When Sally and her husband divorced after being married for nine years, they had no children. At 37, Sally knew that meant she might never have a child.
One of the reasons it was so hard for me to get divorced was that my husband wanted 10 children. He was the oldest of 13 and I thought we would have kids together. I wanted them but then my doubts about the relationship started creeping in. First of all it was the career. Then it was getting the relationship more settled. Then I just didn’t feel that this was a marriage I wanted to bring kids into.
I did research bringing children into the world on my own for a while but I didn’t really want that. I could have had children with a couple of people I met and dated after the divorce, who wanted to get married and have kids. If anything the closest I came was with a really dear gay friend. We talked about ‘this would be convenient.’ We loved each other dearly so there wouldn’t be any messiness there. We could have raised the kids together but have our own lives. But that didn’t happen.
When I met my present husband six years ago, he already had kids and there was a door open early on but I was already 43. I started doing the math and after spending time with his teenage kids, I didn’t really want to be 60 and parenting teenagers.
I had a lot of fear and sadness and there’ll probably be forever some wounds around not having kids.
This would have been a tough one for me too. I’d been unhappy in my marriage for many years leading up to our divorce. It almost assuredly had something to do with my not confronting some major relationships issues early on. When I think about that, I start wondering if confronting those issues earlier would simply have lead to divorce earlier? And then I stop. If we’d gotten divorced sooner then maybe we wouldn’t have our two wonderful children and I can’t even begin to imagine what my life would have been like without them.