Out of lurkdom (m)

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Out of lurkdom (m)
Mon, 07-14-2003 - 12:05pm
Hi ladies--some of you may remember me. Welcome to the new posters.

For those who don't know me or don't remember me, here's a quick recap of my story.

DH and I have been married 5 1/2 years now and I've wanted a baby for about 2 years. DH is/was the king of the reluctant spouses, but in April or so (and after many arguments, discussions and millions of tears) we decided that sometime this fall (maybe as early as August) we would start TTC. DH is also a competitive distance runner and he hasn't wanted to give up his sport for anything, much less fatherhood, so the decision to TTC in the fall was like a major battlefield victory, especially because he had just gotten a new running coach. Mother's Day was incredibly hard for me--we had a celebration of mothers at church and DH and I had a huge fight afterwards over me being upset. Since then, I've kind of slipped away from any baby discussions and stuff like that, and while I've lurked on the board everyday, I've only posted a couple of times since. I've really tried to prepare myself for the possibility that he changes his mind and decides he doesn't want kids and how we'll move forward from there.

Now to the present: some of you may remember we bought tickets to two Metallica shows this summer and part of the TTC delay was because I didn't want to be pg at these insane events (the first show was Saturday and was totally AWESOME!!--I was at the rail the whole time--next show is this Saturday and I'm totally psyched and ready). Anyway, back to my point, one of his best friends and a fellow runner (they share the same coach) traveled to the Metallica concert with us this weekend and announced that their coach e-mailed him Friday and announced that he and his 40 year old wife of 16 years are expecting a baby. Needless to say, all of us are quite stunned (including the coach!). I can tell my DH is really thrown by this. Now I'm wondering what I should do or say to my DH. I think he thought they were quite happy without kids (and I'm fairly sure they were) and is now wondering if they got pg before it was too late and they regretted not having kids. Should I continue to wait and see what DH says next? I can tell it's been on his mind most of the weekend. I do still really want kids, but I've kind of tried to be okay about it if we don't have them, but with his coach and wife now having a baby I think this presents the perfect opportunity for another discussion on the topic. Any advice?

Avatar for natbie
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 07-14-2003 - 1:03pm
Hi there. I still lurk around here something and was wondering what had happened to you. I'm not sure what to tell you... If you still really want to have a baby, I'd take this opportunity to bring it up again. Are you still shooting for the ttc date of Aug or fall? Or have you two fallen away from that? Personally, I'd want to know where I stood, so I'd bring it up again. But, I don't know if I could live with the possibility of never having a baby since that's something I've always wanted and something DH and I discussed before getting married. But it sounds like you're prepared to accept things if DH has decided that he doesn't want kids. So it seems like you've got nothing to lose. At least you'll both know where you stand on it.

You could begin the conversation just by talking about how surprised you are that they're pg and kind of muse aloud whether they were starting to think they'd regret not having a family. Then just say that it all makes you think about your situation and where the two of you stand on the topic.

I hope all goes well and eveything works out how you'd like!

Natalie edd#1 1.10.04

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-28-2003
Mon, 07-14-2003 - 1:36pm
Wow. My DH is the same way. He is no runner, in fact, far from it but he likes his "toys". We never discussed kids before marriage (something which I really regret) because we both assumed that we each wanted kids, since that is the reason why people get married - to start a family. Not neccessarily true in this time and age.

We both assumed that we were going to have kids and DH is trying to convince me now not to. I am not willing to give it up so easily. We had a huge talk and finally decided that he would be the one to compromise so I could have kids. That was nice of him. Then I asked him why he would be the one to have to compromise and not me? He said "we'll have kids because you want kids".

But every now and then, DH never fails to remind me that "I am not the one who wants kids". It depresses me, it makes me very sad. I don't quite know how to deal with it. There are some days that are worse of than others.

I don't know how you would bring that up or if you should. Sometimes, it might help to "remind" that you are still there and on the other hand, he might think you are nagging him. I drop hints every now and then but lately I feel that I have been dropping too many hints and he is getting annoyed, so I am going to stop for a while.

