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Devastated by DH's decision...

So, DH and I have been together for 10 years (since highschool), and married for a little over two. The push for us to finally tie the knot was that we decided we were ready to start a family.  We got married, I got pregnant, and we sold our condo and bought a nice big house to start our family in.

We've had a ton of talks over the last 10 years about how we wanted our "family" to be, and it was always 2 kids, close in age. We bought a 4 bedroom house, so that there would be a "room for each kid, and a guest room". Now, I'm going back to work in 2 1/2 months at the end of my maternity leave, and the plan was always that I got back and we start trying for baby #2 in Sept., and then after #2 arrives, I would stay home for good.

Now, DH says he doesn't want to have another baby, and his reasoning is that our son is too good, he doesn't want to risk having a "bad" baby, or make our son share with a sibling when he's older. 

I just don't get it. I was an only child and hated it, and DH has 3 siblings and is really close to his 2 brothers, kinda close with his sister. I just don't understand how this changed. He expects me to be fine with it, but I'm not. I want to be pregnant again, I've always wanted at least a couple of kids. I don't think I could ever leave DH, but honestly, this decision makes me wonder. I just don't know how many sacrifices I can keep making for him (a looooong post for another).

Jeesh, sorry this is so long.

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Re: Devastated by DH's decision...

  • It would be helpful it you would elaborate on the other sacrifices you've made for him.

    Based on the info you've given this is a really tough situation, I'm sorry.  Most troublesome to me is that your H thinks this decision was his to make alone.  It's not fair for you to 'force' him in to another child, but it's also not fair that he gets to decide that you are done.

    IMO his reasons are really weird, your son is so great that the next baby wouldn't be?!?!  Do you really believe him or do you think there are other reasons, i.e. financial?

    Would he be willing to go to counseling to talk the issue out?

  • My advice would be to give him some time.  He may still be adjusting to his first child and thinks he doesn't want another.  He might change his mind.  In the meantime, continue to talk to him about your feelings as well as his.
  • Could it be that it's just too early for your DH to contemplate adding another child to the family? It's a big decision, and may feel overwhelming right now for various reasons.

    Would you consider suggesting to him that you could both agree to revisit this topic in about six months time?

  • I agree - give it some time. MANY parents, when their baby is still a baby, can't imagine wanting another child.  But as the child gets a bit older, they realize they would love to have another.

    Even if the kids aren't AS close as you first planned - so what?  Give your DH time. 

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  • image MrsMammay:

     Most troublesome to me is that your H thinks this decision was his to make alone.  It's not fair for you to 'force' him in to another child, but it's also not fair that he gets to decide that you are done.

    I agree. I don't think he should get the final say without a solid discussion, any maybe even some real reasons, not that crap he told you.

     


  • image EastCoastBride:

    I agree - give it some time. MANY parents, when their baby is still a baby, can't imagine wanting another child.  But as the child gets a bit older, they realize they would love to have another.

    Even if the kids aren't AS close as you first planned - so what?  Give your DH time. 

    I agree with ECB.  At 9 months we were still desperately sleep deprived.  At 14 months we're looking forward to baby #2 when the timing is right. But at 9 months I really could not fathom ever wanting another baby.

    But like another poster, I'd be raising the fact that your DH seems to think it's his decision to make.  That sort of thinking does not fly in my home.  Now, if he's serious, and he means it on an ongoing basis, you need to decide if that is a dealbreaker for you.  Because I do believe that the person who says no in childbearing decisions gets to have the final call.

    But that doesn't mean you have to want to stay with him if he does feel that way.

  • I honestly don't know what reasons he could have, financial isn't one of them for sure. The only thing I can think of is that his aunts and grandmother keep telling him how lucky we are that DS is so good, that "you never get two like that". It's like a stupid old wives tale that he thinks is true.

    The biggest issue is an abortion that I had years ago. It was a complete surprise because we thought we were doing everything right, but my doctor at the time had mixed medications that decreased the effectiveness of the pill (last time I went to that dr). Admitedly, we weren't ready for a child then, but it nearly destroyed me to have that abortion and sent me into years of depression and counseling. The worst thing now is that my therapists advice was to go and get on with starting our family, and that's what we did, and it has made a world of  difference. I haven't been on any medication since we decided to start TTC. I'm just worried that this will send me back into a tail spin.

    There were other things to. I cut out a lot of people in my life because of him, switched career paths, and put up with the kind of BS only a MIL from hell could dish out (thankfully she's been cut right out of our lives now).

    I've tried talking to him about it, I've asked him to just explain his reasoning to me, but he acts like a 2 year old and says he just can't have a serious conversation right now.

