Monday, September 26, 2011

he doesn't want babies after all.

dearest esb,

I just wanted first of all to say thank you, and even though you are an evil club of mean, hipster brides, I have thought of you as my friends, inspiration and source of much merriment in the last three or so years of my engagement... 

and here we get to the tricky part. My FH and I are parting ways. We are still very much in love and respect each other deeply, however, FH, or maybe I should say NFH (no-longer future husband), has decided he does not want babies after all. Which is something I can not compromise on in the least... This does in a way, make the whole decision a little easier... I mean it is not as if you can strike a balance and have half a baby.... but it does not make it any less complicated having to picture a life with out the soul mate I thought I would spend the rest of my life with... 

I try super tremendously hard to maintain a positive spin on this ... I am planning like a mo-fo... trips to Paris; a change of town; lots of galleries, wine bars and society after moving to a tiny Australian town with the man. But it is hard; hard to laugh when my awesome older brother tells me he's getting engaged to his amazing girl... difficult to keep smiling when the students at my school keep asking me when the wedding is and where their invites are (super sweet really)... tremendously complicated when I think of the plans and decisions we had made... (we had named our first born son in hypothetical land and talked about all of this before anyone thinks this was rushed into or glossed over.. the decision was recent and out of the blue..) 

and I could probably list one hundred or so more instances that make me falter in my daily flight, but it is not hard to visit ESB and giggle. In fact it is a daily check for me during some down time at work. I love the outrageous responses and questions. I like the catharsis and acerbic wit, the vicarious joy of yay or naying. It is one of the few survivors of what is at best a time of vast change and growth... and it does give me pause to keep looking ahead, yeah that dress is funky and flash, and there may be a day when I'm looking again, and to be honest to myself I hope so. 

So thank you for the smiles and glimpses of new


Lady, I'm so proud of you. Both of you.

There would be fewer divorces if everyone did this kind of soul-searching before they tied the knot.


Tiny Vipers by David Belisle via Claire Cottrell via jen causey

Incidentally, did you guys see the season premiere of Grey's Anatomy on Thurs? I shouted at my TV: "THANK YOU, SHONDA!" when they depicted (onscreen, on network TV!) a strong, successful, married woman choose to put her feet up in the stirrups and have an abortion rather than carry to term a child she didn't want.

Her decision was of course complicated by the fact that her husband did want kids (something they didn't discuss before they got married).



  1. I don't want to use the word brave but dang that is brave. You both should be incredibly proud.

    As esb says. If only others faced the facts before marriage.

  2. @ESB - you watch Grey's Anatomy?!

  3. @nicole - I saw that but thought I was dreaming.

  4. Cheers to you. You're obviously smart and strong. Now go find yourself a rad Aussie man to have some fun with. xo

  5. Hugs.

    @ESB I totally agree. I love that they let her go through with it (not just an abortion, a married woman getting an abortion, aborting a fetus that wasn't the result of cheating!), but there were two things that got me: 1) They asked her, with her damn feet in the stirrups if she was really really sure, WTH? 2) They're both doctors and don't know how to make a fool-proof baby prevention plan? Really? Seems to me if I were her I'd have my tubes tied by now.

  6. what a loving and mature decision you made together. as hard as it may be, i think that is one of the healthiest things i've heard in a long time.

  7. oh honey. i am deeply impressed that you were able to hash this out with NFH in a way that leaves your respect and affection for each other intact. if i could give you the gift of a year of emotional space from the way you're feeling right now - as time is, of course, the only thing that really erodes the painful edges of a separation - i'd pack it up with a bunch of candy and rubber bats and send it your way, pronto.

    potential consolation, at some point: my biggest fear when it comes to my relationship with my husband is that he will someday develop deal-breaking feelings he doesn't reveal to me. he's not the type, not at all, but my father fell out of love with my mother (long story) over the course of many years and didn't really figure out how to tell her about it until he left; when they divorced, the pain she felt at realizing he'd felt things going off course and hadn't given her the chance to react was utterly crippling. you know the hard thing now; while that doesn't make things any easier, it will hopefully spare you the bottomless feeling of having to reconsider years you thought spent in harmony.

    boxes of time, and affection and shiny things and delicious, diverting bitchiness, to you.

