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After all this time, my husband has suddenly decided he wants kids...


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Old 4th September 2009, 6:18 PM   #1
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After all this time, my husband has suddenly decided he wants kids...

After years and years of being avowedly, passionately, and perhaps (were you to ask some of our friends...) obnoxiously child free, three months ago my husband decided he wanted children.

This came as something of a surprise!

I am nearly 38. I have endometriosis. I have PCOS. I doubt I can get pregnant naturally, and I don't really fancy the idea of injecting myself with a cocktail of drugs to undergo IVF. But even if I could conceive, I don't think it would be a very wise idea.

Children are impractical for us. I am career-focused. I work a twelve hour a day job (at least), and my very senior position means that I could not cut back those hours and still do justice to my employer. I would need to find another job. However, as I also earn most of the money, downgrading careers would be dumb. My husband studies full time and has two years left before he could even start thinking about bringing in the kind of salary that would meet the mortgage repayment, so having a child would mean a huge downgrade in our lifestyle.

Despite this, there is no suggestion from my husband that he would be the main carer. I know from comments he has made about friends of his who are fathers that he could never suffer to be the primary caregiver. And, frankly, even if he were to suggest that he could fill such a role, I wouldn't really believe him. As lovely as he is, this is a man who would rather live in squalor than do basic cleaning, who can't remember to feed the animals (including Burmese cats - who remind him!) and who once nearly let the house burn down, because he was too busy gaming to notice the smoke and flame in the kitchen! He is very well meaning, and he'd be heaps of fun, but he kind of lives in another world, and that kind of personality is just not suitable for being a dad!

So, were this whole kid thing to happen, I would be the primary caregiver and the primary income earner. I can't see how I could fulfill both roles, even if I wanted too. I'm also concerned by my very matter of fact approach to thing makes me equally unsuitable to be a mother. I'd do a functional job, but I pity the child born to me.

I have raised all these issues with my husband, but I get the bland, down-pat answers like: “sometimes sacrifices are justified...”, “these things always work themselves out...", “we'll make it work...” blah blah. Then he starts on the emotional stuff: “a child is a culmination of our relationship...”, “it will bring us closer together...” Bleh. I'm finding it hard to get him to focus on the real issues (although in fairness that is no different to the other aspects of our life - its the price I paid for marrying an idealistic, academic kind of man ). It's all very frustrating.

Personally, I fear my husband has changed his mind about children for two reasons: (a) the beginnings of a mid-life crisis; and (b) being told that my medical conditions means I likely can not have children means that being childfree is no longer his choice. But I'm not really sure whether telling him this is going to help though, or just make things worse.

I've waited three months to see if this change of heart about kids was a momentary lapse in judgement. However, his desire seems to be getting stronger! I'm now very concerned that this could be a dealbreaker in our marriage. I've read enough threads on this board from the female perspective to know this kids thing is often an insurmountable issue that leads to the End. I don't want that to happen to us, but I'm not sure how to fix it.

Anyone got any advice?

Last edited by ladyinwaiting; 4th September 2009 at 6:21 PM.. Reason: typos
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Old 4th September 2009, 7:01 PM   #2
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What a well thought out and balanced analysis

You clearly have a high level of self awareness and situational awareness. In some ways I am oblivious - like your husband. Main difference is that career wise I am like you - very senior job. My wife wanted to be a sahm and wanted to be the primary caregiver so it worked out well. If she had wanted kids, but left the raising part on me, I would have died from stress. 12 hour work days followed by house/kid duty is no way to go through life.

How would he react if you simply said that when he gets a job, if he gets one that can pay all your bills, then you will reopen this. And tell him what his minimum salary would need to be.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ladyinwaiting View Post
After years and years of being avowedly, passionately, and perhaps (were you to ask some of our friends...) obnoxiously child free, three months ago my husband decided he wanted children.

This came as something of a surprise!

I am nearly 38. I have endometriosis. I have PCOS. I doubt I can get pregnant naturally, and I don't really fancy the idea of injecting myself with a cocktail of drugs to undergo IVF. But even if I could conceive, I don't think it would be a very wise idea.

