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Life update and where to from here


LotusBlack
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14 minutes ago, Jibralta said:

Can you elaborate on this a little? I'm not clear, especially on the last part.

Well, some of it is cultural and some of it is part of his own personality, I’m sure  - having a family is socially expected and he did want children. He even said he wanted 5 before I got pregnant as he is an only child. He told me his 5 year goal was to have his own laboratory and be the PI (principal investigator) of a team.

When I got pregnant there were suddenly expectations of him - accompanying me to the important appointments, sharing his time on more than weekends and a few hours here and there during the week, making adjustments for my higher risk pregnancy that he found particularly inconvenient, etc. And once the baby was born, I expected him to parent. The raising of children is not traditionally or historically carried out by the men in his culture, so I guess how much of himself he was expected to contribute was more than he realised, even though we’d had discussions about it.

He wanted a family but also wanted to be a passive member of it until such times as he felt like involving himself at his discretion and for me to be totally okay with that. I mean, If I asked him to do something he would do it without complaint, but it was so robotic and he offered no emotional support or empathy. It was hard on me.

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12 minutes ago, Jibralta said:

I see. 

Was this his perception of women in his country, yours, or a shared opinion:

It is a very known problem in his country. It is a country with an aging population and the last year or two have seen a huge change in women speaking out against sexism and gender inequality at an extreme social and cultural level, to the point of women no longer wanting relationships or to have children because of the great sacrifice to themselves, detrimentally so. It’s gotten so bad that even the government are scrambling to find ways to get women to have more children, etc. My own husband called his country a “sinking ship”. The government of his country want changes to happen without making any changes. 

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35 minutes ago, LotusBlack said:

His limitation is that he has no room for anyone else in his life if they expect more of him than the loosest of commitments. He’s too selfish for that and I think he even didn’t recognize that until we got together.

He does have room.  He chooses not to treat you with respect and the way a spouse should treat his or her spouse. It's a choice.  Many many people prioritize their work - I do, my husband does, my son prioritizes his classwork/getting good grades and they choose to balance their priorities as needed so even if work is number one -or research - or both - they choose to re-balance as needed.  It's a choice.  He chooses to be selfish. 

He completely recognized the simple matters of priorities.  Because he does that every single day with his research. He prioritizes the research that is time sensitive for example or the research that will yield the best results.  Because he chooses it. Staying single doesn't mean you can make work your only priority.  Many single people have responsibilities, many people without children do.  

He's a smart person.  He recognized he could make a baby by having unprotected sex since you were not sterilized.  He recognized that dating you meant prioritizing showing up on time, planning dates, etc.  He did so.  Because he wanted to.  There's no "can't" here.

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22 minutes ago, LotusBlack said:

even though we’d had discussions about it.

What level of discussions?  We discussed our plans for me to be a full time mom at home.  For how we would navigate our first year of marriage as new parents with him having to travel weekly a few days a week.  We discussed what kind of outside help we might need/might get.  We went to a parenting class at the hospital.  (Which was a joke but we went).  

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11 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

He does have room.  He chooses not to treat you with respect and the way a spouse should treat his or her spouse. It's a choice.  .  

There's no "can't" here.

I agree. That’s why I said he has no room, not that he can’t do it. Whether it is a choice or not is besides the point because he doesn’t have room, and that may well be because he chooses not to make space for us.

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3 minutes ago, LotusBlack said:

I agree. That’s why I said he has no room, not that he can’t do it. Whether it is a choice or not is besides the point because he doesn’t have room, and that may well be because he chooses not to make space for us.

Right so since it is a choice he can make a different choice.  As opposed to something that is not in someone's control, like my husband's like a bomb going off sudden sneezes.  He can go to marital counseling.  He can choose to do things differently than his parents.  I had to choose to do certain things differently than my father, for example.  I'm sure that's typical of all adults.  But he has to choose.  

