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How Do You Know What's Right? To Stay Or Go? - Page 2

post #21 of 35
Originally Posted by MomBirthmomStepmom
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)

Sorry about making you or anybody else feel bad. This isn't personal. It's not directed at anybody on this board or in real life.

I'm just going with my own life experience/observations/common sense.

Everything is relative. It really depends on the situation.

Sometimes things can work out for the best (starting a new relationship/new family) and sometimes that IS the best thing to go ahead and do... and sometimes it isn't.

I'm in the latter camp.

Monkeybum, I feel bad that I included a quote that calls you "kinda selfish." I don't want to say it. I don't even want to think it! I don't want to make you feel bad (no matter how "bad" my post sounded).

I commend you for coming here and posting your problem. It takes guts to open yourself up for ALL sorts of opinions/critiques. I don't think you are a horrible person. I think you have a painful dilemma... I suggest you keep posting and maybe that can help sort it out. But then again, if it's too painful, I hope someone (a marriage counselor? therapist for yourself? a good friend?) can help you sort it all out.
post #22 of 35
Originally Posted by Flor
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.
post #23 of 35
Originally Posted by Tanibani

Sorry about making you or anybody else feel bad. This isn't personal. It's not directed at anybody on this board or in real life.

I'm just going with my own life experience/observations/common sense.

Everything is relative. It really depends on the situation.

Sometimes things can work out for the best (starting a new relationship/new family) and sometimes that IS the best thing to go ahead and do... and sometimes it isn't.

I'm in the latter camp.
I never said your thoughts and feelings for your own family weren't valid..

I simply said that saying you would never do 'THAT', on a board where we've ALL pretty much done just 'that', sounds kinda like a holier than thou attitude that probably isn't best here..

To be honest, I don't even see why that comment was warranted, and while I understand you didn't intend to hurt feelings, you did (mine anyway)..

I did 'THAT', and ya know what, my child's life is sooooo much better for it... But my situation and my circumstances lead me to it... I don't think it's resonable to say 'ohhhh, I'd NEVER do THAT', cause ya never know what might be in your future...
post #24 of 35
We have one child, by design, and there are many many people who don't understand that. My grandmother actually said something along the same lines as the pp who said "what if your child dies?" My response was "I'm NOT having a back-up child!"

I agree with all the other posters. It's much more important for your DC to have his dad around daily than it is to have a sibling. I wonder how it would be for you to sit back and think of the positive side of having one child? It's cheaper to travel, you only have to potty train once, you can better afford to follow his/her interests (band, sports, scouts et al).

And then, there's the issue of do you really want your dh to have a child that HE DOESN'T WANT? If he really, honestly does not want another kid and is manipulated into having one, what will that do to your marriage? What kind of father will he be to that child? To me it's much more unfair to bring an unwanted child into the world than it is to have an "only" child. If it were me, I wouldn't gamble that my husband would grow to love and accept another kid, because what if he doesn't?

Relax, work on your other issues. Your child is still very young and there's plenty of time to decide if BOTH of you are ready to have another child.

Good Luck
post #25 of 35
Thread Starter 

So Much To Think About

Wow Mammas! Thanks for all the posts!! You guys have some great advice, and quite honestly I can say I hadn't thought of it from some of your perspectives, so I appreciate you mammas posting your thoughts. I am not offended by any of your comments - I am glad to hear the "truth".

What I hadn't thought of (that many of you raised) is the fact that if I do move on to have another child with someone else, it may not work out like my perfect "fantasy" - the two sibs adoring each other, playing happily, going on family trips together, halloween dress-up parties together, Christmas morning giggling over gifts, etc. (all the things I had with my sibs). There are so many issues I guess I didn't think of. And I am glad to hear that some of you think a father is more important than a sib - ultimately, that is the question I am struggling with.

I do admit - perhaps part of my wanting another child is b/c I have this image of a "perfect" family, which mirrors my childhood - I had such an amazing childhood - I want to give that to DS. And that includes kids (plural) opening gifts together Christmas morning, playing outside together until dusk, going on family trips together, joking around the dinner table, snow-ball fights in the backyard - all the images/memories I have of "the perfect childhood" are of more than one child (I come from a family of 3 kids).

