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My wife wants another child, and I do not. What do I do?

(45 Posts)
Fatherandhusband Mon 19-Sep-16 17:23:03

Hi all. 30 year old father of two kids, 3 and 5. My wife is 31. I love my kids and in generally we have a happy and fulfilling family life, despite being very busy.

My wife recently broached the topic of another child during our anniversary recently, as I have been looking into getting a vasectomy. We originally always wanted one child, and after our first we decided to go for a second, which has MASSIVELY increased the challenges of parenting. At this point, I am satisfied with our parenting experience. She asked me how I would feel if we found out she was pregnant. I was very honest (probably could have been more delicate, but this caught me by surprise) and told her that I don't really know if I would be happy. I cited that I felt that we are already at capacity in terms of time and finances; we both work 40+ hours, plus I own a business and have a couple of hobbies. I feel that externally, we would have a hard time functioning smoothey as a household. It would be difficult to devote the time to each child that I feel is necessary to provide them quality parenting and opportunities and activities. Financially we are saving for our first home, repairing credit, and paying down student loans; I don't think another child at this point would be a wise move, financially. Internally, I have to admit a degree of selfishness. I want to sleep again. I want to have my wife to myself on occasion. I want to be able to pursue my own career goals and continue to develop my hobbies. I don't recall feeling this way with my last two children, and so I need to take that as a big indicator of where I sit.

At this point I know my wife was disappointed in my answer, and I very much suspect she is actively wanting another child. I would like some guidance and to hear about the experiences you all may have had in similar circumstances. I do plan on having a real discussion about this with her, as I am aware I don't have all of the information here. I want my wife to be happy and satisfied, but I cannot be dishonest with her about this and how I feel about another child, especially given the current context of our lives.

For the record, if we did get pregnant, I would rise to the occasion. I know I would love our third hypothetocal child. She is afraid I will resent her if that happens due to my previous answers to her. I fear she may resent me if I deny her the opportunity to have a larger family.

thereinmadnesslies Mon 19-Sep-16 17:29:28

My husband has said no to a third child. I am desperate for another child. I think it will probably end our marriage eventually. Please at least discuss the decision at length, and explore both options. You both have very valid reasons and one of you is going to have to accept a big compromise.

Dozer Mon 19-Sep-16 17:32:39

This comes up a lot on MN and the opinion most frequently given is that the person who doesn't want another DC prevails. That person should take full responsibility for contraception and acknowledge that no contraception is 100%.

For some, a partner being unwilling to have another DC, might be a "deal breaker" and they might decide to end the relationship and find a new partner.

BernadetteMatthews Mon 19-Sep-16 17:32:53

Suspecting she wants another child isn't any good. You need to ask her and discuss it properly.

Also, she'd get pregnant, not you, so it's not we.

user1467976192 Mon 19-Sep-16 17:34:22

Opposite in my situation he's broody and would like another (I have 2 stepchildren) however I have no desire for a child

PacificOcean Mon 19-Sep-16 17:38:39

You're right to think that you should have another conversation about this and be honest about your feelings.

It's OK not to want another child, and doesn't make you a bad person / husband / father. Obviously it doesn't make her a bad person if she does want another baby, but it's really important that she knows how you feel.

Of course, one of you will have to compromise here. IMO it should be you (as it's a big deal to have another baby that isn't 100% wanted), but maybe she'll persuade you to her way of thinking. Try going into the conversation with an open mind.

Offred Mon 19-Sep-16 17:39:19

Gosh, your communication is really poor! You were actually looking into a vasectomy without having talked to her about being resolved not to have any more and she was communicating her desire for a third indirectly.

You need to have a proper conversation and I think you need to accept that this is an issue where the incompatibility is so great and irresolvable by compromising that it may end the relationship.

PacificOcean Mon 19-Sep-16 17:40:48

Sorry, I mean it shouldn't be you who compromises.

5moreminutes Mon 19-Sep-16 17:41:20

You are sure she was expressing a wish and not trying to tell you you've had a mutual contraceptive failure and she is currently pregnant?

KimmySchmidtsSmile Mon 19-Sep-16 17:43:29

A third child is the petrol on the bonfire if you are already feeling stretched.
Jim Gaffigan says it best:

WindPowerRanger Mon 19-Sep-16 17:46:50

I would have had a third, my DH was very much against it. So we didn't (I very much agree that unless you both want another, the outcome must be that you maintain the status quo). I've adjusted to having the two without resentment. I find now that I am out of the baby years, the urge to plunge back in is lessening.

The same happed to a relative and her DH. He wanted another, she didn't.

I know a couple where the wife got pregnant with a fourth without consulting the husband, who was happy with three. He was taken aback but accepted it, the fourth is much loved and they are happy.

Then again, there have been posters on here who have split up because they could not agree or because there has been deception.

There is no telling how it will work out for you and your wife, you just have to talk frankly to each other. There is no right or wrong position.

sorryoldwoman Mon 19-Sep-16 17:46:57

I really think women need to look at themselves and find out why they feel they need three children in a already busy and financially challenged home. It's seems very selfish to me. Children are not here to " complete us" . Ending a marriage cause you can't have your way? Sorry it's not right or fair to all involved. To answer the kind mans question I would suggest a good heart to heart with your wife and find out if her desires are justified and how it could someday work out smoother. She has a few years to decide. No rush. It's just my opinion I had one child and did my best for him. More children I couldn't be sure I could.

ElspethFlashman Mon 19-Sep-16 17:47:46

You have very sensible and valid reasons and I agree with all of them. Logically, you can't really fault them.

