Monday, October 4, 2010

Ding, Ding, Ding

(Back story here, here, and here, in that order.)

If you heard bells ringing this weekend,

it's because David finally figured out hmmm, my wife doesn't seem to be talking to me and asked me what was up.

(Either that, or he finally got around to catch up on reading my blog and found out ALL KINDS of information when he stopped by here. I honestly don't know which it is.)

(He did ask me one night about a week ago- at effing MIDNIGHT-if I was mad about something. Since it was so late, I simply sighed and rolled over and went back to sleep. He didn't mention it again until yesterday.)

Of course, he brought it up a mere 25 minutes before we were meeting our friends to go to an apple orchard. Because, you know, that's enough time to have this kind of discussion.


Well, at least my husband. Sorry, didn't mean to over-generalize there.

Anyway, you would think that it would be better now that we've talked about it, but in actuality, it's not. It's too bad, really, that life's problems don't resolve themselves tidily with a neat little bow. But alas, they do not.

Basically it boils down to this: Despite my talking and talking and TALKING (not to mention begging, persuading, deal-making etc), David never realized how much I wanted a baby. Wha? Ta? Fa? I've been telling him for YEARS how I felt.

He also said that if it came down to another child OR our marriage, he would agree to another child.

Yeah, that's exactly the way I want to make the decision to have another baby. With my husband basically saying I'm giving him an ultimatum. WHICH I'M NOT. I do worry about how all of this will affect us long-term, but I can honestly say that I don't want to conceive another baby under the premise that my husband feels THREATENED.

This whole thing has made me realize that I have no idea what I had hoped to achieve when I decided to stop speaking to him almost a month ago. I mean, I know I was angry and aching for something that I couldn't have. And I know that I felt that it was unfair that HE held all the decision-making cards. And I know that the only thing I felt like I could control was me- so I stopped talking to him, outside of the essentials (like "Can you help Joan find her shoes?").

What I do want is to have a baby under the same circumstances that we decided to have our other children- with both of us ready and excited to add to our family. If I can't have that, then I'd like to have him have a change of heart about it. Not because he feels threatened or "talked into" it, but because the idea of another child has grown on him.

I'd even settle for him not really wanting another child, but seeing how important it is for me and deciding that he could suck it up. He KNOWS he would love the child once that child was a reality. He's SAID SO, on numerous occasions.

(As a reminder, his reasons for not wanting another are 1) we can't afford it and 2) it wouldn't "do" anything for him. And when he says this, it's like saying that frozen pizza won't "do" anything for me when I'm craving Punch Pizza. He says it casually, nonchalantly. He doesn't passionately NOT want another child. It's more like "Hmmm. Nah. Not interested." And here I am, walking around with my body feeling empty and my arms ACHING to hold a baby every day.)

(And don't even get me STARTED on the "can't afford it" slant. I mean, really? We're going to base our family size on the cost of fucking piano lessons and sports fees?)

I wish he'd just go get a vasectomy, so I don't have to wonder and hope all the time. Sure, it'd be for all the wrong reasons, and I'd probably regret it, but I'm sick of being disappointed every month that goes by that I can't even TRY to conceive a baby. If he's not going to change his mind, then at least let's just get this OVER so I can move on.

This sucks, ya'll. And I'm a little fragile, so be gentle. Trust me, I KNOW how much is sucks to be married to me. Or at least, I have a pretty good idea.


Sunny said...

Sweetie- brace yourself..I agree with hubby...but this is why...I'm fifty years old- and the wanting a baby is STILL in my head and heart. Unless you are willing to have another baby every three or four years- that feeling is NOT EVER going away. My mother is 75 almost- and SHE still feels it. You have three beautiful children and a wondeful husband who loves you. Enjoy life with them while you have the chance- The girls wont be little forever. (And who a couple of years- maybe hubby will come to you wanting to try for a little boy- or girl- and then you will get that baby again anyway!!)

Jess said...

Oh, MAN. I know exactly how you feel about knowing that you could twist his arm into doing what you want, but you don't want it like that. You just want him to GET IT STRAIGHT and not NEED his arm twisted. I feel this way about a much more minor issue, which is baby names. There is a name that I like and Torsten doesn't, and when he one day said he would consider it, I knew he was only saying it because he knew I liked it so much, and that his fundamental opinion about the name hadn't changed, and as soon as he agreed to think about it, I knew that the name was all wrong, not because I didn't love it but because the conditions under which I could have gotten to use it were all wrong. If that makes any sense at all.

