My 45 Year Old Wife Wants a Baby! Freedomain Call In - Transcript


0:00 - Family Planning Dilemma
16:59 - Emotional Toll of Pregnancy
39:37 - In a Difficult Situation
40:01 - Turning on Each Other
42:02 - Voluntary Agreements and Blame
46:06 - Lack of Right to Blame
47:59 - Failed Strategy
51:25 - Expectation of Support
52:55 - Blaming Each Other Consequences
57:16 - Impact on Parenthood
59:22 - Understanding Sex Drive Differences
1:02:33 - Misinterpreting Perspectives
1:08:37 - Impact of Relationship on Child
1:11:13 - Meeting Spouse's Needs
1:14:53 - Addressing Needs and Pleasure
1:18:51 - Fatherhood and Sexual Activity
1:28:23 - Focusing on Each Other's Needs

Long Summary

In this emotionally charged episode, we delve into the complexities of relationships, parenthood, and the strains that can arise within a couple’s dynamic. The caller, on the brink of a pivotal age, shares their heartfelt struggle with their spouse, who yearns for another child despite differing sentiments. Through therapy and numerous discussions, the couple finds themselves at an impassable crossroads, torn between frozen embryos and hesitations toward expanding their family. The toll on their marriage surfaces, from sleep deprivation to intimacy issues, prompting a quest for understanding and unity amidst conflicting desires.

As the caller recounts their fertility journey marred by heartbreaking losses and disagreements, the narrative unfolds into a poignant tale of resilience and strain. Ectopic pregnancies, failed IVF attempts, and a profound emotional toll lead to a harrowing miscarriage, unveiling a rift in support and childcare responsibilities exacerbated by workplace commitments. Amidst sleepless nights and miscommunications, the search for solace and shared burdens takes center stage, underscoring the fragility of relationships during life's most delicate phases.

Guiding the conversation with empathy and wisdom, Stefan sheds light on the fragile balance of partnership amidst turmoil. Through the lens of unmet expectations, pregnancy pressures, and shared responsibilities, he navigates the caller toward open dialogue and mutual understanding. The intricacies of sexual dynamics, differing desires, and the sacrifices demanded by parenthood are dissected, illustrating the transformative power of communication and unity in weathering storms of adversity.

Concluding with a poignant reminder of mutual fulfillment and intimacy as cornerstones of a successful relationship, Stefan underscores the profound impact of prioritizing each other's needs over external pressures. By modeling compassion, communication, and unwavering support, he champions the cultivation of a resilient marriage amidst life's upheavals, painting a poignant portrait of love's endurance in the face of uncertainty.


[0:00] Family Planning Dilemma

[0:00] So, quick backstory. I'm about to turn 40 this year. My wife is going to turn 45 in September. Our daughter is going to turn three in July. She's our only child. Basically, my wife is, I would say, desperate for another child, and I don't feel the same way. We have been going back and forth for about a year and a half trying to figure out what to do we've done couples therapy we've had a lot of conversations but we just cannot come to an agreement on this and what prompted to to call you is that we had a conversation the other day where she told me I won't say accused me I'll say told me that she thought it was immoral for me not to agree to have another child with her. And I thought that was kind of like, all right, we're reaching a very not so good territory in the conversation. So, but, but so much has happened since we got married and till we got to this point that I guess we just need your help to kind of understand the situation and make sure we're thinking about each other's positions and the kind of overall situation the right way.

[1:20] Right now of course the most obvious thing which.

[1:22] I just wanted to get out of the way is 45 yeah she'll be 45 in september um.

[1:29] How are you planning on having a baby with 45.

[1:34] Well she's just coming in um well um the the natural way um we had part of the story is we We had some very unsuccessful and unpleasant IVF a few years ago, and that didn't go very well. So naturally is the way. Say hi.

[1:54] Hi, nice to meet you. Obviously, I'm never happy to meet people in difficult situations, but that's the way it is. So I'm happy to meet, and I hope that we can do some good. I'm sure we can. So have you looked up the statistics or talked to any fertility specialists about the odds of having a natural child at 45?

[2:15] Yes, they're very slim, if not very slim.

[2:22] And as far as I understand it, I'm no expert, but the odds of birth defects and genetic issues and so on, I mean, you're kind of working with some dino eggs, right?

[2:33] That's true, but I was working with dino eggs also when our daughter came along three years ago. And I don't know call it love or call it whatever but we have an absolutely gorgeous child so I'm hoping for another one, I know I'm hoping against very great odds. I know I'm very well aware of that.

[2:58] Okay. I just, I'm sure you were. I just, that was the first, if you had some, I don't know, donor eggs or frozen eggs or I don't know, something that could help mitigate some of the age-related risk. I mean, you are, you know, 10 years post what they call geriatric pregnancy, right?

[3:15] Correct. Well, we do have, when we were doing IVF cycles six years ago, we have still three frozen embryos but my husband also said that uh he does not since he doesn't want a child embryos or no embryos um he's not amenable to that or does not want to go that route anyways right.

[3:37] Right okay okay well um i'm happy to start wherever you guys think would be best um I suppose the pluses and minuses from each of you, so I can get a sense of, let's, you know, just sort of as a useful exercise, let's try it so that if the husband, you can give the pro baby case, and if it's the wife, you can give the anti-baby case, then I suppose it would be helpful for me to understand just how much you understand of each other's position.

[4:10] Okay. Example first. So the pro baby case is that a couple things. One, my wife really wants another child. She wants to give life to another child and have a family of two children, four of us total versus one. I should mention that she is a stay-at-home mom. I do work from home, so we have a lot of time, both of us, with our daughter. And so if we have another child, we both have a significant amount of time for the kids. We are planning to homeschool as well, a task that my wife sees as a more, say, fruitful endeavor with two children rather than one. And she looks at our daughter, and she sees such joy in our daughter that it drives her to want to have another child. So I think the biggest pro is that it would fulfill my wife's life desires um the second biggest one is i think you know we've heard you talk many times we understand your arguments about siblings and uh especially you know raising a you know a kind of a voluntarist and cap uh peaceful child you know she's raised completely peacefully um you know a sibling in the world is a great ally um to have and um so i think those Those are the two biggest pros to have.

[5:34] Sorry, you mentioned a bunch and then you got a damn of two?

[5:38] Okay, sorry.

[5:39] That's fine. Okay, I understand that. And so for the wife, what's the con? What's the negative in this scenario? What are the negatives?

[5:51] The negatives, of course, would be a high-risk pregnancy and dealing with a potential third miscarriage, possibly Down syndrome or any other kinds of problems with the child. Negatives are, from my husband's perspective, that we'd have to do everything all over again. Diapers and not sleeping at night breastfeeding not being able to travel or go places as easily then there's no no space in the car for anyone else, with a and he just doesn't want to do it and the biggest one I think is probably the I don't know the slog the log the heaviness on our relationship sorry we've because of first child we haven't really had like the best marital situation of lots of sleepless nights reduced sex sex life, less time to go out and do things for ourselves, and so forth and so on.

[7:19] Okay. Now, if you had to prioritize, let's go to the wife here. If you had to prioritize, what do you think sort of would be the one, two, and three of the most important objections your husband has?

[7:39] I think the marital time that with a second child, we have very little time as it is with one child. And I think his biggest objection is that we would have even less time for ourselves and for anything.

[7:58] Okay. And what do you think are the top issues in the marital time thing? What are the top issues that he would complain about? Because marital time is a bit abstract. uh for for me.

[8:09] So what do you think would be the major.

[8:10] Things that he would object to with regards to marital time is it like sex life is it like adult conversation time like what do you think are the major.

[8:20] Issues that he's got i think uh one-on-one time with me um sex time um just going out right one-on-one time just doing uh my husband and i doing things together and yeah i think probably also my tiredness level um because like as a new mother it is difficult because you have to attend to the child uh a lot um yeah i think those would be three Top three.

[8:54] Okay, so just romance, sex, and energy, right?

[8:59] Yes.

[9:00] Okay. Energy, okay. So marital time is number one. Do you think that's the most important one? And what is anything else that at the top sort of three issues? One is marital time, which is romance, sex, and energy. And what are others?

[9:20] You mean cons? Are there cons?

[9:22] Yeah.

[9:24] That my husband told me that he doesn't... He just feels he doesn't have want, desire, or capacity for another one. One is it for him. I guess the desire, the willingness, that's a big one.

[9:43] Okay, and number three?

[9:46] Um... Not even sure.

[9:52] Okay, that's fine. Okay, so let's go to your husband and just try and figure out how well you sort of understand your wife's major pros. What are the sort of top one, two, and three of hers, why she wants the baby?

[10:07] Just that she really looks at our daughter and is so enamored with her. We can go into this here, why she calls her her miracle child. There was a lot of heartache to get to her. It just drives her to want to create that again and to have that additional, not a very romantic term, but expression of life in her life, in our lives. I mean, that's definitely number one. And number two, I think, is to give our daughter a sibling and let them have that bond as they go through life, have a partner of their own.

[10:52] And the third?

[10:53] Third would be that she thinks that getting through another couple of very difficult years and putting our relationship still on hold will be worth it in the long run.

[11:09] Okay. Okay, got it. Now, when you listen to each other, how accurate... Sorry, I'm not sure if somebody's looking. I don't mean to interrupt.

[11:23] I'm sorry. No one's talking.

[11:25] Okay, sorry. Maybe it's just an echo. Okay. So when you're looking at each other's reasons or understanding of each other's position, how accurate does it feel as a whole?

[11:36] It's pretty accurate.

[11:38] Okay, so it's not like a lack of communication that's going on.

[11:41] No, I mean, we did a couple of months, about a year and a half ago, we did a couple of months of couples therapy, and we've had a lot of conversations. Conversations like there's there's nothing that we're not we haven't been telling each other we've been catching this out of which would be a long time.

[11:55] Okay got it got it all right um, so to to look at a couple of these things just from the outside and also i mean i i know obviously we have one child that was as far as nature could take us but we have friends who have four five five, six, or even more children. So I do have a pretty good perspective, obviously not perfect or personally lived, but I do have a pretty good perspective on what it's like to have more kids. Now, more children, of course, you know, it's work at the beginning, but it's much less work later on.

