14 Mar
I Want More Kids, He Doesn’t!

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

My husband and I recently started house hunting for our first home. We have one child and have been married for 4 years.

We have always said we wanted 2 children. We checked out our first house today and in front of the realtor my wonderful husband dropped a bombshell. That a 2 bedroom house would be fine since we were not having anymore children.

I asked him when that was decided and he said that we had discussed it already. I guess I was absent for this talk because I would have never gone for that. I made it clear before marriage that I wanted a big family and he was ok with that up until now.

I’m not sure how to handle this. In the privacy of our own home and not in front of the realtor I asked him about it and he just apologized for blindsiding me in front of a stranger.

Signed,

I Want To Go Forth And Multiply

___________________________

Dear Multiply,

I don’t understand how your husband can be so heartless as to refer to the realtor as a “stranger.”  After all, this is the woman who you have entrusted to find you your home, where your child(ren) will grow up, where you and your husband will grow old together, where beautiful memories will be made and silent treatments will take place.

Really, the realtor is practically a family member. Set a place for her at Thanksgiving.

Now, with that problem out of the way, let’s focus on procreation!

I understand that you and your husband agreed to have two children (The Mouthy Housewives legal team just asked me to clarify that the two of you agreed to have those two children with each other, yes? I mean, we’re not waiting for him to surprise us with an out-of-wedlock baby, I gather.)   As a matter of fact, you mention that you want a “big family,” so were the two kids you agreed to just the gateway to Octomomdom?!  Either way, things happen.Things being life and the economy and finances and OMG, we can barely swing the two bedroom home, how can we possible manage the mortgage on a three bedroom one?

I’m sorry, I’m projecting.  Perhaps money is not an issue for you or your husband, but the fact that he brought up the topic while house hunting makes me think that it is a concern for him.  You need to sit down and have a talk.  What has made him change his mind about wanting only one child and therefore depriving your child of a sibling?  Whether the concerns are financial or otherwise, there are ways to approach the situation without feeling like he vetoed your life plan. For example, the children can share a room.  Or perhaps an extra bedroom can be carved out of a larger area of the floor plan.  The two of you need to figure out if your family is complete and you shouldn’t hesitate to seek outside help in discussing it.

Just make sure to let the realtor know what you decide.  It’s the least you can do.

Good luck,

Marinka, TMH

 

25 Responses to “I Want More Kids, He Doesn’t!”

03.14.12#1

Comment by Cate8.

This reminded me of when my husband announced our divorce (first I had heard of it) in front of a town official. Fun times followed

03.14.12#2

Comment by Avprobeauty.

I agree that the husband is probably concerned about finances and since you have been married for four years and are just now buying a house that may be the issue. Definitely need to talk to him about it in more detail maybe it’s also a timeline maybe he just doesn’t want another kid right now and he used the wrong wording.

03.14.12#3

Comment by Bean.

He handled it badly. Really badly.

That said, if he really is done & it’s not just a finances panic, you need to honor it. No one really knows how many kids they can handle until they’ve got that many kids. While disappointing, and not what you discussed, his number might be one.

03.14.12#4

Comment by Sarah.

If his number is one and hers is two, why must she be the one to compromise and honor his number? I would absolutely seek outside help if necessary, but I’ll be honest, blindsiding me in front of stranger and single-handedly deciding OUR future could be a deal-breaker for me.

KatesOwnRants Reply:

I doubt this would really be a deal breaker. That’s it, you said something unexpected in front of a realtor! I want a divorce! Come on. Part of the solution could be to take a deep breath and discuss the issue somewhat calmly. Listen to each other. Don’t turn it into a tug of war. Yes it’s an important decision and yes there are a lot of emotions involved. But it has to be a joint decision. There’s no point getting incensed about having to “compromise” when it comes to marriage. That is what you sign up for when you choose to share your life with someone. It would be wrong to bring another child into the world just to satisfy “her number” (what is that anyway?) at the expense of causing resentment and anxiety for the other parent. That anxiety is sure to pass to the children as well. So unless and until BOTH parents agree to have another child, just enjoy the family you have today.

rojopaul Reply:

I like how Kate put this – not turning it into a tug of war, compromising, and enjoying the family you now have.

