Dating When Biology Is Not On Your Side
Be forewarned, this is a long one. And my thoughts feel very jumbled. I've tried to edit to make this post make sense, but it started out as a lot of word vomit that I then pieced together, so I apologize if I lose the thread.
I haven't posted much in NB, as I haven't felt ready for that. TBH, I still don't think I'm fully ready. However I'm not getting any younger, and if I do want biological children (which I do), I don't see how that's going to happen unless I get started sooner rather than later. That is the unfortunate byproduct of being a woman with a naturally ticking biological clock who happens to be thrust into single life again right when she was ready to start having kids.
And believe me, someone-to-have-kids-with is not the only thing I'm looking for. I still want an equal partner in all aspects of life, and I want to grow and change together. But you can change a career at any time. You can choose to pack up and travel any time. You can pick up new hobbies any time. Every day there is an opportunity to completely change your life, and you can continue to work on living the best life possible with a partner no matter what your ages. Anything you put your mind to, you can do.
EXCEPT having biological children. That has a time limit. As unfair as it is, it's just not one of those things. So it has to be discussed. It cannot be left open to interpretation, or left for "later." Later is fast approaching. This mentality reeks of desperation, I know. I don't like it. But it is an "is" that I cannot avoid.
I'm 33, I'll be 34 in April. I know that's not "old." But I also don't want to get together and have a baby with someone willy-nilly just because the clock is ticking. I would like to know someone for a while, get married, be married for a bit, THEN have kids. Well, all of that time puts me on the late end of the spectrum for starting to have children. And that's if I were to start dating someone right this very minute, which for many reasons not even including a global pandemic, isn't happening.
Here's my issue. I already did the "right" thing before. I asked multiple times about kids. We discussed it at length on numerous different occasions. He was open about the fact that he had had a vasectomy before, and that the reason he did it was because he had a terrible relationship with his daughters' mother and didn't want any more kids with her. I was open about the fact that I wanted children, and that if a relationship were to continue, a reversal needed to be on the table.
He talked at length about what an amazing mom I was, and how he couldn't wait to "do this the right way," which he explained meant to have children in a loving relationship, after marriage (his first was an accident, they got married after that because it was "the right thing to do"). He would go on and on about how great of a mom I was. How influential I was in the girls' lives. How he couldn't imagine how their lives would have turned out without me.
There was no doubt in my mind that he wanted more kids. Any reasons he gave for postponing the reversal made perfect sense at the time. For example, wanting to wait until the girls were a little older, gotcha, totally understood. Or wanting to wait until after we were married, also understood. He still assured me of how much he wanted kids (specifically a son) with me. We had names picked out. He waxed poetic about all of the things he would do with the kids, and how much closer it would bring us all as a family unit.
It was only after the marriage, and the subsequent push back to any discussion re: saving money for the procedure, researching doctors, booking a consultation etc. that I began to see his hesitance. Saving up the $$ for the reversal became the main focus. It was the sticking point he used to keep saying "not now." Even still, countless texts, letters, handwritten notes about how he was not scared to start over with me because I had completely changed his mind on what a relationship could be like, and he knew in his heart that this is who he should have been having children with all along. How he would be the perfect husband/father, waking up to change diapers, bottle feeding, being totally involved from day 1.
Until after the reversal, approximately 5 months before DDay. Now there was discussion of how much we would be giving up in order to have a child. How we would have so much less time together just the two of us, didn't I want that? How much money it would cost to raise more children. How we wouldn't be able to "start" our lives together until we were much older - as if life with the children wasn't life, it was something we had to push through in order to get to "real" life.
And don't think that I hadn't asked him about all of this beforehand. I had asked him countless times if he was sure he wanted to "start over." If he was positive that he wouldn't regret "missing out" on things because he had spent his twenties and thirties raising two kids (mostly) on his own. The answer was always a resounding "No! Of course not!"
Then DDay, catching him in bed with the mistress, life explodes. I found out he was living a double life the entire time we were together. Escorts. NSA hook-ups. Meth. So obviously I can't believe a word that has ever come out of his mouth, and now I'm forced to look at every conversation through a much more critical lens. And even with the discerning eye, I still cannot see how his professions of undying dedication to us as a family and to having a baby with me were supposed to be interpreted as anything but exactly what he was claiming.
The reason for all of that description above is to point out that there was absolutely NOT a lack of communication surrounding children. In fact, it was a frequent topic of discussion. From all angles. And not just one time on each particular topic surrounding it, but numerous times, to be sure there was a consensus. I mean we even went so far as to discuss our feelings on abortions, what would we do if it was medically necessary, what we would do in the instance of different genetic abnormalities. If I were in labor and something was going wrong, how should it be handled, save the baby or me? This was all BEFORE we even got the reversal, just in discussion re: having more kids in general.
I thought I had done everything "right" before, and covered all of my bases. The topic of us having kids together wasn't brought up immediately, but it came up organically within I would say 6 months of us dating, and it just developed on its own from there. It naturally went from "one day, maybe" to "when we have kids." It was everything I thought those types of discussions were supposed to be like.
