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To keep trying to persuade my partner to have a third child

(51 Posts)
Goldalocks Tue 25-Sep-12 13:50:40

We have two beautiful children aged 4 and 1, a boy and a girl (so various people have mentioned the 'perfect family' which I find a bit silly as 2 boys/2 girls would have been equally good!) However, I cannot stop thinking/planning about having a third child even though my partner is fairly adamant he does not want this. He thinks practically in terms of the lack of sleep with another child and being able to afford much more for the 2 we have. I have always imagined myself having three children - I always thought this would be a nice number, a little gang while not being ridiculously many - and feel so sad at the thought of never being pregnant/ giving birth and having the excitement of a new baby again. Also, I worry about the future and what (god forbid) if anything happened to either of our children - having three just seems safer somehow although I do not even like to tempt fate by thinking this thought.

I know I am very lucky, but I can't stop thinking about this and it is making me unhappy when I should be content with what I have. Anyone been in a similar position of intolerable broodiness/ have any advice?

larks35 Tue 25-Sep-12 14:02:44

Can't help you really as I also have 1 boy (3.5yo) and 1 girl (6mo) and am definitely done. I do feel a bit sad that I'll never go through the early baby days again but I know I am done. That said, it seems quite common for women to want a 3rd but their partners not to. My bro and bil both were happy with 2 but got talked into a 3rd. In my bro's case it was almost the straw that broke his back as due to dire financial difficulties and the usual sleep deprivation he had a bit of a breakdown after dn was born sad. All well now though and he loves all his children very much and wouldn't change them or his family for the world.

This always makes me laugh.
He doesn't want a third child clearly. So what can you do to persuade him otherwise?
Is there anything that anyone could do to make you change how you feel about having another baby? Probably not.
So what makes you think you can change how he feels?

My friend really wanted a third. Her DH did not. So she issued an ultimatum, either another baby or divorce. He agreed, 6 months after the baby was born, he left. He resented the child because he had said over and over again he didn't want another.

WillSingForCake Tue 25-Sep-12 14:08:13

There's a thread here about the advantages of having only two, if that helps!

weegiemum Tue 25-Sep-12 14:10:42

I had a girl then a boy. Was desperate for a 3rd but dh vehemently against. I'm the eldest of 6, he's the eldest of 2.

As it seemed a bigger deal for him than for me, I accepted it. I'd rather have happy dh and 2 kids than grumpy dh and 3.

Rubbed along fine for a year but then I got pregnant with dd2 while I had the mirena! I was devastated, having got round to the idea of 2. Dh surprised himself by being excited.

It was a ghastly pregnancy plagued by a painful kidney issue. I hated every minute and struggled to bond with dd2. I was in hospital 15 times in 7 months, not including the delivery!!

Dh had the snip 8 weeks before she was born, luckily we lived near a very small hospital, so the surgeon treating my kidneys also did the vasectomies, and agreed a further pregnancy would possibly kill me.

Dd2 is a joy, a delight -she's nearly 9.

But I would NEVER have tried to talk him into it. It was our happy mistake, but tbh that was the only way it would ever happen.

sugarice Tue 25-Sep-12 14:11:30

You will feel like this even if you were to have a third, then a fourth etc.

I wanted a fourth when ds3 was toddling and felt devastated when I realised that it would never happen.

Bosgrove Tue 25-Sep-12 14:12:51

My DH convinced me to try for our third by saying that I would regret it if we didn't at least try, we set time limit for trying, and I got pregnant in the last month.

I wouldn't be without her, but three is hard work. Both of you have to be sure it's what you want.

naturalbaby Tue 25-Sep-12 14:15:29

I was in a very similar situation then had an unplanned 3rd pregnancy. It was a horrible experience to go through and DH really, really struggled to deal with it (as did I). It took a long time to come to terms with it as I had just tried to start accepting that our family was complete with 2 DC's.

It's not a nice feeling to live with, that we should only have 2dc's.