How did you guys leave the discussion? Is he open to even CONSIDERING the possibility? Is he going to think about it and see if the idea grows on him? Or did you both walk away feeling exactly the way you did before you talked about it?

-R- said...

Now maybe he understands the intensity of your feelings a little bit better, so hopefully that helps things. I wish you guys the best. Which sounds lame, but I mean it. I think relationships are HARD.

d e v a n said...

Aw man. ((hug)) I've had a similar realization on a much lesser scale. (I want him to stop doing something but because HE WANTS TO and not because I want him to. Which... yeah. Not likely.)
Anway, you guys will figure this out somehow. I wish there was something I could say that would help.

Becky said...

I'm glad he finally figured it out! That had to be driving you insane.
Do you mind sharing with us what he said? Did he just repeat the same things he said in the past? The way you phrased it (that he didn't know how strongly you felt) makes it sound like that made an impression on him. Is he thinking about things now? That's how my husband would be. Take the new information in to dwell on it for a while, while I'm sitting there going "OMG Why can't you make a decision?" (Yes, I know "a decision" has been made, but it's the wrong one. So make sure it's the one I want! But I want him to make it on his own! Ahem.

clueless but hopeful mama said...

Oh girl. I'm so sorry, I can hear how hard this is.

This gulf is big, so of course talking about it isn't going to make it perfect, all better, right away.

But it's a start. You need to have this conversation. And battle your way through it. Or agree to shelve it for a certain length of time.

I hope at the end of this, you two will find a decision that brings peace to you both.

Marie Green said...

Jess- YES, it's quite a bit like the naming situation you described. Only obviously bigger because it involves the CREATION of a human. But basically, as you said, it's feels gross when they "give in".

Becky- I think he is thinking about it more now. And I think he DOES see how much it means to me- thought it drives me INSANE that he never realized before. I poured my heart out to him HUNDREDS of times. I have no idea how we left it. We left it weird, I guess.

Erica said...

I wonder why it is that for women (in general) the ends don't justify the means. It's not enough that David has agreed to have another baby if it will make your marriage ok. He has to WANT it like you do.

For me, it's not enough that my husband will take a weekend afternoon off from constantly working to do something with the family only after I beg and beg for it. I want him to WANT to do it like I do.

It seems silly that the feelings behind the event mean more to us than the actual event sometimes. If he agrees to have a baby, what does it matter who wanted it more? You'll both love and cherish the new addition to your family. If my husband agrees to spend the day with us and we all have fun, does it matter that he didn't want to in the first place?

We're weird.

Maggie said...

Sunny's comment may be the reason why my husband got a vasectomy when I was 6 months pregnant with our second. He probably realized that at that moment my baby desire was sated, but it could fire up again in the future. Quite far thinking for a man who doesn't make his lunch the night before.

Sarah said...

I think that there's hope here for you.

Having your husband agree to have the baby if it will make peace is a big step towards your position. His heart may not be into the idea of another baby, but at least his heart is into the idea of your happiness and invested in your marriage.

And he never may be fully on board with the idea. But then you need to decide--what do you want more, the baby or the ideal situation? Because you may never get both. But you can know that your husband will show up, be a dad, and love and care for that child as if it were his idea all along. You just need to decide how important having that baby is to you.

I wish life could be just the way we want it. I wish I could write the script. But even though it's not perfect, I have a lot of faith that you and your husband will come through this just fine.

Swistle said...

This is terrible, this is TERRIBLE. I'd seen stuff on Twitter so I knew something was happening, and I was hoping for GOOD stuff, but this is almost the worst. It would almost be better if he said, "Sorry, absolutely not, no way." Because THIS makes it sound like he STILL doesn't understand, AT ALL. And yet, he's going to feel like it's been discussed. AAAAAAAAACKK!!!! This is terrible!

KS said...

I kind of like what Sarah said. I hope she is right. I hope that this is at least a step in the right direction. At least he may now--finally--be understanding just how big of a deal this is.

Or maybe not. I, too, hate this partially closed door that our husbands have left us with--they said no, but there is just enough of a crack in that door to see a faint glimmer of sunlight, and we cling to that sunlight trying to soak up as much of it as we can in hopes that it will get warmer and brighter with time. I know you say you wish he would just go get a vasectomy... But you don't really wish it, do you? I guess I don't know what's worse--to have this glimmer of hope, however unrealistic it may be, or to close to door shut and simply move on. I don't think I can do the latter. I am moving slowly away from the door and trying to get used to that, but I can't stand the thought of it shutting completely.

