“We could have been parents: the conversation that changed our lives” is the title of an article in the UK’s Guardian that almost could have been written about my husband and me. The writer, Ruth Wishart, says she didn’t bring up the subject of having children until she and her husband Rod had been married for two years. She just assumed they would have kids. When she started talking about when to have them, she found out he didn’t want to have children at all. Happy with her life and career at the time, she let it go. Eventually she had her tubes tied. Then the unexpected happened: When she was in her 50s, her husband died suddenly, leaving her feeling very much alone.
I’ll let you read the article for the details, but so much of this story is familiar. As you can read in my Childless by Marriage book, Fred did tell me before the wedding that he didn’t want to have any more children, that the three he had from his first marriage were enough for him. He told me how he felt, but I really didn’t talk about how I felt; I assumed he would change his mind. We didn’t have the conversation we should have had. Instead, I let it go, too. And like Ruth’s husband, mine died. So here I am with my dog.
I’m not looking for sympathy at this point. My life is pretty good. What I’m saying is the same thing I have been saying here for years: For God’s sake, talk about it. Even if it causes a fight or sours the relationship, don’t hold it in. If you want children, say so. If you don’t want children, say so. If you’re not sure or might be willing to compromise, say so. Talk it out. Don’t let it fester, and don’t let yourself get caught in a situation that breaks your heart. Please.
Thank you to Beth at the Children or Not blog for letting us know about this article.
I welcome your comments.