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Foreign girlfriend is pregnant

#1
I'm in a bit of a unique situation.
I've been dating this girl for 3 months. I am 23 and she is 20 years old. I just found out she is 6 weeks pregnant with my child.
She is from South America and is here with a student visa studying the English language. We use Google Translate to talk because we don't speak the same language. Since she got pregnant she insists on having a shotgun wedding. I don't have the best record with marriage - I was married for 1 year and got a divorce 6 months ago. I am very afraid to get married because of my past and how everything can change.

She does not have any family here, and she says that if we don't get married she is going to go back to South America to have the baby and live with her family. She loves me. Sadly, I can't say I love her - it's only been 3 months.

My options (these are the only conceivable things, believe me I have tried to make compromises of living together without getting married just yet.)
Option 1: We get married, we have the baby together. We learn each other's languages, we pay a lot of money to make her become a citizen. She will need to continue to go to school to keep her student visa until she gets a green card (more money). Maybe we end up loving each other, more likely will end in divorce.

Option 2: She will go back to South America to have the child. I will never be a part of my child's life and will pay child support.

Both options are very depressing to me...I want to go with option 1 because of the slight chance that things will work out and I want to raise my child.. I just don't think I should marry her just because of the child.

I need an outsiders view of the situation PLEASE!

Re: Foreign girlfriend is pregnant

#2
You've got some big life changes on your plate! ;) The first thing I'd advise is to embrace the idea that life is fluid. Let go of rigidity. You may have had plans for yourself, and now, they're going to have to change. Change is scary for most people, but when you're given opportunities like this one, you get to realize that nobody is going to die based on any decision you make. In other words, these are not life and death decisions, so dial down the dramatic anxiety. And with every door that closes, another one opens, so look for the good in the changes you get to make now. :)

You left out an option that might be a good one. You can move to South America with her, not get married, and have a relationship with your child there. She'll have the support of her family to help her with the baby, and she won't have visa or green card legal issues -- you will. But you'll have more control over your choices if they're your choices, not hers.

What's certain is that you should start learning her language, because there's a good chance your child will! And it will help you with your relationship with her, wherever you wind up. And... you're going to have a financial expense in the child, so if you're not working, start, and if you are, you may want to start budgeting for a baby. ;)

You're depressed because you feel trapped, and my advice is to see the opportunity and the good in what's happening and make choices in that spirit. You may not have wanted a child, but you're going to have one, so decide how you want to be a father. You may have had a bad divorce in your past, but it doesn't mean a second marriage will be a bad one if you commit and work on it. You may not like the choices your girlfriend is making, but it sounds like she's committed to being a good mother, and that's great for your child.

Let me know if you have any other questions.
April Masini is a relationship and etiquette expert, author of 4 books and the #1 relationship advice forum, blue-chip corporate spokesperson and preferred go-to source for the world’s most prominent media and news outlets.
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