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13 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

What level of discussions?  We discussed our plans for me to be a full time mom at home.  For how we would navigate our first year of marriage as new parents with him having to travel weekly a few days a week.  We discussed what kind of outside help we might need/might get.  We went to a parenting class at the hospital.  (Which was a joke but we went).  

Well, you also had a history with your husband from a previous relationship with him, so although you went into it with it being a different relationship, you did have a level of knowledge about each other that formed some level of a foundation from which to start a new relationship.

I never expected to have children at all, so there weren’t discussions about how long into our relationship we would do certain things or give things a certain amount of time - we were just getting to know each other. But given the fact that contraception wasn’t something we could really use, I did make sure to discuss risks and also held off on being intimate for some months into our relationship because I didn’t want to risk anything happening with someone I didn’t know at least on some level.

But we did discuss whether we each had hopes for having children and what a potential future might look like whether together or with someone else, work opportunities, financial commitments - what we each wanted to achieve in life for ourselves and as part of a couple either with each other or with another.

We had conversations to the depth that was appropriate for our stage and age of relationship. I never expected a baby was to come, but still had conversations about that, which, in most cases, would be considered over-discussing given that infertility was/is a very real factor for me and anyone who chooses to be in a relationship with me.

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8 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

Right so since it is a choice he can make a different choice.  As opposed to something that is not in someone's control, like my husband's like a bomb going off sudden sneezes.  He can go to marital counseling.  He can choose to do things differently than his parents.  I had to choose to do certain things differently than my father, for example.  I'm sure that's typical of all adults.  But he has to choose.  

And he did. He chose not to invest in our relationship and marriage, since to him it was twisted from the beginning and done out of obligation, duty, and - in his opinion - no free will. He exercised his choice not to be my team mate, so I exercised my choice to leave.

 

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17 minutes ago, LotusBlack said:

And he did. He chose not to invest in our relationship and marriage, since to him it was twisted from the beginning and done out of obligation, duty, and - in his opinion - no free will. He exercised his choice not to be my team mate, so I exercised my choice to leave.

 

Do you mean he didn't want you to have the baby? 

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12 minutes ago, itsallgrand said:

Do you mean he didn't want you to have the baby? 

There were certain times he suggested if the pregnancy was too hard on me I should terminate, but I didn’t want to risk potentially losing the only chance I may have to have a baby. I was prepared to walk away and do it alone if that is what he wanted and he said he didn’t.

In any case, it’s done now and my son and I are back in Aus and ready to move forward. I am facilitating regular video chats between my husband and our son. 

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11 hours ago, LotusBlack said:

It is a country with an aging population and the last year or two have seen a huge change in women speaking out against sexism and gender inequality at an extreme social and cultural level, to the point of women no longer wanting relationships or to have children because of the great sacrifice to themselves, detrimentally so. It’s gotten so bad that even the government are scrambling to find ways to get women to have more children, etc. My own husband called his country a “sinking ship”. The government of his country want changes to happen without making any changes. 

I'm just trying to be clear: is the prevailing opinion that women encourage and perpetuate the total emotional, professional, and financial suppression of women? Or is the government/culture doing it?

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33 minutes ago, Jibralta said:

I'm just trying to be clear: is the prevailing opinion that women encourage and perpetuate the total emotional, professional, and financial suppression of women? Or is the government/culture doing it?

Government and the culture. But things are slowly changing. 

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12 hours ago, LotusBlack said:

We had conversations to the depth that was appropriate for our stage and age of relationship. I never expected a baby was to come, but still had conversations about that, which, in most cases, would be considered over-discussing given that infertility was/is a very real factor for me and anyone who chooses to be in a relationship with me.

If you have intercourse and haven't officially gone through menopause/been sterilized you can always get pregnant. Whether you personally expect it or not.  I had no idea if I'd be able to conceive naturally at almost 41 - I never tried - but I knew if we didn't use any protection there was alway a chance. I believed I would be infertile/have a really hard time and I assumed I could get pregnant because of the ramifications.  I wanted desperately to be pregnant.  When I didn't want to be pregnant I used contraception -often multiple methods -every single time.  Or abstained. 

