Saturday, January 11, 2014

Valquiria's Story

I recently received an email from a woman who wanted to share her personal story about what can happen when you say "Yes" to starting a family when your heart and mind says "No."
To protect her privacy, we agreed we to use a pseudynom. This is Valquiria's story:
I’ve been married for 16 years and my husband and I live in Brazil. My husband always knew about my lack of interest in having children, but both of us thought, over the years, that something would awake in me that would make me want to be the mother of his kids. But that day never came. What came was his invitation to start trying seriously for a pregnancy because he wanted so badly to be a dad.
For fear of losing him, I relented.
The first time I had a delay in menstruation, I panicked.  I had never felt so sorry for a decision. I told my husband what was happening; that I was scared and it was not the time for me to be a mom. Fortunately, it was only a false alarm. But then I made my real mistake: once again, for fear of losing his love,  I let him think we would continue trying.
Meanwhile,as my true self continued manifesting, my husband showed me, excitedly, kid and maternity stuff, but that only made me want to run away and to be closer to my animals ( yes, I am a rescuer ). Time passed by, and the dreaded and inevitable questioning came. In a painful conversation, I told him I had agreed to try for children just for love – my love for him. Well, it happened that he did not take it well. I went through a long ordeal of psychological abuse and maltreatment. I had to hear very hard and offensive things, like “I’m wasting my time with you”, “I’m not nice to you because you don’t give me children”, “this is not a real marriage” and so on.
Apparently after some sort of inner struggle, he decided he would stay with me anyway. I don’t know whether this is a permanent decision for him. I’ve NEVER regretted my choice. I don’t want to parent ANYONE. However, it’s been a long journey to regain my self-confidence; and I’m having a hard time trying to be okay with the fact that I HAVE to consider and love myself more than anyone else. My feelings hurt not because I might, later in my life, regret not having sons and daughters, but because I’m breaking his heart.
I’m a 40 year old healthy woman. I got married for love and for love only. Contrary to what people think, choosing a childfree life doesn’t make me a bad or selfish person; it just means I have the courage to be true to myself. And this is priceless. If I could be of any help to anyone passing through a similar situation, I’d gladly help. We all have our reasons for not having kids.  


Solarfield said...

I was really moved by Valquiria's story. Three years ago I left the man I lived with and loved because he wanted kids so badly. I still miss him and our otherwise wonderful life together, which was marred only by this one major point of contention. I no longer live in the same city or even the same country, which is just as well, because I wouldn't be able to bear to see him walking around with his new baby and the mother of the child I couldn't bear to have, no matter how much I loved him.

I used to think it was women who wanted babies, and that men just tended to go along with it for the sake of the relationship. What about all those cliches about men working long hours and diving into the pub and going on fishing weekends to get away from family life? How wrong I was! It seems, in fact, that men are the ones who, through the burning desire to hand on their precious genes, prove their fertility, or whatever it is, are pushing women to have children -- women who have known for their entire life that they simply don't want to be mothers.

Valquiria has done the right thing, even though it was painful, in sticking to her guns. She expresses fear that her husband's decision isn't permanent, and it's possible he might want so much to replicate himself that he does leave her, but much, MUCH worse would be if she is forced to bear a child and mother it, as the whole idea of parenthood is repugnant to her.

Valquiria, I'm 40 too, and still looking for a man who will respect my decision not to have kids, rather than making me feel that I am somehow 'wrong', a let-down, or selfish. A more recent boyfriend told me that I "don't have much to offer anyone as a partner" if I don't want kids. You tried to go against your true nature to keep your relationship, and that was an incredibly loving and self-sacrificial thing to do - and your husband, instead of getting angry, should have been moved to tears that you were willing to attempt it for his sake, even though it went against everything you feel is right for you.

Jon said...

This is why couples absolutely need to discuss the topic of reproduction before getting married. Or better yet, before dating. It may be more practical than it is romantic, but it's a surefire way to avoid this situation.

L.T. said...

There are some men with a passion for fatherhood. My cousin married a man like that - a pediatrician who always loved kids. I stayed with them for a week - he would come home from a long shift then spend hours with his wife and baby on the floor, playing and laughing. Of course, he was smart enough to choose a woman who wanted to be a mother as his wife.

In sharp contrast are all the men I met whose passion isn't for fatherhood, but rather for the status of father. They're not kid people, they don't play with their nieces and nephews at family parties, nor plan out having a child carefully. Rather, they just want to tell folks that they have a child, as some proof of manhood.

I think only the second kind of man would push a woman to have children who doesn't want them. They're not as concerned with the child as with the title, so they don't really care that their kid has the kind of devoted mother they deserve.

Then, of course, there are the men who don't want kids at all, who, of course, can vary as much as fathers in terms of personality. If we're lucky (and I'm lucky) you'll get the kind of caring, childfree man who is as devoted to a loving marriage as my cousin is to fatherhood.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I am not sure who can I talk to. There isn't any childless by choice forum in my country. I hope I can get some answers here.

I am only 26 and recently got married to my first love after dating for 10yrs. Since teenage, I was firm that I do not want any kids. I know my husband loves kids ALOT. It wasn't really a big issue back then because I believed that it will be solve somehow, in the future. And now the time has come, its time to face it.

My husband said he is fine with going my decision, but I know deep down, he really wants to be parent. It hurts me to see him making an unwilling choice. Also, being in an Asian family, my in-laws would be really really upset too.

My reason not having a children is because: I hate changes, adaptions and disruptions. I hate the responsibilities. A child is for a lifetime! I love the way I live now, carefree, we travel often and I get all the love from my husband. I am really happy with just the 2 of us.

Just like Valquiria's story, if I were to relent, it will only because of my love for him, my fear of losing him and his family, my fear of seeing him upset.

I am in a dilemma now.

Laura S. Scott said...

Hi Missyjane
To have the support of your husband is wonderful. It's possible to love kids but not love the role of parent. There are many people who choose to mentor and teach and love their nieces and nephews. For them that is enough.
If you find ways to have children in your lives you can honor that part of you but to have your own children just because it is expected of you, or your family wants that, is not enough personal motivation to offset the major life changes you will encounter when you become parents.
As a coach who helps people make that choice for themselves, I always say, "respect your voice, your knowing, as much or more than you respect other's opinions and feelings." Because it is you --not they--who will take the full responsibility for raising your children.