A year and a half ago, my wife and I quit our jobs after saving to travel the world. It had been our dream since we met, but in the lead-up to travel, her biological clock went off. Six months into our travels, her brother got his girlfriend pregnant, and my wife suddenly realized she wanted children desperately. We bought a house with plenty of room to grow and resettled down. We got pregnant on our first try but lost the pregnancy at eight weeks. It was heartbreaking for us and especially hard on her. It took until that moment for me to realize that this isn’t what I want. Not even a little. It wasn’t part of the deal.
I hadn’t misled her on this point either. We had both agreed that children weren’t a priority for us. I still want to see the world, and she wants to have a family now. I don’t want a life without her, but I know I’m not enough for her anymore. I feel, at bare minimum, a duty to give her what she wants. I don’t know if I have it in me to stick around in this middle-class suburban life long enough to raise children, but at our age I don’t know that she will ever get a family without me. The way I see it I have two choices: her being a shattered person without children, or me living for the day our kids leave when we are in our 50s. I think there is a very real possibility that this will end our marriage either way. It isn’t what either of us want, but we can’t find a compromise in this scenario. Is it wrong for me to give her what she wants, knowing that our marriage will probably dissolve before the children are out of diapers?
—A Fork in the Cul-de-sac