Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What would you do?

In the past year that I have been blogging, I have found one of the greatest things about it is that when you post something, you find that there is always someone out there who has been (or is) in the same situation.

Examples? Alivia’s urinary reflux, which I have posted about several times. Before I had my blog, I did not know one other person whose child had this problem. Now, I know at least two! Another example would be my infamous IUD post. After that post, I had at least two people (jokingly, I think!) offering to take it out and several other women who had emailed saying they’d had theirs removed and wished they had just taken it out themselves. Thanks to one of my BFF’s, I even got information from a midwife who said I could totally take it out myself, but the most difficult part would be grasping the strings.

I have many more examples, but I want to get to the point of my post. I received an email from a friend last week about a situation that has come up in her marriage. I thought and thought about it, and then I think I probably gave her the worst advice possible. After thinking about it further, I asked if I could post about it here to see what suggestions you all might have or if maybe someone has been in a similar situation?

From her email:

“_____ and I have been married for nearly 2 years. Before we got engaged he told me that he wanted to have a family with me. For the past two years he said he wanted to have kids but he just wasn't ready yet. On Sunday night he told me he never wants to have kids. He said he was taking the original plan off the table and that he didn't want his life to change so he doesn't want to have kids anymore. I don't know what to do and I am a complete mess. It has never been a secret that I want a family. How do I give up having kids to stay with him? Or how do I give up my marriage to him to have kids?”

I suppose you’re wondering what my advice was? Well, brace yourself, because this is going to make me sound like a terrible person. I told her I would get pregnant anyway. Yes, that’s what I told her. I told you it was terrible! So, before you comment with your answer, here is a little more information she told me after I gave my advice:

“I have thought about getting pregnant, but the one thing holding me back is that _____’s mom tricked his dad into having a baby and since _____ knows he was born out of dishonesty he is strongly against it. Also, we use condoms every single time.”

My friend (and I) would love your honest opinions on this, one thing I do ask is that you don’t bash her husband. Her husband is actually a very wonderful and supportive partner. They have been together for 8 years and they have a great relationship, so this change of heart was completely out of the blue.

So, there you have it. What would you do?

This post is linked to Shell’s Wednesday meme:


P.S. In case you’re curious about the IUD, it’s still in! I couldn’t grasp the damn strings!


Sharon Cohen said...

I'm a woman who believes in the biblical concept of marriage. A wife must respect her husband. (Ephesians 5:33b) So the condoms are a must as long as her husband says so.

But - I (in a peculiar sort of way) agree with your advice. I believe she should get pregnant.

God can cause a pregnancy in spite of a condom. There are thousands of couples who can attest to that one!

Anyone who can should pray that your friend will find ways to respect her husband without failing (in any way) and that God will make the way for her to have children.

Children are God's desire as well. She can count on Him to help soften her husband's heart.

Cristy said...

WOOOWW...this is a really tricky one. Honestly, I don't think I would pregnant anyway. I think she needs to realize that he might leave her if she did that. That is, after all, probably the biggest lie you can do.

However, he is going back on a promise as well. They are going to HAVE to compromise. Maybe just have one child? Tell her to say she wants at least 3 and he'll think he's doing her a favor.

Either way, this is completely a decision she has to make on her own. How important is it for her to have kids? I'm gonna be completely honest, if my husband had told me no kids that would have been a DEAL BREAKER. As it turns out, he was ready for kids well before I was (so atypical I know). So she shouldn't feel bad if she's thinking that's an option...

But if she just HAS to lie, she can put a little slit on the condom...get some fake nails and sexily put the condom on for him and OOOOPS!...haha...but again, I don't condone that. ; )

Ian said...

Check it yo - you need a dude's POV on this mess.

First off I don't care how long they been together, she needs to beyond a shadow of a doubt make sure he's serious.

If he is, leave him. Divorce cause you know what? With divorce rates as high as they are, it's better to split before having kids than have kids or get pregnant and end up pissing the guy off and then getting divorced.

That's what I would do :)

Life's too short to settle.

