Sometimes you have to stick with your decision


You know what drives me crazy? When someone who has been married for 15 or 20 years decides to break up a marriage because NOW one of them has decided they have to have children. Sometimes it’s the one with baby lust who ends it. Sometimes it’s their partner because they can’t bear the resentment of the childless spouse—or because they believe that ridiculous old saying if you love them set them free.
Here’s a thought. Why not stick to the commitment you made years ago to stay together for the rest of your lives, no matter what? Rich or poor, in sickness or in health, through snoring, foot fungus, cancer scares and second thoughts about not having kids? So many people who comment here mention that they love this person, that he/she is their soul mate and they don’t know if they’ll ever find anyone else they love this much. Yet they’re thinking about leaving in the hope they’ll find someone else who has all the same great qualities, along with a yearning to be a parent.
The grass is not always greener, and the eggs are not getting any fresher. Before you leap out of a relationship or poison your relationship with resentment, consider that when you accepted this person into your life, you accepted the whole package, including his family, his kids from previous relationships, his big nose or balding head, and his reluctance to parent. Sometimes, as with my first marriage, there are a lot more problems besides disagreeing over whether to have children. That marriage was doomed. But if you really love him (or her), you stop looking around and considering other possibilities and other lives. Think about it.
Enough nagging. It’s the holidays. I hope you all survived Thanksgiving and are looking forward to Christmas. I spent Turkey Day with my dad, brother, and my sister-in-law’s vast family. All of the other women had children, lots of them. They also had living mothers and husbands. Did I feel a pang of sadness and loss? You bet. But then I thought about having to buy Christmas presents for six children and sixteen grandchildren, and I felt lucky. I can hang out with my niece and nephew and shower them with gifts. I can love the young people who are in my life through church and my writing and music activities. Then I can come home and do Christmas my way—and stay out of the shopping mall. I don’t mind that at all.
How are you doing this holiday season? Let us know in the comments.
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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.