When two people decide they want to get married, I think most discuss whether or not they are on the same page for many, many major life decisions. This includes whether or not to have kids and maybe even how many. But what happens when you get married, and your spouse decides later that he or she changed their mind? Your wife or husband no longer wants children. How devastating would this be??
The issue can become major, cause conflict, and of course, can cause divorce, as is the case with a 31 year-old reader who has been married for about a year, whose husband recently decided he no longer wants kids and therefore wants a divorce. Read more:
After the initial shock of the news, the next day I signed up for couples counseling and promised to forgo children. I told him I would live without a thousand babies but didn’t want to live without him. I promised that I’d find new ways to make my life full. Begged him to talk to me, to work on this. He said I was being short sighted and that he was doing what was best for me in the long run.
The reader said they had talked about kids for a few years, and even bought a large home to accommodate a large family. And, they even discussed names.
It feels like my dream of being a wife and mother is dead and buried. I trusted him implicitly, with everything I had and for the first time, my best wasn’t good enough. Where do I go from here?
Here’s what I think. First of all, my heart breaks for both of these people. The husband must feel beyond guilty for his change of heart on kids. And the wife, how disappointing, shocking and devastating this must be for her. Both of these people are in a lot of pain.
This might be hard for this woman to hear, but I say it with love. Her husband is doing her a HUGE favor by being upfront and leaving. Of course, she can’t see that right now, but she will someday when she is married with 3 kids. I just feel it. It will happen for her.
She’s only 31. I had my first child at 36 and my second child at 38. I have countless friends who had babies in their late thirties, early forties and even mid-forties. If she wants kids, she deserves them and should have them. Although I’m a little resentful that her husband changed his mind (because he could have said something before the wedding), I don’t think he did it to hurt her, and his leaving is actually a selfless act. Also, I believe he’s doing the right thing leaving. He is giving her a chance to find the right partner who wants the same things.
As for the wife, I think it is very very selfless that she was willing to give up her dream of having children, but she is way too emotional to realize that even if the husband said, “OK, let’s stay together and not have kids,” it would never work because she would resent him in the years to come. The resentment is unpreventable and inevitable. Also, she is afraid to lose her husband and to be divorced and to be alone. That is so understandable.
But here’s how I feel. Her dream of being a wife and mother is SOOOO not dead. In fact, it just became more alive since she now has a chance to meet a man who is on the same page and who wants kids. And she’s still so young. People get married in their late thirties. It’s not unusual at all! And I bet it even happens before then.
Also, why is she saying “My best wasn’t good enough?” This has nothing to do with her. It has to do with what her husband wants in life, and that is: no kids.
Although brutally painful (like any breakup), I think these two will both do just fine on their own. It will take some time, but this woman will realize that this is God’s plan, and her time as a wife and mother will come. I just know it. As for the husband, I hope he figures out what he wants. He might regret this decision later on. It’s hard to say.
When things in life happen that aren’t our choice, that we have no control over, it’s so hard accept it. We feel victimized, we feel sorry for ourselves. We feel angry, like it’s unfair.
But ask any woman or man whose spouse ever left for whatever reason, and there comes a point when they all say, “It was the best thing that could have happened. He did the right thing leaving me. She saw what I couldn’t see.” For some reason, as time goes by, things make sense and memories come back that we think, “Why didn’t I see that when we were together?” But, it’s really really hard to imagine this at the beginning of a breakup. So for now, I will pray for these people, and I will especially pray that this woman becomes a mom sooner than later.
Like this post? Check out, “Relationship Advice For Dumped, Broken, Angry and In Pain”