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  • FIRST POST
    • Crazy Diamond
    • By Crazy Diamond 7th Sep 17, 12:21 PM
    • 103Posts
    • 55Thanks
    Crazy Diamond
    My husband wants to leave me if I don’t have more children
    • #1
    • 7th Sep 17, 12:21 PM
    My husband wants to leave me if I don’t have more children 7th Sep 17 at 12:21 PM
    I am really confused. My husband and I have been together for 15 years and we have a son who is 6 and has Fragile X and autism. My husband has always wanted a large family however I have been uncertain about having more children because of the effort taken in looking after one child with learning disabilities. Having recently turned 40 my husband is desperate for more children. I am 3 years younger.

    As Fragile X is a genetic condition (I am the carrier) we have been exploring pre-implantation genetic diagnosis which is basically IVF where the embryo is screened before it is implanted. I have a 50% chance of passing on the gene if I have a child naturally. One of the issues however with being a Fragile X carrier is ovarian failure and I found out that embryo screening will not be effective due to my limited egg supply.

    We could try egg donation at a cost of Ł16k per cycle (with 50% chance of success) or natural pregnancy and then amniocentesis at 12 weeks to test for fragile x. We have agreed however we do not want another child with fragile x and there would be a 50% chance that I would need an abortion at 12 weeks.

    I have been thinking that I would like another child although mainly because I would like someone else there for our son as he does will have any other family after we die and will need support when he is an adult. I am very unsure of these other options though as I do not want an abortion at 12 weeks and I am unsure about egg donation given the cost, the probability of success and the fact the baby would not be genetically mine.

    My husband has been putting lots of pressure on me to make a decision. He basically said that he wants a ‘proper family’ and that if I do not have another child he will find a surrogate or a new partner. Although he loves our son he wants what he calls a ‘normal child’ and is prepared to leave us to get this.

    Before he started to pressurise me I was coming round to the idea of egg donation however his attitude is now making me question why I am with him. He does have a great relationship with our son and I don’t think I could cope with our son on my own due to both financial issues and his needs. I do work part time but my salary is quite low as I have been putting our son before my career.

    I really don’t know what to do now. Any advice would be appreciated.
Page 1
    • Fireflyaway
    • By Fireflyaway 7th Sep 17, 12:37 PM
    • 1,164 Posts
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    Fireflyaway
    • #2
    • 7th Sep 17, 12:37 PM
    • #2
    • 7th Sep 17, 12:37 PM
    Firstly I'm sorry to hear this, it must be confusing and upsetting. I am an only child and only have one child myself. On both counts I consider us to be a normal family. ' providing' a sibling doesn't mean they will automatically get along or support each other. They may never get along or be best buddies in childhood then grow apart / fall out when they are adults. Is it also right to bring a child along with the assumption he / she will support their sibling in adulthood? They may not want to. They may be born with a disability themselves or just not see it as their responsibility. I'm sure they will want their own life and won't necessarily be there as much as you think. You can't tell. Of course its natural to be concerned about your sons future but he can make friends / access support from various groups/ charities / statutory services etc it doesn't have to be down to family.
    I know I wouldn't risk having to have an abortion. That's just personal choice.
    What about adoption? Why does a child have to be biologically related?
    Maybe you have misinterpreted your husbands intentions? Its a very emotional subject and worth talking in detail about every possible scenario before you make a decision.
    Its important to remember having more kids doesn't always double the happiness. Dealing with a special needs child and a baby could put your marriage under more strain. Is your husband very hands on? I remember a very honest colleague of mine. She loved her second child ( who had behaviour issues) but said had she known how it would change the dynamics she would have stopped at one.
    Are there support groups? Might be worth speaking to someone who has faced that decision?
    Hope things work out well.
    Last edited by Fireflyaway; 07-09-2017 at 12:43 PM. Reason: T
    • Silvertabby
    • By Silvertabby 7th Sep 17, 12:40 PM
    • 1,510 Posts
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    Silvertabby
    • #3
    • 7th Sep 17, 12:40 PM
    • #3
    • 7th Sep 17, 12:40 PM
    I have been thinking that I would like another child although mainly because I would like someone else there for our son as he does will have any other family after we die and will need support when he is an adult.
    Whilst having every sympathy with your and and your son's problems, you can't be serious in thinking you can just breed your son's future carer!
    • ssparks2003
    • By ssparks2003 7th Sep 17, 12:47 PM
    • 133 Posts
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    ssparks2003
    • #4
    • 7th Sep 17, 12:47 PM
    • #4
    • 7th Sep 17, 12:47 PM
    My husband has been putting lots of pressure on me to make a decision. He basically said that he wants a ‘proper family’ and that if I do not have another child he will find a surrogate or a new partner. Although he loves our son he wants what he calls a ‘normal child’ and is prepared to leave us to get this.
    Originally posted by Crazy Diamond
    WOW, he sounds a lovely person, perhaps a knee jerk reaction but I would be telling him to pack his bag and foxtrot oscar this weekend. If he can't love his son and accept him for how he is, should he be having anymore children?
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 7th Sep 17, 12:51 PM
    • 28,210 Posts
    • 71,754 Thanks
    Mojisola
    • #5
    • 7th Sep 17, 12:51 PM
    • #5
    • 7th Sep 17, 12:51 PM
    Although he loves our son he wants what he calls a ‘normal child’ and is prepared to leave us to get this.

