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I Need Some Perspective! Arguments related to kids.

Posted by njrealtor (My Page) on
Thu, Feb 14, 08 at 17:00

I could really use a non biased input right now, because I am feeling so very angry with my husband right now and I fear I may be over reacting.

Some background: We have been married for about 5.5 years. We just moved areas to be close to my husband's job (again). This has left me jobless and friendless for the second time in six years. I think I do have some resntment about that, but supported the move and it was 50% my decision so not fair that I hold this against him.

I would say that overall we have a great relationship. There are the usual issues - I don't feel that he listens as well as he could, he definitely doesn't store a lot of the information I give him and occassionally denies any knowledge of a subject that i could have discussed with him at least twice. This makes me crazy, but I do think that men can be a bit like that (sorry!!).

We have a lot of love for one another, but I am worried about how quickly I can go from feeling totally loving towards him, to feeling like I can't stand him and just want to leave.

The main reason for this is that we can't agree whether or not we will have children. He has made it clear that he doesn't want any. I felt like perhaps I might want them and there have been plenty of arguments and tears (mine) about this subject. This is not a situation where I know for sure that I want children myself, but I want to have the OPTION. I want to be able to discuss it as a possibility. Not have the door totally closed. As it happens I can see a lot of my husband's points; kids are expensive, life changing things and we do have a pretty good life now. I think that there could be room in that life for a child, and he doesn't.

My latest anger has come from me asking him a stupid question last night. I asked him if he felt guilty for preventing me from having children.

He pondered for a moment and then said: 'no - why would I?'

For some reason this has made me furious. I feel like my feelings are of no account to him - that I try to see his point of view, but he makes no effort to see mine. He saw how angry I was and said that he thought the question was so stupid that he answered jokingly (doesn't seem very funny to me). He says now that of course he feels guilty about it. I do not believe him. I think that he feels bad for upsetting me again, but that he doesn't think about the kids subject at all unless I bring it up - despite the fact that I have told him that this is extremely important for me.

He says that he hasn't totally ruled out kids, but he is always making unpleasant little comments about them and he knows well that after my childhood I would never bring a child into the world that wasn't 100% wanted by both parents. He knows that if there is any hestitation on either of our parts, I would never risk it.

Right now it is less about the subject of having children or not. It's about the fact that to me he is coming across as extremely selfish and doesn't seem to take my feelings into account at all.

Am I being nuts about this? He is overall a loving and affectionate man and we like each other as well as loving each other. But it does seem like I am the one doing all the giving here. I don't want to force him to have kids or do something he doesn't want to do, but this " No - why should I" answer has really hurt my feelings.

Can someone please put this in perpective. It's valentine's day and I just got flowers delivered from him, but I still have all this anger from last night. I want to let it go and have a nice evening, but feel like I could cry at the drop of a hat.

Any ideas?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: I Need Some Perspective! Arguments related to kids.

It sounds like you don't consider yourself as 1/2 of the decision making. And really, more that he doesn't consider your opinion as being valid. I don't blame you. You might temper your thoughts, realizing it's really hard to compromise about kids, because it's black and white; you either have them or don't. So there is no middle. It makes it really hard to come together if you're at polar ends, but try to scoot his way some and get him to come your way some. Let go of the anger if for no other reason that he does love you enough to send you flowers. He didn't have to do it. What you must focus on is that he hasn't totally ruled out kids. He does value your opinion because he is behind your decision to not have kids (when you don't want to risk a bad situation). He's left the door open.

As a wife with a child, I offer you this insight into a guy and kids... they're scared. They're scard they can't be a good enough father. They're scared they won't be able to support the child financially. Mostly, they're scared it will change the relationship they have with their wife. If he loves what he was, why would he give it up. It's kind of hard to imagine you can take something so wonderful and make it any better. It can be better. Promise. It does change. But not necessarily into a bad thing. You promise him to keep up your end of the marriage and help him be a good father, he'll be more receptive.


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RE: I Need Some Perspective! Arguments related to kids.

You have to meet each other half-way, a compromise, if you like.

