He Wants Kids
Q: I am 31 years old and married for two years after being together for six years. My wife already has two kids, but I do not have any myself. I thought that going into marriage that we would have some children, but now she doesn't want to. I am starting to have anger towards her, because it makes me feel like I am not as important as her ex- husband that she had the children with. If she states that she doesn't want children now, is that a reason for me to consider divorce? I want to have children of my own, and she knew that going in. Am I wrong for feeling like that? -- Matthew, 31
Dr. Susan: Feelings aren't ever "wrong," though they can change depending on the information we have. The fact that she had kids earlier with her ex doesn't mean she liked him more than she likes you. One doesn't have kids with a man because the man is "important" to you. Having kids is a very complicated decision, and sometimes women do it without thinking much. But now, having already had two kids, your wife would know better what she's getting into, and she may be hesitating (or declining) for any number of reasons. If you definitely want to sire your own children, and she is certain she wants no more, then you would have a right to consider ending the marriage. It would be a shame, of course, as you've been her kids' stepdad for such a long time. Most importantly, though, I think, is to realize that this isn't about her feelings about you, but about how she feels about going through pregnancy, childbirth, and those early years of childhood all over again. Only she can tell you why she has changed her mind. Be sure (without using intimidation tactics) that she does so fully and honestly.
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Advice for Her
Advice for Him
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.