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Wife, 43, Me, 55, she wants to have child, I don't


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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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Posted (edited)

Wiseman2 -- no, her residency not affected -- she's about to get her U.S. Citizenship which is overdue because of COVID delaying it.  I certainly made clear what life would be like here as I explained everything about my daughter, my work, my home, the area I live in, etc.  I know because I once went to live abroad myself and so I know what it's like to pick up and move to another country.  In my case, I wasn't moving to marry someone but because I was going for work.

We haven't been talking about divorce -- I don't think she wants that and neither do I.  

Edited by gentleheartman
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I know you love your wife and above all she accepts your daughter. But you said to her that you would want to have kids and she agreed to marry you based on that promise you made. If you changed your mind then that is your choice, but you should then leave your wife and let her meet another man or have a baby on her own. You promised her a child and she came to America and married you thinking that was going to happen. As you said, she left a good job and all her family and friends behind in the Phillippines. She had been a good stepmother to your special needs daughter. She doesn't deserve not to have a child. I'm 36 and I really want kids. It's always been my dream and it's everything to me. Please don't take this away from her.

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Tinydance - I don't think she wants it enough to get divorced and have to go through finding another man and, at age 43, she's running out of time.  In my mind, the best solution is to adopt a child, if young enough, will always have known you as his or her mother.  Granted, he or she is not HER baby but then we have the blessing of knowing we are giving a child a life with loving parents that he or she may not have had.  

I guess for me it's not important that the child is mine biologically as they are already too many people on this planet. To me, it would be wonderful to raise a child of a different race too but she would probably prefer one that looked like it could be hers.

The only tricky thing with adoption is the cost.  If one wants to adopt an actual baby, it can be about 15 or 20 thousand dollars and trips to foreign countries (not easy now due to COVID) to be screened by the foreign orphanages/perform government paperwork, etc.  It probably takes a full two years until you finally come home with the baby.  But then older children are, I believe, easier to adopt as many parents want for the adopted child to be a baby so that the child never has known anyone but them as parents. 

We'll have to see. I'll talk to her again about it and see where she stands.

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22 minutes ago, gentleheartman said:

Tinydance - I don't think she wants it enough to get divorced and have to go through finding another man and, at age 43, she's running out of time.  In my mind, the best solution is to adopt a child, if young enough, will always have known you as his or her mother.  Granted, he or she is not HER baby but then we have the blessing of knowing we are giving a child a life with loving parents that he or she may not have had.  

I guess for me it's not important that the child is mine biologically as they are already too many people on this planet. To me, it would be wonderful to raise a child of a different race too but she would probably prefer one that looked like it could be hers.

The only tricky thing with adoption is the cost.  If one wants to adopt an actual baby, it can be about 15 or 20 thousand dollars and trips to foreign countries (not easy now due to COVID) to be screened by the foreign orphanages/perform government paperwork, etc.  It probably takes a full two years until you finally come home with the baby.  But then older children are, I believe, easier to adopt as many parents want for the adopted child to be a baby so that the child never has known anyone but them as parents. 

We'll have to see. I'll talk to her again about it and see where she stands.

Well it's not a crime to want your own biological child though. She doesn't have to want to adopt just because you want to. She may be running out of time to actually meet a man but a woman can have a child from a donor anytime. In fact I'm leaning towards using a donor myself. I think she still has that option. With assistance from IVF she may be able to have a baby. If you decide not to have one then of course she'll need to make a choice if to stay with you or not. It's your choice if you don't want a baby but then she can choose to stay or leave. Although you have actually lied to her because she came to America on the belief that you were going to have a baby together. If you changed your mind then that's just how it is. But she doesn't have to adopt. You're fine with adopting because you already do have a child that's biologically yours. She wants one that's part of her too. You want to adopt an older child so it's not as difficult but maybe she actually wants to carry a baby and hold a baby in her arms? You are a man so I don't think you really understand how special it would be to actually grow the baby in your stomach and feel that bond. You sound a bit selfish to be honest.

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It's sad you lied to her about wanting more kids. But then again she got residency in your country.

"To your mind" adoption is the best option? It sounds like you are still bulldozing her into what you want.

 

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I completely understand both sides. After three years of trying to conceive with my husband and believing we’d never be successful, I know the heartache of wanting to have a baby. It’s gut wrenching. Now that I have two kids, I’m back in shape and pushing ahead into the entrepreneurial career I’ve always wanted, the thought of getting pregnant and having another baby sounds absolutely dreadful. I have huge plans for my golden years, and I would feel extremely held back by a young baby at your age.

