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Advice Please

So I have a friend that is approaching her 2nd wedding anniversary next month. Her hubby really wants kids, but she's not ready. We've been friends since college and before meeting him, she always said she never wanted to be a mom. Once engaged she had a brief period of "baby fever", but after the wedding it subsided. They've bought a house that is a real fixer upper (ie: major construction) and she's working crazy hours. He was laid off and only working a PT job for about a year, but has recently found full-time work.

I saw her this weekend and she tells me that they talked and she said she didn't know if she would ever feel ready to start a family...so they decided that they weren't going to try, but they weren't going to prevent it either. I took that to mean she's going off birth control and they'll see what happens. When I said "so you could be pregnant in the next month or two", she said the idea made her want to throw up.

I'm trying to decide how to talk with her about this. I'm the ONLY person she's told - her husband doesn't even know she's mentioned it to me. I just feel that having kids is a huge decision, one that shouldn't be made with a "we'll see what happens" attitude. I almost feel that maybe she told me hoping I would be brutally honest with her, but I don't know.

What should I say? Should I say anything? I'm a firm believer that friends and family shouldn't judge a married couple's decisions since they themselves are not in the relationship - but this choice will effect more than just the two of them.

Help! I wold love to hear your thoughts and would appreciate any advice you all may have. (Sorry it turned out to be so long)

Re: Advice Please

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    bethsmilesbethsmiles member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    I agree with you that this doesn't sound like a good idea but I would stay out of it. Her and her husband have made a decision together and that is their business even if she mentioned it to you. I would say that the most you should do is encourage her to tell her husband how she is feeling but don't give her any advice on the actual situation beyond that.


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    KatyRoseMKatyRoseM member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I would talk to her.  Just share your concerns and mention that she should talk to him.  Then back out. 
    image
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    csousa1csousa1 member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    That is tough :( I think that if she brings it up again (because if you were right and she is telling you because she wants you to tell her the truth, then she WILL bring it up again), tell her she should think about how the idea makes her want to throw up, and to pay attention to what that may mean and be really honest with herself about how she feels about it. I agree that all you can really do is tell her to be honest with her hubby, but beyond that try to steer clear of it. It is important to be a good friend, but also not get too involved in their marraige. It is a tricky situation, I hope it works out for all!
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    Hazel_BHazel_B member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I would try to stay out of it. The most I would do is clarify with her that this is what she wants, since she isn't really wanting kids.

    I know of a couple that recently got divorced because the wife didn't want kids. They got married saying "someday" and that "someday" didn't materialize into her wanting kids. Their divorce took people by surprise because they were a "perfect" couple.  This story is just to emphasize that there is nothing wrong with not wanting kids. There is also nothing wrong standing up for what works best for you as an individual  and dealing with those consequences.

    Also, in my view, if you aren't preventing it you are trying.
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    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_advice-please?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special Topic Wedding BoardsForum:136Discussion:c20e148b-b22b-42c2-951b-8a7e0c29e48dPost:bf971ff3-20c7-4e02-908d-c5ff46caf01b">Re: Advice Please</a>:
    [QUOTE] Also, in my view, if you aren't preventing it you are trying.
    Posted by Hazel_B[/QUOTE]

    Hazel, I completely agree. I honestly feel that after 2 years of marriage she feels as though she's running out of excuses to wait. I don't think that's a good enough reason to go forward though. They only dated 9 months before getting married and I don't believe she was honest (with him or herself) about how she really felt on the topic of kids. She would prefer being a stay at home mom, but I don't see that being a possibility with his job. I just wish there was a nice way to say "what's the rush?"...without making her feel judged.
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    DanieKADanieKA member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_advice-please?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:136Discussion:c20e148b-b22b-42c2-951b-8a7e0c29e48dPost:c8f2a20c-72c9-4b44-89fd-880d9df9352d">Re: Advice Please</a>:
    [QUOTE]I agree with you that this doesn't sound like a good idea but I would stay out of it. <strong>Her and her husband have made a decision together and that is their business even if she mentioned it to you</strong>. I would say that the most you should do is encourage her to tell her husband how she is feeling but don't give her any advice on the actual situation beyond that.
    Posted by bethsmiles[/QUOTE]

    <div>This! I know she confided in you and you are a good friend to listen and offer encouragement. But this decision can only be made by her and her husband. I hope she doesn't become a mother, if that's not what she truly wants, but only she and her husband can really come to that decision. I hope she isn't pressured into it by her husband, but in the situation where she was an active participant by going off birth control, she really can't say she was pressured, can she? </div><div>
    </div><div>Be an active listener, and a ear to vent to, but I'd stay out of it in the way of advice. </div>
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    heyimbrenheyimbren member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011

    If this is how she's feeling, then it's important that she talks to her husband about it. It really is between the two of them since the choice affects them directly, and if she's having those doubts now she needs to talk to him about it. I think that's probably the most I'd say, because it is their personal decision either way... but this could easily cause other problems in the future. Communication really is that important, and I think that's something you can point out kindly, without getting too involved.