  8. I wish more people would ask themselves this question before getting married. My husband and I discussed this at length and both decided that we wanted children but not any time soon (read: not within the next 3-5 years).

    I see so many women stick with men who don't want to get married and who don't want to have kids. Life is short and if you goals dont' line up with your current partners, it's time to move on out.

  9. I'm pretty over Grey's, but I may have to check out that episode.

  10. @ ESB - I was so stressed the whole episode that they were going to let her have a wake up moment when she realized that secretly she did want to be a mom. Beyond relieved when they didn't pull that shit. Also, so glad that at least one other person still watches Grey's.

    @ writer inner - Huge hugs. That is such a tough situation, but so much easier than if you waited and hoped that one of you would give. Everyone should discuss their known deal breakers and then handle them honestly and you guys did that. I'm sorry that you have to go through the emotional fallout but it sounds like you're handling it like a champ.

    Annnnnd ... not to be overly sunny or ridiculous, but you mention that this change of his was recent and out of the blue and you guys still love each other. Is it possible to keep living your life but also potentially keep discussing this issue with him? There is such a thing as cold feet, not just with weddings. Of course, I wouldn't recommend holding on to hope that this is a phase, but it's definitely worth exploring further (if you guys haven't done this already, which maybe you have).

  11. @Shayna: they asked her b/c no woman can have an abortion w/o a guilt trip, of course.

    Many hugs to the writer.

  12. Letter-writer, I just want to give you loads of virtual hugs right now. Because I'm in essentially the same situation, having recently broken it off with my fiancee over kids/careers issues (she wants kids soon, I'm still in education, working on my career, and want to wait), among other things. It blows, but it's so true that it helps to have loads of plans for all the fabulous single things you'll do now.

    ESB and APW are the only two wedding blogs still on my reader. ESB, I wish I knew how to quite you! (not really)

  13. Worth mentioning that sometimes these things come up after getting hitched. Your attitudes don't just crystallize when you say those vows. Like, for a good friend of mine, who finds herself five years into a marriage saying "well actually it turns out I do want a baby" when her partner is still rolling with the original no-baby plan. You can work out things as much as possible before marrying, but, hey, life is long and full of surprises and changes.

  14. @ESB. Please please please - spoiler alert next time.....down here at the bottom of the world in NZ we aren't up to that series yet. x

  15. Dear letter writer, you are very brave!

    A few months ago I was in pretty much the same situation - I'd moved to Melbourne partly for my man, partly for me. After a year, and on the eve of our 6yr anniversary, we had our first really frank discussion about our future. It turns out we had different ideas. He wanted to focus on his music for the next 10yrs and for me, on the brink of 30 I just didn't want to put off my dream of marriage and family for that much longer.

    So decision made, we parted ways and its frickin tough. Especially as I don't have much of a friends/family network here. But having thought about going back home, I'm glad I've stayed and things are slowly coming right.

    I wish you all the best, and hope you can stay strong and soldier on.

  16. thank you all for the virtual love... probably shouldn't have done my usual check in the morning... little tears... but mostly hopeful tears. Enjoying the hugs and the beautiful wishes xxx

  17. dear letter writer, and katiepie, and others..

    going through some version of the same thing. all my love to all of you, and to all of you who gave virtual hugs, mind if i get in on that shit? esb, thanks as always for keeping it fresh (smoking slippers?) and real all in the same day.


  18. I will say there is a part of me that agrees with Rachel. I had a minor freak out a couple weeks back about kids but FH (this saturday!) was patient and knows that wedding planning can cause stress and emotions that might not be legit.

    But if you've already gone through all the discussions and possible outcomes, which I'm sure you have.. if all else fails, move to California and I'll give you babies.

  19. I love that you watch Greys, ESB. It somehow validates my lasting commitment to the show. Thankfully Rachel also watches it with us.

    I shan't comment on the *issue* at hand, because I am severely pro-baby biased at the moment. But I get it. I mean, I'm all for choice and everything.

    Good on you, writer. When a woman wants a baby, she wants a baby. You can't compromise because you will always wish you hadn't.

  20. IIRC, I think Hunt actually just somehow thought he could change her mind because he saw it as a compromise of marriage. He knew that she didn't want babies before they got married.

    Probably not really the *best* idea.

  21. Er, *it being a meeting of the minds over what was important to both parties in the marriage, I mean. Not the compromise on half a baby.