One example of why I favour mandatory paternity testing at birth

Blood Test of Love

In a live chat, Prudie counsels a woman whose husband won’t feel affection for their child without proof he’s the dad.

A married couple of two years.
The woman announces that she is pregnant.
The husband and alleged father asks for a paternity test “for his peace of mind.”
The woman refuses to do the test (at least until the birth of the child/ren), and is considering destroying the marriage and becoming a single mother.

Prudence’s advice?
The husband is a “cold, hostile, accusatory lunatic” and “has no excuse” and is experiencing “a bizarre personality change.” The wife needs to tell him to get counselling to overcome his “derangement.” Now!

À vos commandes, mon Capitaine!

The husband made it clear that he didn’t have peace of mind, an issue that could be easily resolved with a simple post-natal paternity test. The woman hints that it is possible that he is not the father, or at the very least that she is willing to lie about it.

This is what misandry looks like.

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12 thoughts on “One example of why I favour mandatory paternity testing at birth

  1. I have to side with Prudance on this one. The mother has already agreed to a post natal paternity test. She has a valid reason for not wanting a pre-natal paternity test, there is a small but real chance of hurting the child. In this case the man is the one acting irrationally. This irrational behavior of becoming cold and distance despite the dispute having a mutually agreeable solution agreed to by both parties is a sign of some deeper issue that need counseling. Private counseling for him and couples counseling for them is very sound advice.

    Note:There is nothing wrong with him wanting the paternity test. The issue is the personality changes even after the issue has been resolved. He should be continuing to be a good husband to his wife whom is indisputably his wife, even if she is not carrying his child. The results from the paternity test will be known soon enough.

  2. Tarnished says:

    “The woman hints that it is possible that he is not the father, or at the very least that she is willing to lie about it.”

    Maybe my reading comprehension is lacking right now as I’ve been awake for 22 hours straight, but I don’t see this anywhere in the article. Could you point it out, Francis? I’ve read it 3 times, and I only see that she is upset about her husband’s cool demeanor and unexpected request…not that she would be comfortable either cheating or lying.

    • Francis Roy says:

      Related to the questioner’s penultimate sentence “Part of me is strongly tempted to say “You’re right, this child is not yours,” and just raise it myself.”

      Maybe this is just an expression of frustration, and I’m willing to concede that I might be reading into it, but if I had overheard my wife saying such a thing, I feel quite confident that I would take it quite seriously. Such comments can be utterly innocuous, but they might equally be red flags, and I know of no good way of distinguishing between the two.

      • Tarnished says:

        Ah. The way I read it is simply a statement of, as you put it, frustration. This is not her saying “the baby may not be his, and I have a choice to tell him or not”. It is her saying “my husband is being emotionally distant to me despite my agreeing to a post natal paternity test…if he is going to continue acting like I’ve potentially been unfaithful without reason, then I my marriage is not built on a strong foundation”.

        While I think a paternity test is a generally good idea, it is illogical and strange for the husband to treat his wife thusly with no evidence whatsoever that the baby isn’t his. It’d be better for him to be a loving spouse until the test, when it will most likely show it is his anyway, since the wife agreed to paternity testing.

      • Francis Roy says:

        Ah. The way I read it is simply a statement of, as you put it, frustration. This is not her saying “the baby may not be his, and I have a choice to tell him or not”. It is her saying “my husband is being emotionally distant to me despite my agreeing to a post natal paternity test…if he is going to continue acting like I’ve potentially been unfaithful without reason, then I my marriage is not built on a strong foundation”.

        Yes, I can see that. It could be the bitterness of the falsely accused.

        While I think a paternity test is a generally good idea, it is illogical and strange for the husband to treat his wife thusly with no evidence whatsoever that the baby isn’t his. It’d be better for him to be a loving spouse until the test, when it will most likely show it is his anyway, since the wife agreed to paternity testing.

        At the moment, there is no evidence that the baby is his either–he doesn’t know that it is his, in the way that she can know that it is hers. He’s likely feeling frightened and vulnerable; in my opinion the way to deal with that is not to write Dear Prudence who barrages him with slurs rather than telling her essentially what I’ve said, and suggesting that she ask him if counselling might help.

        Note that everyone here (but the husband and myself) is accepting the woman’s claim that it is his child, on her mere say so. People lie, and I’m sure they lie to Dear Prudence too. None of us know. Have you ever watched those day-time conflict shows where the woman swears up and down that it is Bob’s child, only to be surprised herself to learn that it is Fred’s?

        Honestly, if I had such doubts, I’d be hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. His only mistake is letting his vulnerability show. Nobody likes a vulnerable man.

      • Tarnished says:

        I don’t agree with Prudence’s advice either, and would also recommend asking for couple’s counseling. The slurs she used were also unacceptable and uncalled for.

        I’m only prone to accepting her claim because she has readily agreed to a paternity test. This, in my mind, shows that she is confident that it is his child, most likely because she has not cheated on him. If she refused or fought against the idea of a paternity test then *this* would be accepting her claim on her say so…which also raises red flags. People do indeed lie, but given this relatively small amount of information it seems the woman is frustrated and upset that her husband doesn’t trust her to be faithful when she professes to have been.

