Wedding Woes

How many red flags do you need?

Dear Prudence,

After going to pre-marriage counselling, my boyfriend admitted that he had thought he loved me, but after listening to us talk he realized that his feelings for me were not the same as most people. He enjoys my company and would miss me if I died, but wouldn’t be devastated.

I married him anyway. I thought I could fix him, but I couldn’t. Despite that, I am happy. I love him and he treats me well, we have fun all the time. I was worried he would cheat or leave me, but he says that he doesn’t think he is capable of loving anyone “like that” and that our situation is beneficial enough he can’t see any good reason to put it on the line. (He likes me, we have a lot in common, and divorce is very expensive and stressful.)

The problem we now have is—should we have children? He would like to, and is excellent with my nephews who adore him, but he is unsure if it would be fair to the child. He grew up in foster homes and says it was scary to know that you weren’t a priority in a parental figure’s life. I think that if we don’t tell the child he doesn’t love them, that they won’t even know. I didn’t! On the other hand, I will reluctantly admit I do sort of feel that he might be “fixed” by a child of his own. So that influences me (even though he would rather adopt).

Obviously, there is a lot to work out, but is there any point? Would it just be harmful to bring a child into the world whose father knows up front he will only ever like them?

— Wannabe Mom 

Re: How many red flags do you need?

  • You and your future kids deserve better
    charlotte989875banana468ILoveBeachMusicei34
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    What the—


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    ei34Casadena
  • These are the sentences that really jumped out at me.  "I married him anyway.  I thought I could fix him, but I couldn't."  But then actually wrote in the very next paragraph, "On the other hand, I will reluctantly admit I do sort of feel that he might be “fixed” by a child of his own."

    NO, LW, NO!!!!  How many times do you need to learn this lesson?  That's who this guy is.  He isn't "broken" and he doesn't need to be "fixed".  You just don't like that aspect of his character.  And while I can understand that, I'm not the one who married him.  You did.  With your eyes wide open.  So either STFU and accept him as he is or leave.  Those are your choices.  Those have always been your choices.  Trying to force and hope someone will change into how you want them to be is almost always a fool's errand. 

    Only the LW and their H can decide if having children is right for them.  The LW is deluded that the child won't figure out eventually that their dad is emotionally a bit more distant.  Arguably, the child will be at a disadvantage as compared to two active parents who love them.  But many kids grow up with a lot worse...look at the H himself!..., assuming the H is a caring and present parent.  However, that might be a big assumption. 

    If the H has not already tried counseling, I think he should.  Foster care is the "best" answer we have, but it often causes devastating and far-reaching emotional pain to the young and vulnerable children in that system.  
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    charlotte989875
  • climbingsingleclimbingsingle NYC 'burbs member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    This is insane. I'm still stuck at the fact that she married him anyway. 
    charlotte989875mrsconn23
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Marriage didn't fix him, so now you want to try a child. WTAF? 

    You can throw your life away with this mess if you want, but do not doom an innocent child to it. 
    charlotte989875
  • LW, you need to figure out why you think you need to, and can, save anyone by marrying them or having their child or even doing a smaller 'act of service'.  He told you who he is, believe him.  Leave, get your own therapy, and dear GOD keep the birth control in place.  LW you're just as broken as him.  

    Can you imagine a phrase more terrifying than, "I don't think I can love anyone"?  That is some sociopathic shit. 

    ((you in danger girl gif)) LOL 
    charlotte989875
  • edited September 23
    mrsconn23 said:
    LW, you need to figure out why you think you need to, and can, save anyone by marrying them or having their child or even doing a smaller 'act of service'.  He told you who he is, believe him.  Leave, get your own therapy, and dear GOD keep the birth control in place.  LW you're just as broken as him.  

    Can you imagine a phrase more terrifying than, "I don't think I can love anyone"?  That is some sociopathic shit. 

    ((you in danger girl gif)) LOL 
    Right? The worst thing LW can do is bring a child into that environment. 

    Babies are effing hard even when they have two parents who live, want, and cherish them. A parent who says they can’t live another person? Keep a child out of that. 


    mrsconn23
  • I wish you hadn't married him. I wish you'd thought about the question of having kids more before you married him. 

    But since that ship has sailed, I think you really need to get out of this marriage. And please, please don't have kids with someone assuming they will change for the better because of it. 
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  • She sounds like a "Fixer" and is going to "forever" be attracted to this type of personality for better or worse, divorcing this guy isn't going to change that...  He needs some work, but not the type of work that she can do.  He needs to realize he's not his parents/adults in his life growing up and develop a sense of what love/connection is/isn't.  This guy has no reference points of what a healthy relationship nor parent/child relationship even is.  Marriage prep probably only confused them both more!  

    While I agree with all y'all about "she shouldn't have gone through with marriage", she's not asking the question - does SHE want to be a MOM and all that comes along with raising kids even if it meant doing 100% on her own?  Plus, she's going to have to teach him how to be a "Dad" or get him surrounded by others who can be role models for a healthy parenting relationship...
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    short+sassy
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Ninth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Get out of there, LW! Don't try to have a baby with this guy.

    Children can tell when parents don't love them. Not saying the words doesn't keep the sentiments from being communicated and understood. 

    Babies don't fix bad marriages. They make them worse by obligating unwilling adults to take care of children they don't want while being judged by the other parent and everyone else. 

    If you want to be a mom, you need to find another guy to be dad and divorce your husband first. 

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