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24 years later, wants child

by jay

my husband and I have been married 24 years this month. When we married I had two small children from previous marriage. He knew when we married I could not have any more children (had hysterectomy at 24). He has been an excellent husband and father. However, he comes from a family of 14 children. Recently he went to a brothers house to help him install a new appliance. It was out of town and he was there for two days. He saw his younger brother interact with his 3 children and ever since then he has been dealing with that he thinks he wants his own child. We have recently talked in great detail about it, as I knew something has been wrong for the last 3 months or so.

We truly have a great marriage, we do a lot of laughing together. In trying to better understand this mid-life crisis for men, I have not seen any one mention this particular problem. He is 50 and I am 53. He says he thinks he is nuts, he is too old, etc. He says and I do believe him that he loves me very much. He doesn't want to throw away 24 years. Our children and grandchildren adore him. He has no girlfriend, has not thought anything about that. He says he just keeps thinking about the fact that he never had his own child. We have talked about the pro's and con's of surrogate mothers and the con's definitely outweigh the pros.

I guess what I would like to know is this one of the usual mid-life crisis scenarios? I want to help him through this and told him I am in it for however long it takes. And that is the other question that drives him crazy he said, how long is he going to feel this. Thank you for your help.

Noel's response

It is not uncommon for men or women who have chosen not to have children, or could not have children, to start longing for children at midlife.

You are doing the right thing by talking about it. From other people I have talked to who have gone through this, the urge to have children does diminish with time. Sometimes psychotherapy can help. And sometimes getting involved with children's or youth groups can be good, although sometimes it makes the longing greater.

I had one friend who hadn't wanted children, and in his 40s began wanting to have them. His therapist helped him discover that it was his own childhood he was longing for, as his father had died when my friend was young, and he had to become 'the man about the house' to help with his younger siblings.

Hope this helps a little.

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