OK, enough with the door metaphores.

I was surprised to read in the comments to your earlier posts about situations where wives were able to "convince" their husbands to have the next child (be it #2, 3 or 4), and husbands still brought it up after the baby was born. I used to think that if only I can get my husband to agree, once the baby comes, none of this will matter. We will both be madly, deeply in love, and my husband would never ever mention the fact that he didn't really want this child. Clearly, that is not necessarily the case in many families, which makes me even more disheartened.

I am not sure if any of this makes sense or is helping at all. I am just so sorry that you have to go through this.

Party of 5 said...

Do you think he just realized you weren't talking to him or he finally got the balls to ask you about it?

Wishing you peace in all of this. I have three healthy kids and will never feel like they are enough. I have found peace in just the three. I understand your need, however. Peace, my friend.

Giselle said...

Ugh...just ugh. Although we've never had the issue with the baby-thing, this type of marital imbalance is the reason we've moved so much. I don't want to put my foot down and say, "Move me to Ohio." or "We are not moving again nomatterwhat...find a new job here." because I want HIM to want our family to be stable. I want HIM to see how it breaks our families hearts to live far away. I want HIM to want some stability for our kids and me and FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WHY DOESN'T ALL THIS MOVING BOTHER YOU???


And of course I'm scared to put my foot down, because if he is unhappy with work then it would be my fault. Even if he didn't rub it in my would be my fault. Instead of a joint enterprise that we both went into by our choice. Then we could face whatever the trouble was on equal footing.

Which is how I imagine I would feel if I felt I pressured my husband into another child and then that child ended up with a disability or a difficult personality or prevented us from vacationing or whatever that altered our family forever. Like I was carrying the load of the burden all on my own.


Superjules said...

Oh man. I wish I could hug you.


Today Wendy said...

Ouch. That totally sucks. Mine is also of the "if she's mad, she'll tell me about it" type, which I love most of the time, but when I'm really emotional about something it is sometimes really hard to cope with.

I think you really have to sit him down and somehow make him realize that this has to be a joint decision. That him saying "meh, I don't really feel like it" is just as bad as you giving him an ultimatum. He's told you that your marriage is important enough to him that he's willing to have another baby rather than give it up, which gives you some information, but not nearly enough!

Good luck. I had always imagined I would have more than one, but we decided to stop at one after DH sat me down and made me realize that more than one was going to be a huge problem for both of us - which wasn't something I was able to see emotionally, but once he finally convinced was a huge relief that I wasn't going to have to go through all that again (with the occasional desperate twinge of wanting another one). So...I think I see where you're coming from. And I really do hope you get to have your 4th baby. But I think you're right...he's got to be on board.

Mrs. Haid said...

Can you guys go to a counselor? Having a set time and place and moderator for a tricky conversation is really helpful in clarifying and making choices and knowing that your feelings are heard and validated. I think this counts as a BIG THING that might need some outside guiding so that something hard to heal in your marriage doesn't happen.

Shoeaddict said...

Oh wow! Why have I not been reading your blog every single day? I just read all of the back story stories and I'm all excited. Because I am very passionate about breastfeeding and gentle parenting and all that jazz. Squee for me!

I'm sorry I have no words of wisdom about all of this other stuff. I feel very sad for you and hope that you and David can come to a decision (one that includes you having a baby!) soon.

(Er, can I also ask, since I'm going to be reading your blog all the time now, are the names you use on the blog for your children their real names or psuedos?)

Marie Green said...

Shoeaddict- I don't use our real names on my blog. I have nothing to hide, but I don't want my girls' friends to be able to google their names and find this place... seems like the teen years will be difficult enough w/o my past blog posts muddying the waters, ya know?

Welcome! I'm glad you'll be reading!

CARRIE said...

Let me preface what I'm going to throw out there by saying that I really wanted a 3rd child and hubby didn't, and we had a most unpleasant conversation, and I was mad and upset and 2 months later was unexpectedly pregnant with #3.

What if you really, really know you want another child, but then when you get another child you sometimes think you would have been better off the way it was before?

I feel that way sometimes, and it really bothers me. Because I love my "bonus baby" to death and am so glad he's here.

But I also find myself sometimes resenting getting no sleep (he's a year-old and a sucky sleeper; worse than his brother who I thought was the world's suckiest). And having to contend with all that clingy/separation anxiety/can't walk into the kitchen without him fussing business. My other two kids are 3 and 6, so pretty "easy." In some ways I feel like I have missed out and continue to miss out on a lot of the things they are doing because I am still in "baby mode" with #3.

