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  • At a Fork in the Road

    I'm 37 and I've been dating a woman for close to 2 years and I have it all on me to make the hardest decision I've ever faced. My track record with relationships has been minimal and brief. I've only been in 2 relationships that lasted longer than a year and the first one lasted close to 5 years and only because it was long distance for most of 4 years. I was in my early 20's back then. I knew I didn't want to marry her, we just didn't connect on a deeper level but we were close in some important ways. We helped each other through some hard times and had some good times together but I was more like fwb in retrospect with the illusion of something deeper.

    This most recent relationship is the opposite. We connected on every aspect that's important. Caring, attractions, and companionship. She's changed my life. My life was mostly hollow before. We became best friends too and close like family. I look at her as family. She is the one I want to marry but the survival of our relationship has also been because of my holding back how I felt about having kids. She told me the 2nd date she couldn't have kids and I didn't put much weight in it. I knew I might want to have kids but I wasn't ready financially or emotionally and I thought I might never meet my soulmate. By not telling her this reservation she trusted me and we got closer.and closer even though that nagging craving of having my own kids was still there. My silence was dishonesty. I was scared of losing her.

    We eventually discussed it about 8 months later and it was intense. She got angry and said she thought she remembered telling me that in the beginning. I reaffirmed it and apologized. I told her it was wrong of me. I didn't want to lose her. We decided we would work through it when in reality we just compartmentalized it together but it never left. We get a long so well and she is always there for me and gives me 100%. She knows I'm not giving her 100% and it's frustrating that I feel like I can't. I'm terrified of the bitterness and regret of not even trying to have kids. All I want to do is have kids with her and it is wrong to leave her because of it but it is also wrong for her to deal with a life lived with a bitter companion. I just want to erase the feeling of needing my own kid.

    I have a relative that is 10 years older than me that went through this and it scares me. Her boyfriend who already has kids was older and didn't want them but he comprised for her in order to marry her. From my understanding he held out once they married and it became too late for her. I will never forget the intensity of her expression when she told me that to look at the bigger picture. I don't want to be bitter like that.

    My girlfriend has already had the experience with having a child and marriage of her. I feel like I need it and so we are in 2 different stages of life. I'm still trying to grow up. My parent's marriage was tumultuous. My mom was verbally and physically abusive towards my dad and then both parents were mostly absent from my life through my teenage years. I lived in a house alone 5 days a week for years when I was a teen. I'm still traumatized by the solitude and neglect and I've had commitment issues since.

    I said I'd never get married and I wouldn't have kids until I found the perfect woman. Now I've found the perfect woman and feel compelled to leave. I don't deserve her yet. I set myself up for ruin and entangled her in the process. This is all my fault and I feel guilty. I know that was long winded. Thanks for reading and any advice would be appreciated.
    Last edited by Marto; February 7th, 2018, 08:21 PM.

  • #2
    You need to let her go, heal and find a woman that does want children eventually. If she (your current g/f) is honest with herself and actually sees that she isn't the person for you, she'll break up with you so that you can have the life you actually want. Pain will be suffered by both of you for a while and then you'll both heal and you'll go onto finding the woman that will be your LIFE mate and the mother of your children.

    Just don't wast another five years with someone that isn't right for you once you break up with your current. You've done that twice now so I hope you've learned that settling isn't copacetic to you being happy for the long term.
    Last edited by phasesofthemoon; February 7th, 2018, 09:41 PM.
    "First off, welcome to the Relationship Forums, You'll come to understand that I don't pull any punches when giving my opinion/advice and I hope you're not so sensitive to what I see as the truth of the matter." Me!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Marto View Post
      I'm still traumatized by the solitude and neglect and I've had commitment issues since.
      Well that's not the right place to be in when you want to have kids.
      I think the first step is to realise that you haven't healed nearly enough to be the kind of parent you should be. You're carrying your own baggage, which will inevitably influence the way you raise your own children, and not in a good way. Before even thinking that far ahead, maybe you should consider counseling to deal with your past.

      Secondly, I'm unclear on something you might want to clarify. She can't have children. Does that mean she doesn't WANT children? Are things such as IVF, surrogacy or adoption off the table for you?
      If she's not open to having children through alternative means, and you know for a fact you do want them eventually, you need to be brave for the both of you and end it, sooner rather than later. Postponing the inevitable won't make either one of you any happier.
      You can't control the waves, but you can learn to surf

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      • #4
        I agree with the others but I think you should also take a breather and chill out, come back to this in a better frame of mind. I read aggravation and frustration in your writing at a level that you may or may not be thinking straight anymore and running on negative emotions. The word you've used several times is "need" and this speaks to me of a helpless desperation that is already operating at very high stress levels. The fact that you've brought up your upbringing and its deficiencies also seems to indicate to me that you're grasping at straws, anything, to try and rationalize what you're going through. I don't think this has anything to do with your upbringing at all and it has everything to do with managing your expectations in a healthy relationship and acting like a responsible adult.