In a calm moment find a time to have a calm discussion about how you feel, about how he feels. You sound like you have some resentment about your move, and pregnancy. I suspect you don't want to live your life without having a child.

"I don't feel that he listens"...prepare him to being receptive..say things like "I need to get something off my chest". Find out when he is most receptive to these types of talks.

I have felt like that about my DH, but I have worked on improving my communication skills, so I am heard !

Did you both decide, before you married, that you would not have children ?


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RE: I Need Some Perspective! Arguments related to kids.

Well, I guess my view on the matter depends on if he told you to begin with and before you got married that he never wanted children. If it was always his opinion and he made it very clear, I'm not sure you can get mad at him not for not wanting to compromise or even talk about it. Some people make it very clear they don't want kids, some make it very clear they do. For those people there's not usually middle ground and it's not really something that is open for discussion with them.

You may waver back and forth, so you want him to consider it an option, but I'm really not sure this is something he should or can compromise on if he really doesn't want children. Had you told him you were ok with not having kids before you got married?

You're focusing on the fact that you are mad he won't discuss it or is flippant when asked about it..but why wouldn't he respond that way if that's his known opinion?. (I mean that was a kind of mean question to ask him if it was agreed you wouldn't have kids before you got married). At this point, I'd focus more on what you want and what you can compromise. I think you already know were he is at; getting upset that he won't change his mind isn't going to get you anywhere.


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RE: I Need Some Perspective! Arguments related to kids.

I agree, if you knew before hand you don't have a right to fuss about it now. Personally I think he is very smart. LOL


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RE: I Need Some Perspective! Arguments related to kids.

"Let go of the anger if for no other reason that he does love you enough to send you flowers"

puhleeze.

Flowers are the primo get-out-of-jail card.
They're cheap, they're easy, & they distract & confuse the wife & get the husband off the hook.

It sounds like he gets everything he wants, doesn't get anything he doesn't want, isn't interested in what you want, & you have to catch up/adjust/adapt/get used to it.

Whenever you voice your dissatisfaction, he just waits for you to talk yourself into believing that it was at least half your idea & your fault.

so he always gets what he wants.
..........
..........

I once had a partner who told me that he was perfectly happy to be an equal partner with me, but that we both needed to face the fact that sometimes we would disagree & there'd have to be a tie-breaker.

His position was that, since he was older, & male, & we were living in his home (after he pressured me to sell mine), his vote would be the tie-breaker.

which meant that if we agreed, he got what he wanted, & if we disagreed, he got what he wanted.

It didn't last forever, but it lasted too long.
...........
...........

& if you want a family or want to keep your options open regarding a family, you need to get out of this relationship;

he's told you he doesn't want children, & when you howl & moan & cry, he says he hasn't "ruled them out" to get you off his back.

but the discussion never goes any further, & time keeps ticking.

This guy does not want children.

Don't try to talk him into it, bully him into it, trick him into it, or trick yourself into believing it's a possibility until you find your biological clock has run down.

It isn't happening.

If you want to keep the possibilities open as to having a family, get out of this relationship & clear your mind & your heart so you can decide what *you* want, & then think about finding a partner who wants you to have what you want as much as he wants what he wants.

I wish you the best.


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RE: I Need Some Perspective! Arguments related to kids.

Well, I know this is crazy, but we did NOT discuss children before we got married. I have never been the kind of girl who dreamed of meeting Mr Right, getting married and having children. Neither was he. None of his friends thought he would get married, and my friends all thought I would be the last of us to marry.

But we make a good team. Funnily enough, most people who know us probably think that he is the easier going of the two of us, which I'm not entirely sure is really the case! : )

We have the same ideas on many issues; we're on the same page with money/ spending/ travelling/ standard of living, etc.

It's only recently that the kid issue came up - I guess those hormones started kicking on after I turned 30.

