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A vulnerable topic... on husbands and figuring out your path in life...

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  • A vulnerable topic... on husbands and figuring out your path in life...

    I haven't met any of you in person but you're starting to feel like a little online family to me. So I'm gonna risk posting this sorta vulnerable post.

    As some of you know, I don't have kids (how many other kidless scrappers are on this board, I wonder?)... but my whole life, I've always thought that I wanted kids. My husband and I have been through two rounds of unsuccessful IVF so far and are contemplating a third. We're also contemplating adoption.

    Last night, as I started really digging into the adoption process, my husband and I ended up having a really honest heart to heart. I have never gotten the sense of what HE wants in life, as it relates to children. It's always seemed like he'll go along with what I want, but because of that, if I want something, I do the heavy lifting as far as research, doctors, phone calls, talking to people, thinking in through, emotionally preparing, etc. etc. I'm sure some of you can relate - that is a big job! Last night it essentially came out that he's not even sure he wants kids. I know that he's very much against a kid coming in and essentially taking over life - which is what they do, right? Your time is no longer your own, your schedule is no longer your own, you don't get to do what you want, you do what your kid needs. You go to soccer practice and music performances instead of playing volleyball with your adult friends. You pack lunches, you clean up messes, you listen to crying and whining instead of having an adult conversation with your friends. I love my husband, he is a wonderful man and treats me like a queen... but it's this kind of outlook that makes me reactive inner voice say "how can you be so selfish?" I mean this guy gets upset when he goes to a friend's house and that friend's kid is making noise. He gets upset because "he went over to spend time with his friend, not his kid". For the most part, he avoids interactions with children, and if forced to hang out with them, has a VERY short time limit of patience with them.

    I know there are upsides to kids too, don't worry... but I'm worried that my husband is having a hard time seeing that, and can't envision a family for us, despite what I thought he was saying previously. When I was going through shots for the IVF procedure and getting all emotional about how hard the journey was... when I changed my diet and quit caffeine (SO HARD)... he was always there saying "Honey, just think of our goals". But now this?

    I don't know what to think. I hate that I feel alone in going down any path of research or decisions regarding kids - either through IVF or adoption. Adoption seems lengthy and daunting. I know my husband has a REALLY hard time projecting into the future. Adoption can take multiple years, right? He can only see today and how much he wants his time to himself. So here I am, trying to decide for our family if that's what we want to do and going through the beginning stages all by myself.

    Not to mention all of the emotional stuff that goes along with adoption even if you have a clear decision to do it. Will I love the child the same? How will I handle conversations when they're older about why their parents gave them up? Should I get a baby that looks like me (white) or should we consider international? How will life be if we have a mixed looking family? (For the record, I have absolutely no prejudices against any race, color or creed).

    I'm just sitting in this place of feeling that my partner in life isn't willing to think beyond himself. That's of course an emotional, angry reaction... but it's what I'm feeling.

    Did anyone else here have partners that couldn't envision a family before you had one? Do they change once it's real and in front of them and they have this little person relying 100% on them? Can they learn to look beyond themselves?

    Again, he's a wonderful man... I love him dearly... but... argh I just feel so frustrated.

    What advice can you guys give me? I want to make decisions that come from a place of love and understanding, even of my husband's wishes... so I'm trying to think calmly about it all.

  • #2
    ((hugs)) I am so sorry you are going through this, truly honest answer, no they don't all change when a child comes into their life. Some of them are forced to grow up and kids truly make them almost finished and complete as a person, they can take pride in the actions and achievements of their child or children as well as their own. But some of them and to present a balanced argument some women too never really manage to look past themselves. My husband loves our children very much that was very evident in the way he looked at them when they were born and he held them for the first time, but he didn't change his personality when they came along he is still frequently immature, selfish, self-centered and to be blunt some other words that are not repeatable on a public forum. He's annoying, irritating, frustrating and I often tire of having to act like his mother rather than his wife, but my life is still better with him in it and there are times when he is exactly what I need him to be. Stopping off to pick up paracetamol on his way home from work, riding his bike to mcdonalds at 11pm at night because the only thing one of the sick kids wanted to eat was a mcflurry, he cleaned up vomit when I literally was too overwhelmed to deal with it and just shut the door on it, he takes them to school because I struggle with it. I'm the parent that does the "heavy lifting" as you described it for most things, but I am also the one the kids turn to when they need anything. He misses out on so much, and I am still ever hopeful that one day he will come to realise that himself but I also fear he won't because even losing one at 3 months old didn't really change him. Our oldest is 14 and the other 2 are 5 and 7. What I am trying to say is that he may never measure up to your idea of what a father should be, but he may still be exactly what you need him to be. There isn't really a way to predict how he will feel or react to fatherhood, but there might be some more very long conversations in your future, good luck. Hugs Crystal x

