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My wife wants a child I don't

(198 Posts)
LancsBlue22 Fri 15-Aug-14 15:07:19

My wife and I have been together for 14 years married for 4. I am 49 she is 37. We have discussed having children about 5 years ago and agreed not to, I have two boys from a previous marriage 24 and the eldest is 27 with a daughter of his own. I was a single parent when we met and my wife lived with us before we were married while the boys were at home. They do love her but they are not really close, she is more like a good friend than a mother.
My wife lost her father about 12 months before I met her, her mother passed away at age 57, 3 months ago from a brain tumour.
She has announced this week that she wants a baby to which I have disagreed for a number of reasons. I struggled to bring up my boys as I was not on a good wage – it was a struggle, I feel I am too old and have a grandchild. I am at that time of life things should be getting easier, I could not go through it all again.
I feel she now only wants a child to fill the void left by her parents, she was very close to her mother and loved her dearly, I think she feels having a child would somehow compensate her loss. she has never been particularly broody before or very maternal, she gets on well with children but has never even changed a babies nappy. I have had some discussions with her and she has stated that unfortunately our marriage would have to come to an end in order for her to pursue her need for a baby. She is dreadfully sorry and sad and I can see it is tearing her apart hurting me but says time is not on her side.
This is all a massive shock to me as we are really close, we hardly ever fall out and I love her more than anything, I would normally do anything for her but I can’t do this. We hardly ever argue and we have just come back from a wonderful holiday in NYC She recently joined the police as a pcso but did not finish her training course due to the death of her mum. She starts training again on Monday and as she is a bright intelligent person will do really well in her new career. I don’t think she has fully thought things through, she seems to be risking everything, our marriage, her career, her friendships etc. I’m really close to her family, her brother has lived with us since the loss of their mum. I will be inconsolable if she goes ahead with this, but also feel I cannot stand in her way or find some common ground. I’m getting very depressed about it all my life just seems to be a failure again. I feel she needs to speak to somebody but I don’t know who. (she has not sought any advice but is talking to her aunty today, who she is very close to)
Any advice would be helpful

PenisesAreNotPink Fri 15-Aug-14 15:15:23

I feel very sorry for you. I can't even imagine leaving a relationship of 14 years that was really loving to have a baby.

I want to say that I understand that all consuming desire to have a baby, but I don't really. I'm sure someone will be along to explain that it really does crowd out all reason but like you I think it's more about her having a painful issue to get over.

TapWellies Fri 15-Aug-14 15:15:39

Her biological urge to have a child is not going away. I think that you are going to lose her if you deny her something that you already have.

Think very seriously if you are prepared to do that.

voluptuagoodshag Fri 15-Aug-14 15:16:56

I agree with all you have posted. I don't have a solution but I know my friend was in a similar situation when she married. She desperately wanted a second child. Her husband already had three almost grown up sons and a vasectomy. In the end she kind of knew she was clutching at straws and they married and are very happy still fifteen years on. She has lots of godchildren and step grandchildren to dote on and with hindsight can see that she would have missed out on all this had she walked away to pursue having children. Your wife does sound like she needs help and I think you are right to stick with what you agreed. The change in her dies seem to be marked by her recent bereavement and perhaps counselling would help.

BarbarianMum Fri 15-Aug-14 15:18:03

All you can do is talk about it respectfully and honestly. I don't think its fair to assume that she 'hasn't thought it through' or can't do it because she has never changed a nappy. Her parents death may have been a catalyst here - death can be a very strong catalyst for examining your priorities.

I suggest the 2 of you seek counselling to ensure you're communicating fully and to explore the issue(s) fully but at the end of the day its a fairly fundamental incompatibility. Sorry sad

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 15-Aug-14 15:18:22

If you love your DW then give her the child she wants. I'm not gong to attempt to be even-handed about it and see both sides of the argument. That she hasn't changed a nappy is immaterial. That you're 49 is unimportant. That the baby might be a void-filler or a career-stopper or whatever else is irrelevant. That you agreed five years ago not to have DCs is just a technicality. Good luck

YoureInMySystemBaby Fri 15-Aug-14 15:18:42

Hi, I don't have any specific advice for you I'm afraid, however, it's clear you love your wife dearly.

I will say that I don't agree your wife would be risking friendships and/or her career - I'm a mother and I manage both. However, I can see how this is a dilemma within the marriage.

I am in a similar position - however, I am more open to the idea of another child due to my childrens' relatively young ages and the fact that I am only 30, my partner 31 - however, he would like a child of his own, whereas I already have 3 children from a previous relationship. It doesn't appeal to me, however, I am not entirely closed off - of course it goes without saying, I would love my new child just as much as the first three!

I can see that part of your struggle is due to you already having adult children & you're a grandfather, however, I wouldn't class 49 as astonishingly old..

Again though, you both have to be on the same page and this is oneof those issues where there is very little wiggle room and an easy compromise..

I wish you both the best of luck.

Bunbaker Fri 15-Aug-14 15:19:07

Why do her needs trump those of her husband though?