Children are impractical for us. I am career-focused. I work a twelve hour a day job (at least), and my very senior position means that I could not cut back those hours and still do justice to my employer. I would need to find another job. However, as I also earn most of the money, downgrading careers would be dumb. My husband studies full time and has two years left before he could even start thinking about bringing in the kind of salary that would meet the mortgage repayment, so having a child would mean a huge downgrade in our lifestyle.

Despite this, there is no suggestion from my husband that he would be the main carer. I know from comments he has made about friends of his who are fathers that he could never suffer to be the primary caregiver. And, frankly, even if he were to suggest that he could fill such a role, I wouldn't really believe him. As lovely as he is, this is a man who would rather live in squalor than do basic cleaning, who can't remember to feed the animals (including Burmese cats - who remind him!) and who once nearly let the house burn down, because he was too busy gaming to notice the smoke and flame in the kitchen! He is very well meaning, and he'd be heaps of fun, but he kind of lives in another world, and that kind of personality is just not suitable for being a dad!

So, were this whole kid thing to happen, I would be the primary caregiver and the primary income earner. I can't see how I could fulfill both roles, even if I wanted too. I'm also concerned by my very matter of fact approach to thing makes me equally unsuitable to be a mother. I'd do a functional job, but I pity the child born to me.

I have raised all these issues with my husband, but I get the bland, down-pat answers like: “sometimes sacrifices are justified...”, “these things always work themselves out...", “we'll make it work...” blah blah. Then he starts on the emotional stuff: “a child is a culmination of our relationship...”, “it will bring us closer together...” Bleh. I'm finding it hard to get him to focus on the real issues (although in fairness that is no different to the other aspects of our life - its the price I paid for marrying an idealistic, academic kind of man ). It's all very frustrating.

Personally, I fear my husband has changed his mind about children for two reasons: (a) the beginnings of a mid-life crisis; and (b) being told that my medical conditions means I likely can not have children means that being childfree is no longer his choice. But I'm not really sure whether telling him this is going to help though, or just make things worse.

I've waited three months to see if this change of heart about kids was a momentary lapse in judgement. However, his desire seems to be getting stronger! I'm now very concerned that this could be a dealbreaker in our marriage. I've read enough threads on this board from the female perspective to know this kids thing is often an insurmountable issue that leads to the End. I don't want that to happen to us, but I'm not sure how to fix it.

Anyone got any advice?
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Old 4th September 2009, 9:42 PM   #3
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Lady,
it's difficult. I am childless by choice. My (ex) husband knew that going in. I knew that, should he ever start feeling like your husband now is, then we would have to get a divorce. We would no longer be compatible. (It's not why we divorced, though.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ladyinwaiting View Post
Then he starts on the emotional stuff: “a child is a culmination of our relationship...”, “it will bring us closer together...” Bleh. I'm finding it hard to get him to focus on the real issues
That isn't "emotional stuff", it's justification and rationalization -- purely mental stuff. And it is not accurate that children are a culmination of a relationship, nor will they necessarily bring the couple closer together.

His "real issues" may not be yours. It does sound as if he is not aware of his (if all he's got is "culmination of relationship" and "we'll get closer.")

Have you asked him what is leading him to believe that you NEED something to bring you closer? -- what is the distance that he is feeling/experiencing? -- what is causing him to feel incomplete, or as if your relationship cannot reach its' culmination point with just the two of you?

Quote:
(a) the beginnings of a mid-life crisis; and (b) being told that my medical conditions means I likely can not have children means that being childfree is no longer his choice. But I'm not really sure whether telling him this is going to help though, or just make things worse.
Rather than telling him, perhaps you could ask if there are any grounds for your fears?

For him, it may be much more than just "a momentary lapse of judment" -- he could be having doubts and questions about himself, love and life in general. Perhaps an individual therapist can help him uncover what is actually going on for him?

On a personal note, I really believe that individuals who do not want children ought not have them, and those who do ought not try to manipulate and influence those who don't. You know who you are, where you are, and what will and will not work for you in this lifetime. Trust your own Self.

Best of luck to you both.

