How do I, without a blow up, discuss my feelings for wanting another child with my husband of eight years?
We have a five-year-old daughter. He has three boys from a previous marriage – from teenage to early-20s – whom I’ve been raising since they were two, eight and ten.
We waited a long time to marry because of issues with my husband’s ex and court.
When our daughter was a baby, my mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Suddenly, my life as a new mom was very stressful, busy and hard.
I’d love to have another child and enjoy that short-lived baby time.
We would’ve entertained this possibility sooner but my mom passed away and time flew by.
My husband is nine years older than I am and I feel my biological clock is ticking.
The Baby Deadline
You two have been through a lot – from his divorce troubles through raising his sons, to a daughter’s birth, and your mother’s loss.
You were partners, through it all. Now he’s apparently resisting you – perhaps due to his age, or the practical concerns of supporting and educating a fifth child.
Your biological drive to get pregnant while you can, carries some weight. Yet, the stated reason – for you to enjoy baby time – isn’t strong enough to help him change his mind.
Make your approach as much about him, as suiting you, and you’ll have a better chance.
Here’s the best argument that I often hear: The youngest child born to an older father is often the one that keeps him feeling young, and is around longest with youthful interests and activities that engage him and the whole family.
I met my now-fiancé online and we spent a year getting to know each other through Skype before he moved across the country to live with me.
He knew that my daughter, 19, lived with me and they “met” on Skype.
But when he arrived and moved in, they were both uncomfortable.
My fiancé didn’t try to build a relationship with her. She moved to her father, which she’d never wanted to do previously.
Six months later, it’s been a good move as her father and she are finally getting along well, and he’s encouraging her continued education.
She and I communicate almost every day.
Yet my fiancé is still distant with her.
She visited a couple of days ago, and he stayed in our room, saying he needed to straighten out his papers.
It was very rude.
Later, I asked why he avoided her and he said he “couldn’t drop everything just because she decided to visit.”
I’m very upset and can barely talk to him.
Should I tell him I’ll break up with him if he won’t accept my daughter as part of our life?
Torn Between Them
Don’t rush to an ultimatum.
Instead, tell him how you feel, without casting blame – i.e. you’re hurt and worried about how this can affect you as a couple.
Calmly ask how he feels about it, and how he thinks it affects things between you.
If he doesn’t get how important this is to you, or insists that it’s your daughter’s fault, you two need counselling or your relationship won’t last past another cold “visit.”
State it positively: You want to try, together, to rise above whatever went wrong before.
If he wants that too, then getting counselling together is a commitment on both your parts to face problems and find ways to handle them.
FEEDBACK Regarding the young woman, 18, whose birth mother notified the adoption agency which contacted the adopting family, to inform them that she wants to contact the teenager (Sept. 10):
Reader – “I, too, was given up at birth and was then adopted two weeks later.
“When I was 30, my birth mom found me. I met her, but I had the full support of my mom. If nothing else, I learned some health history.
“We became friends and I introduced her to my mom on Mother’s Day.
“We stayed friends until my birth mother’s death. I made sure she knew she was a friend, and my mom was always my mother.
“Age 18 might be early to meet her, but she sounds mature and has a great family.
“I agree with you that this is something that needs to be discussed with her mom and dad. She shouldn’t feel guilty.”
Tip of the day:
The reasons for having a baby should be positive for both parents.