Post # 32
To be clear, I am not holding him to any church teachings (he only recently converted, and for me mainly). Other people mentioned the church teachings in their posts. My main problem was with him telling his kid-loving fiancee that he wanted a child, then changing his mind a year after marriage.
Waiting to tell me how he truly felt until after we agreed to let everybody know we were planning…waiting to tell me until after I was talking about baby names for months…waiting to tell me until after we both told our parents we would be trying next year.
I’m holding him to being an honest, loving man who knew exactly how his woman felt about children within the first few dates we had, since everytime I met up with, I had just come from playing with my nephews/nieces that lived near him.
I’m holding him to being a man that married a Catholic woman (a woman who may not be perfect and may not follow all the church teachings), but who loves God and family. A woman who waited for the person she knew she would marry to be her first (I waited until we were engaged), so she could honestly tell her future teenager children that their father was her first and only.
I appreciate all the different feedback from everybody. It definately is helping me think about all my options.
Post # 33
Has it ever crossed your mind that people change?
Maybe he did want children when he met his fiancee and changed his mind after the wedding. Something could have happened (seeing someone’s child get ill, meeting a mother with post-partum depression) or just the horrific news you read in the papers every day about children dissapearing, being abused ecc.. maybe made him reflect and realise that he doesn’t feel up to being a father. Or maybe he just likes his life as it is.
I think it is far better to come to terms with the idea of being childfree than having a child and regretting it after and not being a fit parent (like so many people do).
Becoming a parent is a huge step and should not be undertaken lightly.
If he really was selfish he would have had a baby and then ignored it, never spent any time with it and left the burden of raising it to his wife. Instead he has the courage to come out and tell her how he really feels.
In the words of Alan Guttmacher “no baby receives its full birthright unless it is born gleefully wanted by its parents.”
to have a child you don’t really desire just to keep your wife happy is selfish, to be honest to the person you love is not.
Post # 34
She stated already that his lack of desire for children is his personal ambition, and an unwillingness to sacrifice. To quote her, “Now he’s starting to feel like he’s too selfish
to give up our vacations and such.” It doesn’t matter that people change, if that change was a possibility, it’s horrible… horrible
, to be with a woman who so obviously, and stated early on in the dating
that she wanted children. She was willing to compromise and only have one. He, apparently, isn’t willing to compromise at all, anymore. To rob her of that opportunity that she longs for is extremely selfish, and cruel.
And, since this is in the Catholic board, I can add to that that a valid, Catholic marriage is required to be open to having children. Hell, I’m pretty sure it’s part of the actual vows! They are supposed to “accept children as they come from God.” Meaning, it is God’s choice whether they have children, or not. He may choose that they not. Hell, my mother’s cousin was “open” to it, though she never wanted any, and for about thirty years, she has yet to be blessed. One of my aunts, I imagine, has a Josephite marriage, as her, and her husband’s calling is more toward serving the Church.
Post # 35
Sigh. Talking and more talking has left us going in circles. His goals are still career and traveling and my goals are still all family oriented. It’s only been a week so I guess we will make sure to take our time to figure out what is best. He brought up his fears that if I did stay with him after this, I will one day look back and regret my decision and resent him forever. I don’t know yet what my decision will be. I don’t know if counseling can fix this.
Post # 36
oh my gosh Over_The_Rainbow, *BIG* hugs for you!!!
I’m so sorry that you’re going through this. I feel very similar to how you’re feeling – all my thoughts circle around starting a family and being a mom some day. I know what it’s like to desperately want to hold your baby in your arms. It’s a real and valid feeling. I’m so sad for you that you’re dealing with this now, when you’ve been so transparent with your desire for children from the very beginning.
I have no real advice, but if you ever need someone to talk to, you can PM me. I think we may have a lot in common.
xoxoxox sending loving prayers and best wishes your way xoxoxox
Post # 37
I think understanding your limits (in his case not being able to be what he considers a good father) is the opposite of selfish.
I just found that condeming a person you don’t even know, who’s side of the story you haven’t heard, as someone selfish who tricked her into thinking he wanted kids when all along he didn’t want them is sad.
“it’s horrible… horrible, to be with a woman who so obviously, and stated early on in the dating that she wanted children. She was willing to compromise and only have one. He, apparently, isn’t willing to compromise at all, anymore. To rob her of that opportunity that she longs for is extremely selfish, and cruel.”
So he should have a baby and resent her and the child all his life?
Post # 38
My heart bleeds for you. I can’t imagine what would have happened if I ended up with someone who didn’t want children, but let me love him, anyway. I hope that counselling can help.
I don’t see how he cannot be successful with children. I mean, sad as it may be, if he becomes a father, and it becomes known at work, he’ll likely have a better shot, because, as much as ladies might not like it, employers often look at a man with a family as someone who wants to stick around, work hard, is reliable, and so on. Additionally, vacations don’t have to go by the wayside, you can still have vacations with children. Hell, if y’all want a vacation with some alone time… well, that’s what visits to grandparents’ houses are for! Not really, but I’m sure you know what I mean.
I truly hope that he will be able to open his heart.
Post # 39
And she shouldn’t, and possibly resent him and have that hole in her soul all of her life? He didn’t trick her, but he did deceive her. He was willing to compromise, but once the ring was on her finger, and the chips were down, he “changed” and figured out, “I think about myself and my pleasure too much to be a father.” What would your
solution be, given that she was very up front about her desire, and in order to have her
, he said he’d be willing to have a child
Post # 40
Maybe it’s just me, I just don’t understand how someone can ‘change their mind’ about having children. I understand wanting. I understand having never wanted them. I understand not wanting them at the moment, but being open to children in the future. But switching from wanting one to not being open to any whatsoever – that’s a huge change which is hard to understand, and hard to swallow.
