Hello Pastor Kitoto,
Thank you for the good job you are doing via your column. God bless you.
I have been married for the last 22 years. I am now 54 and my wife is 48.
My reason for writing in today is that I feeling frustrated. My wife and I have two children, one is 19 and the other is 15. During our courtship, we planned to have at least four children but my wife wasted 13 years without getting pregnant. I think she was influenced by her friends and family not to have more children.
If we were struggling financially, I would understand her reluctance to have a big family but we are not struggling!
She has changed of late, accusing me of sleeping with other women and even disrespecting me. We barely get intimate and her constant grumbling is driving me crazy. Pastor, I have started thinking of marrying another wife who will bear my children. I come from a large family, we love children and I am not happy with having only two. Please advise.
Thank you for your kind words. We are glad to inform and offer a platform for the exchange of knowledge and experiences in relationship with the hope of offering a voice of reason.
What you have is indeed a rich history the two of you have made together. It is said that time has a way of wearing things off. Indeed, time spent parenting, dealing with workplace stress, extended family and just spending time together can wear a couple down to the extent of taking the relationship for granted.
Additionally, time changes our bodies and that in turn affects the choices we make. Your wife’s decision to stop having children should not be taken at face value. Some underlying issues could be informing this choice and they include: First, not being ready to take up the responsibility of raising another child.
Bringing up a child is financially, emotionally and physically consuming. Could it be that this responsibility was felt by her alone and she fears a repeat? Second, most ladies fear a lack of support—particularly from their men. This could also be emotional, physical and financial support. It could be a matter of perspective on her behalf on your involvement in the family.
Third, from the time you were dating to now, the priorities both of you had set have changed with time. The first was to plan for the wedding, get married, have kids, raise them and so forth. As you have walked this road together, the plan may have changed for her but she is unable to communicate that to you.
Fourth, when it comes to children, medical complications associated with pregnancy and birth are common. In addition, stresses associated with such pregnancy, birth and raising of children are many. Have you heard of post-partum depression?
What I would suggest is for you to explore the reasons behind her choice not to have more children.
Let me draw your attention to an interesting link between marital satisfaction and the number of children. An article by the National Library of Medicine states the following,
“Data for the study was obtained from our published dataset and included 7178 married individuals from 33 countries and territories. We found that the number of children was a significant negative predictor of marital satisfaction…”
The report, however, noted that sex, education, and religion had a significant level of interaction with the number of children and marital satisfaction. That said, it is necessary to narrow down on what exactly could be driving your wife’s choices.
The background of either spouse could have an influence on the number of children a couple gets. You mentioned coming from a large family that enjoyed lots of children running around, is your love for big families something you share with your wife? What’s her background like?
Regardless of your wife’s actions, what worries me is the attitude you are beginning to embrace. Looking for children outside your marriage union may not necessarily resolve issues for you. Suppose you get a lady who is unable to conceive or one who may get children and leave you, will you now look for another one?
Of course, it is clear from your email that both of you are not on the same page on these issues. This will definitely affect your union and intimacy. Her accusation may be one way of her looking for ways to justify her decision.
However, if you are guilty then you may need to look for a way of making it right. If you are being falsely accused, then, don’t let this become the spoiler. Seek her out with the aim of getting rid of any distortions of information. You are now 54 years old.
Suppose you made a decision you get a child out of wedlock; this child would be 18 years when you are 72 years. When you consider a second and third, you could end up being a very stressed-out father. Raising children in your sunset years can be emotionally, physically, and financially draining. My hope would be a round table discussion so that you can hear each other out.
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