I've been married about 6 months. I have two children from a previous marriage, ages 16 and 12. My wife also has two ages 23 and 21. I'm 44yrs old, she's 40.
Our relationship has been under tremdous strain because she wants to have another child and I don't. No matter what reasons I give her for not wanting anymore ( mainly my age and the fact that I already have two and that's enough for me ) she tells me they are just excuses.
She is very jealous of my ex wife. She says that my ex was good enough to have children with but she isn't. Even though she knows they were "accidents" and never planned on.
Our sex life is suffering greatly because she feels like she is good enough to have sex with but not good enough to have children with. She tells me that when we have sex she feels like I'm getting my cake and eating too, whatever that means. She also cut out my favorite position, saying that if she has to give up having a child, I have to give that up.
Even though she treats my children well, she tells me that she can't stand to see me interacting with them when I have them on the weekends. This has been a problem for us in the past but this is the worst it's ever been. She sleeps all the time when she's home from work and cries alot. She's very depressed.
I suggested we go to marriage counseling but she refuses. She says she believes counseling is a scam and she believes that the counselor will tell her to just "get over it" and she's not going to put herself through that.
I have been bending over backwards trying to show her how much I care for her, but she doesn't even notice. I'm at the end of my rope
I'm afraid I fully sympathize with both sides ... Both of you have valid cases. Didn't you discuss the possibility of children before you got married? Has anything changed since then?
I hate to say this but, as her bio-clock is probably ticking (LOUD) that you are liable to find yourself faced with another pregnancy "accident" ...
The only suggestion I can make is counselling. Her attitude is rather dismissive. Counsellors are not there to tell you to "get over it". You need to find one that you both feel comfortable with. In any case, if she refuses to go then go by yourself to help you cope with this situation. Perhaps you might be able to persuade her to accompany you later. If not, then at least you'll know that you did all you could to save your marriage. Does she know how close you are to your limit?
There's nothing inherently dirty about sex, but if you try real hard and use your imagination you can overcome that.
Another "accident" is impossible as I've had a vasectomy early in our relationship. She was on the depo shot and wanted to get off of it but was unwilling to try anything else. She told me since if I didn't want any more kids I should get a vasectomy. I agreed. She suggested it and encouraged it until it was time to actually get it done. Then she changed her mind but never actually told me not to get it done, so I went through with it. Now she wants me to have a reversal.
I know a lot of guys might say this about their woman, but I don't think there would be an accident even if I didn't have a vasectomy. She has too much character and integrity. She really is a fabulous woman and I do love her very much.
Yes, she does know how close I am to my limit. And I think she is just as close.
I think we both unintentionally played a "game" with each other. Her telling me to get a vasectomy in the first place and me telling her I might consider getting it reversed when I knew in my heart that two kids is enough for me, especially at my age.
I have gone to a counselor on my own. He said the first thing we need to do is work on our relationship. He also told me there is no "right" or "wrong" in a situation like this. He said he would really like to talk to her but she refuses. She says I'm throwing my money away by going to one. I think she's afraid of being told that she's "wrong" and/or having a very painful past brought up. I know about her childhood and teenage years and it's not pretty. Anyway, she adamantly refuses.
She got pregant early in life and raised two kids basically on her own. All things considered I think she did a great job. But she just revealed to me that she's always had this dream of having a "normal" family and I'm taking that dream away from her.
I've never had that dream. I never dreamed of being a parent, it's just a situation that I found myself in, and I had to give up some dreams I had in life in order to be a good parent. I must admit becoming a parent scared the hell out of me. It still scares me sometimes even with the two I have now. The world is not a pretty place.
I've thought and thought but there is no compromise in a situation like this. It kills me to see her feeling like this, it really does. But she doesn't understand that. She tells me that I'm being selfish and if I really cared about her feelings I'd give what she wanted. But sometimes I think she's being the selfish one. She refuses to acknowledge ANY of my points. She dismisses them as excuses.
And I think we both thought the other one might change if we got married.
