Oh, Baby....

doublejae34September 23, 2012

Hello to all, and thank you for reading.

My fiance' and I are both 38 years old. I've never been married, and have no children. He's divorced with two girls, the eldest is 13, the youngest 9. We have been engaged since April and have been happily planning our lives together despite many obstacles, and have sailed right through any thrown our way until now.

When we first got together, he was ambivalent about the idea of having more children. At times he seemed ok with it, at others it was a soft "no." It wasn't discussed much, more eluded to at times. Given the fact that I wasn't sure I'd ever want to have a baby (about 50/50), the subject didn't come up often.

Last week, we began discussing the idea of having children after a near-miss with our birth control method. To my surprise, he stated adamently that he was NOT going to have any more children, and if I wanted to have a baby, we needed to end the relationship, because he wasn't going to budge. Stunned, I had to leave before I completely gave in to my overwhelming emotions (grief). I sure didn't see that one coming.

One week later, we've had several tentative conversations about the subject (and I promise, during one I let him have it for NEVER clearly stating he didn't want any more children, and at the same time let him hear me own up to equal responsibility because I should have made SURE we were seeing eye-to-eye on that issue before we proceeded with getting engaged). He maintains that he does NOT want children, and I am to not assume that maybe he will change his mind down the road, either, for that matter. He says he loves me enough to let me go if having a baby is the desire of my heart.

I am not sure what the desire of my heart is- but we are both devout Christians, and I've always felt that that decision was best left up to God. I am not asking him specifically to HAVE a baby, I just asked him not to do anything to prevent it while I am still in my childbearing years.

I've never been at such a crossroads. I realize this issue is what some refer to as a "dealbreaker." I truly do not know what to do. I love this man more than anyone, that's why I accepted his proposal. I fully plan on spending the rest of my life with him. His reasoning for not wanting any more children is twofold- he has "been there, done that, doesn't want to go through it again" and because he says it will irrevocably hurt his existing children for he and I to have a child together.

What I think of his reasoning really doesn't matter- he deserves to have his own opinion. I realize we are going in total opposite directions. I love him so much- but am scared to death that if I continue with this relationship, I will resent him for the rest of my life for making a decision that I have always entrusted to God. That said, it's caused me to wonder if he's always going to put his own wants and desires first when it comes to any decision he and I make.

We are taking a "breather" while I decide what I am going to do. I have never been so torn in my entire life. He is a lay minister and loves his girls to distraction, I just am having trouble believing that a man that entrusts his every decision to God is leaving Him out of this one completely.

Does anyone have any words of wisdom they could spare right now? Thank you again for your time and consideration. :(

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After reading my original post, I should add a bit of missing information for sure. :)

He and I are both devout Christians, and had resolved to not have sex before marriage. However- we had a weak moment about three weeks ago and ended up doing just that. It was after it happened that the conversation took place about having children.

When I said I was not sure if I ever wanted children, that I was about 50/50- up until my late 30's, I'd always desired children. With my clock ticking and all that entails, however, I'd started to think that if I never had any, that would be ok too (this was before he and I got together and I assumed I was going to remain single). I would never leave having a baby to just "chance" unless I was married and my husband and I could provide a stable, loving environment to a child. That satisfied, I would rely on God to decide if we were to have a child according to His will.

He is a wonderful father and provider to his existing children, and I have a great relationship with them both as well as with their biological mother. However, the kids went through a really hard time when their parents divorced and she ended up having another child with another man two years later. That child has been with his mother since he was born, and she only recently began having the girls three nights per week. I am certain they have abandonment issues with her but they've been slowly & steadily learning to trust her again.

I hope this additional information helps. Thanks again for reading. :)

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 5:07PM
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First, you really have to decide what is most important to you. What do you really want? Take your fiance out of the picture for a moment. Life doesn't always go as planned, however, thanks to modern medicine you can plan to have or not have a child.