I know a co-worker who had 1 son and desperately wanted “just one more” and her husband said no. (She had one child before the marriage and he was fine being the step-dad.) After they married, she decided they should have a child together, and he didn’t want to. She nagged and whined and finally broke him down (personally, I think she “forgot” to take her b/c and ended up pregnant). He divorced her 2 years down the road – not because of the baby, there were other issues, obviously, but I really think that “baby tug of war” was the beginning of the end. Just be careful you don’t give an ultimatum that could ultimately end in another broken marriage with your one child being shuffled back and forth between two houses and divided families.

Thinkaboutthis Reply:

Is he the sole income earner of your family? Are you a stay at home mom? I ask this because if he is he may be feeling TREMENDOUS pressure. It’s scary knowing that in this economy there is nothing to fall back on if you should lose your job. Seriously talk this out. If you end up with just one child, well you’re really lucky to have a child.

Sarah Reply:

Who are you to tell me what is or isn’t a deal breaker in my marriage? My husband blindsiding me in front of a stranger about the future of our family would clearly bring to light deeper issues of respect and honesty, and it would be a big deal. And I clearly stated I would seek outside help. If one of us was content with a compromise, then yes, I would seek a divorce. I never stated another choice beyond compromising on one child is getting pregnant with another on purpose, so I will thank you not to put words in my mouth and have no idea why anyone would even jump to that conclusion.

Telling someone who wants another child and won’t have one (for any reason) to “just enjoy the family you have today” is insensitive and downright asinine. If I had a dollar for every jerk who said that to me when I miscarried after we’d already had two children, well, I’d be relaxing on a luxurious beach somewhere right now. People don’t understand how very real the pain of wanting another child and not being able to have one can be for someone, and like I said in another reply, it doesn’t matter if you have none or already have 20.

thepsychobabble Reply:

Because no baby should be born to a parent that doesn’t want it, or was tricked into it?
Because it should take 2 yes-es to make a baby, and only one no to put the brakes on?
If having one child is truly the end of the world for someone, then they should divorce and seek out someone else to be that 2nd child’s parent. Not force it on their current spouse.

sisterfunkhaus Reply:

A deal breaker? Really? So you would just throw your vows out the window because he made a mistake and you aren’t getting your way?

And, she absolutely should forget about having another if he doesn’t want it. A child is a huge commitment that both people must absolutely agree on. My husband and I went through this. It was hard. I could have had an “accident” and most of my friends and family suggested it. But, in the end, that would be an incredible betrayal to my husband, who I love dearly. It would be so wrong to force another child on someone who truly doesn’t want it. And, it would strain the marriage. I don’t think it matters how many kids he said he wanted in the beginning. Maybe one is all he feels they can handle. Was the way the guy went about telling her wrong and insensitive? Yes– welcome to the world of men. But it doesn’t mean that she needs to divorce her husband. She needs to take care of the life and child she has now and just move on.

Marinka Reply:

I think it’s very, very difficult to be in someone else’s shoes on this one. And when I say “very difficult” I mean “impossible”. Almost as though they were wearing stilettos or something.

I don’t think it makes sense to tell someone to get over it, that she should forget about having a child if her husband doesn’t want to have another one. Each of us knows when our family is complete, it’s different for everyone and we arrive at that decision in a variety of ways.

Neither party should have the final word on the subject. If the couple has many reproductive years ahead of them, they can take a “wait and see” approach. If they don’t, well, then I think they need to seek professional assistance in reaching this very important decision.

But her feelings of wanting a larger family are every bit as valid as his wanting to be a single child family.

Sarah Reply:

Exactly what Marinka said. Wanting another child is not about “getting your way,” and to reduce it to that is simply ridiculous. The yearning for a child for some people is something they will never get over, and it doesn’t matter if they have none or already have five. If two people can’t agree on something as serious as having more children, neither one should be forced to compromise. One party being forced to give up their dream of children/more children can cause just as much resentment and tension in the marriage as the the other giving in to more children. For me, if even outside help could not make us both content with a compromise, then yes, it would be a deal-breaker for me, and if you see that as “throwing my vows out the window,” then I guess that’s your issue, because I sure don’t see it that way.