It is a blurry line of whether this is for "me" or DS. I feel that it will make me happy to give him those things, b/c I think it will make him happy. (Does that makes sense?).

I see families with one child out at restaurants sometimes and feel so sad for the child - the parents talking, the child always seems to be sitting quietly not talking. Or I see only kids trying to make friends when we go on vacation - versus the sibs playing together. It just seems sad to me.

It just comes back to my original question - is it more important for DS to have a dad and mom living together (what if we are arguing all the time) versus a sibling? When I say I am willing to work things out if DS will agree to another child it is because, as one PP put it, I do feel like DS doesn't care at all about my happiness. I have never felt that he has. I feel like if he would agree to have another that he would be taking a step towards caring about my and DS happiness. When I feel he is being totally selfish, I feel like he is not worth working things out with.

Background on DH - he is very stubborn and has always hated change. He gets in his comfort zone and does not want anything to disrupt that. After dating for 3 years, I said I wanted to get married, he said "can't we just stay the same? Things are so good...". I said, "I was clear at the beginning of the relationship that I wanted to get married someday and have a family" and I told him that if we weren't engaged by the end of the year, that I thought we should move on (i.e. break up) b/c we obviously wanted different things. He proposed in November. Once engaged, he said "we should have gotten engaged sooner". Once married, he said regularly that getting married was the best thing he'd ever done, he hadn't known life could be even better than dating.

We had agreed before being married that we would have a child, (and think about a second based on how it went with the first). After we were married, he kept putting it off saying "I am scared to have a child, I don't want it to change things, can't we just stay the same, things are so good...". (Yes, he actually said those same words again). After 4 years, I finally said "you knew I wanted a child when we got married, I married you with the understanding that we wanted the same thing. If you now don't want children, then we need to consider moving on b/c I want a family and was clear about that from the beginning". 2 months later, he said let's start trying. We got pregnant right away. He loves DS more than anything in the world, says he never knew he could love anyone so much, and says he is so glad we had DS, he never knew life could be so rewarding with a child.

So you see a pattern here no doubt...I guess a few things happened in the meantime...

This is my side of things of course, but when DS was born, DH suddenly became selfish. Life was no longer revolving around him, it was revolving around DS. I started seeing this very selfish side of him that I really disliked.

Here are a few examples off the top of my head...as a newborn, DS would only sleep on my chest and only if I was sitting up for the first month so I slept on a chair. Our bedroom is over the garage = cold, and it was the coldest January in 50 years, (minus 25 celcius reguarly). I was nursing all night w no top on, sleeping on a chair and a small blanket. Our room was freezing so we had a space heater. DH would get up in the night and turn off the heater b/c HE was hot!!!! (He was in the king bed with a down duvet and flannel jammies on). We argued every night - he could not comprehend (or in my eyes didn't care) that DS and I were freezing all night. He still kept turning it off. Fight number 1. This arguement continues to this day, 2 years later b/c we co-cleep and DS refuses to have blankets, I night nurse so he and I freeze and are up all night as DH keeps turning off the heater.

And it all went downhill from there. Some of it is just silly.

If DH is hungry, he actually takes DS's food from his plate b/c HE wants it he says, even if DS wants it. MY HUSBAND TAKES FOOD FROM MY TODDLER!

After I was up all night nursing/walking DS, etc., he would roll over in the morning and say "can you get up with DS? I'm sooo tired" after he had slept all night.

He told me I am "spoiling" DS for Christmas - I have bought him 3 gifts. DH is not buying him anything b/c I have apparently bought him "enough", yet DH gives me a list of 10 items he wants (including a leather jacket). He says he doesn't want me to spend any more money on DS for Christmas b/c he wants me to pay for us all to go to ClubMed in February, (aka put DS in daycare so DH and I can drink pina coladas by the pool - again, he doesnt' want me to put money towards DS in case it takes away from something DH might get).

I earn 3x what DH makes, he keeps asking me to make more, get more promotions, bonuses etc. so i can buy him a car and a big house. Every house I suggest is "too small" for him. He has me "pay" him his days wages when he takes a day off to be with DS to accomodate my work schedule.

When I was pregnant, he kept asking ME to rub HIS feet. I kid you not... Never once did I get a back massage. (Is that just in the movies?)

