When Fred and I got together, I was 31 and still hoping to be a mom. He was 46 and had had a vasectomy after his third child was born. For a while after our engagement, we talked about having a child together. If his vasectomy couldn’t be reversed, we would try artificial insemination or adoption. We talked about it with my gynecologist. We collected information about adoptions. It never occurred to me that I would go to my grave without children.
Then one evening on a camping trip, Fred dropped the bomb. “I really don’t want to have any more children,” he said. “I’m sorry.”
“Oh,” I replied, stunned. That’s pretty much all I ever said about it until many years later. Somehow, I had this big case of denial. He would change his mind, or a persistent sperm would find its way to one of my eggs, and I would have a baby.
Looking back, I should have demanded that we talk about this a lot more. I should have made it clear that I wanted children. But I didn’t. Why? I was more afraid of losing Fred than of not having children. My first marriage blew up, the three-year relationship I had in-between turned out badly, and I had almost reconciled myself to being alone forever. Then Fred came along. I had never felt love like that, and I didn’t dare do anything to mess it up.
Now I suspect that, if I had insisted, he loved me enough that we would have had children. But it’s too late now.
So, ladies and gents in childless relationships, how did you discover your mate wouldn’t or couldn’t become a parent, and how did you react? Is there time to change the situation?