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  1. Hi, this is my first attempt to seek advice so I hope for the best. I am a 55 year old father of a 21 year old autistic daughter and I raised her on my own since she was five till she was sixteen when I remarried to my second wife. Her biological mother was from the Philippines (and became a U.S. citizen) decided not to be much in her life since she moved to far away to make seeing her a regular thing. My daughter's autism is both intellectual and emotional disabilities so she still has temper tantrums when things don't go her way. After getting divorced, I did try to meet American women but it was quite difficult as a single man, overweight/on the shorter side, with a wonderful but difficult-at-times autistic daughter. Try as I did, no American women wanted to accept us a package. I accepted that and understood it as I wasn't a Hallmark Channel romance male lead with a special needs kid. Eventually, after many years, I decided to try the Philippines again as now online it was much easier to meet them and many women from there are much more accepting of men with children. But, of course, I was guarded but eventually met one who had a degree in Psychology and had been around those who were autistic in her work at a college. After a year of video chats online, I went there and, after two weeks, proposed and she accepted. That was five years ago. At the time, she did ask if I was open to having children and, at the time, I did the wrong thing. I said yes. But it was because I did, in fact, want to have another child at that time. But what I didn't say was that I was afraid that it could be another autistic child and I didn't want to go through the struggles of that again. But I said yes as, of course, I didn't want to lose her. But after she came to the U.S., we basically stopped being intimate as I discovered that she really doesn't have much interest in sex. but she still wanted to have a baby. But I was still reticent about having one as I was 51 then and she was 38. I had begun to realize that having a baby meant that I would be raising that child well into my 60s and 70s and there was no guarantee that the child wouldn't be autistic (we don't know where my daughter's autism came from -- whether from my background or that of her mother's as both don't have anyone autistic). And there was the financial consideration as well. Raising a child is expensive and my wife, who had had a good job in the Philippines, had now decided that she didn't want to work in America and just wanted to be a stay-at-home housewife and try online selling of some health-related products (but hasn't been successful). So it's up to me to provide for us which I can do and accept of course. I didn't marry her for a second income, I married her because I loved her. And I still do. And I believe she loves me as she had put up with a lot over five years. So put to rest any thoughts that she came her just for a visa. She left her family and a good job in the Philippines to come here and live here. Yes, the quality of life has gone up for her and yes, when I die someday, she'll be a lot more well off than in the Philippines, but she wouldn't have gone through the struggles we've gone through. But she feels that she has no purpose in her life since she doesn't have a baby of her own. Her two sisters have their own children and she's the oldest so she feels as though I've deprived her of what she truly desires -- a son or daughter of her own. While that is true in a sense - I did say yes prior to getting married about having children and I have to own up to misleading her then. The fact that I ask myself is why didn't she get married and have a child much earlier in life. We didn't get married till she was thirty-eight. So she had a lot of years before that to have a baby when it would've been safer for her than in her forties now. She could've married a younger/same aged man (although harder to do for older Filipinas) but it seems she feels that I lied to her and that she will never truly be happy unless she has a child of her own as she wants someone to care for her when she's old as, she presumes, I'll pass on before her since I'm 13 years older and then she'll be all alone. In the Philippines, it's normal for older parents to be taken care of by their oldest children but she doesn't fully get it that in America that doesn't always happen. I don't expect my autistic daughter to take care of me as it will always be the other way around. I've brought up the idea of adopting a child but to her that is no different than her having accepted my daughter as her stepdaughter. It's not her child by blood. For me, I'm entirely open to it as at least you adopt a child knowing something about his or her needs and it does give that child parents he or she may not otherwise ever have. And we could adopt an older child and so bypass the baby/toddler years. I don't want to be mistaken as the grandparent if I was to go out with a baby/toddler. So I don't know what to really do. She doesn't want to do marriage counseling as she feels two people should be able to work out problems without talking it out with someone else. I'm more of someone who needs to get advice from others. So she doesn't like it if I talk about things with my male best friend of many years. I've even thought we should go to a gynecologist to see if it's even possible for her to have a baby anymore. But then I still think she'll be upset with me if she can't. I feel bad for her as do want for her to be a mother but I cannot see myself going through being a father all over again. I love kids but the baby and toddler years are very stressful and it would also be hard with a possibly rebellious teenager while I'm in my early 70s. But, if she really wants to have a baby, why does she not want intimacy and for us to have sex? I don't know whether she doesn't feel close to me anymore and so doesn't want the intimacy or that she has a very low sex drive compared to me. I've accepted that so I don't try for intimacy anymore. She complains that her breasts tickle easily, that's she on a very long period (two weeks), and recently, she has a keloid (like a scar) that hurts that is right on her chest. Unfortunately, the keloid won't go away and so it makes intimacy that much more unlikely. I've brought up the Five Love Languages and it's true we see love differently. She sees it as Acts of Service, when I do things for her/home. And also Receiving Gifts. Whereas those are the two lowest for me. I value Words of Affirmation and Physical Intimacy as my first two. So it's no wonder that we aren't feeling love for each other like other couples. I do try to do things for her and the home to make her life easier and that she has things she wants (she's not a material person so it's not expensive things - just that I remember some small things and surprise her with them). So it seems we just have a marriage of convenience. Yes, we sometimes have good times together and she dutifully does the things in the house but I don't feel anymore that she loves me. Too much of her feels lost in the sense of never being able to be a mother of her own child. If this was so important to her, why did she marry me and not someone else who was more likely to want children? Hoping someone out there has some good words of advice. Not sure what advice there can be but I just want to hear from anyone who has good thoughts. Thank you.
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