[12:32] Yeah.

[12:33] Because they play with each other.

[12:34] Right?

[12:36] So, you know, what is a challenge with one child, which is easier at the beginning, obviously, right? But the big challenge is that when my daughter, wants to interact with someone, she has no choice but to come. I mean, unless she's out with friends or whatever, right? But in terms of being at home, she has no choice but to go to my wife or myself.

[12:57] So if she wants to play minecraft with somebody i mean i guess she can try online or whatever but you know i i boot up the minecraft right so it that doesn't end but it does end to some degree certainly diminishes when you have more than one kid they will play with each other now of course the longer you wait to have kids the wider the age gap and the less likely they are to end up playing with each other so there is that aspect right so there'd be your daughter's three is that right yeah right okay yeah so i mean if you have a child by the time she's four then you have you know like a six-year-old with a two-year-old there's going to be less that they would have in common to play with right but in general children um if they're relatively close in age, they do tend to cancel each other out in other words they can go and play with each other and give you more time together as adults. Like you're not going to get, especially if you're homeschooled, if you've got one kid, you're not going to get your time together much. Whereas if you have two kids or three kids or whatever, then they will play with each other and that frees you up to have time with each other. Does that make sense?

[14:11] Yes.

[14:13] So I think that it might be a tiny bit short-sighted, and it doesn't mean whether you should or shouldn't, But it might be a tiny bit short-sighted to say, I don't want another kid because I want more quality time with my wife. Because having one child, I can tell you, like, that's not really going to happen. Does that make sense?

[14:33] Yeah.

[14:34] Okay. So as far as the sort of the energy question, I guess this is to your wife, what has happened with you in terms of energy and focus and availability for non-child-related interactions like romance with your husband or something?

[14:53] I think it's easier now, but the first year, a year and a half was hard because Because I chose to breastfeed. I only stopped breastfeeding about three months ago or two months ago. And so she wasn't sleeping super well at night. From about a year and a half, she started giving us maybe like six or seven hour chunks at night. But still like before bed and then at four in the morning. So it was hard. Oh, yeah. So, like I said, it has gotten better, but I think my husband probably justifiably worries that it's going to be, again, that. And when you don't sleep well at night, of course, there's even less chance of two-on-two interaction or quality interaction.

[15:46] And I'm sorry to ask, you don't have to answer anything you feel uncomfortable with, but during that year, was your sex life, did it mostly collapse? Was it like once a week, once a month, or what was that like as a whole?

[16:01] I think it pretty much collapsed. Also, right, because for the first six months, we probably didn't even have sex.

[16:10] Oh, okay.

[16:12] No. We didn't have such much when she was pregnant either.

[16:17] Ah, okay.

[16:18] And and then afterwards, I mean, yeah, I mean, we we we realize we bring some difficult things on ourselves. You know, again, she's a stay at home mom. We're going to homeschool. We chose not to sleep train after reading some, you know, some of Gabo Matei's views on the subject. So we didn't make anything easy for us. So I would say, you know, kind of first year daughter after the three month regression was a was a terrible sleeper. And it was very hard on my wife. She took it like a champ as far as taking care of our daughter was concerned, but it was very rough on us as a couple.

[16:54] Right, right. I understand. I get it. I really sympathize. That's very tough.

[16:59] Emotional Toll of Pregnancy

[17:00] So I assume it's somewhat back. Your sex life is somewhat back, or is the tension about having more kids, has that made things harder as well?

[17:11] Yeah. It makes it hard. Well, yes, because for me, I find it painful and not physically, emotionally, because I, Obviously, I need my husband's sperm to get pregnant, but he will not have sex without a condom, and it hurts me emotionally. And every time, it's a reminder to me that he's not willing to give me something, which I think we entered our marriage into with the idea to have children.

[17:48] Right.

[17:48] Sex for me, a lot of it is in the head. And if I don't feel connected in the head, because we're constantly struggling about this issue, then it's very hard to be intimate and close.

[18:00] Right, right.

[18:01] Yeah, on the other hand, you cannot get anywhere if you don't have sex. It's just a double-sided sword.

[18:09] And sorry, just to talk to your husband for a sec. This is sort of man-to-man, so sorry to be so blunt. When was the last time that you had what you would experience as a deeply satisfying sex life in your marriage?

[18:26] Oh, God. Probably in the year after we got married, so 2017, 2018.

[18:40] Okay, so it's been five or six years since you had a satisfying sex life?

[18:45] Yeah, and a lot of, I mean, maybe some history might help here, to be fair to both of us. So we actually called you before we got married because I was on the fence about kids, and we had a nice chat with you. And we agreed as a couple that yes we would go in for for kids and then we decided to to get married so we made that step first um when did you uh when.

[19:08] Did you and i talk or did you.

[19:09] I think we all talked i think it was it might have been 2016 yeah yeah yeah so we got married in 2017 and then we moved to uh uh her her country in um in in europe we'll just leave it at europe um we took a little bit for a house and blah blah and then we started trying um for a kid what maybe Maybe September? We tried for a year. No, no, but when did we start trying? Like September of 2017? We took a few months off after we moved to Ticel, right? Yeah, I guess. Something like that. And then we tried for like a year. Nothing happened. Very mindful of our ages, we went straight to IVF. Thankfully here, it's extremely cheap compared to the US. It's not like the bank money. So that was very fortunate. It went very badly. Sadly, my wife had two ectopic pregnancies in a row.

[20:01] Oh, gosh.

[20:02] The first one, which culminated in her having emergency surgery and having to have one of her tubes removed. And the second one resolved itself in the hospital. So no surgery was needed. But obviously that was horrendous. And that kind of led her into a very dark place to the point of some suicidal ideation. And just over the realization that kids may not be part of the picture. She found a clinic, did some very intensive therapy for a couple of months, three, four months, I guess. August, September, October. And after three months, our daughter came to us naturally. Okay.

[20:53] And so you said two were ectopic and you said you'd had three miscarriages. And was there one? Sorry, go ahead.

[21:00] Yeah, that's coming after. So we had our daughter. At the end of COVID, we decided to move back to the U.S. just because it was much easier for me to get work. It would just be a safer place to be in terms of just stability because, you know, obviously we didn't take the vax and I lost my job because I couldn't fly. I was flying across Europe. You know, I couldn't quarantine for 10 days and it just left us with a bad feeling. Yeah yeah um and then we were living in the u.s for a year last year or 2022 and we both decided nah we're just this is not the place we want to be it's not even the place we left in 2017 it was very different and we and we moved back last year yeah well we were also looking for houses for a year and we didn't win anything we put in so many bids and we were constantly being over a bill. Yeah, it was pretty miserable. So we moved back. But in that time, my wife had broached the idea of number two. And in that point, she was still exhausted. And I wasn't very happy with where our relationship was. I wasn't feeling another kid. And it's still a feeling I have. I feel like our daughter is great. And I like a family of three. And I like when I I look at the future of our three.

[22:17] But my wife was very adamant. Like I said, we did couples therapy. It didn't really give us a solution, but it did help us at least better communicate to each other how we felt. So that was good, I guess. And then my wife came to me with a proposal. She wanted to try for six months to see if the universe would give us another child.

[22:41] Um, I, I took a long time to kind of come around to it, but knowing how much it meant to her, I, I agreed. Um, I'm not sure if that was in hindsight, the right decision or the wrong decision. Um, one of the important things that she had said was she felt that if she was at least able to try for a second child, even if it didn't happen, that would, uh, go a long way towards helping her accept, um, life with one child, but she made the effort and she She tried, and it didn't happen. She'd also agreed that if she had a miscarriage in those six months, that would be the end of the story. We would stop. And eventually, I agreed right about when we moved back September of last year, right? Yeah. Yeah. So we started trying. In month three, she had a very early miscarriage, like four weeks, right? Four weeks. Yeah, very, very early. at the time emotionally it wasn't uh it wasn't really a big thing for you no because it never really showed up as a positive test um i knew some something was off because the hcg wasn't rising and uh so it just kind of showed inconclusive not that i'm pregnant or it wasn't my period wasn't coming but it showed that it's not a positive test so i had a very early miscarriage change.

[24:09] And then at that point i kind of thought okay well we had an agreement um the miscarriage would be the the grounds to stop and uh he was not ready to stop and she really pressed me to want to keep going um and uh again i don't know if rightly or wrongly i i deferred again and uh i said okay and i told myself well i would have agreed to to six tries even six months even if she hadn't had a miscarriage so you know um i'm not really signing up for anything extra um i'm just helping helping the situation out in the last month uh she got pregnant again, and uh the first this one was forming pregnancy and um i'm.

[24:57] Sorry this one.

[24:58] Was the one it was it was actually forming this one the hgz was going up like this was a real pregnancy i'm sorry So that happened at the January this year? Yeah. And I basically, it was very hard for her. She was having absolutely wretched morning sickness and just very hard. And she, you know, we just needed help to take care of our daughter. And we don't have much in the way of family that can assist. And by that, I mean, basically none. So we've not had really any help with our daughter either. There so um i i went into a complete funk because i just did not want a second child and i was not uh emotionally supportive the way that i should have been you mean because of the morning sickness and.

[25:44] I mean other things as well like you but you were hoping that she wasn't going to get pregnant over the six months or at least not come to.

[25:49] Correct okay correct yeah and um and so that That affected Bea very, very much emotionally, obviously, and she started not sleeping and just basically couldn't sleep, got very worn down. And basically, she said, hey, look, this is a ridiculously bad situation. And she asked to go back to the same clinic that she went to. First time uh after the ectopics and i said okay.

[26:18] Sorry i'm a little lost here so the pregnancy was flourishing obviously the hcg was high and the morning sickness indicates you know strong baby or i don't know whatever that myth is right so yeah what what is going back to the clinic mean, Right.