The only problem is that broodiness is the opposite of logical. The heart says "we could manage, we could make it work"

That said, it's usually the one who doesn't want the child who "wins". Nobody can force someone to agree to a child against their will, through emotional blackmail.

But it can be at great cost. Putting it bluntly, at 31 she has the time and the choice to find someone else who will give her a third. Drastic, but it has certainly happened on here.

So if she gives up on it, she must do so willingly or it could really harm your relationship.

If I were you I would ask to park it (and the vasectomy) for a year. And be serious about revisiting it then. Once the youngest is in school it may change the landscape. Maybe the heat will have gone out of her broodiness and she may see what independence feels like with 2 in school and it may be less appealing to go back to nappies.

But if not, and her broodiness has continued at the same level for a year at that stage, it may change your perspective too.

But one things for sure, condoms need to be a serious part of your life in the meantime until you both make a decision together.

NickyEds Mon 19-Sep-16 17:55:51

We are in a similar position op but we're older than you. We now have a 2.8 year old and a 14 month old and I would love another. I'm a SAHM though so only one job between us. Dp has listed your reasons for not wanting another almost verbatim! Strain on money, reducing my time out of work, splitting our emotional resources, houses, cars etc. It all makes perfect sense and is absolutely reasonable. We won't be having another sad. I'm sad about it and I think that there will always be a bit of the 'what ifs' about the decision for me but there are sometimes things in life that you want but can't have.

I don't resent dp at all- his objections are totally valid. Splitting up over it is absolutely out of the question, I love dp and our family far too much. I do wish I could turn the desire for another baby off though. It's strange but it helps when he says that he would have another if we won the lottery! I don't know why, just makes me feel like we still want the same thing, he's just more practical. It makes it much worse when he hints at the door still being open on it a bit- I'd almost rather it was absolutely out of the question.

wayway13 Mon 19-Sep-16 18:04:49

Ooh my DH and I had this conversation yesterday! I'm due my second very very soon and have been bagging up my summery maternity clothes to burn donate. Then he said "I'm not sure I don't want another one so why not hold onto that stuff". No chance. We've always said 2. I'll be happy with 2. 2 makes sense given our resources. Also, pregnancy is awful so no thanks. Anyway, my stuff is going into the loft instead "just in case". We can have that conversation never later.

Your discussion is more pressing from the sounds of it and I don't think you can ignore it. I think you both need to be on board with it or don't do it. Be very careful in the meantime as "accidents happen".

Fatherandhusband Mon 19-Sep-16 18:34:19

I agree. The confusing thing here is that we have discussed me getting a vasectomy in the past and she was very pro-vasectomy. So this last conversation was puzzling.

Fatherandhusband Mon 19-Sep-16 18:36:53

Our communication is actually very good. She had in the past been very pro-vasectomy. She came out of the blue with asking me how I would feel about a pregancy, and I was very honest. We unfortunately didn't have the time to get much further conversation in which is why I would like to speak with her again tonight. I wanted to make sure I am approaching the conversation in a fair way, and the input of other people here can be very helpful in helping me articulate my position and what I may need to be listening for.

Superstar90 Mon 19-Sep-16 18:40:18

I think she is pregnant op!

wayway13 Mon 19-Sep-16 18:45:22

I think the points you made in your OP are valid and worth mentioning when you talk to DW. They aren't selfish at all (or, if they are, not bad selfish) and FWIW I feel the same: I want my body back, I want to sleep, I'd like to not be too tired/sore to have sex, I'd like to have time to exercise and get my figure back etc. I think you know when you're "done". Your feelings are reasonable and valid so don't shy away from discussing them.

I think you also need to go in armed with a mental list of practical reasons why you don't want a 3rd. Time, money, impact on your DC.

Good luck.

Fatherandhusband Mon 19-Sep-16 19:06:30

Just as a quick note, I highly doubt she is pregnant. I would absolutely know. I unfortunately do not have the time to explain why this is the case. However I have cause to think that this is her more "testing the waters/gauging how I feel" vs. actually being pregnant and not telling me directly. That is just not her style.

ElspethFlashman Mon 19-Sep-16 19:17:16

I don't think she's pregnant - I think she's panicking.

A vasectomy is all fine till the appointment is booked.

She's realising the door is closing at the tender age of 31 and she's freaking out a bit.

Fairylea Mon 19-Sep-16 19:24:14

If you don't want another I would absolutely not leave contraception to her from now on.

Northernlurker Mon 19-Sep-16 19:26:43

Op I was desperate for a third child from when my youngest was around 3 or 4. It was a long time before I articulated that to dh as money etc is quite rightly a consideration. He had concerns but accepted I didn't feel finished, we were young parents and dd2 had a congenital heart defect which in retrospect I felt had stolen some of my joy in her babyhood. I just wasn't done. So we agreed mutually to have a third who is dearly loved by us all. From the minute she was born my broody feelings disappeared. She is now 9 and it's never come back. If you don't want a third then you don't but give your wife the space to articulate all of her desire for another child and then see if you can compromise.

NapQueen Mon 19-Sep-16 19:28:01

Not wanting a third is totally fine and your reasons are completely valid.

I do think you both need to sit down for a conversation asap. Explain that you felt a bit blind sighted and after previously being pro vasectomy this came as a shock. Be as honest as you are with us.

SandyY2K Mon 19-Sep-16 19:31:01

If you don't want another I would absolutely not leave contraception to her from now on.

Totally agree with this.

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