My husband wants to leave me if I don’t have more children

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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 £16k 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.
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Comments

  • Fireflyaway
    Fireflyaway Posts: 2,766 Forumite
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    edited 7 September 2017 at 12:43PM
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    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.
  • Silvertabby
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    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
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    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.

    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
    Mojisola Posts: 35,559 Forumite
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    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.

    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
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    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!

    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
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    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?

    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
    Mojisola Posts: 35,559 Forumite
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    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.

    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_2
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    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.

    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
    hazyjo Posts: 15,470 Forumite
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    I know what I'd be telling him - and it's not suitable for this forum!


    Agree with comments above re siblings.
    2023 wins: *must start comping again!*
  • Mojisola
    Mojisola Posts: 35,559 Forumite
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    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.
    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.

    He might believe this when he says it but the other things he says don't fit in with it. :(
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