Hers, Mine....and Ours? Help. - FamilyEducation
Hers, Mine....and Ours? Help.
06/01/2008 at 10:06 AM

I have been VERY happily remarried for 2 years.  I have 4 children from my first marriage (10,8,6,5),  who are over for the normal visitation type schedule.  She has one daughter from her first marriage (5) born essentially the same time as her divorce.

All that being said, believe it or not, we are quite happy and harmonious.  The only 'issue' is that she wants to have a child with me.  Even though my 4 kids are over quite often...she still feels that 1) she has only had one child, and always imagined having another, 2) she feels this is an important bond she wants to share with me 3) she had a horrible 'baby' experience the first time as she was all alone with no suport and nobody to share the excitement with. 4) she feels i deserve to at least have one child that is with us all the time...one that I don't have to give up.

This all makes sense to me...but here is the complication.  I don't want another baby!  I have already had a vasectomy that would need to be reversed.  We have FIVE KIDS when they are all together already.  We wouldn't even fit in our 7 passenger mini-van with another child!  I can't help but feel that while in concept it seems very sweet and natural, and I can very easily imagine having a child with her, picking out nursury decorations, naming a baby, etc...in the end it would be extremely stressful, extremely expensive, and ultimately..could be bad for us.  Since I'm the one with 4 kids....this makes me feel like a bad guy.  I feel like she deserves to have another child!!!  So I'm torn...

And here is the real kicker.  I am crazy about my wife, and expect to be married to her for 60 years...BUT...i felt the same way during my first marriage, and she left, cheated, took my four kids, and tried to deny my basic visitation rights with lies that I had to have sorted out by the court system, courty psychologist, and CPS..which did happen eventually.  I have to be honest....I really don't want even the slightest chance of someday fighting over one of my babies again, and that isn't going to happen at all..if I don't have another.  On top of that, I am crazy about my kids.  Their mother has already had 2 more with her new husband, and I have to admit..I kind of like the idea that these 4 will always be my only kids, and that while at home, they have to contenct with two new siblings...with me, they are everything and all I have.  Are these aweful perceptions for me to have?



Yes, I can understand totally where your wife is coming from when she says she wants this baby, but I can also see it from your point of view. As you have had a vasectomy already, what are the chances that she could get pregnant if you have it reversed. I thought it was pretty slim, but things may have improved on that front since I last read about it. Please don't feel like a 'bad guy' because you are not. You have had a bad experience with marriage and that is bound to colour your judgement. I really don't know what the answer is here, but please don't feel guilty. I think you are being reasonable.

Thanks. I am 32, and from what I understand...due to my age, and the relatively little time I have add the vasectomy...the odds of reversing it are actually fairly high if we decided to go that route. This really is a tough issue. Unlike anything I have faced in my first marriage, and anything else with this one. She litteraly lies in bed and quietly cries at times, becuase she wants this so bad. I understand that this is really an expression of just how much she cares for me tha she wants to do this....so I'm very honored by how strong she feels about it. But I just can't get past the above stated points. We both work...she have to stop for some time, we'd have to spend around $10k on the vasectomy reversal, we would have an entire new set of logistical issues on our hands when coordinating with our ex's, our jobs, our schedules, etc. I'm sure ALL of this could be worked out..but at what price? How much stress and complication would it have...and ultimately....what price would that take on us? I sincerely feel that my ex's breakdown was due to stress of having 4 small kids close in age. I don't think her actions helped....but I do think the toll made her feel somehow that a change would help her. I don't want to place my wife under this stress...even if in her mind right now she just sees us holding our own baby, taking pictures, pushing a stroller, etc.

