Family & Relationships
An Opinion by Olivia J. Scott
Am I really the father?
Let’s face it. A man never really knows whether a child is his unless a paternity test proves him to be the father. The child could look like him as much as a spit and image, but this is not conclusive that he is, in fact, the biological father.
The ultimate deceit of a woman (married or unmarried) is not cheating on her man with another lover; it is leading him to believe that the child (or children) is biologically his. This deceit crosses over to the child when this same woman—the mother, causes him or her to believe that a certain man is his or her biological father.
Both a man and a child have the right to know their identity and relation to each other. The woman owes it to these two people to let them know the biological truth. A woman may say that she herself doesn’t really know who the father is. Well, this is all the more reason for her to do the right and decent and proper and just thing, which is having a DNA test done to identify the real father of her child.
Knowing who is the father is necessary and just so as to not let a man love and care for a child that is not his. Only a man can express to the world the shame, betrayal, and brokenness he feels when he comes to find out the child or children he fathered and believed was his turned out to be someone else’s. Further, only the child can express to you the betrayal, disappointment, and shame he or she feels to find out that the man he or she came to know as “dad,” sometimes for many years, turned out to be, practically, a stranger.
For some women, this may require the testing of several men who could probably be the father. Usually, it is when more than one man may be the potential father that a woman hides behind deceit and decides to pin fatherhood on one particular man. Some women may do this to genuinely avoid self-shame. However, to inflict emotional and psychological pain on a man and child in order to avoid personal shame is a greater social crime.
Other women, who are out rightly deceptive, and who are driven by the need for money or financial resources from a candidate they believe is more capable of supporting their child, knowingly deceive him into believing a child is his, when in fact the child is not.
I will not say that a woman may make a man the father because she honestly did not know he was not the father. A woman knows who she had sexual intercourse with, save and except those cases where a woman is drugged or was in a state of unconsciousness when a man penetrates and ejaculates inside of her. But even when a woman was forcefully penetrated, she is able to tell. Even if she is unable to positively tell, she will have her suspicions and those suspicions should be enough to drive her curiosity.
As such, a pregnancy that occurs within the time frame of such an incident is one which the woman is able to know who the potential father may be. This is even if the potential father is on a list of men who could be the father.
DNA Testing and the Determination of Fatherhood
Before the coming of technology that made DNA paternity testing possible, men were forced to accept a child as theirs whether or not that child was in fact theirs. This appeared to be a one-sided transaction. In fact, many men have raised children and supported them financially, only to be told later that, “This child is not yours.” Some of them never get the privilege of knowing the truth. There is no telling how many men have raised children who, unknowing to them, were not biologically theirs. You could be one of those children, and so could I.
Even with DNA testing some men cannot afford to pay for the test to know the truth of their fatherhood. Others are too afraid to find out. They prefer to stick to the status quo and err on the side of caution. But swiping the inner cheek of the child and the purported father and paying a couple hundred dollars can put an end to the uncertainties so many men have about the children women have said, “you are the father.” DNA kits, now being sold online and at local pharmacies, help to simply the process and make it more affordable.
The crux of the matter really is, men should not be forced to raise and financially support children who are not theirs. Doing this is one of the most unjust and brutal thing one can do to a man emotionally and psychologically. It is perhaps the deepest form of betrayal of a child. These are two innocent people who do not deserve the deceit of a dishonest and conniving woman who would have done this for her own selfish gains.
If there is anything a man who has suspicions about his paternity can do for himself it is to make the sacrifice of a few hundred dollars to find out whether the child is his. He should be able to conduct the DNA test without the consent of the mother. DNA results are about 97-99% accurate. That percentage is a high indication that his genetic material is inside the body of that child. That ought to answer his question, “Am I really the father?” and give him the peace of mind he is searching for. Either that or he sits back and watches his money roll off his paycheck to care for a child that belongs to another man.
What do you think about this issue? Feel free to comment below.
Copyright@Woman to Woman Blog Talk 2015
Trust in romantic and intimate relationship gives a couple a sense of security, allowing them to rely on and be vulnerable to each other. It engenders acceptance, love, honesty, happiness, and commitment. These values are wrapped in the three dimensions of trust which allow couples to predict each other’s behavior, depend on, and have faith in each other, as found by, professors of psychology, John K. Rempel and others, in their study, Trust in Close Relationships.
