"Although procreating was always the agreement between us, it isn’t what is best for our marriage. People, goals, ideals – they all change. I’m finding that the only way to sustain a healthy marriage is if you’re able to navigate that change together."
Reader R. E. shared her story for the Nymphe blog (and won a copy of Two Is Enough by Laura S. Scott). Read about R.E.'s re-dedication to her relationship and how she's working through change...
"DH [Dear Husband] and I have come to an understanding together as husband and wife. We have decided, after years of contemplation, heart-ache and debate that together we are going to travel a new path. It isn’t the path I have always expected to take, nor is it the path anyone in my life thought I should. But it’s the path that hopefully through hard work, communication, understanding, respect and love – will result in happily ever after for the two of us.
DH and I have decided that as a couple, we will remain childfree. Saying that (even typing that) is quite strange. It’s a very personal decision that we have both deliberated extensively over. There is no blame. There is no thoughtlessness. No corner of myself and my heart untouched while coming to this conclusion. I've gone through every emotion possible. Even contemplated leaving him.
A lot can be covered up and overlooked when you’re consumed by an objective.
To sum it up in a nut shell, I’m a stepmother of two girls (14 and 22), with my husband for 8 years, married for 4 of them. I always dreamed of having 2 kids. He thought he was done until he met me. We agreed that if we are happily married, we’d have one together – a compromise baby. I got pregnant, I miscarried, I healed - then he revealed he had changed his mind about baby. He really doesn’t want to do it all over again.
Although procreating was always the agreement between us, it isn’t what is best for our marriage. People, goals, ideals – they all change. I’m finding that the only way to sustain a healthy marriage is if you’re able to navigate that change together. While in the thick of dealing with my miscarriage, DH slipped into a place where he didn't quite know how to provide comfort, say reassuring things, be supportive during the emotional healing part.
The physical healing part was good - he knew how to be there and do what was necessary to make things okay. He was doing the 'dad' thing - assess what is necessary and do all the little actions to get from A to B. He couldn't wrap his head around the emotional stuff though, so he sunk his head deep deep into the sand waiting for it to blow over. I'm sure he couldn't get into the emotional healing (besides being a guy), because deep down he really didn't want another kid to begin with. He was just doing it for me. My loss wasn't necessarily his loss. He felt sad and hurt - but only for me. What it meant for me. How can you mourn the loss of something you're trying to avoid... I understand him all too well, and forgive him for falling short when he does (then immediately question my sanity).
My Christmas miscarriage – with the granny and grandpa gifts wrapped and under the tree for the 'big reveal' - was the single most difficult experience I have ever gone through. Unbearable to my very brink. It wasn’t until after my tears dried that I realized I don’t need tangible proof or validation – a physical product of my love for DH or his love for me. I need him. That test was the beginning of real healing not only for me, but for us. It was an awakening to address our greatest fears in life formed through experience and history that until recently we chose to hide from each other.
My new greatest joy will be to rededicate the rest of my life to my husband - to our individual and common goals, health, culture, family, TRAVEL, society and to a deeper understanding of love for each other. The greatest gift in all of this will be to live the rest of our lives drawing upon lessons learned, and applying ourselves to our marriage in a way neither of us were sure how to do before. In a way we’re both scared we won’t do well enough, but we’re going to try. We are eliminating any threat or possible complication that could lead us down the path we see everyone around us go. We navigate through our share of complication as it is with the skids. We are choosing to be different. We are choosing each other.
No one in our lives have ever had a marriage that survived child rearing. Not at ALL saying kids are to blame for separation, but it's definitely when careless couples take their eyes off the foundation of the family, and turn the attention to the children alone. DH and I are realistic enough to realize we are the kind of people who are definitely capable to falling into that same trend given our history and personalities.
Therapy for myself, marriage counseling as a couple, endless journal entries, cases and cases of wine, talking with parents, talking with DINKS endless talks with DH to the point of exhaustion.... our life looks better together without baby.
Again, I needed to write that out probably more than you needed to read it. DH tells me I’m still working through convincing my heart this is the right thing for ME to do, even though I can logically justify it to no end. Your site was great, and I applaud you and your partners new direction and wish you the very best. I will revisit and hope you continue to add news of life." —R.E.