Thursday, December 29, 2011

Goals for a new year without children

Dear friends,
So many of you have been writing to me about your childless by marriage situations. I feel for your grief. I share it. Although I like to think I have accepted my situation and moved on, sometimes I want to curse and throw things when I realize, again, what I have missed by not having children. I never really direct my anger at my husbands who didn't want to have kids with me. I'm more angry at myself for letting the opportunity slip by without taking action.

With my husband passing away, this will be my first year in a long time that I haven't been married, so I have a new life to build. I get angry that this happened to us. It's not fair that I don't have kids or a husband at this age. But you know what? Hanging onto the bitterness doesn't do any good. God gave me this life, and I need to live it.

Whatever your situation this year, let's set some goals for dealing with being childless by marriage.

Repeat after me:

1) I will discuss very honestly how I feel with my partner or spouse. I will not hold back, even if I'm afraid that what I say will make him/her angry or sad. They need to know. Silent resentment will poison our relationship.

2) I will decide once and for all whether I can live a life without children. Is this person worth giving up children? If not, I will do something about it.

3) I will find a way include at least one child in my life as an unofficial godmother, auntie or whatever I want to call it. I can find this child in my family, among my friends' children, in volunteering in my community, or even one of those situations where I "adopt" a poor child in another country.

4) I will find something to be thankful for every day.

5) (this one's for me) If I am posting as Anonymous, I will start using a name. It doesn't have to be my real name. It can be serious or silly, but it will help Sue tell one poster from another.

Happy New Year to all.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

ha! Great post Sue and helpful advice for the beginning of the new year.

I am anonymous SPS whose husband has put me on a roller coaster ride in 2011. He has turned a corner and we're actively working towards a happier 2012 (with or without children remains to be seen). I'm 37 and feeling that time is running out. But today I have peace that I'm exactly where God wants me. I can now be referred to as Anonymous Sara. :)

Best wishes to you for a Happy New Year.

Suelick said...

Thank you, Anonymous Sara! Happy New Year.

Unknown said...

Sue, you are such a courageous woman to share your story(ies) with so many people. I enjoyed reading your "Goals for a new year without children." Something I found myself wondering about is whether Forgiveness is an important part of moving forward with this (as it is with so many other of life's challenging situations and circumstances). Have you written about that in your book? Have you blogged about it previously? If so, please direct me.

Also, in regard to adoption, I just want people to know that it is important to take time to thoroughly explore your options. My belief is that the children we are met to parent come to us if we are truly open to receive them--spiritually. They will come to us through our bodies, or otherwise. They will come to us from another country, a family member, an acquaintance, anonymously, or even (as is my case) via the Foster Care system right here in the USA. They will find you if you remain open to receiving...

This isn't to say that becoming a parent is one's only option in regard to moving forward. Life is full of options and, since you mentioned the possibility of adoption, I just felt compelled to add my 2 Cents.

Thank you for all you do, Sue!

Suelick said...

Thanks, Unknown. I wasn't specifically saying one should run out and adopt, but just accept a child into your life in some way. They don't have to live with you, but pay them some attention. Give them some love.
I have not specifically written about forgiveness. Maybe that should be my next post. We do have to forgive our partners and ourselves if we are to move forward as childless people. Now that I'm older than my husband was when we got married, I understand better why he didn't want to have more children. We need to try to see the other side.

Dana Lucas said...

Sue, I am having some difficulty signing on to my Blogger/BlogSpot account. I am "Unknown" who wrote about adoption, above. I totally misunderstood your use of the term, "adopt" (even with the quotation marks). I suppose that should tell you where my mind is these days. Thank you for the clarification.

About Forgiveness...Perhaps your book has not been published yet, because you need to include that chapter....In my humble opinion, Forgiveness is a HUGE part of moving forward in life--it is necessary in order to truly release one's hold on the present (and past). From my personal experience, while it is difficult to delve into Forgiveness, it is so much easier than I anticipated it would be. What a relief.

Suelick said...

Ah, the unknown becomes known. Hi, Dana. Yes, forgiveness is important. Resentment just festers. So, I will address "forgiveness" soon.

BTW, congrats on the little boy you adopted this year. He looks adorable. I'd love it if you'd share how he came to be yours.

Cara said...

Thank you for posting this. That is really all I can say for now. Thank you. By this post, you have helped in ways you do not know. You have given me a path to start from, and a hand to hold along the way. Not feeling so alone any longer. So, again, thank you.

~Cara

Suelick said...

Cara, you're welcome. Peace be with you.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for yours and others in this blog for your stories and sharing. I am encouraged by you all(and my therapist) to attempt goal No. 1 this weekend. So nervous but I can't hold back at my ripe age of 36. Any prayers help.
Anonymous Newly Blue

Suelick said...

We're praying for you, Newly Blue. Try to stay calm and not place blame. Just tell him how you feel.

Anonymous said...

I just found this site while searching on my lunch hour, I think I am going to cry but I am at work, This is something I have needed and been looking for. I cant wait to log in when I get home. Your stories are so encouraging and I dont feel so alone. Nancy

Suelick said...

Welcome, Nancy. I'm glad we can be here for you.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to have found this site. I've been dating a wonderful guy I'm deeply in love with for over a year now. He doesn't want children, and while I was initially distraught to find out, I've subsequently decided that this isn't a deal breaker. I love him and want to spend the rest of my life with him. However, he's worried I'll resent him in the future, and I do worry I might have regrets later. I'm trying to do some soul-searching, and figure out if I'm making the right decision. Any advice?

