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How Do You Know What's Right? To Stay Or Go?

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this.

DH and I have one DS, 21 months. I desperately want another child, I want to give DS a sibling. DH does not want another, (he is a great father, I feel his reasons for not wanting another are totally selfish). I cannot imaging bringing up DS as an only child. I have siblings and cannot imagine life without them. I feel so resentful towards DH for not "giving" me another that it is causing problems in my marriage.

I have considered leaving DH and meeting someone else to continue my family, I've considered raising DS on my own (I am financially secure) and having another baby on my own. I have considered all kinds of things.

How do I know what is best? Do I stay with DH and give DS a life with his father living with him? Or do I leave and give him a life of visits with DH but with a sibling?

I am doubtful that my marriage will survive if we do not have another child b/c I feel so resentful towards DH and I feel he is being totally selfish. There are other issues, but I would be willing to work them out if we had another child.

Am I being the selfish one? I want this for DS. I want him to have siblings. I feel sad when I see only-children. Should I leave my DH for this though? Or should I be glad I have what I have, and feel blessed to have one healthy happy child. Why is this eating me up inside? I feel like I have lost a child by not having another.

Any thoughts?
post #2 of 35
A very dear friend of mine is in the same situation. I told her what I will tell you- a child needs two parents in an intact home far, far more than they need a sibling. Day to day access to both parents, being able to feel loved by both parents at the same time- not having to choose who will I spend holidays with- these things are all worth more than siblings.

I grew up with siblings too and love them but your child doesn't have them- your child will not experience any "loss" at not having siblings. Your child will never know any different. But if you get divorced over this your child will suffer a loss- a loss they will know and will experience and will hurt over.

Is it really worth it?

Go to therapy with him. Try to work this out.

Grief therapy may also help- you are mourning the loss of a fantesy you had about your family...a friend of mine whose husband decided after married that he didn't want any kids after all is in grief therapy and it is helping.
post #3 of 35
I think you need to do what *you* need to do. Your son will be okay either way. If you want another child, if you will live in resentment of your partner if you do not have one, I would leave.
post #4 of 35
I agre with Mommy Mine. I think it is far more important for children to have access to both parents that for them to have a sibling.

The therapy (individual and couple) is a great suggestion. I think you owe it to your son to at least try to move past this with your husband. Far more than you owe him a sibling.

I understand you want another child, but be honest with yourself that it's YOUR wish, and not necessarily something your child will be yearning for. I know several only children (who are now adults) and NOT ONE of them has expressed resentment for being an only child. They all loved being an only child. Sure, it's fun for little ones to fantasize about having a little bro or sis, but when reality hits, it's not always that rosy. Sibling rivalry and resentment can be a real issue (I STILL struggle with a strained r-ship with my brother because he resents me - he is 36 and I am 32! ) and you need to know that your children may or may not have the picture perfect r-ship you hope they will have.

And I don't think either of you is being selfish. I think you both know what you want and those whats are opposing each other. Labeling your or his wants as selfish is a blaming mentality and it will never, ever help a marriage mend. Try to honor his wishes as much as you honor your own. Honoring someone's wish does not mean you grant it. It just means you appreciate the wish and the person who is belongs to. And I think it provides a loving, respectful starting ground for conflict resolution.
post #5 of 35
So, do you feel sadder for only children, or for children who have to watch their parents argue and split up over something, that really isn't a very huge issue...?

Do you feel sadder for a child who has no siblings, but has the ability to make friends, or a child who might not get to see their father very often, because their mother decided it was better for them to have a brother/sister than a full-time father?

I'll be blunt, I think you're being selfish, in a way. I understand the want for another child, but all I keep thinking is that you think a sibling is more important to your DS than his own father. You also think YOUR WAY is better than his way, and that your thoughts are better because they are masked by this 'it's for DS, not ME!' attitude.

To be honest. I think if you split for this reason, your DS would end up resenting you, along with any other child you had.

If your relationship is good despite this, why not try counseling and work things out...

Being an only-child isn't 'horrible', and won't kill anyone. Really, it won't.
post #6 of 35
Your child is very young and you have time to have another child down the road. If you back off of your husband and relax a smidge, he may get more used to the idea and agree a bit later on.

In my personal experience, I wanted another really bad for a while, but honestly... after relaxing and just letting life take its turns... I think my husband is getting close to wanting another and I am ready to be done!!

Good luck. Marriage is so complicated!
post #7 of 35
I need to add to my original post that you can't get your child (other than your husband if he should change his mind) what you want. I have one step child who in her family was the only child until her father and mother both moved on and had additional children with different spouses. She is not really a "sibling" with any of these extra half siblings.