    That's the hardest thing about this. I know it's not a decision that either of us can make alone. I can't force him to have another child, that's not fair to him or the baby. But at the same time, it's so unfair to me for him to change his mind after we're married and have one child.

  • Did you have complications with this baby or anything? does he have reason to believe the next baby wouldn't be healthy?

    To think that it would just be a "bad baby" is ridiculous, How does he know this one isn't going to start staying up all night or go through some 'bad phases" He doesn't have any reason besides this to all of a sudden not want another baby?

  • His reasons for not wanting another child do seem a little odd, like he's making excuses to cover up another reason. I agree with the PP's, give him some time, then try introducing the subject again when he'd be the most likely to listen. Make sure he knows how you feel about it, and that whether or not you have another baby is a joint decision, one that you should make together for more "rational" reasons. Good luck!

    [IMG]http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a189/aerolithe/babyprofile.jpg[/IMG]
  • Just thought that I would add that the reason we started talking about it was based on my going back to work.

    The plan was that I was going back for 1 more year, to get a second year of maternity leave, so our kinds would end up being two years apart. 

    DH now thinks I should just stay home, but I'll have to find freelance work to do, which is fine, and was the plan after #2. It's just that if I do that now, I won't get any time work-free with a second baby if/when he decides to have one, where-as if I go back to work we'll have some extra money to put aside over the next year, and I'll have a full year paid mat leave with the second child before I would have to start freelancing.

  • image oscarkat:

     

    I've tried talking to him about it, I've asked him to just explain his reasoning to me, but he acts like a 2 year old and says he just can't have a serious conversation right now.

    .

    Personally, if my DH acted like that I'd be telling him to go back to his Mom until he decided to talk to me like the grown up he's supposed to be.  I have one toddler, I don't need another.

     

  • 1st pregnancy was high-risk. I had bleeding throughout and was in and out of the hospital, with DS being born a month early, but completely healthy.

     I know, time is my only answer here. I'm still going to be agrivated for a bit longer though if y'all don't mind, lol.

  • image oscarkat:

    Now, DH says he doesn't want to have another baby, and his reasoning is that our son is too good, he doesn't want to risk having a "bad" baby, or make our son share with a sibling when he's older. 

    Well, to me this is very normal. I think a fair number of first time parents feel this way. At 9 months, I'm pretty sure I felt the same way too. Right now I'm at a point that I think a second child wouldn't be an epic disaster. His attitude might change in time as you get farther removed from the baby stage.

    That said, I don't think that's everything going on here. Your second post sends up several red flags to me...enough that I think you two might benefit from some counseling.

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  • image grrlygirl:
    image oscarkat:

     

    I've tried talking to him about it, I've asked him to just explain his reasoning to me, but he acts like a 2 year old and says he just can't have a serious conversation right now.

    .

    Personally, if my DH acted like that I'd be telling him to go back to his Mom until he decided to talk to me like the grown up he's supposed to be.  I have one toddler, I don't need another.

     

    Sigh. Agreed.

  • In my experience I found it was so easy to discuss how many kids we were going to have until I had my first child.  It was a lot harder than I envisioned, especially since I work full time and my husband works full time +.  Now we struggle with the decision having a second child.  We want to but there are so many things to consider since our lives are so busy.

     

    So, in a way, whether or not this is how your husband is feeling, I can see his POV.  And like the others said, your baby is only 9 months old.  This parenting thing is fresh to the two of you. 

     

    And I know that you agreed they would be 2 years a part but sometimes plans don't work out to the exact time frame that you anticipated.  Give it some time and he may very well change his mind. 

    However, if he can't even have a rational conversation with him do you really think trying for # 2 is a good idea right now?  I think the important thing to do is get your marriage back on track


    image

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  • I get the desire to have another baby.  Boy, do I.

    And I also get the apprehension about such a decision.

    Your first pregnancy was high risk and your baby was born premature.  I can understand why your DH isn't totally on board with doing it all over again 9 SHORT months later.  Hell, it wasn't until just recently that DH and I have felt that we have a rhythm down again; at 9 months we still felt shaky and chaotic a lot of the time with DS.  Your DH isn't ready to deal with the possibility of another stressful pregnancy on top of the stress of having an young child.  That's most certainly understandable.

    I wanted my kids to be 2 years apart.  DS will be 3 in October, and for many reasons we just aren't in a place right now to TTC.  That's life.  Your life might not perfectly according to the timeline that you set years ago.........but that doesn't mean that you can't make an alternate plan.  Maybe your kids will be a little further apart.  That's ok. 

    I'm just guessing, but maybe your DH reacts like a 2 year old when you try to talk to him about this because he feels totally backed into a corner.  Something tells me that you're very emotional and not quite rationale when you try to talk to him about this.  Something tells me that you are quick to remind him of the "promise" he made and that you want him to stick to it, regardless of how he feels now. I'd probably shut down and refuse to talk to someone if that was what I was up against, too.