There is no wrong or right way to feel. If you are happy with never having kids then you should continue the relationship with your fiance. However, if you realize that you really do want kids, well, you know what you have to do. Good luck to you.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 7:44PM
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M husband and I had almost the same exact conversation before getting married. He told me he would "think about it" and "maybe". I was unsure like you until I was about 39 and when I expressed a desire to discuss the possibility my husband & he totally shut me down. Our life together has been all about his adult children and grandchildren. He really doesn't have room in his heart for my adult son, let alone any that we might have had together. I'm going on 48 now and postmenopausal. Do I resent him for it? Yes, and I always will. He intentionally mislead me to believe it might happen, when he admits now he never wanted that. You have the advantage of knowing up front. I promise You if you have any yearnings of motherhood at all you will resent him for it and yourself for settling for less than you want of a marriage. I know it's tough but I think you should move on. He is telling you up front it won't happen. Set yourself free to find some one who wants a family and children and the kind of family life that you desire.((hugs))

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 7:49PM
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You know what they call people who don't do anything to prevent conception, right?

"Mommy" & "Daddy".

If you don't use birth control, pregnancy is a when & not an if, & he knows it.

& he's told you plainly, even baldly, that he does not want (for him, read that "more") children.

Respect that, believe that, & respect your own position & protect your ability to make a decision for parenthood later on;

If you don't want to close the door on motherhood & throw away the key, cut the line & toss this one back.

just read this on the "preview" & realized that I wanted to gripe at this guy's attitude a little.

He already has children, & you don't.

It sounds like he's got what he wants, & if you want to keep him, you have to forgo your own options to get what you want *even if it's the same thing he already has*.

Most women eventually want babies.
It's normal & it's an important, life-defining choice.

You might want to think about what life would be like with someone who demands everything his way regardless of how normal & how important your own, contrary, view might be.

I also think it's low to tell you his terms *after* a pregnancy "scare", & telling you he "loves you enough" to "let you go" is manipulative & controlling.

It makes it your decision (your fault) if you give up your options to stay with someone who "loves" you so much.

it's the kind of thing abusers do to keep their victims in line.

I wish you the best.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 1:47PM
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I get where OP is coming from on this and totally think that if she knows she wants a baby, that she should get out of this relationship. However, it doesn't really sound like she is 100% sure that she does want a baby, just is willing to take the chance and see what happens. I don't really get from the OP that either her desire or her FDH's desires were really ever communicated until after the pregnancy scare. I don't think it's either her fault or his for the miscommunication. OP, did you ever discuss Birth Control prior to this scare? Did you ever slip-up prior to now on the abstinence thing, or is that a one-time thing? If you did forgo Birth Control once you got married and you could not get pregnant, would you want to go further and pursue in vitro? I guess I just wonder how much you were actually miss-lead in this situation, or was it a case of you not really wanting to hear what he was telling you. It sounds like he did actually say that he did not want any more children, but that because he was not forceful in his communication about it, that you took that to mean he was somewhat open to the idea?

I certainly don't think he is an abuser because he doesn't want to have any more children, just sounds like your picture of a future does not line up with his. I think it's good that he is being honest with you about it now. I would not want to bring a child into the world with a man who did not actually want to have that child. You would both end up resenting each other for it. He would resent you for the work he would have to put into raising that child and you would resent him because he may not be as gung-ho as you would like him to be in doing all of the things you need to do when you have children.

I think you have a very tough decision to make. I think having a child is a wonderful thing that I would not want to miss out on. But I can also understand his P.O.V. and see why he would not want to take on another child.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 7:07PM
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"He says he loves me enough to let me go if having a baby is the desire of my heart."

I hope that YOU love You enough to walk away if you want the option of having a baby.

And this: "You might want to think about what life would be like with someone who demands everything his way regardless of how normal & how important your own, contrary, view might be."

The answer is life is frustrating and unfufilling at times-no matter how wonderful and kind your partner is, because you will always be the one giving in, making peace, doing without things that are important to you because you want your partner and yourself to be happy together. And you will become resentful. It is a frustrating, exhausting life being married to someone who just won't budge or be open for discussion the "biggie issues".

Think about it.


    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 12:42AM
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--"When we first got together, he was ambivalent about the idea of having more children. At times he seemed ok with it, at others it was a soft "no." It wasn't discussed much, more eluded to at times. Given the fact that I wasn't sure I'd ever want to have a baby (about 50/50), the subject didn't come up often. "--

Maybe I'm reading this wrong,but it rather sounds that this is not a case of a controlling male. The gentleman 'seemed ok' and othertimes 'soft no'. Sounds like he pretty much said 'I don't want anymore children' from the beginning.