        1) try to pull yourself together, 2) don't devolve into questioning your childhood, 3) be accountable for your actions in the present and the way you present yourself to your partner (and others).

        Coming from someone with some experience with this, before you draw large conclusions about her fertility (or decisions), I think you should book an appointment with your doctor and get a referral to see a reproductive specialist to discern your fertility. Male infertility counts for 40-50% of inability to conceive. If you are so certain you "need" children to lead a fulfilling life I think you ought to assess your health first before destroying your relationship.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Ayla View Post

          Well that's not the right place to be in when you want to have kids.
          I think the first step is to realise that you haven't healed nearly enough to be the kind of parent you should be. You're carrying your own baggage, which will inevitably influence the way you raise your own children, and not in a good way. Before even thinking that far ahead, maybe you should consider counseling to deal with your past.

          Secondly, I'm unclear on something you might want to clarify. She can't have children. Does that mean she doesn't WANT children? Are things such as IVF, surrogacy or adoption off the table for you?
          If she's not open to having children through alternative means, and you know for a fact you do want them eventually, you need to be brave for the both of you and end it, sooner rather than later. Postponing the inevitable won't make either one of you any happier.
          Thanks, I agree. I've got to get that baggage figured out because I'm just going to keep setting myself up for painful outcomes. I know that I have to self heal and be financially stable to have kids. I'm working towards both but I feel like I'm out of time and with her that road will close forever. I feel trapped.

          She had a hysterectomy so the only options are surrogacy and adoption. Both we can't afford and we both feel uncomfortable about surrogacy. She felt positive about adoption, I do too but I feel like I'm still just sweeping this feeling under the rug. Maybe it's just selfish of me. I don't know why I'm fixated on having my own kids. I can't tell if I'm self sabotaging or if my gut feelings are right.
          Last edited by Marto; February 8th, 2018, 01:06 PM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Rose Mosse View Post
            I agree with the others but I think you should also take a breather and chill out, come back to this in a better frame of mind. I read aggravation and frustration in your writing at a level that you may or may not be thinking straight anymore and running on negative emotions. The word you've used several times is "need" and this speaks to me of a helpless desperation that is already operating at very high stress levels. The fact that you've brought up your upbringing and its deficiencies also seems to indicate to me that you're grasping at straws, anything, to try and rationalize what you're going through. I don't think this has anything to do with your upbringing at all and it has everything to do with managing your expectations in a healthy relationship and acting like a responsible adult.

            1) try to pull yourself together, 2) don't devolve into questioning your childhood, 3) be accountable for your actions in the present and the way you present yourself to your partner (and others).

            Coming from someone with some experience with this, before you draw large conclusions about her fertility (or decisions), I think you should book an appointment with your doctor and get a referral to see a reproductive specialist to discern your fertility. Male infertility counts for 40-50% of inability to conceive. If you are so certain you "need" children to lead a fulfilling life I think you ought to assess your health first before destroying your relationship.
            You are right. I didn't think of how desparate my thinking has been but I can't describe it any other way. I feel like an emotional mess that I'm in and out. There is still avoidance of making mature, responsible decisions on my own end. I do think I need to quit trying to solve it. I felt like I am losing my mind at times and grasping for anything that will bring relief. It is desperation. I don't know if I trust myself at this point. I'm just going with circles in it in my mind.

            I might be infertile. I might be stressing about nothing. I need to get that checked out. Thanks for helping me rationalize this. I've got to stop blaming things on the past and grow up. I'm out of time.

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            • #7
              Marto, you have to decide whether your desire for children is stronger than your love for her. It seems that you're willing to give her up for it.
              "What lips my lips have kissed and where and why I have forgotten." ~Edna St. Vincent Millay

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              • #8
                Originally posted by phasesofthemoon View Post
                You need to let her go, heal and find a woman that does want children eventually. If she (your current g/f) is honest with herself and actually sees that she isn't the person for you, she'll break up with you so that you can have the life you actually want. Pain will be suffered by both of you for a while and then you'll both heal and you'll go onto finding the woman that will be your LIFE mate and the mother of your children.

