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POLL RESULTS: The Kindest Uncut?: (12 comments)

POLL: The Kindest Uncut?

Friday, June 19, 2009 - 12:00 AM

A reader writes...Q: I've been married to a wonderful woman for three years. I'm in my 40s, and this is my second marriage. During my first marriage, I decided that I never wanted to have children and so had a vasectomy. My current wife knew this before we married, but now she says she wants a family. She is adamant and says she's not sure our marriage can survive if we don't have children. So I'm faced with two problems: Are vasectomies reversible? And should I have an unwanted child for the sake of my marriage?

POLL: Should this guy reverse his vasectomy?
 
72% (1027) No way! He made his feelings clear before they got married!
 
21% (301) Maybe... Maybe he'd like kids if he tried.
 
5% (84) Yes! A happy wife is a happy life.
1412 people have voted in this poll. (This poll is not active.)
Jorn
Jorn

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Re: The Kindest Uncut? (Score: 1)
posted Friday, June 19, 2009 - 01:14 AM (#48239)

Sounds like a case of bait and switch- she always wanted kids, but knew you didn't so waited till you tied the knot to tell you so. I'd have to wonder what other things is she going to "change her mind" about. The thing is, if you do decide to have the vasectomy reversed (I don't know if it can be) and you have a child you don't want- yes, the child may change your life and attitude completely, but even so, even if you don't resent the child, you'll still probably end up resenting your wife. And that's not good for the marriage or the child.


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Murgatroyd
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Re: The Kindest Uncut? (Score: 1)
posted Friday, June 19, 2009 - 01:16 AM (#48240)

Are vasectomies reversible?

Some of them are, some of them aren't. Ask a doctor, not a bunch of people on the Net who read a cartoon.

Even if your vasectomy can't be reversed, you may have other options if you and your wife both decide you want her to conceive. There's a technique called percutaneous epididymal sperm aspiration [wikipedia.org] in which a few sperm are extracted from your yarbles with a needle -- not many, but enough to do the job with in vitro fertilization. Or you and she could use sperm from a donor. For that matter, you could adopt, although I suspect that your wife wants the full Mommy Experience.

You really shoulda had some of those tadpoles frozen in liquid nitrogen before you cut the hose ...

And should I have an unwanted child for the sake of my marriage?

Ah, that's the big question, isn't it? You made the decision to never have children before you met your current wife. Given that you obviously didn't forsee this situation, are you willing to reconsider the decision? (If you aren't willing to at least think about it, I'd say your wife would be better off without you.) If you give in to her for the sake of the marriage, how will you respond the next time your wife hits you with emotional blackmail and a non-negotiable demand?

Why don't you want children? Do you consider yourself the culmination of four billion years of biological evolution, never to be surpassed? Do you have something against rug rats? Do you remember what you were like as a child, and rightfully fear the result of karma? Or do you simply value peace and quiet and freedom?


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Snobahr
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Re: The Kindest Uncut? (Score: 1)
posted Friday, June 19, 2009 - 02:15 AM (#48241)

Does it have to be a product of your sperm? If so, who's the one pushing for DaddySperm - you or your wife? Would either of you be welcome to artificial insemination or adoption?


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quixotecoyote
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Re: The Kindest Uncut? (Score: 1)
posted Friday, June 19, 2009 - 04:39 AM (#48244)
In Response to Snobahr (#48241):

Did you read the whole letter?

The phrase "unwanted child" should give pause to that line of questioning.


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nemodos
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From: Saint Louis, MO

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Re: The Kindest Uncut? (Score: 1)
posted Friday, June 19, 2009 - 05:13 AM (#48245)

Did you wife know you had a vasectomy, or that you didn't want kids, and therefore had a vasectomy? Did you wife enter the marriage expecting never to have children? If so, did she agree with your decision?

All of those questions make me think of an underlying issue you did not mention: Why did you marry this woman in the first place?

If she's really the woman you've decided to spend your life with (the second woman, in fact) then these would not be questions posed to an online forum. This would be a discussion between you and her, alone. You and your "one and only" should be working out these issues, and if you've chosen each other the rest of your days, this would not be a deal-breaker for you.

Assuming you'd discussed this extensively before marriage, do you know what's made her change her mind on this issue? If you hadn't discussed it extensively, what makes her think you'll reverse your stated wishes? And why does she treat your marriage so lightly?


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Caffeine
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Re: The Kindest Uncut? (Score: 1)
posted Friday, June 19, 2009 - 06:58 AM (#48246)

Usually, I am all in favor of children, but in this case - don't do it. Unless you love being with this woman more than you love your life without kids.

(If you don't get to an agreement, you may have to end your marriage, but if plans are this different, it would not be fair to trap one of them in a situation he/she did not agree on.)


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Stevarooni
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From: KCMO

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Re: The Kindest Uncut? (Score: 1)
posted Friday, June 19, 2009 - 07:32 AM (#48247)

Vasectomies are reversible (but not with 100% results). But no, having children is -not- a salve for marriage; it is an additional strain on any marriage.


