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Husband reneges on promise to have kids

by Marcia and Dr. Rick

March 19, 2010 | 4:24 pm

Jess in Palo Alto, California asks:
I’ve been married about a year to a woman I do love. Before we got married we agreed we’d start a family after a year. But I now realize I don’t want children. How do I handle this with my wife?

Advice from Marcia:
I think if you are serious about not wanting a child, you need to tell your wife about your change of mind and let her decide whether to stay with you or not.  She may opt for living her life with you, but to be sure, you can pretty well depend on the fact that she will harbor a deep resentment that is likely to appear in other forms. You need to soul-search and seriously consider the consequences of whatever you decide.

Advice from Dr. Rick:
First of all, it might have been helpful had you come up with this insight prior to walking down the aisle. However, that is not what happened. You made a promise to your wife, which I believe you should fulfill. I believe that unless you have some extraordinary reason for not having a child, given what you’ve told us, I think it will be a terrible loss for you, and potentially lethal to your marriage.

Overall Advice:
We land on different sides of this equation: Marcia believes that you need to be prepared for a divorce if you can’t reconcile giving your wife a child which she wants and expects. Rick believes that in your choosing this ultimately loving act of going forward in spite of your reservations, that your paternal instincts will be well realized.

Get advice from Marcia and Dr. Rick at MarciaandDrRick.com.

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