I don't know if we have decided or not, but my decision (and it's subject to more discussion I am sure, with my stubborn DH) was to TTC early next year.

Have you seen a counselor about this? That might help. I am considering going to my church counselor to talk about this issue.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 07-14-2003 - 2:48pm
We definitely sound like two peas in a pod. We did discuss kids before we got married and we both liked the "lets wait a couple of years before it happens" approach. But then after a couple of years, I was getting more ready, but didn't say anything to DH until we'd been married almost 4 1/2 years. At first it was NO, then it was not anytime soon and around Christmas 2002 it was in the next year or so and finally in April he agreed to this fall. But then Mother's Day happened and I just refused to mention it and have worked really hard not to even think about it since then. DH has made a remark here and there and I've just ignored it because I don't want to get my hopes up and end up disappointed. My MIL brings up the subject every few days and I know how DH hates that, but I've just stopped acknowledging her when she does it. DH just turned 30 on July 2, so I know he's thinking more and more about it and I really want to ask, but at the same time I really don't want to know.

I totally know the depression and sadness you're battling--DH once said to me that we would have children because he didn't want me to resent him and walk out if he didn't give in. That was a slap in the face to me. I'm not going to bargain for a baby and I really love this man too much to just walk out. It does scare me that I might resent him if we don't have kids and I pray that is a bridge I'll never have to cross. In the last few months, I've really tried to imagine our lives 10 years, 20 years and 30 years from now if we don't have children. I can see us making it either way, but when I imagine us with kids, it just seems nicer.

I think the main problem my DH has with the baby issue, besides the huge responsibility, is that we both believe his parents had him simply to work for them. Since the time he could walk, it has always been you're our child and you are to do this, this and this for us because we're your parents. When it is time for their car to be inspected or their grass mowed, it is "understood" that is my DH's responsibility to take care of these things--never mind the fact he has his own vehicles and yard and so forth to take care of. His parents are 62 and 60, in good health and his mother still works 40 hour weeks, so it's not like they can't do for themselves--they just won't. DH resents that (as do I) and I think that is one of the biggest hurdles for him to overcome.

As for the counselor, I have considered it but I would have to do it outside of my church because our church is a small country church where everyone knows everybody's business and I would never trust our pastor (how sad is that?) to keep my confidence. Maybe I'll just see how DH is acting tonight and just make mention of this weekend's astounding news and see where things go from there.

Hugs to you--I know you need them.

Avatar for jlynna12
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Mon, 07-14-2003 - 4:56pm
Hey! Just wanted to say Hi. I think the comments made have been pretty thorough, so I just wanted to say HI! from a former poster, now lurker :-D

Jlynn TTC#1


Jlynn, Momma to Asher and Ada

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-28-2003
Mon, 07-14-2003 - 6:02pm
THANKS SO MUCH! We are very much like 2 peas in a pod! First of all, let me say something about the church thing. I totally understand what you mean by country church and your lack of trust for your pastor. that is VERY sad but it is so humanly true. Sigh...

I go to a huge church, so I don't have fears of that.

Back to our DH's issues. It sounds just like mine only mine was in a worse situation. I have posted this a couple of times on this board about my situation. Your DH did not have a "good memorable" childhood. My DH was worse, I think. He was abused (physically and emotionally) by both parents. He sees having a family as negative because he never had one. His family was screwed up - he does not see families as Happy people. He sees chaos, stress, overworked, abuse, parents fighting, anger, etc.

He is afraid he will take after his parents and be an abusive father. He asked me "will I be a good father?" and I said "of course!" We both cried and cried after I found out the "real" reason why he didn't want kids.

He didn't have much growing up and now that we are both successful, he doesn't want to give that up with kids in the way. Kids are a huge responsibility and a huge financial drain. However, with both of us as Christians, he somehow needs to understand that material things do not bring you joy. I think he needs to realize that he has to put Christ as a priority...sometimes it is hard for anyone to do.