Last edited by Ronni_W; 4th September 2009 at 9:44 PM..
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Old 5th September 2009, 4:06 AM   #4
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well, if he wants children and you don't want to give up your career, there's only one choice: he will have to look after the child...
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Old 5th September 2009, 11:22 AM   #5
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Get to a good MC to work this out with guidance. It is obvious that you are on opposite sides of the fence on this one. It doesn't have to be a dealbreaker.
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Old 6th September 2009, 5:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ladyinwaiting View Post
After years and years of being avowedly, passionately, and perhaps (were you to ask some of our friends...) obnoxiously child free, three months ago my husband decided he wanted children.

This came as something of a surprise!

I am nearly 38. I have endometriosis. I have PCOS. I doubt I can get pregnant naturally, and I don't really fancy the idea of injecting myself with a cocktail of drugs to undergo IVF. But even if I could conceive, I don't think it would be a very wise idea.

Children are impractical for us. I am career-focused. I work a twelve hour a day job (at least), and my very senior position means that I could not cut back those hours and still do justice to my employer. I would need to find another job. However, as I also earn most of the money, downgrading careers would be dumb. My husband studies full time and has two years left before he could even start thinking about bringing in the kind of salary that would meet the mortgage repayment, so having a child would mean a huge downgrade in our lifestyle.

Despite this, there is no suggestion from my husband that he would be the main carer. I know from comments he has made about friends of his who are fathers that he could never suffer to be the primary caregiver. And, frankly, even if he were to suggest that he could fill such a role, I wouldn't really believe him. As lovely as he is, this is a man who would rather live in squalor than do basic cleaning, who can't remember to feed the animals (including Burmese cats - who remind him!) and who once nearly let the house burn down, because he was too busy gaming to notice the smoke and flame in the kitchen! He is very well meaning, and he'd be heaps of fun, but he kind of lives in another world, and that kind of personality is just not suitable for being a dad!

So, were this whole kid thing to happen, I would be the primary caregiver and the primary income earner. I can't see how I could fulfill both roles, even if I wanted too. I'm also concerned by my very matter of fact approach to thing makes me equally unsuitable to be a mother. I'd do a functional job, but I pity the child born to me.

I have raised all these issues with my husband, but I get the bland, down-pat answers like: “sometimes sacrifices are justified...”, “these things always work themselves out...", “we'll make it work...” blah blah. Then he starts on the emotional stuff: “a child is a culmination of our relationship...”, “it will bring us closer together...” Bleh. I'm finding it hard to get him to focus on the real issues (although in fairness that is no different to the other aspects of our life - its the price I paid for marrying an idealistic, academic kind of man ). It's all very frustrating.

Personally, I fear my husband has changed his mind about children for two reasons: (a) the beginnings of a mid-life crisis; and (b) being told that my medical conditions means I likely can not have children means that being childfree is no longer his choice. But I'm not really sure whether telling him this is going to help though, or just make things worse.

I've waited three months to see if this change of heart about kids was a momentary lapse in judgement. However, his desire seems to be getting stronger! I'm now very concerned that this could be a dealbreaker in our marriage. I've read enough threads on this board from the female perspective to know this kids thing is often an insurmountable issue that leads to the End. I don't want that to happen to us, but I'm not sure how to fix it.

Anyone got any advice?

First of all, don't let anyone convince you that not wanting to become a mom (for some the parental instinct was never there) is almost a crime...

Regardless of possible treatments, if you truly wanted a child you would consider it worthy of the many sacrifices, if you don't, you may end up making the biggest mistake of your life because of the coercion of a husband that has no idea what he's talking about...

While your husband may well be a great guy, it is out of line for him to want something and at the same time not be willing to shoulder any responsibility (and I'm deliberately not using the word "help") - in a way - you may already have a child.... Him.

Try to fast-forward and imagine your life 10 years later, if you agree to have a child against your free will : having kids is the only decision in life you can never go back on, imagine your life - carrying all the adult responsibilities in the house by yourself and the resentment you may end up feeling towards the person who coerced you into it.

I'm also child-free with a hectic job and no parental instincts (37), so I think I can honestly say, that while kids maybe the greatest thing for those who want them, they are the worst thing for those who don't.

Last edited by Neutrino; 6th September 2009 at 5:32 AM..
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