I know that we are both very headstrong people with stong opinions on things. Mostly those views match more or less and we enjoy debating things together. This kid issue is difficult though because he can say that he 'may consider it' as much as he likes, but he knows that if there is a shred of doubt from either of us that I wouldn't do it. I simply will not bring a child into this world unless it is actively wanted by both parents. I won't trick him. Out of the question.

sylviatexas; as it happens I agree with much that you say. However, I do not think that love comes along often enough to throw it away. I am not even sure that I desperately want to have kids myself - it could be more hormones than anything else. I just want him to validate how I feel about it and to acknowledge that this is something he should at least be giving a lot of thought to.

Knowing whether to have kids is tricky. I also sometimes think that I may not want kids for the 'right' reasons. The reason I get most upset sometimes, is because I would like to have that happy family with wonderful family Christmas' and holidays and have that secure family feeling that I didn't have as a child. I have a sneaking suspicion that things seldom work out like that in real life, and I don't think people should have children to fulfil something that they feel they need in their own lives.

At other times I think it would be wonderful to teach and guide a child through the world and spend a lot of time thinking how I would handle different situations and scenarios.

At yet other times I think that to have a child would be an enormous burden on our freedom and finances, and I don't know if I want it badly enough to accept the restrictions it would inevitably place on our lives.

So the long and the short of it is, that I don't know what I want, but I don't like having the door slammed in my face before I have had the chance to think about going through it.

As we didn't discuss this before marriage, this is something that we need to work through as a couple now. I don't think I would leave him because he doesn't want kids. I might consider leaving him if I feel that he is not considering my feelings and is unable to give me the courtesy of taking the time and energy to think and talk this through. If I have told him that something is very important to me, then I expect him to take as much of an interest as I would if he came to me with an important topic. I don't expect him to agree withme necessarily, but I do expect him to weigh all the options and to consider the consequences for me and us if we choose not to have kids. He isn't going to get to brush the topic off. I spend a lot of time thinking about him and how he feels about things, and I feel strongly that I deserve the same thing in return.

I actually let him read my first post to see if he thought I had presented the subject fairly. He said he thought it was put fairly and I will let him read the responses as they come in. Maybe he will even contribute himself. That would be interesting to me, but I'm not sure if he would do that.


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RE: I Need Some Perspective! Arguments related to kids.

My SO told me right away that he will not have any more kids, his argument is: our kids are already grown and he is too old. he actually is right. Although I would maybe possibly would consider having more children (just maybe), I can't blame him: he was honest up front. I even asked about adoption (it is very unlikely I will be able to have bio kids). His response was that he is too old for more children.

How old are you? If you are still relativelly young then maybe you can move on and look for a man who wants children. but you don't sound like you want children that much either, so why do you blame him? If children are important for you, then move on. If kids are not that important, then stay with him. Listen to your heart.


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RE: I Need Some Perspective! Arguments related to kids.

"I don't think I would leave him because he doesn't want kids. I might consider leaving him if I feel that he is not considering my feelings and is unable to give me the courtesy of taking the time and energy to think and talk this through. If I have told him that something is very important to me, then I expect him to take as much of an interest as I would if he came to me with an important topic. I don't expect him to agree withme necessarily, but I do expect him to weigh all the options and to consider the consequences for me and us if we choose not to have kids. He isn't going to get to brush the topic off. I spend a lot of time thinking about him and how he feels about things, and I feel strongly that I deserve the same thing in return."

Show him this paragraph. Because in these few lines, you've boiled down some very, very important ideas. Having children (or not) is one of the most important and fundamental decisions a person can make about his or her life. And refusing to even enter into a discussion with you about your own feelings on the subject - whether or not they match his own - is one of the most fundamentally demeaning things a man could ever do to his wife. There are valid reasons for not wanting children. But there are no valid reasons for refusing to discuss your wife's feelings on a subject so important. Selfishness, immaturity -- no excuse is good enough.

You're asking for a few hours of his time. That's all.


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RE: I Need Some Perspective! Arguments related to kids.

Before me and dh married I had one child and he had three. My child was not a planned pregnancy and I was young. After the relationship with my childs father failed I convinced myself that I would never marry or have another child. I went on with that feeling for years. I thought I would raise my child and then become a spinster....lol! I worked really hard to make a good life for me and my child and I did it.

