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Wedding Woes

Talk. To. Your. Wife.

Dear Prudence,

My wife and I have been married for 10 years. We have 5-year-old twins that she carried. The idea was she would carry one pregnancy, and I would carry the next with the same sperm donor. My wife keeps bringing up that it is my “turn” next. I am older than her, and I know we need to do this now if we are going to do it. I’ve realized I don’t want to. I don’t want to give up my place in my career. I am glad to be out of the diapers stage, and we’re finally able to travel and enjoy our lives again. Having the twins was rough on my wife. She became clinically depressed twice and had to be hospitalized once. I had to quit my job in order to take care of her and the babies. We burned through a lot of our savings. We got stronger as a family for it, but I can’t put my wife through that again. She has always wanted a big family. I am fine with our size now but am open to adoption. I don’t want to break our promise, but I can’t see how giving up the good life we have is worth it. What do I do? How do I tell her?

—Not Ready for Round Two

Re: Talk. To. Your. Wife.

  • If only there were words.

    But seriously - I think because it's an emotional decision that laying out the finances also helps.   Itemize what this can do from a health and financial standpoint.   And continue to outline what that does for the future. 

    DH and I never really had the "it's time to have a 3rd" conversation but after realizing that he's very introverted and needs his time to himself and growing kids are still demanding, I am not going out of my way to want another.   He knows this.   I think it's better for our mental health.  But the only way that you convey your point of view is to explain it. 
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    LW just needs to talk to her wife.  Pull off the band aid because the longer LW waits, the worse it may be overall.  The wife is already saying its LWs turn to carry, so the conversation needs to be done soon.

    "Wife, this is very hard for me to say.  But I've done a lot of thinking about it and I am very happy with our current family.  I do not like the idea of me being pregnant for multiple reasons.  I know that this is not what you were expecting and we had previously discussed having a large family.  I know we need to talk about this in depth.  I know I just sprung this on you, so we can do talk now or after you have had some time to think first."

    I think LW needs to make sure they will be 100% on board with an adoption before even mentioning that part to her wife.  LW said they are very happy with their current family size but also open to adoption.  Those to me are two different things. 

    Also, if the wife decided to carry more children, it doesn't necessarily mean she will have the same depression and hospitalization issues as she did the first pregnancy.  But that should also be something LW should think about and be ready to respond to.

  • LW doesn't sound like they're being inconsiderate or wrong.  Pretty basically, LW needs to talk to their wife, tell them everything in that letter, and see how it all shakes out.
  • You tell her in as clear, and kind way as possible.

     “Wife, I know we talked about having more kids but I’m not so sure now. Can we talk about this?”

    Things change. People change. You made a promise before you knew how everyone would heal from the birth, and you couldn’t know that the things that happened would happen. But she also can’t know what you’re feeling if you don’t tell her. 
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    I got nothin' here except "speak".

    Probably counseling afterwards if LW's wife is upset or has her heart set on more children or anything like that, but FFS, TALK TO HER.
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  • LW has expressed some really serious, valid concerns here, and she needs to express those same concerns to her wife when they can discuss the issue privately and without the kids around. If the wife takes it hard, which she very well might, then it's time for some serious counseling.
  • I think a difficult pregnancy and/or aftermath can potentially leave long lasting scary/negative feelings for both parents.

    That happened with my sister and BIL.  My sister had a very healthy, no issues pregnancy leading up to the birth of their first child.  But then she (my sister, not the baby) had terrifying complications a short while later.  They were originally planning on having 2-3 kids.  The experience really changed both their views on that.  They definitely didn't want a 3rd and that never changed.  For a few years, they weren't even sure if they wanted a 2nd child anymore, but were leaning towards "no".  Though they did eventually come back to wanting a 2nd child and, fortunately, her second pregnancy/delivery were fine.

    At any rate, these are hard issues because people's feelings can change with time and it doesn't mean anyone is the "bad" person.  I can understand where the LW feels guilt she wants to change what they decided years ago, but it's an even worse decision to just go along with it.  They need to have these discussions and I think some marriage counseling sessions would be especially helpful.
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