Kelly said...

ok i agree that maybe getting pregnant regardless of her husband wishes is a little on the dishonest side. And lets say she did get pregnant and the baby is born and it's 3 in the morning and the baby is crying and no one is sleeping and tempers are running high and he says "OH YOU TAKE CARE OF THIS BABY I NEVER WANTED IT IN THE FIRST PLACE" slams a door* walks out* (not forever) but whose to say he might bring that up every argument or low moment in the parenting world. I mean kids really stretch a relationship in good ways and bad but if both me and my husband weren't on the same page there would have been some REALLY dark moments in my life. I got through those dark times with a newborn bECAUSE of my husband...women need that support. And if he's resentful she got pregs and SHE's resentful because he's a backseat dad then it's not fair to the baby...
in other words GOD is in CONTROL even if she TRIES to get pregnant wether she does or not isn't up to her - it's a LIFE it's not something humans can REALLY control . I mean you can sort of but it took me 6 months to get pregnant and I was doing everything right...
Pray to God. Ask for God to change her husbands heart. Honor her husbands wishes. Enjoy the time being just the two of them and refrain from making it sucha big deal and let God do the work for her.
He will provide her with a baby not any scheme that she concocts or devises...that's not honorable.

(This is my first time on your blog but you are so candid with your thoughts that its' sort of refreshing to read so I left a comment sorry to barge in on your blog comments...)

ty said...

Yeah, it would be dishonest of her to get pregnant on the sly, but it was dishonest of him to essentially trick her into marriage hen he basically had no intention of giving her children. It sucks, but she needs to reevaluate. Marriage is about EVERYONE'S needs, not just his. To make a decision that deeply concerns both of them and not care what her input might be is the mark of a severely selfish man, and I'm not sure that's the sort of person she would need to be with anyway.

Coming from an unmarried, whiskey-bent, hell-bound woman :)

EGL said...

The biggest question here is did he used to want children? If he did, but now he has changed his stance and no longer wants any that's a bad sign. To me that means he wants to keep one foot out the door. Again, if he has always maintained that he doesn't want children, then he just doesn't want any. But if this is something new, I don't think the kids are the hold-up- your friend might be.
To clarify, it would also be ok if he's saying "not just yet, I'm not ready".
Getting pregnant without his support would work perfectly if she wants him to leave her to raise a kiddo by herself.
What a crappy situation. I'm sure they can work through it though.

blueviolet said...

Oh wow, I have a friend who just had this happen! Being a mom is so important to her that they are going through a divorce over it. I guess it's all about if it's a compromise issue or not.

melissa said...

I think marriage and parenting are hard enough when both people have decided that they want to start a family. I would not advise getting pregnant on purpose without her husband's agreement. It's not fair. I couldn't imgagine how it would feel if someone made such a huge life decision for me against my wishes. I think they should talk about it and see whether there's room to compromise or if someone may change their mind. Maybe counseling would help. But if not, divorce is a better option than trapping your husband into a pregnancy, in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

This is really really hard. I know this sounds cliche but I really mean it, she has to follow her heart. Giving up a lifetime without children is huge. Can she imagine her life not being a mother? Good luck to her, I hope things turn out how she wants them to.

Lil' Woman said...

I would advise not getting pregger on the another commenter mentioned, I think it would only lead him to resent your friend and the unwanted (from him atleast) baby.

If he all of a sudden just came out of the woodwork and yesterday he wanted a baby and then today he doesn't I would try to sit him down and found out where it came from and why he had the sudden change of heart. There has to be some reason that he has changed his mind and hopefully you can discuss it and come to some compromise or atleast find out why he's anti baby.

It all depends on your friend though and how badly she wants children. If he's not willing to ever,then she needs to figure out if her marriage can work without children....because then she might resent him for not allowing her to become a mother.

I'm not a parent or even married so I don't know how far you would want to look into my opinion, but I was a child who didn't meet her dad till she was 12 because he refused to acknowledge I was his.

Kim said...

I had somewhat of a similar situation with my husband... We've been married for 6 years and have a 5 yr old son. We got pregnant right after marriage (unplanned). I have wanted to adopt a child since I was probably 10, but my husband has been very adamant about not wanting to adopt.. 6 years into our marriage, and 10 years into our relationship, he has said he's ready to adopt. This is an extremely short version of the story, but God worked through him and made him ready when God was ready for us to adopt.. We're in the process now, and on the waiting list. I say all of that to say this.. your friend didn't marry her husband just to have kids... neither should she divorce her husband just because he doesn't want children. He may change his mind in 6 months, but right now he's just not ready... she should enjoy the time they have together, and be open about their concerns regarding a family. When the time's right, they'll both agree on having a family.