Then I met my dh and after a while I changed my mind about marriage. We are happily married. We discussed having a child together before we got married and I told him our kids were already at that independant age and I did not want to be slowed down with another baby. We both had careers and babies are expensive. He said he did want another, but if I was dead set against it then he would be okay with it.

Now fast forward a few years, I have once again changed my mind. Maybe its my hormones or biological clock, but now I do want another child.

I was always willing to discuss these issues with my dh and we were always able to see eachothers points. And now my mind has changed. Maybe your dh will feel the same way down the road, or maybe he won't.

You need to decide what is really important to you and what is going to make you happy. If marriage and more kids would have been a "must have" at the time for my dh I would probably not be with him. Luckily, he stuck around long enough for me to change my mindset! You need to decide if you want to stay married to your husband because you know he is your soulmate, or if you want to get out now because having a child is of ultimate importance. You definately do not want to look back on your life and have any regrets.


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RE: I Need Some Perspective! Arguments related to kids.

It always surprises me when I hear married couples say they never discussed the important issues before they were married. It would save so many arguments and heartaches if they did. But that is water under the bridge now.
From reading your posts it seems like every time you have discussed this issue with your husband he has given you the same answer...No. No means No. You have discussed it with him, he has given you the reasons why he doesn't want children. I'm not sure why you keep asking/discussing with him this issue and expect a different answer. You yourself are wishy washy on the subject. You, yourself need to decide how important having a child is to you. Your husband has given you his answer many times. If a child is that important to you then make it happen without your husband. If you don't want a child then stay with your husband and drop the subject and move on and be happy with him. But YOU are the one that needs to decide. NancyLouise


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RE: I Need Some Perspective! Arguments related to kids.

This is such a long thread I did not read every post, so, if I repeat something someone else has said or suggested, please forgive me.

You seem to feel you and your DH are pretty well matched with the exception of this issue, and, you are not even sure of your position on the matter. If you are not convinced that you want children, then do not have children. If you think your biological clock is ticking and causing a hormonal melt down, then, find some other way to calm those hormones. I suggest you find out exactly how you feel about children. Volunteer in organizations that deal with children. Hospitals need volunteers to cuddle babies who have no one to do so. Other organizations need volunteers to help with children of all ages. Find out how you react and deal with children of all ages from babies, the terrible twos and so on. You may find that dealing with all the stages kids go through is not something you would want to do at all and if you do feel you might want to have children of your own, at least you will be coming from the position of knowing you do, rather than thinking you might.

Good luck


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RE: I Need Some Perspective! Arguments related to kids.

nancylouise; I hear you! But honestly we THOUGHT we had discussed the important issues. Money/ careers/ life style/ retirement/ religion/ houses/ relationship expectations, etc.

Neither of us thought much about kids, so it didn't come up. I agree that I need to decide what I want mydelf before torturing dh further. : )

Problem is, I just want to know that this is something that we can talk about, so it's not COMPLETELY ruled out. I suspect my desire for kids has a lot to do with hormones. Plus I know this sounds very strange, but three years we got a little dog and maternal instincts I never knew I had started to appear! I know a dog is nothing like a baby, but I was very doubtful about even getting her because I wasn't sure how good of a doggie Mommy I would be. As it happens I'm a really good one (if I do say so myself : ) ). It just opened my eyes to possibilities.

I never spent any time around kids when I was younger except for a once a week baby sitting job I did for a couple of months when I was in my teens. I didn't like the job.

DH and I have discussed this again and I have showed him the rest of the posts. He still says that he hasn't closed the door on the idea of kids, and he even said that he has thought about it more recently. He says some times he thinks about it and thinks what a bad idea it would be (!), others he thinks that it could be great.

Honestly at this point with him having said that SOMETIMES he thinks positive thoughts about the possibility of kids, it actually sounds like we are both on the same page. Neither of us is sure either way. That's ok with me - it means that we can work it out together.

DH and I are very well matched in almost everything. He's just left for a week in Hong Kong for work and I miss him like crazy already. He is my best friend and I see myself being with him for ever (at least I do 95% of the time - the other 5% I could strangle him. lol).

