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Help! I Forced My Husband to Have Kids. It Was a Terrible Mistake.

Posted by lurker-derp 
Help! I Forced My Husband to Have Kids. It Was a Terrible Mistake.
October 10, 2018
https://slate.com/human-interest/2018/10/husband-hates-our-children-advice.html

A classic example of "he'll love it when it's here!" being utter bullshit.

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Q. I pressured my husband to have kids and now I am being cut out: When I first met my husband, he made it clear that he never wanted children. I know it was wrong of me, but I wore him down: Seven years ago he became a very reluctant father, and we had another child three years later.

It’s obvious now that we made a terrible mistake. He hates being a parent, finds our children incredibly irritating, and resents me for it. He’s too good a man for them to be aware of his distaste and discomfit, but kids are like cats and the more distant and reserved he is toward them, the more eager they have grown for his attention. They worship him and barely acknowledge me, which pains both of us.

I’m jealous of their affection for him and pained by the fact that all three of them hate me. Am I stuck like this forever? I sometimes feel I should get a divorce, but he doesn’t want custody and my kids don’t want to be around me. Is there any way my marriage can be saved? Or have I screwed everything up completely?

A: I don’t think there’s a marriage to be saved here, so much as an uneven and unpleasant co-parenting relationship. He does not love your children and resents you; you are consumed with remorse and anxiety and desperation. If you’re able to afford it, I think you would both benefit immensely from a couples counselor, even if only to figure out how to divorce as kindly and respectfully as possible. Divorce may seem unattractive because you believe if your husband weren’t forced to live with his children, he would never want to see them, but as they grow up, they’re going to realize one way or another if he truly hates being around them and only does it because he has to.

This. This is what happens when men don't wear condoms and simply trust their baby-rabid wife to handle all the birth control. Am I blaming the man entirely? If they'd stopped at one kid, I'd say no; mistakes happen - as do intentional 'oopsies' - but to have a second kid? I feel for men having so little option regarding birth control, however, if one 'accident' happened, you'd think he'd be a little more careful.

That said, this stupid woman is now reaping what she'd sown seven years ago. She ASSumed that he'd love them once they were here, that he couldn't possibly be serious about not wanting kids, that all he needed was to have his own kids; after all, it's different when they're your own! She has none of my sympathy (I've saved that for these kids that didn't ask to be born and are now being resented by one of their parents; I don't care how well she THINKS he's hiding it, kids pick up on that kind of stuff pretty quick).

Further proof, if we needed any, that there needs to be more male birth control options - after all, it's easier to unload a gun than shoot yourself while wearing a bullet-resistant vest.
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lurker-derp
This. This is what happens when men don't wear condoms and simply trust their baby-rabid wife to handle all the birth control. Am I blaming the man entirely? If they'd stopped at one kid, I'd say no; mistakes happen - as do intentional 'oopsies' - but to have a second kid? I feel for men having so little option regarding birth control, however, if one 'accident' happened, you'd think he'd be a little more careful.

From reading the letter, I don't think it was an accident; she says she wore him down-- it sounds, according to her, like he agreed to it, however reluctantly. It was his damn dumb fault for caving, and her damn dumb fault for marrying someone with diametrically opposed life goals.
Re: Help! I Forced My Husband to Have Kids. It Was a Terrible Mistake.
October 10, 2018
I have no idea how, if he feels that way about kids, that he can hide it that well.
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cfdavep
I have no idea how, if he feels that way about kids, that he can hide it that well.

I agree. Animals can pick up on someone's feelings, and kids are supposed to be smarter than animals, right? There's no way those kids are fooled. They're competing for his attention and dog him around because they're seeking his affection-- and they're seeking it because it isn't being given to them, and they know it. He may not act openly like he hates them, but they know damn well he doesn't love them.
Re: Help! I Forced My Husband to Have Kids. It Was a Terrible Mistake.
October 10, 2018
Why would she want to nag a man for 7 years for a kid? I'd think at some point she'd tire of it and marry one of the many men out there who do want kids. All of us child free women are well aware that most men have or want kids. It would be like shooting fish in a barrel to find one.