Michelle said...

Alright, once upon a time, my (then) husband said this to me. Like your friend, we had been together a while. There were OTHER ISSUES that arose after the wedding, but I loved him and did my best to make a happy life. This announcement was the straw that broke the camel's back. If not for children, then why the hell was I working so hard to build a life WITH him? He was allowed to live and chase his dreams, but I was not? It broke my heart, (it was really already broken by this announcement) but I got a divorce. I guess I felt like he had kicked off my rose colored glasses, and I was seeing the REAL him for the first time ...and what I was seeing was bleak.
BTW ...20 years later, I'm married to a wonderful guy. We have 2 teenage daughters, and because of my first marriage, I truly appreciate the man my husband is.
Having said this, your friend has to do what is right for her. It is too easy for everyone to tell her what they think, but she is the one who has to live it. My choice was what was right for me. It may not be what is right for her.

Jasara said...

Had to chime in on this post!

where to start?!?! first, one cant live life with regrets. She should first make sure that this is absolutely what he wants and also how long he has wanted this. What changed his mind after 2 yrs?

Second, does he realize what he is asking her to give up? What does her feelings and desires mean to him?

She shouldnt get pregnant unless she is ok with possibly being a single parent,child support, custody... if she is ok knowing that is an option, then by all means, fine point needle in the condom wrappers!!

No?? Then she has the right, just as he did, to state that she does want a family and since he knew this, he has to know that the consiquences of his decision may cause a reaction that he may not like.

Then again,maybe he wants this. Guess I've dealt with a few dogs in my life to pull the Men are Dogs card but I have to say, the thought of maybe he knowlingly married her and told her what she wanted to hear knowing he would never let it happen.

I know what the Bible says but if you were decieved into marriage, the vows are null and void...

but... thats jmo!

Hillary said...

I think the big question is why the change of heart for him? I also think that this is a topic that would be really difficult to look at each others opinion on without the help of a neutral party.

I say don't get preggers on the sly

Don't throw in the towel on the marriage

Do talk to someone, a professional, about it.

Who knows, there might be something completely different going on.

Amanda M. said...

Wow, I feel like she was really deceived. It's so very sad because to me, having or not having children is a dealbreaker. I would try marriage counseling first. But I have to say if he wouldn't come around, I'd unfortunately have to consider divorce.
I will keep your friend in my prayers.
You're so honest and real, Tami. This blog is a blessing. :)

Ange said...

My first thought would be to say that I would find the nearest sharp object and start poking holes in the condoms. Then I would hold out on sex until I was ovulating.

But honestly, when I stop to think about it my answer changes.

I would talk to him, tell him that the marriage was based on the fact that they shared the same ideas about a future family. Let him know how much it means to her to have a child. If it means that much to her, and he is not WANTING a child, then she should either decide to leave him and pursue a family with someone else, or she should find happiness in living without having children.

Practically Perfect... said...

Oh, honey - my heart just goes out to you. I'm so sorry that you're going through this.

I'm coming slightly from the other side of the fence. My husband has wanted to have kids for the last 2 years, but I haven't been sure. I always thought that I would want children, but life and plans can change things. I go back and forth - sometimes I really want them, but many times I think about all that I would have to give up. I can fairly confidently say that we are planning to have children and that when we do, I will love them with all my heart. But I've never been that woman who plans her nursery decorations and picks out baby booties. That being said, the fact that my husband has been supportive and willing to put up with my changes in mind has meant the world to me. I've never felt threatened with any sort of ultimatum.

I don't know when your husband told you this, but let me say that it's my experience that people can change their minds... and then change them back. I have a friend who got married, and both she and her husband did not want kids at the time. Guess what? She changed her mind and he was furious. It's been 3 years since that, and he's now come around to the idea of having children and they've stopped using birth control.

