Dear Ms. Mix & Bitch,
Ok, I’ll try to make a long story short. I was engaged to an amazing woman for several years, but she never wanted to set a date because we couldn’t agree on how to raise our future kids (she wanted to raise them Jewish, I don’t believe in religion at all and wouldn’t dare subject my child to such dogma. She wanted to offer her faith as an option, but I thought it was just brainwashing). So we broke up and I was absolutely devastated over losing her. I took some time off of work and went travelling around for three months. Towards the end of my travels, I met Anna, and we fell madly in love with each other. She’s from Italy and I’m from New York, so for the next 6 months, we did the long distance thing until I couldn’t take it anymore and proposed. We got married 6 1/2 months after we first met, and she gave up a job she loved (and her family) to start a life here with me in the States.
Married life has generally been terrific. She’s kind and beautiful and very easy going. Since we’re both in our early 40s, we started trying to have a baby right away. After 6 months of trying, we went to the fertility doctor and got a severe blow: I can have children, but she only has a 2% chance of ever getting pregnant. We can’t afford infertility treatments and while we could probably swing adoption, I really wanted a baby of my own (Anna doesn’t care, she just wants a baby). Now, I am struggling because while I love Anna, it kills me knowing I could get another woman pregnant. So the question is, do I live childless with this lovely woman, or do I get divorced and start over? I know that sounds harsh, but perhaps we rushed into this whole thing? I also can’t help wondering how my former fiancé is doing. What do you think?
Kyle (not my real name)
What do I think? I think you’re an asshole, that’s what I think. I want you to imagine – for a moment (humor me) – that the shoe was on the other foot and it was you who was deemed virtually infertile by the doctor. Would your wife, who sacrificed a very full life to merge with yours, turn to you and say “Sorry Kyle, but your gun is shooting blanks, so I’m gonna find me a stud not ready to be set out to pasture.” Think about that, because that’s essentially what you want to do to her.
I’m not totally heartless to your feelings here, and it’s good you’re being so brutally honest with yourself. I’m sensing, however, a pattern of inflexibility here. You lost a great love – your former fiancé – because you couldn’t accept a compromise of her sharing her faith, along with your agnostic views. That’s over now, btw, so let that one go.
Now you’re with Anna, (did you rush in? Probably, but it doesn’t matter now, does it because you made a commitment) it’s either your biological baby – or no baby at all. At this rate, Kyle, you’re going to end up alone. Could you leave Anna and knock up some other girl? Sure you can, but I promise you, your fertile myrtle will have some other “issue” you find troubling. Everyone does…including you.
I seriously suggest you find a mental health professional who specializes in issues relating to infertility. You owe it to both of you to figure out the following:
(1) Can you work through your grief of not having your own child in order to build a family with this generous-hearted woman through adoption?
(2) If you recognize some of the inherent inflexibility of your nature (NOT a good parenting trait, btw), can you and Anna just have each other and find happiness there? Could SHE live with that?
(3) You’re stuck on your way or no way…and it’s time to bail.
Marriage is a BFD (BIG friggin’ deal) buddy, and life never works out exactly the way we plan. But I’ll share a secret with you…if you can allow for a different version of reality, sometimes the universe gives you something even better than you can ever imagined.
10. “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” (Rolling Stones) Let It Bleed.
09. “O-O-H Child,” (The Five Stairsteps) The Best of The Five Stairsteps.
08. “Better Things,” (The Kinks) Come Dance with Me.
07. “All the Wild Horses,” (Ray LaMontagne) Trouble.
06. “Years Could Go By,” (The Devlins) Waiting.
05. “What the Pillar of Salt Held Up,” (American Music Club) Everclear.
04. “Crying Lightning,” (Artic Monkeys) Humbug.
03. “Sleep Alone,” (Bat for Lashes) Two Suns.
02. “Life Gets in the Way,” (Gary Go) Gary Go.
01. “Furnace Room Lullaby,” (Neko Case) Neko Case.