And yet I still ended up with a husband who used my mothering instincts toward his children, as well as my drive for my own children, as reasons to orchestrate an exit affair. Keep in mind I was 24/25 when we met, so I had previously been in my just hooking up and having fun seeing where things go phase, I had never even had to have a discussion re: kids and the future because I was young enough where it wasn't all that important. So I don't have any practice with this, and really only the one experience, which I thought was ideal and obviously wasn't. I wish I hadn't wasted some of my most fertile years on that asshole, but here I find myself.
Now I struggle with multiple things re: wanting children and dating in the future.
1) I don't have time to fuck around. I don't want to waste even a month of potential emotional attachment to someone if our ultimate goals are different. Which means I need to get to the bottom of their stance on kids pretty much immediately.
2) I also accept that bringing up the idea of kids on a first date can be a HUGE turn off, mostly because it's just too much, too fast. So I find myself in a damned if I do, damned if I don't situation.
3) Even if we were both "upfront" from date 1, I no longer trust the answer. After all, he swore up and down that he wanted more children with me, even wrote poems about our future children, then turned around and said I forced him into it.
I don't really have a preference either way re: someone already having children or not. I have my two step daughters after all. And I bet that in my age bracket, a good portion of the single men will have children already, albeit I would bet they would be younger than mine (21 and 19), which could come with its own set of difficulties re: custody/shared schedules etc., but not unworkable. Their having children is not in and of itself a problem. However, for obvious reasons, I am now extremely gun shy around men who already have children saying they would be open to more.
First off, because I'm not going to waste my time with "open to." It's either, "Yes, I want more children," or I'm out of there. Hedging around the topic won't work for me. Secondly because, in my experience, "Yes, I want more children, and I want them with you!" turned out to be "No, I never wanted more children, and you forced me to get a vasectomy reversal against my will!"
I guess what I'm wondering is, when/how do you bring up the topic of kids with a date? How do I do so in such a way that I'm not tipping off a PD person to just mirror me and convince me that they want something just because I want it? I realize I was likely dealing with someone who is personality disordered, and not everyone is like that. However I can't discount the fact that it seems that I attract/am attracted to this type of person. How does one ward off these types and get straight answers to these important questions?
So, TL;DR is: this concept of my ticking clock has been bothering me as I can't seem to wrap my head around it. Not that it will happen anytime soon due to current lockdowns etc., but in case I were to meet anyone and begin dating, I would greatly appreciate input on how to discuss these things productively.
Guys, how would you feel about discussing these topics? How soon is too soon? How do I make it clear that it's just the idea of having kids in general, not having kids with me specifically, that I need to know the answer to right away? If I date someone who already has kids should I pretty much just write off the idea of them wanting more?
Ladies, how would you approach this topic? Have any of you had to have these discussions in your post-infidelity dating life? If so, how did they go?
I'm just really tired of feeling bad for wanting children. It feels like a huge reason why my marriage fell apart. After he started trying to convince me that we shouldn't have any kids (which I found out coincided at least in part with the affair), he gaslit me about my desire for them. First it was that I only wanted to be pregnant because I had friends and coworkers getting pregnant. I said no, friends and coworkers have only really been getting pregnant in the last year, we've been talking about this for at least 5 years. Then it was my age, he referred to me as "a dog in heat" who only wanted kids because I had turned 30 (yes, those were his exact words, a dog in heat). Again, referred him back to discussions 5 years prior. Then when we were trying and I would take pregnancy tests and they would come back negative, I would be upset, and I was told I was hysterical and blowing things out of proportion. That if trying to get pregnant made me so stressed out, then maybe I wasn't cut out for having a baby.
I just feel it's such an unfair position to be in, because men my age don't have to worry about this at all. I know I can't change the injustice of it, but that doesn't mean it doesn't feel overwhelming. And I would like to push past those feelings of overwhelm because good decisions are not made out of desperation. I want to be clear-headed and rational, not acting from a place of fear.
30 comments posted: Thursday, December 3rd, 2020
Can I Get An Amen?!
I feel bad posting this anywhere else, as there are so many newly minted BSs about to come in, as well as those in IHS and/or isolation with their waywards, but...
Holy universe am I happy that I am not having to isolate with my idiot, meth head, sex addict of an X!!!!
Sure it would be nice to have someone to do this whole isolation thing with, but damn am I glad that it's not him!
I'm not stuck in a house with someone who can't keep his hand out of his pants, I don't have to follow his dumbass around with Lysol to spray everything he touches because he won't wash his hands, and I don't have to worry about him pestering me for sex every 5 seconds because his normal outlets like cam girls and escorts can't be used when you're locked in your house with your whole family. I'm freeeeeeeeeee!!!
I have food in the fridge, a few rolls of TP left, and some kitties to cuddle. No psycho BPD narcissists for me!
15 comments posted: Friday, March 20th, 2020