He started pushing for having kids right on our honeymoon: Ask Ellie
Q: I’m 26, recently married, but wondering if I made a mistake! We spent our honeymoon arguing about something we never discussed while dating or engaged.
It was only our second day on a Caribbean island when he said we should start a family right away. I initially thought he was joking, like he meant having a lot of sex!
We’d previously agreed that we wanted to spend our first few married years taking some courses to make us eligible for good jobs, and fitting in great travel breaks whenever possible.
Also, I’m still young enough not to worry about conception. But he kept arguing with me.
He said that he promised his mother that we’d make her a grandmother very soon! I said that’s not my main goal in life. He said we should have two kids close together and get through the diaper scene to when they’re “manageable” children. I said he’s an idiot who knows nothing about children.
Some honeymoon! We barely spoke at meals the next few days and spent the rest of the time on a rain forest hike and day trips with other hotel guests.
We’re back home and talking to each other more but not about that topic. We’re sleeping in the bed together, but not being intimate. I don’t fully trust that he won’t try to get me pregnant!
I don’t know what to do about all this.
A: Keep talking. Explain your feelings without being defensive and angry. Speak about your reasons and any thoughts you had about having children before he raised the subject.
And gently state that significant matters in your marriage are between you and him, not your parents or anyone else unless it’s a third party you’ve agreed to include. Hopefully, this can be a beginning to better communication long term.
Q: My son is 29 and says he’s in love with a girl who lives overseas, whom he met four years ago while backpacking through Europe. They’ve been in contact since, though there’ve been periods of silence from her a few times, which I think is a signal that she’s not as committed to a future with him as he is to her.
He’s had a steady job ever since he returned home and, with his fluency in several languages, he could easily get a higher-paying more permanent position if he desired.
Also, there’s a woman here who’s been his close friend for years. She’s attractive, as is he, and they get along very well. I’ve seen the way she looks at him and I’m positive that she wants to have a romantic relationship with my son.
How can I help make this happen without being seen as interfering?
A: Any interference from you will be harmful to your relationship with your son. He’s an adult and entitled to his feelings and hopes. And he’s far more aware of and likely concerned about that woman’s silences than you are.
If you mention it, his natural response will be to turn his worry to anger at you.
Your role is to be supportive of his ability to figure out his next step … whether to confront that woman about her feelings by travelling to see her again, or through their online contact. Or whether he decides to move on, rather than wait and end up disappointed.
Don’t put your own hopes on the local woman as the answer both to his leaving home and your comfort with his choice.