Yes, I know it can be hard for her. I have 4 children. Three were grown up when I divorced their father. I stayed married so that my children would have a father because I didn't. My father left my mother before I was born. I wanted them to have what I couldn't have. By the time my 4th child was born, my other 3 were adults. I had had enough of my husbands drunken abuse and finally got free. I met my partner who is a wondeful man. He has helped me raise my son from the time he was 4. He is now nearly 19. He says my son is the child he would have wished for if he had one. I had often thought in the past that I would love to have a baby with this man, and that this baby would be so loved because we love each other so much, and he is a wonderful role model for any child. But then I think of the realities. For a start there is the added expense. I know it sounds mercenary to bring expense into an equation such as a baby, but it is important. It would totally change your lifestyle. If you already have 5 between you, then this could be the straw that breaks the camels back. Wonderful though babies are, they are expensive wee things. Added to that as you say will be the cost of the reversal, and if it works, then losing your wifes salary, or hiring childcare. I feel so sad for your wife if she cries herself to sleep, but I feel she is not really facing up to reality. Is there some sort of counselling you could both have to resolve this issue? I am now a grandmother and past the age for having children, but I went back to college and got the qualifications I need to be an Early Years Practitioner. Now I can spend the rest of my working life with children, and I have my 3 wonderful grandchildren to care for and love. I can't remember how old your youngest child is, but maybe working with children would be an option for your wife. I know it is not the same as having your own one, but might just help.

You bring up a good point though. I often wonder if years down the line....when we are far past this decision...I'll regret that we didn't do this. Will I look at her in our old age and feel sad I denied this to her?

I was in a similar situation with my 2nd husband, only it was him who wanted the baby together. He had 3 and I had 2 so we were 5 also. He wanted to have a baby together for the same reasons as your wife and I did not for all the same reasons as you. As it turned out we ended up apart and eventually divorced for many reasons. His children had, and as they became teens developed, many issues, some from their mother and some from her having another child. His children ended up feeling fragmented as a result. I felt the children did not need yet another stressor to add to their very full plates. You are being sensible and practical. If I had given in as I very nearly did, I would have been a single mother with 3 children to raise on my own with all the complications thereof. I know it is difficult, but you are so right.

Having a baby is a joint decision. Although I'm not in your situation, I've experienced a bit of what your wife is feeling. My husband and I have 2 children (neither of us have been married before), and I went through a stage of wanting another baby. My husband does not want to go through all that again now that we finally have our kids out of diapers and sleeping through the night. I can understand that as I somewhat feel the same way, but part of me still feels that I'm not done. Maybe it's a woman thing, I don't know. I even cried when I had to give away my sons' baby clothes! I'm sure your wife can relate to that. Anyway, I still think that if you both can't agree on this, then your wife needs to respect your decision. You are happily married, and the last thing you want is to be caught in a stressful situation that can easily put strain on your marriage for many reasons. Having a baby is a big responsibility, and you need to see the whole picture. I'm not saying that you cldn't make it work if you decided to have another baby, but the reality is it takes a lot of work. I find that men seem to think more realistically, while women are more emotional about these issues. You and your wife have each other, and you also have children from your previous marriages. Together you have created a family that is commited to one another. Find fulfillment in what you have, and focus on building a beautiful future for yourselves and your family. Best of luck!

that was beautiful stated concerned... I have been reading the responses to this post and did not know what to say. I sometimes long to have a child with the man i love and at the same time i KNOW that is not a good idea. I can see your wifes desire to have a child with you - I think this desire is intate. Take the advice given to find fulfillment in the wonderful family that you already have.

You all have made some great points. I hate feeling pessimistic...but part of me thinks; have the baby and I may have a happy wife, but 5 kids that are even more fragmented than now. I mean...today, my kids leave their mother's house with 2 siblings to come here with their step sibling. I worry about making them feel somewhat like the outside kids over time. The only ones who do not stay with mom and dad...always getting shuffled back and forth...and since there are 4 of them..likely missing out on little things that are somewhat easier to do when they are gone (go out to eat, etc.). AND if that is compouned by my wife feeling more jealous of them, and more biased against them with a new baby around...i can't help but see a hard situation. Then again...maybe I am over estimating this impact. I wonder....does anybody ever really regret having a child together in the long wrong? Isn't is precisely these kinds of things that people take pride in later in life, above their financial sistuaitons, stress, etc.? Shouldn't we have the opportuinty to talk and think about the child WE had togethet....same as everyone else?