I took a really stupid risk with one serious boyfriend because he didn't want to have a child should I become pregnant.  And abortion was not an option for me.  It was a really stupid choice on my part even though I used contraception.  Luckily I didn't get pregnant, luckily he ended things after 5 months so the risk was only a couple of times.  So I get it -I'm not perfect I was just darn lucky and I was in my  30s and should have known better.   And if you can't use contraception, abstain.

  I'm sorry -I think children deserve better from a potential parent (unless you choose abortion or adoption which I wouldn't judge either -but this sort of cast it to the wind "well I thought/didn't expect/can't use contraception, etc."). 

I think your husband sounds awful.  I'm sorry this is happening.  And please please take responsibility from now on so you don't have more children in a bad situation whether with him or otherwise.  

Edited by Batya33
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3 hours ago, Batya33 said:

If you have intercourse and haven't officially gone through menopause/been sterilized you can always get pregnant. Whether you personally expect it or not.  I had no idea if I'd be able to conceive naturally at almost 41 - I never tried - but I knew if we didn't use any protection there was alway a chance. I believed I would be infertile/have a really hard time and I assumed I could get pregnant because of the ramifications.  I wanted desperately to be pregnant.  When I didn't want to be pregnant I used contraception -often multiple methods -every single time.  Or abstained.  

And please please take responsibility from now on so you don't have more children in a bad situation whether with him or otherwise.

Yes, and that is the conversation we had prior to ever having sex. We abstained for several months until we got to know each other better and then did a full STI screening because I can’t use contraceptive methods, and we avoided my fertile window as well as using natural family planning methods, which is all fairly over-cautious for someone with serious infertility issues. But we did also discuss that - despite such infertility issues - when one engages in sex we should never assume a pregnancy can’t occur. And we agreed we would both be okay with that given our ages and my infertility. I was willing to take that risk with someone I’d begun falling in love with. And I don’t regret it at all, having our son.  

should also say, my husband strongly suspected that he may also have male factor infertility issues. He is a developmental biologist and human embryologist and his parents had significant fertility issues, specifically his father. His father had a serious illness that ended up effecting the health and quality of his sperm. They tried for years and years without any luck. They ended up getting pregnant with my husband but never pregnant again despite trying. There was a chance, my husband believed, that his quality of sperm, or rather, his ability to produce quality sperm or enough sperm may be compromised due to his dad’s illness when he was conceived and due to some things he noticed and he did look into that himself. I believe he ran analyses on his own sperm and said he wasn’t producing a very large number. This was before we met.
 

Anyways, with all that in mind, we decided to be intimate because we weighed up the pros and cons and the risks. We decided we were okay with the risks and wanted sex to be part of our relationship moving forward. And, I still don’t think the way we handled things was unreasonable or irresponsible - we did our best to be as well informed as we could and we were open and honest and took as many precautions as we could given our circumstances. We weren’t a couple of hot-headed, hormonal teens that jumped into bed without a care in the world and, oops, I’m pregnant. And despite my son’s existence, I still believe he beat the odds to be conceived. So many people just reduce one’s infertility issues to being non-existent when they manage to fall pregnant, but that doesn’t just disappear because you got pregnant against the odds, against the single digit percentile of a chance. 
 

What I do regret is how my husband treated me from that point on, and I don’t believe that had we been together for years and gotten to know each other longer, I would have seen this side of him,  as I do think that having a child and the level of commitment and attention a baby would require is what triggered the more narcissistic and selfish parts of his personality to come our. I’m fairly easy going on a relationship and socially introverted, do love my own company and don’t need to be attached at the hip. I suspect my husband and I would have carried on fairly harmoniously for some time until a greater level of commitment and expectation was added to our relationship dynamic, it just would have taken me longer to see this side of him rather than seeing it early on as a result of my pregnancy at the beginning of our relationship.