    But that's simply the kind of relationship I have with my friends.

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    csousa1csousa1 member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_advice-please?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special Topic Wedding BoardsForum:136Discussion:c20e148b-b22b-42c2-951b-8a7e0c29e48dPost:bf971ff3-20c7-4e02-908d-c5ff46caf01b">Re: Advice Please</a>:
    [QUOTE]I would try to stay out of it. The most I would do is clarify with her that this is what she wants, since she isn't really wanting kids. I know of a couple that recently got divorced because the wife didn't want kids. They got married saying "someday" and that "someday" didn't materialize into her wanting kids. Their divorce took people by surprise because they were a "perfect" couple.  This story is just to emphasize that there is nothing wrong with not wanting kids. There is also nothing wrong standing up for what works best for you as an individual  and dealing with those consequences. <strong>Also, in my view, if you aren't preventing it you are trying.
    </strong>Posted by Hazel_B[/QUOTE]


    Yes yes yes
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    Hazel_BHazel_B member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_advice-please?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special Topic Wedding BoardsForum:136Discussion:c20e148b-b22b-42c2-951b-8a7e0c29e48dPost:8c5d3d6c-02df-4a04-9544-c5ba26396334">Re: Advice Please</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Advice Please : Hazel, I completely agree. I honestly feel that after 2 years of marriage she feels as though <strong>she's running out of excuses to wait</strong>. I don't think that's a good enough reason to go forward though. They only dated 9 months before getting married and I don't believe she was honest (with him or herself) about how she really felt on the topic of kids. She would prefer being a stay at home mom, but I don't see that being a possibility with his job. I just wish there was a nice way to say "what's the rush?"...without making her feel judged.
    Posted by allusive007[/QUOTE]

    I think she has a great reason, not excuse, to wait right now. You said that he just got a full time job and she works crazy hours. How will they be doing financially if she isn't working crazy hours? ie, during pregnancy and after the baby comes. Children aren't cheap and time doesn't become more plentiful when they arrive.
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    edited December 2011
    I would discuss your concerns with her...and try to be as gentle as possible about it.
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    edited December 2011
    I'm surprised so many are suggesting NOT talking with her. I guess maybe I need to re-think that idea. I know this friend well and I know she and I see each other as the "I know you'll give me your honest opinion" friend. I guess that's why I am more open to speaking with her about this than I would be with others. I mostly just want her to know I'm there for her no matter what happens, but I also don't think it's fair to her if I falsely act as though I'm excited about the idea when in reality I have concerns...
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    marleylikeairmarleylikeair member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_advice-please?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:136Discussion:c20e148b-b22b-42c2-951b-8a7e0c29e48dPost:e62c10dc-1505-4e69-8972-19590afaaab7">Re: Advice Please</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Advice Please : This! I know she confided in you and you are a good friend to listen and offer encouragement. But this decision can only be made by her and her husband. I hope she doesn't become a mother, if that's not what she truly wants, but only she and her husband can really come to that decision. I hope she isn't pressured into it by her husband, but <strong>in the situation where she was an active participant by going off birth control, she really can't say she was pressured, can she?</strong>  Be an active listener, and a ear to vent to, but I'd stay out of it in the way of advice. 
    Posted by DanieKA[/QUOTE]

    I'm not so sure about this. I think she could easily be pressured to do this. Of course, it's her decision to comply, but pressure could certainly figure in.

    Allusive, I would definitely say something to your friend. You don't want to be intrusive or get too involved, but if she really is considering doing something that makes her sick to her stomach to even think about, I think it's within the friend code to check in with her and give some gentle advice; especially since she was the one to bring it up.

    Hopefully, she'll bring it up again, so that you won't be broaching the subject out of the blue. I would tell her that you respect her decision, you know it's up to her and her H only, and you'll support her and be happy for her no matter what, but that you were a little worried about her, based on what she said to you about it. Gently mention that you think going off BC equals trying. If she stops taking the pill, eventually she's probably going to get pregnant. Gently remind her to trust her gut and that she can hold off if she's not 100% sure. A kid needs parents who are sure they want the kid, ya know?

    If you felt her life was in danger or she was doing something that would make her sick, you'd say something, right? It doesn't have to be a big lecture, and you can mention that you definitely won't harp on this; that you just wanted to tell her what you thought about it, once.

