Monday, September 06, 2010

A Post-Nuptial Dealbreaker

It is when someone changes their minds (or reveals their true feelings) on having kids. "Jennifer" wrote in to Dear Margo:

I’ve been married for almost seven years. When we married, I was 25, and the deal was that we’d wait until I was 30 to have kids. I honestly thought I’d get used to the idea of settling down and having a kid (or two). I’m now almost 33 and know that I don’t want kids.

I just don’t think I was meant to have any, and I like my life the way it is now.
There is nothing wrong with this. I say this as someone who is happy to be a father. If you're sure, then at least get an IUD or even a tubal ligation.

I’m having a hard time thinking straight these days, because on some days, I feel like I need to confess and then give him the option of getting out of the marriage.
You need to do this immediately. He may surprise you – he might not want kids, either. He may want them at this point only because he thinks you want them. Arrange for a nice, quiet evening, sit down with him, hold his hand, and tell him how much you love him, appreciate him, and how happy you are with him. Go on to say that you're happy with the way life is now, giving examples, and that you do not want to have kids. Point out that it would be unfair to bring kids into the situation, and apologize for this change to the agreement.

Then, give him the option of getting out. Promise that you won’t screw him over in a divorce, and stick to that promise. Don't get a lawyer if you can avoid it - try going to see a mediator together - someone who doesn't financially benefit from drawing out a divorce and making it contentious. Cut off contact with anyone who tries to get you to use the divorce laws to your advantage at his expense – at least until everything is over.

On other days, I feel like I should just go ahead and have a kid and hope and pray that everything turns out OK.
No. Do not gamble with the life of a kid. Kids need willing parents.

He says he thinks about having kids every single day.
Maybe he’s trying to give you an opening to say you’ve changed your mind. Thinking about having kids and wanting to have them are not necessarily the same thing.

I wrote it before – outside of spiritual matters, whether or not you're going to have children is the biggest decision a person can make. Sometimes, someone changes their mind or feelings about it, so even if they get married in good faith with the agreement to have children or remain childless, they may change. And since there is a husband and a wife – two imperfect people who change and grow throughout life – they may end up with different answers to that most important question.

But notice - unless he replaces her contraceptive pills with placebos, he can't go ahead and make her have a child anyway. But the same would not be true if she wanted to have children and he didn't. She could easily make him a father. And that does happen. Any man who doesn't want to have children and has reason to believe she does should no longer ejaculate in her or around her.

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