As for the underlined quote - I do take offense to that because you are implying that I behaved irresponsibly. I did not. I have never had sex outside of a relationship where both parties have entered into an exclusive commitment and my feelings are very strong. In fact, I am Demi sexual and find it traumatic to even attempt intimacy with someone I don’t love. I had been single for 6 years prior to meeting my husband and had not even kissed a man in all that time, let alone having had sex with someone. I had all the responsible conversations with my partner when we decided to take our relationship further. I have no intention of having children with anyone else or likely even engaging in sex again. And the assumption that I had done otherwise is hurtful.

Edited by LotusBlack
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16 hours ago, LotusBlack said:

I believe that the reality was very different for him than he expected and realised after the fact that .... I’m not one of the women from his country that continues to encourage and perpetuate the total emotional, professional, and financial suppression of women.

I'm still a little confused by the wording of this sentence, but I get the opposite impression about him. He seems to think that you are someone who is to be emotionally, professionally, and financially suppressed. He has behaved in exactly that way, and I suspect he will continue to behave that way as long as you stay with him. He will never see you differently--YOU are invisible to him; he sees only what he believes. It's a blind spot. YOU have to see you differently, and that means doing what you have done--exiting the relationship. Remaining in the relationship is implicit agreement to suppression. We have seen that he acknowledged your attempt to show him your independence with resistance, distain, and contempt.

Edited by Jibralta
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3 hours ago, Lambert said:

I'm sorry if I missed it, but why did you marry him? Was he different prior to? Did it just change over time? 

We were between a bit of a rock and a hard place.

I was in the UK on a student visa and my husband on Tier 1 visa. My pregnancy was high risk with a lot of factors that required on-going medical observation. For that reason, I was not medically approved to fly, but my visa was due to expire 2 weeks after my son’s due date, so I would not be legally allowed to remain.

I was in the process of applying for ‘Indefinite Leave to Remain Outside the Immigration Rules’ when my husband suggested we get married. Neither of us would have entered into marriage so soon into our relationship (8 months), but we wanted to stay together and I loved him. I also had serious concerns about leaving my established medical team and not having my husband with me through the third trimester and when he was born. I thought “he’s my person and we are heading in this direction anyway. It may be happening sooner than we both would have intended, but it’s okay as it was our direction.” Also, my husband’s government wouldn’t acknowledge our son as a citizen of his country unless we were married and it was important to us that our son be a citizen of both our countries until such time as he can choose for himself.

The absolute foundation for which to get married upon, though, had to be love. I did very much love my husband. It wasn’t until months later that he told me that he’d assessed the situation on his own and believed I would not be granted Indefinite Leave to Remain, so said and did what he had to for me to consider marriage. Basically, he lied to me to get the outcome he had determined was the only viable option. Had I realised the manipulation at the time, I would have chosen differently. He took my right to make an informed decision away by setting a false scene and he still believes to this day that the end justified the means and it had been the only way. I beg to differ. I feel pretty confident that with my medical situation I would have been granted ILR. 

What I now recognise as being emotional abuse towards me during my pregnancy and prior to getting married, I’d interpreted as the result of cultural differences and significant stress at the time. We had 3 instances during my pregnancy and after each one we had an in-depth conversation and, I’d believed, developed a greater understanding of each other and a closer bond. Once the baby was born it happened all the time. And I never could not call him out on it. Had I stayed silent we never would fought as he doesn’t yell or argue, but I was never able to tolerate the narcissism.

Edited by LotusBlack
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30 minutes ago, Jibralta said:

We have seen that he acknowledged your attempt to show him your independence with resistance, distain, and contempt.

The way he treated you while you were in labor represents ALL.

He criticized you and wanted to go seek HIS rest. ***?

There is no dealing with someone that far gone, and I admire your strength to recognize this, Lotus.

 

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1 hour ago, LotusBlack said:

And we agreed we would both be okay with that given our ages and my infertility. I was willing to take that risk with someone I’d begun falling in love with. And I don’t regret it at all, having our son.  