I also would believe that it was the 'scare' that seriously brought the subject to the forefront for the OP. Had come to grips the face time was passing, may never have children, then suddenly believed she was indeed with child. Very emotional. What she had all but accepted would not likely happen was now very real and quite possible.

I certainly not going to fault OP for desiring a child of her own nor the wish to let a child happen naturally between husband and wife if it is to happen. But I seriously think a full discussion with clear communication should have came many months ago. It didn't...but it's not too late for OP to now take some time to reflect on her life and the direction she desires it to take. If she finds she would like to have child of her own , the guy is giving her the out to do so. He's not holding her back from following her desires, he's just telling her it can not be the future with him.

Perhaps the 'scare' brought the issue home hard and real to him. Reading the two postings from OP it sounds like there are several factors that he is taking into consideration besides just whether or not he wants additional children. The children he has now had for a while been 'left behind' by their BM and are struggling with abandonment issues.

There was also no mention of the gentleman's age. As OP is 38 I'll assume he is that if not perhaps well into his 40s. He has a 13yr old who will be going off to higher education in five short years. Perhaps he is thinking about several things in that area. Cost of education, his own retirement savings for example. Plus the realistic thought that something could go wrong with a second marriage. There is likely many things bouncing around up in the gentleman's head and being OP/him just had a 'scare' he is trying to be honest and open with OP. Yes, he loves her, yes, he desires a life with her, but no, he will not create another child. I don't necessarily find his stand as controlling and selfish, but rather realistically considering the thoughts that he has not only himself and his own desires but also two minor children who must fit into any decisons he makes.

A controlling selfish man would have quietly went off, gotten snipped and never mentioned the fact pre-marriage and let OP think God had not desired a child for them. Instead, he is being open and giving OP a chance to change her mind on their relationship. Now would be the time to bring out any other topics that you feel MUST be discussed and agreed to while the two of you are taking this break. If OP feels perhaps her feelings and thoughts and desires will never be given importance and proper place in this relationship, the time to discuss it is now.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 6:43AM
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sorry, I didn't mean to leave the impression that I was calling bf an abuser;
I was trying to say that his attitude sounds very selfish & self-centered & that his "I love you enough to let you go" is the kind of heads I win/tails you lose thing used by abusers;
if OP brushes that aside, she'll be setting herself for a lifetime of being the one who gives in/gives up & sacrifices her own desires.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 12:29PM
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I read it differently. I suppose I love you enough to let you go could be construed as a threat, but it's also an acknowledgement of reality. He's being honest. Her biological clock is ticking and if she wants children, she has to move on. Why prolong the agony?

It's unfortunate he wasn't this explicit earlier in the relationship, but it sounds as if his soft no hardened over time and he now realizes he does not want to begin the parenting cycle all over again. In this kind of situation you have to take the person at their word.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 3:00PM
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Things get clearer / more definitive to a person as time moves on sometimes, I agree he may have indeed been undecided originally, and made up his mind more recently, not purposely had this position all along. I have changed my stance on many things in life as I have gotten older. It happens to most people I think.

But Sylvia generally sees men as manipulative abusers, so no great surprise in her opinions....

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 3:13PM
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thanks for the attention & kind thoughts, mkroopy, but OP likely can use observations & insights about her situation.

sniping directed at another poster, not so much.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 7:24PM
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Just trying to offset your biased opinion my dear. Archie Bunker had Meathead, FOX has MSNBC, and we have each other to balance the scoresheet....

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 8:59PM
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Sylvia & mkroopy,

I, and I'm sure others, value both of your views on these forums.

Keep up the good work!

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 11:23PM
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I don't think this man would deprive you of a child if he loves you! He has children. He should give you the option. If you have to choose him or having a child--- I mean, really! You want to spend your life like that? He has what he wants, you don't. So he's thinking expenses. You work. You can afford a child. I'll tell ya something. I loved raising a child. Wouldn't have missed it for the world.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 10:01PM
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"He is a wonderful father and provider to his existing children, and I have a great relationship with them both as well as with their biological mother."

If you were unable to have children of your own, could you find it in your heart to treat the two girls like they were your own? Even if they aren't biologically yours?

I've known people who were married, had kids, divorced, remarried and vacationed with each other's spouses and respective kids.

Wouldn't be the worst thing to happen.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 1:32AM
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