03.14.12#5

Comment by rojopaul.

When hubs and I used to discuss having children while dating, I wanted 2. He wanted 4. We got married and ended up with 2. Not because “I won” but because we had no idea what life would be like, married with jobs and children. We had the first and knew we wanted at least one more. After the second, we jointly decided we were both happy with two.

I think being flexible is the key. What you thought and what you now know can be totally different. But you definitely need to open a dialogue and say you were surprised at what he said in front of the realtor, does he really feel that way, is it economics, etc., and then take the time to share what you feel and were thinking. Marriage is full of compromises. I wouldn’t divorce him if he insists on just having 1, but if it were me and I was really set on having at least 1 more, I would enlist my friends and family to start praying that he would have a change of heart. And maybe his compromise is he agrees to another (either now or in a year or two?) and you compromise with 2. The important thing is to talk about it.

03.14.12#6

Comment by sisterfunkhaus.

I hate to say this, because it is heart breaking, but if he only wants one, you have to honor that. A child is a huge commitment for a couple. Both people have to be on board or you are asking for trouble.

Really, all you can do it discuss it with him. But, he has the veto power. If he isn’t willing, you have to move on. It sucks for sure. But, again, both people have to be willing when if comes to bringing a kid into the world. Getting past your husband not wanting have another is hard (I have been there and have gotten through it.) But, it can be done and your marriage and life together can still be happy and wonderful. Your only child can lead a perfectly happy life as well (there are also lots of pluses to having one.) And, maybe that is what he is looking out for. Maybe he feels like one gives the two of you the perfect balance. He may feel that any more children would take away from your marriage, which should be the most important thing in your life. Just remember, your children are about your marriage. You marriage isn’t about children.

03.14.12#7

Comment by Lesley.

Sorry but I just can’t take this “you have to honor him” crap. What about her feeling incomplete? Or perhaps resenting him in the future because she “honored him?” I get wanting 4 & compromising on 2 kids once you understand the reality of having children but going from 1 to 2 is not the same in my opinion. As an only child, growing up I never asked for another sibling, but now, as an adult I feel a lot of pressure & anxiety when it comes to my parents aging & one day (a long time from now please) dying. I have 4 kids though so maybe I just drank too much of the kool-aid 🙂

Bean Reply:

Well, a lot of gooe reasons have already been listed, but I’ll add one more:

Because it is miserable growing up in a home where you know you are not wanted. Many, many adopted kids struggle with it, even after being adopted by families who desperately want them; just imagine if you had to live in the house where at least one of your parents didn’t want you.

Leah Reply:

I agree with Lesley, and that is why the words “honor and obey” were cut from our vows. We both honor each other and each other’s decisons and feelings. There is nothing, anywhere that says the man’s decision is final. Maybe that is the way it works in your house, but it sure as hell is not the way it works in mine.

Bean Reply:

I never said it was a male decision, or that the man’s decision is final. I dont think anyone here did. It’s what the man seems to want in this situation. If the shoe were on the other foot, and he wanted another kid, and she didn’t, I’d have the same reaction. I’d be critical if a man poked holes in condoms or otherwise sabotaged birth control to get a woman pregnant, just as I’d be critical if a woman decided to get pregnant knowing her partner was done.

To do otherwise is to commit someone else to great, lifelong responsibility with their explicit non-consent.

Leah Reply:

@Bean- I apologize for the miscommunication. I was not referring to your post, but the previous post by @sisterfunkhaus where she did in fact say “you have to honor that”. Having another child is not just one person’s decision. If they don’t agree on a number then they need to discuss it and come to a mutual decision so that one person does not feel resentful for the rest of the marriage. My husband and I were at that crossroads a few years ago. We had said 2, but he had a child from a previous relationship and when we had one he considered it done, but I wanted 2 of my own. We decided that I would go off birth control and if it happened it happened. I told him straight up if he was serious about not wanting another then he needed to take control and either use a condom or go get clipped. We now have a vivacious addition and have agreed that we are done. I still get pangs for another but WE have agreed to be done.

