Sunday, January 13, 2008

about marriage and children and when you don't agree...

I know I am opening myself up here, but I know many of you that read my blog can totally relate to where I'm coming from. So, here it goes.

Chowder began to make comments to me a couple of months ago that he was done having babies. They were always wishy-washy and ambiguous. Then he finally made it more clear a couple of weeks ago. He is done having babies.

Please understand that I think this is a completely reasonable stand to take. I mean for crying out loud, I have 5 beautiful children! I respect and honor his decision...but I'm not in the same place. I always thought and expected we would have more. And he hasn't shut the door to more children, just to us birthing them. So, this is not a post about me wanting to persuade my husband to change his mind. That is actually the last thing I want. I'm not interested in having any, "Fine! You can have another baby." babies. I only want, "You know, I would really love to have another baby with you." babies. So, again. I'm not looking to talk him into anything.

Here is what the post is about. As reasonable and honest as Chowder not wanting to have children is, it is equally reasonable and honest that I do. And in agreeing to have no more babies, I have to grieve that loss. The loss, in essence, of my "fertility." (I use quotes because my fertility is man-made.) Ladybug has more or less weaned. I am sad. very, very sad. I have tried to talk to Chowder about these feelings but it's been pretty useless because he either feels guilty for "making" me feel this way or he feels emotionally manipulated and pressured into doing something he doesn't want to do. Do you see the rub? I'm not trying to illicit either of these responses, but by the mere fact of expressing these emotions to him, trying to share with my best friend what I'm going through, I am.

We are at a real impasse, my friends. And maybe some cannot understand this because I didn't realize the effect that this would have on me, but I am going through a major life transition and I am having to do it...alone. I'm not angry with Chowder for not wanting what I want, but I am angry at him for abandoning me in my emotional menopause. I have cried at night while he pretended to sleep. not knowing how to help me since he feels he is the "cause."

And this is effecting so much more of my life than I expected. I didn't realize how much I equated my sexuality with my "fertility," but I have them deeply intertwined. I have had no interest in sex since this has come up and for those that know me, know that very little gets in the way of my interest in sex. You would think that after the years of infertility treatments and the years of sex having nothing to do with my fertility, that this wouldn't be the case.

And then there is the little issue with my last little lost one. Rational or not, theologically sound or not, I still feel like this little soul is supposed to be with us. And I can't shake the image of her just floating around out there wanting to come home. morbid, anyone?

What worries me the most about this impasse, is that when a person goes through a major life transition one comes out a different person on the other end. And if Chowder isn't with me through the transition will we be together once I get through it? As together as we have always been?


KellyLynn said...

KT, i am sorry you are going through this. I have similar issues with my dh. they are on different topics but basically there are "topics" i can NOT talk to with him. If i talk to him about these things i regret it. But then i will be bitter towards him for not being able to share my issues with him. We are working on it still. I have told him a few times that i keep things from him and i don't like not being able to talk to him. My dh is obsessive, if i talk to him about a topic he will disect it and badger me with it, and try to research it to the end, where as i just want him to listen to my concerns and just let ME talk, just to get things off my chest, but he will see it as needing to FIX me.

Sorry i am rambleing.Truely the only thing i think you can do it preface a discussion with him saying listen i need to talk about my feelings, everything i say to you and talk about is about ME, not you. You should not feel guilt or saddend by what i am talking about. Let him know he is your best friend and you needing to just talk about your feelings not about the affect of your feelings on him. Then he can do the same thing if he needs to. If he needs to get things off his chest/mind you need to listen as a bestfriend, and not feel guilt or hurt by his feelings. Maybe pick different days to talk, so the emotions are not soo close to the surface as back to back.

Again, sorry for the rambling.

Mel said...

I can relate. I only have 3 and Gary was adamant no more so had a vasectomy 3 years ago. Every month when I ovulate I think about what a waste this beautiful lovely egg is just wanting some sperm to make my 4th child. So here's what I figure... some of us will ALWAYS be broody when our last one is weaned. This means once baby no.6 if off the boob you will have the same feelings.
I say keep these feelings for Skaterboy's kids which weill hopefully not come before the next 9 years!

stickgirl said...

I can understand this feeling you have. Allen decided one was enough and slammed the door on any discussion. Since we adopted in the first place, there is no hope for any freebies or anything. And I am really not okay with it. But what can I do unless I leave him? And I resent him for not keeping his promise to have children (plural) simply because we can't do it the regular way. My infertility took away the ability to decide how and when we would have babies and now he has taken away the decision of how many. But I have this one great child who loves her Daddy so what do I do?

Cakes said...

Thank you for your words. It is so hard when you have such a big issue between the two of you. And in the end, someone has to go along with the other and leave their own wants behind. The talking did help last night. It comes down to not being able to have babies like everyone else.