I just find myself thinking of the phrase, "Be careful what you wish just might get it," an awful lot.

Just something to chew if you don't have enough already.

Maggie said...

I think this post is me in a few years and I dread it, I DREAD IT. I am so sorry. I AM SO SO SO SORRY.

jive turkey said...

Wow. This sucks. I'm so sorry. I don't know how you didn't EXPLODE at your husband while he seemed perfectly content to roll around in the silent treatment for so long.

My husband & I are always on the same page about Big Stuff, but lately we've been divided about having a second baby. Eek. It's scary to feel that divide in your marriage.

SLynnRo said...

I've felt this way before about going about that "method" to get what I want (though obvs not the babies thing). And I've also done the silent treatment, and had the husband that said NOTHING about it for ages. It sucks.

ttsc said...

I really feel for your situation. I hope you come up with something that works for both of you. It hits close to home bc it's likely I will be in this same situation a year or 2 from now. Good luck. I understand how you feel.

Swistle said...

Still thinking about this. I want to reiterate what I think are the main problems with the "You'll just want another one" argument.

1. That isn't a known situation. Many women report feeling "done" or "complete" after a certain number of children.

2. Even if it IS the way things turn out, that's not a valid argument against THIS child. Otherwise, it would be equally valid against the FIRST child: "Don't have a baby: you'll just want another one." Or against the second: "I know you love that first baby and want another one, but you'll just want another one after that." It doesn't work.

As for the possible regret of having the child, if the child turns out to be some sort of problem, that too is not something I feel can be used much in the decision-making process. What if the child is the best thing to ever happen to the family? What if no one can believe there was even a possibility this child wouldn't have been born? Since neither outcome (nor any of the other ones on the spectrum) can be predicted, it doesn't work as a way to make the decision.

Marie Green said...

1. YES. And I truly believe that a) I'll always "want" another but b) this WILL be our last

2. Ha, ha, YES. Why have a first child AT ALL if it will only lead to wanting more!

And I agree with the regret thing too. It's the same was when people say "I already have X healthy children!"... but do you REALLY have X healthy children? Health is fluid- tomorrow one of your kids could get really sick. There are also freak accidents to consider. Just because X children were BORN healthy doesn't guarantee anything. If your first born gets cancer, s/he gets cancer no matter how many or how few children are born after him/her. There simply ARE no guarantees, and I think we live in a time when people lull themselves by thinking there ARE. (ie. why "safety" is such a BIG MONEY-MAKING issue and industry).

Raisin'Cookies said...

I recently had my fourth, and although it was a miserable pregnancy (healthy, but miserable all the same) and I have a gorgeous, happy, wonderful little baby added to my brood of gorgeous older children, and although I know intellectually how hard it would be to have another, I worry. I worry that I will never be sated. That my last baby is already slipping through my fingers at 4 months old, and in the blink of an eye I'll be sitting in the church as she walks down the aisle and where did the time go? What if it will never be enough babies for me? What if there is someone waiting to join our family and I've shut that door too soon?

My husband is done and happy with our four. I am happy with our four, but my feelings of "done" change on a daily basis. Honestly, the thought of never being pregnant again, with all the discomfort it entails, still makes me feel wistful and sad.

This is such a hard thing. Hugs to you.

Karly said...

Oh, I so feel for you. I've been in this same place for awhile, but I agreed to allowing my husband to have a vasectomy about two years ago. It was his Father's Day present. Fo' real. It was what he asked for and I knew that he was never going to give in and have that third baby and so I said okay.

I REGRET THAT. Please don't go down the "it's better not to wonder, so just get a vas" road. It is NOT better to not wonder. It is horrible to not wonder. It's like "what is the effing point of all this sex if there is no possibility of a baby?" It's like "oh yeah, I'm just crying in the middle of sex because it's POINTLESS and stupid and I kind of hate you now." It's just awful.

The worst part is wondering if he hadn't gotten that vasectomy would he still not want a baby now that we can really afford it (always one of his reasons for not having another) and are in a bigger house and I don't work. It seems even more hopeless now because there is NO WAY I'm going to get him to agree to both a baby AND the 10+ thousand dollars in reversal costs.

Sorry to hijack your blog. I just had to say please don't tell him to get a vasectomy until YOU are really and truly done. No advice other than that.