[26:39] So this year, end of January, we had sex, and by the mid-February, I was pregnant. But we also had other stressors in our life. We were still looking for a house, even though we were back in my home country and unsuccessfully looking for a house. So I was a little bit stressed already about that. And then i found out i was pregnant um and i told my husband and he was not happy at all, sorry are you trying to say that you had an abortion no no no no okay so i'm not sure i'm not going back to the clinic i mean the mental health clinic oh.

[27:17] The mental health sorry i thought you meant a fertility thing or or.

[27:19] No no no okay i apologize okay so your wife.

[27:21] Went back to a mental health clinic is that right.

[27:24] Yeah okay that was a little that was a little bit after So I was pregnant in February, and the pregnancy started with a very severe kind of nausea. I didn't have anything like that at all with my daughter. So many mornings I would wake up, and I just literally could not do anything. So since my husband works, and I'm the stay-at-home mom, I normally take my daughter out. And a lot of times I was not able to because of the severe morning sickness and obvious of course I was also stressed because I knew that my husband doesn't want the child and I would go to the OBGYN by myself and I would get the, the ultrasound picture and i would come home and but my husband wasn't happy at all he wouldn't ask to look at the ultrasound pictures or anything and when i had the nausea, after a week of about kind of stepping in and helping with our daughter taking her for walks and stuff um he kind of basically what i considered an ultimatum he told me that i'm not allowed to be incapacitated like this that it's not fair and that I should be taking care of our.

[28:48] Felt like if no support I'm not allowed to be sick I'm not allowed to have morning sickness I don't have anyone to turn to turn to help for and no matter sick or tying up or not I have to take my daughter out and do something with her and that just kind of kept the building and building and building and so i realized i'm not able to sleep at night anymore from the stress and anxiety and uh.

[29:20] Yeah sometimes i would come to my husband in the middle of the night and tell him like hey i cannot sleep like uh i'm exhausted i'm i just also started feeling tremendous guilt, that I have to ask him for help to take care of our daughter in the mornings when I was feeling sick and he was not in a place to kind of support me and help me and he would just tell me I hear you but uh.

[29:50] Yeah. And there was a lot of kind of eye rolling and huffing and puffing from his side. And I just felt very alone and very bad. And basically, I started getting insomnia at night. And from there, I just felt it just went downhill because I couldn't sleep at night. I just got worse and worse and worse. and then I finally realized because no OBGYN would also give me any kind of prescription medicine to sleep at night because all of them were very careful what to prescribe to someone who is newly pregnant and then I realized that I need help like I was doing all kinds of self-help.

[30:36] Breathing exercises meditating listening to calming music or whatever writing and it was not helping so then i realized that i need help i need to talk to a psychiatrist or psychologist or someone and then i asked my husband that i need to go back to that clinic which had helped me, three four years ago before our daughter arrived and then on the cusp of that i had miscarriage which i kind of while i was feeling sick and tired i realized in the state that i was in, it's very unlikely that I'll be keeping the baby because I felt very exhausted from not sleeping at night.

[31:20] Okay. Sorry, what age were you? Sorry, how long in the pregnancy did you have the miscarriage?

[31:27] Seven weeks.

[31:29] Right, okay. And, I mean, let's be blunt, do you blame your husband to some degree for the stress that may have caused the miscarriage?

[31:38] Yes. Okay.

[31:41] Sorry, go ahead.

[31:42] What I needed was, I needed his emotional support. I guess I didn't realize him having agreed to try for the child, I didn't realize he's not going to be there for me emotionally. Emotionally and my husband has been my rock for a lot of the time that we have been together and not having his support and him telling me that I'm not allowed to be incapacitated and not being able to just be sick with morning sickness in the morning, just felt put a tremendous pressure on me mentally.

[32:21] Right. Now, is that, just as to your husband, is that a fair way to characterize it? that you said to your wife, you're not allowed to be sick?

[32:30] I don't think I said it that way. We've gone back and forth on this one. I didn't tell her that I can't, without support, I can't not be available to work and also have to take care of my daughter. Sometimes I also have to, when she needs help in other areas, I kind of have to push her. So she would be a bit more accepting of just dealing with the symptoms rather than working to alleviate them as fast as possible if there can be help. She really hates taking medicine. She hates taking pills. And that's a fine. She doesn't just go to interventions just because they're available. She's quite tough. But I completely understand that the way I probably did say it put that stress on her. I don't think it's overblown at all.

[33:18] Yeah, I mean, obviously, it's pretty crazy to say to someone, don't be sick. So i'm that's.

[33:25] Not what happened right the point i wanted to make to her was that i can't take care of our daughter and work, without when we have no help from any family or friend like it can't continue like that you know um i could take off from work but i couldn't take off a trimester no but i mean couldn't.

[33:47] You hire someone to help.

[33:50] We were looking for nannies at that time, actually. In this country, she could tell you, she got in contact with quite a number of folks, and they don't materialize. And we looked, but like my husband was saying, nothing came to fruition in the amount of time that we were looking.

[34:16] Okay.

[34:16] Because before that, we had needed one, and in looking for one when we did need one, it wasn't available.

[34:22] Okay. So, I mean, you had some weeks to try and resolve this, and obviously you know your situation, but it just didn't work out. Like, you couldn't find someone, right?

[34:32] Yeah. Yeah, well, first of all, there was no knowledge, and then it kind of came on strong and kind of debilitating. And in that point, it wasn't possible to get the help we needed quick enough to make a difference. Right. I think I also blame my husband because he works a lot. He loves his work, and it's very rare that he takes off from work. So in my mind, I felt family should come first. If I'm pregnant and if I need help, it's not going to be forever. Ever um i'm a strong woman i normally don't complain at all okay so sorry it would be like he would have to take three.

[35:06] Months off work is that right.

[35:07] Not three months just help me in the mornings like he works from home maybe he could for a brief period of time maybe one one or two months until we do find a nanny because it's really hard to find someone on the spot like within one or two weeks that's um not perfect but we are we're also raising our daughter in a very specific way peacefully we you can't just let any random stranger come in so sorry i just want to make.

[35:36] Sure i understand so you wanted your husband to do how much time in the morning to make up for your morning sickness was it a couple of hours in the morning.

[35:43] Yeah like a couple hours in the morning because those were the hardest parts for me and then in the afternoon i always felt much better. And I could step in midday and do the whole shift from midday.

[35:57] Okay. And so this is to your husband. Was this your understanding of what was being asked, like a couple of hours in the morning for a month or two?

[36:08] Yeah, I would say that's accurate.

[36:10] Okay, so why was that not doable?

[36:14] Well, because of the job that I had. Like on Monday mornings, I have conference calls. On Wednesday mornings, I have conference calls. And there's just a smattering of other things that come up. I took a job that I really didn't want and really didn't like in order to have a local income to allow us to move back here. Because we both felt it was best to move back here. So you know i had to take it seriously i didn't have any kind of immediate fallback or things i could go to but we're also pretty well off like we're not poor and we have a lot of resources that we can rely on yeah but it was also a gamble like we talked about the gamble to i could have quit my job there but finding one a couple months later would have been really difficult if.

[37:01] Sorry again i'm trying to understand so it was the monday and wednesday morning conference calls.

[37:07] I also have just other things come up kind of daily it's kind of hard for me just not be available in the mornings for a normal nine to five job.

[37:15] Well no i understand that but i mean is there i assume that you're fairly skilled so is there no room to negotiate and say listen um i have a personal situation i have uh for a month or so i'm happy to work late but i'm going to be be less available in the mornings and try and negotiate or work that out given.

[37:37] That i had just finished the month prior my three-month probation that seemed like a big ass.

[37:42] Well i know but there's no harm to ask right i mean say i and say i'm aware i just passed my probation but uh my wife is very ill and uh i absolutely am committed to the job but i need some times in in the morning and i'll you know work late and you know but you know i think everybody understands that if your your wife is really ill and you have a child at home that you have few options.

[38:06] And I think it was really a priority for my husband. So he never tried.

[38:11] I don't want to get into the crabbing, right? Oh, it's just not a priority, right? Because that's just kind of nagging at him. And that's just not going to help, right? That's just kind of witchy, right? And maybe it's true, but it's just not helpful at the moment. So I'm just sort of trying to go back to, so you need a month of mornings because your wife is sick, right? And if you go to your boss and you say, listen, I'm working from home, I'm totally responsible my my preferences are impeccable but my wife is sick in the mornings and it's just awful and i i need to if we can reschedule if we you know some stuff i'm happy to work late and i'll probably work even more but i mean so that's not something that you wanted to do or or did do right it's that this is your husband right no.

[38:54] I didn't think it was something that would be feasible for me to do with my job because of the nature of the job i'm on pause with you know construction contractors and clients and our engineers, like it's not something someone else can just listen to and tell me what I missed. Like I can't do my job if I'm not participating in these things. It doesn't matter if I work late, like I can't do it.

[39:17] Well, no, but I mean, you can ask for calls to be rescheduled, right? I mean, whether that's possible or not, you could certainly ask, right?

[39:25] It's a multi-billion dollar high-speed rail construction project. These have been gone. They don't get rescheduled.

[39:31] Okay.

[39:33] Yeah, unfortunately not possible with this project.

[39:37] In a Difficult Situation

[39:37] Okay. So, yeah, you guys were in a very difficult situation, right?

[39:43] Yes.

[39:43] You had a pregnancy, you had no help, and you had horrible morning sickness, right?

[39:51] Yes.

[39:51] Okay. So, I guess what I'm trying to figure out is why you face a very difficult situation. I mean, of course, and you know what? I mean, we're all adults here.

[40:01] Turning on Each Other

[40:01] It happens in time and in life that you are just going to face really difficult situations right yes like it's everything's going to go wrong nothing's going to feel right everything's going to feel like a disaster and you know objectively that's a very difficult situation, so i'm trying to figure out what i'm trying to figure out is why did you turn on each other.

[40:24] And Thank you.

[40:28] That's my question. Because the sort of one flesh thing seems kind of important to me. Like when you're married, you become one flesh. So it's not like one of you has a problem and you both have these big problems, right?

[40:43] Yes.