    my salary is quite low as I have been putting our son before my career.
    Originally posted by Crazy Diamond
    Would he be so keen on having another child if he was the one doing the 24/7 caring?

    He's putting his wants before you and the child he has - you might be better off without him around!
    • Crazy Diamond
    • By Crazy Diamond 7th Sep 17, 12:52 PM
    • 103 Posts
    • 55 Thanks
    Crazy Diamond
    • #6
    • 7th Sep 17, 12:52 PM
    • #6
    • 7th Sep 17, 12:52 PM
    Whilst having every sympathy with your and and your son's problems, you can't be serious in thinking you can just breed your son's future carer!
    Originally posted by Silvertabby
    I think this came across wrong. I am not intending to breed his future carer I would just like there to be someone there to look out for him (not provide direct care). I realise there is no guarantee that another child would play this role and I would not put any pressure on another child to do this but I do worry that my son will be alone in the world.
    • Crazy Diamond
    • By Crazy Diamond 7th Sep 17, 12:55 PM
    • 103 Posts
    • 55 Thanks
    Crazy Diamond
    • #7
    • 7th Sep 17, 12:55 PM
    • #7
    • 7th Sep 17, 12:55 PM
    WOW, he sounds a lovely person, perhaps a knee jerk reaction but I would be telling him to pack his bag and foxtrot oscar this weekend. If he can't love his son and accept him for how he is, should he be having anymore children?
    Originally posted by ssparks2003
    He does love his son and accept him but says his would like to experience having a normal family as well e.g. being able to have conversations, play games etc. He does say that if we had another child he would love them both equally.
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 7th Sep 17, 12:56 PM
    • 28,210 Posts
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    Mojisola
    • #8
    • 7th Sep 17, 12:56 PM
    • #8
    • 7th Sep 17, 12:56 PM
    I have been thinking that I would like another child although mainly because I would like someone else there for our son as he does will have any other family after we die and will need support when he is an adult.
    Originally posted by Crazy Diamond
    Even if you do go ahead and have another child, please don't make him/her a future carer.

    I knew a very messed-up young woman whose life had been dominated by a disabled brother. She knew her parents expected her to take over his care when they weren't able.

    He went for respite care occasionally and she told me that every time she wished for there to be a car accident on the way and for him to die so that it could all end and then hated herself for wishing him dead.
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 7th Sep 17, 1:00 PM
    • 1,619 Posts
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    Red-Squirrel
    • #9
    • 7th Sep 17, 1:00 PM
    • #9
    • 7th Sep 17, 1:00 PM
    I think this came across wrong. I am not intending to breed his future carer I would just like there to be someone there to look out for him (not provide direct care). I realise there is no guarantee that another child would play this role and I would not put any pressure on another child to do this but I do worry that my son will be alone in the world.
    Originally posted by Crazy Diamond
    Please rethink this. It can be tremendously hard on siblings of disabled children to know that when their parents are gone the burden will fall on them (and with the best will in the world it is always in part a burden, no matter how much they love their brother or sister). It impacts on their own life choices, career, relationships, family and children all through their life.

