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Really want DC3 - DH doesn't

(37 Posts)
hmmmtricky Wed 02-May-12 14:22:00

Hi all,

Apologies for posting on a topic which I know has been covered numerous times but I'm really struggling with the fact that my DH is adamant he doesn't want a third child and would appreciate any suggestions on how to deal with it.

Not sure "Larger Families" is the best place to post this either as I don't really think three children is a particularly large family!

We always agreed to have "at least two". I think, before we got married, DH was more keen on three children than me as I'm one of three and had some reservations (my younger sibling got left out a bit but suspect that was more to do with the very large age gap).

We have a DS who is 4 and DD who is 3 in the summer (16 month gap). When DD arrived and was tiny, DH kept on saying how brilliant it would be to have three under three. He liked the idea of the challenge (weird, I know). I said I three sounded great but I wanted to have a more "normal" gap this time so as not to feel too exhausted/sick etc. during my DD's babyhood. (As I had terrible morning sickness when pregnant both times, plus lots of stress and long hours at work - which meant I didn't enjoy my time with DS enough when he was litte...) Anyway, I've been campaigning for a third for 18 months now and DH has told me, repetitively, he just doesn't want one. He can't give a good reason for changing his mind and says there are lots of reasons not to want a third, just like there are reasons to want one. We agree that there is no objectively "right" decision here. And I know that we can't have one if he doesn't want one.

Financially, we are fine and could afford another one - although DH doesn't quite see it like that and says it would have an impact on our lifestyle (holidays, cars, potential school fees later on/childcare costs). However, we are fortunate and I think definitely could afford it. I'd move to a cheaper house if necessary (although not a great idea as we just moved last year and shelled out loads on stamp duty, fees etc).

I'm slightly more concerned that the stress of a new baby and juggling three children would have a negative impact on our marriage but I think we could cope.

I don't just love babies/toddlers - I really love the idea of having three grown-up children around for birthday meals etc. (well, at least sometimes!) and I also like the idea of each child having more than one sibling to turn to if they need help.

Should I abandon my hope for another child and try to come to terms with it or try, again, to persuade DH to consider it? DH is very stubborn and it hasn't worked so far. (By the way, I do appreciate how lucky I am and love my DS and DD tremendously.) I'm 37 so don't want to leave it much longer.

Any thoughts gratefully received!


MummyJo82 Tue 08-May-12 20:56:49

Hello, I am new on here but had to comment as I am in the same boat. We have 2 wonderful children, who I adore and they are everything to me. But, since my little boy was born 19 months ago I have wanted just one more. My husband, however, is not as keen! Admittedly, we do need to move - we are in a 2 bed house right now but about to put it on the market with the hope of moving somewhere bigger soon. My husband always says that he is happy with 2 - that things are easier for families of 4, cars, holidays, finances etc etc. he is the middle child of 3 and has always been the 'forgotten' one - even now, as adults, you can see the obvious favouritism towards his brother and sister and he is the forgotten middle child. He admits that this has something to do with not wanting a third, as he doesn't want any of our children to be that middle child - but I argue that it would not be like that as I am not his mother!! He knows how much I want another one, and always says he would never say never but is happy as we are. And it really is driving me mad! I just want one more so badly. I keep hoping it might just 'happen' one day but time is obviously going on and I don't want a massive age gap. Ideally if I had my way I would like another one to come along next year and I guess this is why I'm thinking about it more and more. I have this picture in my head of my 3 children and I so desperately want my husband to feel the same! A few months ago we thought I was pregnant - late, sickness etc., but it turned out to be a false alarm. However, when he thought I was pregnant, my husband said 'I always knew we'd end up having 3' which is something I hang on to with a bit if hope! (even though he probably wouldn't admit to it now!) sorry I don't really have any advice but I just wanted to say you're not alone, and I wish you all the best on your quest for number 3 x

hmmmtricky Thu 17-May-12 11:43:40

Hi MummyJo82! Sorry for the massively delayed reply... We've been away on holiday (in Cornwall... not too wet, thank goodness). Funny - I'm one of three and one of the reasons DH gives me for not having a third is that I said once there was a risk of two children ganging up on a the third. I also, foolishly, said (when I was 25 I think!), that I wanted 2 or 4 children but not 3.... Anyway, I obviously don't think that now - and I think the potential difficulties with 3 are outweighed by the advantages.