Your husband might have changed his mind about having children, but he may change it back. One thing that I've thought about and had other {older} people say to me is that they would regret {or do regret} not having kids when they were older.

If you both love one another and are committed to making things work, then I'd suggest counseling. You both need a neutral, unbiased party to hear things out. If your husband balks at the idea, then put it to him that you really want to understand where he's coming from, and you think that counseling is the best way to do that. Any guy worth his salt should be willing to go to at least 1 counseling session for the sake of his marriage.

I wouldn't advise you to get pregnant anyway. You may end up in many of the scenarios described by previous commentators - getting a divorce, he now feels betrayed {which can trigger a whole cycle of "Well if he/she did it, then I'm going to do it, too!"}, raising a child on your own....

It's a tough situation any which way you slice it. I'll be thinking of you and praying for you!

Paige said...

Quickly, find the and poke holes in them!!!!!


I think that she should actually sit down and have a heart to heart conversation with him. Why did his change his mind and is so very strong willed about it? Some men are just scared that they will not be good parents? Or they will not feel like the same person? They both need to share their opinions with one another.

If she knows for certain that she will not be happy without children then she should leave now rather than later. It is heartbreaking to not be able to leave the dream that you want.

Natalie said...

I didn't read any of the other comments so I have no idea if I'm repeating something already said.

Has she considered counseling? Obvs something happened to change his mind. Yes, his life is going to change but that is inevitable. Change is one of those things we can count on regardless of where or who we are. Not only that, but kids are such an amazing thing. Even people who don't think they WANT to have a baby get pregnant & realize it was the best "mistake" to have ever happened.

And just so you know, I would totally would've told her to get knocked up anyway. I would more than likely be the friend with her poking holes in the condoms while the hubby was at work.

Charbelle said...

I read all the comments. I'm not married, never have been. If I was in your friends shoes I would be devastated! I totally understand why you gave the advice you did.
I think the counseling idea is excellent, to be able to sit and talk and have an unbiased person there to mediate.
I dated a guy going through a divorce and custody battle. (no I would never ever ever do this again and shouldn't have done it then but chalk it up to being really naive and having no idea what I was getting myself into) Short version, they got married, she wanted kids, he didn't but she said that's what would make her happy, they went thru treatments, she got pregnant had baby G, then after losing the baby weight started cheating on him, moved new guy in and kicked him out.
Divorce, money, child custody fights, it's ugly, to this day it's ugly and the divorce was final July 07. The thing about having the baby anyways, you are forever and ever tied to that other person. Any future relationships they have to deal with that person as well. It's unpleasant to put it nicely.

One Take On Life - Heather said...

I think she should let him know how she is feeling if she hasn't. Tell him she still wants children.

Respect that he doesn't want them as of now, but tell him she does. He needs to respect that as well.

I don't think she should use it as an ultimatum to stay married.

To have children with one person not wanting them would be worse than not having them.

I have two kids and it can be hard to raise children. You need to be on the same page willing to tackle it together when the kids aren't "Cooperating" to put it nice.

So as hard as it would be, I think she should tell him where she's coming from and then leave him.

That way she won't be 50 years old regretting that she never had kids. She can still do something about it now.

I feel for her, I can't imagine how gut wrenching this must be.

Melissa said...

I actually do have some experience with this, so hopefully I can help. Here goes:

I had a female friend who got married a few years ago to a wonderful man. She had told him that she would "probably" want kids - her husband assumed that eventually she would decide she wanted kids (and in all honesty, she probably led him to believe that eventually - within a few years - she would get to the point in which she was ready to have children). Unfortunately after being married for a year, my friend told her husband that she didn't want kids. At least not anytime soon (then my friend started flirting with other guys and being naughty - so obviously there were more issues with this marriage than just the kid-thing). When my friend's husband realized that she had no intention of starting a family with him - which is something that was really important to him - he decided it would be best for them to get a divorce. And that is what they did.

They were married for about two years. They are now in different relationships - both very happy. And what's interesting is now my friend actually wants to have a child one day with her current boyfriend (she just didn't see herself having children with the other wonderful guy - it just didn't feel right).

I would advise your friend to talk to a therapist before doing anything drastic (seperating, filing for a divorce).