I wanted a second, DH didn't....so we didn't. Like I say on all these threads, there is no compromise.

sheeplikessleep Tue 25-Sep-12 14:17:05

OP - I wouldn't try to convince your DH if I were you, it must be something you are both up for.

We are in a similar predicament - deciding whether to go for number 3 or not (been deciding for a year!). DH is easy either way, but is concerned how we'd cope (physically, emotionally, sleep wise) with a third, but says he'd be happy to go for it. I would like a third, but have same concerns. I wish he was a bit more decisive one way or the other tbh though! I really can't decide and can't say 'never'. I'm not sure if that indecision means we would be better sticking or going for 3. Agh!

WelshMaenad Tue 25-Sep-12 14:36:23

Sorry, what? If one if your children died, you'd be less devastated if you had two backups instead of just one? What a horrific notion.

notso Tue 25-Sep-12 14:39:01

I wanted a third for about five years, DH didn't.
I got over it, started working and signed up for University, DH decided he was being selfish(his words), and a month later I was pg with DS2.
When DS2 was 7 months old I found out I was pregnant with DS3.
DH has the snip on Friday.

Scholes34 Tue 25-Sep-12 14:50:27

Three children is great fun, but hard work. Both of you need to be able to accept both aspects of the job, as it's no fund doing it on your own.

Scholes34 Tue 25-Sep-12 14:51:52

The beauty of having three is that I know for certain I don't want a fourth!

minipie Tue 25-Sep-12 14:54:38

You say you have always imagined having 3 children. Did you discuss this with your DP before you started a family? Did he say he only wanted 2? Or was he keen for 3 at that time?

Floopy21 Tue 25-Sep-12 15:06:32

Welshm: I think the OP meant there's be two siblings to comfort each other rather than being one?

Ithinkitsjustme Tue 25-Sep-12 15:22:17

I don't think that trying to change his mind is the way to go, enjoy what you have now and let the future take care of itself. Nagging him will achieve nothing except get his back up and put pressure on your relationship. Remember as well that your youngest is only 1yo, thta's very young for you to be wanting another one. I can also tell you, from experience, that however many you have, if you are programmed to want a big family, it won't matter how many kids you have you will always want another one. I have 5 and would give an awful lot to have another one, but my DH is equally adamant that he doesn't want any more and has now had the snip (against my wishes, I might add). He didn't want any more after number 4 and although he dotes on DD2 and has a fantastic relationship with her he really doesn't want any more. I could cry when I see other pregnant women and have really struggled to accept that I won't be in that situation again (getting too old now anyway sad), but I know full well, that if I did have another one tomorrow, then I'd want yet another next week. Who knows, one day it might just happen (as it has for so many other people out there) but don't build your hopes up and make the most of your children now, while they are young. One thing I would say from experience again, having three very close together was very hard work, I have enjoyed the early years with my DD2 far more with a bigger age gap.

Pudgy2011 Tue 25-Sep-12 15:36:47

No, I know what you mean about having three children being better if you were to lose one tragically and I completely agree.

I'm the middle of three - my younger brother lost his battle to cancer in June this year. My older sister and I were able to comfort each other and allow our parents to grieve without them worrying how we were handling the loss.

My sister and I talk to each other about how we're handling it, and can talk about how our parents are dealing with it. I live 4000 miles away so my sister is the observer and I"m the talker. She'll tell me if she is worried about them, and I jump on skype and talk them through it. It works well and I know if I'm having a bad day emotionally, I can call her for comfort and not just my parents.

I have one DS who has just turned 1 year old, and I've always wanted three children and oddly, this is one of my reasons. If anything, God forbid, were to happen to any of my babies, knowing they have another sibling to talk to and to get comfort from is a big deal. I don't know how I would have gotten through (and continue to get through) the loss of my brother without my sister.

Having said all this, OP I don't know if there is anything you can or should say to convince your DH. I am in the same position. My DH only wants two, I want three. I would never get pregnant on the sly of course but I'm not about to try and convince him to have three. Also, we live overseas and flying 3 kids about would probably require a second mortgage!

I understand your desire for a third, and I don't have any advice (sorry) - but like you, I can see myself having two and always wanting three to replicate what I had.

