Marrying a Woman Who Can’t have Children
Procreation is no longer the only reason why people get married. There are many other equally valid grounds like love, desire for companionship and emotional security why couples may wish to become man and wife. So if you have come to know that the woman you are engaged to cannot have children, here are a few ways to go about it.
Consider your priorities in life
Ask yourself what are you looking from life in general and this relationship in particular. Would you like to put down roots and raise a family? Or would you like to marry to find companionship and love? Or are you interested in the creature comforts and social activity that a marriage usually brings? Being honest with yourself will help you to realize how important is being a parent to you. If you sincerely cannot picture yourself without having children, then maybe it is time to take a step back and reconsider your decision to get married to this woman. If you are completely sure that having kids does not fit into your scheme of things, then there should be no problem at all.
Discuss it with your partner
Only very rarely do complex questions lend themselves to clear ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers. So it is also likely that you sincerely don’t know how you would feel about having kids later when you have been married for quite some time. If you honestly think that your priorities may change, it is best to have a chat with your betrothed now. Ask her about her dreams and hopes for the future and whether at some point of time she would like to have a larger family. Be honest about your own feelings and confusions, if any. It is far better to thrash out such issues now rather than putting them off until you are married and find that you wish different things from life.
There are many reasons why a woman cannot have children. Ovulatory disorders, poorly functioning Fallopian tubes, hormonal problems, endometriosis and congenital factors may all have played a part in your girlfriend’s infertility. In fact some abdominal diseases like appendicitis, colitis or abdominal surgeries which have no overt connection with reproductive functions may have damaged or blocked her tubes. Then again certain lifestyle or environmental factors may be responsible for her not being able to have children. Whatever the reason, let the explanation come from your partner. She has already been honest with you by laying down the fact of her infertility and if you question her further or pry too much in her medical condition, you could come off as insensitive and intrusive. At the same time, let her know that you are there in case she wants to talk about it. If she mentions the subject, listen actively and give her your attention. It could be a painful matter for her to speak about and so when she makes an effort, show her that you are ready to support and love her.
Take your cue from your partner
Different women handle the fact of infertility in different ways. Essentially how they cope depends on how important is having children in their scheme of things. For a career-minded woman, the news of her infertility may not be as heartbreaking as to a woman who wanted to be a stay-at-home mom all her life. At the same time human beings tend to adjust priorities and desires according to their situation. So if your fiancée used to dream of having a family until she was diagnosed with infertility, it is quite likely she has coped by channeling her interests somewhere else and finding opportunities of a different kind. So there is no single template on coping mechanisms when it comes to women with infertility. It is best if you take your cue from your partner. If she is matter-of-fact about her infertility, try and adopt a casual stance as well instead of fussing about it. Then again if your fiancée feels deeply about the issue, do not treat it in a lighthearted manner. Avoid talking about kids and diapers when around her or when you do discuss it, express your support and admiration for the way she has coped with the situation. Traditionally women have been raised to believe that their very purpose in life was to bear and raise children and being a wife was just a step to becoming a mom. Even though men and women have come a long way from such attitudes, certain lingering notions of incompleteness could still trouble your partner. So be empathetic and gentle and deal with the issue as she does.
Look at other options
If your fiancée cannot have biological children but you would like to have a family in future, you can look at other options of expanding your family later on. In recent years there have been massive developments in assisted reproduction techniques and you both can ask your doctor for methods that may enable you to have natural children by artificial or partially artificial means. For instance a surrogate mother could bear an embryo born out of both your genes or your sperm could be used with a donor egg to have a baby. However infertility treatments and assisted reproduction techniques are usually quite stressful over a long period of time and end up draining one financially, emotionally and physically. In fact if you want to avoid the physical complexities you can look at the adoption. Adopting a baby is a wonderful way of giving a child a home as well as filling your lives with love but it can become quite expensive not to mention turn into a lengthy procedure. Being foster parents is yet another great way to enlarge your family and you end up avoiding the financial and legal hassles of adoption too. There are thousands of kids who need a good home for a short time; you could make a serious impact by opening your arms and inviting them in to your life. Whatever you decide to do to have a family, talk to a counselor or social worker. This will not only help you to find out the options you have as a couple but enable to choose what is ideal for you both.
Finally keep in mind that there is no single way to a happy fulfilled marriage. Take delight in your joint goals and dreams outside the realm of family and children. Think about having a family only when you want one and not just because you have been denied one.