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When one partner wants a child and the other doesn't.....

8 replies

SPARKLER1 · 24/10/2005 12:15

I've started a thread about this before. I would really love to have a third child but dh really doesn't want anymore children.
Where do you go from here?

We have a very strong relationship and we would never let it come between us.

Dh knows how I feel and I know how he feels. I was quite tearful about it yesterday and he was sweet, hugging me asking what he could do.

We've just reached a situation where neither or us can do anything about it.

OP posts:
Gizmo · 24/10/2005 12:34

Hi Sparkler

I'm in the same boat, although possibly not for much longer. This is the hardest test of our relationship, and it's a severe strain to anyone's partnership, because there is no room for compromise: one partner is going to get what they want while the other doesn't.

I talked to a counsellor about it and then DH and I had a session at Relate. This helped. Some of the things that put a different perspective on it for us:

  • what would have to change in your relationship/lives for another child to be an option? How would you feel about that?
  • how would you feel if you couldn't have any more children for medical reasons? How could your DH help you to grieve?
  • if you both decide not to have more children, how are you going to communicate to your DH how enormous a sacrifice that is for you? In other words, is there anything you want him to do?

    As you can see, Relate were looking for ways for us to communicate to each other just what a big thing this desire to have/not have children was. They were also asking me to think about ways to grieve if we decided not to do it, and ways to rebalance our relationship so I didn't feel he had all the power in the situation and resent him.

    Likewise, if the boot goes on the other foot and DH were to agree to something he was opposed to, he would have to consider how he would cope and what would have to change in our relationship to make him comfortable with it.

    We also did a lot of work, as you would expect, to understand exactly why we felt as we did about families, their size and the relationships between children/parents/siblings.

    All very valuable and we both feel much closer as a result. After nine months of thinking and debating about it, I think we are about to go for it (DH is still being a bit indecisive, but I might be able to tip the balance soon), so please keep talking because there will be ways to resolve this.
Earlybird · 24/10/2005 12:38

This is such a hard one. I split from a man who didn't want children and it was an incredibly difficult/painful decision - but it was different to your situation as we had no children and weren't married.

Recently I have been struggling with the concept of "it's OK to want something you can't have" which is a huge concept. I can acknowedge that I want something, and not having it makes me sad, but I work to accept it and move on with my life in a positive way.

The hard part of your situation is that your dh has the power to do this for/with you, and is choosing not to. There's no way to compromise - you either have a child or you don't. Has he given you his reasons?

FangAche · 24/10/2005 12:39

Sparkler1 - I think this must be one the saddest positions to be in for the one that wants a baby.

DH told me after dd (No2) was born that there would be no more. I agreed! But when dd got to about 6mths old I just knew that I could NEVER rule out another one!! I told DH who said NO CHANCE..... but I said to him that I couldn't live with that and the urge for me to have another baby was faaaaaaar stronger and more deep rooted than his feeling that he couldn't be bothered with another newborn!!

He agreed and we will hopefully try for another in the next year or so.

No matter how much I love DH I could NEVER let anyone take that choice away from me unless there was a very good reason not to have another.

LadyTophamHatt · 24/10/2005 13:22

We went through this.

ds2 was about 4 months old whe the broodiness came back. Dh was against the idea. Totally 150%against it.
For 15 months I begged, pleaded, talked, argued, cried, begged, screamed, talked, pleaded......but he just couldn't agree.
I was desparate for another baby, it consumed me. Took over every waking minute of my life, it was sooo hard.
I knew I was getting nowhere but I still had to talk to him about it even though I knew I'd never change his mind.

On boxing day 2002 we were talking about it again and there was a few seconds pause in the conversation.
Dh said "What are you thinking about Em?"
I had no idea they were coming but tears welled up in my eyes and I said "You know what I'm thinking about, I always think about it"

3 days later I was pregnant. He changed his mind because of that conversaton on boxing day.

Ds3 is 2 (and 1 whole month today) and OMG I think my lucky stars every day I have him. I never thought I'd be here with 3 children but DH suddenly saw how much I, needed another baby and well, he's my hero now

I'd say don't give up, you never know what, or when they might change their mind.

Nightynight · 24/10/2005 13:47

I had no 4 in the face of dx's opposition. He couldnt really do a thing about it. The main danger of taking that route is that you have to rely on your dh welcoming the babe when it comes, and if there are any negative consequences, it was your decision and nobody else's.
(I knew that dx was incapable of not wanting dd2 when she came)

SPARKLER1 · 24/10/2005 15:35

He has some perfectly valid reasons I guess. He wants to get his "life back" he tells me but as far as I am concerned the kids are my life, although I am one to have a grumble about not having "me" time on numerous occasions.
DDs were both born with the cord round their necks and it was a very scary moment, especially with dd2 who had to be resucitated. I was as high as a kite on gas and air so dh witnessed the whole thing. He has said he doesn't want the chance of going through that again.
I have also suffered with bad PND since dd2 was born and he has had to put up with me also.

Lots of good reasons but it doesn't stop me wanting another.

OP posts:
kuoni · 24/10/2005 15:46

We have exactly the oppositve problem. Dh is very keen for a number 3 and I am just not convinced now. We are moving on, no more bottles, no more sleepless nights. My chidlren play beautifully together and are happy and healthy. I have two siblings and any combination of two of us is brilliant but three is and always has been hell. We would need a bigger house ultimately and a bigger car. I am not as young anymore and the health risks for me and baby are growing more and more likely. I am sick of nappies and am so happy now my chidlren can both talk to me and tell me what they are feeling instead of second guessing endless crying.
I might change my mind in the next year or two. At the moment DH is content with me telling him to wait until we have a bigger home but there willcome a day when we will need to face up to our differences.
I hate the idea of risking our stability and present comfortable family happiness to add an extra unknown quantity into the mix. I also hate the idea that I am denying my husband and children this chance.
I feel for you both and hope that you will come to some kind of decision that you can both live with. These kind of life decisions are so hard aren?t they?

expatinscotland · 24/10/2005 15:57

I think it's a totally different ball of wax for someone who doesn't want any kids at all to someone who doesn't want 3 or more of them.

My husband and I are both in agreement that 2 is what's for us. My husband has an older brother. Then they had his sister. Their family life was NEVER the same, and DH and his brother really suffered for it.

I only had one sister, we got along brilliantly, and are still very close.

So for both DH and I, it's a straightfoward decision. We also have some career goals that we are working towards meeting. I'm 35 next year, and whilst some people do well being pregnant at this age and older, I can honestly say for me it's been tough going and I'll be pleased when it's finished and our family is complete.

Whilst I wouldn't want someone to take the choice of how many kids I wanted away from me, nor would I take that from anyone else. That's just as unfair as it is to him/her as it is to you.

Marriage and partnership means compromise. On both parts.

If there's a disagreement over how many to have, it's something that's probably best worked out w/a counsellor.

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