He forgot to mention his vasectomy?

Dear friends,

Have you ever been tempted to lie to get your way in the baby debate? When I was young and fertile, some of my older relatives suggested I simply stop using birth control without telling my husband. He would come around once I got pregnant. I’ll bet some of you have heard that advice, too. Leave out the diaphragm or don’t take the pill and pretty soon, oops we’re pregnant, I just don’t know how that could have happened. I always argued that that wasn’t fair, that you didn’t deceive someone you loved like that, but I suspect that quite a few women have done it.

What about you? Have you been tempted to secretly skip the birth control so you could “accidentally” get pregnant? Or have you gone the other way, not telling your partner you’re on the pill because you didn’t want to have a baby?

If you’re a guy, have you ever lied one way or the other about having a vasectomy in the hope of either making a baby or preventing a pregnancy you didn’t want?

Men and women, have you been the victim of this kind of secrecy? You thought you could or could not get pregnant, but your partner was not telling you the truth?

I received this comment at the old site today:

Anonymous said…

I am in my mid-30s and my husband is mid-50s. We have been married eight years. Before we decided to get married, we agreed to have at least one child together (he has two adult children). We have never prevented pregnancy. I thought something was wrong with me! Why couldn’t I get pregnant when everyone else around me was popping out babies left and right?

Just before our second anniversary, he casually referred to the vasectomy he had over 15 years before, after the birth of his last child. What? All the time we had talked about and planned to have a baby, he had not once mentioned a vasectomy. We even had baby names and schools picked out for our future child!

To say that I was (am) devastated is a true understatement. Six years have passed since then, and I still have not come to terms or in any way accepted this “forced” childlessness. My heart hurts so much sometimes that I don’t feel like I have the strength to take a shower or brush my teeth. The only thing I ever really wanted to “achieve” in life was being a mom! I know that adoption or IVF are out there, but I sure don’t have the money.

I try to tell myself that having a good relationship with my husband and no kids is better than having a poor relationship with him and lots of kids. This doesn’t heal or even soothe my ache; I just hope if I repeat it enough, I will start to believe it someday.
I wish I knew what to say to all of us suffering from childlessness. My hat is off to you, Sue, for trying to help.

Oh, by the way, I had a vasectomy 15 years ago?!! I don’t know what I would have done. The thought makes me so angry I want to punch something.

I think this kind of deception goes way beyond “little white lies.” What do you think?

17 thoughts on “He forgot to mention his vasectomy?

  1. Why is she still with him? I would rather be alone than with a man like that. Not just he did not mention the vasectomy, but she thought they were planning a pregnancy. How cruel of him. My hubby told me within weeks that he had a vasectomy after the birth of his second child. We looked into a reversal together, but life and my health got in the way. At least he was honest. We were able to investigate all options together and now we can both be sad that we did not get the chance to be parents together. We get on with life and now we are grandparents (both of his kids are parents themselves now).


  2. I’m glad I found your new blogspot,Sue. I am this Anonymous. What I didn’t feel like sharing previously was that I had been married before. Due to another set of circumstances, my ex and I never had children either. I was heartbroken then about not having a baby. After my divorce, not only did I hurt from being childless, but I carried around a lot of shame for not being able to keep a husband. We were separated for almost a year before a divorce was even filed. During that time, I thought we would work out any and all problems and get back together. That was when I got the idea that a great relationship with my husband with no kids was better than a poor one with lots of kids. I had prayed that he would get back with me, then vowed to never ask him for children if he did want me back. We never got back together.
    A few years later when my (now) husband told me of his vasectomy, I felt all of the old pain of being childless again. Yet this time, I felt like any hope or goodness I had left inside of me was violently ripped away. I felt nothing for days. I couldn’t even cry. Looking back, I believe I was in some kind of emotional shock. When I was finally able to feel again, man, I felt it all. Anger. Bitterness. Hopelessness. Fear. Shame. At some point, I decided I did not want to be an angry, bitter person. That was when I started applying the “good relationship/no kids” thought again.
    I feel like he and I have an okay relationship now. Though, I do not open up and cry on his shoulder when I have my sad days. As a matter of a fact, I have only told one other person (until now) the real reason I don’t have children. I only told my mom to get her to stop nagging me about when I am going to start having kids. Like 10 grandkids from my other siblings aren’t enough! Yeah, my family get-togethers emotionally suck!
    Sue, upon reading my original post, I realized that I didn’t actually say “thank you”. From the depths of my heart, “THANK YOU” for starting this blog. Just being able to tell my story, without those who actually know me knowing my story, has helped relieve some pressure I’ve been holding inside. I actually came across your old blog because my mom told me a couple days ago that I need to start getting some help with all my emotional baggage. She says that despite my best efforts, I am becoming bitter. I was too fearful to talk to someone face-to-face like a counselor. That is when I hit google and found you. Again, thank you.
    (It just dawned on me that I have never even talked about this face-to-face with my mom; it’s always been over the phone. Hmmm…)


