Entering into a relationship with a single mother can become a challenging and, if you are not careful, frustrating experience. I am certain a relationship with a single father can produce its own set of challenges, but as I have never been in a relationbship like this, I have little to say about it. Being that I have never desired such a thing, I have nothing to say about it. I will stick with the Single Mom I am with. And if for some reason she should decide she no longer wishes to stay with me, i will stay with pursuing the fairer gender.
I have been in a relationship with a single mom for a year now. Before that i dated another for an extremely short period of time, and have had close friendships with others. While there are bound to be plenty of others writers who have both more experience and more to say on the issue, I wish to, never-the-less, endeavor to share some of the wisdom I've gtain on the subject of Initiating and continuing a relationship with an unmarried mother.
I will first address the issue I call, "Knighthood Syndrome". You will never be her Savior. This honor belongs to God, and it is forced idolatry to try and make yourself God to her. If your heart is not turned towards God first, you will find your worth being tied to how she needs you. It could form as an emotional, or financial, or physical, orwhatever kind of savior. You are not He. If you are pointing more towards yourself than towards God, you are out of order.
God may use you to heal wounds, to protect her, to spiritually encourage and guide her. You are not the source of her healing. if God has blessed you to be used in her life, humbly thank God and fearfully endeavor to be a good Christian brother to her.
Seeking to be her Savior is more responsability than you'll ever be able to fulfill. not only are you robbing God of his place, and her of her true Savior, but you will inevitably fail. How horrible is it to hope in yourself to fix someone, only to have this self delusion ripped from you? It is better to be sober, and point to Christ. he may or may not use you in this manner. Save yourself the agony of failure. Be there for her in love, not to prove or show your self worth. Love is selfless.
There's a Reason She's Single.
Even though you cannot be her Savior, you cannot be a coward. There is going to be baggage. you will never be her first and only love. You will not be the first guy she's had sex with (the honeymoon could be different. Will comment on how it will be affected after I'm married). The thing to keep in mind is that the blood of Christ covers all. if He, the Holy One, can forgive and see that stain no more, then who are you to keep record? Yes, you are not going to be that special one who will alone know her touch. Get over it. If you are going to love her, it's not about what you get. It's about what our Lord wishes. Contrarily, if she's struggled with infidelity or promiscuity, then you may wish to seek out cousel, and use wisdom in your time together.
You must fight for her heart. There are four Options concerning her past. The first option is that her husband died, and both she and he were completely, perfectly healthy in their relationship. The second is that he was dysfunctional and ended the relationship through abandonment or violence. The third is that she is and or was dysfunctional. The fourth is that she and he are dysfuctional. You have a 50% chance there is a problem with her. If you take into account human depravity, you probably have a 100% chance, but that is another issue.
She may have (more like probably will) hang-ups of distrust. Her ex(s) may have been unfaithful. So she may have trust issues with you. Her experience tells her men can be unfaithful (not to mention potential daddy issues). you may have to prove yourself completely above reproach, or assumption of reproach to her. You should not be flirting with other women anyways, so this is the perfect opportunity to stop. If you are in this relationship, it is you who have decided you will pursue her to see if she is marriage material. If you cannot keep your proverbial hands to yourself in words and attiudes, you will probably not keep your actual hands to yourself later.
She may have been abused. You may be used to using sarcasm and feel free to raise her voice. she may have had an ex who put her down with sarcasm. he may have raised his voice before beating her. Communication is paramount! Be aware of her body language and her words. A Christian is supposed to be kind and patient as well. Yet another wonderful chance to exercise Christian Virtue!
Her past is a beast you must fight. Guess what, yours will be no picnic. if you want to be with her, you will need to fight for her. If you want" someone", and she's there, you are looking for a roomate and a harlot. Don't degrade her like that. If you want her, you must love her. To love her, you must know her. To know her, you must know God, and know Him intimately. Fighting for her may include counseling. Part of being a good warrior is knowing who to have on your side. man up. Turn to pastors, godly men, or couselors you need. Be selfless. you may need to stop doing something. you may need to say, "I love you" more than you think falls within the bounds of sanity. Don't assume you are perfect. Don't assume you are even good at this thing called love. if you ever stop learning, you stop growing. Life is growth. If you stop growing, you are dead. Live. Grow. Learn.
You will learn that you are not the center of her earthly life. At best, you will be number three (but hoping for this may be too much). After God, and her child, assuming only one child, if you are not at least number three, it is not and will not be a healthy relationship. Her child is dependant on her. She must be dependant on God. You, by default, must be number three. You will probably be number four, being that she ought also to take care of the mother of her child; herself.
You will not get to see the movies you want to see all the time. You will not get to see the television shows you used to watch. You will end up watching animated movies, and America's Funniest Videos and the such. You will not get her all to yourself as much as you'd like. Guess what. That saves you the misunderstanding most men have when they get married and have a kid of their own. That misunderstanding is that they are the most important man on the face of the planet. It's not all about you. First God. Second her. And guess who comes along with her? That's right! The kid. The sooner you accept this, the better off you will be.
Your money? Not quite anymore. Your money used to be able to take you to the movies five times. Guess what happens. That shrinks to one. Not once with the two of them, and then two times for you. Once. If you are lucky you will have a woman who is frugal. But this is not something to count on.
Part Two to come soon...