Why would he put up with her nagging for 7 years for a kid when he told her from the start he didn't want kids? And why did he give in?

Both these people are idiots for staying married and having kids together. And the poor kids are going to be miserable along with their idiot parents.
Re: Help! I Forced My Husband to Have Kids. It Was a Terrible Mistake.
October 11, 2018
Those breeders deserve each other. The kids, however, don't deserve it.
Re: Help! I Forced My Husband to Have Kids. It Was a Terrible Mistake.
October 11, 2018
Dear LW:

At this point your best solution would be to fake your own death and disappear. See "Gone Girl" for pointers.
Ugh. My feelings are similar to those of yurble and freya: why the hell would she stick with a guy who wants zero kids, when the majority of guys out there want at least one?** Why would he stay with someone who wants kids? Why cave in? The two idiot adults will just have to sort their shit, but the poor kids didn't ask for any of this.

** I do think that, due to gender roles & how males/females are socialized, there are a lot of guys out there who, deep down, don't really care one way or the other about kids & could take it or leave it, but have twigged to the fact that wanting kids is seen as a positive, productive, strong thing.
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randomcfchick
** I do think that, due to gender roles & how males/females are socialized, there are a lot of guys out there who, deep down, don't really care one way or the other about kids & could take it or leave it, but have twigged to the fact that wanting kids is seen as a positive, productive, strong thing.

^^
I think most men truly don't want kids, or are at least indifferent to it.
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kittehpeoples
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randomcfchick
** I do think that, due to gender roles & how males/females are socialized, there are a lot of guys out there who, deep down, don't really care one way or the other about kids & could take it or leave it, but have twigged to the fact that wanting kids is seen as a positive, productive, strong thing.

^^
I think most men truly don't want kids, or are at least indifferent to it.

Yea, I tend to believe this also. I think a lot of men will have kids, just to keep their wives happy. They shut up and deal with it because they don't want to deal with the tantrums and whining.
Re: Help! I Forced My Husband to Have Kids. It Was a Terrible Mistake.
October 12, 2018
If you have to nag someone for YEARS to do something, maybe instead of "wearing them down" with your bitching, you should stop and ask yourself why you're making them do shit they obviously don't want to do. Sounds like he just got fed up with her pissing and mooing about baybees and knocked her up to shut her up already, probably figuring since she's the woman and she wanted the damn things, she'd be the one dealing with them so he wouldn't have to.

At least Moo admits she fucked up - she's already waaaay beyond the average Moo in that sense. However, she's still dug herself a hell of a hole to be in. Pressured an unwilling man into having kids he never wanted, and now he hates the kids and his wife. The kids don't really like Moo, and if she were to divorce him, she'd get custody because he doesn't want the kids near him, meaning she'd be stuck with brats who don't even like her. But staying together means those kids will become very well aware of Duh's resentment toward them. I know Moo thinks he's being all secretive regarding how he truly feels about them, but kids do pick up on that shit and it's not going to do any of them any favors for the kids to be raised by someone who can't stand them.

It's not all on Moo, though. Duh agreed to put a kid in her twice - nobody held him at gunpoint and made him impregnate her, and it doesn't sound like she siphoned semen out of a condom behind his back for an oops. He didn't have to do it, but he probably knew the only thing that would shut her ass up is a kid. I don't know why he chose to stay with her in the first place when they have such opposite views on kids.

I will never understand why someone would ever want to have kids with a person who doesn't want them. I fail to see how such an arrangement will have any sort of upside and it's just going to result in all involved parties being miserable. Whether the parents stick it out or get divorced, the kids will be the ones to suffer the most as they get dragged along for the ride and blamed for everything.
Re: Help! I Forced My Husband to Have Kids. It Was a Terrible Mistake.
October 12, 2018
They deserve each other. Too bad they brought kids into the mix.

