out of wedlock was scandalous in the past b/c of premarital sex. It was a social stigma, which is different.

    It had to do with primogeniture and entailment of estates. Basically, the passing down of land and wealth from generation to generation. The lines of inheritance got confused if there were children born outside of legal unions/marriages.

    "Bastards" were reviled by elites in society as a way of protecting their own status.

    So it wasn't so much a religious thing as a societal thing, which maybe explains why there is still stigma about that and not so much about premarital sex? Religion in general plays a less pervasive role in our society than in the past, but a surprising amount of social norms persist in some form.
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  • edited December 2011
    Lots of opinions here.  I think that there is a strong possibly that they will get married eventually.  They live together and will now have a family together.  I definitely wish them the best.  I'm excited to get to know the baby.  My point is that I don't think that they should rush into marriage now that she's expecting (a point that is shared by most here).

    My family is not stranger to people being single parents, so who knows what got into them.  I guess it's because my friend and her BF have been together for about 5 years.  

    FI and I talked about what we would do with a surprise pregnancy.  For a while we said we would cancel the wedding, go to City Hall, and use the remaining wedding money for the baby.  Now, we're getting closer to the point of no return and we would probably still have the wedding no matter what.  I don't want to get into an abortion debate, but it's definitely not the right choice for us.  We're too old to not take responsibility for our actions.  We both know that consequences of sex and that no form of BC is 100%.  
  • breezerbbreezerb member
    500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_getting-married-because-of-pregnancy?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special Topic Wedding BoardsForum:136Discussion:9a4ce2fe-9344-478b-9704-7993c10df719Post:286fbd03-6605-49f1-a644-2220a9fe4f6f">Re: Getting married because of pregnancy</a>:
    [QUOTE]I don't think having a child out of wedlock was scandalous in the past b/c of premarital sex. It was a social stigma, which is different. It had to do with primogeniture and entailment of estates. Basically, the passing down of land and wealth from generation to generation. The lines of inheritance got confused if there were children born outside of legal unions/marriages. "Bastards" were reviled by elites in society as a way of protecting their own status. So it wasn't so much a religious thing as a societal thing, which maybe explains why there is still stigma about that and not so much about premarital sex? Religion in general plays a less pervasive role in our society than in the past, but a surprising amount of social norms persist in some form.
    Posted by desertsun[/QUOTE]

    Oh desert, so knowledgeable!! I would have had no idea and it's kinda neat to learn stuff like that.

    Thanks :)
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  • edited December 2011
    I got pregnant before any type of proposal or marriage was even discussed.  The older people in my family mentioned marriage once they found out I was KU.  But we both wanted to wait.  We are together, raising our son in the same household and we are happy.  We've now been together almost 3 years, still not a very very long time but we definitely know now we want to get  married, but we are in no hurry. 

    We've picked colors, food options and looked at rings- but we're waiting til fiances allow a 'casual- elegant' wedding :)  I don't want to elope or do a JOP- that's just me.  I certainly don't presume marriage if someone is having a baby.  I agree with PP, getting married soley because a baby is on his/her way is a bad idea.
  • desertsundesertsun member
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    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_getting-married-because-of-pregnancy?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:136Discussion:9a4ce2fe-9344-478b-9704-7993c10df719Post:87e7aef3-bbaa-43a8-9042-ad6f77a7655c">Re: Getting married because of pregnancy</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Getting married because of pregnancy : Oh desert, so knowledgeable!! I would have had no idea and it's kinda neat to learn stuff like that. Thanks :)
    Posted by breezerb[/QUOTE]

    Aw, thanks Breezer! I'm always happy to have my nerdiness appreciated. :)
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  • tafft1tafft1 member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I will never be a fan of just because the woman gets pregnant should it automatically mean marriage. Same for "staying together for the kids". My "father" being around because my mother was old school and didn't believe in leaving her husband no matter what ( true to 1950's mentality) - did much MORE damage in the logn run. Granted this was because said father was an abusive alcoholic but my opinion stands.

    Just because you can have sex dosen't mean two people are ready for marriage..just my possibly unpopular opinion but because religion plays no real part in my life - it is that cut and dry *for me* , on the other hand I am in no way trying to dictate what will happen because of other's choices..I just have sworn never to repeat what I have lived through just because it may be deemed the "right thing". This wil apply to my own kids as well - if that time comes around.
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  • meamollymeamolly member
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    edited December 2011
    I feel like being pregnant should have no part in getting married (and i am very religious). Heck if i was to get pregnant by some miracle I would tell my BF I would beat him with a stick if he even asked me to marry him cause I was pregnant.
    My brother got married cause she got pregnant. I cried when I found out she was cause I knew it wasnt gonna work out. I was right.
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