A mom has sent us a very serious issue with which she needs our help. She is at an impasse with her husband about having a child and is worried either way one of the spouses will end up resenting the other. She sent a very good narrative of what is happening. Please read it carefully and give her your most thoughtful advice.
“My husband and I are going through a particularly rough time because he wants a baby and I do not. We’ve been married for more than 10 years. We have a teenage child who my husband adopted after we married. When we married I always assumed we’d have a child together but the timing never seemed right. By the time I thought we were ready for No. 2, I just couldn’t bear the thought of ’starting over.’ I am certainly still young enough to have more children but since I had our son very young, part of the desire for me is certainly that I will get to live an adult life without the day-to-day responsibilities of having a baby or school-aged for the first time in my adult life. I love our son with every piece of my heart and wouldn’t change my life situation for anything in the world but wanting to do it all over is not something I desire.”
“In the past year or so, my husband’s younger siblings have both had babies, which I think was the catalyst for him to want one as well. He broached the subject with me last summer but instead of asking or suggesting, he simply stated that he felt ‘cheated’ because I didn’t give him the option of having ‘his own’ children. WE never made a decision not to have kids; we simply put it off and never really discussed it until I decided I didn’t want anymore and then he never brought the subject up until a few months ago. Quite honestly, I assumed he was with me in not wanting to start over. There has never been a sit-down discussion when or if more children would be part of our lives. Perhaps it’s my fault for changing my mind, perhaps it’s his fault for not bringing it up sooner but nonetheless, I don’t want to feel guilty the rest of our married life because he didn’t get to experience something he really wanted.”
“After thinking about it some, I told him that there was really no way to compromise since I would be the one who would have to carry a baby and it’s not like I could just hand it over to him and not be involved. I have always believed that it should be a mutual decision to have children and dissent from either spouse equals a no-go. So we’re kind of in a stalemate. He’s hurt because I said I don’t want any more children. I’m frustrated because I feel like he should have brought it up a few years ago and not waited until we had a nearly-independent child.”
“Is it OK for one spouse to change their mind about having children or the number of children? Can you ever really “compromise” or does one spouse simply give in to the other? Would you leave your spouse if you wanted children and he/she does not?”
“Have you had a child simply because your spouse wanted one? How did you feel after the baby arrived? Did you hold it against your spouse or were you so thrilled with a new baby that you decided your spouse was right?”
This mom wrote to us wanting our sincere help so please, please be thoughtful and not mean or judgmental. Give her your best constructive experiences and ideas for resolution.