He will walk in when I (or DS) is watching TV and just change the channel to the football game - totally inconsiderate.

He has never taken my car to get it gassed/fixed/oil change, he never scrapes the ice off my car, he refuses to help me with my laundry (I bring in 3/4 of our income AND work 60+ hours/week AND am on my own with DS in the evening due to DH schedule - he is in a union in a job with lots of time off, but works evenings).

I buy most of DS clothing and toys second hand, DH complains that I buy too much for DS, but then wants me to buy him new shoes, a new bike, etc. and he only wants "the best", (but crap is "good enough" for DS).

We had our biggest fight about what daycare DS should go in to - I got him a spot in a very good but expensive daycare (that I was paying for), but DH wanted to put DS in a daycare where they were nearly bankrupt, had the owner's son helping in the classroom, they left a boiling pot on the stove open to the kids area while they gave us a tour, and they went for "walks" in the parking lot of a busy plaza - DH said it was "good enough" b/c it was cheaper. It was all about money - he didn't want to sacrifice any of "his" lifestyle for DS. Totally unacceptable in my eyes, and totally selfish.

His reasons for not wanting another child?
- "He wants to be able to work out every day", and my promise that he can have time to work out, #1 would stay in daycare, I'd manage #2 (I'd have a year off mat leave making $90K from my employer!) is "not good enough".
- "He wants to be able to go out to dinner", we go out now on our own about once/2months, my promise that we'll go more often "isn't good enough".
- "He doesn't want the extra cost" (even though I bear most/all of the cost). He doesn't want to reduce any money benefitting him...
- He "wants to put his feet up and have a beer and not worry about whether DS is going to fall and hit his head", (his words); he wants to "get drunk and not have to worry about rolling over on DS" (we co-sleep). The funny thing is, he doesn't drink very much, yet this is one of his reasons for wanting another child??? Promises of cribs and bottles don't mean anything, (and he's had several weekends away with "the boys" so it's not like he doesn't get to do that!).
- He just generally thinks it's too hard, he likes to sleep and says it's hard work having a baby. His words.

Yeah, we have some fun times, but I hate the selfish side of him I have seen since DH was born. I understood him putting himself before me, we both approached our relationship as "equal partners", but I can't understand him putting himself before DS. I want to spoil DS, DH wants me to spoil DH. He just seems selfish and immature to me.

When I say he is a great dad, he is very gentle, kind, loving, affectionate and caring towards DS (other than taking his food now and then!). He plays with DS for hours on end, and he teaches DS all kinds of things. DS adores him incredibly.

I personally wonder if it is a power thing - b/c I make 2/3 to 3/4 of our income (and I make a lot of the decisions around DS's care) I think DH may feel that this is something he has "control" over. I have seen him make decisions b/c he "can" before, not necessarily b/c it's the decision he feels is right. But I don't know how to get out of the "power" position to deal with that. He is controlling in minor ways, which I've talked to him about. I've talked to him about a few of the thing above, and he does "try" sometimes, but most of the time is clueless or pretends that he is.

I do think that perhaps "leaving" isn't the answer. I do want to think what it would do to DS, I just don't know what it would do to DS. My parents divorced when I was 18, it was horrible, but I survived and my parents are both happy now, there is a lot less yelling in their homes. (Life was great until I was 18 and my dad had an affair, so I really did have a great childhood from my perspective, at the time).

I guess I am struggling with two big things - I have always looked at my life, figured out what kind of life I wanted, set a goal and then did what it took to get there (historically only having myself in the way). I have always been very goal oriented. I guess I am approaching this the same way, (I want a larger family). But the problem is that it would have to be at a cost to DS, which I am not sure I'm willing to incur.

My other issue is that DH has always needed a little "nudge", and then is so glad I "convinced" him to do something after the fact. However, I think he means it this time, and I have to be prepared to actually go if that is my decision.

Anyway, enough babbling on...(although this really is therapeutic!). I really appreciate any more advice or experiences anyone chooses to share. This is a huge decision and not one to take lightly. I do agree that counselling should be a priority for DH and I. I really appreciate all of the "realities" of step-families that some of you have shared. Perhaps nothing is perfect and I'd be trading one set of problems for another.