Instead they remind her that she is odd man out...she isn't a "true" kid of her bio dad since she doesn't live with him like my kids do, and she isn't a true kid of her step dad (who she calls dad and I think loves her like a bio child) because it is different...it ought not be but for example- she doesn't look like her step father or share last names with him like her half sibs do.

She is now a child without a family- or maybe too much family depending on how you look at it.

It is really sad.

I have felt trapped in my step life at times....I have wished that I could ditch this step thing behind and find a man who didn't have prior kids but once I had a child with this man there is no way out that is good for my kids. Once I realized that I focused on fixing my marriage and now it is stronger and I am happy here...but it took work.

can you work on what you have?

btw I don't want you to think I don't understand your anguish...my dh when we married changed his mind and suddenly didnt' wnat ANY kids with me (and I Had none) I was so angry with him. It is so frusterating to have your fertilty decided by another.
post #8 of 35
I am a baby of 7 children. It was very crowded in my house.

I raise my son, alone, for 11 years. He is an only child and has felt no losses.

I baby sat often and enrolled him in lots of activities & sports. He had lots of neighbors and friends from school.

I found that being an only child is, in some ways, better than having several siblings. My son was able to enjoy all these friends and relatives, then retire to his nice and quiet house. I had more money to spend on one child than my parents could spend on me because they had to split it up 7 ways.

I know you are only talking about having one other child and not 6 more, but either way it doesn't really matter.

Your child will develope just fine.

Having children should have been something discussed before the marriage. It's a mute point now.

I've known women who though having another child would fix their relationships, it just made them worse. One more person to throw into the mix.

And let's talk about bonding...I had 4 sisters and two brothers. It was all I could do to stay out of their way. Talk about sibling rivalries. We all had best friends that we were much closer to.

I hear of siblings that are very close, but the majority of siblings are more like astranged roommates.

I don't remember you mentioning what your child wants. Does your child discuss wanting a sibling?
post #9 of 35
I disagree with mommymine that half siblings don't feel like siblings. My half siblings feel the same to me as my biological brother.

But, just because you have another child doesn;'t guarentee that they will like each other or have a special relationship. I live in the same town as all three of my siblings. None of us are especially close. I have one brother that is 16 months younger than me, and we have honestly NEVER liked each other. My oldest brother I do like, but we aren't really close and don't see each other very much.

I do think that divorce is very painful and the effects are long lasting, even in the friendliest situations. Not having a sibling? Well, heck, I wish I had a little sister, but I don't feel any loss about it.
post #10 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flor
I disagree with mommymine that half siblings don't feel like siblings. My half siblings feel the same to me as my biological brother. .

I think my skid feels like a true sibling with the half sibs but I think that the half sibs feel more like they "belong" to the larger family unit in which they are fully bio related than the skid does.

In other words skid feels "odd man out" - not as much a member of either family as the half sibs who are 100% related to everyone in the family where as skid is only related to one parent in the unit.

And I will say that I think both my skid's steps are very loving and do accept and treat skid as thier own child. Still the difference lingers.
post #11 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by MomBirthmomStepmom
So, do you feel sadder for only children, or for children who have to watch their parents argue and split up over something, that really isn't a very huge issue...?

Do you feel sadder for a child who has no siblings, but has the ability to make friends, or a child who might not get to see their father very often, because their mother decided it was better for them to have a brother/sister than a full-time father?

I'll be blunt, I think you're being selfish, in a way. I understand the want for another child, but all I keep thinking is that you think a sibling is more important to your DS than his own father. You also think YOUR WAY is better than his way, and that your thoughts are better because they are masked by this 'it's for DS, not ME!' attitude.

To be honest. I think if you split for this reason, your DS would end up resenting you, along with any other child you had.

If your relationship is good despite this, why not try counseling and work things out...

Being an only-child isn't 'horrible', and won't kill anyone. Really, it won't.
That's what I think.

I think you should work on your marriage.

I had a lot of rage/resentment against my Dh over the circumcision issue. It was a big cloud. Therapy helped... a lot.

You chose this man to be your husband. What happens when the next man you choose doesn't work out? You walk out again??? What does that model for your child/ren? Causing disruption in children's lives... for what?????

Now your first born has to go between 2 homes... 2 different set of household rules... How do you think he'll react to that? Who do you think he'll be mad at?

Imagine the following... you remarry... your new husband gets a great job offer in another state. You "have to" move. You take your firstborn away from his father.

Is that fair to the father? Is that fair to your son? What??? he has to pay air fare to see his own kid? That's just not right (assuming he is not a drunk/gambling/abusive psycho.)

Or when your son is 12/13, decides he wants to live with dad... in another state. : Now you have to fly to see him. :

Or... your ex-husband remarries... a witch. And she controls the house/your ex- and there is nothing you can say/do about it.

Or... there are different rules in the dad's house (and there is nothing you can do/say about it.)