    If you do have another child I think it would be really really important to make it really clear as they grew up that you didn't expect them to make sacrifices for their sibling and that they only have to take as much or as little responsibility as they choose to.

    I'm afraid I can't politely put into words what I think about your husband.
    • hazyjo
    • By hazyjo 7th Sep 17, 1:06 PM
    • 9,510 Posts
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    hazyjo
    I know what I'd be telling him - and it's not suitable for this forum!


    Agree with comments above re siblings.
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    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 7th Sep 17, 1:07 PM
    • 28,210 Posts
    • 71,754 Thanks
    Mojisola
    He basically said that he wants a ‘proper family’ and that if I do not have another child he will find a surrogate or a new partner.

    Although he loves our son he wants what he calls a ‘normal child’ and is prepared to leave us to get this.
    Originally posted by Crazy Diamond
    He does love his son and accept him but says his would like to experience having a normal family as well e.g. being able to have conversations, play games etc.

    He does say that if we had another child he would love them both equally.
    Originally posted by Crazy Diamond
    He might believe this when he says it but the other things he says don't fit in with it.
    • Faith177
    • By Faith177 7th Sep 17, 1:25 PM
    • 2,464 Posts
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    Faith177
    Im sorry op but I'm in agreement with the others and would be telling him to take a long walk of a short pier with a lump of cement

    Thinking sensibly would you honestly be able to cope with a new born as well as your son? How do you think your son would cope with such a change? Not to mention the stress on the new child?

    Also remember some siblings don't end up being close so your son may not have anyone to rely on
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    • Gavin83
    • By Gavin83 7th Sep 17, 1:28 PM
    • 4,535 Posts
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    Gavin83
    I don't actually see what her husband has done wrong. He wants more children, nothing wrong with that and he wants a child he can have a normal relationship with, I don't see anything wrong with that either. There is no indication that he would feel anything less for his current son. I'd imagine when people have an idea of what their family will be like and the reality is massively different (as in the case of a disabled child) this really isn't an easy situation to deal with. Yet another topic where I feel if the genders were reversed the opinions would be different.

    OP, essentially if he wants more children and considers it a deal breaker and you can't or won't provide this I'm not sure what future there is for this marriage. You need to decide what you want and go from there. He might be applying some pressure but it comes across like you've been discussing this a while with no firm decision and frankly neither of you have long left.
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 7th Sep 17, 1:41 PM
    • 1,619 Posts
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    Red-Squirrel
    I don't actually see what her husband has done wrong. He wants more children, nothing wrong with that and he wants a child he can have a normal relationship with
    Originally posted by Gavin83
    Did you even read the post? Its not as simple as just having another child, it will be very difficult and take a huge toll on the OP, physically and psychologically.

    Life doesn't always work out as you think it will, I think its perfectly fine to mourn for the loss of the life you wanted and take some time to come to terms with the different life you've got.

    What's not perfectly fine is to decide that you're going to opt out of the life you've got and leave your loving wife to deal with all the stress and practical difficulties of a disabled child alone while you go off without a backward glance to make your 'normal' family'!
    • rev229
    • By rev229 7th Sep 17, 4:25 PM
    • 1,014 Posts
    • 787 Thanks
    rev229
    I have a daughter (19) with fragile X. Autism, learning difficulties and epilepsy. She is our 2nd child. We found out that I was the carrier and made the decision not to have any more children. My husband and I were planning a 3rd at the time but decided that we really couldn't cope with another child with issues. It was a heart breaking decision but most definitely the right one. Caring for our daughter has had a huge emotional and physical cost to our lives. It has been really tough not just for us but her older brother was bullied because his sister was different. Other children and their parents are cruel. From her first day at school both her and I were isolated because she was different. We have no friends or family interested in providing support for us. We have managed on our own. My daughter has just recently moved into supported living. She loves it, we love it and for the first time ever we have a normal life. Had she been our first child and I knew what lay ahead we would not have had a second. Having a child with disabilities puts huge pressure on anyone.
    • rach_k
    • By rach_k 7th Sep 17, 4:47 PM
    • 1,005 Posts
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    rach_k
    I'm so sorry you're in such a horrible situation OP.