    • Hey Anonymous/Dawnsey, sounds like we have some things in common, like the first husband with whom we didn’t have kids, etc. Luckily, my second husband told me right away about the vasectomy. Unfortunately, he didn’t tell me he was not up for trying to get it reversed or adopt until we were already engaged, but I loved him too much and had too much negative history to even imagine that I’d find someone else. Which I haven’t. I know what you mean about family bugging you. I finally had to tell my grandfather, “He’s shooting blanks” to get him off my back. My mother, God bless her, never bugged me about kids, although she would have loved to be a grandmother.
      Hang in there. I really am glad that I can help. But if you need counseling, it’s not that scary. It can help.


  3. My husband was upfront about his vasectomy. But he said he could have it reversed, then changed his mind after we got married. Then he said we could adopt, then changed his mind. Then he said I could get artificial insemination, then changed his mind . . . .

    Now this weekend I see on Facebook yet another classmate becomes a grandparent. I have since stopped following her. Not the least bit interested in all the baby pictures.

    I have good days and not so good days. Today is a not so good day. 😦

    Thanks for letting me share here. There is no one on the planet that I share this crap with.

    I apologize for my negativity tonight.


  4. Hi Dawnsey,

    I think you are very brave for sharing your story. No one can really judge what you are going thorough because they are not living it like you are. I’m sorry that you had to go through a tough time after your husband confessed that he had had a vasectomy.
    My partner told me up front about his but then went back and forth about having children or not having children for years. It drove me a little crazy; I was on an emotional roller coaster. Then I realized that I had my own ambivalent feelings about being a mom thrown into the mix.
    It’s not clear cut it’s not for some people, is it? We have so much pressure as women to have kids as well, which makes not having them more painful and complicated. I hope you’re able to work out things with your husband and are in a better place.


  5. I’m struggling with being childless at the moment and probably have been for years now. Everything came to a head a few weeks ago at work and I am currently off with ‘work-related stress’. After two weeks away from work, I don’t feel any better and I am slowly realising that the way I feel is because I am childless. I wake up every morning and feel nothing. Numb. Lost. Empty. Unhappy. Hopeless.

    My husband is 11 years older than I am and he has three boys from his first marriage. All of them are in their mid to late twenties. My husband wants nothing more than to be a grandfather, but to me it means nothing. They are not my kids. They still have their mum and she will be the grandmother not me. We rarely see the sons, not through lack of trying because my husband is a great communicator and works hard to stay in touch with people, but the distance does not help.

    We did try for children but maybe through our naivety it did not work for us. My husband had a vasectomy after his third child was born. Fifteen years after that, we paid for a reversal, which we were told was successful. What they failed to tell us was that, although the sperm was there, it had no motility. If I had been a stronger person then, maybe I would have spoken up sooner but we just assumed we would get pregnant one day. We went for fertility treatment, but due to my age (I was 41) my body was not right to conceive. After one false start and not a lot of hope of it working, we gave up.

    Two things haunt me. One is that my husband loves the female body when it is pregnant and I always wanted to be pregnant for him. Two, I know I will be alone later in life. I am the youngest in my family and they all live far away, plus with the age gap it is likely I will outlive my husband. When that happens, I know I will not have anything to do with any of his family. He struggles to see them and as I said before he is a great communicator. His brother’s children now have kids, one born last month, but I just don’t see the point in me going to see them. It seems easier not to make a bond now that will just be broken later.

    Perhaps I would feel better about not having kids if I had a great career, but I have not even managed to do that. Although I have worked for the past 29 years, I seem to be earning less now than when I left school.

    Anyway, I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow so maybe I will finally tell someone how I really feel.