I blame him too. I realize he's a guy and he still wanted nookie and probably talked himself into the delusion that wifey would do the cunt work but STILL. This isn't a decision about where to go on vacation or buying a house. This is a permanent, irrevocable decision that is going to affect your life, your kid's life, and EVERYBODY'S LIFE FOR THE REST OF HIS/HER LIFE.

And this guy had more than one kid. He could have had one and said, bitch, you got your kid, and I'm getting the snip. Their life would have been a lot more manageable. ETA: OMG I just re-read it and they have THREE KIDS. I know people who love and adore children and they stopped at one or two due to effort and affordability. OMG what a way to completely torpedo your life.

I'm old. There was no internet support group for CF people when I was in my prime baybee years, from 20-35. Even amid all the harassment from doctors who wouldn't sterilize me and family and random people, I wasn't going to be coerced into doing something that was wrong for me. I'm stubborn like that and I THANK THE APPROPRIATE DEITY EVERY DAY.

Is it really that hard to realize that you deserve to make basic decisions about your life? That the Earth won't fall off its axis if you don't have kids?
Re: Help! I Forced My Husband to Have Kids. It Was a Terrible Mistake.
October 12, 2018
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mumofsixbirds
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kittehpeoples
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randomcfchick
** I do think that, due to gender roles & how males/females are socialized, there are a lot of guys out there who, deep down, don't really care one way or the other about kids & could take it or leave it, but have twigged to the fact that wanting kids is seen as a positive, productive, strong thing.

^^
I think most men truly don't want kids, or are at least indifferent to it.

Yea, I tend to believe this also. I think a lot of men will have kids, just to keep their wives happy. They shut up and deal with it because they don't want to deal with the tantrums and whining.

I don't know about this. I've been out on so many dates that have ended quickly because the guy wants kids. I've only known a handful who didn't want kids. And every time I've attempted online dating 95% of the men want kids. Most of the remaining 5% had the kids they wanted already. A few (very few) were child free. And I live on the West Coast. At one point I did try a date or two with the men who wanted kids (the ones who sounded like they like their lives and may not really want kids as bad as they claim). Every single one of them was firm in wanting kids. Many would say all those breeder brained things such as I would make gorgeous babies or how they bought a house in a good school district that is 3 or 4 bedroom or how they want their son to play the same sport as they did so I don't think they were fence-sitters. Once you've heard a man make 4-5 comments that are kid-centric you know he isn't joking about wanting kids nor is he a fence sitter. Luckily this would happen on the first date so there would be no second date.

One man I dated for several months who didn't want kids sat in a restaurant with a big smile on his face watching a loud famblee while I sat there trying not to feel annoyed. Then he looked at me and talked about how great it will be to have kids. That particular man was especially sneaky and had never said/done anything to make me think he wanted kids until that moment. Since then, I've implemented the restaurant test. Bring a date to a restaurant (make it one of those obnoxious kid friendly ones) and see how the date reacts. It will be honest and not a lie to get laid. If he is anything other than disgusted make it a last date. The worst ones are the ones that lie about wanting/not wanting kids.

I've known more than a few men that were oopsed or had kids and realized after the fact they didn't want them.
Re: Help! I Forced My Husband to Have Kids. It Was a Terrible Mistake.
October 12, 2018
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randomcfchick
** I do think that, due to gender roles & how males/females are socialized, there are a lot of guys out there who, deep down, don't really care one way or the other about kids & could take it or leave it, but have twigged to the fact that wanting kids is seen as a positive, productive, strong thing.

I'm a guy (obviously), but RandomCFChick is 100% right. Many guys are at best ambivalent about having children, but go along with having them to look better to others or to keep their significant others happy. In the past some employers preferred men with children because they would presumably work harder and longer to provide for the wife and kids. My hunch is those days have long faded, and things have even gone the other way as younger guys now use their kids as an excuse not to work long hours.
Holy crap, freya! That sounds like breeder hell!

I've never internet dated, but it sounds rife with wannabreeds out there. The guys I met, as friends and as dates, never really talked about sprogs at all. I don't know if this is a more recent phenomenon with the advent of internet dating, but it seems that the people who I generally attracted didn't like kids that much at all.