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Cat1864
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Re: The Kindest Uncut? (Score: 1)
posted Friday, June 19, 2009 - 09:01 AM (#48248)

I wouldn't say that she entered into the relationship under false pretenses. Many women think they don't want children until they realise that the proverbial biological clock is ticking or are exposed to friends and their new additions to the family.

The question of "are vasectomies reversable" has been answered. Sometimes Nature even does it itself. I have two children by my husband who had a vasectomy long before I met him. (Turned out the "failure rate" at that time was like 1 in 4,000) Talk about a surprise.

Now, on the "should you": One phrase sticks out, "unwanted child". Obviously, at this time it would be unwanted BY YOU. Just as obviously, it would be VERY wanted by YOUR WIFE. However, NO child should be purposely brought into a marriage just to "save it". No matter how much love and attention your wife would give 'him', your resentment of and disinterest in 'him' would be emotionally and mentally damaging to the child's well-being.

You haven't said why you decided not to have children. There are many reasons and most of them are usually valid for the person making the decision. So all I will ask is: are those reasons still valid and have you sat down and discussed the reasons with your wife? For that matter, have you really listened with an open mind to WHY she wants a child and why she changed?

This looks like a case where talking to a professional (whether it be Minister or Marriage Counselor) would be a very good idea. The professional would be able to help both of you understand why this change in her mind-set occurred and if you are still as anti-fatherhood as you once were.

One other thing: Happy Father's Day to all of the Daddies!!


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Justaman
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Re: The Kindest Uncut? (Score: 1)
posted Friday, June 19, 2009 - 12:02 PM (#48249)

I think we are all missing the most obvious statement "I never wanted to have children" regardless of the medical issues and alternatives he does not want children and says wife knew this. So the tough question is "will you want to have children to save your marriage?" I would generally say follow your heart. You'll never know until you have kids if you will love being a partent or not (I know so many people who I thought would hate being parents who love it, unconditional love from a child is magical thing), and there are enough idiots making babies that the world will not suffer the lose of one baby-maker.


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Azerik
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Re: The Kindest Uncut? (Score: 1)
posted Friday, June 19, 2009 - 12:17 PM (#48250)

Your marriage is doomed.

I don't like saying that, I take marriage very seriously, but I think it is.

If she is "adamant" about having kids and you were serious enough about *not* having them to get it permanently taken care of, then it is a deal breaker. If you discuss it and convince her to give it up, she'll always resent you for it. If you relent to keep her, then you will always resent the child on some level. My vibe in this is that she is feeling incomplete and thinks that a child is what she needs to make her feel whole. That is never a good idea.

Children are a commitment on a level that cannot be expressed with the simple word "commitment." It sounds trite, but it *is* impossible to fully explain to someone that doesn't have kids. I always fall back on my "life insurance" story. I had always known that having life insurance was a good idea, if something happened to me my wife would be taken care of from a financial standpoint. Having seen the expense of funerals and so on first hand, I knew I should get some. However, it wasn't until my son was born that I *HAD* to have it. Some little switch flipped in my brain and I finally understood the full meaning of "need to have" something meant.

If someone is dissatisfied with their life in a major enough way to feel like a child is the solution, then there is a larger underlying problem that a child probably won't fix. I have too often seen what results when couples have a child to try and fill a hole of some sort. Most of the time it staves off the inevitable disintegration of the relationship by a few years, and invests those years in building up the acrimony necessary to make a truly life shattering experience of the divorce. That divorce swells to the point of being damaging for the adults involved, and shouldn't happen to them, let alone the child.

Bottom line, if your wife thinks that a child will complete her, and you do love her, then both of you need to get some counseling and work on the underlying reasons driving this before you take on the awesome responsibility that is raising a child. Maybe you will come to see that it is a good idea. Maybe she will come to see that the lack she feels isn't going to be filled by a child. Maybe it will reveal that your relationship itself needs the work.

At the very least you need to have a good, long discussion about it between yourselves. The most important part of that discussion is to NOT let it become an argument. This is an emotionally charged subject that you are both passionate about, don't let that in, this needs to be rational first.

Vasectomies may be reversible, tubal ligations may be reversible, but having a child is as permanent as it is possible to get. If you can't put *ALL* of yourself into that responsibility then for the sake of the child, DON'T have the kid.


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TakaComics
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Re: The Kindest Uncut? (Score: 1)
posted Saturday, June 20, 2009 - 11:53 AM (#48259)

I say maybe because it's only been 3 years ('second marriage' aside), and there is the option of adoption. People in relationships sometimes don't want kids right off the bat, but then grow into the idea after years with the person. This is why she was probably fine with the idea at first. Talk to her about considering adoption as an alternative. You could just say: "But honey, you can skip all the unpleasantness and pain of childbirth and get right to the unpleasantness and pain of raising kids!"


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swwinchester
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Re: The Kindest Uncut? (Score: 1)
posted Wednesday, June 24, 2009 - 12:17 AM (#48301)
In Response to TakaComics (#48259):

More importantly, adopting a kid takes a kid that someone else didn't want and puts them into a home that -does- want them. Trust me on this - the processes involved in adoption may not cause a lot of physical pain, but they can be -very- taxing. Of course, anything that involves a lawyer is going to be painful on some level.


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