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My wife and I (both 38 years old) have been married for 8 years now and we have 3 amazing kids (all under the age of 8). We really could not ask for more. Like any couple, we have gone through our ups and downs throughout our marriage. We made a point to see a counselor through our ups and downs just so that we have someone to talk to (like a 3rd party).

In terms of children, our original plan was to have back-to-back kids which I must admit was tough at first but we managed to work things out over the years.

About 4 years ago, my wife shared with me her dream of having a 3rd child. It took me a long time to come around and agree to this. We talked, argued, went to see a counselor. After some soul searching, I decided to compromise and decided to say yes to baby number 3. Part of the agreement was to stop after our 3rd and for me to get a vasectomy. Naturally she was ecstatic and promised me the world! Once our 3rd was about 6 months old, with the consent of the wife and as agreed, I went ahead to get the vasectomy. Fast forward to 3 years later, we have an amazing family and no regrets about having a 3rd. She is an amazing little girl.

Recently my wife shared with me her dream / desire to have a 4th. She asked me if I could make the ultimate sacrifice to reverse the vasectomy, try for a baby and get a vasectomy again. I have been going back and forth for over a month now with my wife about this. Clearly we have different views on this matter and I frankly feel trapped. Unless I say yes (she refers to as having an open mind and trying), there is no way out of this difference.

She continues to tell me this is her dream and I am the roadblock to that. She is disappointed in me that I am not even trying. Personally, I feel that I compromised with having a third child and now she is moving the goal post on me. Everything she is promising and telling me now is a recurring pattern from the time we were discussing about having our 3rd child. She is asking me to make the ultimate sacrifice, again she said the same thing the last time around. How do I know this will not stop after the 4th? She keeps making me all these promises which I have heard before. I went from the guy that made the ultimate sacrifice with having our 3rd (top of the mountain) to the negative/no-can-do person blocking her dream and that I do not love her enough to pursue this dream (I am at the bottom of the mountain all of sudden... How can this be?).

I am feeling very frustrated with the situation. All I want is my wife, back on the path we were on and enjoy the family/life we have now. Also to continue to work on our marriage and deal with all the ups/down coming our way raising our amazing three children.

Up to this point, I have listened to her, we exchanged views many times and we even went to see the doctor to inquire about the reversal of the vasectomy. The bottom line is, I do not want another child, which I have made clear to my wife. I would like her to honor her word/promise to stop after our 3rd child and I feel that it is her turn to compromise and make the sacrifice just like I had to dig deep to come around to change my mind 4 years ago. I understand she is not feeling this way on purpose and I would like to support her 100% to overcome this together. At this point, we are both just hitting a brick wall and I am so lost, not knowing what to do. I am getting the silent treatment now and she is really upset with me. I just don’t understand why I am in this position? Doesn’t her word/promise from 4 years ago mean anything anymore? I have shared with her my reasons for not wanting another child and reminded her about what we agreed on. She seems to think people are entitled to change their mind and I am fine with that. It just baffles me that she can be so casual about going back on her word and I’m all of a sudden the bad guy. At the same time, I think we need to address this void she feels. Clearly, if we were to have a 4th child, this desire of wanting another baby will not go away. Everything I’ve said to her makes logical sense to me but she just doesn’t seem to see my point of view. Or perhaps she is simply blinded by wanting another baby?

Any advice or insight on this would be greatly appreciated.

  • While I think this question is mostly a duplicate - I think there is a question in here more specifically about how to handle the situation with the vasectomy since they're considered non-reversible. Answers to this situation may hinge on the fact that it's (a) an expensive procedure and (b) is not guaranteed to work... but it might need some editing to get to that point. – James Snell Oct 8 '15 at 16:41
  • I agree that it's not necessarily a duplicate, but upon reading the answers from that post, I think there would be little to add about how to resolve it. This all boils down to communication and understanding, just like that one. – corsiKa Oct 8 '15 at 17:44
  • Dan... You have very valid concerns, and your position is unassailable from a logical standpoint. GOOD FOR YOU for trying so hard to see your wife's position...as disparate as it is from your own. It is a certain truth that love is infinite, and you can love as many babies as you can touch, totally, fully, without taking away one iota of love from the previous baby. Ask your wife to truly, completely, and HONESTLY examine her motivations. Does she miss the "baby" time? does she love babies like nothing else, but toddlers don't exactly thrill her? This is a core question. – dwoz Oct 8 '15 at 19:07
  • dan, if your wife concedes that she wants a BABY...how else might that itch be scratched? There are other possibilities. – dwoz Oct 8 '15 at 19:08
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    There are a number of volunteer opportunities that she could look into. Or she could think about starting her own day care. My mother in law, who adores children and wanted lots of them, was in a similar situation (although it was different in that her husband secretly got a vasectomy after she had three babies in the first nineteen months of their marriage..she was furious when she found out). She started a day care and was very happy with that for many years. She got to cuddle babies all day and had downtime in the evening. Best of both... – Francine DeGrood Taylor Oct 9 '15 at 19:35