    I respect what others are saying about staying out of it, and I agree that you should in general. But if you do it respectfully, I think sharing your feelings and advice, just once, can only help. She did bring it up with you first, after all.

    HTH and GL, dear.
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    DanieKADanieKA member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_advice-please?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:136Discussion:c20e148b-b22b-42c2-951b-8a7e0c29e48dPost:b31a8c86-5528-45db-b190-f7548a6ada15">Re: Advice Please</a>:
    [QUOTE]I'm surprised so many are suggesting NOT talking with her. I guess maybe I need to re-think that idea. I know this friend well and I know she and I see each other as the "I know you'll give me your honest opinion" friend. I guess that's why I am more open to speaking with her about this than I would be with others. I mostly just want her to know I'm there for her no matter what happens, but I also don't think it's fair to her if I falsely act as though I'm excited about the idea when in reality I have concerns...
    Posted by allusive007[/QUOTE]

    <div>I definitely wouldn't lie or act excited if I wasn't. It really is about your relationship with your friend. Tell her she should really evaluate what she wants for her life and her future, what she's willing to compromise on then take what she's figured out, if anything at all, to her husband to discuss much, much further. I think saying that is fine. </div><div>
    </div><div>But as for advice like, "Don't have a baby. You obviously don't want one."  I think I'd steer clear. What exactly does she want from you though? You seem to be implying that she really does need you to reality check her by saying "Don't do it?" Do you think that's it? I hope not because that's a crap position to place your friend in. EDIT :Meaning that's a crap position for her to place you in.</div>
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    DanieKADanieKA member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_advice-please?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:136Discussion:c20e148b-b22b-42c2-951b-8a7e0c29e48dPost:5ad6fdb1-341c-4c0d-813f-18dd6d820a2a">Re: Advice Please</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Advice Please :<strong> I'm not so sure about this. I think she could easily be pressured to do this.</strong> Of course, it's her decision to comply, but pressure could certainly figure in. Allusive, I would definitely say something to your friend. You don't want to be intrusive or get too involved, but if she really is considering doing something that makes her sick to her stomach to even think about, I think it's within the friend code to check in with her and give some gentle advice; especially since she was the one to bring it up. Hopefully, she'll bring it up again, so that you won't be broaching the subject out of the blue. I would tell her that you respect her decision, you know it's up to her and her H only, and you'll support her and be happy for her no matter what, but that you were a little worried about her, based on what she said to you about it. Gently mention that you think going off BC equals trying. If she stops taking the pill, eventually she's probably going to get pregnant. Gently remind her to trust her gut and that she can hold off if she's not 100% sure. A kid needs parents who are sure they want the kid, ya know? If you felt her life was in danger or she was doing something that would make her sick, you'd say something, right? It doesn't have to be a big lecture, and you can mention that you definitely won't harp on this; that you just wanted to tell her what you thought about it, once. I respect what others are saying about staying out of it, and I agree that you should in general. But if you do it respectfully, I think sharing your feelings and advice, just once, can only help. She did bring it up with you first, after all. HTH and GL, dear.
    Posted by marleylikeair[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>I definitely see where you are coming from. I guess I just figured if you are old enough to get married and play house, then you better be strong enough to stand up for yourself and not be pressured into something as serious as parenthood. I know it happens all the time. I know people get pressured into marriage, into babies, into a whole slew of other things, but I wish more people wouldn't be swayed by what "he wants" or pressured so easily. </div><div>
    </div><div>Then again, ideally this would be something they would have talked about and hashed out again, and again, and again (and then some more) before they ever said "I Do."

    </div><div>I want kids. If I were in a relationship that I  thought was headed to marriage and he was giving me the "yeah, maybe, someday" routine, you better believe we'd have that straightened out before I made those vows. It's not fair to me or to him to waste years of my life (and his) on someone who didn't have the same desire on this very important issue. </div><div>
    </div><div>I wish more people would do that. But many, too many, get swept up without thinking about the long term implications. </div>
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    edited December 2011
    Marley - I really like your point of view on this. I agree that speaking with her about this, especially if she brings it up, does not have to mean saying "don't do it". I think you should be able to talk with friends about these things in a broad sense. I also like what you said about talking once...and then dropping it.

