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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5334
Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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I have married for 11 years to a man 18 years younger then

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I have married for 11 years to a man 18 years younger then me. I have three adult children When we married I informed him I could not have any more children. At the time he told me he was fine with it. Told me he loved me, and it did'nt matter. He told me today that he wants kids. I am 50 years old now he is 32. He dose not want to adopt. He wants his own. What do I do?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 6 years ago.

Hi! You know, to give you the best answer, I think I should ask you a few questions first that will help define the problem and the situation.

I am so sorry you are in this situation. You are asking a question that has no GOOD answer. The first thing we need to ascertain is:

Are you confident his statement of desire for children is authentic? Is this a struggle he's undergoing?

Or is there something underneath this that's really happening with him?

If he were a woman and your best friend or a niece, what would you advise her to do if she was in this situation where she now realizes she wants kids?

Any extra information that will help, feel free to share.

Dr. Mark

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I had a feeling this was going to happen. I have a friend that has had three kids in the last four years, he also has a younger brother that has had two in the last three years.We sit for them alot, but last week was the first time sitting for the baby. I see him with them and it breaks my heart that I can't give him that joy. He loves kids. And he would make a great dad. He has been different these last few days since we sat for the kids. When he was telling me this last night there no us, it was I want, I'm ready. I asked him why he had'nt told me when I was 40 or even 45. He said he was'nt ready then, but that he is now. The struggle with him is I know he does'nt want to hurt me, but how else am I supposed to feel. If he was a woman I guess the advice would be. I don't know. Because the issue is my age. I'm stuck. I wanted to hear some kind of thought on his part of how he wanted to do it. I feel like with my help he's got a business and is in a place in his life that work is ok, he's 31 now. And want kids now and he's ready to move on without me. I told me that if he wanted to be with someone else to let me know and I would move on. He told me I did'nt have to leave, that this home was mine. I told him if he was to be with someone else I was not going to stay here. He did'nt say anything. What do I do?

Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 6 years ago.
I'm going to make one more round of questions because this is so heartbreaking.

Do you think one child will be enough for him?

You mentioned the surgery, but would you consider talking to your OBGYN. If you don't have a period at all anymore, then I believe there are still some things they can do.

Even if you do these things and are successful: are you prepared to be 69-71 years old when the child leaves home?

Dr. Mark
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I don't know if one would be enough. I did talk to her about 4 years ago. On my own I asked about a reverse tubeliation, and she told me if I was really wanting to do it she would give me the name and address of a clinc. I told him, but he said we were'nt in a financial position to do that. And yes I would be prepared to be 69-71 because I know he would be there. He will be home soon. I need to see what his plan is and if it includes me. Like I said there was no us, we, together, not anything. What am I suppose to think or feel, I do feel like he just turned my whole world upside down.
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 6 years ago.

Thank you for the added information. It helps a lot. I believe I can now be of help with this issue.

I can imagine how overwhelming this situation must be for you. It is a heartbreaking situation. It is similar in a certain way to couples I work with who are from different very strong cultural/ethnic communities. At first it seems that love is all that matters. But as life goes on, it turns out that other things do indeed matter that they shrugged off so easily. Religious and family ties begin to pull at them in more intense and real ways. And in your case, your husband is being pulled by his vision of his future, his life.

And this is actually the key to my answer to you that you need to consider and think about. I am not ready to advise you to give up having children with him. I worked with a woman a number of years ago who had a child at 50. If it takes the two of you asking for financial help from family and friends to make this happen, then I would urge you to do that.

The question is whether HE wants to do this with you or is preparing to move on. I know that is heartbreaking and it is heartbreaking for me to write this. But it is a possible reality and we can't pretend it's not.

So when you have that conversation, those are the two options on the floor: having a child together doing whatever it takes. Or separating.

Notice I am not recommending a woman to carry the child for the two of you. I have not heard of great success stories with this and have heard some of the heartbreaking ones. I can't rule it out, though, FOR you. I'm skeptical, though.

Please let me know what happens with the discussion. Depending on the result, we might have to have a follow up question and answer.

Okay, I wish you the very best!

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Well we had the talk and I am NOT in the calculation. He plainly told me one was not going to be enough, he wants 3 or 4. I asked him about us trying to find someone to help us. He did'nt answer me. So I asked him straight out if we where done and he told me yes. I have just packed some of my things and am leaving. He has'nt told me that he is sorry and I know he won't. I'm going to a motel for tonight and will pack up a uhaul tommarow and hed back home.
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 6 years ago.

I am so sorry this is happening to you. I know how devastating this must feel tonight. I need you to allow yourself to feel completely hurt and in grief. Yes, it is totally unfair. I am so sorry this is happening.

I assumed it was going to happen. But I didn't want you to have to initiate it. So I gave suggestions in my previous answer for how to salvage it. But I could sense from what you had written about him that he had already moved on in his heart. I am so sorry. You did not realize this. You had already lived out that part of your life of having kids and he had not and you assumed that as a guy he would not need it. As I wrote originally, we don't know how important things will be to us in the future.

So you can let yourself ache and hurt. It's okay and it's necessary. There is real grief. But keep my answer somewhere you can access for the future, not too far in the future. When you're ready to take a breath and pick yourself up one more time. Because this is what it means to be mature. We pick ourselves up one more time and are grateful we have the opportunity to do so. Okay?

And when you do pick up my answer again because you're ready to move forward, we're going to address your life. Why do I say your life? Because you are not going to find Mr. Right by just looking for "a guy". You've got to treat finding Mr. Right as part of living YOUR life. You are clearly a woman with values. You are not looking simply for sexual gratification. You are looking for a human being who wants to share his life with you and who values who you are. I know tonight you can't believe that he is willing to do this. But he is NOT Mr. Right. We're going to work on finding Mr. Right.

That's why we're going to focus on goals, strategies, and plans. I want you to take a sheet of paper or on the computer if you prefer and on that paper write your Healthy Relationship Goals. Examples: make 3 close friends in the next 3 months; or go on dates with interesting men at least 2-4 times in the next 3 months, etc. So you see they don't need to even be goals for just relationships with men, but can be social relationships. Because the more social you are, the more you build your ability to express yourself socially instead of just career wise, the more you will feel comfortable expressing yourself to Mr. Right on a date. You need to feel comfortable sharing your inner self with other people on lots of different levels: acquaintances, friends, confidantes, and dates.

Next, I need you to take another sheet or underneath the goals in the same sheet write Strategies for my Healthy Relationship Goals. For each of the Goals, I want you to write strategies. For example, if your goal is to go out 4 times in 3 months, strategies might be: I want to identify the type of interests men you'd be interested in would have. Then I want to ask yourself where would they go to fulfill those interests. For example, if an interesting man needs to be someone who is into fitness, then he would be a member of a fitness club. If he needs to like art, then he would be a member of the Art Museum and go to gallery openings. If he needs to be spiritually oriented, then he might need to be attending church or a meditation class.

Then, you need to write on a separate piece of paper or underneath each Goal and Strategy: Plans for how to succeed with your strategies. So to continue the example above, you might write: my plan is to go to the 6 most popular fitness studios and check them out to see what their membership looks like and what kind of activities are there. Or for art, I plan to join the Art Museum and to go to an art opening at a gallery at least twice per month and maybe 3 times. Or if you are interested in religion, checking out 3 congregations for active ones that have social events.

These are examples of strategies and plans. I'm trying to focus you on your life interests. What do you want to do to further your having a meaningful life? Remember, Mr. Right needs to fit into what's meaningful to you, so look for him in activities that bring out what's meaningful in your life.

I wish you the very best!

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