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DH won't have a second child and I'm desperate

(74 Posts)
Benina Thu 20-Oct-16 12:51:25

We always thought two children would be a good number, though nothing was set in stone. Now we have DD, 20 months, and it has brought up all sorts of issues from DH's troubled childhood. He got such terrible anxiety about her getting ill that he spent a month as an inpatient being treated for it. That was a few months ago and he is lots better now, but he says he never wants another child in case the same thing happens again.

I just can't bring myself to accept that. I can't stand the idea of never being pregnant again, and watching my fertility tick away every month. I am absolutely desperate for another child. I am also from a big family and have very close relationships with my parents and sisters, and I hate the idea of DD growing up without siblings. I know lots of only children are really happy, and lots of people would be ecstatic just to have one child, and DH's reasons for not wanting another are totally reasonable. But I just can't stand it.

He says if it's that important we should break up and I'll have the chance to meet someone else. I really don't want to because I love him (though I am furious with him at the moment about this) and anyway people you love enough to want children with don't come along every day, and my social life is basically nil because of looking after DD. I've even thought about getting donor sperm. Am I going mad? Will I ever come to terms with the idea of having just one? What would you do?

Offred Thu 20-Oct-16 12:55:00

Why are you furious with him?

He was hospitalised with anxiety, it's entirely reasonable for him to have reassessed.

I get that you would be really upset about the situation but he couldn't have known that having children would affect him so badly and I really think he needs compassion not fury from you TBH.

TheSparrowhawk Thu 20-Oct-16 12:55:11

If your DH's mental health suffered so much that he had to be an inpatient then I think he's really sensible not to have another child. I understand your frustration but you can't force him and he can't force himself. So you have to make a choice between staying with him and having only one child or leaving him and hoping to have another child with someone else.

sooperdooper Thu 20-Oct-16 12:56:11

I think you should give him some more time, your dd is only 20 months!

And for all you know having another child might not be so simple, plenty of people suffer from secondary infertility

And I feel desperately sorry for your dd! What can this imaginary second child provide for you that she can't?

I think you should consider that you're very lucky to have her, and your DH before you think about splitting over this, it would be very selfish of you to consider it imo

Offred Thu 20-Oct-16 12:56:15

Do you think it would be fair if you had been the one to say no more after difficult and traumatic pg/birth if he was 'furious' with you?

TheNaze73 Thu 20-Oct-16 12:58:10

I think you're actually being mean, all things being equal.

Your dd isn't even 2 yet. What's the rush?

sooperdooper Thu 20-Oct-16 12:59:01

Imagine this was reversed? A woman suffers from terrible pnd after baby one and decides she can't go through having another.... A DH who was furious with her wouldn't get much sympathy would he?

badtasteflump Thu 20-Oct-16 13:01:41

In your shoes I would hold fire and wait. Your DD is still a baby really, and it sounds as if since her birth your DH has had a pretty awful time. TBH I don't blame him for being v v wary of having another child.

Maybe set a time limit in your head (but keep it to yourself - it's not fair to add that pressure to your DH) - say three years for example, and tell yourself if he's not changed his mind by then, you will make a decision either to accept or to walk away - you may find you feel differently by then anyway.

I do think you're being unfair putting him in this position where he has to face doing something he's so fearful of. Put it this way, if having a baby put you at risk of a serious health issue, you may not want to take the risk - and surely you would expect any decent husband to support you with that decision and make a family with the child you already have.

Mental health issues are just as serious - as I'm sure you realise.

Offred Thu 20-Oct-16 13:04:00

He's actually being very brave and very responsible here. Even in the face of your fury he is being honest with you that he is prepared to let you go rather than have another baby. He is doing the decent thing and telling you how he really feels rather than leading you on.

badtasteflump Thu 20-Oct-16 13:08:43

And without wanting to kick you when you're down - I do think that you are being quite selfish here. His anxiety was so bad that he was hospitalised. Surely he needs your (unconditional) love and support now more than ever? All this 'fury' isn't going to be doing is mental health much good sad

DoubleCarrick Thu 20-Oct-16 13:09:20

I have empathy for your situation. PILs only had one child. I asked mil about it the other day and she said she would have loved to have another but fil wouldn't have coped with it.

I'm not sure if she has any regrets but I know she is really happy with fil but has made lots of sacrifices due to fils mental health

WatchingFromTheWings Thu 20-Oct-16 13:11:41

I don't think your desire for a second baby should override his mental health. Enjoy the baby you have and maybe ask again in a couple of years. But I wouldn't force the issue then either, if it was going to make him ill again.

GinIsIn Thu 20-Oct-16 13:11:49

I am sorry you are upset and it must be hard but you really can't prioritise your ovaries over your DH's mental health!!

Benina Thu 20-Oct-16 13:21:49

You're all absolutely right that it is very selfish. I'm aware of it! I should say that I have been and am very supportive of him, and I'm keeping the (very irrational) anger to myself as much as I can. But I know he would prefer it if I never mentioned the baby issue at all because of course it does put pressure on him.

