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My wife knows I don't want children and remarked that she could easily just "accidentally" get pregnant

Tagged as: Marriage problems, Pregnancy<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (31 March 2019) 6 Answers - (Newest, 12 April 2019)
A male Brazil age 36-40, anonymous writes:

Dear cupid,

I've been married for the past 7 years (plus 6 more of dating). Lots of ups and downs of course, but I think we've been improving - or at least I am.

Yesterday my wife said something (another one... yeah, maybe I suck at relationships...) that raised a red flag. She knows I don't want children, and she seems to accept that even though we haven't discussed this before the marriage (big mistake, I know...) and even though she really, really wanted kids.

What she said, in a seemingly half-jokingly tone, was "If I really wanted to get pregnant from you I could do so easily just like all those other women that get pregnant 'by accident'. And I feel devalued because I am agreeing to do what you want."

I listened carefully to her without interrupting, then I promptly asked: "So, if you feel I don't value you enough, what can I do to make you feel valued again?" to which she replied "I don't know". I insisted, and she still didn't know.

Then I thought to myself "Maybe she's expecting me to give her a child as a sort of compensation for her 'putting up' with my decision of not wanting to have a child". Of course that is just crazy, but knowing her personality for all these years, I wouldn't be surprised if she actually expected that.

So, what can I make of this? I could think that she's being an entitled pricess but it doesn't seem so in our day-to-day interactions. I've been really trying to figure out this relationship for the past months, looking at BPD or at least a low level of emotional intelligence due to all that happens and has happened to us.

View related questions: want children

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (12 April 2019):

First, you didn't even discuss this before marriage?!

So then, it is safe to say she assumed that you would want kids, since traditionally and even in the marriage ceremonies of most religions, there is specific reference made to one purpose of marriage being to procreate. If you didn't specify this before marriage that you DON"T want this part of it, I think you were INCREDIBLY UNFAIR to her.

WHY then, if this wasn't agreed upon before, is YOUR desire NOT to have children more important than HER desire to HAVE them?

It seems like you are blaming her for HER wants and needs. Why is she "a spoiled princess" for wanting what most people want out of a marriage? Maybe YOU are the spoiled princess because you expect her to take YOUR view just because...it is YOURS.

It seems that you are at a stalemate.

The best thing is for you to divorce. Don't ask her to live life without kids. And, obviously she shouldn't trick you into having kids either.

This SHOULD have been discussed before marriage. There is literally no excuse for that. But now the only course of action is either divorce or one of you GENUINELY change your mind about your wants.

This will be a source of resentment if either one of you is "tricked" into the other's point of view. And yes, you are tricking and trapping her by marrying her before you tell her that you WON"T have kids.

She feels devalued because she was tricked and trapped and now it is your way or the highway. What is she to do? Give up her dream or divorce you? Obviously this is going to be a hugely upsetting decision for her.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (5 April 2019):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Thanks jls022, your answer seems quite on point.

Which leads me to her comments about being devalued - this is 100% her trying to determine whether you are worth making this sacrifice for.

I haven't thought about it from this perspective. I'm really bad at reading social cues.

Have you tried telling her that you understand she has given up a lot for you? And that you appreciate it?

I may have not.

Have you done anything to show her you care about her just as much?

We have a pretty good life (better than most her friends), we do quite a few things together, I rarely say no to any of her plans - I generally try to make her happy. So I *think* what I do shows that I care, but now I acknowledge that this may be not what she's expecting. So again, I'm bad at social cues. Maybe she wants me to do something else, but won't tell me what it is and I can't figure it out, so I get stuck.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (5 April 2019):

Break up.It is not fair to her or you to stay.She wants kids you do not.Her time to have kids is limited so let her go so she has time to do just that.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (1 April 2019):

I agree with the poster below stating, "I would take it as a realistic threat and cut off sex until I could get a vasectomy."

She is being disrespectful in her casual and threatening comments. I would nip it in the bud and tell her that you don't want to hear anything about your imaginary future children. Because it's not happening. She needs to decide if she wants to build a life with you without children, or to build her own life WITH children.

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A male reader, Fatherly Advice United States + , writes (1 April 2019):

Fatherly Advice agony auntOK so your question is what can you make of this. You have a pretty good answer there, but we are distant from the relationship and are really just guessing. She could just as easily be having a laugh and getting you wound up.

Now me, I would take it as a realistic threat and cut off sex until I could get a vasectomy. Part of that is because I am quite a bit older than you, and I've already had and enjoyed raising children.

I'm guessing she is of a similar age to you, and her biological clock sounds like a fire alarm right now.

My advise is that you have the discussion with here that you should have had 10 years ago. I suggest that you go into that discussion prepared to make sacrifices. or compromises, or even just to change your mind.

In the future don't make unilateral decisions without consulting with your life partner. You really are in this together and she is every bit as smart as you are.

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A female reader, jls022 United Kingdom + , writes (1 April 2019):

Honestly? I think this is actually very straightforward and you are way overcomplicating matters in your mind.

Your wife is both processing her feelings out loud as she tries to determine whether she can accept the fact she will never have children, whilst looking for reassurance that you know how much she is giving up for you and that you are not going to up and leave her further down the line after she’s given up her dream to be a Mum.

You say she always wanted children and you don’t, so you’ve effectively made the decision for both of you that kids are off the table if the marriage is to survive. That’s a VERY hard thing for anyone to come to terms with if children are something they’ve always wanted.

Essentially she’s making a massive sacrifice to keep your marriage on track. Her comments about the accidental pregnancy have come about as it will have crossed her mind that she could have got what she wanted if she had just ‘let it happen’ rather than talking it out with you first. Which might not be the right thing to think from a moral standpoint but it’s understandable given the situation she finds herself in. Rightly or wrongly, she’s upset that she did the ‘right thing’ in talking about it and that’s led to her having to give up something she’s always wanted.

Given the fact she’s said that to you, I don’t think you have to worry about her actually doing it. She’s basically telling you that she COULD get everything she wants quite easily but she respects your marriage and your views too much to do something like that. Or in other words, she wants you to recognise that you have one of the good ones that wouldn’t trap you like that.

Which leads me to her comments about being devalued - this is 100% her trying to determine whether you are worth making this sacrifice for.

Have you tried telling her that you understand she has given up a lot for you? And that you appreciate it? It might just be the way you’ve worded your post, but it doesn’t sound like you think it’s a big deal at all when in fact many people would end a marriage over something as big as this.

She’s essentially decided you are worth more than her dreams of parenthood. Have you done anything to show her you care about her just as much? That you’d be willing to sacrifice as much for her if the shoe were on the other foot? Have you ever reassured her that you would deal with it together if a genuine accidental pregnancy were to happen ? Or have you made it clear that it’s on her to make sure that doesn’t happen?

I think, rather then trying to diagnose disorders or throwing words like ‘entitled’ and ‘princess’ around at her, you need to work at letting her know how much you appreciate the sacrifices she is making to make your marriage work.

She needs to know you are in this for the long haul and you’re not going to up and leave her one day after she has given up her dreams for you. Or if you can’t do that for any reason, you need to have a proper conversation about it NOW to let her make an informed decision. Because if you don’t think this is forever and you let her give up her chance to be a Mum then leave her, that is beyond cruel.

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