But if the end, the facts are what they are... and your friend wants children and her husband doesn't (and probably never will) then it's probably best for them to go their seperate ways and move on.

Good luck to your friend. Either way, it's not a happy situation.

MommyLovesStilettos said...

If he's serious and means what he said, she should leave him. if she wants children, she'll never feel fulfilled being with someone who will never want children.

Amy said...

Wow, this is a tough one. I think if you change your mind, on an issue as important and delicate as children, then it's a deal breaker.

But in reality, how do you walk away from someone you deeply love and choose a child that is non existant. Not really practical.

I would advise your friend to have a serious sit down with the hubs. Try and get to the root of what's actually causing his anxiety.

I can attest that if you have a strong bond and marriage to begin with, having a child will only make that bond stronger. Even with curve balls thrown at you. My son was born at 30 weeks. His birth and time in the NICU were an enormous stress in our lives, but now when I look at him running around and loving on his's just the most amazing thing in the world.

Good luck!

Mrs.Vid said...

Oh my goodness.. I would not advise her to get pregnant on purpose behind her husbands back because like so many people have said he'll resent her AND the baby.

I would advise them to get couples counseling and find out if this is an issue more with their relationship or if he's fearful that he'll be a bad dad? Or afraid of the heart ache of having possible fertility issues? I think it's odd that he has always stated he wanted kids but the timing wasn't right and just suddenly doesn't want them.. I think it's a bigger issue he has with himself.

Good luck to your friend!

Meghan said...

Oh wow. My heart is breaking for your friend. In all honesty, I think the best course of action is counseling. Something must have happened to change his mind in the past two years and they need to get to the bottom of it. I think talking it out and being completely honest with one another is the best way to approach the situation - get all of the cards out on the table. If it's meant to be, then they will be able to work through this.

Cara Smith said...

As hard as it will be, they need to sit down and put it all out on the table. Both need to determine how far they are willing to bend.

If she is set on having a family and he is set on not, it may be better to hash those things out now and get out in need be.

Then again, he may change his mind again in a few years.

Just Add Walter said...

they definitely need to have a big talk. They need to discuss whether this is so important to him (or her) that they are willing to put their marriage on the line. Perhaps he doesn't know how important it is to her? I wish them the best of luck - that is such a tough situation but she needs to figure out what is more important to her and whether she can live with the situation she goes with.

Semi-Slacker Mom said...

Did something trigger is? Is it possible he may change his mind?

Danielle said...

oh boy...that's hard. But I do agree w/ a few comments from above...if he's serious and won't change his mind break her heart now and get the divorce...the resentment follwing an "unplanned" pregnancy will give certain cause for a divorce and won't be good for the child in the long run. A definite heart to heart is needed to find out why he changed his mind. And maybe it's better off to get out much as I love my 5 kids and couldn't live w/o them an unhappy and unsupportive father would be really hard to deal w/.

Shell said...

Hey girl- this is the first time that I've gotten on the computer since Wednesday afternoon- stupid thing is still broken. Stole dh's work computer. Shhh.

Anyway, I don't know what I would do. That's such an important issue. I would try talking to him about how important it is to her, though she probably already tried that.

Tracie said...

I'm sure someone already said this but I think they need to go to couseling.

Erin said...

I am soooo late to this party, but counseling (probably together and individually) is necessary IMMEDIATELY if they want to save their marriage. I suspect there is an underlying reason why he's suddenly taken kids off the table. Maybe he's just scared. But to me it would be a deal breaker and I'd be inclined to leave. However, I'd want to try and work through it/talk it out and figure out what is going on behind the scenes. That is first and foremost.

Jessica said...

I was cringing as I was reading this. I honestly don't even know what I would have said, therefore, I can't judge you for what you said.

Jessica said...

Not that I would judge you anyway...just sayin'.

The Random Blogette said...

I agree with Ian to a point, but I think that counseling would help a great deal! I have to wonder if something happened recently that made him change his mind. I would hope that he didn't just say that he wanted kids just so that she would marry him. Now that would be so wrong.

I understand why you said what you did, but if she did that he may leave her. It is better that she has the upper hand in this. I say counseling and if that doesn't work, follow her heart. If she really wants kids and he never does then that is a deal breaker.