I'm slightly surprised that none of you can identify with the strength of desire for a child though?

trulybadlydeeply Thu 20-Oct-16 13:22:34

How old are you OP? I'm asking to know if, biologically time is on your side for now.

I can understand your wish for another child, however it sounds like her really suffered significantly after your DDs birth. Is he receiving any kind of ongoing therapy or support? I wonder if he has actually been supported to address the underlying causes from his childhood, or did the hospital deal with the immediate distress/breakdown? If was receive professional help to deal with the root cause, then, maybe in a year or two, or more, he may feel differently about another child. Or he may not.

I actually feel he's been really responsible, he's acknowledged how difficult it has been for him, when your DD was born, and he has been open with you about his feelings around having another child. Ultimately, it is up to you now, what you do about this. You can either accept this, and enjoy your family as it is (with the potential for his view to possibly change over time) or you can leave him and either have another child on your own, or find a new partner. Only you can know what is most important to you.

badtasteflump Thu 20-Oct-16 13:28:10

I'm slightly surprised that none of you can identify with the strength of desire for a child though?

Yes that desire can be very strong. But having a child isn't just about ticking the box for the magic number of babies you would like. It's about considering all aspects of the fact that you will be bringing another person into your existing family - and how it will affect all of them, not just you - to be blunt.

You could end up leaving your H and then depriving your DD of her dad (at least, on a full time basis) because you want another baby. Would that be fair on her? Would she make the choice of a sibling over living with her mum and dad if she were old enough to?

Assuming you are a happy family aside from the MH issues and your latest problem, is it worth risking losing all that?

melibu84 Thu 20-Oct-16 13:34:53

Sorry, I agree with everyone else too. My DP also has really bad anxiety, and there is a family history of mental health issues. If he turned to me today and said he didn't want to have any more kids because of his anxiety, or any other reason, I would be sad, but I would not be angry with him or insist upon more children. We are already lucky enough to have a beautiful baby boy. i think you need to focus on what you already have.

beela Thu 20-Oct-16 13:36:38

I can identify with you, OP.

When DS was born he was very ill, and I lost a lot of blood too. At one point DH thought he was going to lose both of us. It took some time to determine whether there would be any long lasting effects for DS (happily there aren't).

I knew I wanted another DC. There is less than 2 years between DBro and myself and I saw that as the norm, so once DS hit around 18 months I started really worrying that it would never happen... at which point, DH said 'the thing is, I don't know if I can go through all that again. I don't know if I want any more children'.

Anyway, fast forward a year, and I managed to persuade him. DD is now 2.5. It was difficult though because I wouldn't have wanted to have another child with him just because he felt pressured into doing so.

I think what I am trying to say is that you need to give him time, it sounds as though the impact on him has been difficult.

Benina Thu 20-Oct-16 13:38:18

I'm 33, so there is a bit of time left. He is getting weekly therapy and also going to fellowship meetings (a bit like AA) twice a week.

Thinking about it, there are other things behind my anger. One of the things that has emerged is that he has tried to cheat on me a couple of times, and he often tells me that he fantasises about running away from me and DD and shagging loads of other women - though he says he knows it wouldn't really make him happy, and the desire for it is part of his illness. I've been taking responsibility for care of DD too, which is fair enough while he has been so I'll, but I think I'm upset that the family I hoped for is not going to happen and the fixation on a second child is how that has bubbled out.

You're right that I only I can decide, but it's great to hear some other perspectives! I think deep down I know I have to live with this, but I feel like screaming in despair.

Benina Thu 20-Oct-16 13:41:01

Thanks beela! The gap between me and sister is also small and we have a great relationship, so that is part of it.

I'm glad things worked out for you.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 20-Oct-16 13:42:11

You have two choices OP:

Stay with DH and give up your dreams of a second child - this will only work if you can be genuinely accepting and not fling it in his face whenever you have a row.

Leave DH and find someone else to impregnate you.

Which do you want more, DH and all that entails, or another child?

badtasteflump Thu 20-Oct-16 13:43:48

OP that makes more sense. I'm not surprised you're angry about the other issues - mental health problems are no excuse for cheating, or 'trying' to - how the desire to is 'part of his illness' is beyond me...

I'm sorry if I sounded harsh, and can see that you have obviously had it pretty hard too. But still, with his MH problems and the relationship issues you are having, now isn't really the best time to be having a baby, don't you think?

I think you are just going to have to sit tight for now, give things time to settle and then decide what you want to do, with or without him flowers

SleepingTiger Thu 20-Oct-16 13:44:30

I identify with you OP and thought some of the other posters were a bit mean. That is of course my view.

I think he sounds a bit of a lightweight and I can't empathise with him at all,

Benina Thu 20-Oct-16 13:44:43

That's the trouble - both options feel unbearable! And I fear that if I stay with DH it will be impossible to get over my feelings about this, and it will poison our relationship in the end anyway

Pickanameanyoldname Thu 20-Oct-16 13:44:55

The poor bloke's only been out of hospital for a few months.

I suggest you let him concentrate on continuing his recovery and stop talking about another baby for at least a year.

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