(Quote) Michael-780154 said:
Having been married to a woman before who already had a child, I can comment on this one from experience.
I love children and have no problem with taking on responsibilities as a step parent, but my experience was that HER child came before the marriage, and there wasn't a feeling of "us" during the course of the marriage.
So, in considering ladies to date once annulled, I would struggle with women who say "my children come first". Yes, children must be cared for and loved, but as a potential husband I would pray that our marriage would come first and that I would be my spouse's hero... and also able to participate fully in raising her children and setting an example as a Catholic father/dad to them when they're not in the care of their natural father. It is a major turnoff for men seeking to establish relationships with "single mothers" to be told "my child comes first." As a guy, I'd have to say to them, " What am I? Chopped liver? Thanks for letting me know how you value me... guess this shows where you'll place our marriage on your priority list..."
Father or mother, it is important that ALL "single again" parents seeking remarriage (not just moms) with children are careful to place their priorities in the correct order. I believe that, behind our Lord, our spouses come first. Children come second. As stewardesses say, put your own oxygen mask on first, then your child's. In other words, build and maintain a loving marital relationship where both people know they are loved and valued, and then use the blessing of that love to care for the children.
Certainly, children must take priority from time to time... but if a spouse feels undervalued then resentments can develop that will destroy a marriage.
I cared for my (ex) wife's daughter as if she were my own... to the point of putting her through a few years of private school at my own expense due to poor public schools where I was stationed (schools were dangerous, actually...) The financial aspects of caring for another man's children, when that man isn't paying child support, can be an issue. However, I strongly believe that if the wife loves her husband, lets him know he is her hero, and allows him to actively parent his stepchildren, that the financial aspects of raising another man's children aren't necessarily showstoppers. Your mileage may vary... and other men may believe differently...
Enough for now... 'tis late for this very early riser and I'm rambling.