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I feel stuck(48 Posts)
I met my OH after not much success on the dating front, and we hit it off and escalated things very quickly. He had a lot of history which he was upfront about most of at the beginning. He suffers MH issues, and degenerative discs, which combined he takes a lot of medication for.
When he was younger he contracted mumps (born during the MMR scare in the 80's, was not vaccinated) and was sterilised as a result. Because of this now any partner he had would have had to go through IVF to conceive. His stuff is on ice in a clinic nearby.
I found out some time into the relationship that OH is an alcoholic, connected to the MH issues. He has now been sober for 6 months and hails me as his saviour and the reason for his sobriety (as do his family) Because of this he has been in the care of an alcohol charity and lives in a subsidised property, but a condition of this is that he cannot be employed. He is coming to the end of his time with the charity and we have talked for a while about him coming to live with me and getting a job. As it is at the moment we spend most time at his because he can't drive.
So.... now to me.... I am 33 and I have worked away from home on projects for five years, long before I met OH. I love my job, I'm successful, people respect me, and I'm generally getting on in life. OH hates it. Just recently he has started being quite assertive in our nightly conversations, telling me how can I possibly consider continuing to work away with the fact that we need to have IVF soon or we will run out of time? (the county I live in is 36 maternal age, the county he lives in is 37) He also says he is struggling to cope with me being away all the time.
He thinks I'm not taking it seriously (the IVF cut off) and am actively trying to find delays and diversions to avoid making a decision. It came to a head tonight and I had to be quite direct with him and say "yes love, I do enjoy my job, that does not mean I enjoy being away from you" and "yes I'm terrified of making the conscious decision to become a parent, I'd much rather nature made that decision for me, but we are where we are but no I can't give you a definitive answer right now" he thinks I'm avoiding the situation but it's far more complex than that. I totally understand his fears about being an old dad and us running out of time, but I wish he'd understand I'm scared too.
Another part of me thinks he suspects I may very well duck out of becoming a parent altogether and leave him without a partner, in which case I have a very slight suspicion he is trying to guilt trip me into leaving the relationship. This is a very slight fear but it did cross my mind. Obviously then that loads the guilt at my doorstep for any deterioration in his mental health.
The truth is I don't know what to do right now. I have three years in which to get to the top of my game at work, lose three stone, get married, visit all the places i want to see then start IVF. I know there will be a whole lot of "there is a life after children, you know" but I'm the sort of person who goes to a pub or on holiday and can't stand that there's kids there. Sorry mums. Until very recently I was not the maternal type. I've become aware my body clock is ticking, but it's just scary knowing I HAVE to make the jump to leaving my job and suchlike.
I'm trying to make OH understand that relationships are about sacrifice sometimes and I'm willing to make that sacrifice, I just need to plan and make sure everything's in place and we are going to be financially secure, etc but he is convinced I am going to resent him and any children we might have for putting a stop to my dreams (not my thoughts)
Just wondering if anyone has any gems of wisdom for me, I'd prefer encouraging conversation as I'm alone in a hotel room miles from home and have no one to turn to. Thanks lovelies xxx
He is not a charity case for your to fix.
No chance whatsoever I'd have children with him.
He has only been sober six months. That's nothing. How long have you been together?
You have great options once you leave him. You sound brilliant but you've got yourself into a codependent relationship. You are only 33!
The truth will set you free but first it will piss you off
Get rid fast before he moves in and you must do everything he wants or he will relapse and it will be your fault not his (ever) and your life goes properly down the toilet.
Read up on codependency. It will change your life to recognise how it destroys you.
You could be living an amazing life. You have it in you.
I don’t like the fact that he has put you in the saviour role. Not good.
Also, he should be proud of you, glad for you that you’re doing well, encouraging you to do better, not bringing you down.
This has total fucking shit future written all over it.
If he's not supportive about your job now, what will he be like when you have kids? Is he planning to be a stay at home dad (and resent you for never being there)? How would you split childcare?
This has alarm bells all over it. He needs to respect your priorities or it's not going to work. Kids put extra strain on a relationship. It needs to be fully functional beforehand or it could become seriously toxic.
You’re not stuck, you’ve got so many options. It would be appallingly self destructive and masochistic to stay with him and let him dictate how you approach your choices. Please don’t treat yourself and your own happiness so flippantly.
Blimey, run for the hills, seriously. You don’t have to save him, life would be a nightmare if you had a child with him & you have plenty of time to find a lovely, decent, kind man who treats you with respect, is your equal & doesn’t try & control you. Get out whilst you still can..
I have a very slight suspicion he is trying to guilt trip me into leaving the relationship. This is a very slight fear but it did cross my mind. Obviously then that loads the guilt at my doorstep for any deterioration in his mental health.
On reflection, I sniff an alcoholic who is lining up his "reasons" for starting to drink again. None of them will be anything to do with him of course. Mostly you. You will be the reason he starts drinking again very soon. He is planning it now I reckon, setting you up as his excuse.
Thank you for the replies so far
OH and I love each other dearly and he is super supportive of me, he's a proper cheerleader when it comes to me doing my thang, it's just coming to a head now with the children thing. I know I couldn't possibly be going for all the hormone treatments and such and then getting up at 5am on a Monday morning, driving 4 hours to then run what is essentially a building site for five days, I totally get where he's coming from, what I'm asking him for is a bit of time to get my shit together and explore alternatives!!!!