Sounds like you have a good chance of persuading your DH then! Really hope you do. My DH isn't showing any chinks! The only thing I'm clinging onto is that he has been v stressed with work for the last few years (since the downturn really) and I said this morning that I very much hoped his decision not to have a third was not too strongly influenced by that as it would be awful if we look back in a few years time and regret not going for it. He regrets not getting married and having children earlier - he was close to proposing when his mum became seriously ill and, rather understandably, that stopped him thinking about it. So we got married and had children about 2 years later than we probably would have done otherwise. But he did say this morning that the thought had occurred to him that having such a bad time at work (and being worried about his job) might be stopping him wanting a third now and he might regret it later. Wish his mum was still around. Totally fantastic woman - She'd back me up!

Hope you get your third baby MummyJo82! xx

Dappylittlemomma Sun 03-Jun-12 04:59:50

Hi, I'm in a very similar position. I have two gorgeous DDs, age 3.10 and 2.4 and I deeply want another. I'm one of three and 3 just seems the right number for me. I couldn't love our DDs more, however I always have this feeling our family isn't complete and there is a little somebody missing. My husband is happy with two and worries 3 would leave no time for him/us to do our own thing. I feel I might be able to persuade him, but I don't want him to then resent me/DC3 for him not having any time for himself. What to do? Sorry, not a helpful reply, just someone else in a similar situation.

xkcdfangirl Sun 03-Jun-12 06:14:04

I'm with the DH's on this one, 3 is a terrible number to have (yes I'm a middle child of three). If you have 3 there will always be one getting mummy's attention, one getting daddy's attention and one getting no attention (OK "always" won't actually be true, sometimes you will be able to make an effort to spread it out more, but that's how a DC will perceive it). If you are going to have more than 2, then go for at least five so that there's more of a gang-of-children feel to the family dynamic - but have the DH/DP fully on-board with this plan, if they are happy with two and don't want more then respect that, they have the right to be viewed as an equal decision maker not a barrier to be surmounted.

dilbertina Sun 03-Jun-12 07:01:24

My DH didn't really want a 3rd. She's 3 now smile! We'd always agreed 2 or 3 dc. We had dd then ds, and the fact we had one of each seemed to convince my DH we should stop there (he is one of two).

I am one of 3 and that seems the right family size to me, I just didn't feel done after 2, and the boy/girl thing made no difference to me...

We discussed it on and off for a year or two and eventually, openly against his better judgement, dh agreed we would let fate decide and try for 6 months and if not forget it. Fortunately I was pregnant a month or two later.

In practical terms, the world does seem designed a bit for families of 4, but really being a family of 5 IS the right number for our family and even DH would agree now!

Good luck.

ithaka Sun 03-Jun-12 07:22:09

My DH did not want another child. In the end we didn't. I now think he was right and I am very happy with our two wonderful children, enjoying my career and hobby, marriage is still super strong as I beieve he turned out to be right.

Just another perspective - don't harm a good marriage over this.

ShellyBobbs Thu 07-Jun-12 00:11:13

Isn't it funny though, that feeling that somebody is missing? I just knew we would have 3 and once we did it was like a big sigh of relief that the 'missing' person was here at last. I've never really been able to describe that feeling to anybody, but I bet you lot will understand. Hubby wasn't so keen on having a third but I think she came about after I came home from a works Christmas do and jumped him there and then blush.