IfImHonest Tue 25-Sep-12 15:38:00

I know that several people have posted saying that they've gone ahead and then their DH really regretted it. But let me tell you this - I have wanted a 3rd for years. My DH is adamant that he doesn't. We are now in serious difficulties and I think we'll probably split over this issue (with others in there too). Whatever you do make sure you discuss it fully and come to terms with it yourself. Please don't just cast it aside, you need to communicate honestly for your relationship to survive.

McHappyPants2012 Tue 25-Sep-12 15:44:35

How it boils down to is what you want.

I know a few people who have left the relationship because the urge to have another baby was consuming there lives. They have gone on to have another baby and are very happy.

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 25-Sep-12 15:45:58

I had a third. DH and I both agreed to go for it. Both of us are subsequently wondering what on earth we were thinking! confused

Walk in the park it aint. You need two preferably three committed parents!

CachuHwch Tue 25-Sep-12 15:47:34

I know how you feel. I have always wanted three, but DH wanted to stick with 2. This was a massive big deal for me, and, to be honest, I didn't want to convince him... I didn't want him to shake his head and say "Oh, okay then darling, seeing as you're always nagging me about it." I didn't want him to give in to me, I wanted him to come to the conclusion himself.
I kept thinking that, as someone said upthread, that there was no compromise, so what could I do..? And then thinking why does he get to choose, and I don't? Why is it his opinion that counts?
So one day, we had The Chat. No nagging, no pressure, no arguing. I had said nothing for months before, and just left it with, "I know you don't want a third, and I accept that. I have to tell you that I'll always regret not having another one, and that I do, desperately, want another child. But I will never bring it up again, because I love you and respect your decision, and now you know how I feel."
We hugged, I cried a bit, and we got on with things.

In a few weeks, he decided he really really did want another one, and just couldn't think about it properly before because he felt a bit of pressure.

We are trying for no.3 now. smile

Goldalocks Tue 25-Sep-12 15:48:55

WelshMaenad - it was not that I would be less devastated (obviously not!) or about 'back-ups' for me, it was thinking about them in the future having more siblings to help them cope if anything terrible ever happened.

Perhaps I think too much about negative things! - It is a thought I am uncomfortable with, but I would hate to think of them being alone in the future (I know it is silly, we all die sometime and even in old age people experience siblings dying off and there has to be one who is left)

Is this an irrational concern then?

MyLastDuchess Tue 25-Sep-12 15:57:22

I know how you feel on pretty much every point (and I am 33 weeks with my second!) My partner is pretty sure that two will be enough for him.

The 'perfect family' thing is a whole separate issue I could go on about, my sister had a boy and a girl and then had her third child, a friend (who knew that my sister had had IVF for her first two pregnancies) asked me if the third was an accident! I think it's lovely that we will have a boy and a girl, but two boys would have been lovely as well (or two girls).

And I also understand the feelings about having a third. I have never voiced it to anyone. My SIL, however, lost her only sibling to suicide (due to schizophrenia) in her university years. She has said to me that that was part of her motivation for having a third child, that if something happened to one of them then the other two could support each other. Of course there are no guarantees in life whatever happens, but based on her own personal experience it was one of the many reasons why having a third felt right to her. Plus of course she and her partner just wanted another child!

In my case I will be 40 not long after this baby is born, and I wouldn't be surprised if I feel like I never want to have sex again I am not that keen to rush into trying for another soon after giving birth. So I probably won't be trying to convince my OH to try for a third, and we'll let it go.

That said, I see nothing wrong with stating your case and having a serious discussion about it with your partner. What would be unreasonable is continuing to harp on about it once you have both had a chance to express your feelings. You owe it to both of you to make it clear exactly how strongly you feel about it, and likewise your OH owes it to you both to make his feelings clear.

Goldalocks Tue 25-Sep-12 16:34:23

Podgy2011, just read your post, I am sorry for the loss of your brother - but your situation sums up exactly how I feel. I am glad others have also understood my worries regarding this.

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