Dear Dr. Elia,
I’ve enjoyed reading your advice, but haven’t come across one that
pertains to my situation. I love my husband so much. We have a strong
marriage. He treats me wonderfully. There’s just one pretty major
issue that seems unresolvable. Actually, to him it is resolved. To
him, we are absolutely done having children. My problem is that I would
love to have more. We have already been blessed with 3 children. But,
never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined being done with 3 (when
we got married I wanted 9, he wanted 6). If we must be done, I will be
grateful for what I have. I understand his point of view - that it’s
hard work and draining at times. He is putting in a lot of hours at
work right now and needs a break here and there. He doesn’t know if he
can handle it emotionally. one side of me is symathetic to how he feels
and not wanting, of course, to force (or beg) a responsiblity on him
that he doesn’t want. The other side of me feels like he doesn’t want
more because of selfishness. He talks of wanting more sponteinaity,
etc. I wonder if he just needs to take the plunge into his family and
start enjoying what he has and put the family first instead of his own
wants. Also, a part of me feels like this is my divine priviledge to
bare and raise children. Why is it o.k. for him to spend massive
amounts of time at work to feel fulfilled and not o.k. for me to have
more children? It’s very important to me that I feel like Heavenly
Father is pleased with our decision. However, I don’t even know how to
pray about it. Do I ask if we can be done? It seems strange to pray
for something I don’t want. However, It also seems strange to pray for
something that my husband does not want. Or do I even have a choice
anyway? He’s pretty adamant. He gets quite tense if I even gently
bring it up. Does the vote of the person that doesn’t want it over-ride
the vote of the person that does? In an un-eternal perspective, I
would say yes. My fear is that - what if we should have more and he is
so strongly against it that he wouldn’t even recognize a prompting if it
came? Anyway……hope you can see how I’m stuck on this one. My
ultimate dream would be for him to wake up one day and realize that this
(his family, including the children) really is the source of happiness.
Then he would sweep me off my feet, request more children and suddenly
find more joy in fatherhood. Is this way too much to hope for? I do
ultimately want what is best for our eternal family. Please respond.
You are in quite a dilemma! There are needs on both sides, yours and
your husband’s which must be weighed equally. From his point of view,
he’s tired and unsure if he can even handle any more kids. Forcing,
begging or tricking him will only breed resentment. On the other hand
you have a desire to bare and raise more children and feel it’s your
divine privilege to do so.
The only possible solution is for both of you to fast and pray for God’s
will in regards to this matter. I am convinced you will both get the
same answer. It may be that having 3 children is enough for your family.
It may be that having more children is the way to go…but perhaps not
right now. The answer may be one which neither of you have contemplated.
So ask your husband if he would be willing to fast and pray and tell him
that you will do the same…without any preconditions. If he agrees,
then set a date and proceed. The only reason why he might say no, is his
fear of what the answer might be: like have more children.
This decision is SO important for your marriage and eternal family that
it must be a mutual one with the Lord’s blessing.
Have faith and courage…it will all work out.
God bless you both,
Elia Gourgouris Ph.D.