What if the situation were different?

We often talk here about partners who deny us children because they don’t want them. They already have offspring from a first marriage or they just don’t want kids. Like many of you, I married a man who had been married before. He was older, he had three children from his first marriage, and he considered that part of his life finished. He had sealed the deal with a vasectomy.

That vasectomy complicated matters. Surgery to reverse it might or might not work. He wasn’t interested in finding out. Nor did he want to try any of the other ways we might acquire a child; he just didn’t want a baby in the house.

But what if he was simply unable to father children? It’s possible that he couldn’t have given me what I wanted anyway. Fred and his first wife didn’t conceive for 16 years after they got married. The doctors never figured out why. Assuming they could not get pregnant, they adopted their first two children. Eight years later, his wife gave birth to a son.

How do I know that was not the one and only time Fred’s sperm could do the job? What if instead of telling me he didn’t want any more children, he had told me, “I CAN’T give you children.” I loved him so much that I probably would have married him anyway, but it puts a whole different light on the situation. The decision would be irrevocable. I wouldn’t have adopted; I have never been interested in raising someone else’s child.

Now what if you were the one who physically couldn’t produce a child? How would you feel if your spouse or partner really wanted kids? How would it change your relationship?

It’s something to think about.

9 thoughts on “What if the situation were different?

  1. What a looming question!! My hubby had the “vasclip” vasectomy near the end of his first marriage and after four kids. When we got together, I was hopeful because he'd said that the clips were “reversible”, which was easier on his conscience. I, on the other hand, have been anovulatory all my life – no idea why, but I've never been able to ovulate. When I began to want kids, I learned about the pill “Clomid”, which has cured anovulation in *some* (far from *all*) cases. When I looked into the vasclips, I learned that not only was the “reversibility” not a guarantee, but the clips had been taken off the market due to an enormous failure rate. That got me thinking… what if the problem is with me and not with him? The more stories I'd read about women getting pregnant (against their wishes) by men with vasclips, the more I wondered if God's plan was cut-and-dry that I would not have children, and that it was actually a blessing to be married to a man who didn't want them. With so many complications in the way, I'm not sure I'd want to force the issue by demanding a reversal and injecting myself with hormones. Though I really, really do wish I could conceive.


  2. I am in that situation now – after a lot of reproductive assistance, we've exhausted the possibility that I will ever have children. My husband has three grown children from a previous marriage and also has a vasectomy. We tried using donor sperm with no luck; it's most likely because of my age. I simply missed the baby boat, which is heart-breaking and there's nothing to be done about it. I have not figured out a way to cope with it – it will be a life-long regret.

    Your late husband's situation is interesting. Would it have made a difference to you if Fred was not the biological father of that 3rd child?


  3. It sure gets complicated, doesn't it? Professor, you don't know if the problem is your lack of ovulation, if your husband's clip job worked or didn't. A failure might have worked to your benefit, but then there's the egg problem . . . You could go through all the hormones and surgery and it still might not work. It's so hard.
    Anonymous, it is heartbreaking. We don't get another chance once that boat has sailed. You ask a very good question. What if Fred had told me all of his children were adopted, which would mean he might not be able to give me any children? I don't know. I wouldn't have dumped him. At least I would have known the situation right at the beginning.
    This is an interesting discussion. I hope others comment.


  4. If my husband would of EVEN let us try and it did not happen, then I would of known it was not meant to be. BUT to be told “No, I don't want any more” is a whole different story. I could accept not having children because it was God's will not my husband's.


  5. I'm in the situation that doubleme stated. Except it is my boyfried and we love each other. He has twins, boy/girl, and he said he is done raising kids and does not want anymore. I told him I wanted just a chance, but he is adamant. We wanted to move in together and marriage was looking like the next step, with how our relationship has been growing. I have been with him about a year. He'll be 38 this year and I will be 39 next month. I am torn with what to do 😦 J


  6. This is such a tough situation. You have to choose between the man and the children you might have had. Either way you lose something huge. I hope you find peace with this.


  7. That’s really an interesting question. Well, there’s no exact or definite answer for that. It varies from people to people. If a man is really firm with his decision, then it should be respected. However, I think you should try to communicate with him about your concern. Having your own children is one of the wonderful things that you could have, so you have the voice for this. Just open up about it so that you’ll both know your stands, respectively. I hope I helped.

    Harold Judelman


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