Asked yesterday in the comments to When Princess Fiona Comes With a Mess of Little Donkeys…
J: Athol/whoever wants to answer: what are your thoughts on women getting involved with men who have children from a previous relationship?
Ke: What’s the situation where the opposite is true? The guy is divorced and has partial custody of young children from his previous marriage? Should a woman not get involved with him?
Athol: This is fairly simple. It’s just math. The figure I’ve heard is that is costs something like $200,000 to raise a kid over their lifetime.
Consider how many children the man could reasonably support on his income. Then take away from that number the number of children he already has. Whatever is left, is the number of children he can reasonably have with you.
So say you get involved with a guy that has enough income to reasonably support three children, if you marry him, you end up having three children. But if he has an ex-wife and two children with her, and you’re the second wife, he’ll only have one child with you. Either way, he’ll only end up with three children.
Of course you can fight tooth and nail to get him over-committed to having more children than he can reasonably support, but he isn’t really going to want them and you’re going to have trouble paying the bills. This of course creates a massive charge of erotic sexual tension between you desperate for release… lol just kidding.
Plus you’re likely likely going to watch him hand over cash via child support and/or alimony to a woman who has sexually rejected him. Which is a fairly difficult structural situation for a guy to maintain his attractiveness in. Obviously it’s all mandated by the courts and he has to do it, but the end result is that he’s funneling money outside the marriage constantly. It would probably be cheaper if he just had a bit of a moderate gambling problem or something. Even if he had a $500 a month strip-club bill it would be less annoying than a $1000 a month child support bill. At least that way he’d have attractive women showing him attention as a preselection effect and it would be cheaper.
It’s also worth noting that women going through, or planning a divorce, do occasionally quite purposely seek to damage the ability of the husband to provide for and father more children. The vasectomy demand shortly followed by divorce paperwork isn’t super common, but does happen. I have email from one reader who got the paperwork when he came back from the urologist office, and a second reader who had sex one time only before being given his walking papers. From an evo-psych perspective this makes sense in that as much as possible, the ex-wife wants her ex-husbands resources to continuously flow to her and not risk being diverted to a new woman. Sometimes it’s just revenge.
So anyway… if you don’t want kids yourself, a guy broke from paying for the children he already has won’t bug you much to have more children. Yay no stretchmarks!
And obviously if the kids are all grown and so on, this is all less of an issue. Provided that the little darlings are moved out of the house and have proper lives of their own. You don’t want to end up doing the laundry for his 25-year-old son. Or being a sudden step-grandma / child care service for his returning 22-year-old daughter so she can finish her under water basket weaving degree.