[40:46] And I'm trying to figure out why you turned on each other and blamed each other. I mean it's kind of like like if you're a sailing a ship right or you're sailing a yacht and let's say one of you makes a mistake and and the the sail rips or you hit a rock or something like that well you're both on the ship what's the point of blaming each other like you you have to survive the the ship problem right you have to work together now maybe afterwards or whatever you can say well i don't think this was the best idea but i'm trying to figure out why do you guys have the option called well, we'll just turn on each other. We'll just get mad at each other. We'll just blame each other. Like, I'm trying to figure out why you have that as an option in your marriage. Because it's a different kind of marriage than I would understand.

[41:39] Well, can I ask what would you say I blame her for?

[41:43] Well, you were upset that she was ill.

[41:48] You also told me that you felt I emotionally manipulated you. I said pressured. I viewed the word pressure. Okay. Emotionally pressured you into trying for child number two. Yes. Okay. Because we haven't talked about that.

[42:02] Voluntary Agreements and Blame

[42:02] Okay, so listen, brother. You can't blame other people for what you agree to. Right? So if you agree, right? If you agree. Now, hang on. If you agree to something, you agree to it. It doesn't mean you kind of conditionally agree uh because or maybe or i reserve the right to change my mind or to completely reverse and right that's not a thing you know if if you if your boss says hey we're going to pay you a hundred thousand dollars and then they pay you fifty thousand dollars you'd be like hey hang on we had an agreement you can't just change it, so if you say okay I said six months or a miscarriage you had the miscarriage you still want six months and if you say okay you can't later blame someone for what you voluntarily agree to, Because that's self-ownership, right? You have voluntarily agreed to extend the time to try for pregnancy, right?

[43:05] Yeah.

[43:06] So you can't then blame her for what you have voluntarily... Now, you could say, well, you put a lot of pressure on me, so? Is she not allowed to really advocate for what she really wants? Of course she is.

[43:19] No she is but i i i um i feel it was unfair for her to uh not keep her deal.

[43:29] To sorry to not what keep.

[43:31] Her deal she made the deal that we would try six months if she had a miscarriage she would stop uh-huh um and she did not keep that she kept trying.

[43:40] No you she she wanted to extend the deal and we're allowed to renegotiate right Right. I mean, it's not written in blood and signed with the devil's armpit sweat. Right. I mean, she's allowed to she's allowed to say. I want to change the deal. Right.

[43:57] OK.

[43:58] I mean, is that fair? I mean, she's allowed to change that. She's allowed to change her mind. Right. Otherwise, she's losing free will. Right.

[44:05] Well, I mean, she can. Yes, she can. She can change. You can try to change the deal.

[44:11] Yeah, so she can advocate to change the deal. I'm sure this happens in business all the time, that you're in business with someone and they want to change some parameter, right? Okay, so people are free to renegotiate anything they want, and it's up to you to decide if you want to go ahead with that or not, right?

[44:31] Yes.

[44:32] Okay, and you decided to go ahead with it?

[44:36] Yes.

[44:37] So now you can't blame her? No. Because that's cheating. Because if you say, well, I'm going to agree to the deal, but I'm going to blame you for it later. Then she would say, well, then you're not really agreeing to the deal, right? Like if you were in business with someone and you said, I need to change the parameters. And they said, okay. And then they sued you. You would say, well, that's not right. You agreed. It's like, yeah, but I've changed my mind about agreeing and now I'm suing you. Whereas if they'd said, okay, you can change the parameters if you want, but I'm going to sue you, then you would take that into account, right?

[45:19] Right.

[45:20] So if you have a, like, let's say you have to deliver something in July and you say to the guy, I can't get it to you in July, can I get it to you in August? He's like, that's fine. And then August the 1st, you get a lawsuit because it wasn't delivered in July. That's you thinking you have a deal, but then he just pretends you didn't have a deal, right?

[45:40] Right.

[45:41] So if you agree to something, you can't just then back out, blame the other person, and so on, right? Because you've agreed to it.

[45:52] Yep.

[45:55] So you still have the right to say, I agreed to it, but I'm going to punish you anyway.

[46:06] Lack of Right to Blame

[46:07] I don't have that right, and I think that's...

[46:09] But you do feel you have that right because that's kind of what you did, right?

[46:16] I think it's worse now because she still doesn't want to stay.

[46:23] No, no, no.

[46:24] I don't know where that ends.

[46:25] Now you're switching scenarios, right? So we're just talking about, we're talking about the six-month scenario, right?

[46:30] Okay.

[46:33] So you do feel like you can agree to something and then blame the other person and feel like a victim for something that you voluntarily agreed to, right?

[46:45] Yeah.

[46:46] Okay. Now, that's not reasonable.

[46:48] I agree.

[46:49] Because what you're doing is you're appeasing someone, but you're still mad, right? But you've got to be honest about that. Say, listen, I really, I don't want to do it. I really don't want to do it, and I'm feeling a lot of pressure, and if you get your way, it's not, like, it's going to be because I fold, but I'm still going to be resentful. I mean, wouldn't that be sort of the most honest thing? I don't know exactly what you would say, but it would be something like that, right? right and.

[47:14] I yeah i think it's a lot like that and i think we've kind of had that conversation when we were doing like the couples therapy before i agreed, okay.

[47:22] So then why what did you agree because you just thought okay it's going to be another couple of months of trying and it's going to be over and it's going to make her happy and i don't expect there to be any baby.

[47:37] Yeah, basically. And I saw how important it was to her to try.

[47:42] Okay, I got it. So, but you were really hoping that there would be no baby, right?

[47:47] Correct. Oh, yeah.

[47:48] And did you say that to her or was that something of a surprise that came later?

[47:53] No, she knew that.

[47:53] Okay, got it. Got it. Okay.

[47:59] Failed Strategy

[47:59] So then when the baby came along, your strategy of appeasing and hoping there would be no baby turned out to have failed. Is that right?

[48:08] Yeah, obviously.

[48:09] Okay. So that's part of the risk that you're taking. And the risk didn't play out in the way that you wanted. And then you got mad, right?

[48:24] Uh, yes, you were angry. Yeah.

[48:30] So it's kind of like you're going to play the lottery and then when the lottery doesn't pay off, you get really mad, right?

[48:38] Yeah.

[48:38] Okay. Got it. Got it. Now so you knew this is your wife you knew going in to the situation that if, you got pregnant your husband was going to be unhappy right.

[48:56] Yes but i was still hoping that there would be support uh so it doesn't help me.

[49:05] I mean this with all affection it doesn't help me well.

[49:08] I did anticipate that we are a family and if I as a big family member have, need help or if I have morning sickness or something that we would put family first and, that he would be my support that I could rely on him like okay.

[49:29] Now I understand what all.

[49:30] That means but what.

[49:31] Does that mean in practical terms was he supposed to quit his job.

[49:35] No just, maybe shift it around somehow. No, no, he said that he couldn't.

[49:44] Right? Because he's a multi-million or multi-billion dollar high-speed rail project or whatever, right? So he can't schedule it. He can't reschedule it because the entire business isn't going to bend around his wife's morning sickness, right?

[49:56] Yeah.

[49:57] Okay, so I'm trying to understand, sorry, I'm trying to understand what you mean by support here.

[50:03] Yeah, I guess I'm as... I don't know what the word is. I was expecting, because we are wealthy enough and we have the means, that if I needed support, and he didn't like the job to begin with a lot anyways.

[50:21] I'm sorry, I thought you said he shouldn't quit his job. Do you mean he should quit his job or should have quit his job?

[50:26] I don't know. Sorry, I think when there are hard times in the family, I don't want him to quit his job, but I was hoping, you know, sometimes people also take sick leaves, but my husband never takes sick leaves. No, but usually, sorry.

[50:51] Usually I think this was his issue, and correct me if I'm wrong, this is to the husband, but not when you're three months into the job.

[50:59] Correct.

[51:00] And often sick leave requires a doctor's note, which he couldn't get, right? Like you have to get verification from a doctor that you're sick and he couldn't get that because he's not sick right right so i'm not sure that's hugely practical so again i'm trying to sort of understand what it means when you say support i mean there has to be some practical way sorry there has to be some practical way he can provide support right and i'm trying to figure out what that is in.

[51:25] Expectation of Support

[51:25] In pure practical terms yes notwithstanding what's happening with his job I was expecting and hoping, well, first I wasn't expecting that I was going to have such severe morning sickness, but since I had it, I was hoping that my husband would step in and say like, hey, I see that you're sick in the mornings. I can take our daughter out for a walk or do something with her until you feel better a little bit later in the morning.

[51:52] I'm sorry, but he's got these conference calls and he's got this work responsibility, so I'm not sure how he's able to take your daughter out for a walk.

[52:00] Right. Well, that's why I was desperately looking for some kind of nanny or help, and I did not find any in that time.

[52:11] Okay, but the fact that you couldn't find a nanny doesn't mean that your husband isn't supporting you. I mean, if you don't want him to quit his job and he can't shift his responsibilities, then you guys have a big problem. And when you have a big problem, that's when you need to pull together. But if you're just saying, well, you're not supporting me when there's no practical way that you're giving him to support you, and if you're saying, well, I made a deal, but I'm really resentful about it, then you guys are going to turn on each other. I mean, isn't that the case?

[52:40] Yes, which we have.

[52:42] Right. And why would you make these decisions that have you turn on each other? You're both facing a very difficult situation. And that's when you need to pull together the most, isn't it?

[52:55] Blaming Each Other Consequences

[52:56] But you guys have this luxury of blaming each other or getting mad at each other or turning on each other. And it's like, but why? I mean, who else is in your corner but each other? Who else is your team but each other? You don't have family. family you don't have close enough friends that they can step in for a month so you only have each other and if you turn on each other you've got less than nothing, And you don't have the right to turn on each other. Do you know why?

[53:25] We have a daughter.

[53:26] Yeah, of course. You have no right to turn on each other because you have a daughter who's three, right? Which means she's soaking up everything you do. She's watching everything. She's listening to everything. She's soaking up everything that you do, right?