That is not what you said before.  You said the pregnancy was unexpected -it wasn't. You now clarified that.  That is what I reacted to.  If you discussed beforehand that you were both on board with being parents (or aborting or adopting -whatever worked) and  you were on the same page -that was responsible.  I'm not sure what beginning to fall in love with someone has to do with readiness for parenting a child but I now see that you discused the risk of pregnancy beforehand.   I always waited closer to 5 months or so before having sex -with two exceptions -two months -which I regret.  But I was able to use contraception so the risk of pregnancy was much lower.

Edited by Batya33
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14 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

That is not what you said before.  You said the pregnancy was unexpected -it wasn't. You now clarified that.  That is what I reacted to.  If you discussed beforehand that you were both on board with being parents (or aborting or adopting -whatever worked) and  you were on the same page -that was responsible.  I'm not sure what beginning to fall in love with someone has to do with readiness for parenting a child but I now see that you discused the risk of pregnancy beforehand.   I always waited closer to 5 months or so before having sex -with two exceptions -two months -which I regret.  But I was able to use contraception so the risk of pregnancy was much lower.

I’m sorry, but the pregnancy WAS unexpected due to my infertility issues. I never expected to have a baby, ever. But that does not mean that I don’t have the presence of mind or maturity to discuss ANY potential risk when engaging in sex. The odds were slim to none, but there did exist a small chance, so I made sure to discuss that. That doesn’t mean it was expected or that I shouldn’t have been surprised. I can very firmly say that the shock was significant, so yes, it was unexpected.

I will clarify that I only had sex once I had developed love for my husband. I have only been with a few men in my life and I had been good friends with each of them for years before getting together and then once together it had taken a further year or so for sex to happen. My husband was the exception to that pattern and I had really felt he was my person. I loved him, so I wanted to be intimate. I’m not going to view any of the choices I made at that time as irresponsible, thoughtless, or hasty, because they weren’t. But I do acknowledge my judgement of his character was bad as it ended up as it has.

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6 minutes ago, LotusBlack said:

I’m sorry, but the pregnancy WAS unexpected due to my infertility issues. I never expected to have a baby, ever. But that does not mean that I don’t have the presence of mind or maturity to discuss ANY potential risk when engaging in sex. The odds were slim to none, but there did exist a small chance, so I made sure to discuss that. That doesn’t mean it was expected or that I shouldn’t have been surprised.

No it's not.  You weren't sterile.  Ever hear of "change of life" babies -women who believe they're in menopause and get pregnant? Happens all the time.  Unless you're sterile every time you two engaged in unprotected sex you were risking pregnancy.  Like they say about the rythym method for example -what do you call couples who use the rhythm method -"Parents".   

Surprised -yes -I was surprised I could get pregnant naturally.  We were trying to get pregnant so I was over the moon thrilled.  I'm glad you discussed the possibility of pregnancy and related plans before having unprotected sex.  

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10 minutes ago, LotusBlack said:

I’m not going to view any of the choices I made at that time as irresponsible, thoughtless, or hasty, because they weren’t. But I do acknowledge my judgement of his character was bad as it ended up as it has.

You are right because you discussed the risks beforehand.  We're not interpreting "unexpected" in the same way.  I simply think you didn't know him long enough to be able to judge his character.

Of course you don't regret having your son.  That's not the issue -the situation now is you will make decisions based on his best interests however you happen to be feeling about how things are turning out in your marriage.  I'm sorry you're in this situation.

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22 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

You are right because you discussed the risks beforehand.  We're not interpreting "unexpected" in the same way.  I simply think you didn't know him long enough to be able to judge his character.

Of course you don't regret having your son.  That's not the issue -the situation now is you will make decisions based on his best interests however you happen to be feeling about how things are turning out in your marriage.  I'm sorry you're in this situation.

We do indeed interpret things differently. And that’s okay. We are different people.

Thank you for your empathy. My son and I will continue to move forward and build a new life together. I am relieved he will not have his father modelling his narcissistic behaviour to him.

 

 

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