From the “Dear Vicki and Octavia” advice page in the Telegraph we find the following question:
“I am in my late thirties and desperate to have a child. I have a fair few transient partners but never meet ‘the one’. I don’t have the money for a sperm donor. A girlfriend of mine who was in a similar situation deliberately got pregnant by a partner and pretended it was an ‘accident’. She tells me I should do the same thing. Do you agree? ”
While the agony aunts, supposedly a mother and daughter, both say no, they word their replies so sweetly and gently that I do not think that anyone who has thought this through this far would understand thier ‘No’. But this is part of what is wrong with our society now. People mistake hurt for harm. Dr. Henry Cloud of Boundaries fame puts it this way. A sugary drink harms your teeth but does not hurt you as you drink it. The dentist who fills the cavities in your teeth caused by the sugary drinks may hurt you, but he repairs the harm already done to your teeth.
Where should anyone giving advice to the writer of this letter start, I wonder. should we start by pointing out that in her late thirties she is more likely to have a Down’s Syndrome child? If she were to conceive a child with this, or some other genetic problem, with her attitude is she likely to simply want to kill the unborn child in her womb or will she value the life that is growing inside her?
The fact that she says she has a ‘fair few transient partners’ in the present tense suggests that she is promiscuous, to the extent that she does not even believe in serial monogamy. Could she sustain the stable relationship necessary to successfully raise a child? Does she understand the relationship between the number of previous sexual partners and the probability of a later serious monogamous relationship breaking down because she is less able to bond with her child’s father and how this affects the decision she is looking to make?
How would any man feel who tried to have a long term relationship with this woman? Would he be able to cope with comparisons she would make, however unintentionally, with her previous partners, and the effects of this on his self-confidence and assertiveness?
Should someone break it to her harshly that she is duplicitous, every bit as much as a confidence trickster or fraudster? Indeed, one could argue that she is committing fraud by deliberately going into a sexual encounter to get pregnant, while hiding this fact from her partner. Indeed, by some standards she would be considered a slut. Would any man want such a woman to be mother to his child, if he were serious about his responsibilities as a father?
To any man, as opposed to a pick up artist, who is even considering this woman as a potential partner, I would have to say, “Tread very carefully. She is damaged. I know that God told Hosea to marry, and then to redeem time and again Gomer, but Gomer’s behaviour was not exactly treated as something to emulate. I am uncertain that many men would be willing to put up with the relational problems that she is likely to bring in her wake.
I have to conclude that her best option, when it comes to breeding is to suggest that she takes up breeding cats or tropical fish.
What do you think?