Friday, August 22, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Tell Me About It: Should wife go off birth control?

Question: When my husband and I first started talking about having a baby, he confessed he's terrified and needed time to get used to the idea. Together, he and I picked a date on the calendar and agreed that would be the day I stopped taking my birth control pills, but that I wouldn't make a huge deal about it because we had discussed it.

That date was 11/2 years in the future. Now it's tomorrow! I feel exhilarated, hopeful, excited, and impatient for pregnancy. I can tell my husband has been thinking about it and still feels uneasy.

Given that we agreed on this ahead of time, can I still go through with it despite knowing my husband still has a lot of fears?

Answer: You mean, quietly stop using birth control? No, not even when you agreed to do so.

There are no bigger deals in this world than giving and taking life. Tell him you haven't forgotten - you've merely thought better of forging ahead on a technicality.

Plenty of people, if not most, agree to try for children while also harboring varying degrees of terror. Remind him of that, if it helps. As I've said before, it's the ones without any doubts who surprise me.

Reader comment: I get what you're saying, but I'd never want to reproduce with someone like that. How do you know he's not going to end up resenting his wife and the kid he never wanted? It's too great of a risk. 

Answer: Not really, not if you've chosen your partner well. A mature and decent person will put his (or her, but using "his" for simplicity) full heart into his choice, and both accept and expect that it's not always going to be rosy-dozy and that even the 100 percent-certain people will occasionally long for the days when they could sleep in and not have to tend constantly to others' needs. Grown-ups don't resent others for their own decisions, and having a child despite fears of what that involves is solely one's own decision.

So, short version, don't make babies with babies.

   


tellme@washpost.com

Chat with Carolyn Hax online at noon Fridays at www.washingtonpost.com.

 

Carolyn Hax
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