[53:45] Yes.

[53:47] So... What are you doing? I don't understand. You're not enjoying parenthood that much because you're fighting with each other. You're not together in the trials of pregnancy and work and challenges because you have the rights or you feel like you have the right to just get mad at each other. So that's on your list of behaviors, right? I mean, I assume it wasn't on your list of behaviors to say, we need a nanny, let's kidnap someone.

[54:23] Right. No.

[54:24] That didn't come up as a serious possibility, right?

[54:28] No.

[54:28] Okay, so please add turning on each other to that list. In fact, I'd rather you thought of kidnapping a nanny before turning on each other. So you have on your list of things that you're willing to do well we can almost just turn on each other and tear each other to shreds in time of crisis, i don't have any big solution you guys are very smart and capable people so you could have been in a situation where you're kind of hosed and there's no solution right you're going to have to struggle through the morning sickness you're going to have to try and take care of the kid. Maybe you buy her an iPad for a month and then get rid of it afterwards so that she's got something to do for an hour or two while the wife is throwing up and the dad is on conference. I don't know. I don't know the answer. But I'll tell you what the answer isn't. What is the answer never? Turning on each other. Because that makes a bad situation infinitely worse, right?

[55:33] I know. Yeah.

[55:36] And the reason why you don't have another kid, in my humble opinion, I could be wrong about all of this, but the reason why you don't have another kid is because you have, in your list of options, turning on each other like a pack of feral dogs on a rabbit. it. So how can you trust the stability of the marriage to take another kid and this and that and the other when you have on your playlist turn on each other, attack each other, half dismember each other, where's resentment and blame and upset and anger and remorse and right?

[56:16] Yes, and I felt a lot of shame and, for exactly having a daughter and a lot of times obviously with a lot of tears and difficult conversations that we have those in front of her right never yell so that's terrible we never scream that's no that's terrible it's terrible for a child to watch her parents.

[56:39] Fighting i mean particularly at three right so tell me how did like and look i sympathize i really do i I really sympathize. It's a very difficult situation. Very difficult situation. And sometimes in life, you're just screwed. Sometimes there's just no good answer, right? And so the only good answer is to draw closer and be more of a team. Because how did turning on each other help this situation at all?

[57:14] It did not at all.

[57:15] It just made it worse.

[57:16] Impact on Parenthood

[57:17] Yes. Can I ask a question? It's been a long time where we've had this just diametrically opposed desire where she wants another child and I did not. We've had so many conversations. We did therapy, couples counseling. How would we draw together over something that there is no compromise over? And it's just worn us down going forward with this competing, you know, opposed view for so long.

[57:56] Well, okay, so obviously, just remember, don't turn on each other, right?

[58:00] Right.

[58:01] Okay, so I'm going to step into the husband's shoes here and talk to the wife. And listen, my friend, my brother, if I get anything wrong, totally interrupt me and tell me I'm wrong, and I'll change course instantly, okay?

[58:13] Okay.

[58:14] All right. How many more times testosterone do men have than women?

[58:20] Many, many, many more times?

[58:22] I don't know, 15, 17 times more, right?

[58:25] Right.

[58:26] So, this doesn't translate exactly into sex drive, but a man has a significantly higher, multiple times higher sex drive than a woman, right?

[58:36] Yes.

[58:36] We understand that, right? So, for a man, six or seven years of bad or inconsistent sex is torture.

[58:48] Torture right i guess sorry i i'm a little bit surprised that it's six or seven years because i've had a pretty good sex in those six or seven years well i'm saying from the time we started the ivf troubles yeah but i've still i've orgasmed a lot of times i've enjoyed my sex with you so but we've not had a consistently yeah i said consistently yeah now.

[59:11] So the challenge you're saying is well the sex sex life is fine for me right but my whole point is that men and women are different.

[59:20] Yes does.

[59:22] That make sense.

[59:22] Understanding Sex Drive Differences

[59:23] Yes so.

[59:24] You need to understand the sex life from his side, which is it's incredibly frustrating it's very distracting and it almost inevitably breeds resentment for a man to not have consistent sex. I'm like, I wish we were different maybe sometimes. I can't, you know, but we are what we are, right? You get some real advantages from the male testosterone. In other words, you get a guy who's out there willing to shoulder aside competitors and get the good jobs and make the money and all of that, right? So you want a high testosterone male, right?

[1:00:03] Yes.

[1:00:04] And a high testosterone male, an alpha male comes with a high testosterone sex drive. Do you understand?

[1:00:09] Yes.

[1:00:11] So if you try to judge your husband's sex life by your perception of the sex life, you will be wrong. In the same way as your husband tries to understand your desire for having another child by his desire for having another child, he will be wrong. It's like, so I think you're both sort of misinterpreting each other's perspectives. So a man who has an inconsistent or to some degree completely absent, right, sex life, goes slowly insane. And again, I want to speak to the husband. Am I wrong about any of this? I'm certainly happy to change my perspective.

[1:01:02] Just to be fair, I am not a high sex drive person, but the lack of consistency is a problem.

[1:01:07] Well, how do you know you're not a high sex drive person?

[1:01:12] Because when we had good times and we were having sex at the frequency that we did do it, I was satisfied.

[1:01:17] And what was that frequency?

[1:01:19] That could have been once or twice a week, sometimes once every two weeks, never like an everyday kind of thing. and that's not a drive I've ever had.

[1:01:27] Okay, so you're fine with sex once or twice a week or even once every two weeks, is that right?

[1:01:33] Yeah.

[1:01:33] Okay. But there were times then for months and months where you had virtually no sex, is that right?

[1:01:40] I think so.

[1:01:41] Right. Right. And for women, a lot of times what they say is, well, I'm really uncomfortable. And therefore, there won't be any sex. Or, I'm not feeling close, therefore there won't be any sex. And this is what some wives, I think a lot of wives with girlfriends sort of have this perspective, right? But they don't sort of understand that, I mean, although men generally enjoy their jobs, I mean, certainly at the sort of level that we're working at. Are there times when a man goes to work when he really doesn't want to?

[1:02:30] Yeah.

[1:02:30] Of course, right?

[1:02:33] Yes.

[1:02:33] Misinterpreting Perspectives

[1:02:33] And so I think that the most beneficial perspective for women is to say, well, you know, maybe I'm not feeling super sexy, but, you know, maybe I can pleasure my husband or pleasure my boyfriend or whatever it is. And, you know, it's like, you know, 10, 15 minutes or whatever. And it makes him happy. And, you know, we're closer and he's more relaxed. And then he wants to do nice things for me, too. But you see, if the woman says, well, if I'm not totally feeling it, it's just not going to happen, right? And I'm not saying that's your perspective, but I'm saying if that's what women think. Well, if I'm not totally feeling it, then it's just not going to happen. Then what that does is it transmits to the man a, if I'm not feeling it, it's not going to happen perspective. And then for your husband, he says, well, I'm not feeling the desire to have another baby, therefore it's not going to happen. I don't know if this is kind of abstract and esoteric, but I hope it makes some kind of sense. If I'm not feeling it, it's not going to happen. If that happens with the sex life, then that transmits to other areas of the relationship.

[1:03:48] Yeah, no, this does make sense. And we have, you know, we've talked about this too, because one of my biggest, you know, reasons not to want another kid is out of kind of the age and risks and stuff, is that like i want my wife back.

[1:04:00] Yeah no way that was number one wife yeah yeah i'm not happy you want to have romantic times sexual times adult times with your wife right yeah right and listen of course i understand the women should not have sex when they don't want to have sex i understand that but if the only reference point for a woman wanting to have sex is what she feels like in the moment rather than what could be great for her husband, then that's fine too, but then she shouldn't complain if the husband doesn't do things that he doesn't want to do. But it seems like you guys are a little asymmetrical if the sex life has fallen apart, in particular with the child, right? So, for instance, I'll sort of give you this example. So the best way to train a man out of something is to withhold sex. Because of the male sex drive and so on, right? So if something happens where the man doesn't have a sex life in particular, or some sort of regular thing or whatever, if something happens where the man doesn't have a sex life, he doesn't want to do that thing.

[1:05:12] Right.

[1:05:13] And so if having a kid means no sex life, then asking, I'm sorry, I don't mean to laugh, but you understand, like, that's one of the primary motivators for the male life, right? That's why we have a civilization, right? Right? So if having a child means no sex life, and by sex life, I mean romantic stuff as well. It's not just pure physical sex, right? But if having a child means no sex life, a man's not going to want to have a child. Because you're training him out of it, because that's a primary motivator for men. Men and so and then what happens is if if there's no sex then the man starts to feel frustrated and resentful and then the woman senses this distance and then says well i can't have sex with you now because you're you know we're distant we're not close to each other right right so a lot of times you know the sort of cliche women need to feel close in order to have sex but men need to have sex in order to feel close. And you try and meet in the middle, right, as a couple.

[1:06:24] But if the marriage, in terms of romance, sexuality, adult time, if the marriage collapses in the presence of children, the man is not going to look forward to having children. Because he has a child, but he loses his wife. And he misses his wife, and he misses closeness and conversation and sexuality and all of that. And then if the woman says i want a child even though it means we don't have much of a marriage then the man feels rejected oh so you'd rather have a child than spend time with me you'd right i'm just i'm just a vehicle by which you make a child which is what you want and you don't even care that our marriage kind of collapses when the kids are when when the child when you're pregnant and breastfeeding like i can go six to twelve months or more without any kind of regular sex life. So, I'm basically just a sperm donor for you to have a great relationship with the kid, and you don't seem to care or notice that our relationship suffers enormously when you're pregnant and have a baby. And the man feels resentful. I mean, tell me if I'm wrong. This is sort of how I think it would go.

[1:07:37] I think you're spot on. I also agree.

[1:07:41] So then, the baby becomes like an affair. And psychologically, a lot of men process it this way. So you want to give me up in order to have a baby so the baby becomes a competitor and the baby becomes like an affair, and the man feels excluded from the mother-baby whirlpool and then he works and works and works and sacrifices and sacrifices and sacrifices, for a baby for the wife but no wife for the husband now that's not a good deal, is it? I mean, this is to the wife. If you had to go to work so that your husband could spend lots of quality time with your children and never with you, that wouldn't feel like a good deal, would it?

