Wedding Woes

How can you have children when you're married to a man-baby?

Dear Prudence,

My wonderful husband has become a shell of his former self, and I feel both conflicted and responsible. We discussed the possibility of children before marrying. He always wanted them, and I was very unsure. I told him I have deep-rooted abandonment issues and PTSD from violent past relationships, and he’s been very patient and kind with me. After some soul-searching, I realized I was ready to have a child. But I really only want one. He was devastated. “Only one? That’s almost as bad as not having any!” Now he won’t look at me, he won’t touch me, and he doesn’t smile anymore. It’s been a month, and I’m walking on eggshells.

He says he still loves me and that it’s not a deal-breaker, but my decision has left him unmotivated at work, at home, and everywhere else. I make significantly more money than him. I purchased the house we live in and could carry our mortgage if he lost his income. However, if I let go of my demanding career, we would not be able to make ends meet. Because he’s a small business owner, I hardly see him. He recently revealed that he dreams of making enough money to “allow” me to stay at home and raise multiple children, while also paying for his parents’ and relatives’ retirement. Although I applaud his selflessness, this isn’t what I envision for myself. And if I do think of being a full-time caretaker, my thoughts selfishly drift into business concepts I could pursue in my “free time.”

He blurted out last night that he feels like he’s a failure. He said he failed to sell me on his vision and that if he had done a better job of “painting a picture of our future” that I would be open to it. Am I being too practical or cold? I feel absolutely horrible seeing him so down. I also feel guilty, knowing that if I would just say yes to his dream, he would be over the moon. What next steps can I take to improve his morale and outlook?

—Out of Alignment

Re: How can you have children when you're married to a man-baby?

  • Ok first of all, as an only child I'm actually a little insulted by this dude's reaction. {mind you, me being an only child is a separate issue from LW}

    Second, how this dude is banking an entire life on more than one kid is stupid a.f What happens if something causes them to only have 1 child - whether health reasons or otherwise.

    I think this would all be a personal deal-breaker. LW's H is acting like a dick when LW said for a long time they didn't want kids ... then changes their mind and accepts one. Now this? No, unacceptable. What if LW never changed their mind on kids?
    short+sassy
  • LW, your "wonderful husband" is guilting and manipulating you, and trying to decide how you're going to live your life without giving you a chance to be part of the conversation. 

    I suggest you hold off on having even one child with this man. I'm not sure you should even stay married to someone who would treat you like this.
    image
    short+sassy
  • You two need counseling because you just don't sound like you're on the same page.  You need to talk and figure out where you two are aligned and if salvaging this is possible. 
    short+sassycharlotte989875
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    This guy is an immature ass with unrealistic dreams. 

    MissKittyDangercharlotte989875
  • kerbohl said:
    I don't suppose this guy has even considered being a stay-at-home dad.  It seems like he has too much pride to "let" his wife be the breadwinner while he cares for the children.  Honestly, if he's the one who wants the kids so bad, he might end up being the one better suited to stay home with them and raise them.  It doesn't sound like this is something he is willing to do though, so why should LW have to sacrifice her career for what sounds like his family dream?
    Right?  

