For three years, I’ve desperately wanted another child, but my husband’s adamant that he doesn't.
We have a beautiful son and he says I should be content.
But the yearning for another child is overpowering.
My husband says his age impedes him from trying again (he’s 72 and 30 years my senior).
But since we already have a young child, I know it’s possible. I don’t want to live the rest of my life with sorrow, grief, resentment, and regret.
Does a person lose their reproductive rights when they get married?
No one can force your husband to father another child, not even you.
Re-consider the decision together, one way or the other, in order to keep your relationship and your child’s home environment positive.
He should ask his doctor directly if his age affects whether he’s capable of reproduction. And whether there are specific health risks to a baby because of his age.
Getting counselling together will also help you two resolve this.
You need to explore why your yearning is so great.
Example: Perhaps you fear that having married someone so much older, you’ll be left alone when your first child grows up. In a process of therapy you will find your own answers.
Your husband may also come to understand why you feel so strongly about this need, and you may understand his response better.
Regarding reproductive rights: It’s now illegal in some jurisdictions to trick a partner into creating a pregnancy he/she didn’t want.
I’m 87, with a sad ending to life. My daughter and three grandchildren have been shielded from my existence since my divorce.
Unfortunately, some ex-partners cannot accept logical reasons for divorce and isolate their grandchildren from their former partner.
For eight years, my two granddaughters and a grandson never received the birthday or Christmas presents and cards I continually sent.
Nineteen years later, my daughter still refuses to tell me how they’re doing or which universities they attend.
Surely grandchildren have a right to meet their grandfather or at least know something positive about me. Surely at some age grandchildren have rights of their own.
After the divorce, my ex lived with my daughter. She could babysit the children and keep them from me.
My daughter went along with this.
Unfortunately, I lived quite a way to travel to see them but never forgot their birthdays and Christmas.
I’ve now been happily married for 17 years.
None of my relatives were ever allowed to see the grandchildren.
In my few remaining years, I’d love to have at least email contact with them if not see them in person.
Any suggestions towards changing this sad saga?
Write your daughter without including any verbal attack or blame.
Acknowledge to her that your divorce was obviously very painful for her, and say you regret that.
Tell her how much you’d like to see, or have contact with, your grandchildren, even hear about them.
Tell her that you’ve written a memoir about yourself (and DO so), including your family’s history, your young life, studies, work, etc., how much you loved their mother, plus your activities, interests, and hobbies.
Leave a copy of that memoir with your will, and leave the grandchildren an amount you choose. Instruct your executors to make sure they receive the document and legacy gifts.
It’s not the contact you’re seeking, of which there’s no guarantee. But at least it’s the knowledge you wanted to share, and that your grandchildren may appreciate finally knowing.
FEEDBACK Regarding the husband’s concern about his wife who’s changed “completely” (Dec. 5):
Reader – “You gave the husband some sound advice but he really doesn't know what's going on.
“There's a strong chance his wife’s having an affair. Her daughter’s at school, her husband’s working all day (and some weeknights).
“She’s found sexual fulfillment outside the house (probably with a younger man who makes her feel like a carefree teenager again).
“You didn't ask the husband about their sex life. He would’ve answered that it's much less intimate than in the beginning and he's lucky if they have sex once a week.
“Meantime his wife’s having toe-curling daytime sex with a sexy younger lover whom she probably met at yoga class.”
You conjure up neat imagery and may be correct, but there’s no evidence.
In my experience with such questions, if sex has changed remarkably, even a distracted, trusting husband would mention it.
Tip of the day:
Conceiving a child must be a couple’s joint desire and decision.