By the way, after him not being so keen on 3, we will be welcoming number 4 in November, not planned but hubby is like a little lad at Christmas, probably because he thinks he's the 'sperminator'!

hmmmtricky Thu 07-Jun-12 10:50:37

Well, I hope it turns out well for you dappylittlemomma. Horrible feeling, isn't it? It is good to hear of people in similar situations and I hope things work out.

At least 5 wkcdfangirl!!?! Not for me but I know some people on here would think that was a great idea. I also know people who are from very happy families of 3 children although I do understand there can be difficult dynamics.

Dilbertina - lovely to hear that! My DH would never let us leave it to chance. Wouldn't work for us but I like the idea...

Ithaka - thanks for letting me know. It is an interesting perspective and, of course, a totally fair one. I don't think think having a third or not will make a difference to our marriage, ultimately. The underlying reasons behind the decision might. I think it's significant that when I was ambivalent about having a third, I always knew that I'd agree to it if that was what DH really wanted as I wouldn't want to deny him something like that and knew that I'd love a third child and make it work, even if I'd initially thought it might be a stressful/difficult thing to agree to.

Ahhh - that's really great ShellyBobbs! Good luck with number 4!!

hmmmtricky Thu 07-Jun-12 14:18:22

As an update, after a brief acrimonious chat with my husband, I think our marriage is well and truly harmed. I don't know if it's because we can't agree on this or because of underlying issues. Anyway, I think I should probably start posting on the Relationships/Divorce boards instead...

SweetTheSting Thu 07-Jun-12 14:25:37

Sorry to hear that hmm sad

ithaka Thu 07-Jun-12 17:30:11

Sorry to hear that hmmmm. I think I was OK, because I knew I could, if I really wished, push DH for another child as he is a kind person and wouldn't want me to be unhappy. I decided not to push and I am happy I didn't.

As for that sense of there being somebody missing, we always have to live with that as one of our children died, and I knew having another baby would not help with that.

The feeling of a complete family must indeed be wonderful and worth striving for as a couple, if you can.

hmmmtricky Thu 07-Jun-12 18:34:23

Oh I'm so sorry Ithaka.

Sunlightandsoap Mon 11-Jun-12 00:36:37

hhmmm tricky.....if i was in your shoes, i would want to understand why he changed his mind. you say he doesn't have any reasons why not to have no 3..... If you are already in a situation of conflict re this issue, it might be hard to get it out f him, but if he wants you to accept his position on no 3, he is unreasonable to give you no reason for his position.... specially since he was so keen when it would have been so tough on you...

I am in similar situation, but our 2dds were unplanned, and he has always said 'in a few years when we've got more money/betterjob/bigger house'. I worry i'll get to age 40 and then he'll be up for it and i'm not sure i will want to/be able to by then.....

good luck, and i hope you get to understand each other.

hmmmtricky Mon 11-Jun-12 11:19:08

Hi Sunlightandsoap... Yes, I'd like to know why he changed his mind as that is what really gets to me. If only I'd bitten the bullet and gone for the three under three option when it was there.

I have pressed him on it in the past and he says he "just has" changed his mind. He always says it's the "usual reasons" for not wanting a third (i.e. finances, stress on the family when a new baby is around, lack of attention for the two older children/splitting our time even more when we both work full time and it's hard work juggling etc., stress on the relationship). I get the stress on the relationship point! But that's the only one I think is a serious concern. I also think there is no way we can bring another child into our family unless we both want it as it's a huge decision.

I hope that your DH sees that there will never be a "right time" and does decide to go for it soon... There's definitely a bit more hope if he's saying "not now" rather than "not ever".... Best of luck to you.

And thank you to everybody who's taken the time to reply.

Ithaka - thank you in particular for posting. I'm very glad to hear your marriage is super strong and you're happy with your two children. xx

hmmmtricky Fri 10-Aug-12 10:04:25


Not sure if anybody's still in the same situation but I have a slight update...