No one should have to live with resentment – either the resentment of having an unwanted child, or the resentment of not having one when it’s what they always wanted. Unfortunately, there is no ‘middle ground’ here; you can’t “sort of” be a parent. Those two (equally valid!) points of view are unreconcilable, and OP recognized that long before they even got engaged. Had she known he didn’t want children, she likely would not have married her SO to prevent that resentment. But he let her marry him under the impression that he would be a father to her children, and happily so. That’s why I, too, see the SO as selfish and in the wrong.
Post # 41
OP, I’m so sorry to hear that you’re going through this.
On the favorable side, your husband is doing the right thing by sharing his doubts with you and honestly asking himself whether he can be a good father. If he really can’t, then it is important that you both know that so you can make the best possible choice in these crappy circumstances.
On the not-so-favorable side: the way you described that conversation from early on when you were dating, it sounds to me like he wasn’t being totally sincere with you at that point. You’ve probably already discussed this with him, and maybe I’m misreading it, but to me it looks an awful lot like he was telling you what he thought you wanted to hear, or trying to convince himself that he could want that too if that’s what it took to have you. If that’s the case, then only you too can decide where to go from here and what will be best for you both.
This is kind of a tangent, but it makes me think of Kate Rusby’s song “Walk The Road.” DH and I used this one, a favorite of mine, for our first dance. One of the reasons I love it so much is the line, “I’ll never deceive my heart again.” Before DH, there was a guy I dated that I tried really hard to love – and, ultimately, had to admit that it just wasn’t the right fit, but for some reason I was blind to that for almost a year. I think it’s because I was really anxious to find a good Catholic man, settle down, start a family – and he was (and still is) a good Catholic man who also wanted to marry and have children, and we were both aware of our ages and wanting to find someone while we were still young enough to be energetic parents, but ultimately we were just not the right person for one another. It was really hard for me to come to terms with that, because, as Kate puts it, I was trying to deceive my own heart. I’m not saying you’re doing that – it sounds like you’re not. But your husband might be, or might have been doing so before. I hope you guys can find the way forward.
Post # 42
Gosh, this is brutal. I want to be supportive, but I have to be honest and say that when one partner says they want kids, and the other one doesn’t, it is almost always a deal breaker, in my experience. I have never known a couple to stay together when they have such different views on this issue.
I also think (from what you say) that your husband didn’t change his mind. I think he never really wanted kids, but he tried to convince himself that he did in order to keep you. I think he has lied to both you and himself. This is grounds for an annulment within the Catholic church.
It sounds terrible, but I think that if you will never be happy without being a mother, then you need to give him a time frame within which to change his mind- say, two years. Don’t tell him that you have set a time frame, and don’t give him any ultamatums. After the time period has elapsed, you need to reevaluate. Has he changed his mind about children? If not, then have you changed your mind? Could you live without kids? If you are still in the position you are now, I honestly think that you should walk away. Again, it sounds terrible, but it’s the position which many women find themselves in at different times in their lives… for example, what is a girl to do when she’s with a man who isn’t ready for marriage, but she desperately wants it? Eventually, she has to cut her losses and walk away. It’s hard, and it’s brutal, but if you want kids so desperately then that’s the choice you have to make.
Post # 43
Unfortunately, I do believe now that he will never want children. Actions really do speak louder than words. Before we were married, his actions (or rather inaction) when we were around children always had me questioning if he really did want children some day. I was upfront and asked him several times how he really felt, but he always said he would act differently towards his own child, making me feel like a crazy person for questioning him.
One of you ladies was correct in saying that he is now saying that he tried to make himself believe he wanted children because he knew I did. Now that baby talks are getting more serious though, his real feelings are surfacing. I don’t think he’s scared. He has always looked at children like they were strange alien creatures but again always said to me he would feel differently about his own. Some people aren’t meant to/don’t want to have kids and I don’t judge them for it as long as they are honest from the get go.
Post # 44
I will add a special intention for you and your husband in my prayers at Mass this evening. Today is a good day to pray for Mary’s intercession for you, too.
Post # 45
Wait. Did you just advise this lady to set aside her religious doctrine (for any reason)? Maybe I read it wrong.
Post # 46
Well it’s sad that you can’t immagine that he could have honestly changed his mind.As someone who went through the same realization I fully understand him. She can do what she likes, either accept that he doesn’t want children and stay with him, or leave and hope to find another partner who wants the same things as her.
There is a huge difference by the way between compromising on the number of children you want and on having them or not.
When I met my SO I wanted children, not desperatly, I was never the type that longed to hold her baby or things like that, but I assumed one day I’d have kids and he really wanted them. Then I started to see the lives of friends who had children and of my sister who’se little boy we often look after for weeks and I started to realise that maybe it wasn’t for me. If I saw a baby I never feelt any interested in holding it, I didn;t think it was cute, life with children didn’t really appeal to me. I told my SO and was seriously scared because he loves children and really looked forward to being a dad. He surprised me by saying I was more important than any child he may ever have.
One day I may get hit by baby fever and really want one, who knows…
But I honestly believe that people can change their mind. Especially in our society where having children is just automatically assumed to be one’s normal life course.
You often just assume one day you will have them, and then when it comes tha moment you start thinking about it more in depth and realise that it’s not what you want.
I hope you can solve all your problems with your husband or find someone who wants children as bad as you. But don’t condem him for his choices, as someone who went through the same thing he is probably just being honest. He knew from a start that you really wanted children so why would he have married you is he knew that he didn’t want them, it doesn’t seem logic.
Best of luck!