Testotherapy: Have to pay too much money

By Drum Digital
02 May 2017

My family said that I should just pay the damages, which is around R10 000 to settle the matter, why should I pay, if I have been there from the beginning?

Question:

My ex-girlfriend and I have a wonderful two year old son. When we were together we decided that the baby will carry my surname and my ex was cool with it.

However when we separated, she soon demanded that the baby’s name be changed back to her family’s name. I did not pay the traditional damages for impregnating her and changing the names, because frankly I think those customs are dated.

However things have now become so soured and strained that we are not on speaking terms and her family is starting to disrespect my family. My family said that I should just pay the damages, which is around R10 000 to settle the matter.

Why should I pay, if I have been there from the beginning?

BRA MO ANSWERS

Your situation is very similar to the ones that many young black men face in their relationships. In this day and age, young couples are co-habiting and have children outside wedlock.

When a baby is born, traditional norms and expectations are supposed to be followed because of pressure from family. Therefore one ends up in a conundrum; following your heart’s desire and practising a westernised idea of living, but at the same time trying not to disrespect culture and custom.

Was your ex-girlfriend under the impression that you and her were going to get married which is why she agreed to have the baby take your family’s name? Did you consult with her family that you wanted to change the baby’s name? It is all sweet when the two of your make decisions, however some of our elders are still old-school in terms of their thinking and will not budge when it comes to their customs.

I agree with your family that you have to settle the matter, just for the sake of peace.

However the amount is incredibly exorbitant and it is not fair that you have to pay it since you have been supportive of the child. The situation might be strained between you and your ex-girlfriend; however she must still have a soft spot for you.

Therefore talk to her and ask her to persuade her family to not ask such a high amount for the baby. Good luck.

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