    I am so relieved to have found this website. Thank you.


    • Oh Ang, I feel your pain right through this screen. You might want to try counseling to get through this. I did. There’s no shame in it. And maybe you will still have a connection with his family when he’s gone. Or maybe he’ll live a long, long time. Try not to assume the worst. I’m so sorry you have to go through this.


    • If having children was so important to you maybe you shouldn’t have waited until you were -40 years old- to conceive! Biologically the ideal time to get pregnant is anywhere from your late teens to early 20’s. That’s when the child has the lowest risk of birth defects. If you would have settled down with one of the boring reliable guys; instead of throwing away your teens and 20’s chasing bad boys you’d be a grandmother by now.


  6. I relate so strongly to the comments on here.
    @ Ang, I have definitely thought the same about the career thing before, that if I was successful or doing something important it would somehow “justify” not having children. But I just have a little dead end job that I don’t particularly take any pride or interest in.

    I feel like when I first started reading this blog and looking around on the internet for support, there was very little. It seems like there are many more in my circumstances now than there were just a few years ago. I wonder if it’s a growing trend of sorts, maybe more divorced men starting new relationships but not wanting to do the child rearing thing again? I makes me really resentful towards men in general sometimes. It seems like they have two or three chances at the whole finding love and happiness thing and I feel like we only get one, and if you screw it up…that’s it.

    My situation is a little different in that my husband wasn’t married before, we are the same age and he just never wanted children. I honestly don’t know if that’s better or worse. I guess it depends whether the stepchildren situation is a positive or a negative. It’s certainly a little more unusual anyway, but in the end it seems like the feelings of sadness and disconnection from others with children or grandchildren that results is the same. I really appreciate everyone being so honest and open about your feelings. It helps to know that I’m not the only one.


  7. HI Sue
    Yes – the worst happened to me as well. I found out four months ago my husband had a vasectomy 10 years ago – less than six months before we met. We have been “ACTIVELY” trying to conceive for the last three years. Also picking baby names , me testing every month like a fool, and him telling me every month, “Don’t worry, honey, we will try again next month.” I am devastated. I have moved out. I honestly will never be able to forgive him for the pain. I am 33 years old. Do you know what that means ?? To divorce and find someone else, etc., can take easily up to three years. I am devastated. He says the lie got too big , and that he actually wants children but that I was not approachable to tell the truth. Really?? For 10 years??
    What to do??


  8. I can completely understand the anger and frustration a woman might feel when she finds out her husband has lied about a vasectomy, but I’m shocked no one is commenting about what women do to trap men.

    When women lie about birth control and give birth to a child that his father did not want to have, there usually is so much resentment and anger that the child will grow up unloved or raised by a single mom because the dad left. Perhaps you can’t see why this isn’t worse but it is.

    In the former example, no innocent child has to suffer, but since it’s a man that lied, we find that worse than when a woman does.

    I sure hope laws will make it so that when a woman wants to get pregnant, a man has to sign papers up front stating that he agreed to be a father, otherwise the woman should be fully responsible for the child, especially financially as to not hold a guy hostage and demand him to pay even though he did NOT want to be a father.


    • Tom, you are absolutely right. When I was young and fertile, people encouraged me to do that very thing, to have an oops baby and force my ex-husband to be a father. It would be easy to do. But I refused because it’s just not right. You don’t do that sort of thing to someone you love. But I’m sure it happens, and anyone who does that deserves the consequences. Thank you for adding this important comment to the conversation.


      • I wish there were more women like you. Most women however find a guy and even though the guy clearly states he does NOT want to be a father they go ahead and get pregnant against his will thinking the guy will change once the baby is here. This, I think, is the biggest problem women have; thinking they can change a man.

        Of course, after the men leave the women cry that the guy is a deadbeat dad and what not.

        A tip here for women; if you want kids, find a man with the same dream and if after a year of trying go see a doctor or leave and find another guy. Don’t get pregnant to trap a man, because he will either leave or you will be stuck with a hostage, and why would you want that?


  9. I don’t understand how women here can claim that their husband “forced” them to be childless. If the doctor says there is nothing wrong with the woman’s reproductive system, and they want a kid, then they should just leave and find another guy who can knock them up. Or buy sperm from a sperm bank if they want to keep their husband around.


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