Emotions 11/1

First things firt: Anxious about crap to do and insurance approval. Happy, excited, and confident about other things.

Met with psychologist today. It was a hard appointment for me. I’ve been trying to get my husband in to see her for ages. He had a horrible childhood with loads of abuses and still suffers with parental and sibling issues. It’s a miracle that Lee is functional at all, considering the things he has been through, and I’m sure that I still don’t know all of it.

The tipping point for me though is when Lee says, quite seriously, that he never wants to have children. The last time this conversation came up, I said “Lee, if you’re serious about never wanting to have children, I need you to be totally up front with me and not go back and forth. Because if you’ve made up your mind about this, then that leaves me with a decision to make.”

The decision, of course, is whether I can stay on board in our marriage.

Even admitting this is incredibly difficult. Nobody in my family knows about any of this… they think we’re on a normal path to kids in a few years. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want any in the near future. I’m booked solid for the next 3 years with a PhD and everything, and then I’m off to academic employment and (hopefully) the tenure track. I am not even considering the possibility of kids before age 30 (I’m nearly 26 now). So when Lee & I talk about kids, we’re not talking about right now.

The thing is, I love my husband. I respect him. I think he’s hot. I want to be his wife. But I’m not sure that I’m ready to give up the idea of having children (whether biological or through adoption, either way). It’s not even that I’m 100% sure I do want kids, it’s just that I’m 100% sure that I’m not ready to say I don’t (if that makes sense).

But I know deep down in the core of my heart that Lee would make a great father. That he would be fulfilled and blessed by children. That he has everything it takes to be the world’s most amazing dad. That’s he just afraid because his childhood was so crappy. That he’s scared because he doesn’t know what a dad should be like, what a dad should do. How could he know? He never had one, and the men he did have in his life were abusive.

So Lee and I had another discussion about this last Sunday. I explained where I’m at with my own feelings, that I’m not sure I can hang with the idea of never having kids. Not that I KNOW I do want them, but that I’m not ready to give up the possibility. That I see us a strong coupled on a shared path… until it comes to this issue, where it seems like we could be headed in different directions. I told Lee that he owes it to himself to talk about his childhood, to work through the stuff that could be causing his feelings about parenthood, and to just process all of that before letting it determine his life. He agreed. He acknowledges that fear is what keeps him from embracing the idea of parenthood.

So Lee & I will see my psychologist tomorrow. I’ve spoken with her about this situation, and her perspective is that Lee should do the grief work he needs to do and then see what he feels after a couple years of therapy.

I’m scared. If I ask him to go through the work of rehashing his past (which lays precariously stuffed away and ready to explode at any moment in his psyche), and if he does the work, and if he comes out of the other side still not wanting children, what do I do? If he honestly takes a good hard look at his past and still doesn’t want kids, then I guess he will have met his obligation to me to try. I guess it would be appropriate for me to accept the reality of a future without children. I’d rethink my life and begin imagining a future without children or grandchildren.

I need to wrap this up. Final thoughts:

  • I refuse, absolutely refuse, to be one of those women who gets pregnant on purpose. I don’t want to have a baby that Lee didn’t want.
  • I refuse to guilt Lee into having children. I’m not even sure having kids is that important to me. I will not give the ultimatum that either we have kids or I’m out, because that makes no sense. If we’re going to parent together, we need to both be in it whole-heartedly and willingly. If we’re not, then I need the freedom to decide what that means for me.
  • I refuse to work past the next few years. I’m busy with school, and Lee will have plenty of time to rethink his past. Right now isn’t a make it or break it type situation. It may never be.
  • I love my husband, and I respect that he’s honest with me about what he wants. I admire that about him and I’m thankful he talks with me about these things.
  • I refuse to feel pressure from anybody else–from my parents or other family members, especially–to have kids at any certain time or at all. The decision to raise children together needs to take place within our marriage and not involve external influences.
  • If I get pregnant some time along the way while we’re not trying, I know we’ll both be happy and we’ll accept it as “what’s meant to be.” Lee and I have discussed this plenty of times and we’ve already been through a half-dozen pregnancy scares. Every time, he’s happy. Who knows, maybe that’s the way it has to happen for us.

Enough thinking. The End.

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2 Responses

  1. Ya know, in counselling, not in counselling, Lee could change his mind, especially as it is something you are not really broaching for a few years yet. I went the whole way through my twenties NOT ever wanting to have kids. Then something changed, though I could not tell you what it was. The twenties are just an insane time, I think. Of course, now we have adopted kids and on bad days, I still wonder if I wasn’t right to begin with about not wanting them! Heh. Hang tight, Meg and give things time. No need to borrow trouble from a few years down the road. Good to be encouraging hubby to talk it all out with someone though!

  2. I think that the fact that during the pregnancy scares – you both are happy and willing to accept the pregnancy… that gives hope to the situation. All you can do is pray that Lee will come around – and pray that he’ll continue with the therapy. He has plenty of time to come around to the idea of you guys having kids.

    I’ve actually got a friend that was adamant that she & her husband would NEVER have kids… they didn’t want them and wouldn’t ever try to have one… well they ended up pregnant – and are really enjoying their son. They did take steps to make sure that there won’t be a second child… but they love their son and all is well…

    Just pray that God will give you peace while Lee heals – and that God will give Lee the strength and determination to go through the steps that it will take to heal. It’s going to be a long hard road for him, but will be worth it in the end.

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