Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Reasons Why Not

So, if I want kids so badly, why don't I have them? Well, as they say, it takes two to tango.

When my husband and I got married, we were very young. So young that people have told me (quite ouside of anything that's any of their business) that we were too young. We were told all the reasons our marriage couldn't work. I was 21 while he was 23. I'm outgoing while he's shy and reclusive. He's a C programmer, I liked Fortran. He used emacs, I used vi. But I digress. However, we're both stubborn, and though we've had some really rough patches along the way (years five through eight were nearly unbearable), we've managed to stay together. We'd been dating two weeks when we first talked about kids, and found we were much on the same page. We both wanted kids and felt like 3 was a good number (we are both the oldest of 3 kids), but that we didn't want to rush into these things. We would wait until he finished grad school, so he'd have time to devote to them, too, and that all seemed reasonable to me. And then grad school took two years longer than expected. And then he wasn't sure whether he wanted to stay at UT after graduation. Then it was maybe we should look for a different house because ours clearly wasn't big enough. Based on his increasing spiral into depression, I pushed him to take this job out here in California. And then he didn't like his job and thought he'd quit and we could just move somewhere we (read "he") wanted to live. But then he realized he hasn't been feeling depressed at all since we moved out here, due to the sunshine and the exercise he gets every day biking to and from work. So, then he wanted to stay, but we couldn't have kids while we're living somewhere where we're on a month-to-month lease. But we just can't buy a house out here. Okay, we can, but we're not sure we want to.

All this avoidance says that clearly he's afraid of becoming a parent. He's voiced this once or twice, but that was a long time ago. I'm sure this fear is rooted in something from his childhood, but he won't talk about it with anyone, me included. I was excited when he started seeing a therapist earlier this year, because I thought he might open up to someone neutral who wouldn't judge him or share his secrets with anyone else or run into him in social settings. But it didn't work. Instead, he used it as an opportunity to see if he was smart enough to trick the therapist into believing whatever he could. It was a joke to him. I've never been able to get him to go to any kind of couple's therapy to try and work this one out, either, and that's mostly because he has decided that psychiatry/psychology are invalid fields of medicine. It's part of why he made a joke out of his one-on-one time this past spring.

So, it's back to just us trying to work this one out. And since he won't talk about about the root of the fear, we talk around other things. We've talked about so much of the theory of childrearing that I think we've got it all mapped out (notice I didn't say figured out) through the college years. We've talked about the houses we've been looking at and whether they are conducive to raising a family in them (the one we're in now is perfect, we both agree). We've talked about overscheduling and vacations and living in other countries and public school vs. private school and religious education (he quit going to church 3 years ago as his depression -- my diagnosis -- started to really get the best of him) and a gazillion other things that I'm not thinking of right now. He still says he wants children, but when it comes right down to it, he's just not ready. And I respect him too much to get pregnant accidentally on purpose. That's just a given. I think that's something girls did in highschool or college to keep some guy around (hint, hint, that never works out the way you want it to), but not now. We have to do this together. I'm just anxious that waiting for him to be ready means my decade will evaporate away.

But I'm ready. And whenever he's ready then we'll be ready.


Anonymous said...

Isn't there some saying about the best comes to those who wait? Good luck waiting!

Heather said...

Yeah, I've been placating myself with that one for the last 5-6 years. All I can say to that now is "How much longer?" or "Haven't I been patient long enough?"

James said...

When it happens you'll probably wind up feeling like it was meant to be then and not sooner. Things work that way for me anyway. Still, hopefully not much longer.

Heather said...

James, I'm sure you're right.

Anonymous said...

You know my thoughts and prayers are always with you both! After a couple of years of off-and-on trying to conceive with no success, it turns out that it was for the best, since I lost my job. If we had kids, we wouldn't have been able to do the things we needed to do to hang on until Matt got his new job. And we would probably have lost the house without the chance to sell it. Who knows what's in store for you, one way or the other?