    DanieKA - I don't think she necessarily is pressuring me to be the friend who says "don't have a baby", but I think everyone talks with friends when they are unsure about things. If it were something between the two of them, I would assume they didn't want people to know in case it took a while, had complications, etc. If they were excited and had no inhibitions, they would probably tell many friends and family members. Only telling me (one of her only unmarried/no children friends felt as though she was looking for some sort of response other than just "i'm happy for you". Though I suppose I could be wrong to assume that...
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    edited December 2011
    If she brings it up again, I'd be sure to remind her that kids don't choose to be born, and that it isn't just her and her husband that will have to live with the consequences.  But after reading it out loud it might sound kind of preachy...  Just make sure that you aren't making the decision for her just helping her come to terms with her own wants/needs. 
    Daisypath Vacation tickers 4 Leaf Clover
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    heyimbrenheyimbren member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    When I read something like this "she said she didn't know if she would ever feel ready to start a family...so they decided that they weren't going to try, but they weren't going to prevent it either" I read into that as if she was saying she wasn't sure she ever wanted kids... but I suppose she could have meant it as a way of saying that the thought makes her nervous, so she may never feel 100% ready to have kids, until she has them.

    If it's the former, I think talking about it the way Marley suggested was good.

    There's a big difference between not sure about kids ever, or not sure about kids right now. I don't see a problem with pointing that out and the importance of discussing this with her husband so they can be open and decide this.
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    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_advice-please?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special Topic Wedding BoardsForum:136Discussion:c20e148b-b22b-42c2-951b-8a7e0c29e48dPost:e434323a-0062-4ac3-a06a-00af1623ebb5">Re: Advice Please</a>:
    [QUOTE]When I read something like this "she said she didn't know if she would ever feel ready to start a family...so they decided that they weren't going to try, but they weren't going to prevent it either" I read into that as if she was saying she wasn't sure she ever wanted kids... but I suppose she could have meant it as a way of saying that the thought makes her nervous, so she may never feel 100% ready to have kids, until she has them. If it's the former, I think talking about it the way Marley suggested was good. There's a big difference between not sure about kids ever , or not sure about kids right now . I don't see a problem with pointing that out and the importance of discussing this with her husband so they can be open and decide this.
    Posted by heyimbren[/QUOTE]

    I agree bren. Unfortunately that's where I'm unsure. I know in college she often said she couldn't imagine being a mom...but after the pre-wedding baby fever, I thought "well, maybe she just changed her mind". Now I'm really not sure if she's not ready to be a mom right now or doesn't know if she wants to be a mom ever. Honestly, I'm not sure she knows what she wants...
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    heyimbrenheyimbren member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_advice-please?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special Topic Wedding BoardsForum:136Discussion:c20e148b-b22b-42c2-951b-8a7e0c29e48dPost:a1353a92-b98b-4467-abc7-6626b297d778">Re: Advice Please</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Advice Please : I agree bren. Unfortunately that's where I'm unsure. I know in college she often said she couldn't imagine being a mom...but after the pre-wedding baby fever, I thought "well, maybe she just changed her mind". Now I'm really not sure if she's not ready to be a mom right now or doesn't know if she wants to be a mom ever. Honestly, I<strong>'m not sure she knows what she wants...
    </strong>Posted by allusive007[/QUOTE]

    And that's okay too, and I think you can tell her that. Her husband may not be thrilled with her not knowing yet, but she's his wife and that's part of marriage. Just leave those lines of communication open with her and keep in touch with her for now (even about other things). Good friends are so important to have.
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    edited December 2011
    I agree with all of the advice given above! 

    Side thought:
    I don't know one person who has gotten pregnant unintentionally who has ever said they regret it. In fact, all of the pregnancies that I am thinking of, they have later said it was the best thing that ever happened to them,  and they are happy they became mothers even though they never intended to be in the first place. 

    I don't know how you could tell her that though, that might be too personal. 
    www.nurseyk.weebly.com
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    marleylikeairmarleylikeair member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_advice-please?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:136Discussion:c20e148b-b22b-42c2-951b-8a7e0c29e48dPost:fb315219-7b48-41d8-945b-10d31ab2002e">Re: Advice Please</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Advice Please : I definitely see where you are coming from. I guess I just figured if you are old enough to get married and play house, then you better be strong enough to stand up for yourself and not be pressured into something as serious as parenthood. I know it happens all the time. I know people get pressured into marriage, into babies, into a whole slew of other things, but I wish more people wouldn't be swayed by what "he wants" or pressured so easily.  Then again, ideally this would be something they would have talked about and hashed out again, and again, and again (and then some more) before they ever said "I Do." I want kids. If I were in a relationship that I  thought was headed to marriage and he was giving me the "yeah, maybe, someday" routine, you better believe we'd have that straightened out before I made those vows. It's not fair to me or to him to waste years of my life (and his) on someone who didn't have the same desire on this very important issue.  I wish more people would do that. But many, too many, get swept up without thinking about the long term implications. 
    Posted by DanieKA[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>Absolutely agree with all of this. I really like the way you articulated your point here. I don't think we're in disagreement; all I was saying is that I think it's entirely possible that Allusive's friend is experiencing some pressuring. I think it makes sense for Allusive to support her, reminding her to be strong and trust her gut.

    </div>
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