I’ve been married almost a year to a very caring man. We’re late-20s, together for almost five years.
I thought we could raise a puppy together. But I wasn’t ready, not strong enough, and couldn't give our dog the love and attention he needed.
Since the wedding, there’ve been the usual "when are you having kids" inquiries. But since having to give up the puppy, I’m fearful about having children.
It’s the nine months of carrying it (and all that comes with it), the labour itself, the sleepless nights, the short fuses, etc.
It’s my fear that I won't be strong enough to take care it.
My husband’s response is, "We'll wait until you’re ready.”
But I don't know that I’ll ever be ready.
I always thought I wanted kids, same as I thought I always wanted a dog.
I’m struggling with how to move forward – to own up to my new-found feelings, or douse the fears.
This experience isn’t all negative. There are strong positives for you to absorb about yourself:
- Unlike many people who hide their mistakes, you learned from yours and admitted it – i.e. that you weren’t ready for the full-time responsibility of a puppy.
- Unlike some others who rush into having children without checking their own preparedness, you’re acknowledging second thoughts.
However, fear and self-doubt are playing too big a role in your current considerations.
Instead, focus positively on yourself, and on your current life with your husband.
You don’t have to decide now what you’ll feel like over the next 10 years. You’re not a “weak” person just because you didn’t take to dog-rearing.
But since you’re feeling a lack of inner strength, there are probably past reasons for this reaction.
Talk to a therapist about it – NOT because of any social pressure to have children, but for a healthy self-image.
Help your husband understand that the issue for now is how you feel about yourself.
So that you can share in making important future decisions, with confidence and maturity.
A woman I’ve been friends with for 20 years, and her mother, are big gossipers in our small town.
I’ve always tried to change the subject, but I no longer have the patience.
She’s alienated herself from many of our mutual friends. Most of the gossip she spreads isn't true.
I’ve tried to ignore it, but my parents also live here, and now they’ve heard horrible things about me.
Yet I’ve always been kind and supportive to her.
I’ve distanced myself but there are still weddings, showers, etc. that she invites me to, and then I’m dealing with her again.
How do I decline without creating drama?
I hesitate telling her the truth because she’s very defensive and cruel when crossed.
You could say that you’re “busy” at the time of these events, with various planned getaways which you “can’t alter.”
It would be a white lie to avoid confrontation, drama, and more nasty gossip about you.
Otherwise, you’re going to have to be honest and direct: Simply decline all her invitations. If asked why, say that the untrue and unkind things she’s circulated about you have made it clear that there’s no loyalty or true friendship on her part.
So, as a result, you’re withdrawing from any connection. Then, beat her at her own game.
Immediately tell anyone you care about that you’ve done this, and to expect false rumours about you as her revenge.
EVERY year, my three sisters-in-law send my husband beautiful birthday cards with wonderful handwritten sentiments.
They also call him, email, and sometimes stop by, to wish their brother a happy birthday.
However, they never remember my birthday, though we've been married 40-plus years.
I’ve always been kind and welcoming to them. We send cards on their special days. Their behaviour’s hurt me.
How would you handle this yearly snub?
I’d ask my husband why he’s never told his sisters that their mean-spirited neglect of your birthday over 40 years is rude and offensive to him personally.
But you didn’t do that. He’s enjoyed being the sisters’ pet sibling while you’re overtly snubbed.
I suspect you still don’t think he’d react as he should’ve long ago.
Consider speaking up a week before your next birthday, saying you’ll be celebrating yourself with a lovely night out. Then stop sending them cards unless you hear from them.
Tip of the day:
When a single incident shatters self-confidence and raises fear of future decisions, talk to a therapist.