No proper news but DH and I have not been using protection for the few days following my period for the last 6 weeks (when I had the Mirena removed - various reasons, not because we were planning a third DC). I've been very open about where I was in my cycle and we last didn't use protection on day 10.... I made a point of telling him that. Generally, I have a 31 day cycle so that's definitely quite risky - although (probably) not during the most fertile time - and DH is well aware of that. We have not discussed a third DC for a while and I had (very sadly) accepted we wouldn't be having one. I've even said I'll go and buy the condoms he prefers (! sorry, TMI...).

I know it's unlikely that I'm pregnant and also have no idea what will happen if I am. Rather annoyed with myself as I really don't want to face the stress and pain of having to consider a termination - however, of course, part of me is hoping that I am pregnant and that DH is happy about it. Not sure what I would do if he wasn't but I don't want to break up my existing family over it.

A couple of our good friends have announced third pregnancies recently and we also just heard that somebody from my NCT group has had a third. So, he might be thinking it's not quite so eccentric to have three children after all. Plus, he is incredibly stubborn so I wonder if he needed to "win" the debate (i.e. get me to accept we weren't having a third) more than he wanted to stick with two. Anyway, we'll see. Like I said, it's rather unlikely that I am pregnant.

I'm stopping off at Boots on my way home from work today....

How's everybody else doing? Any updates?

I think I'm more comfortable now about sticking with my two but still would love a third. It means I'm a much happier person and DH and I are getting on much better, which is brilliant. Hope everybody else is doing well.

hmmmtricky Fri 10-Aug-12 10:40:00

p.s. Stopping at Boots to buy condoms, nothing else!

Vickles Fri 10-Aug-12 14:18:59

Any news OP? Hope everything's ok? X

kag2007 Sat 11-Aug-12 08:15:30

Hmmm I could almost be youwink I just found out I an excepting no. 3 but never got a thumbs up from DH, we just had about 8 months of Russian roulette with contraception! I think it is hard for DH's to agree to a third when it is more of an emotional choice than a practical one, if that makes sense? Certainly it seems for me that letting nature take its course was easier on DH than trying to reason with him against all the practical disadvantages of 3! In fact the debate against 3 is haunting me now after years of listening to it and thinking about it, so Im slightly freaked outblush Heres to happy accidents and good luck with your situation wink

hmmmtricky Mon 13-Aug-12 10:57:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

s0fedup Wed 03-Oct-12 22:01:16

hi, I followed your thread with interest, as tou are in a similar situation to me...
how are things? x

hmmmtricky Thu 04-Oct-12 12:47:35

Hello - a stalemate I'm afraid. Plus a lot of other messy stuff. Relationship has been very tricky. I kept hoping for an accident, we had one and then I had an early m/c which I found extremely upsetting. DH is being more careful now and not budging at all. I feel like I have no say on important decisions in our life (not just the third baby thing) and also as though it doesn't matter if something is important to me. So I have no control over important issues and the fact that I'm upset about it is of no consequence (other than I've been told to pull myself together or it will break up our family). And he won't consider counselling. He thinks it's very much my problem. Which it may well be - I don't know. So not a happy update I'm afraid.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Thu 04-Oct-12 12:54:03

Oh hmm that sounds awful. Maybe counselling for you would be good, not because it's your fault things are bad but just to get your head round where you are.

s0fedup Thu 04-Oct-12 17:44:52

hi, so sorry things are not going well. You sound exactly like me. I feel as though what I want is not important.
I found out yesterday I am pregnant (very early) and I am terrified. He will think I dod it on purpose. I have mo idea hoe it happenef seeing as we rarely dtd because of how things are.
I have not said anything yet. Partly because I am terrified of what he will say... and also it is so early...

hmmmtricky Thu 04-Oct-12 19:04:59

Oh crikey - yes, sounds familiar.... All I can say is please try not to get too stressed as you need to look after yourself now. He might be ok about it. Hope he is anyway. I think my DH is particularly single minded (and a bit lacking in empathy to be honest). Good luck - I really hope things go well xx

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