More often than not, people are pretty careless about who they choose to breed with. I say this b/c I'm one of those people. Yes, I had been married for over 4 years when I became pregnant with my daughter, but trust me when I say that the amount of years you have spent with someone is not relative to the quality of the relationship.
I should have seen the signs long before we even got married. But I was so desperate to have someone there all the time, that I settled for the first idiot who told me he loved me & stuck around. The summer before we got married, I wanted to break up with him, but I didn't have the guts to do it. Next thing you know, my stepdad is being the shit out of me & I'm getting my first apartment. Too scared to do it alone, there was no question my fiance would share the apartment with me. Two months after that, we're married. It was the only sure way my stepdad could not force me to move back in with him & my mom. After 1 year of marriage, I left him. I went to stay w/ my sister for a couple weeks. Those were a pretty eye-opening two weeks, but again, I was too scared to be on my own, so I went back to him. Flash forward 3 years, I've got boxes packed. No longer afraid of being independent, I'm actually excited for it. By this point, I KNOW I can do it. But before I could even put a deposit down on an apartment, I find out I'm pregnant. During one of the many times he begged for "just one more", a child was conceived. Something I didn't think was possible after all the years of purposely trying to get pregnant. (Yes, I was THAT stupid.) I took the baby as a sign that I needed to work this thing out. So for 4 more years, I tried to do just that. Finally, I couldn't take it anymore. I couldn't shut off the voice in my head telling me that there was a whole life out there waiting for me to live it. That I was in the wrong place & it was time to move on or I'd be stuck there forever. So I told him I was leaving & 16 days later, my child & I spent our first night in our new apartment.
Obviously, I generalized here, but you get the drift. There were signs from the very beginning that this person was not the kind of person I should have children with. He was so immature for his age. He was selfish & downright cruel to little things that pissed him off. (I'm reminded of an incident where our kitten scratched him & he threw her across the room so hard, her eyes started bleeding.) He refused to quit doing drugs, even when I compromised & asked him to just stop doing them in the house where our child lived & played. He got mad at me for making him put his video games down long enough to tuck our child into bed. These are not the attributes of a good parent. Of course, now that we've long-since divorced, he tries to put on a show & pretend he's a good parent. And b/c he does put in his minimal effort, I have to give him time with her. Despite all the fears I have, despite what I'd prefer to do, I have to let him see her. He's down to only 16 hours per month. (8 hours every other Sunday.) She hasn't had an overnight in years b/c he lives in someone's shed behind their house. These people, and him, are Medical Marijuana card holders, so there is always a crop or harvested crop around. But b/c of that card, he can let her around that stuff & there is no legal recourse for me. The only thing I can do is take him to court & reduce his visitation further or request supervised visitation. We don't share mutual friends, so I'm not sure how the supervised visitation would work, but I'm going to look into the costs of hiring a 3rd party. I know there are services like that available b/c when I had a restraining order against him, I hired a 3rd party service to handle the drop-offs & pick-ups for his visitation.
You see, it's not a lot of fun dealing with the aftermath of a bad relationship when you involve a child. There is no way to completely sever ties with that person. Whether you like it or not, that person has some right to your child. And even if their visitation is minimal (16 hrs a month is NOTHING), they can put your child in a position that you feel is unsafe or unstable & there is only so much you can do. It's times like these that I truly wish he would just sign over his rights so she can be adopted by her REAL Daddy. So she doesn't have to see a living, breathing example of what not to marry. At 9 years old, she has no clue the kind of douchebaggery her bio-father exhibits. To her, he's the cool guy she sees every so often who drives her up to the mountains once in awhile or buys her biscuits & gravy from the mini-mart. She doesn't know the piece of shit person I know. She doesn't see those things & I don't share that information b/c it's not her fault I failed to provide her with good DNA.
But nobody thinks about these things when they've got baby fever. They just go about their unprotected ways and don't think it through. I know this b/c I did it. I have a perfect little person who I love more than anything in or out of this world, but I have set her up w/ a huge disadvantage by mating w/ a moron. Additionally, I've given myself a minimum of 9 more years of dealing w/ him. I've also put a burden on my current marriage b/c not only do I have to deal with the ex, my husband does too. When he does all the Daddy-duty (and does them well), Le Douche gets to wear the official "Dad" badge. He doesn't do the work, but he gets the glory. (Except within our close circle, b/c those who know our family view my husband as Trin's Dad without question.)
So please, if you take nothing else from this long-winded diatribe, please think about who you're makin' babies with before you make them. That is all.