    Is it possible that your OH is just really desperate for another child and is saying things, hurtful and harmful things, without really meaning them and without thinking of the consequences because he is so desperate? I think people might be more understanding of this if it was the female partner who was yearning for another child, because of how society tells us we feel (and men don't, supposedly). Have these been calm, rational discussions where he has started off saying these things, or have they perhaps started like that but descended into arguments and him then making these threats in the heat of the moment? While I wouldn't suggest that threats like this are acceptable, they may perhaps be understandable. Only you would know this OP! Is he a horrible selfish person or is he a good person saying ridiculous things because he's struggling?

    If you took the genetic issues out of the equation, would you want another child and could you manage as a parent? For me, that would be the big issue, assuming that your OH isn't really a horrible person. If you would (and I personally think providing your first child with a sibling/companion is a fair reason, or at least a fair reason amongst several), why not look into options? Have you gone to experts with your OH and really looked into it, or is it just research you've done yourself? Sometimes people need to hear things themselves, from an expert, so although you may already know enough to decide your OH may not feel like he does too.
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 7th Sep 17, 5:02 PM
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    unholyangel
    He does love his son and accept him but says his would like to experience having a normal family as well e.g. being able to have conversations, play games etc. He does say that if we had another child he would love them both equally.
    Originally posted by Crazy Diamond
    Tbh your husband sound likes he is possibly having a midlife crisis. This tends to happen when our life doesn't match up with how we imagined/planned it would be.

    What I will say is that no one is normal - no one person/family fits into the perfect parameters of what society consider as "normal". Really, its abnormal to be "normal".

    I'm mindful of what others have said with regards to who currently does the most care wise etc. All equality seems to have given women is the expectation of them that not only will they still be primary carers, but also have a career on top. If you don't need the money, why are you still working? If you do need the money from your job, can you afford another child?

    But, perhaps fostering or adoption may be an option? Theres also the possibility there to have an older child who won't require as much care as a baby or toddler might and may even be able to help you around the house with the easier tasks (not suggesting child labour, just chores that children are normally assigned). I realise adoption isn't for everyone but imo its rather insane how people are hung up on DNA being passed on. Especially when parents with no genetic link to the children can be much better at being a parent to them than their biological one/s.
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • tikki999
    • By tikki999 7th Sep 17, 5:17 PM
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    tikki999
    Dear OP, how amazing that you are able to reflect and be as coherent and clear with your communication considering how upsetting this must be for you.

    What sticks with me is your husband's apparent yearning for a 'normal' family because it sounds like he has some ideal in his head that he wants to go in search of and that ideal, which does not actually exist right now and, most probably, won't ever exist is, seemingly, more important to him than your wellbeing and that of your son.

    What I mean is, even if he is a great dad in many ways...actually leaving if you won't provide this 'ideal' means that you and your son will be in an even more challenging situation than you are now that there are 2 of you to look after your son (aside from financial and emotional considerations)

    It sounds like a clear, calm, heart to heart is necessary to look at all the practical options and consider the emotional impact of them all...I'm sorry you have been put in this position. I hope you have support around you from other family and friends.
    • Monika333
    • By Monika333 7th Sep 17, 6:47 PM
    • 16 Posts
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    Monika333
    I absolutely agree. I do understand that you have been together for 15 years, but if your hisband says you that he will leave you because of such a thing, he doesn't give a choice for you, and it is awful. If I were you, I would tell my husband to go away and do what he wants. Maybe he knows you will have to do the way he wants?
    • cjdavies
    • By cjdavies 7th Sep 17, 7:32 PM
    • 2,567 Posts
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    cjdavies
    He does love his son and accept him but says his would like to experience having a normal family as well e.g. being able to have conversations, play games etc. He does say that if we had another child he would love them both equally.
    Originally posted by Crazy Diamond
    I somehow doubt it.
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