                Just don't wast another five years with someone that isn't right for you once you break up with your current. You've done that twice now so I hope you've learned that settling isn't copacetic to you being happy for the long term.
                Thanks. This is what I feel compelled to do. I don't know whether to trust myself though because I've been compelled to sabotage myself in the past. I don't know whether I'm mentally sound under this kind of pressure. I've never experience pressure like this as I have never been this close to anyone.

                She definitely cannot have children. She would need a new uterus. I'm hoping for the impossible and feel really selfish for it. There is a big part of this where I feel we would have never have gotten this far if I was just honest from the beginning. I was still not taking life seriously.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by SarahLancaster View Post
                  Marto, you have to decide whether your desire for children is stronger than your love for her. It seems that you're willing to give her up for it.
                  It does feel stronger but I donít know if itís me looking for excuses to avoid commitment.. This really became a major issue when marriage and moving in together was the next step. I feel guilty that my love for her isnít strong enough to ignore the need for having kids. Itís all me. I wasnít honest with her or myself and wasnít giving her 100%.

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                  • #10
                    If there's a fork in the road, then the fork is giving you the message that it's time to go your separate ways. Both of you are not meant to share the same desires and future together. I would never waste my time and energy with someone who does not share the same hopes and dreams as mine IMHO. Both of you aren't on the same page and it's best to remember that.
                    "If you bungle raising your children, whatever else you do well in life doesn't matter very much."

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                    • #11
                      Even with the talk of children or no children, I think you need time to sort things out. It seems like the pressure of a serious relationship with limitations is causing you to have serious anxiety. I would be very wary about fixating on the need for children. You're going to find yourself in a very tight spot in the future if you go into future relationships with this as a predominant item on your agenda.

                      How much do you know about raising children in the first place and are you in an adequate position to be a parent (psychologically, financially)?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by chanelle View Post
                        If there's a fork in the road, then the fork is giving you the message that it's time to go your separate ways. Both of you are not meant to share the same desires and future together. I would never waste my time and energy with someone who does not share the same hopes and dreams as mine IMHO. Both of you aren't on the same page and it's best to remember that.
                        Thanks, I feel like I'm trying to solve an impossible equation with this even though the answer could be very simple. We both finally faced that we couldn't ignore it anymore.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Rose Mosse View Post
                          Even with the talk of children or no children, I think you need time to sort things out. It seems like the pressure of a serious relationship with limitations is causing you to have serious anxiety. I would be very wary about fixating on the need for children. You're going to find yourself in a very tight spot in the future if you go into future relationships with this as a predominant item on your agenda.

                          How much do you know about raising children in the first place and are you in an adequate position to be a parent (psychologically, financially)?
                          No, I am not psychologically or financially ready. I don't know much about raising kids. The more I think about what I'm saying after calming down, I can see that I'm being obsessive about it. I'm not even in a position to have kids. Her kids is great and that's why I'm really wondering if I'm just sabotaging myself.

                          I've been occupying my mind with other things lately. I think have some serious commitment issues because it's just not reasonable to go into relationships without taking incompatibilities seriously, especially at my age. I met with a counselor today and going back next week. The pressure is starting to lessen a bit. I can get fixated on absolutes.


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                          • #14
                            Glad you are taking the time to meet with a counselor. The added third party thoughts can offer a lot of added insight. Raising children is a whole chock full of nuts and surprises. Think of all the unforeseen expenses that have come up in your life and multiply that by the number of small people you think you might want. There's a proliferation of diapers, shit, feeding, lack of sleep, food prep, cleaning, laundry, doctor's appointments. If you are really concerned about having children, there's shuttling them to and from school, daycare, grandma's or grandpa's. Remember: they can't drive, feed themselves, or even clean themselves for a long while. You may need help if you are working and your partner is working. Do you have anyone to help? All of this costs money. Starting up your car to shuttle them anywhere costs money. And you can't simply throw them in the backseat or in the trunk either. Carseats cost money. I am not saying don't nurture that dream but if you really want to know what it's like raising a child, spend more time with family relatives with children or friends with children - spend a whole day with them.

                            At a younger age I would be overwhelmed and completely unequipped to handle kids also. I agree with you - take a minute to ask yourself whether it's the anxieties of the relationship and her situation that's causing this frustration within you. You may not be sabotaging yourself. I think you are having a panic attack which is normal regarding the very large responsibility that comes with co-parenting a brood of children. Her inability to have kids is misplaced frustration at the situation as a whole. Hope you feel better soon and find peace with what's troubling you. You should move on if this is too much to handle. Know your limits.

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