I think you need to lay out some road maps with your wife. If you agree to try for a baby, what will your 60s and 70s look like? How can she offset that responsibility for you? If you stand firm that you won’t have another baby, can she be happy with you and your daughter? Will she resent you? You just have to look at the outcomes and know that you only get to live this life once, which outcome is the right one for you? Which is right for her? Is there a right one for “us”? 

Also, I know you said you’ve lost the love connection. I can tell you from my own experience, it’s hard to remain emotionally available when your emotions are tied up in wanting to be pregnant. Even having sex makes you think about getting pregnant. I think that connection will be hard to fix as long as she yearns for a baby.

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It is never good to lie about one’s life goals to gain a partner. I always want my own biological child before adopting. Just like you don’t want another biological child she might not want to adopt. 
Whether  you have a biological child or adopt you are still raising this child into your 70s. So doesn’t matter does it ? 
 

But as it is she has reached a point of almost no return. She is at a point where the majority of pregnancies end in miscarriage if you get pregnant at all . 

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I'm in a similar situation, only I'm the one that wants a child.  However, I struggle with it because I'm 52 and my fiancee is 35 and has a 14 year old.  He'll be out of the house in 4 years (maybe) and we'll be free.  So I don't know if I have the energy to raise a child either.  But its a huge regret that I never had any.  It just didn't work out.  My ex-wife left during the last recession and I was unemployed and broken.  Never met another woman to marry after that (12 years ago) until now.  I just think I'll regret not ever having a child.  But autism would be a concern for me based on my age and my future wife would technically be higher risk as she'd be at least 36 before delivering.  

I do understand why you promised a child.  Its something you thought you could do 5 years ago.  So did I.  I just don't think I can now.  Its too late and thats sad.  This is a really difficult situation for you.  I don't want a rebellious teenager at 70 either or to have to keep working to put him/her through college.  I just don't have it in me I don't think.  Then again, they say there's no greater reward in life than to have a child and someone else to focus on.  I'm torn.  My fiancee doesn't want another but would if I really wanted one as she knows how much I want to be a Dad.  She has warned me about how difficult life will be though, which is her way of discouraging it.

Your only ption as I see it is you both get tested for fertility.  If she does have a child, you will want a nanny if you can afford it or risk her being upset with you for not having the energy to keep up.  Its such a tough dilemma.  I hope you can come up with a solution.  FYI, I also went overseas to find someone and bringing her here.  I hope we still want to be married in 5 years as you do.

 

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Autism isn’t a tragedy folks. My son is Autistic and he is anything but a tragedy . He was conceived when I was 30 and my husband was 27. It can happen at anytime. It is just a natural variation of human neurology. 

Edited by Seraphim
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On 4/13/2021 at 4:24 AM, gentleheartman said:

In my mind, the best solution is to adopt a child, if young enough, will always have known you as his or her mother.  Granted, he or she is not HER baby but then we have the blessing of knowing we are giving a child a life with loving parents that he or she may not have had.  

I don't know how she would accept and relate to an adopted child (only you probably know... ).  But if she has expectations of it being easy and the child accepting her immediately, that doesn't always happen, and there are a lot of adoptive parents out there who have waaaay too high of expectations and end up hurting the child emotionally even more by basically rejecting that they aren't the perfect solution.

Just something to think about, since she seems very picky and sounds a little hard to please?

And why did she stop having sex?  Did it stop immediately once she came to America?  

 

 

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Well I think if someone wants a child, they should do it. I just imagine it ends up being a huge regret once it really is too late. E.g. If the woman is pre menopausal or man is too old by that point. Altguy I think you can still have a biological child so if you want one then do it. IF you want to of course. I'm 36 and really want kids, but struggling to find anyone. I'm beginning to get very stressed and I think I might just end up having one with my close male friend who also wants a child. My friend is 37. He's polyamorous and doesn't want marriage at all. But he wants to be a father.

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On 4/12/2021 at 12:08 PM, gentleheartman said:

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. 

Unbelievable how you manage to justify your dishonesty. 

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I would toss adoption out. Most adoption centers DO NOT adopt children out to couples who are 40+. I’ve known people who have tried but were denied because of their age. They don’t want foster parents who are aging/retiring soon and cannot afford to support children.

 

You also mentioned not wanting kids because it’s expensive. Just wait until you see how much it costs to go through adoption. It is much more expensive to go through adoption with the fees, evaluations, and inspections.

 

Sorry, but a biological child is the only way. 

Edited by Snny
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On 4/12/2021 at 9:08 AM, gentleheartman said:

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.

If you don't want this, why would you agree to adopt?

 

On 4/13/2021 at 2:24 AM, gentleheartman said:

In my mind, the best solution is to adopt a child,

This doesn't make sense, you'd still have to be a father all over again and you'd still potentially have a "rebellious teenager" when you're in your early 70s.

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