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Husband Depressed Over One Child Family

(11 Posts)
sadwife88 Mon 25-May-15 17:54:02

My husband and me never expect that we will be a 1-child family. After trying several failed IVFs after our first child, I destined my fate to being having just 1 child especially when I am now over 50. My husband, however, has a harder time. He feels his life is incomplete as he desires to have more than 1 child. He feels having more children is a status symbol in man. He feels he does not have a descendant to carry his family name on. He feels embarrassed that he has only 1 child.

In my child's grade with 80 students, there are only 3 1-child families, more than 40% are 4 children family, more than 35% are 3 children family, and the rest 2 children family. My husband feels totally out of place whenever he chats with other families who have more than 1 child. He is constantly depressed, having sleepless nights because he couldn't accept the fact that he is only having 1 child. Our sex life is almost non-existent.

I have talked to him about getting a divorce so he can find another wife/partner to fulfill his dreams of having more children. He is against divorce because it is not in the best interest for my only child. He is grieving for more children that could never exist. I just do not know what to do about this situation. I am sad too that I don't have more than 1 child, but I try to enjoy whatever is given to me in life.

It is hard on me whenever he comes to bed at 4am everyday because he's brooding over not having more than 1 child. I am at my wit's end because I do not want to constantly feel unhappy. I feel so drained in this marriage.

I love him. He said he loves me. I feel initiating a divorce so he can get out there to meet someone new and build a new family is the only way out. But he does not think that's a solution. I know he will feel guilty about taking this selfish move. I am 51 and 3 years ago we had considered donor eggs but eventually felt it is not fair for the child to have an advanced maternal age mom. We discussed adoption and fostering but he wishes to have his own blood. He is just embarrassed that he did not have more of his own children. I am at such a loss. I am in a marriage but it is just hard for me to face a sad husband day in day out. Help.

caravanista13 Mon 25-May-15 17:59:19

You are being extraordinarily patient! Has he had counselling? He really needs to understand that he's ruining the good life he has for something that's not going to happen.

TheScottishPlay Mon 25-May-15 18:04:17

There must be more to your husband's unhappiness than
having parented 'only' 1 child. Why ruin the life of an existing precious child (and wife) for something that will never be.

FlaviaAlbia Mon 25-May-15 18:10:19

I think you need to get your DH to see a Dr. There's sadness and then there's full blown anxiety and depression and it sounds more like the second two.

Ieubidecs Mon 25-May-15 18:41:19

Me and my husband are at the start of what seems like it may turn out to be a long road to conceiving and like your husband I have had trouble realising that i am unlikely to end up with my 'dream' family which would for me would also be at least 2 kids.
Until recently I have thought to myself that I would rather have no children than have just one, even though I know how much my husband wants to start a family.
It is hard realising that your life is not going to turn out how you've always pictured it, especially as for people like me who like having things planned in advance and being in control of what happens to them. But I am trying to relax my expectations by enjoying what I have now rather than stressing about what I don't have. For example, as long as we still don't have children we can enjoy going on holidays together - something we'd have to scale down if we had kids. Or, I can start getting more involved in my career; I've never really done this before as I've always assumed I'd be giving up work whilst my kids were young and would get 'back into it' when they were older.
It's not quite 'living for the moment' but I am certainly reminding myself to life for 'now' and enjoy what I have. Meditation videos on YouTube have helped as I find them to be a good way of switching of from my own thoughts and letting someone else tell me how to relax. I also found it helpful put aside a set amount of money every month so that me and my husband can do things we wouldn't normally treat ourselves to, like music concerts or a hotel trip. This helps me feel like we're not putting our lives on hold, and means that we can have quality time as couple, away from the usual stresses of trying to conceive. Perhaps your family could do something similar and have a family day out somewhere once a month. Some where that would seem extravagent if you hadn't already bugeted for it.
This must be hard for both of you but sadly there is little you can do to change someone else's thoughts other than letting them know that you are there for them and trying not to let the other person change how you enjoy your own life. You both have a lot to be thankful for, but he has to realise this for himself.

Ieubidecs Mon 25-May-15 18:49:00

Sorry, forgot to add that my husband has been to the GP as during the last few years he has also had periods where he found it hard to cope. He was reluctant to take antidepressants and the Dr prescribed mindfulness classes which were good for helping him change his thought patterns. He also says that by telling the Dr that he was unappy he felt a weight lift as he then had someone to help rather than putting more pressure on himself to solve things that he couldn't fix

Whiteshirt Mon 25-May-15 18:51:38

OP, how do you feel? All your OP is about your husband's melodramatic patriarchal dismay about not founding some kind of dynasty, which I can't find much patience for. Although I'm the mother of one child by choice, I have immense sympathy with anyone who desperately wants a subsequent child they are unable to have - but your husband seems to want another child (and a male child?) as status symbol and to show what a man he is, which sounds more than a bit medieval. You mention offering him a divorce so he can have more children. Do you actually want to stay married to someone this blinkered by either extreme selfishness/monomania or depression?

Why does your relationship seem to be dominated by his emotions when you are apparently dealing quietly and with dignity and unselfishness with a similar disappointment? You're worth far more than considering yourself as a defective brood mare, OP. Make him get help if you want to stay.

ArsenalsPlayingAtHome Wed 27-May-15 07:49:43

I'm sorry OP, this sounds like a big weight for you to be carrying around on your shoulders.

How is your DH around your DC? And how old are your DC and DH?

Have you pointed out to your DH, that your DC will pick up on his disappointment and sense of failure, and that your DC is likely to grow up feeling inadequate with self esteem issues (unless your DH is doing a very good job of concealing all of these issues)?

Mindfulness might help, as someone mentioned upthread.

I feel for you, trying to put myself in your shoes, at 50, I would want to be enjoying my life and enjoying the childhood of my DC, and making the most of things.

Just re-read and realised your child is a DD. Girls have a tough enough time as it is, without growing up thinking that their dad wishes they had been a boy. sad.

Maybe he was thrilled to have a daughter, but if she grows up being aware of his issues, she will see herself as never quite good enough. I'm no psychologist, but surely this is not healthy for her, not to mention you.

[Flowers]

ThinkIveBeenHacked Wed 27-May-15 07:59:25

You have a lot more patience than me. At 50, no way would I throw myself into pregnancy again, and my DH would either have to get on board or leave.

In your shoes id be demanding that he commits fully to the wife and child he has rather than fawn over a life he could have had. That or the door.

PatriciaHolm Sat 30-May-15 19:30:59

He needs to take responsibility for himself and getting some help with his issues. He's being massively self-centred and self absorbed and if he can't shake himself out of it, he needs to seek help from the GP.

fiftyshadesofgrot Tue 09-Jun-15 23:59:25

Im very sorry to hear you're plight.

You say your Husband loves you and you love him. Does your child suffer the negativity that your Husband displays on a frequent basis? I suggest you offer your Husband a solution - to love his family or p*ss-off (after he has been to the GP and sought help & medication if necessary).

Other than that, please be yourself towards your child. You sound like a loving, caring and giving person. Your Husband ought to show you and your child respect and stop moping.

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