Today, I will tell you what happens when a man has a child (either living with him or living separately or an illicit child of his wife).
If you are a man with one or a few children and without your wife (either dead / divorced / separated), I will say, you are the luckiest person on the earth. But remember, don’t forget to ask for children’s maintenance (and also yours) from your wife if she is alive. Bringing them up can be the best fulfilling life for you and you can forget everything else in their company. Normally, I suggest these men not to go for another marriage for various reasons, some of which will be clarified in this article.
Recently, one of my ex colleagues got married. He had a son from his first marriage, and his wife unfortunately died of natural circumstances. Since he was from Bihar, he could get a widow from his village to remarry. She was also willing to take care of the child despite the fact that she didn’t have a child. In Indian literature, this situation may not be rare and we find many cases of step-moms being cruel to the children (with some exceptions like Lord Krishna’s mom). With cruelty in general increased in women, I find no reason for these single fathers to get remarried and risk their own lives as well as those of the little kids. In most cases, it becomes very difficult for the kid to adopt the new parent. Since, we have a high degree of love and respect for our mothers, it becomes almost impossible for a kid to accept a different woman as a mother. Moreover, when these new women also start showing more concern / love / care for their own children, neglecting the step-children; the suffering of everyone increases.
But one male friend of one of my friends did exactly that. He didn’t have a child but remarried to a divorcee woman with a child. My friend while telling me the story told me, “if it was you, you would have never got the courage to marry that girl”. True indeed. I was curious to know the reason he got married to a woman with a kid. It was told to me, that guy was not sure if the girl would want to go for a pregnancy at this age, so he thought an existing kid could be better as he would also have a kid. He also felt lot more responsible as after marriage he had two sets of parents to take care. I only hoped that everything turned out well for him and he was not reduced to mere ATM. Unfortunately, my observation in this case was he could be happy being an ATM to her as well. However, he expressed his hope to our common friend that the mother would take care of her kid, as she was earning well. In these situations, the girl could strip him off his hard-earned money any time. If our laws were fair and extortion by women were punished, my thought could have been different.
On the contrary however, when a single father wants to marry educated urban woman of his stature, fails almost always. No educated, working woman (without any kids) today wants to marry a man who already has kid (s) from his previous marriage. Even though a man having his kids in his custody can only be a positive sign for the woman for any of the following reasons –
- Either the mother was really very cruel, that justifies his divorce as well, or
- The mother is dead somehow and he cares for the child and hence remarriage
Case of one of my close friends is even more tragic. His wife had an adulterous relationship from before their marriage and she continued that relation even after marriage and gave birth to a child from that man. Even though he had doubt in his mind, he was not sure until two years of the kid, when he filed for a divorce under adultery. That adultery case didn’t go any far as the court got busy in determining the alimony amount of the wife (who was working in a good position) and simultaneously he got other cases too. After four years of battle, finally he agreed for a mutual divorce with properly written MOU that the child will not demand his property and he will not get access to the child. Even though he loved the child very much, he thought that MOU would help him in his future relationships. Legally and socially that child didn’t belong to him, but for last four years all his so-called alliance proposals were rejected by girls because he ‘has’ a child from his previous relation when in reality he hasn’t.
In the above case, I failed to understand those women’s logic, but many of them openly told him that they could foresee the kid coming back to him after attaining adulthood and demanding his property. It told me how much aware women were about Indian laws and how men could be arm-twisted. Clearly, Indian MRAs have failed to create this much awareness among educated men so that they boycott women with children. This is why we still see educated men with no children, marrying single moms. There are also young men who are marrying divorcees and also single moms. I get scared when I see how immature and ignorant modern Indian men are about our laws and suffering of husbands’ due to gender biased laws. This is no doubt another failure of men who had suffered atrocities due to gender biased laws. It is because they don’t share their stories, no one knows about the pathetic state of affairs of our relations.
So, even when the child from your previous relation was not yours; your future relationship chances are blocked. On one hand, these men are asked to maintain the illicit children of their wives and on the other hand they are forced to marry another woman with a child in their second relation. So, men are reduced to mere sperm donors and free ATMs. Unfortunately, even though Indian MRAs raise this concern in many platforms, the meaning or actual implications never become clear to the masses because the complete stories do not come out. Men who had suffered or are suffering today and fighting against these biased laws, never write their stories. Not only they have dearth of quality blogs that can support them in writing, but also they have a great inhibition and fear that writing about their stories will jeopardize their own case and life. Hence, the extent to which men are being treated as sperm donors and free ATMs are never revealed.
From the communication requirement standpoint, this kind of communication needs to be continuous and should be coming from various media and channels. Absence of quality media working for men is the biggest concern that continues to fail men. MRAs failing to create full time quality writers, bloggers and film makers (who can help these stories come out), for more than a decade is a matter that if not addressed immediately will only lead to more pathetic outcome for men.
Even if you decide not to marry a second time and continue to live with the distance from your own child thinking he is safe with his mother, you may be shocked to know otherwise. In one hand, you may love your child the most, but s/he may not love you at all and call someone else as father (as his/her mother teaches him/her). So, don’t stop living your life simply thinking your kid loves you. It may not be true. This is true almost always when the separated father just keep paying maintenance through bank transfer to the mother without trying to keep in touch with the child. Father’s Rights Activists thus advice all fathers to keep fighting for custody of the children as well.
If we look at this problem today, we can’t blame the legal system completely for this fate of single fathers. In fact, I think men themselves are to be blamed for their own situation today. Many of these single fathers think and also propagate the need of a mother-child relation, completely ignoring a father-child relation. These men only portray men as providers directly (by considering that paying child maintenance is all they can do) and indirectly (by propagating how great a mother-child bond is, thus ignoring the father-child bond).
ALL the hardships that were so far projected as hardships of single mothers, are hardships of the single father as well. Single mothers still get sympathy / empathy of other men and can get a second relationship but single fathers don’t. No one has felt about it. It is time to start thinking about single fathers who remain single and NOT a father, throughout their life but still this society calls them as ‘single fathers.’