You still sound torn. Give this more time. Whatever you do, though, don't rush into a decision just to please your wife. This is a HUGE decision that you need to make together. Maybe in time, one of you will change your thinking, and then you can make a more rational decision. Until then, focus on what you already have. I have a thought, and I'm curious. Do you think you are more concerned about the financial aspect and stress of having another baby as you mentioned before, or is it more about your fear of losing this child if you ever had to fight for him/her in a custody battle? I know you mentioned this concern before, and I was wondering how strongly your stance is based on that concern. It is very evident that you love your wife, but it is also evident that you are realistic. Did you discuss these feelings w/ you wife in detail? Maybe, in a way, she feels like you don't trust her and your relationship b/c of your past experience w/ your ex-wife. If that's the case, and this is an insecurity in yourself, you shld maybe consider counseling to help sort through these feelings. You sound very commited to one another, and I believe you both want your relationship to last. Talk to your wife and really tell her how you feel. Be 100% honest. I know you don't want to see her hurt b/c you love her, but she too has to understand how you feel as well.

There are so many children in this world without any parents. I find it kinda sad when I hear about dillemas such as yours when there is a little child sleeping on a rock with flies in his/her eyes and no food. I sometimes think if a person wanted to do something meaningful with his/her spouse, why not give a life to a child who is already alive. Another child in your life would just take more time away from your kids who are already making so many sacrafices. I think in some ways you and your wife are being selfish. I really hate to be mean, but why not give your time and attention to the children you already have?

Tamz, I think I'm with you on that. There are too many children suffering in the world today that could be helped.

Two things, you said your wife "feeling more jealous of and biased against" your children. If she is even slightly either, then you should not have a child. And, you are not over estimating the impact. I grew up in a family where my mother was a widow with 5 children then remarried and had my sister and myself. We had to listen to our siblings telling us we were the favored children and dealing with the resentment of our 5 older siblings. Some of the things they said to us still hurt 30 years later. You need to think beyond the feelings of you and your wife and your missed opportunities and really think about the effects on all of the children, even the unborn one.

Thanks 2x...that is really what I'm looking for...real life experiences people have had. And you confirm my fears theres. To answer other questions...my main concern honestly is 1) impact on my 4 kids and 2) impact down the line if the marriage didn't work out and 3) logistical/financial impact today. To others that say 'be content because you are more fortunate than others' would find that logic probably doesn't play out well in most places in our lives. Contentment and happiness is 100% contained in the perception of our own lives and surroundings....not mingled with people and events in other countries. Millionairs commit suicide when stocks crash and they are less rich than they were...and still far more wealthy than us. Like ir or not...that is reality. In this situation, she feels having a child together would give her contentment...she may certainly have to live without that...but nothing else can take its place just by thinking 'others have it worse'...and that is what worries me.

Your post is very selfish. Taking into consideration others who have far less definitely helps put "happiness" into perspective for those of us who can look outside of our own little bubble. Every day I remind my children how fortunate they are. They have pillows and beds and food to eat. They live like KINGS compared to other human beings and they should rejoice in every comfort and be EXTREMELY grateful. I hope when you say "contentment and happiness is 100% contained in the perception of our own lives and surroundings" that you are speaking for yourself. Many of us do consider how fortunate we are in comparison to others. You would serve your family well to help them learn gratitude. From time to time, have a family project that involves going without something important. For example, try making bread for a week rather than buying it, or try walking to any destination less than two miles away. A little sacrifice causes us to miss things that we take for granted and helps us be a little more humble and grateful when the thing is restored.