*sigh*. At least you have all convinced me not to just leave, which was the point I was at when I wrote the first post.

post #26 of 35
I don't have time right now, but will reply more tomorrow.

Now that you've given a fuller picture, my thoughts on this have changed, dramatically!! Although, maybe not in the direction that you'd think (as in the 'should I do THIS or THIS?' in the OP), but a whole new idea..


Will write you more tomorrow!
post #27 of 35
Ah. As mbmsm said, that kind of changes stuff. I don't know what her idea is- but I'd start working on an exit plan. Still give my marriage 100% for a few months, but know how and where I'm going if things don't work out.

Have you tried lurking in single parenting?
post #28 of 35
Ah. As mbmsm said, that kind of changes stuff. I don't know what her idea is- but I'd start working on an exit plan. Still give my marriage 100% for a few months, but know how and where I'm going if things don't work out.

Have you tried lurking in single parenting? There's some very wise mamas there, and it could give you an idea of how life will be.
post #29 of 35
I must admit it doesn't change anything for me.

I think it sounds like two people who feel they are "giving up so much" and neither can see the other partner's side. My bet is if he was here typing he would have a very different story.

I think that my advice continues to be that you need to work on this marriage. Take the time off to go to marriage therapy with a licenced marriage therapist!

I think you owe it to your child to try. You really have to do all you can to fix this before you start setting your sites elsewhere.

Divorce isn't easy and there is a HUGE difference between being a single parent and a married parent with a dh who doesn't seem to help much. Incidentally it sounds like you will be paying alimony and maybe even cs if you do get divorced.
post #30 of 35
Thread Starter 


Mombirthmomstepmom, I'm dying to hear your idea!!!

post #31 of 35
I personally urge you to re read everything you have just written. From what you have said I cant see the healthy parts of the relationship, nor can I see any of it getting better if you have another child, whether he consents to it or not. From what you have written you are essentially a single mum as it is... I cant tell you to stay/go or have another child or not, just that you need to start looking out for you and your son who is already here. Seek councilling for both of you, or better still seek councilling for yourself.
post #32 of 35

I remember when I was pregnant with my second child, my midwife and I were chatting during our wonderful hour long appointments, and she asked me if I was afraid of transitioning to two children and that taking away from the first, since another client of hers was struggling with this. I told her, and stick to this day, to the idea that: The greatest gift I can give my child, and the thing that only I can give her, is a sibling.

I grew up with one sister, and we had some rough spots but honestly I don't know how I would have made it through without her. I know others are perfectly happy with their only child, and that many only children are perfectly happy, and that some sibling children are unhappy, but for me it was clear from the beginning that children in a lot of ways need each other. I actually had hoped to have more than just the two girls...and my dh (at the time agreed)...

But a few weeks later he had an affair and within months our "family" was a "broken home" because he was too selfish. I read this thread when it first came out, and didn't post...but once I read your description of your husband, I got so many chills, because really, if someone is selfish enough to compete with their children, they are incapable of putting the children first. I remember that my ex had a slinky in his office/our basement, and he wouldn't allow any of dd's toys down there, but she saw this one and was interested in the many times I took her down to do laundry (like you, I did most of the work, and had to make ends meet financially as well). He got so mad that I let her play with "HIS" toy...it was not something he was willing to share. And I was just floored by that attitude...because there was nothing of mine that was worth more than my child's happiness, not one thing.

That selfishness manifested in his affair and determination (yes, determination, he refused counseling, refused to end it, etc.) to end our marriage and I think it was just when I was becoming more independent/making things work around his stubborn selfishness that it fully manifested. (after years of working part time to make up enough for us to not be on the streets, I started doing in home childcare and training for doula-ing and childbirth teaching, and was finally making enough to keep us afloat+)

As you saw this same sort of scenario happen with your parents, I'd ask you this...what if you DON'T have another child, and stay with him, and he one day just leaves you and your son? How would you deal with the regrets then? How would you feel about all the sacrifices you'd made? And heck, he'd probably be able to get alimony from you as well, since you make so much more, plus half time with your child, and suddenly you, who'd never done anything to NOT put your child first, are spending holidays alone. Because though none of us want to imagine these as possibilities, it is right outside the door....