I'm hearing what you're saying so far, especially about the co-dependency, which has given me some things to think about.. I have fears about the sobriety, too.
Wait. What? Time for you to get your shit together?
He has only been sober 6 months. Has no job. Has no house of his own. Can't drive. Has unresolved MH problems. Has physical health problems requiring lots of painkillers. No savings either presumably.
It isn't you who needs to get their shit together before committing to having children. It is him. How on earth could you be the one slowest at having got their shit together well enough for kids?
What's his plan for getting himself ready?
I've no idea how male infertility caused by mumps works so I apologise if this is insensitive but did his parents freeze his sperm incase he caught mumps?
Just interested to know then the diagnosis of infertility vs the freezing happened..
Please don't have a baby with mentally ill alcoholic, you're smart enough to know you can do better than this guy.
How is he super supportive?
What actions has he taken (not words)? Especially actions that inconvenienced him to benefit you.
Addicts are very very good at telling you what you want to hear so that you give them what they want. They do this mirroring thing that makes you think you are the perfect soul mates almost instantly. It's all fake, whether intentional or not. They are holding up a mirror not a window to their soul.
Basically he doesn't work, doesn't own a property/might find it hard to get rent, had alcohol problems, doesn't drive and has ongoing mental health problems, all of which may affect his ability to get a decent job (all of which could also be fixed but any one of which might scupper your future).
You have a decent job, more than decent, one you love- and he wants you to give it up! Sorry but I think he's trying to drag you down to his level.
The only way this could work is if you kept the relationship going another couple of years to see what really happens with his drinking/ability to get work/live independently (don't let him move in, otherwise you are just another hostel really, let him earn his money and rent for a year). That way you could assess what is talk and what is action, he seems all talk to me.
Otherwise you will have a child, and him who will be like another child. It doesn't sound a goer I'm afraid.
At an absolute minimum he must get his own place, own job and live independently sober for a good year before you should even discuss whether he could be a suitable parent.
Also, this IVF deadline is an artificial one as presumably that's only for one round anyway- why doesn't he think you or him could make enough money to fund your own IVF?
@TowelNumber42 yes lots to think about. It's hard to explain. Always is, isn't it?! When you ask like that he is quite passive, and happy to sit and wait for things to happen and blame everything (body) else
@Likeazombi - sorry hun to clarify - younger = 22 and in uni (it's a breeding ground apparently) 32 when he discovered it had rendered him sterile so they went in and got some stuff to keep cool for him then. He's 36 now.
@Nearlyalmost50 - thank you for the insightful comment, I think what you and @TowelNumber42 are saying about wait a while is what I am wanting to do and what I am trying to get across to him. I want to see how he gets on after he is discharged from the charity's care. I did challenge him on the driving, he abruptly stopped the conversation which told me all I needed really, that he was projecting his insecurities onto me
Right then, step one stop doing anything for him, that includes planning his recovery for him.
Call him and tell him you need him to prove he takes responsibility for himself and managing his illnesses before you can decide if you want him as the father of your children. Thus you want to live separately and just date for the next year.
I predict a tantrum, tears, suicide threats, drinking threats, wild promises, loads of accusations against you plus a lot of "me, me, me" if you say any of that.
Fail fast they say in my line of work. Run a test as soon as you can to find out if this is doomed. Fail fast so you release resources to try something else instead. Cutting your losses asap.
I'm just wondering if he's sterile what is there to keep cool?
Sorry if I'm being thick there's just something not ringing true about this to me, not that I don't believe you but his story.
My brother is infertile, I don't know why, I'm guessing he knows more than he wanted to tell me, I do know there is nothing there to freeze and if he ever wants kids with a partner it will be sperm doner or adopt.
Are you using contraception?
I just need to plan and make sure everything's in place and we are going to be financially secure
You are being entirely sensible/reasonable OP. Stick to your guns on this one and don't let time or your partner put unnecessary pressure on you. See how things are in another year. Is he still sober / does he have a job / do you still love each other / do you actually want to have child. There really isn't any reason to rush, especially after only 6 months. Just enjoy each other. Children are wonderful on their own right but they can put a lot of pressure on relationships. You are right to want to be sure about taking this step. Going to repeat that one: YOU ARE RIGHT.
Please don't let him move in. Tell him immediately he has to organise his own place and job and that this is a test. The charity must have people to support him with this.
Did he do the work of deciding how to get sober himself? Or was becomig dry something done to him by you?
And how did he find out he is sterile? Was he trying for a baby with someone else?
Sorry to be harsh op but you've still had no luck on the dating front, he's a liability, chuck him back, for your own sake.
He got sperm put on ice 10 years after being rendered infertile?
I'm hoping a medical bod will be by shortly or confirm that's a possibility.
The rest of it... sorry but you'd be an absolute idiot to keep seeing this guy, let alone get knocked up by him.
Pro tip: dont have a baby by an unemployed alcoholic who lives in a halfway house.
here you go hun - read the bit about defects of tubules
@Oldstyle @TowelNumber42 Thank you - and yes he did make the decision and become sober himself
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