Tamz, My point is not that we don't consider others, but that nevertheless, being grateful, is not the same as being happy. I am quite certain if your house burned down, you wouldn't be smiling about how grateful you are to be able to afford a hotel and not live under a bridge. No need to respond to this, thanks to others, I've had the feedback about this real life decision that I was looking for to help me think through this. But before I depart...a few thoughts about your posts...that might help you distinguish between intelligent responses, and wishful thinking. -Respond to what is requested. Giving your philosophical respone about being content in what we have fallicious and circular, as is the source of that thought process. What do any of us need but air, water, food, and shelter? -Calling this very real decision of mine 'rude', and negating that idea this can't be dismissed with your circular logic, as 'rude' is pure naivity. Grow up. -Continue telling your kids to be grateful..that's fine and dandy. You'll never TEACH this to them until they experience adversity in their own lives. THAT is what makes people grateful..not watching national geographic. Your view is the typical sort of middle class american guilt trip people play on themselves, and it has nothing to do with my question, nor the response I gave you. My wife and I have never had a child together. THAT is the issue at hand...we are both very grateful for what we had before this marriage. This question is about the complexity of that very issue. Our blessings before this union, and how that plays in what we lack as part of this union. When others respond that they can understand what she feels, or undertand my concerns for this real life issues....i can sense the sincerity in their words. In your philosophical, personally guilt ridden response...all i sense is you masking something you are personally insecure about and taking it out in this forum. I would dare guess it isn't your first time. For all others who have been following this...an update: We have talked more thoroughly, but beyond that talking, I've paid more attention to how my wife differentiates between her daughter and my kids. the ways are subtle...but they are there...as anyone would expect, and I now realize more than ever...they will always be there...and will be there much more profoundly if we had a child of our own. I can't allow the 4 children I have a responsibility for to be placed in a situation where they are subconciously subverted by my wife..no matter how much I love her and not matter how much she does not intend to do that. I love my wife incredibly...but..no matter what regrets we may have down the line...the blood I share with my children is thicker than the ink I share with my wife...and I have to do what is best...even if that means my wife and I do not get to share the joy of a child together... I can't go throw life thinking I did anything less than the best for my kids...and for now..that means the 4 that are here and depend on me.

You have very thoughtfully come to a wise conclusion. I hope my replies were helpful to you. Good luck to you and continue to love and nuture the children you have and you will be forever fulfilled!

divertd, i know a little about the mixed family. When i met my husband i had a son already he had 2 kid from 1st wife that he had no contat with & 2 from his 2nd wife that he had no contact with.after 1 yr together we got his 2 children from his 2nd marriage and by the end of the same yr his ex wife other two childre which were his step children when he was marriage to ex. after about a yr we started to have our children which we now have 3 making a total of 8 kids"his mine & someone else :) " it has been very rewarding & challenging my advice is to remeber that life is to short and that those precious moments with our children are what make things worth living for. I have had to deal with a lot of issues with one of my kid that was not by my or my husband blood and there were times when i wonder why, he passed away a yr ago from cancer at the age of 19 even w/ all the issue i know that i made a difference in his life and he made me a better person for it. So when making your decision to have another child with your wife think about all the reason u had children w/ your first and why u love those children & remeber that life is onstantly changing & change w/ a blink of a n eye so enjoy life to the fullest I hope this has help best wishes Christina

me and my husband have been married for almostseven years we have two children together and he keeps pressing me to have a thrid child and at this point i've made up my mind not to i even went so far as get perminet brith control so i'm in your boat but its the other way around this time i keep telling him no i don;'t want another child but he keeps at it. i also have a illness i have to conrol daily and don't get me wrong i love my kids but i can barly handle them with the illness so what am i suppose to do about this.

This is our second marriage and we have thought of having a baby together. But we have been doing this for five years now; my son is a senior and his daughter is a sophmore. And he is 8 years from retirement. We're almost done! And I don't like being pessimistic either, but I read somewhere that 80% of all second marriages fail, and the #1 reason is the kids. It takes a LOT of work to blend a family. Having a child together is a wonderful thought, esp when we hold someone else's newborn. And if we had met the first go round, we would have had that. That is sometimes the consequence of picking the wrong spouse in the first marriage. I believe things are best left the way they are - for us. Good luck to you and your wife.