I feel like he is hearing me on this now. It's really important for me to feel heard, and maybe that's what I was missing more than anything else. We're both very strong willed people, sometimes that can be tricky!

Thanks for all the tips and comments. It really has helped a lot. Sometimes, I just get overwhelmed and so angry with him that I need an outside input. Thanks again.


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RE: I Need Some Perspective! Arguments related to kids.

In my situation, there was nothing I could have done to prepare myself for having children. I never really had anything to do with children, when its your own child, you would just do anything to look after them. It was all a learning curve for me.

I was "mothering" a cat, before I had my daughter, the poor animal was shoved out the door, when my daughter turned up !

Njrealtor, you sound like a nurturing kind, if you are feeling that with your dog.

Sounds like you have gotten what your want, for now, to be heard. So that's a good thing.


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RE: I Need Some Perspective! Arguments related to kids.

njr, glad to read your husband has been making you feel better about this situation. It eases your mind I'm sure. Bummer that he has gone away on business. I know when Wayne(my hubby) is gone on business it is very lonely without him. We miss him like crazy.
Our household was without him this whole past week. He just came home from the hospital yesterday (Big ole' nasty abscess by his appendix). Good luck with making your decision. NancyLouise


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RE: I Need Some Perspective! Arguments related to kids.

I wasn't around small children growing up and my siblings have no children. DH and I each had careers, spending money, vacations. Neither of us had a strong feeling of needing children. We figured we probably would have kids at some point because most people do but it wasn't urgent. At age 32 we decided it was now or never, if we were going to have kids we'd better make a decision. We analyzed. And analyzed. And analyzed. There were lots of reasons not to have kids. The only reason to have kids is that we might miss out on something if we didn't. Fast forward, we have one eleven year old daughter who is the center of our existence. We go to the zoo, park, movies, theme parks, play board games, cheer at soccer games, etc. We can't imagine life without her and worry that she's growing up too soon and when she goes away to college we shall miss her terribly. I have been a SAHM for twelve years -- I missed the social aspect of work. I'm planning to go back to work next year because DD is becoming self sufficient and I need to get back to a life of my own. I think there is no rational or analytical answer to your dilemma, its a big leap of faith. I wish you the best of luck and peace with your ultimate decision.


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RE: I Need Some Perspective! Arguments related to kids.

This is tough. Normally I'd say the kid issue is a deal-breaker because as mentioned before, compromise is impossible- you can't have half a kid. But you didn't talk about it before marriage (still unbelievable to me, but OK), so you're having the talk now.

The way you phrased the question "Do you feel guilty about preventing me from having children" is really a cloaked attack. You aren't really asking him if he feels guilty, you're telling him he should feel guilty. And he responded with an equally passive-aggressive answer saying basically "you know I don't want kids so why do you keep nagging me?" Both of you turned what should have been a serious conversation into a battle. And now you regret it. He at least seems to regret making you feel bad.

My advice? Put that entire conversation behind you and start all over, this time without the passive-aggressive attacks.

BTW, I've been married almost 16 years and we decided not to have kids before we got married (I was adamant, he could have been convinced either way- now he has come over to my side). We still go to the zoo, hockey games, movies, restaurants, nice vacations SCUBA diving, parks, theme parks, etc without any kids bogging us down- and we have a great time. You certainly don't need kids to do fun stuff. From what I've seen, kids restrict how much you can do- both by time and money. We're very happy with our choice. But we agreed on it long before it became an issue.

Drop back, take a deep breath, and have an adult conversation about the issue. Good luck.


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RE: I Need Some Perspective! Arguments related to kids.

" The way you phrased the question "Do you feel guilty about preventing me from having children" is really a cloaked attack. You aren't really asking him if he feels guilty, you're telling him he should feel guilty"

That's true. It wasn't my intention actually - I was reading something on the internet where a woman didn't want kids and said she felt guilty about depriving her husband of what he wanted. I asked immediately after reading that without thinking about how the question would come across.

