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.