Dear Amy: I’ve only been married for a year, but my relationship has been far from a honeymoon experience.
Before marriage, my husband and I talked about children and I thought we were on the same page.
We discussed how we would raise our children and even considered a prenuptial agreement around our future children.
He mentioned that one of the reasons he was willing to marry me is because he could see me having his kid(s). This is a man who broke off two prior long-term relationships because he was too young and couldn’t imagine having children with those partners. I took his word seriously. Fast-forward, he is now 39 and had been single for a couple of years before meeting me.
Our marriage has been
tumultuous since day one, due to cultural difference (he’s British, I’m American), miscommunication, and our continuous triggering of one another.
We’re now onto our second therapist and things have gotten slightly better, but he is still up in the air about children.
None of our therapists can even get a straight answer from him, but he mentions the unstable relationship as a factor in his decision-making. He says he will address it fully when the time comes.
Honestly, I intended to have children in my early 30s, but now as I approach 30 and enter a rental lease agreement for one year with him, I’m worried.
I’m wondering — how long should I wait — or should I start mentally checking out within this next year. Help me, please!
Stuck in Limbo
Dear Stuck: Your husband said he was “willing” to marry you because he could imagine you having his children. Quick, call Hollywood! This is a romance for the ages.
I’m being snarky here. No marriage is perfect. But my point is that — at the beginning — it should at least feel perfect.
Here you are, only one year in, and you’re onto your second therapist. I am a big believer in couples counseling, but again, the goal of counseling is to find resolution, not another counselor.
I will grant him this: he says he does not want to have children because your relationship is so unstable. You may see that as selfish — I see that as self-preservation. He is actually being more thoughtful and careful than you are. He knows that a potential child deserves better than to have a parent who is so reluctant to be one.
So — let me put it this way: If you hesitate signing a one-year lease with your husband, please — do not sign up for a lifetime of parenthood with him.