I know this might sound rather trite, but how about getting a cat? I know it isn't a baby, but it is something to love and care for.

YoureInMySystemBaby Fri 15-Aug-14 15:19:41

And no* easy compromise I meant :]

PenisesAreNotPink Fri 15-Aug-14 15:20:38

I totally don't get that Cog, I could never give my husband a child unless I really wanted it too (he's younger than me and I couldn't even if I wanted to)

AbbieHoffmansAfro Fri 15-Aug-14 15:20:41

Given where you are with your life I can understand why the thought of becoming a parent again doesn't appeal. It must be very hard to have thought you and she wanted the same things and suddenly to find that isn't the case. My immediate reaction was that she should not just agree to this to save the relationship, because it probably wouldn't.

It is very difficult to know if this is a grief reaction (or even a new feeling for your wife) or a long-hidden but now overwhelming desire.

14 good years is a lot to lose, isn't it? Would you consider asking her to go to joint counselling with you to work through this? Not suggesting an easy solution is possible, but that way even if you do end up splitting you may find managing the process easier.

AbbieHoffmansAfro Fri 15-Aug-14 15:21:16

Sorry, that should read 'you should not just agree to this'.

prettywhiteguitar Fri 15-Aug-14 15:21:43

My friend is in this position, she is in the same position as your wife so I'm afraid I'm not going to be as sympathetic as the others, how did you think this was going to turn out ? She is of child bearing age ? You are much older, this is her last chance to have a baby and you have had your children so you have no idea about the sudden longing for a child.

I'm afraid the age difference is the real problem here

ScrambledEggAndToast Fri 15-Aug-14 15:22:06

Sounds like if you have a baby you will split up anyway as you are so dead against it and with good reasons. As you say, you have done your time and things should be getting easier for you. Has she considered the possibility that even if she left you she may not even be able to get pregnant? That aside, stick to your feelings. Sadly, there is no middle ground with regards to this.

Hailtherain Fri 15-Aug-14 15:22:39

You are both ina very tough place. I don't think you can assume it is grief making her feel like this. I spent my whole life absolutely crystal clear that I did not want kids. I could not really understand why anyone did. At 38 the urge hit big time. It is not a rational thing that can be thought through. It is an emotional, biological thing. Neither of you are in the wrong. You have just reached a time when you want different things. There isn't really an answer here, I don't think.

BarbarianMum Fri 15-Aug-14 15:22:54

bunbaker if people only wanted children so they 'had something to love and take care of ' I suspect we'd all have cats and the human race would cease to exist (and cats would rule the earth). I think it is a little more complicated than that.

specialsubject Fri 15-Aug-14 15:24:13

the person who doesn't want a child trumps the person that does.

Sadly there is no compromise on this one.

oh, and the agreement made some time ago is not a technicality.

I wish you the best.

expatinscotland Fri 15-Aug-14 15:24:41

Get a vasectomy. Should have had ones years ago, tbh, if you felt so strongly about no more kids.

I don't blame you. I am 43 and feel way too old to have children. No way I'd want one at 49. DH and I felt the same way so he had a vasectomy about a year after our third child was born, but if he hadn't I would have my tubes tied.

Under NO circumstance would I have a child I did not want just to make someone else happy, even my own spouse. How unfair on the child, a human being.

LancsBlue22 Fri 15-Aug-14 15:25:49

Thanks for the quick replies, we have a cat!

expatinscotland Fri 15-Aug-14 15:26:13

Much older? 12 years is not that big of a gap when you're in your late 30s and 40s.

LancsBlue22 Fri 15-Aug-14 15:27:29

expatinscotland I think I will have a vasectomy soon whatever the outcome of this situation

sleepyhead Fri 15-Aug-14 15:27:34

I'm sorry you're going through this. You have every right to not have any more children.

However, your dw also has the right to decide that her wish for a child is greater than her desire to stay childless and with you. She's probably got 5 years (at best) to have a child, she may end up childless no matter what she does, but only she knows what steps she'll need to take to feel that she gave it her best shot.

If I were in your dw's position I think I'd do the same.

Your dw has made her feelings clear. You need to choose too - wife and attempt to have new baby, or no wife. It's perfectly reasonable for you to choose no more children and no wife.

TapWellies Fri 15-Aug-14 15:29:33

cogito, your post has surprised and heartened me, you are so sensible and rational usually. That biological clock is something that no amount of discussion can ever change, it's just there. It's nature doing her job.

expatinscotland Fri 15-Aug-14 15:30:09

I wouldn't have a child to keep a spouse. Sorry, I just wouldn't.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 15-Aug-14 15:30:25

I said I wasn't being even-handed. smile Having a child to make someone happy seems to be right up there as a pretty good reason tbh. So is being the void-filler for love with nowhere to go incidentally. So many kids enter this world mistakenly or frivolously or they arrive to people who don't love them or even like each other.... that's what I call unfair. I'm sure if there was a contraceptive failure tomorrow the OP would be an excellent Dad, making up for the errors and limitations they had the first time around. Children bring their own love.

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