    I think that you both need a break from discussing this topic.  Therapy would be benefical too.

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  • 1. Why are in such a rush to have #2 with a guy who is so against it at the moment? I would be thinking i should really wait because if he isnt on board 100% I certainly wouldnt be either.

    2. It seems to me that your H has always made the decisions in your relationship and you have followed like a puppy...now you expect him to have an adult conversation?

    3. a lot of people change their minds about how many kids they really want after the 1st is born.

    4. you have bigger problems than him not wanting another baby!



  • Since he is one of 4 kids, ask him if he was the "bad baby".

    Seriously, if his mother was truly worried about having a bad apple of a child (by that I assume she means lots of crying, not sleeping through the night etc.) she would have stopped at one.  Pointing out to him that his mother's thinking doesn't even hold up to her own experience might help him see it for the silliness it is. 

  • I completely agree with the "give it time" advice.

    I was in your shoes not so long ago. DH was ADAMANT about not wanting any more kids. We talked and talked the issue to death (I'm 36, so I didn't feel like we could just readdress the issue in a few years), and I finally came to terms with the fact the we were just going to have one kid and we were blessed that she was happy and healthy.

    I gave away all our baby stuff and all of my maternity clothes and didn't bring it up again. A couple months later, DH decides to "pull the goalie" (this was a conscious decision on his part -- not a heat of the moment type thing) and I got pregnant.

    So give him some space and maybe even quit talking about it for a little while. I know it's hard to do (it was on my mind 24/7), but I think it helped for him not to feel pressured.

    Good luck!

  • Maybe the stress of a new baby and dealing with a high-risk pregnancy has taken a higher emotional toll on your DH than you think. I can understand how disappointing it can be to have someone change plans on you, especially when the issue at hand is so important. However, I think that it is very mature of your husband to know what his emotional limitations are. It sounds like he is being honest with himself and IMO, he should not be resented for that. 

    Like other posters have mentioned, maybe you can give him a little more time to adjust to the new baby and your new life together with the baby. That way, if he does change his mind, which he very well may, you'll know that you'll have his full support, which would make having the second child easier and less stressful on you.

  • You're behaving as though this is the be all end all of the world; like your dh has broken an irrevokable contract that will destroy your marriage if he cannot say, right now, that he absolutely one hundred percent wants without reservation another child on the previously agreed timetable carved in stone in your front room. And by acting this way, you're creating a situation that you presumably do not want.

    Your dh is not unreasonable for not wanting to start another child right this second; not given the enormous stress, fear, expense, worry etc caused by the very traumatic situation surrounding your pregnancy and the birth of your child.  You may be all ready to blast off; but you cannot with reason say that his fears and concerns are unfounded, or that his depth of feeling on the matter is irrational. He's not a sperm machine who promised to give you two children or bust; he's your husband and the father of your child. He was undoubtedly terrified at the issue of your high risk pregnancy; how do you think he'd feel if you had died bearing his child? Or, better yet, if  you'd become crippled? You cannot possibly think this did not worry him sick; and all your 'oh, it's all fine NOW" doesn't mean it was not terrifying to him. I have two teenagers, and the thought of having to be their sole parent is dazzlingly frightening.

    So relax. Wait another year. Heck, wait six months. Meanwhile, get your finances in order, get your health in order, get your house organized, get your kid where he/she needs to be in order to better absorb a new baby into the house, put some money aside, and most important of all, listen to your husband and do not belittle his fears or concerns. The more he feels you actually hear him and understand (which, if you just think for one minute what you'd feel if he dropped dead tomorrow, or had a stroke, or was crippled in some way, you would know what he's feeling) the more he'll feel you and he can work to minimize this together, etc.

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  • And a second issue; the whole SAHM thing may well have been completely unnerving to him. I have had, occasionally, to carry the entire financial load for our family and the pressure is crushing. Absolutely crushing. How would you feel if you knew that every single thing your family purchases or requires, from this moment on, was dependent entirely upon YOU? YOU. Alone. No one else to carry the load; no one else with money coming in. Just you. And god help you if you fail;  your family will be in terrible straits soon, if that paycheck stops or the bills go up etc. He's had a taste now of what that feels like; maybe he's balking a bit at it. I know I would.

     

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  • If your first pregnancy was high risk and it was only by the skin of your teeth that the baby came out healthy (albeit premature), then no wonder he doesn't want to risk it again!  Hell, I'm thinking you may be a little crazy for thinking it's a good idea to do so.
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  • Unless you have legitimate concerns about your fertility and/or are approaching your late 30s, I'd let this go and stop talking about this issue. Yes, you really want a second child, and you want them close together, BUT your husband agreed to that before he knew what parenting was like. You had a complicated pregnancy with a lot of stress and a premature baby. Your child isn't even a year old yet. Give it some time.

