My husband, who is 46 years old, has two children from a previous marriage. Before we were married, he agreed that we could have one child together. Our son is now 2 years old. After I had him, I put my husband in charge of birth control.
My husband has been talking this entire time that he wants to get a vasectomy. However, he has done nothing to facilitate this happening. So, his method of choice for birth control has been the withdrawal method.
My husband says he doesn't want more children because he will be "too old." That is first and foremost his only reason for not having more. His father had a massive heart attack when he was only 50 or 51, so I think this weighs heavily on his mind.
However, I am unfortunately having *major* baby-lust. I feel like we are in this limbo-land. I keep hoping that he'll somehow accidentally not withdraw in time, but, being older, his timing has been very good.
When we had our son, he was not super-excited at the prospect of having another child because, I think, of his experiences with his first wife. The children ended up putting a wedge between them, and his ex-wife made his life hell with them. His experience with our son and me has been a world different because I'm a very different person than his ex-wife. He absolutely adores our son, and says over and over what a different experience it has been with him than in a house with his ex-wife and young children (he is still very involved in their lives, of course).
I am tired of being in this limbo-land and need to discuss what his plans are regarding the vasectomy. But part of me wishes that he'd just let it slide and we may have a happy accident.
Here are some of what I want to address:
1. I really wish that my son had a sibling. There is an 8 year difference between him and my stepdaughter.
2. #1 above leads to this concern: We are going to be snow birds more and more as the years go by. We just purchased a home in Arizona, but plan to stay in our current state in the summer months. This will probably pick up speed in another 5-10 years. I feel like my son may feel slightly alone and isolated without a sibling in this situation.
3. His concern about being an older parent: He already will be an older parent with my son...If something should happen to him, I feel like having a bigger family will help his son rather than hurt him. Financially we are all taken care of. This isn't an issue (where it WAS an issue when his father died. His father left them with very little, and his mother was disabled and had to work with deteriorating health).
Anyway, what I am wondering is how to address this to him. What do I say? Are there more points I should make? Or am I just putting the nail in the coffin for any chances of having more children by bringing these things up?
1. Your husband is an older dad and has reasonable concerns about this.
2. The two of you agreed to have just one child.
3. Your husband says he wants a vasectomy.
4. But instead of getting one, he's using a notoriously unreliable method of birth control.
5. You want another baby.
6. Despite your husband's desire NOT to have another baby, you are allowing withdrawal to be your bc method.
7. Your husband has 3 children already.
If I were you, here's what I'd say:
"Dh, I know we agreed to have one child. And I know you're concerned about not having more kids, especially at your age. You've said all this time that you plan on getting the V. But you haven't. I, on the other hand, want another child. And with your preferred method of BC, chances are that we WILL have another. This leads me to think that A) you don't really mind having another kid, despite what you say, or B) you're just not willing to walk the walk and get the snip already. Either way, I feel like we're in limbo. I need to know that our family is complete - or it isn't."
Because really, your dh owes you both honesty and action about this. Don't look at it as putting a nail in the coffin of anything by bringing this up. Talking honestly and making plans together is what responsible partners do.
What I wouldn't do? Hope for (or god forbid, engineer) an accidental pregnancy. That would be an exceedingly terrible idea.
thank you so much for those sage words. i am in a similar place as femininefigure. my dh, 45 yo (i'm 35), has a 13 yo dd from a previous (brief but treacherous) marriage, and we have a 3 yo dd together. we get to have his older dd every other weekend and some occasional week long visits (that are usually spent w/ the grandparents). our dd was a surprise - we weren't married, didn't plan to get married pre-pregnancy but knew we wanted to be life partners. i wasn't sure that i could even carry a pregnancy to term after 3 miscarriages with my first husband. in that previous life i always pictured myself having 2 children, but when things went awry, i readjusted my expectations, went back to grad school and mostly dismissed the thought of having children...until i got pregnant w/ the new life partner. i *loved* being pregnant, nursing, and generally being a mamma to an infant. since my dd was about 18 mo, i have gone back and forth on my desire to have another. early on, discussions w/ my dh were always, let's wait. but last fall, when i got really serious about my desire to have another, he said "no" but it was mostly "a not on purpose". my rational brain agrees with him, my maternal heart does not. :( there are so many reasons not to have another one and no real rational reason to do so other than because i want two of my own children and our dd would have a full-time sibling close to her age.
reasons not to:
- dh's age (but he's in supremely good health)
- i'm the breadwinner, dh is the sahd and has about half my earning potential, so it's not fair to insist on having another when he will be the primary caregiver
- i would really want to stay home for the first year, but we could barely afford an unpaid maternity leave of more than 2-3 months
- on a very tight budget, we struggle to just cover the basics and put a little back into savings, college funds and retirement
- we'd have to get a bigger car
- we have no family in state except my aunt two hours away (and she's not interested in helping out more than getting together a few times a year) so very little help from family and we have to fly to visit them
i wish i could reconcile my rational brain w/ my irrational heart, or get pregnant to end my misery! we've had no discussion of the "v" word and use condoms and fertility awareness for birth control. we still have most of the essential early baby gear. everytime i start to seriously bug dh about wanting another, he gets rid of more baby gear. :) however, when i bug him about getting rid of all the gear, he says we should keep it just in case! i am essentially in limbo. mostly i feel like if i really tell him how i'm feeling, it'll just make him feel like he's letting me down and i don't want that stress on our marriage. i recently came really close to allowing an "accident" but ultimately could not betray my dh's trust in me.
i feel like i need counseling... :(
Honestly, you have a whole list of excellent reasons not to have another baby. For the two of you, it seems as if it would add a whole lot of financial and emotional stress.
I would say the same thing I said to the OP. Talk to your dh. Tell him how you are feeling. That is what grownups do when they are in a loving partnership. To me, it sounds as if you know, in your heart, that having a baby would be the wrong decision. And your dh feels the same way. But neither of you are willing to bring that fact out into the open. Instead, you are reluctant to talk to your dh about it, while he is reluctant to get rid of the baby gear, all the while avoiding the discussion that needs to happen. If the upshot of that discussion is, "You know what, we really shouldn't have another baby, much as a part of us would like that," then it will be out in the open, and you can both mourn that path not taken together. It won't be your dh feeling he's let you down, it will be something you come to an agreement about as a couple. But if you never talk about it, there's going to be resentment and frustration all around. Especially if an "accident" occurs.
I have come to my senses - at least for the time being ;^). And I didn't even need counseling! :D I've shifted my perspective and am focusing more on the blessings I have rather than what I don't have. Oh, and we've recently gotten rid of the baby gear.