[1:08:34] No, it wouldn't.

[1:08:37] Impact of Relationship on Child

[1:08:38] And it's not healthy for the child. Right? Children need to see functional, healthy adult relationships. And so giving up your marriage for the sake of the child is harmful to the child.

[1:08:56] And it tends to be a vicious circle because you give up aspects of the adult marriage for the sake of the child the adult marriage gets further and further apart which means often the woman grabs more and more onto the emotional life of the child or more and more into the connection with the child, which means the primary connection is mother-child, not parent-parent with child included. And which means that the child grows up not seeing a healthy, functional adult marriage, which means then when she wants to get married, she's going to expect the man to do everything for her because her mother did everything for her. And then she's going to complain that that she doesn't feel supported if the man has competing interests, right? Children need to have parental marital time as a competitor so that they learn how to see and view and manage competing requirements, right? So you guys, I think it's fair to say you did not manage the competing requirements of morning sickness and morning business calls. Right, so, and you have not managed needing to have adult romantic and or sexual times with having a baby.

[1:10:25] No.

[1:10:26] And a man is there to be married to his wife and to have children and if if the man perceives that the woman is there to have children and take money from the husband he's going to feel like a resentful workhorse and it's going to cause big problems and he's not going to be supportive because he doesn't feel supported because as a wife it's part of your job to say what are my husband's needs as a husband it's part of your job to say what are my wife's needs now he spends Spends eight to ten hours a day, five to six days a week, serving the needs of the family, which is to provide an income, right?

[1:11:01] Right.

[1:11:02] Okay, so what are you focusing on serving his needs? Because he's serving your needs, right? I mean, in terms of you get to stay home and have a baby, and I think that's all great and beautiful and wonderful.

[1:11:13] Meeting Spouse's Needs

[1:11:13] So in return, what needs of his do you work to satisfy? Okay.

[1:11:28] Um, very few aside of making food.

[1:11:34] Okay. You make food, which, which, which takes how long a day?

[1:11:38] No, it doesn't take all day.

[1:11:41] Like an hour a day?

[1:11:44] Probably. Sure. There.

[1:11:46] Okay. So you're at one 10th, you're at 10% of his serving your needs or maybe 50% if you say it's 50, 50, right? So maybe, maybe 20%. Okay, so what else do you focus on in terms of serving your husband's needs? Because again, he's serving your needs and the needs of the family by working and coughing up 90% of his income. Because men can live on 10% of their income if they don't have a wife and kids. So what else are you focusing on serving his needs?

[1:12:16] Well, you're going to say, I'm going to say I'm raising our daughter, but you're going to say that's not his needs. That's our cumulative needs.

[1:12:27] His needs.

[1:12:29] I was going to put that as one of my needs. I think she provides a lot of value daily.

[1:12:37] No, no, it's erasing his daughter doesn't fulfill his needs, because if it did fulfill his needs, then he'd want more kids. So his needs are not being met, which is why he doesn't want more kids. Because having more kids means fewer of his needs are going to get met.

[1:12:59] So I would say none, meeting none of his needs.

[1:13:02] Well, I don't know if you're asking me or telling me.

[1:13:05] I'm telling you.

[1:13:06] Did you, I mean, okay, so for how long has your husband made the occasional comment that he would prefer more adult romantic or sexual times?

[1:13:16] Since our daughter was born.

[1:13:17] Okay, so for years, year after year, your husband has been saying, I have a need, right?

[1:13:24] Yes.

[1:13:24] And what have you done to help fulfill that need?

[1:13:32] When we were closer, we had more sex, but no, I have not addressed his need for sexual intimacy. them a secret.

[1:13:45] It's a wild thing when you think about it, right? Which is, you really don't focus on fulfilling your husband's needs, and you genuinely feel that he doesn't support you.

[1:14:01] Well, I guess it's kind of, his needs are only sexual needs.

[1:14:06] Okay, let's say, let's say that, hang on, okay, so let's say, hang on, hang on, let's say that's 100% true. I don't think it's true, but let's say, let's say, for the sake of argument, his needs are 100% blowjob based. I don't know, whatever, right? Let's say that his needs are 100% sexual, okay? So what? Does that mean that they're not valid?

[1:14:30] No, it doesn't mean that they're valid. I'm just wondering, am I really providing that little? I mean, I provide companionship.

[1:14:42] No, no, hang on, hang on, hang on. We're going with the theory that you said, if his needs are 100% sexual.

[1:14:50] Right.

[1:14:50] Okay, so let's say his needs...

[1:14:52] Then I'm not addressing his needs.

[1:14:53] Addressing Needs and Pleasure

[1:14:53] Well, I mean, would it not give you pleasure to address his needs and make him happy sexually? Really let's say that you're not hugely into it it's not something that's a yearning burning within you but you know it's going to make him happy and close and relaxed and you know and and here's the thing too like you want another child and if having another child means another couple of years without sex he's not going to like i'm just trying to like if you want to have a child then not having sex with your husband when there are children around is a way of training him to do not want to have a child. I'm trying to give you what you want here, my dear.

[1:15:27] Right, right.

[1:15:28] Right? But if it's like, well, if we have a child, he just gets no sex. And then you say, well, I want a child. Well, what's he going to say?

[1:15:37] I've utterly failed in this regard to provide value to my husband.

[1:15:42] Well, the interesting thing is that it doesn't give you pleasure to, To give him pleasure. And that's the overlap I'm trying to go with. Because you say, well, it only matters how I feel. And then your husband says, okay, well, when it comes to kids, it really only matters how I feel. And how can you complain about that?

[1:16:03] It's a tit for tat.

[1:16:05] Well, it's a lack of tit for tat, but I get what you mean. Sorry to use the term colloquially. But that's the question, right? Which is that, look, there are things that I do in my family that aren't my first choice. I mean, we all know this. We have kids, right? So there's, you know, my daughter wants to go hiking up a river and catching crayfish. Would I be doing that if I wasn't a parent? Absolutely not, right? My daughter wants an endless conveyor belt of ducks in her life. Had I ever thought of owning a duck, not being a, of course not, right? Like, not in a million years. But you do it, because it gives, for me, it gives me great joy when my daughter is happy.

[1:16:43] Right.

[1:16:44] And of course i'm not trying to equate all of this to to a sex life but i guess the question is the question.

[1:16:51] Is where did i fall off the wagon that i'm not concerned about giving pleasure enjoyed to my husband.

[1:16:58] Well and the other thing too is i think we can all be fairly mature about sexual matters here and you know i'm trying not to speak out of turn and if i say anything that is wrong or offensive, just let me know. But I think there are times in everybody's life, you're kind of tired, and you're like, I'm 50-50 about having sex, right? And so let's say you decide to have sex. It actually turns out to be pretty good. And you're like, oh, you know, I'm glad we did that.

[1:17:29] Yeah.

[1:17:31] Right, right. So for me, I'm always like, I don't even roll the dice, right? So, there are times where maybe you don't hugely feel like it, but when you get going, it's great, right? So, I suppose that's the question, right? So, he is working hard for your family and providing great value, and that's part of thinking about your needs and your daughter's needs. And that serves his needs, too, because he wants to provide and protect and all of that. But that's my question and it's a big question for modern women which is look you can say, i'm not going to engage in any sexual activity unless i totally feel like it and i'm totally into it right that's fine and i'm not going to argue with that at all but the consequence of that is your husband's going to take the same approach to other things right, now of course you wouldn't like it if your husband bullied you into sex and that would would be a terrible thing to do, right? You wouldn't like it if he pressured you and shamed you and whatever, right? That would be terrible. And in the same way, when it comes to fatherhood, he doesn't want to feel bullied or pressured or manipulated into that.

[1:18:51] Fatherhood and Sexual Activity

[1:18:51] I mean, he's kind of doing to fatherhood what you're doing to the sex life, which is, I don't really feel like it. I'm not feeling it. And therefore, it's not going to happen. Okay, and so I think you want two standards. I think you want, with regards to romantic or sexual or adult matters, you want to say, well, it's 100% dependent on what I feel, and you have no say, and your needs are not important to me, particularly. And then when he comes back with the same thing about parenthood, you're really offended. I mean, it's kind of funny in a way, right? How dare you use the principle that I'm using of a kind of hedonism? I'm just not feeling it. And again, I don't mean to laugh, because I know it's very serious stuff, but there is a kind of dark comedy to it, if that makes any sense.

[1:19:46] Yes, there is.

[1:19:47] If a man feels that you're thinking of his needs, he will do almost anything for you. If the man feels that only your needs really matter to you, you know, it's just going to unwind pretty quickly. And then if a man feels that you're not really thinking about his needs and only focusing on your own needs, and then the moment he hesitates to do what you want, suddenly he's unsupportive and uncaring, you just feel kind of beaten up then. It's like, okay, well, when do I get to have needs that, you recognize even when you don't immediately want to right when when do you make any sacrifices when when do you focus on my pleasure and my needs and my preferences you know because i've been asking for year after year after year for more romantic adult time and that doesn't happen, so if you're not focusing and taking pleasure in what makes me happy and i'm not just talking Talking about sex, right, all the romantic adult time, that's fine, but then I don't have any motivation to think of your needs first if you're not thinking of my needs first. Does that make sense?

[1:21:00] Yes, it does.

[1:21:05] So I think it's unfair to say, if you're not meeting my needs, you're unsupportive and that's bad. What we want to do in a relationship, if our partner is doing something we don't like, what's the first thing we need to do if we want to solve the problem? We need to say, what am I doing, if anything, to create this standard? Right so so if your husband is like is not particularly thinking about your needs and preferences i mean you have a right to complain about that but the first thing that you need to do is say okay in what areas am i not meeting my husband's needs and preferences, and if you had that thought right years ago after your husband had been saying and i need more adult I feel like I've gained a mother for my children and lost a wife for myself. Right? So if you had said back in the day, not how is my husband being unsupportive of me, but rather what needs has my husband expressed that I'm not satisfying and I'm kind of ignoring, it would have been pretty clear that it would be about the adult time, right?