    But why aren't they talking about this?  It's so odd that he thinks that he can finance all of this too.   Has he talked to someone in financial planning?  Some of this is looking like communication issues and the other part looks like this is a guy with impossible pipe dreams that can never be accomplished given his current state. 
    VarunaTTcharlotte989875short+sassyOliveOilsMom
  • LW's H sounds like he's immature, unrealistic, and short-sighted at best and manipulative and has been trying to gaslight her at worst.  He's clearly built a life in his head where he's the hero to an adoring family and money to just throw around, but in reality he's adulting like everyone else and living the daily grind.  And now he's blaming LW for his 'vision' failing because she's a shit ton more pragmatic and reasonable, plus the bread-winner?  Ugh.  Honestly if he cannot be reasoned with (which would include therapy, IMO), I say DTMFA.
    short+sassybanana468flantasticOliveOilsMom
  • He also needs to stop with the idea that women only work because they have to, because their husbands don’t make enough money for them to stay home. Newsflash buddy many of us work because we want to, we enjoy it, and we want to keep doing it regardless of if/when we have children. 
    mrsconn23short+sassyMyNameIsNot
  • mrsconn23 said:
    LW's H sounds like he's immature, unrealistic, and short-sighted at best and manipulative and has been trying to gaslight her at worst.  He's clearly built a life in his head where he's the hero to an adoring family and money to just throw around, but in reality he's adulting like everyone else and living the daily grind.  And now he's blaming LW for his 'vision' failing because she's a shit ton more pragmatic and reasonable, plus the bread-winner?  Ugh.  Honestly if he cannot be reasoned with (which would include therapy, IMO), I say DTMFA.
    Right?  I can't figure out if he's an idiot or a manipulative jerk. 
    mrsconn23charlotte989875
  • banana468 said:
    mrsconn23 said:
    LW's H sounds like he's immature, unrealistic, and short-sighted at best and manipulative and has been trying to gaslight her at worst.  He's clearly built a life in his head where he's the hero to an adoring family and money to just throw around, but in reality he's adulting like everyone else and living the daily grind.  And now he's blaming LW for his 'vision' failing because she's a shit ton more pragmatic and reasonable, plus the bread-winner?  Ugh.  Honestly if he cannot be reasoned with (which would include therapy, IMO), I say DTMFA.
    Right?  I can't figure out if he's an idiot or a manipulative jerk
    my money is on manipulative.
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    banana468 said:
    mrsconn23 said:
    LW's H sounds like he's immature, unrealistic, and short-sighted at best and manipulative and has been trying to gaslight her at worst.  He's clearly built a life in his head where he's the hero to an adoring family and money to just throw around, but in reality he's adulting like everyone else and living the daily grind.  And now he's blaming LW for his 'vision' failing because she's a shit ton more pragmatic and reasonable, plus the bread-winner?  Ugh.  Honestly if he cannot be reasoned with (which would include therapy, IMO), I say DTMFA.
    Right?  I can't figure out if he's an idiot or a manipulative jerk
    my money is on manipulative.
    Yeah. I think he was hoping to bully her into thinking she wanted to be a SAHM of many when he found out they initially disagreed about that, and is upset because that's clearly not working. Maybe he even thought that because she's been abused in the past, she'd be more susceptible.

    I'm pretty sure I don't want to be a full-time SAHM at any point. I enjoy having the kids on the two days a week that I do, but that's because I can go and enjoy my work the other days to refresh myself and miss them a little.
    MissKittyDanger
  • banana468 said:
    mrsconn23 said:
    LW's H sounds like he's immature, unrealistic, and short-sighted at best and manipulative and has been trying to gaslight her at worst.  He's clearly built a life in his head where he's the hero to an adoring family and money to just throw around, but in reality he's adulting like everyone else and living the daily grind.  And now he's blaming LW for his 'vision' failing because she's a shit ton more pragmatic and reasonable, plus the bread-winner?  Ugh.  Honestly if he cannot be reasoned with (which would include therapy, IMO), I say DTMFA.
    Right?  I can't figure out if he's an idiot or a manipulative jerk
    my money is on manipulative.
    Yeah. I think he was hoping to bully her into thinking she wanted to be a SAHM of many when he found out they initially disagreed about that, and is upset because that's clearly not working. Maybe he even thought that because she's been abused in the past, she'd be more susceptible.

    I'm pretty sure I don't want to be a full-time SAHM at any point. I enjoy having the kids on the two days a week that I do, but that's because I can go and enjoy my work the other days to refresh myself and miss them a little.
    Tbh I often toyed with the idea of SAHM - more in the glory part of not having to leave the house if the weather sucks - but after being at home with BabyKitten for a year, I was not a fan and realized I was not made out to be a SAHM

    There's a whole other turmoil of working moms too.
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