Or... your new, 2nd husband divorces YOU over something you can't agree on. : Wouldn't you want to *** work it out ****. Isn't it worth it???? Is that fair? Wouldn't it suck?

Personally, if I ever got a divorce... I would not remarry. (I'm not willing to gamble again with children involved... especially mine.) My number one priority would be to remain in the same zip code as DH (assuming he was a good person, and my DH is a great person) so my children could have 100% free access to their father.

I wouldn't date. I wouldn't want any twit (even if he was "Mr. Perfect") getting in between me and my children. I wouldn't want my children to get attached to any guy and then have a bad breakup (putting me in an emotional rollercoaster.) My children deserve better and so do I.

If I remarry, I'd wait till my children were 18. That way they wouldn't have any step-children issues. Growing up is hard enough.

Of course, I would LOVe to have more children! But... I think my other children would suffer (step issues) if I did... I wouldn't do it. And THAT is love. Love isn't always thinking about yourself (your own ego) it's thinking about other people.

Your kidding yourself (or are very ignorant of step issues) if you don't know that there is a high probability for anger on the part of your firstborn over the whole thing. He never asked for the big change. He loves his father/his family.

I think MommyMine's story is very common.
post #12 of 35
Ahem. Witch= insult? :

For me, I'd do nothing. The last thing you need with all the other issues going on in your relationship with your husband is to have the fluctuating hormones of pregnancy confusing everything. I would give it six months, work really really hard on being the best possible wife I could be and give him the opportunity to return the compliment. If, after three months or so, he's showing no signs of noticing the changes in your behaviour, I'd get him into counselling.
I'd also consider asking yourself what a new baby would mean for you? Someone who loves you unconditionally? Depends on you and trusts you? Someone that you can be intimate and loving with in a way that can be hard with a stroppy 2yo, and almost impossible with a distant husband???? Maybe? Is this 100% about a baby, or is it about you trying to fill the need that your marriage is creating? Just throwing that thought out for your consideration.
Stepfamilies can be fantastic- I know, I'm a very happily divorced and remarried woman who just added the half-sister to the blended family. But it's also incredibly tough- we have a hurt and confused small boy who is soiling himself and asking me daily "do you still love me, mummy?" You have NO idea how hard that is to deal with. I know that this too will pass and be replaced with a new set of issues, but in the meantime my baby boy is hurting because of something I did and it stinks.
post #13 of 35
R
post #14 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by flapjack
Ahem. Witch= insult? :
Let me clarify. witch = very mean person

i.e. stepmothers who (worse) hate their stepchildren and will do anything to get rid of them or simply don't like them and make their life difficult. Instead of being a facilitator, they become a thorn (on everyone's side). For whatever reason, the father doesn't stand up for his children. :

It does happen.

It's not a swipe against ALL stepmothers. I am a stepmother. I am not a witch. You are a stepmother. You are not a witch. A lot of the women on this board are stepmothers and they are not awful people.

So, no I'm not insulting stepmothers as a group. It is not a personal dig by any means towards anybody.

Quote:
Originally Posted by elsasmommy
You could say that it's selfish of OP to break up a marriage in order to have the family she longs for, but people have real emotional needs, and that's not wrong. Divorce is not ideal, but neither is living with a husband who doesn't care at all about your deepest feelings and needs, and is not willing to budge an inch.
I completely agree with you (I have a friend who is divorcing, because among other things, her DH has refused to have sex with her for the past 6 years, since the children came along. She has tried therapy, everything... I support her decision. She gave it her best. She at least tried!)

but is that happening here???? Is the OP married to someone who doesn't care at all about ALL her deepest feelings and needs. Is he a complete and selfish jerk????

So the question is, is this issue by itself, grounds for divorce? I say no.
post #15 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by elsasmommy
What is the big deal about one more baby? (snip) He sounds controlling to me.
Having another child IS a big deal. Having more than one child changes the structure of a family immesely. I think it's naive to think otherwise.

And how is he being any more controlling than she is? I don't actually think either is being controlling, but I don't see how a person maintaining a stance in a r-ship makes them controlling. Giving advice like this based on a few paragraphs posted on the internet really bothers me. I don't think any of us has enough informaiton to assert that about her husband.

As for Tanibani's "witch" comment, I took it as her tossing out the possible worst case scenarios that might (and DO) happen. Anyone considering divorcing should consider these possibilites. The moving out of state thing happens ALL THE TIME. My DH's ex moved our of state and it was a 2 year nightmare. A very real nightmare that we are all (mostly the child) still recoving from.