Believe me I don't normally communicate in a passive aggressive manner (at least not intentionally), but if he had asked me the same question I would have been irritated too. And you are right, I DO feel that he SHOULD feel guilty! LOL.

When he responded the way he did I became furious because I was surprised at his response. But I can see why he reacted like that looking back on it - he didn't know what I had just been reading so had no background.

He was very upset that he upset me. I'm also upset that I upset him.
It was funny, I was talking to one of my closest friends about it today, and I said that I thought the only reason I wanted kids was hormones. She paused and then told me that she thought I was telling myself that to try and shake off the feeling and that from what she's seen that's not the case.

I think I have a lot of work to do, to try and unravel my feelings on this. We both come from divorced families and when I asked my Mother what she thought about having kids, her response was "I think it destroys perfectly good relationships".
To be fair I don't think she really meant that, but I certainly feel like I don't have a lot of support with it. None of our parents ever ask if we are planning kids. I don't think they mind much one way or another. I also worry as we have no family close by, so we would have to do everything ourselves.

I did tell him (in a calm conversation) that I was very afraid of becoming accidentally pregnant and that I would be terribly afraid to tell him if it happened. I asked him if he would want me to abort.
His response to that was reassuring, he did say that if it happens of course we will do all the necessary things to make sure that things went as well as possible and that he couldn't possibly abort our child.

That has to be a good sign?

He knows for sure that I would never have a deliberate accident ( I would NEVER do that), and I know that if it did happen he wouldn't be marching me to the abortion clinic.
I am on the pill and have been for years and years, so a mistake is unlikely, but you never know.

I don't think we will ever start deliberately 'trying' though, and I have to either live with that, bully him into having a kid, or leave.
I'll probably live with that knowing the doubts I have myself on the subject.

One more comment; I realize that it would have been sensible to talk about kids before marriage. I get that. However many women simply change their minds about kids as they get older. Then you have even more of a problem than we have as now someone has gone back on what they said. So discussing things 5 to 10 years earlier doesn't actually always solve everything.

Cecily; that's interesting. I agree there do seem to be lots of reasons not to have kids and only a few reasons to have them! The thing is that I have no doubt that my dh would be a fantastci father. I really think he would. He has a strong personality, no doubt about it, but he does care a lot about me and he is a nice man all around. When he gets home he loves to play with the dog (who is 5lbs). Again I know it's not the same, but the instincts are there, I can see them.
He's just worried that he would be a bad father. His Dad wasn't the best role model - not terrible, but he can be a jackass, and he was mean to DH's Mom when he left. Then he had another son with wife number 2 before he divorced her too. That son is less than half DH's age and my DH has seen his Dad crippled by child support for the past 17 years.

His main concerns seem to be that he wouldn't be a good dad, and the cost. See where this comes from?? I know he would be a good Dad and he thinks I would be a great Mother. He's just afraid. Now that he's opened the door a crack I will back off for a few months and revisit this later to see if it has opened more, or slammed shut again. I'm 30 so I do still have some time.


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RE: I Need Some Perspective! Arguments related to kids.

njr, if it is any comfort to you I didn't have my first child until I was 33 years old, my second was at 36. You still have time. Wayne and I were both 25 when we married. We didn't want to have children until we had lived a little as a married couple. We traveled, built up our savings in the bank, and bought a house with a yard for the children. Having kids right off the bat was not for us. NancyLouise


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RE: I Need Some Perspective! Arguments related to kids.

Hmm. I guess I will add that while I have never in my life met a person that regretted having had their child - or children, I have run into more than a few that were sorry that they did not have children when they could. Good luck to you!


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RE: I Need Some Perspective! Arguments related to kids.

We've been married for just over 5 years already. We also need a lot of time to ourselves before kids if we ever do go there.

teachbls; not sure how many parents would admit to regretting their kids! lol. I know some who have said that they love their kids very much, but if they had to do life over they wouldn't have them again.

I guess we could always adopt if it got to be too late for me to have kids.

Wish this were more cut and dried. It's such a hard decision to make if you don't KNOW that you want babies!

No number of pros and cons lists are going to help with this one.


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