    Comment


    • shannonc
      shannonc commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for sharing your story, Crystal... I appreciate the honesty, that's the kind of advice I'm looking for.

  • #3
    As you know, we're going through IVF too and although we don't consider adoption we are still considering non-biological child through embryo donation (since we have so much trouble getting some of ours). And to be honest I recognize myself in a lot of things that you describe. My man is10 years older than me and he pretty much considers we are past "young parents" age, even though he doesn't verbalize it that way. He's still ok to try IVFs but he's still very afraid of how our life will change when/if we ever become parents. He's not the most flexible person and even though I have faith for 2 in his adaptability, he's afraid that having a baby that is biologically not ours (even if I carry it in my belly) will make it even harder. That being said, it's funny because at the very beginning, when we decided that I would stop BC and we would start trying, he was afraid I wasn't fully aware of what it means to have kids, that I was "playing doll" with our friends' kids but that I would think differently when I'd have to get up in the middle of the night with a crib full of poop after a diaper explosion. And now, he's the one not feeling ready to face that kind of reality! I know, in the bottom of my heart, that he'll be an amazing dad, but if it turns out I was completely wrong and he's not, or if having a child that is biologically not "ours" is not something he can deal with, I'm ready to face this challenge too. Heck, even I sometimes start wondering if going through all "that" for "just" a baby is worth it (especially when my belly turns into a pincushion and I'm menopausal, pregnant-like emotional and have zits like a 15 years old all at once!) I don't think it's a bad thing to be ambivalent about infertility and all the long, painful, emotionnally draining process that this disease inflicts on us, it seems quite normal and even healthy to me, and it's true for both us and our men...!
    Last edited by chloe; 03-10-2017, 03:22 PM.

    Comment


    • shannonc
      shannonc commented
      Editing a comment
      Chloe I want to meet you so badly! Maybe I'll come to France and give you a big hug. I know you understand better than a lot what I'm dealing with. Thank you for your message. So... do you have any kids at all? I thought not but wasn't sure. I COMPLETELY understand your feelings about being pregnant-like emotional and zits like a 15 year old all at once... that is so my life right now! Sending you a giant virtual hug, my dear. Thank you thank you for your compassion!

    • chloe
      chloe commented
      Editing a comment
      That would be so awesome! You're more than welcome, any time!! And no, we don't have kids. We've been together since 15 years 1/2, since I was almost 22 and he was 31, and we neither had a long enough relationship before. We started trying when I was almost 29 and my plan was to have a baby by the age of 30, which is the age my parents had when I was born. Well, that didn't turn out like we expected, did it? LOL

      After our only beginning of pregnancy in 2012 (that ended up in a miscarriage after a month) I was in a very dark place and I went to one of the therapists that is offered in our fertility center. It's included in the fertility treatements and at the time it was an emergency need. After the emergency was over I kept seeing her and it has helped me a lot dealing with all the feelings that come from facing infertility. It shakes so many deeply intimate notions, like the relationship with your own body, the definition of femininity and your purpose in life, the couple, of course, and coping with negative IVFs. I hope it'll never come to that, but if I ever have to greif the idea of ever becoming a mom, I know she'll be a lifesaver.

  • #4
    I am sorry that you are dealing with this. I am not much help, my hubby wanted kids way before I was ready. Having said that now that they are older (23,21 &17) he has forgotten what little kids were/are like. So often he dropped them off at school and then went to work. I picked up and did everything else and when he came home they would have been fed and bathed and be all calm and quiet again. When my cousin's kids are here he totally stresses out that they are intense and busy and quite frankly ours were too. I am so looking forward to grandkids and I wonder how he will cope with littlies running around. It is a major adjustment and lasts a good 18 years plus. Your life is never your own again, nor are your finances. I think you both need to be on board with whatever you decide because parenting is tough and it wears you out. I love my children, many of the friends we have now were made through school years, parents of my children's friends. Friends of our who don't have their own children miss these connections the most.

