Love My Girlfriend - Want a Family

Postby Benjarino » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:30 pm

I have a great life. All of my problems right now stem from privileges that some people do not get. I say that more to remind myself than to give any context.

I love my girlfriend and she loves me. She’s a great girl - kind/caring/sweet/supportive. We’re great together in so many ways. Honestly I didn’t know that things could be this good in any relationship after two years together.

Having said that, there are a couple things that make things difficult for me to see things going past a certain point with us. I want (maybe I’d go so far as to say need) a large family. My father was not great and ever since I can remember I’ve wanted to be a loving, strong, and caring dad to a family of my own, things that my dad wasn’t.

My girlfriend is 10 years older than me (42). She already has three children and she’s had her tubes tied from a previous marriage. Even if we miraculously had one healthy child - it would put a lot of stress on her body, probably be very expensive (to get the tubes untied), and it would a large part of me disappointed (I’ve always wanted a large family - not an only child).

The children she has now aren’t terrible (in fact as far as kids go they are great.) Older and somewhat independent. She has three children in total the youngest is almost 18.

Still, I have a difficult knowing that another man did the most important thing in the world (to me) with her. On top of that, when things do get out of hand (one of them can be difficult) I can feel a growing resentment in having to be a part of it (I’m not proud of this - and I know it’s selfish, but if I can’t admit it to myself I have no hope in assessing the situation.) There’s a voice inside of my head that goes, “This isn’t your family - this isn’t what you want. You don’t need to listen to this girl scream about how much she hates the sound of chewing. Leave and start a family - go through this with your own kids.”

Adoption is not an option for me. It would be ideal but it’s very important for me to know that the children are my own. It wouldn’t be fair to the child if I ever adopted him/her and there are plenty of families who want to adopt.

The logical option is to leave but emotionally I don’t know if I can.

What really makes it suck is that it’s nothing that she has control over. It’s not like I want a three bedroom house and she wants a two bedroom.

We’ve talked about it before - and when the pain gets to be too much I tell her that a love like ours is too rare and worth looking into a way to make it work. I mean that - but she knows that I have to have a large family in someway or another.

The only thing that I could think of is being a sperm donor to a couple(s) and having a relationship with the children. My friends think I’m nuts and any lawyer that I’ve talked to says that having a relationship with the child opens me up to liabilities and emotional pain.

Outside of this working - I’ll probably have to leave. I’m at a great time in life to have my family. My finances are totally in order, and my career affords me a flexible schedule so that I can be there for my children. Still, I have no idea if I can do it. I can’t get myself to follow through. Any advice would be appreciated.
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Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:10 am

I’m assuming prior to dating a 40 year old female you knew you wanted a large family. In other words, I’m assuming this desire for a large family of your own predates the relationship.

If the above is correct, then you’re human and you know that you made a huge mistake and now you are facing the consequences so to speak. The path forward is lose/lose, but that is the way it is with most intractable problems. The path forward is to own the mistake and decide which sacrifice you will make, which pain are you most willing to endure?

You WILL either live a life without a large family or you will live a life without this woman.

That is not me saying you WILL, that is simply life talking. It’s going to happen whether you like it or not. If you decide to end your relationship it happens and if you just let the relationship continue it happens.

The sooner you can accept the above reality, the sooner you will be able to handle the regret and move forward. The longer you try to negotiate some fantasy middle ground, the longer and deeper the pain of regret will be as you stay stuck trying to rationalize and convince yourself that you are happy, while really you are in some miserable state of limbo.

What you need to do is take a week, but no more than a week to come to a final path. The worst thing you can do is let this drag on without deciding the path you really want and which version of pain you choose. Do you go without a large family or do you go without this woman? It is not fair to her and it is not fair to you to keep dragging it out.

Once you have decided, face the pain. If you choose to stay in the relationship face the pain that you will not have a large family. If you choose the large family, face the pain that the relationship is over.

The bottom line, it sucks. I’ve been there. I’ve faced these type of lose/lose situations and they are no fun. I wish you the best in moving forward.
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Postby Candid » Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:30 am

Benjarino wrote:There’s a voice inside of my head that goes, “This isn’t your family - this isn’t what you want. You don’t need to [fill in the blank]. Leave and start a family - go through this with your own kids.”

That voice makes good sense. I'd listen to it if I were you -- but not in its entirety.

Having children at all, still more "a large family", is a highly irresponsible way of dealing with daddy issues. You make it sound experimental, maybe competitive. "I'm sure I can do better than Dad did. If I screw up with the first few, others will be along on the assembly line."