A lot of girlfriends I had did end up getting knocked up eventually, but I never had much to do with them afterwards. Mostly just bingos and babysitting demands came my way. The guy friends I've had never talked about kids the way the women did. I guess that's why I've always had more male friends than female.
Interesting. I've known very few men who talked rabidly about babies the way women do. I do admit that I've managed to somehow surround myself with a surprising number of CF people, though. I don't know if it's the hobbies I've chosen or what, but I was amazed the first time I spoke up among one of my two major peer groups about not wanting children. Most of them didn't, either.
Re: Help! I Forced My Husband to Have Kids. It Was a Terrible Mistake.
October 13, 2018
While most of the bingos I get are from men, they are middle-aged men with wives and kids. Most of the younger guys I meet seem indifferent to it and haven't given it much thought, although of course there are always a few who have their lives scripted out. Of course most of the indifferent ones will go on to breed eventually. Most younger women I meet are much more definite, either for or against. I suspect it is because women are both socialized to think more about children, and also because the biological weight of reproduction rests on women that we tend to have firmer opinions earlier.
Re: Help! I Forced My Husband to Have Kids. It Was a Terrible Mistake.
October 13, 2018
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kittehpeoples
Interesting. I've known very few men who talked rabidly about babies the way women do. I do admit that I've managed to somehow surround myself with a surprising number of CF people, though. I don't know if it's the hobbies I've chosen or what, but I was amazed the first time I spoke up among one of my two major peer groups about not wanting children. Most of them didn't, either.

Attrition is a good way to meet people without kids. Once people are a certain age (40ish), if they don't have kids and aren't constantly talking about their struggles to have them, you can be reasonably certain they won't have them.
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yurble
While most of the bingos I get are from men, they are middle-aged men with wives and kids.

They are jealous losers ^^^. When I was late 20s early 30s they were mostly from women. At 33, 34, 35, for whatever reason, it's now the men who are doing it. Always fairly new Dads - jealous I can do whatever I want whenever I want. I've also found certain minorities ask me more than others, probably a cultural thing.
Re: Help! I Forced My Husband to Have Kids. It Was a Terrible Mistake.
October 13, 2018
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childfreeadvocate
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yurble
While most of the bingos I get are from men, they are middle-aged men with wives and kids.

They are jealous losers ^^^. When I was late 20s early 30s they were mostly from women. At 33, 34, 35, for whatever reason, it's now the men who are doing it. Always fairly new Dads - jealous I can do whatever I want whenever I want. I've also found certain minorities ask me more than others, probably a cultural thing.

I don't know if it is jealousy, I think they just cannot imagine anything else. It is usually people working in fairly menial jobs. That is not to say that you cannot be smart and still work a menial job, but let's just say it isn't the top career choice for most people.

And this comes out in minute one of a conversation. Like, I'll ask: how much is this pear? I'll get the answer, and maybe a question about where I'm visiting from or what I think of the area, and then he'll think we're having a personal conversation and the second question will always be if I have kids. When I say no, it's directly into bingo territory. It doesn't really bother me, because I don't give a flying fuck what they think of me. It has just happened often enough that it's clear that I have a "type" when it comes to people bingoing me.
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kman
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randomcfchick
** I do think that, due to gender roles & how males/females are socialized, there are a lot of guys out there who, deep down, don't really care one way or the other about kids & could take it or leave it, but have twigged to the fact that wanting kids is seen as a positive, productive, strong thing.

I'm a guy (obviously), but RandomCFChick is 100% right. Many guys are at best ambivalent about having children, but go along with having them to look better to others or to keep their significant others happy. In the past some employers preferred men with children because they would presumably work harder and longer to provide for the wife and kids. My hunch is those days have long faded, and things have even gone the other way as younger guys now use their kids as an excuse not to work long hours.