    Comment


    • shannonc
      shannonc commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks Stefanie. I know what those connections feel like (well, sorta) because I'm VERY close with my best friend's kids. Heck, I practically helped raise them! I am having trouble answering the question from deep in my heart of "will I regret not having those connections if we don't have a kid or adopt". I really don't know. I truly believe the world is a magical place and everyone is connected and special relationships and connections are possible in ALL kinds of places. They may be different than a parent/child connection but there are still special connections equally strong and full of love... would that be enough for me? I don't know...

  • #5
    Hmm, that is tough. I'm sending a big hug your way. I'm not sure I have any relevant advice, I have known some husbands change totally, and others not change very much when children arrive (which can be very tough on a marriage). I'm not sure what makes the difference.

    I hope you can talk together some more, and figure out what to do.
    Last edited by corrin; 03-10-2017, 03:33 PM.

    Comment


    • chloe
      chloe commented
      Editing a comment
      I've recently seen two "younger" couples face the struggles of becoming parents, one split and the other is still hanging on, but barely. Both didn't plan to get pregnant "that" quickly (one was even still on the pill) so the new balance that comes with welcoming a child was much more of a struggle. I think that if a couple can survive infertility, even if one of the partners doesn't seem as enthusiastic or commited as the other about having a baby, the parenting step is a piece of cake. I know, I know, maybe I'm wrong, but leave me in my delusions pretty please! LOL More seriously, though, we (=infertile couples) have more time to talk about what life will be once we are parents, what is important for us in our kids' education, what values we want to pass on, how we want to share the workload between us two, so that helps making things easier once it becomes reality. It doesn't mean we don't face the same issues as other couples, just that we are better "armed" for them, maybe, simply because we had to develop those tools to survive infertility.

  • #6
    First of all, many hugs for what you are going through, as it can not be easy. My work assistant is going through the same thing with infertility and not being sure that her husband wants a baby as much as she does. He likes his life the way it is right now; he loves being able to do what he wants when he wants and spend their money on "toys" for him. She is also the one who does all the work and research because she is the one who really wants it. In their many heart to heart talks, I think the conclusion she has come to is that while he would be okay if they did have a child, he would also be okay if they didn't. Being a father would be a bonus to him whereas being a mom is a necessity to her. She is going forward because it is so important to her, where as he may be going forward more for her than for himself and she is okay with that. If they do have a child, I am sure more of the care will fall to her as well. Again, because it is what she wants, she is okay with it. He is going to love his child, but she will be the more hands on parent and she knows it going in. If you know this going in, do you still feel the same about wanting a child? Will you be okay if you have to pull more of the load because as much as we wish it were, nothing is ever even.

    His reaction to kids may be because he does not have enough experience with them, so that may get better after you have your own, Or it could be that he is not crazy about kids, which does not mean he will not be crazy about your kid. I am not wild about kids, they make me nervous for the most part and really mess up my ODC with their dirty hands, runny noses, etc.., but I have a son and I have been crazy for him since day one. He is my world and I did not mind his messes or stuff like I thought I would. That is not to say that I did not teach him to pick up after himself as soon as possible or have my doctor tell me not the bathe him so much because apparently kids need to be a little dirty (really?) and have natural oils build in their skin, (again, really?), or any of the other things that a crazy OCD mom does. When I found out I was pregnant with him, I was not unhappy but I was worried about my ability to be a good mom and love him, as I am not the most affectionate person in the world either. I shared that with my husband from the get go, which was no surprise to him because he knew and understood how hard showing emotions was for me, and he promised his help, his love and his support. Then in my 5th month of pregnancy, he died. I was terrified that I could not do it alone, but the minute I held my son, I knew I could and not only could, but that it was going to be the best thing that ever happened to me. Your husband may be the same way.

    I think you need to have more heart to heart talks with each other and more with yourself as to what you really want. And remember that just because he sees the goal differently than you, it does not mean it is not his goal too. Talk it out, work it out and work it out together in a way that will make you both happy.