I know I'm bringing a lot into this, but since it happened to your parents I'm sure it's not foreign to you. And since you've noticed that your dh's selfishness has taken form since your child was born, then it's even more likely that the me-first attitude will take hold before not just another child, but both you and your child.

If I were in your shoes, I'd try counseling, to truly get all these issues on the table. Perhaps it would help give you perspective on what's making your dh tick, how he feels threatened by your commitment to mothering, etc. And perhaps he'd learn a little more about how unacceptable it is to compete with a needful and helpless child. And maybe having some perspective would help you work through the choice to expand your family together, rather than as a power struggle.

But there is no way that one spouse should sacrifice everything in a marriage when the other spouse is determined to take and demand and drain life away. That isn't a marriage, really and truly it isn't, it's a hierarchy where the giving spouse is on the bottom. I found it helpful to read Shel Silverstein's "The Giving Tree" and see what he projects as the future for those who give all in hopes of an occasional affection...it really offered me a lot of perspective.

sorry you're faced with such a difficult situation, but you'll probably make it through this as a stronger person and mother no matter what you choose, so long as you exercise the reflection that you're showing here.
post #33 of 35
I don't mean to sound rude, buy why do you want to have another kid with this guy? As for all his lame excuses about why he doesn't want another one-- I think it means he just doesn't want another one. He is making up excuses because you want an explanation.

I really understand the part about being goal oriented. This has been a hard thing for me about marriage. Maybe the hardest. Only being one half in charge!! Never in my life have I had to consult with others. I am a teacher. I am in charge of my classroom. I wanted to go to college, I got the scholarships and I went. I wanted to live in Mexico, I saved up, found a way to do it and did it. Now, I am married and I have to consult a partner and some days it drives me up the wall. I am learning, but it does at times seem easier if I could just do it all myself (dh is wonderful, but sometimes,. . )

I hope your marriage can be worked on.

Your descriptions of those happy times with family seem like they can take place with cousins, neighborhoods, and friends of family, too.

I have a different impression of single children families. In high school, a friend of mine was an only child, and I was so jealous. She seemed so mature. There was no "kids tables" "kids bedrooms" "kids sit in the backseat" while we adults are over here-- she was part of a threesome. They traveled so much and she was always going on these adventures with her family. They listened to her like she was one of them, not like she was "one of the kids." I do a bit miss the times before ds was born when it was just dh and dss and me and we could go anywhere and do anythign on the spur of the moment. I don't know why have 2 kids seems to make everything seem so expensive and hard to organize, but I do feel more tied to the ground. If you are going to have just one child, embrace it. Celebrate the things your threesome can do.
post #34 of 35
I want to hear MBMSM's idea too - but will put in my $0.02 in the meantime.

First, I'm assuming, hopefully correctly, that there are good things about DH. You listed a lot of bad things, and this being a safe place to vent, that makes sense. But I'm basing my reply on the assumption that there *are* some things that are good about him/your relationship/your marriage.

It does not sound like this is a great situation to bring another child into. (1) DH has made is clear he doesn't want one and (2) your marriage seems to have some issues that would be better worked out before having another kidlet.

I can very much understand your feeling that he needs to give in on *something* before you'll commit to working on the other issues in your marriage - but I don't think the having another child issue is the one to test him on.

Maybe it's better, in repairing your relationship, to start with the smaller things?

As for the sibling vs. married parents issue - I don't think either is "more" important than the other. If the parents are miserable together, the child will have an unhappy childhood by default, sibling or no. If parents divorce because of their relationship just not working, life will likely be better for all involved. If parents divorce so that they can go have other kids, it leaves the eldest, first child with lots of resentment towards their parents, their siblings, etc.

So, to me, this post isn't at all about siblings vs. married parents. It's about working on the issues in your marriage so that you can move forward to either having a second child together on a healthy foundation or parting ways knowing you've put in 100% in trying to make it work.

The sibling issue isn't the real issue at all.
post #35 of 35
I say your son is far better off an only child than having to go thru your divorce...I was from a broken home and also have a blended family of my own now. Trust me, stay...work on the smaller issues. Renew your love for each other.....then if another baby will come, it will happen. Its not always up to us, you know..it's up to them to!
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