How do I show her that her feelings DO matter? Sometimes I wonder if I should just give in and get it reversed. But we're living paycheck to paycheck as it is. Adding another child would just make things so much harder. And at 44yrs old I feel like I should be looking forward to grandchildren, not another child.
I wonder alot about where her need for another child is coming from. The best answer I seem to get is that it has always been her dream. And I wonder if I am damaging her self esteem too. Like, how much of this is really coming from her "dream" and how much of it may have to do with proving my love to her?
Are there any women out there who have been in a similar situation? What was the outcome? Did you need a baby to feel loved by your husband? What happens if I give in and give her what she wants? Would that be wrong? What happens if I don't?
Sometimes I feel like if she really loved me, she wouldn't need another child. I would be all she really needs. But I know she feels that if I really loved her, I would give her what she wants.
It's very hard to discuss this with her. She ends up crying every time. I brought up some points here that I haven't yet discussed with my counselor. Maybe it's time to do that.
My first thought was the onset of perimenopause. That is the stage in a womans life leading up to menopause. Several women, and myself included, have told me of experiencing alot of what you are describing. It's an emotional rollercoaster along with the physical changes. You could try to relate it with the stereotypical "mid-life" crisis a man may experience. There is no set age for when this will happen, some women have experienced this in their 30's. Family history may give an idea of a timeframe. Typically when this process begins we are clueless and given that we've lived with symptoms of PMS(yes, it's not just a sharp stick men put up from us),we don't put two and two together until the physical signs begin.
With the women/couples I know of that have had a child in their later years the child is born with a form of birth defect, like autism, downs syndrome, epilepsy. The major contributing factor they were told was that at their age they were not or could not give the unborn child as much of the nutrients and such to combat these outcomes regardless of how hard they did the right "additional" things or the additional tests during the pregnancy, which by that time for the tests it's too late. You've already conceived and there is no known medical treatment or way of reversing this either inside the womb or after birth.
And these women/couples are emotionally devastated(1st with the disappointment of the picture they had envisioned of this glorious event, 2nd that their child now has to live with this the rest of their lives, however long or short it may be, and they feel with their selfishness they have burdened the child with this) and physically exhausted(1st with the added responsible care required for their particular situation, 2nd is the emotional distress previously mentioned coupled with the added emotional concern of the present which tolls on their physical well-being also). Not to mention the effects it had on their marriage and relationship. A few couples split up. Troubles from before the birth and/or troubles resulting from the birth.
I think you've pretty well summed up the situation. It's not a subject that either of you can compromise on. If either of you gives in you're going to hold it against the other forever and also hate yourself for caving... What an awful situation to be in.
I also honestly believe that she could benefit from counselling as much for herself as for both of you as a couple. Can you persuade her to sit in on one of your sessions? It's clearly working for you - although you haven't arrived at a conclusion that you find acceptable yet you have a very objective view of the whole situation.
There's nothing inherently dirty about sex, but if you try real hard and use your imagination you can overcome that.
Additionally, early in a relationship/marriage it's not uncommon for some couples, such as the situation you are experiencing, fall in love with the idea or rather fantasy of having children or more children. Some feel it's a way of "cementing" their new relationship. And often after some time passes, a year of more, they look back at that idea/fantasy and say to one another while laughing their butts off "What were we thinking?" I've seen this happen and experienced it myself.
I agree there is something more and deeper going on within each of you and within your marital relationship that counseling will benefit you both.
I'm only offering ideas as food for thought. The ideas I have concerning the other issues I read I'll have to post later.
To be fair, I don't think it sounds like you guys were "playing games" with each other. It sounds like you both said what you thought the other wanted to hear at the time because you didn't really know how you felt. And that's ok. I don't think we always know exactly where we stand about EVERY situation beforehand.
I agree with FCL that if either of you give in it will just cause great resentment on the part of the one who gives in. Kind of a no-win situation I suppose. I second the counseling suggestion. It sounds like your wife is super depressed and you're both feeling the effects of it.
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