I think most guys see is as going along with what their partner wants, and they have picked up that their partner will wind up paying more of the price physically and mentally (due to how women are socialized about childcare) for at least the first few years. Even the modern dad template doesn't really expect them to shoulder 50 percent of the work. The only guys I know who do 50 percent (or more in a couple cases) are really conscientious, feminist guys who have a pretty good tendency to take initiative on stuff anyway, kids or no.

And in many cases, the guy genuinely thinks he wants kids. His ambivalence is on a subconsicous level, so he doesn't give it much thought.
Re: Help! I Forced My Husband to Have Kids. It Was a Terrible Mistake.
October 14, 2018
In my opinion, the vast majority of the men I have met who wanted kids did not have a clue about how much was involved in having a child.
They mostly had abstracted ideas about it or a few Kodak moments in mind.
Not one had been prepared for the unending drudge-work that would be involved in being a fully involved parent.
Most of them counted on the mother doing most of the work and being clued in to the really needs of a child.
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cassia
In my opinion, the vast majority of the men I have met who wanted kids did not have a clue about how much was involved in having a child.
They mostly had abstracted ideas about it or a few Kodak moments in mind.
Not one had been prepared for the unending drudge-work that would be involved in being a fully involved parent.

I find that most people in general who wants kids think this way.

They think of the Hallmark moments, the ads they see on TV where everyone plays happy families, the newspaper and magazine articles written by some starry eyed celebrity or blogger extolling the wondrous virtues of parenthood - all the while shunting their kids off to a nanny, the sitcoms where having children is pegged as the most amazing thing ever and why didn't they do it sooner?

They don't think about changing nappies, screaming all night, tantrums over the tiniest little thing, being asked the same annoying questions day in day out, how expensive kid stuff is, how the kid will whine about what they want ALL THE TIME.

One of my favourite examples of this was when I was working retail, a woman was complaining - in front of her school-age kid - about how the summer holidays are too long and how expensive school uniforms are (this was during the summer holidays). I said "surely you knew this would happen when you had kids" and she replied "well yeah, but you don't think about it when they're little". No, all she thought about back then was 'oh, having a baby will be so wonderful and romantic! I'll get lots of attention and my family and friends will rally around me!'.

If people gave half a modicum of thought as to the reality of having kids (and in the information age, it's only a google search away) then the planet probably wouldn't so horrendously overpopulated.
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yurble
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kittehpeoples
Interesting. I've known very few men who talked rabidly about babies the way women do. I do admit that I've managed to somehow surround myself with a surprising number of CF people, though. I don't know if it's the hobbies I've chosen or what, but I was amazed the first time I spoke up among one of my two major peer groups about not wanting children. Most of them didn't, either.

Attrition is a good way to meet people without kids. Once people are a certain age (40ish), if they don't have kids and aren't constantly talking about their struggles to have them, you can be reasonably certain they won't have them.

True, but in my case we were almost all in our twenties and early thirties when we met. I think I just got extraordinarily lucky. smiling smiley
Re: Help! I Forced My Husband to Have Kids. It Was a Terrible Mistake.
October 15, 2018
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cassia
In my opinion, the vast majority of the men I have met who wanted kids did not have a clue about how much was involved in having a child.
They mostly had abstracted ideas about it or a few Kodak moments in mind.
Not one had been prepared for the unending drudge-work that would be involved in being a fully involved parent.
Most of them counted on the mother doing most of the work and being clued in to the really needs of a child.

I've noticed that too. When asked why they want kids, most guys I know have said they want someone to carry on their family name or they want a little buddy to teach how to play video games or something like that. They're in it for the Kodak moments, but not so much for all the behind the scenes shit work that goes into breeding, which comprises about 99 percent of parenthood. They probably figure Moo will deal with the kids at their worst and then Duh can swoop in and enjoy the kid for five seconds at their best. These are the men who, when forced to help raise the kids they wanted, will tell people that they're "baby-sitting." Uhh no, you can't babysit your own kids.

A decent chunk of men seem to not care one way or another about having kids, and many of the ones who do want them don't really give much though as far as why they want them and figure it's something you just do when you become an adult or get married.
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