[1:22:24] Yes.

[1:22:25] Right. Right, so that's just about having humility and saying, rather than just, well, the other person is bad and I'm perfect, he's just being unsupportive and I'm desperate for another child because I love life and he just won't support me and he's telling me he's forbidding me from being sick and blah, blah, blah, right? Saying what have i done to create this pattern is there anything that my husband has asked for because i'm asking my husband for a baby and he doesn't want to give me a baby okay is there anything my husband has asked for that i'm not giving him and that's how to solve these problems not just distancing and blaming that just makes it worse doesn't it yes and he had he wasn't hiding it, right? I mean, he has, it sounds like, and correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like he's expressed for years that he wants more of a wife and not just a mother for his children.

[1:23:17] Yes.

[1:23:18] Right? And you have not met those needs of his, or even seriously said, gosh, you know, it is a priority for me. I'm working on it. Like right now I'm vomiting into a toilet. So if you could just hold on, grabbing my ass for five minutes, that would be fantastic. But you haven't, that hasn't been a project or a plan through which you're saying, listen, dear husband of mine, father of my children, love of my life, you have been expressing this need for years, and I've been really remiss in working to satisfy it. I've just been only focusing on my own needs and not on yours. And now I'm asking you to focus on my needs again when I'm not even focusing on yours. So I'm sorry. I'm not going to ask you to focus on my needs. I'm going to work on satisfying what you have reasonably and legitimately asked for for years, which I have failed to address. Does this sort of make sense?

[1:24:10] Unfortunately, it does.

[1:24:11] And that's the best way for you to get a child? Like, I'm trying to, I'm really, I know this sounds like I'm criticizing you, I'm not. I'm really trying to, if you can solve this, I don't know whether you can have a child or what's going to happen, I have no idea, right? But if you want a child, else. And you haven't satisfied the needs of his that you've been ignoring, because you're asking for something big here, for him to focus on your needs and take a leap of faith, right? And you're saying, I think you're saying, listen, you may not feel like having a child right now, but once you hold that baby in your arms, right, has it been something like that?

[1:24:56] Can I jump in? Yeah. it hasn't been quite like that i think um and you can quote me here um i think she has recognized some of this from our conversations um she just feels because of her age that she is so up against the clock uh this has to happen now and she is willing and you said this you're willing to put our relationship on hold for a few more years to get that second child which to me i don't see having a child is going to make anything better and it just be a simple switch to start flipping in a couple of years and start fixing our marriage.

[1:25:30] Let me make sure I understand this. So from the wife's perspective, she's saying, I know you've been complaining about not having a relationship with me, but if you give me a kid that will continue for an indefinite period of time into the future.

[1:25:46] Well, no, I'm not promising not to have sex for indefinite time.

[1:25:50] Ah, we didn't say sex. now you're you're now straw manning right adult relationship relationship right yes okay so you're saying i haven't met your needs for the last couple of years in the adult, department and that's not just sex but if you meet my needs to have a kid i will promise to also not meet your need needs for the next few years as well.

[1:26:23] Does that seem like a workable solution? I didn't want it to sound that way.

[1:26:29] No, I mean, is that the wrong way to look at the mechanics of the situation?

[1:26:34] No, I don't purposefully...

[1:26:36] Hey, you think you're unhappy and frustrated now? Wait till we have another kid. It's got to go on for years.

[1:26:43] No, I mean, I don't purposefully and intentionally want to not have an adult relationship.

[1:26:51] No but you said that i'm willing to sacrifice our adult relationship for the sake of a kid, if i understood what you said correctly or what was mentioned.

[1:27:01] To allow it continue for several more years while they're they're little at least um to get the kid that she that she wants i think that's accurate but you had to sacrifice something when you have young children like, Are you breastfeed? Do you don't sleep at night? Yes, for me, I promised I would make it.

[1:27:23] Okay, hang on, hang on. Yes. My dear, my lovely lady, you're focusing on your sacrifices.

[1:27:31] Yes.

[1:27:31] You're not focusing on his needs. See, you can make decisions about your sacrifices, but when you're in a relationship, you also have to think of the other person's needs in particular because you're asking him to put your needs first. Because you want the kid and he doesn't. You're saying to him, put my needs first.

[1:27:52] But I'm willing to put our relationship first. I'm willing to work on us time. We have found a nanny now. We're finally stable. We have a house. We can build support system around us.

[1:28:09] I'm sorry. I thought your husband was just saying that one of the conversations you'd had was about sacrificing the adult aspects of the relationship for another couple of years with a new kid.

[1:28:23] Focusing on Each Other's Needs

[1:28:24] I mean, if the problem is solved, we can, you know, part ways, and it was great convo.

[1:28:29] And it's all right. Well, because with another small child, like, it's two, you know, let's say a four-year-old and a newborn, even with the nanny watching the older one, all the attention and care that had to go into that first one will go into the newborn, and, you know, we still have to take care of number two as well. And um you know it's not going to be an easy situation and and again you know this this might be a different situation if we were 10 years younger but uh but we're not.

[1:29:05] Right, right i mean i gotta tell you i mean just to be to be perfectly frank from a cost benefit standpoint, so when it comes to a time and energy standpoint if somebody were to say to me well, you have to go to work 10 hours a day, five to six days a week, or you can have sex once or twice a week, what would I choose? That's right. Of course you would, right? I mean, even if it's just half an hour, you know, like 15 minutes twice a week or whatever, okay, that's half an hour versus like 50, 60 hours, right?

[1:29:45] Yes.

[1:29:47] So if that's not a priority to try and find a way to jumpstart your sex life, or even if it's just, you know, some sort of adult time or something like that, right? If that's not a priority to jumpstart, then you're saying to your husband, well, you have to make all these sacrifices and you have to put my needs first, but I'm not really going to think about your needs at all. Like you understand that that's not workable, right? You wouldn't respect him if he wasn't upset. And if you want your husband to listen to your needs, what do you have to do first?

[1:30:29] Listen to his.

[1:30:30] Of course. You have to model the behavior you want in others, right? And you have to model these behaviors for your daughter. Because she needs to see how relationships work, and of course i'm not saying and i know we said it's not just about sex but with regards to the sex i'm of course not saying in a million years have sex when you don't want to right i get all that but try and find ways that you can want to more.

[1:31:12] Or take pleasure in his pleasure because that could be sexy too, and and again if you don't want to do any of that that's fine don't but then you really can't complain that he's not serving your needs right or he's not thinking about your needs first oh great all right.

[1:31:38] Now with regards to your husband the resentment i assume and i i'm no expert here this is your life not mine of course right but you know ideally i would say if you were aware of this stuff and i don't know how much this was clear in your mind but if you were aware of this stuff, wouldn't you say to your wife well look i i don't want to have more kids because i want to have an adult marriage as well and i i really you know if we let's say we have another kid you know it's been three years since the last one then it's going to be another three years so that's going to be you know since 2017 we haven't had any regular decent adult time or a sex life so you know that's that's been uh seven years then we've got another so i'm i'm a decade and a half.

[1:32:25] Half without much of a wife. I've got a mother for my kids, which is great. And I'm not, you know, you're wonderful at that. And I think that's what, but you know, I can't do a decade and a half without much of a sex life or a romantic life or an adult husband-to-wife life. Like, I can't do that, right? Now, if you were to say, look, I mean, you really, really want me to focus on your needs, and I want to focus on your needs, but I don't think it's fair or right for our relationship as a whole or what we model for our daughter or our child-to-be, if that's what happens. I don't think it's right for me to only focus on your needs because I have been explaining and expressing needs which have been completely ignored. Or mostly ignored for the last five years, seven years or whatever.

[1:33:09] Three years, man.

[1:33:10] I'm sorry?

[1:33:12] Three, since the baby came along.

[1:33:13] Well, but you said that the sex life has not been super great for you since like 2017.

[1:33:18] Well, yeah, but I mean, I don't expect my wife to have much of a great sex life with me when she's had two ectopic pregnancies and is in a severe depression, dude, and not being able to have children. So I don't want to count that as a strike. I mean, yes, with not having sex, but I don't. I completely sympathize with why she would not be in the mood in that kind of scenario.

[1:33:41] Right. Except that having sex can be an affirmation of life and can unlock the endorphins and you can get closer. Like, it can be curative as well as avoidant, if that makes sense.

[1:33:53] I'm sure it could be, but that's neither a mindset either of us were aware of, so I can't fault her for that.

[1:33:59] I'm also not trying to get you guys to fault each other. but okay let's say the last couple of years right okay let's say the last couple of years.

[1:34:06] But you're absolutely right about the rest of it.

[1:34:08] Yeah so so if you could say look i, i'm not sure exactly why i don't want to have kids it has something to do with the lack of adult time and not just sex but you know adult time whatever we're on a conversation date nights whatever right, and I love you and you understand this is to the wife it's a compliment to you, that he wants to spend time with you right, if he was like yeah yeah go hang with the kids I don't need you yeah I don't miss you at all yeah we don't have much conversation we don't have much intimacy we don't have much romance we don't have much sex I don't care would you feel happy about that, no No. I mean, if you got what you wanted, you'd be even more unhappy. That's the tragedy of this situation, right? Because, you know, then he'd either give up on, he would give up on his masculinity, which would mean that he would not do well at work, or he wouldn't give up on his masculinity, and then if he didn't care about having sexual or adult or romantic time with you, what would be your first concern?

[1:35:26] He would have an affair.

[1:35:28] Exactly. Exactly. You know, if there's no food at home, you have to eat out, right? Man's got to eat.

[1:35:35] Yes.

[1:35:38] So...

[1:35:41] Basically, I've shot myself in the foot for the last three years.