Stick~She is a gorgeous little one. I can't imagine how hard it must be not even being able to discuss it.

shaz said...

hmmm, sorry cakes. :(

I am kind of in the same position as well actually, well... not "the same" but my husband is done and I don't feel like I am, and I also do not want to convince him. It's a hard feeling to deal with, I understand the emotional challenge. I don't have anything in the form of advice or an answer, but I do understand what you're saying and your feelings are valid. Talk about it as much as you need to.

jlp said...

This is one of those issues that are just sooooo different for women and men. And why shouldn't it be, really? They will never understand what it's like to even possess the ability to bear children, let alone what it feels like physically and emotionally to grow a life and give birth. So Chowder probably just doesn't get how hard it is to close the door on something that is so amazing.

My DH and I are pretty much in agreement that our family is complete with 2 kids (99% sure). Still, I'm sometimes blindsided by that 1% when I have thoughts like "oh, how I miss being pregnant" or "Jack is getting so big, wouldn't it be fun to have another baby..." Because yeah, even when you are sure you're done, there is a certain amount of mourning that is deserved.

So it's probably natural that Chowder doesn't understand. It's hard wired into him as a man... the whole "something's broken, I must fix it" thing. When women just want to sit and think and talk about it for a while.

I think you'll still be together, even if you are both different people on the other end. That's what it's all about.

Jenni said...

(((HUGS))) Kate. I have a different situation, but the adoption issue is one that still chafes at me with regards to DH; I can feel very resentful towards him about it, so I get what you mean when you speak of one person having to subvert their desires for the other. It just sucks. I consider DH my best friend as well, so poop. :o(

Mamabear said...

I get it. We have fertility issues and that along with the fact that I've lost more babies than I've carried...I think we are done. I don't think I could handle another loss/surgery, but it doesn't make the "end" any easier to bear. I wrote about this a few months ago on my blog --look for the posting, "3"

MollyD said...

I am in the exact same place you are right now. And it absolutely breaks my heart.
I asked DH the other day about doing an FET with the taxes this year. And his only response was "we will see". This has been his same response for 4+ years now. He says he isns't sure he can go through having more. What the heck has he done with the 2 that we have! not a thing really.

I hope that you can get to the same place on this decision.

That Chick Over There said...

I have secondary infertility. When I was 22 I gave birth to twins. My husband left me when I was 10 weeks pregnant. When the twins were five, I remarried. So now, this man I was supposed to marry and who is raising my children? I can't have a child with him.

I've been mourning this for a few years now. Most of the time it's gotten easier, but there still are days that I weep over it. There is really something extraordinarily painful about that longing.

My husband is (probably like yours) along the lines of, "I don't want you to have to suffer to have children. I'm happy with what we have. I don't want to risk losing you."

It doesn't make it easier, does it? I can't figure out why. Maybe because the two I have are so wonderful that I wish I could have a million more.

Michelle D said...

I will be praying for you. I understand this too although we haven't yet hit an issue this big. We didn't really have disagreements like this until we came to Germany. But Germany for our relationship has been like being squeezed into a little closet together with mirrors that we wanted out of and somebody saying, You're not getting out of here until you struggle through this. Not cool man, not cool. It has been hell and I'm so glad we made it through a lot of stuff that could have taken years. There are still things that are damaged that need community and its a good time to get back to the States (we go back in April). Being without community for too long is not good. We are polar opposites so we have immense difficulty understanding each other. I do wonder if this issue will hit a standoff for us. Right now it's up in the air because I'm ok with two at this point and he thinks he's done. He's never told me no more and being a fiesty chic I'd probably tell him...ok, well hopefully I'll have the grace to work through it. I always thought I'd want five or six but I'm not like my Mom or my sister that has five. I'm not a group person I'm a one on one person and I really struggle with just two. I'm kind of a high-strung, high-maintenance person and I'm intense and intentional about my time with my children and how I spend it. I watch my sister struggle with getting one on one time with her children and she handles it well and is really laid back. I admire their family and how well it works for them. Then I put myself in her shoes, being the way I am and I don't know how well I'd do. I remember wanting more time with my Mom so badly and we are super close but there is something still lingering - an unsaid wanting and never getting enough. I dream of having a little girl named Clementine so you never know. I was devastated when I had to stop nursing Ian because I went on an antidepressant for postpartum depression. I'm still sad about it. It's why I waited 8 months to take it even though I was severely depressed. I really want that again but I'm going to have to really pray about it because I want it to be the right thing. Well, enough rambling - I'll be thinking of you.

Melanie said...

I don't know what to say, Cakes, except offer (((HUGS))) and prayers.

Marlee said...

Wow. What a tough place to be in. I think I'm afraid of going through the same thing, so we're sort of avoiding it. Both my husband and I *say* we are done after two (and I'm 37, so...) yet neither of us wants to take the step of "making sure" we can't have another--something that seems SO final to me...

Well wishes to you on working through this!