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

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Old 12-05-2005, 08:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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?
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Old 12-06-2005, 03:01 AM
 
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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.
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Old 12-06-2005, 03:09 AM
 
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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.
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Old 12-06-2005, 02:33 PM
 
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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.
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Old 12-06-2005, 04:30 PM
 
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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.
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Old 12-06-2005, 04:33 PM
 
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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!
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Old 12-06-2005, 08:35 PM
 
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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.
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Old 12-07-2005, 06:44 PM
 
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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?
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Old 12-08-2005, 02:58 AM
 
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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.
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Old 12-08-2005, 04:49 AM
 
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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.
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Old 12-08-2005, 05:25 AM
 
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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.

10 - boy
5.5 - girl
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Old 12-08-2005, 08:52 AM
 
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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.

Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.
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Old 12-08-2005, 10:38 AM
 
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Old 12-08-2005, 01:01 PM
 
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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.

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Old 12-08-2005, 02:04 PM
 
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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.
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Old 12-08-2005, 06:17 PM
 
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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.
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Old 12-08-2005, 06:57 PM
 
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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
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Old 12-08-2005, 07:17 PM
 
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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)
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Old 12-08-2005, 07:42 PM
 
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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.
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Old 12-11-2005, 02:27 AM
 
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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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Old 12-11-2005, 02:38 PM
 
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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.

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Old 12-12-2005, 05:12 PM
 
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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.
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Old 12-12-2005, 05:15 PM
 
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Quote:
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...
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Old 12-12-2005, 05:37 PM
 
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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

addicted, homeschooling, freelancing mama to DS 8. Pet mama to Harvey the Wonder Mutt :, Pnut: and Autumn : Oh, yeah, and
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Old 12-13-2005, 03:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

Kathy.
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Old 12-13-2005, 03:29 AM
 
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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..

*hugs*

Will write you more tomorrow!
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Old 12-13-2005, 02:18 PM
 
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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?

Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.
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Old 12-13-2005, 02:18 PM
 
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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.

Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.
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Old 12-13-2005, 02:26 PM
 
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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.
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Old 12-14-2005, 10:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Mombirthmomstepmom, I'm dying to hear your idea!!!

Kathy.
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