'Dad' Insisting on Paternity Test Is Not a Bad Husband

When a woman has a baby, she has clear evidence that the baby is hers. After all, it grew in her belly, came out of her body, and was placed in her arms. Biologically, many babies also look like their dads for the same reason. It's a development in our species that is sort of like an evolutionary paternity test.

Still, who could really blame a guy for questioning the parentage of his offspring on occasion? It's so much less obvious with them. It doesn't make him a bad husband or a jerk for wondering.

Recently, the Chicago Sun-Times ran a question from a woman who was asking what to do about her husband. He'd had a vasectomy, and when she turned up pregnant, he thought the worst.


Obviously, trust in a marriage is a key part of the marriage, and we can all collectively groan a bit that a man would question what his wife was doing. On the other hand, wouldn't you?

We ladies have nothing similar so we really can't compare, right? In the past, some men have proposed the idea of an automatic paternity test for every child at birth. Though at first glance, it seems insane, I kind of think it makes sense.

Still with me? Here's the thing: it's quick and easy and it eliminates an issue. If a man wants to try to say he isn't the father of a baby, then he can't. And a woman can't claim someone is the dad who isn't. If this were just part of the "having a baby" routine, it might not be as big a deal.

We can go on and on about trust in a marriage and certainly, it needs to be there. But we also have to be realistic. People cheat. It's what they do. One in five married women has had a fling. No one ever thinks it could be their spouse, but if you're one of the 20 percent, then it very well could be.

So is it really so crazy to wonder about the paternity of a child? This is especially true when one considers this man's vasectomy. As the advice columnist suggested, he can go off to a urologist and get his sperm tested. Maybe that is easier than a paternity test.

But the idea that he is a jerk for being upset is unfair. He has a right to wonder. And she has a right to prove him wrong. The doubt doesn't make him a bad husband or a jerk any more than not helping him with his feelings makes her a jerk. Marriage is a two-way street and he is feeling insecure, so she can help him regain his trust.

Being trusting is wonderful, but being a blind fool isn't smart.

Do you think he is a bad husband for wanting a paternity test?


Image via Colin_K/Flickr

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