I don't say that lightly. Not one of the problems facing humanity at present is going to be improved by increased population. On the contrary, more people can only add to the problems. ... ?r=US&IR=T

When you know you have hang-ups from childhood, and you're over 30, the onus is on you to sort yourself out before you start making babies. Being at the mercy of childhood impulses is not a precursor for good (or happy) fatherhood.
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Postby Benjarino » Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:09 pm

Really on edge - I’ve taken some time. ironically I was at a wedding with a friend (my gf couldn’t get off work) and I think I should break it off and start thinking of a family and looking for a girl to start it with. I love this girl very much. It’s a tug of war in my heart between love and my need for a family. I honestly don’t know if I can do it. I just want to be with her ( in the moment it feels like almost as much as I want children.) Still, I know in a couple years I would deeply, deeply regret it if I didn’t have children.

Also - for the Dad thing - I don’t think it’s wrong that I want to break the cycle of hurt and abuse that’s been on my dad’s side of the family. It is definitely something that I would feel good about on my death bed. And even still it’s definitely not my only motivator. Also, I don’t want to have a large family just in case I screw up with the first couple kids. If anything, it’s because I have a small family and I want to add to it. I also just like the notion of having a large family and having that many more children to love. Who knows, maybe after the first two I’ll change my mind, but right now that’s a deep desire of my heart.
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Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Fri Sep 21, 2018 1:33 am

Benjarino wrote: It is definitely something that I would feel good about on my death bed.

Or something you will deeply regret when it doesn’t play out at all how you have simulated in your mind.

Who knows, maybe after the first two I’ll change my mind, but right now that’s a deep desire of my heart.

This shows a BIG disconnect. It is a common error we all make and it is probably, at least in part, why you are in your current relationship. This view is the fantasy of the silent partner. It is playing chess only thinking about the next move, instead of three moves ahead. You are only considering what you want and how what you want will play out. What about YOUR WIFE?

In theory, to have a large family you need to find a woman that has a deep desire for a large family, right? You will have dated, had some serious conversations, and she makes a commitment to you, in large part because you have both expressed this deep, deep desire to raise a large family together. So you think after the first two maybe you just change your mind!? Think again. Think more than one move ahead. How do you think that will play out? You end up on your death bed, one child at your side, the other child hasn’t spoken to you for 10 years, and your now ex wife hasn’t communicated with you since the divorce. After conveniently changing your mind after the second child, several years of bitter feelings ensued until she finally filed for separation.

You probably do need to exit your current relationship, but not because of this deep desire for a large family. Think about the other players in the game and think more than one move ahead. Do you think you are doing what is right by this 42 year old? Is she the silent partner in your mind? Did you not make commitments and now you are changing your mind? She is not suppose to feel as if you broke or violated your commitment, even if implied?
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Postby Pookie » Sat Sep 22, 2018 5:24 am

Hi Benjarino,

Let me tell you about an experience from my life, which looks at this from the other side of the equation. About 10 years ago, I was in my mid 40's, amicably divorced with three children (one adult, two teenagers). I met a woman a few years younger than me, and we started to fall in love with each other. We were both good at communicating, open and honest with each other. Early on, we talked about children. Her two sisters both had teenaged kids, and she knew that she wanted to have children of her own. I already had all of the kids that I wanted to have, and had a vasectomy soon after the birth of my youngest.

Having children was the most wonderful thing that had ever happened to me, and I absolutely couldn't deny that experience to the woman that I was in love with. So we calmly decided that we would have a short love affair, bring it to an end when we were ready to do so, and then go our separate ways. So that she would have the best chance of finding the right partner to have children with, whilst she was still young enough to do so.

This we did. We had a wonderful time together for about a year. Then decided that it was time. She was somewhat less world-wise than I, and experienced some anxiety after the end of our relationship - which I supported her through, to the extent of occasionally sleeping together. After another year, we remained good friends, regularly met up, and supported each other through occasional emotional difficulties - but no longer slept together.

We remain good friends to this day, but our contact has greatly reduced.
I am no longer in-love with her, but I will continue to love her to the end of my days, and I suspect that she feels the same.
I sincerely hope that she does one day have children.

I hope that you find this helpful.
Best wishes,
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Postby Livetowin » Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:14 pm

Just curious what is your motivation to have a big family? Is it because you were an only child and you believe having a big family would offset the deficits you felt from not having that when you were young?
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Postby spicetime » Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:54 pm

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Postby BarryPap » Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:51 am

I believe there was a Love family, Saltcoats/Ardrossan..oh I wish my memory was better Betty Love? comes to mind.
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