He wants to achieve more in life, more successful and he strongly believes that kids will get in the way... which is true. But to hold a gift from God that is given only to some, and to realize the love between husband and wife as a union created this wonderful life, is in itself a miracle to me.

It's hard for me to imagine 20, 30 years without children. I hate the thought of it. Has the thought ever crossed your mind that you want to have kids because you want to keep the legacy (at least part of it) between your DH and you, so that if and when the day your DH should die, you will have something to hope for in your kid? Something to live for? Hmm....

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 07-15-2003 - 10:25am
I am sorry for all your DH had to endure growing up. I can certainly understand his fears about following in his father's footsteps, but in my opinion, it doesn't sound like his parents had a stable, happy marriage before they had kids, and if you and he do have a happy marriage, I think that will make a huge difference in what kind of father he becomes. Plus, I think he'll learn by your loving example with your child.

My DH is a self-proclaimed cheapskate--in the spring he tried to get me to stop buying cheese for his sandwiches because he felt the cheese was too expensive for the little bit of added flavor. So I totally understand how you're having to battle the "kids are so expensive" argument. Kids can be expensive, but I never had a baby swing or a changing table when I was a baby and I think I did just fine. Yeah, it would have made life easier for my mom, but my parents couldn't afford it, so we did without. My DH is of the opinion that you have to buy all of this stuff in order to raise a child and I can't make him understand that I grew up in a large, poor family that couldn't afford all the new toys and stuff, and I'm a very happy adult. I remember when my mom would make french fries, she and my dad wouldn't eat any of them because they were expensive and there wouldn't have been enough to go around if they'd eaten them too. I've tried to explain to him that I can and will sacrifice buying the latest novel and wait to check it out at the library if that is contributing to his financial concerns about having a child.

Material things have never meant squat to me--probably because I've never had them until now. My MIL is still fussing because I got rid of the end tables and coffee table in my living room--I didn't like to dust them and all they did was gather stuff on them so I got rid of them. No big deal to me--same thing with the bedroom suit that was supposedly an antique (just because something is 40 years old it does not make it an antique!!!!) it was hard to dust and the headboard was weird and made it difficult to put sheets on the bed so I got rid of it. I'm just not about having more toys than my neighbor--its nice to be able to afford a car if something happens to mine, but I'm not just going to go out and get a new one every year as long as mine is still running okay.

I do wonder sometimes if I want a baby so bad because that is part of my DH to hold onto if something happens to him. I know that isn't the main reason, but sometimes I think that contributes to it. Obviously DH doesn't think that way or you'd think he would want a child that is part of me if something happens to me. Interesting . . .

Avatar for ammarahs_mom
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Wed, 07-16-2003 - 2:41am
I just wanted to say **HUGS** and welcome back! I was wondering where you were. I agree with the others that you could use the coach's baby-on-the-way as a way of safely raising the topic of TTC. I'd be matter-of-fact and casual when talking about it, trying not to get emotional and trying not to let it turn into another fight. I'm sorry that your dh feels he was used as cheap labour while growing up. However, I believe that bad childhood experiences can actually make the people into better parents. They've experienced first hand what bad parenting can do, so they are much more aware of the way they parent and they try harder to be different. When I was a kid, my mom was physically and emotionally abusive at times and so I've developed my own parenting philosophies which are different to my mom's. I have a no-spanking policy and I'm careful about how I treat my daughter (even though she's only 2) because I know the damage that parents can cause. Sure, there are people who continue the cycle of abuse but I think there are a lot of other factors that contribute to that, like lack of education, low socio-economic status, bad marriage, substance abuse, etc. Michael Jackson said "They say the abused abuse, but it's not true" and I agree with him, even if Jacko is kind of weird.

I really hope you get to TTC in August (next month!) or sometime this year. I'll be thinking of you and hoping that things work out!

Aisha WTT #2 12/03