    Tell your husband that you agree not to bring up the idea of a second child for now, but that you'd like to just enjoy the present and revisit the idea of expanding your family in six months or a year. Enjoy your son, plan a great 1st birthday bash for him, fix up your new home, adjust to going back to work and juggling work and motherhood. Honestly, you may go back to work full-time and decide that you aren't sure that you can juggle a complicated pregnancy, full-time work and a toddler. 

    As long as he doesn't run out and get snipped, you still have the option to add to your family later on. I do understand that you're very upset right now, but perhaps backing off a bit and just taking life one day and a time will help you both.

  • This sounds a lot like a conversation we had when DS #1 was six months old....DH was absolutely positive he wanted 3-4 kids before we had our first. We were six months into parenthood and he announced he wanted a vasectomy "because there is no way we are doing this again". I was crushed and sad and nervous, because I assumed we would have at least two children....I told him to hold off until DS's first birthday, and we could talk about it again. DS #1 was a fussy, colicky, no-sleep newborn, and we were both overwhelmed....

    At that point, we were both getting more sleep, we were adjusting to the two working parent household, and DS was becoming really, really fun and interesting. He said he wanted to wait a bit longer if we were going to have another baby, and I agreed.

    We finally talked about another child around our son's 2nd birthday, and I got pregnant a few months later....so our children are three years apart, and it has been wonderful. In fact, DS #2 was such a great baby that if we were able to, we would have had another child after him.

    Give it some time. Don't act like this is a dealbreaker, most likely it is a case of nervous new parenthood worries!

  • imoanimoan member
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    The abortion... did your H make the final decision on that?
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  • image Sue_sue:

    You're behaving as though this is the be all end all of the world; like your dh has broken an irrevokable contract that will destroy your marriage if he cannot say, right now, that he absolutely one hundred percent wants without reservation another child on the previously agreed timetable carved in stone in your front room. And by acting this way, you're creating a situation that you presumably do not want.

    Your dh is not unreasonable for not wanting to start another child right this second; not given the enormous stress, fear, expense, worry etc caused by the very traumatic situation surrounding your pregnancy and the birth of your child.  You may be all ready to blast off; but you cannot with reason say that his fears and concerns are unfounded, or that his depth of feeling on the matter is irrational. He's not a sperm machine who promised to give you two children or bust; he's your husband and the father of your child. He was undoubtedly terrified at the issue of your high risk pregnancy; how do you think he'd feel if you had died bearing his child? Or, better yet, if  you'd become crippled? You cannot possibly think this did not worry him sick; and all your 'oh, it's all fine NOW" doesn't mean it was not terrifying to him. I have two teenagers, and the thought of having to be their sole parent is dazzlingly frightening.

    So relax. Wait another year. Heck, wait six months. Meanwhile, get your finances in order, get your health in order, get your house organized, get your kid where he/she needs to be in order to better absorb a new baby into the house, put some money aside, and most important of all, listen to your husband and do not belittle his fears or concerns. The more he feels you actually hear him and understand (which, if you just think for one minute what you'd feel if he dropped dead tomorrow, or had a stroke, or was crippled in some way, you would know what he's feeling) the more he'll feel you and he can work to minimize this together, etc.

    Exactly this.

    Waiting for some innocuous creativity... I'll let you know.
  • Well, you don't have to be so dramatic about being "devastated".  You have months before your 'schedule' is do to kick-in.  Months.  Why not give him a little time and space?
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  • It's too soon for him.  He's adjusting to being a new dad and he's still very overwhelmed.  Plus, some men just don't get into the baby thing until the kids are old enough to throw a ball around the backyard, play basketball, just be more interactive.  Some men just don't know what to do with an infant.
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  • Planning for children is so different from the reality of having them.

    I was your DH.  We'd always planned for two kids, but after our first was born I couldn't imagine having another for so many reasons.  Fortunately, while DH still wanted a second child, he was on board whether I wanted to try for #2 or not...we'd make it work whatever my decision.

    It took me a solid 18 months to decide that I was ready to TTC again.  Your DH hasn't had that much time to adjust yet.  I'm not saying that he will change his mind (and honestly, I can understand why he might not...as I said, I've been there).  But he needs an opportunity to get used to parenting and evaluate his capacity to do it for not only the child you already have, but any future children you want him to consider.  Just keep the lines of communication open and don't make him feel guilty.  He can't help how he feels...there's no way he could have known for sure how he'd adapt to parenting until he was in it.  Good luck!

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