[1:35:44] Well, I mean, that seems kind of dramatic. And I was actually talking to your husband. And what I was saying is that if you had been able to say, I don't know why I don't want a kid, I think it has something to do with this, you know. And if you've been vulnerable to say, look, I've really missed you. I really miss the times that we had together. I really miss the adult conversations. I fell in love with you, not a birthing chamber and a breastfeeder. And I respect for all of that. We have a kid, but I miss you and I need that time with you. Because it's really heartbreaking to me that we just don't have that time anymore because it feels like I got married and then got displaced or now. Because honestly, for a man too, if the woman is pouring all her time and attention and energies into the kid and doesn't pay attention to his needs very much, you understand he feels rejected. And he is. He is rejected because it should be like, gosh, I miss you. I miss kissing, touch, sex, conversation, adult. Like, I miss you so much, I'm burning to find a way to solve this problem. And he's not experiencing that as far as I can tell.

[1:36:56] I'm not experiencing her trying to stop me.

[1:36:59] Yeah, so you're not experiencing her saying, gosh, you're absolutely right, man. I'm aching for your touch. We have to find a way to solve this. So he feels kind of disposable and kind of like a paycheck, and that you don't miss him, and it's not a high priority for you to try and find a way to spend more adult time with your husband because you don't particularly care. And so he feels rejected and resentful and hurt. And exploit it a little bit, right? And I'm not saying you're doing this consciously or trying to be mean, but you can understand how that might be the case, right?

[1:37:36] And I have said that to her. We had a lot of conversations about that.

[1:37:40] Oh, so you feeling like rejected and kind of taken advantage of or exploited for income?

[1:37:45] Or just saying that I miss my wife and I want us to have, not just have a mother, but to have a wife. And yeah, all that stuff. We talked about a lot.

[1:37:54] Right. And then she, of course, perceives that as, oh, no, I already have a demanding toddler. Now I have a demanding husband. When will it end? Right. I can't give everything to everyone. But but as opposed to, yeah, I miss you, too. And let's try and find a way to make sure that we still have a marriage because, you know, you're still going to have to be married even if the kids are grown and gone. Right.

[1:38:13] Yeah. And I do want to add, because I think you're saying, you know, the reason why I don't have another one, it's it's it's age is so up there, Stefan. Well, but that's partly.

[1:38:23] Sorry to interrupt, but that's also partly because you've been waiting or fighting about this for 18 months, right?

[1:38:29] That is part of it, yeah.

[1:38:31] And that's actually stressful because you do have that ticking clock, right?

[1:38:36] Well, that's one of the reasons I didn't want to do it in the first place. I was, you know, she was over 40 when we had the first one, but to me there was such a huge difference in life between zero and one versus one and two, right? It's being a parent versus not ever being a parent, right? And we lucked out. We have a super healthy, super smart, super verbal, awesome, awesome child. The thought of, at our ages, having a child that has special needs or anything, I just see we have what would be such an amazing life ahead, not to risk.

[1:39:08] Oh, yeah. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, right? If we roll the dice again and it comes up snake eyes, that would be huge regret. But, I mean, there are ways around that if you wanted to do donor eggs. You had some frozen eggs. And, again, we don't have to get into the pluses and minuses about that. But if you wanted a kid enough, there would be ways to try and mitigate some of the age risk, right?

[1:39:28] That is right. That is right.

[1:39:30] Okay.

[1:39:30] We were trying without the IVF because it was such a horrible experience.

[1:39:34] Okay. Yeah. Yeah. So I think that, you know, obviously you guys are a great couple and I hugely appreciate the peaceful parenting stuff that you're doing and all of that, but.

[1:39:46] To focus on each other's needs, it really does pay off. It's such a powerful thing to focus on other people's needs. I mean, honestly, I built a whole show with people calling and me saying, how can I best help? And conforming myself to what you guys need, or at least trying my very best to do that. I'm not just doing solo shows on epistemology and metaphysics, which I like. I mean, those are fun for me. And this is also good for me as well, but it really does have, and I hope that this comes across, like I'm really trying to focus, I'm not trying to run an agenda or get my point across. I'm really trying to sort of wrap around what is most beneficial to you guys. And that is a very powerful thing, right? I mean, it's why people come back. It's why they support the show and so on, because I think people get that sort of focusing on other people's needs and taking pleasure in that. I take great pleasure in trying to help and hopefully doing some useful things with people in conversations like this. And that's a very i think that's why you guys called because it would be like okay he's going to focus on what's best for us he's not going to try and pick sides he's not going to try and run his own agenda he's not going to blather on about himself or if he is hopefully it's somewhat relevant to our sort of life issues but i think that aspect of things just sort of really focusing on the other person's needs it's kind of a trust thing which is if i focus on my wife's needs i'm going to trust that she's going to focus on mine and that that does work out and i think.

[1:41:11] If, this is to your wife, right, if you really focus on his needs and say, gosh, you know.

[1:41:18] I'm going to get back tenfold what I put into the marriage.

[1:41:22] And you will. It is a wild alchemy that works that way, that everything you, quote, sacrifice by focusing on the other person's needs comes back tenfold. And everything that we try to get without focusing on the other person's need just turns into an endless quicksand of combat and frustration and all of that. So, I mean, if you just say, look, your needs, this is to the wife, like, your needs have been very clear, and I think your husband's needs have been a little bit ignored, and I would say that if you focus on really trying to work on satisfying his needs and address his objections, this is a basic sales thing, right? A sales thing is, well, you want to sell something the other person doesn't want to buy. Now, what you don't do is you just nag them or say, well, you know, of course you should buy this used car with seven different colors and here's the coat hanger you need to open the window. Of course you should buy this used car for $10,000 because I'm going to make a lot of commission on it. Well, you're not going to be very likely. What the salesperson has to do is he has to say, or she has to say, here's how this benefits you, right? So you're trying to sell your husband on another kid and he's saying, it's a negative for me.

[1:42:34] And rather than really working to address those negatives you're just kind of escalating i'm unsupported and if you loved me and manipulation and tears and upset and and so on as opposed to okay let's try and find a way that this is going to work for you this is going to address i'm going to try and find a way to address your concerns so that i can at least overcome some of these objections and to his credit right your husband has been pretty clear about what's missing for him and you've tried the approach of, well, if I just keep talking about my needs and keep ignoring his needs, maybe I'll get what I want. And that hasn't worked. And it won't work. And frankly, it shouldn't work because that's not a good way to get things done in a marriage. So that's most of what I wanted to get across is that, and don't feel bad, right? We all do this from time to time, and it does happen for sure. But I think it is an opportunity, no matter what goes forward, whether you have a kid or not. I think focusing on each other's needs and putting each other as a high priority is really, really important. And it's what you want to model for your daughter or your kids to come if that's what happens.

[1:43:59] Thank you stephan that was it has been well it's been painful to hear but it's very true and it's very honest and i appreciate you breaking it down like this.

[1:44:14] Now i appreciate that this is this conversation is not a legal contract that obliges you to call your next born either stefan or stephanie i can give you the spellings in the chat uh just in case you don't remember this and And, you know, it's not a legal contract. Obviously, it's a fairly significant moral obligation. No, I'm just kidding. I mean, look, I...

[1:44:33] Molly's got a nice ring to it for a boy.

[1:44:35] What does?

[1:44:36] Yeah, Molly. It's short, it's snappy, it's good.

[1:44:39] There we go. Or Basil is fine too, although that might be a bit too British. But listen, I... Obviously, if you guys have another kid, great. But what I most want is the happy marriage. Because there's no point having another kid if the marriage is unhappy. That's just miserable for everyone involved. And if you get the happy marriage and you get the kid, great. If you get the happy marriage without the kid, that's still way better than getting the kid with the unhappy marriage. So I hope that that approach is, or the approach that we're sort of talking about here can be helpful for you.

[1:45:11] It's definitely a huge food for thought for me, and I feel sorry I've been not seeing it this way, and I haven't addressed my husband's needs.

[1:45:24] Yeah, call me sooner next time. Good heavens. Everybody waits until... Hey, Steph, I'm hanging off a cliff. Can you... Ah, okay, coming. But yeah, just call me early next time. I'm working with you guys.

[1:45:39] So you may want to edit this part later but my wife actually did email you about a year ago uh on this topic and you had said it didn't seem like a moral issue and you declined to chat.

[1:45:49] Well i think and i remember that email because it was like my wife is 44 and once a kid i'm like well that's sort of an issue for you and a fertility doctor and and so on because there wasn't really much sort of uh if i remember rightly there wasn't sort of much other issues but if you you know and let's say i say no it's.

[1:46:05] Not a blame thing it's just it's just uh we we did try because we didn't uh find the find the right key to to you know because the call has to be you know not just worthwhile for us but also for the audience.

[1:46:15] Well yeah i can't obviously can't give any medical advice about how to have a kid at 44 or when you emailed me but the other thing too is like and this is just a life thing as well like if you don't get what you want email back and say no no no it really is important and we're not asking you for medical advice because i do remember that email and i'm like yeah i mean i can't tell you my wife wants a kid at 45 i'm like go talk to a fertility specialist i it's not really a philosophical issue and if i have misunderstood something or don't you don't get what you want just email back and say no no no really important blah blah blah we'd love it if and here's why and make it beneficial to me like here's here's the philosophical issues that we're wrestling with or the moral issues that we're wrestling with and just just try again right fair enough all right i'll say one more thing yes sir go ahead one.

[1:46:58] One quick thing, just to tell you about a positive thing about my wife and the kind of person she is. The first episode I ever sent her of yours was estrogen-based parasites, and she asked for more.

[1:47:09] Well, then, for God's sake, give her a baby. I'm just kidding. I'm kidding. Although not. So, no, I appreciate that. That's robust. That's a strong character, and I really appreciate that. All right. Will you guys let me know how it's going?

[1:47:22] Yeah. Yes, absolutely. Thank you, Steph.

[1:47:24] All right. You're welcome. I really appreciate the call. Great job. And yeah, I look forward to hearing how it's going and well, well done in the call.

[1:47:31] All right. Thank you so much for taking our call.

[1:47:33] You're welcome. Bye.

[1:47:34] Bye now. Bye.

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