It Helps You Predict Your Partner’s Behavior
When couples can predict each other’s behavior, they are better able to satisfy their curiosity about questions, such as, “Can I trust my partner to listen to me without judging; to love and respect me; and to be loyal and faithful?” “Will my partner be there for me if I’m in trouble or the future becomes uncertain?” It may take months or years to answer these questions with a confident, “yes,” but, surely, happy and successful marriages and relationships survive and thrive on trust and knowing what to expect, says, love and marriage experts, Charles and Elizabeth Schmitz, in their post, The Foundation of Love and Trust.
Depending on Each Other
Reliance comes when the couple sees that statements and promises are carried out. Couples who are confident that the relationship is, by itself, treated as valuable by a partner who honors his or her words and promises are not afraid to (trust) depend on each other, writes, Rempel and his colleagues. By then, the relationship might have been tried and tested. Knowing what behaviors to expect and the fearlessness to depend promotes emotional security and a desire for deeper commitment. Inconsistent behaviors only destroy faith, which is a cornerstone of trust, and weakens emotional security says, psychologist, Richard Nicastro, in his publication, Secure Relationships: The Role of Emotional Safety.
It Gives Reassurance in Crises
Faith is believed to be the most important aspect of trust. When partners can predict each other’s behavior and depend on each other without doubt, their belief and confidence in each other and the relationship are strengthened. They feel confident to share their innermost feelings, knowing what is shared will be valued and treasured, writes, marriage and family therapist, Ashley McILwain, in her article, Trust is a Must: Why Trust is Important in Relationships. The couple also feels emotionally secure and can easily put their doubts aside, in spite of conflicts and crises, with the reassurance that their partner will continue to be caring and supportive, whatever the future holds.
Motives and the Level of Trust
Using a Trust Scale in their study, Rempel and his colleagues found that the level of trust depends on how much a couple can predict, rely on, and have faith in each other. When a relationship is driven by external, self-serving motives, such as gaining social status or business connections, the level of love and trust is low, compared to when the relationship is valued and cherished, with or without the perks. If a partner realizes that the relationship is based on selfish gains, it lowers the level of trust, causing him or her to question whether the relationship will survive if the rewards are no longer there.
Image credit to: asianetindia.com
Copyright@2015 All rights reserved
an Exclusive by Olivia J. Scott for Woman to Woman
“Few people would deny that there has been a shift in the way marriage and intimate relationships have evolved over the past few decades. Most observers agree that the traditional marriage is floundering. While some couples still manage to thrive, they are in the minority. Rising divorce rates, declining marriage rates, and the skyrocketing incidence of infidelity on the one hand, and sexless marriages on the other have many people concerned about their prospects for marital bliss and newly curious about alternatives.” (Deborah Anapol)
In recent times, there has been a paradigm shift in the thinking and approach to intimate relationships and love and more and more people are seeking out alternatives to monogamy. This paradigm shift is being fuelled by the belief amongst some that human beings are not naturally monogamous and are being given a burdensome task, especially in the case of marriage, to play the one man, one woman, ‘til death do us part, role. The strictures with which marriage is viewed in certain societies make it even more appalling to conceptualize extra-marital ‘connections.’ Some prefer to remain immersed in an illusion that people are capable of being monogamous throughout their lifetime.
I recently wrote an article Open Relationships How Far Will You Go to Save Your Marriage/in which I wrote about some couples using open relationships as a way of extending the life of their marriage. I first learned about open/polyamorous relationships after a colleague from university suggested it to me. That was eons ago. Ever since then, I researched the topic and have made some interesting findings.
Of course, open relationships are not confined to marriages or even heterosexual relationships. But when I speak of open relationship in this context, I mean between and amongst men and women.
This topic is not only taboo but controversial as well, and boy don’t I love a controversy! In fact, I stepped on some toes after publishing the article Open Relationships How Far Will You Go to Save Your Marriage/ and also with the airing of the audio version hosted by Woman to Woman Blog Talk capable host. Click HERE to listen.
So, the question is, when someone, or a couple wants to get involved in an open relationship, is this really their way of legitimizing the infidelity? Many people try to justify why they may cheat or have extra-marital affairs. Others wish to find a way to legitimize the affair(s).
Traditionally, a marriage is to be a monogamous union between man and woman. Polygamy and polyamory were, and still are, frowned upon, except in societies, like in Islamic cultures, where religion allows a man to have many wives. There, Polygamy, simply known as “cheating” in my day-to-day lexicon, is allowed.