    I am not sure that is at all helpful, but I hope it is. Hugs and best wishes!
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    • shannonc
      shannonc commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you Lorie... I appreciate you sharing your story so much. It's hearing from other parents, or even others that decided NOT to have kids, that really helps give me more perspective and more things to think about. So thank you.

    • chloe
      chloe commented
      Editing a comment
      I could so much be your work assistant!

  • #7
    My husband was adamant about only having 1. He is an only child, while I have a few siblings so our childhoods were very different. I let it go- thinking it would be a decision we could make later. While not easily, we did finally get pregnant with our daughter after a year of 'trying'. When she was about 2 and we were still deciding if we would have another, I accidentally got pregnant. Like I 'thought' I still had a mirena IUD in but turns out it had come out at some point & I was pregnant. It was a shock for both of us, especially my husband. He said he felt tricked or guilted into having another. Of course, it wasn't my fault either... Anyhow- we miscarried at 12 weeks. The emotional roller coaster was terrible & I think it wasn't until we lost that one that he realized he did in fact want another. I guess that was the silver lining if there is such a thing. After another year of trying with no luck, we had made the decision to take a break for a year or so, and then of course when we weren't trying, we ended up having our son. After he was born, we both agreed our family was complete so we didn't have to be in odds over that decision anymore!

    In my experience I think sometimes men don't know what they want. I think that once your hubby has HIS child, his attitude might change. While all the HARD things definitely come along with being a parent- there is so many good things! Sorry I don't have much more to offer as far as advice- but know that we are all thinking of you & hoping/praying for the best!

    Comment


    • shannonc
      shannonc commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks Amie. I think you're right when you're saying it might be different if it was HIS kid. That of course leaves me wondering how he would do with adoption??? Ugh. Anyway, thank you so much for sharing your story.

  • #8
    First I´m really sorry that Chloe and you have to deal with this. Althoug I have 2 kids I can imagine your feelings. DH and I decided very soon that we want to have a baby , inxperienced about pregnancy (we thought it took min. a year to get pregnat), I was pregnant 2 month later. After 2 years I could imagine to have a second child and thought it goes as fast as the first time. But month after month passed and nothing. I cried a lot, was angry, insulted my husband, so I can imagine your feelings. My doctor said it is totaly normal that it can take 2 years, and after ,I think 8 or 9 month I was pregnant again. After 3 years I wanted a third one and lost 2 , but it was ok for me, not very emotional, I already had 2 healthy kids. But during this time, I was about 35 years old I had a hormone therapy ( today I really don´t know why), but it never comes to a pregnancy but with 42 I had ovarian cancer.

    In my opinion having kids and imagine how life will change is something we can´t imagine before . It changes us, and nobody knows before in which way. In general, the women is completly with the baby and forget the first month her husband. And the husband is jealous. So you need a strong relationship to got through this. I think it´s mother nature who gives the women more patience, more nerves to deal with crying children , no sleep and all the problems which will come. We have this sense to feel if our children are awake at night. Men often don´t even wake up if they cry near their beds, isn´t it ? the second part where your relationship has to be very strong, when they reach puberty. It´s absolutly necesseray that you pull together and that you have a man on your side.

    To sum up: You will never get an answer if you would love an adopted kid, like your own, if he will love a baby or not, because you can´t try it before. Friends kids are not the same, you know after a few hours you can go home ,sit back and relax. But the love for your kid isn´t also the same , as the love for your friends kids. You will do things for your kids which you never can imagine you will do .
    --- ASTRID ---

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    • chloe
      chloe commented
      Editing a comment
      I didn't know about your cancer! I hope you're ok!! (((hugs)))

    • AnikA68
      AnikA68 commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes Chloe thanks God the tumor hasn´t scattered and so no chemotherapy was necesseray .

    • chloe
      chloe commented
      Editing a comment
      Great news! Ovarian cancer is a nasty beast, often diagnosed when it's too late, so I'm glad yours got found on time!

  • #9
    I don't have anything new to add that hasn't been said already but just wanted to send you BIG HUGS!

    Comment


    • shannonc
      shannonc commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks!
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