Relationship Connection: My marriage is failing, I still want a baby for myself

Question:

I’m in a marriage that is on the verge of divorce, and has been for the past 10 years. My husband has multiple addictions that have just about broken us financially and I’m way past my limit emotionally with him.

I’ve held off having more children with him because I had no idea if we would even have a stable home environment for more children to come to our family. We have two children, but I want at least one more. I know this sounds stupid, but I feel crazy not knowing if I should go ahead and have one more with him just in case things fall apart.

I figure if I’m going to be alone raising two kids, I may as well have all the children I want since I won’t be planning on getting married ever again after this nightmare. I think it’s totally unfair for our family to be held hostage by his addiction and keeping me from being the kind of mom I want to be and having the family I want to have. I think I already know what you’ll say, but I needed to ask.

Answer:

Glad you asked this question. Let’s slow down your thought process and see if we can untangle a few important points. First and foremost, please recognize the tough reality that adding a new baby to an already fractured family environment is only going to make a terrible situation even worse.

I imagine that your role as a mother is the only place in your life where you can feel some semblance of worth and value. Living with an active addict most likely has robbed your marriage of any love, commitment, and closeness; as a result, those have subsequently been channeled into the lives of your children.

Additionally, it’s common for distressed partners to fantasize that experiencing the miracle of bringing a new life into the family will bring them together for a new beginning.

In reality, none of these are good reasons to have a new baby. And, if you only see your husband as a sperm donor who will help “you” get “your” baby, then I’m afraid you would now be guilty of using him for your own gain.

The best thing you can do at this point is to stop hiding behind your children and dreams of having more children so you can face the current reality of your marriage. You have some tough decisions to make about your marriage and wrapping yourself up in the busyness of pregnancy and a new baby will only deepen the divide.

If your husband won’t do anything about his addiction, then you get support for yourself immediately. There are support groups for family members of addicts available through local 12-step support groups. Additionally, you can always seek out professional counseling so you don’t allow this destructive pattern to affect you and the children you already have.

This is a hard reality to face, so have courage and work to fix what you already have before you create more challenges for yourself and the family you already have.

Stay connected!

Geoff Steurer is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice in St. George, Utah. He specializes in working with couples in all stages of their relationships. The opinions stated in this article are solely his and not those of St. George News.

Have a relationship question for Geoff to answer? Submit to:

Email: geoff@lovingmarriage.com

Twitter: @geoffsteurer

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

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1 Comment

  • D. Rex January 22, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    Go buy a doll to play with. You can also volunteer as a big brother / big sister, scouts or other child oriented group to satisfy some of your maternal needs. Just don’t go through your single-parent desires and expect taxpayers to pay for it.

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