Polyamory, in Greek means “many”, amory, in Latin, means “love.” Simply put, polyamory, an alternative to monogamy, is where the couple allows each other to establish love and or emotional bonds with other people. There is generally dual permission, but in some cases, one partner may unwillingly agree to polyamory, hoping to win back the affection of the other party. And believe it or not, open relationships of this nature are not done on a willy nilly basis. In fact, these relationships are to be guided by a ‘code of ethics.’
Polyamory is perhaps best known in relation to the couple Morning Glory and Oberon Zell, a married couple who enjoyed both a “live-in triad” (an ongoing ménage a trios) and a six-person group marriage that lasted for many years.
In its purest form, this means no sexual intercourse or other kind of sexual intimacy is allowed. But in its secondary meaning, it connotes a practice of engaging in multiple sexual relationships BUT with the consent of all parties concerned.
The idea of being able to love someone else is exciting and appealing to those who subscribe to these forms of relationships. Some may even argue that there is nothing wrong with this, even amongst married couples, because human beings are infallible, like variety and are capable of loving more than one person at the same time. Others are irked by this practice, many times because of morals and religious principles and teachings which forbid such interactions.
Deborah Anapol, Author, Polyamory in the 21st Century: Love and Intimacy with Multiple Partners, wrote: “One of the reasons polyamory is at once appealing and threatening is that it brings to the forefront our cultural confusion about the interface between sex and love. In my first book Love Without Limits, which was published in 1992, I used the term sexuallove to describe the integration of love and sex. However we all know that sex can take place independently of love (even when we are talking about romantic or erotic love) and vice versa. Furthermore, most people who ponder these things, discover that they’re not entirely sure what the distinguishing features are for either sex or love.” “
Anapol sees the idea of polyamory as a state of affairs (no pun intended) which is freely and consciously chosen and is a totally different affair from monogamy, which is demanded as a condition for love or enforced by legal codes, religious stricture, financial considerations or social pressure, has been put forth by a number of thoughtful individuals.
Sex is allowed
Permission to have sex in open relationship can further complicate a conventional persons’ view and belief system regarding the nature typical of relationships. For such persons, the fact of consent to have sexual rendezvous with others can in no way negate the fact that this practice is really cheating, permitted cheating. But “more and more people find themselves facing the discovery that lifelong monogamy is more of a mirage than a reality. At the same time, most experts on marriage, family, and sexuality, continue to write and speak as if all extramarital sex falls into the category of infidelity.” (Anapol)
Love but no Sex
Some couples may not agree to allowing each other to have sexual intimacy with third parties but would allow loving friendships to form. Whether this form of open relationship fails to meet the definition for cheating is debatable, because for some, emotional affairs are categorized as a form of infidelity.
Others may argue that since in almost every relationship, one or both parties is likely to cheat at some point, then it may be better to simply permit each other to be involved with and love others, but to do so in an honest and open manner. Honesty and open communication are key factors that sustain multiple partner relationships. Those who subscribe to these relationships see honesty and openness as creating and adding integrity to the process, as well as engender trust and confidence, which are compromised in cases of blatant infidelity.
Are Open Relationships Immoral?
As society changes, values and value systems change or at least are expected to.
“Any valid discussion of morality in the realm of intimacy must address differing values over the centuries and also in different religious or spiritual groups.
In the Western world, many people believe that the Old Testament injunction against adultery automatically makes polyamory morally unacceptable because this assumption went unchallenged for centuries in the wake of the Inquisition and subsequent wave of witch burnings. Yet everyone knows that many of the Biblical patriarchs has multiple wives and/or concubines.” For example, Father Abraham, and King Solomon, were they committing adultery? It has been argued, rightly or wrongly so, that “the original intention of the commandment was to protect the property rights of men to their women, not to prohibit men or even unmarried women from having multiple partners.”(Anapol) Of course, this latter statement provokes another controversial issue, whether women are truly the “property” of men.
Right or wrong, moral or immoral, the classification perhaps lies squarely on the subjects involved in the open or polyamorus relationships. For many of us, the concepts of morality or immorality are determined based on our own conviction, positive or negative, about the particular act or conduct.
Nevertheless, based on the way things are going, in another couple of decades a large percentage of relationships are likely to evolve into open relationships. In the meantime, for monogamists and conventional relationship absolutists, open relationships equal infidelity.
Copyright 2015. All rights reserved.
Please LEAVE COMMENTS below
Is having an open relationship an immoral practice?
Is having an open relationships another way of justifying cheating?
Does the honesty and openness of polyamorous relationships operate to legitimize the relationship?