Suelick said...

Anonymous, none of us can predict the future. All we can look at is what we have now and what we think might happen. You have this great guy and believe you can handle not having children. As long as you focus on what you have and not what you DON'T have, you'll probably be all right. Will you ever resent him and have regrets? Probably sometimes. Take your time, talk to people whose advice you value and make the best decision you can. I wish you luck.

Rachel said...

Very helpful post and website. I'm only 34, but my husband will not be having children. I don't know if I can leave him though. I do know I won't be missing out on this experience though. Doing it alone sounds awful, but I don't see any choice.

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Rachel,
It's good that you know what you want. I hope you can find a peaceful way to have your child and be loved, too.

Worried said...

I just got married for the 1st time 1year ago. My husband has 5 kids I have 0. I am a only child to a single parent and Always wanted to birth my own baby. I have dated guys with kids before when I was younger but never wanted a child than. I havve only been pregnant one time and had a miscarriage after 3 months with my ex whom I was in a 9yr off and on verbally abusive relationship. I was devastated but felt like it happened for a reason. I wasnt tryin than but I am not and it is hard. I had surgery last year to remove a palop and was told it would help. NOTHING has happen. I have always had very irregular heavy periods all my life and I took birth control at age 15- 26. MY problem is my husband said he would not deny motherhood but after a year of he says we should wait. I am 40 he is 36 I feel I don't have too many more yrs I would like to try. But I am.felling if I wait and never have a baby of my own because I listened to my husband who already has kids I wont be able to forgive him. HELP.

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Worried,
You might not be able to have a baby, but your husband needs to let you try in the time you have left. Keep talking until he understands you can't wait. I hope you can work it out.

Anonymous said...

Hello all. I'm in a bind at the moment. I've been in tears everyday. I'm dating a man who has had 4 children and had a vasectomy 13 years ago. He has full care of 3 of the kids. We don't live together. I approached him a few years ago on having a reversal as it gets harder the longer we wait. Not to mention I was mid 30's. At the time he refused. Understandably so. However my desire to have kids grew too strong at 37 and I decided to look at ending the relationship. To my surprise he told me he had been thinking about it and wanted to try for a baby together. So off we went and did an IVF cycle. It failed. With the devastation of the failure, emotions I never knew existed have taken over me. I regret not leaving at 35 when I had a better chance at finding another fertile man. I know this sounds very selfish but I just can't help but think that choice will most likely be the reason I won't ever have children. Anyway I'm a week off turning 38. We are now looking at either a vasectomy reversal. Or more ivf cycles. Or both. But none of which seem promising. And both are very expensive not to mention emotionally very difficult. It's taken a toll on our relationship. He's willing to do whatever it takes. As am I. But are we just setting ourselves up for disaster? Is our relationship doomed? Is it too late to walk away and start over. I love him but I just don't want us to both end up miserable if everything fails. I know I'm lucky he's willing to go so far for me. As I am for him. But will I always blame his vasectomy, and my choices regarding our relationship for me being childless. Or should I just appreciate that there's still any hope at all and go for it? What sounds more reasonable. Walking away. Or moving forward with him. Please help.

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Oh Anonymous Sept. 6, I wish I knew the answers to all of your questions. I sounds like you and your guy have a good relationship. Although you regret not trying for children earlier, you can't go back and change that now. I don't know all the details, but I think you ought to stay with him and get more information about your chances of getting pregnant if he has the reversal. I wish you all the best.

Anonymous said...

I'm in a certain situation many of you might not agree with or frown upon . I met a man about a year and a half ago . I'm 20 and he's 38 . He has two children by his ex-wife who are my age . Eventually I want to have kids and he knows this , but he's already had a vasectomy , which is reversible . He's brought up the topic of adoption but I don't want to have to adopt I want to have my own child by him and feeling it growing inside me . I want to experience all the good and bad of being pregnant . I'm already risking so much and sacrificing a lot to be with him . Every time the topic comes up he changes the subject and it's very frustrating , I dot want kids now but in a few years I will . But I do love him , I just can't sit back as he goes and has grandchildren and not given me the child I want .

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Anonymous, you're so young. I know you don't want to hear that, but you are. There are other men who aren't so far along in life and are still open to having children. If I were you, I'd look around.

Anonymous said...

Dear Sue, I've been remarried for 6 years, I have wanted a child with my husband so bad. I know its too late because I'm too old. We are both blessed, I have two grown kids, and he had two as well. They are 14 and 11, they are in S.Africa with their mom, half brother, and stepdad. I hate that my husband misses them, but I know I did not make him come here , and marry me.They communicate, and we want to see them. And we get along pretty well with his ex. He came here to do better in life.He has a brother in another state.I just don't know if I can ever be at peace though, because I feel so guilty for having a tubal ligation at 26, my stepmom had suggested it after my daughter was born because, my ex and I had struggled financially. I also was high risk with having early contractions.I had felt like that is what I should do, years later, I regret with all my heart because , I met my husband and love him so much and wish for that connection with us.He had kinda wished in the beginning, but he says to me he doesn't worry about having any more kids. It just hurts so bad. I don't know, I wish I would of been fixed. Thank you Sue, please respond. Sincerely, Lynn.

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Hi Lynn. I'm sorry for your pain, but you are so lucky to have found each other. If he says he's okay with not having more children, believe him and just enjoy being together. You can't change things anyway.