        His actions don’t trouble me because he’s showing vulnerability…I believe men should be able to. What bothers me is his continued irrationality, despite her promise to have a paternity test. He has her word that it’s his…admits to having no evidence of disloyalty on her part…and has secured a post natal paternity test…yet still treats his wife in a distant/overly polite manner. To me, this doesn’t show vulnerability, it shows an amount of distrust that is not suited to the situation. He has taken action to be assured of the paternity, but even this is not enough and it’s going to end up hurting his marriage.

        Personally, if I was in the woman’s shoes, I too would be wondering if this was someone to remain married to for the rest of my life. I wouldn’t get divorced until the child is 18, but there would certainly not be anymore children. Trust is not easily gained, but once it is broken it is tremendously difficult to get back…

      • Francis Roy says:

        I’m only prone to accepting her claim because she has readily agreed to a paternity test.

        So she claims, but let us for the moment accept that she is sincere about it.

        To me, this doesn’t show vulnerability, it shows an amount of distrust that is not suited to the situation

        I will accept that your objection is to what I will also agree is a matter of distrust. On a grand-scale, and based on the knowledge that we both share, however, can you understand why he might have distrust?

        “Honey, I’ve taken all of our life-savings and invested it in my company. In 90 days, I’ll prove to you that I know what I’m doing–but not just yet, it might muck things up.”

        Now, understand this: he has not secured a paternity test. He has her say-so that one will be done. This is not the same. The brother is in limbo. Limbo causes one to feel vulnerable, out of control, helpless. What do men often do when in this state? We withdraw.

        Now, from her point of view, let us assume that she is in fact sincere and that there is absolutely no possible way that the child can be anyone but his, I can understand why she would react this way. To her, if seems to be a false accusation.

        This is indicative that their relationship has issues that they should both work on. Find out what his issues are, what the reasoning is, what can be done about it. But this is their relationship, and we have limited information. I can, if I take both party’s points of view, understand the dynamic, and I don’t necessarily judge either one for that.

        My pit of contention is with the approach that Prudence took. First, she immediately took the woman’s side, and far from recommending that “they” work out whatever problems they have, she recommends that that woman has her needs met by fixing this lunatic. Rather than approaching it as two equal people in the relationship that have personal stuff on both sides, she immediately laid into this guy, having heard only one side of the story.

        I acknowledge that this is a one-paragraph snapshot, from one side, in a popular venue that sells moral conflict as entertainment. What I don’t approve of is Prudence’s knee-jerk of “You’re right, he’s crazy, you need to fix this now by telling him how you feel and tell him that you two need therapy.”

        How might I have responded (with the benefit of hindsight?)

        “There is obviously an issue of great importance and his behaviour might lead you to think that he might distrust you. Communication is key: Take a moment, speaking only of yourself in the non-accusatory “I” voice, share with him how you feel. Find out what is going on with him. He might not be able to articulate what he’s feeling at the moment. Give him time to think and reflect and let him know that whatever his truth is, that you will respect it as his point of view, and that you’re willing to do what it takes to make the relationship work in a way that satisfies both of you. Try to find a mutual way to resolve the issue where his issues can be respected and your goal of a tight-knit relationship furthered. If you both cannot come to a mutual acknowledgement and understanding of each’s thoughts and feelings, consider suggesting that he choose a councillor that he is comfortable with, for both of you, so that both might gain a neutral third-party perspective that will help further a solution that meets both of your needs.”

        This, I believe, is a much better approach. Had this more or less been Prudence’s answer, this blog would have one less post.

  3. Francis Roy says:

    I agree that waiting for a post-partum paternity test is fine–provided it gets done. While counselling may be a good idea, it is not the mother’s place to tell the husband what to do, and none of this excuses Dear Prudence’s treatment of the man.

    The central point is that at the time of the writing, the situation was not resolved. We don’t know how many weeks or months this man has to wait for the results, either will substantially change the entire direction of his life.

    When stressed, some people attack, others withdraw. I for one, can understand why a man in such a situation would feel vulnerable and unwilling to expose himself any further. There is a 75% chance that things will go against him. One part, the child is his, they mend bridges and all is fine. One part, the child is his, but the relationship is blown, and there’s a risk that she goes ballistic via family court. One part, the child is not his and they deal with it gracefully, but the child is still not his. One part, the child is not his and she still goes ballistic via family court.

    Most offensive to me is that the wife is ready to blow the relationship with “the love of her life” out the window, yet he is accused by Prudence of being being a cold, hostile, deranged and accusatory lunatic. How, exactly, is not having peace of mind the equivalent of the accusations levelled at him?

    Now, were a paternity test part of the mandatory suit of tests, and if men had reproductive rights, the above would be a significantly lesser issue. Had his response been “When the paternity test show the kid is mine, I’ll opt-in,” I feel reasonably confident that Dear Prudence would have one one less letter in her mailbag.

    • Anaala Richardson says:

      I couldn’t agree more. I find it very suspicious when people use these extremely public forums to work out private issues. I agree the man has done no wrong. In fact, all we get from this article is the woman’s point of view. Who knows what behaviour he’s had to put up with from her? A baby will change both their lives drastically. I can sympathize with him wanting to make sire the child he will sacrifice himself for is his.

      • Francis Roy says:

        I can sympathize with him wanting to make sire the child he will sacrifice himself for is his.

        The whole point is that he doesn’t know if he’s the sire! :)

        I know, you probably intended the word “sure.” I just found it to be a very topical slip of the finger.

      • Anaala Richardson says:

        Ahaha indeed :D

    • This clarifies your point a lot. It is a very good point.

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