03.15.12#8

Comment by Karin W.

a note of support for a 2 bedroom house (that’s going on the market next week!!!) – we have 3 kids – 10 year old and 8 year old girls and a 5 year old boy – and have lived here for 8 years. I’m a SAHM. It can be done although it’s much easier with a walk-out basement with powder room!

But what your husband did – making a unilateral decision for your family especially if it’s the opposite of what you 2 had discussed – is appalling. You definitely need to get some pro-help – both individual and as a couple – to avoid resentment. I hope that this behavior isn’t something common for your husband.

03.15.12#9

Comment by VG.

I agree with rojopaul – it’s all about being flexible. It’s obvious, these two need to talk this one out, even with a professional 3rd party. Even in that setting, you can weight out the pros & cons of adding another child to your family.
Right now, my hubby & I only have 1 child and a 2 bedrm home. We’re looking to move in the next year and want something bigger b/c we KNOW we want at least 1 more child. We still go between 2 or 3 kids, and for us it depends on the gender & hubby’s age. We have a girl, if we have a boy – DONE. If we have another girl, #3 is up for discussion. As for his age, he’s 12 yrs older than me, so he ain’t getting any younger and as he puts it, wants to “enjoy the young years” before he feels he’s “too old” to do it.

Flexibility is the key, also communication. I’m not saying she should disregard her wants/feelings, but you shouldn’t have to settle either.

03.15.12#10

Comment by Big ol' B with a capital B.

This is such a hard one. Everyone says they should compromise, but really, there is no compromise on this. You either have another kid. Or you don’t. There is no half kid or half time kid.

I agree that he should not be forced to have more kids. But I also agree that she shouldn’t have to settle for just one if she wants more.

I do think it’s ridiculous that he chose to vent this in front of outsiders and in such a abrupt way. Even if he didn’t meant to be hurtful and they supposedly did discuss it (how does one miss this discussion) it still didn’t need to be said like that. As another poster said, I hope this isn’t a habit for him.

Whatever the case, I really hope they can come up with a conclusion they both feel comfortable with. This is a HUGE deal and really can be such a deal breaker, intentional or not. Such huge feelings can really taint a marriage.

04.19.12#11

Comment by bella.

YOUR HUSBAND IS WRONG!
To put it in a nutshell. yes, he was insensitive by just saying in front of the realtor that your done having kids. It is something that you both need to discuss further. he is entitled to how he feels and so are you.
but it seems that you both agreed a large family, (2 kids is not large, is average, large is over 3 kids)!
I am going with the politically incorrect opinion, that if you really always desired at least two kids, and your husband loves you, then he should be willing to have 2 kids. Seriously, when you have one child, or two, what’s the difference? You already are parents, and your lives are forever changed. its just as easy to accomadate 2 as it is one.
what is more important in life than another beautiful human being?
I understand that financing can be an issue, but have we all come from wealthy homes with everything handed to us? if you are looking for a home that you can purchase, then it seems that you can squeeze in another person to love.
I think it’s ulitimately the woman’s choice only if she is the main care giver. No-one ever regrets having another kid.
my husband and i had two kids, no money and renting. We managed beautifully now, have a great relationship with our adult kids, and own 3 properties. Just a new yet old-fashioned perspective!

04.26.12#12

Comment by I've Got Baby Fever But My Husband Isn't Feeling It. | The Mouthy Housewives.

[…] This isn’t the kind of thing you can sacrifice for another individual.  I would strongly suggest you see a couple’s therapist to work on this issue or else it’s going to tear you apart. There can be lots of anger and resentment when couple’s disagree over growing their family. […]

08.07.12#13

Comment by jessiemama.

We have two boys (8&5) and a 13yo from my hubby’s previous marriage.I love them all dearly. I have wanted another child for YEARS; My husband made the decision that we were done and I feel betrayed that my husband made this major life decision without me. I have tried for 4 years to “get over it” and talk myself out of this need for a third of my own. Now as my 5 yo (turning 6) is going to kindergarten, I am heart broken and full of resentment.
I would never want to have a child with someone who didn’t really want one.
I love the kids we have, BUT I still feel something is missing…And I have done my best not cry every time someones asked if we are having anymore. These are true feelings ( google it, tons of sites talking about this exact heartache), and NO ONE has the right to discredit them!

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