In general, I get really sad when I hear people talk about marriage as if they are disposable. The sentiment is "I can just get another hudband." I think our society has been damaged by this attitude. For better or for worse means nothing anymore. I was recently in a wedding where just days before the ceremony, the bride was seriously reconsidering the marriage, and her final decision was based on advice her own mother gave her. The advice? "Oh, honey... dont' worry about it. If it doesn't work out, there's always divorce." I was appalled that a mother would nonchallantly give her daughter such advice. And that the daughter happily took it, as if it was a cheerful reminder that this wasn't really the biggest commitment of her life.

But I guess in a way, she's right... marriage is NOT the biggest commitment we make in life. Having children is. And I absolutely respect a man for realzing that, even if his wife wants another one. Would it be better for him to agree to giving her another child with the condition of "you wanted him/her, you're raising 'em". I've seen that dynamic too and it's not pretty. Lots of resentment and a child who clearly knows they are loved by one parent more than the other. Very sad, indeed.
post #16 of 35
Well, I reread the original post. Mom states that she would be willing to work out other issues only if they have another child. Sounds like their problems are much more deeper than children. Also, she did say he was a great father.

Sometimes it is easier to fixate on one problem that is easily resolved in your opinion (have a child or don't have a child) rather than try to fix a problem that has grey areas.

Regarding this half sibling stuff...I didn't mention that 5 of my siblings are "half siblings" technically. I have never refered to them as that unless I was speaking to a distant relative of my father's and they only knew my father had two children (me & my sister). I would say, "Technically they are my half siblings, but we don't care about stuff like that. They are my brothers and sisters and nothing less."

My son has a half brother and two half sisters from his father. He has a stepsister and stepbrother with my marriage. He calls them brothers & sisters. He doesn't mention the step or half.
post #17 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by stressedstepmom
Well, I reread the original post. Mom states that she would be willing to work out other issues only if they have another child. Sounds like their problems are much more deeper than children. Also, she did say he was a great father.
Kinda sad though, that she's 'willing' to work on other issues, so long as SHE gets HER WAY on the biggest...

I feel for her husband, I really do. Cause as hard as it might be for your partner to say 'i don't want more children', when you clearly do, how hard would it be to be FORCED to have a child you were clear that you didn't want?

I'd feel pretty badly for that child too.

Honestly, I think it's coming down to, how much does this couple respect each other? Sounds like, not very much is DW is willing to either divorce, or force another child on her husband. She'll only work other things out if she gets her 'golden child'...

Alot of issues going on here. If divorce happens, I'd seriously doubt it'd be over this one issue of having a second child..


Oh, and whoever went on about what if one child dies and you have no others... you seriously think having a second child replaces that first? Or would make things EASIER if one died? If that's the reason people have a second child, I also feel kinda badly for those children... What a heavy burden placed on their existance
post #18 of 35
Another thing I keep thinking, is what happens when your child learns about this? I realize he is young right now, but that doesn't last forever... How would you feel if this got out, and your child suddenly felt that he just wasn't ENOUGH for YOU? Or that he wasn't what you wanted?

Also, if your marriage breaks up over this, and you indeed go on to have another child... How do you know your DS now would be happy with that? How would you feel if that made him completely miserable, but in your head, you did it all in the 'name' of his happiness?

Is it really HIS happiness in having a sibling you're thinking of, or your own desire to have another child? No matter what it is, it's OKAY, but I don't like that you're masking YOUR own wants behind it being 'for your child'... That's not right, IMO..



I was also put-off by the poster who said that if she divorce she would NEVER date or remarry etc... While that may be what you want, it's not realistic... I really hope you don't EVER have to deal with it, but no need in making it sound like it's HELL. Plenty of us here have done it, and it made our lives and our childrens' lives happy and complete. This IS afterall, the Blended Families board, and probably not the best place to go on about how you wouldn't do 'THAT' to your children... (having them 'deal' with step-issues)
post #19 of 35
It sounds like you really want another child and many of us can understand that urge to have another.

I can also understand your husband (whatever his reasons) doesn't want one.....and if it happened without his full blessing, he could be really resentful to that child and that would be an awful way to grow up, imo. Or he could leave feeling trapped into something he didn't want.

I agree that the best thing to do is probably let the issue rest for awhile. Even a year or two probably won't make a difference if he came around to decide that he'd like another, wouldn't that be worth it?

In the meantime, I also agree that perhaps some couples counseling and/or individual counseling might help you see the whole situation clearly and help you decide what is truly best for yourself and your family.
post #20 of 35
As a mom, it's hard for me to imagine not wanting another child. So, in my head, I reversed the situations and thought, what if the husband wanted to have another child and she didn't want to and he said he'd divorce her if he didn't get one more child. Now, it sounds controlling and hurtful. I really think that it would be shame to bring a child into the world when only one parent wants that. Sounds like a disaster. I really don't think we can just assume that he'll love it once he sees it.
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