How I got from TTC to DE, Part 3: Wifely Civil Disobedience

September 24, 2009

October: Month 2 of TTC

Now that the initial fright of pregnancy has passed, I feel relieved but serious concern is creeping into the back of my mind. I am partaking in this mission – this quest to have a baby – but apparently my heart isn’t completely in it. Is this normal? I feel terribly guilty and I am not about to admit it to the husband. At times I feel absolutely horrible – either I’ll have to get with the program or I’ll have to get a divorce. It would be the only fair thing to do … free the husband so he can find someone else to have a baby with. The thought of that just about suffocates me. I don’t want a divorce! I can’t imagine my life without him. Am I being a ‘bad wife’ for harbouring doubts, fear and possible sabotage?

No, I cannot be a bad wife, I reason. After all, I have taken the first step. Okay, so I took it after about a year of discussion, but we’ve only been married for three and a half years and I still feel that the marriage should be allowed more time to gel. The husband convinced me that it might take a year to get pregnant, then it will be nine months until there is a baby, so we essentially have two more years to go. I succumbed meekly, but in my mind I know the potential horrors awaiting us as we embark on this journey.

For instance: bad sex. I remember an acquaintance of my mother telling me about ten years ago, “Don’t underestimate the important of sex in a marriage.” Now, at the time, I wasn’t even near marriage and I don’t recall how we got on the topic. But I do remember that I was in a group of older women at a bridal shower and I think too much champagne was consumed. The comment caused riots of laughter from the other women; I nearly fell off my chair. It was not a discussion I wanted to have with them. Nevertheless, the advice has stayed with me and you know what? She was right.

Now, how about no sex in your marriage? It’s now October. I have been off the pill for more than a month and I am completely paranoid. Mostly I refuse to let the husband touch me. The other day, I ran around the apartment squealing and screaming, “Don’t touch me! No, this is NOT a joke! Under absolutely no condition will I have sex with you. I am NOT ready to get pregnant!” Poor dear, he has to put up with this behaviour. But he does take it rather well. Not surprising, as he has boundless patience. Also, he says I won’t last long on this abstemious plan. He’s probably right. At some point, desire will kick in, but as long as I’ve got self-restraint, I’ll use it.

Like the classic frigid wife, I have a list of excuses:

  • I have a headache (old standby)
  • We just ate – I’m too full; or in reverse:
  • I’m starving and cannot wait another minute for food
  • I’m exhausted
  • I’ve got cramps
  • I don’t think I’m fertile right now
  • if all else fails, I feign sleep

One of the things holding me back, says my husband, is the fact that we have lots of younger friends that are not on the same timeline as us. Therefore, it’s hard for me to visualize my life differently. How is it that the grass is always greener on the other side?

New Theory: Friends Encourage Friends to Have Babies

…but no one is encouraging us.

Case in point: on a beautiful, crisp day this month, the leaves are turning and E- and I take a stroll in the park on a lazy weekend afternoon. I’m complaining, again.

“I’m going to have to get a divorce,” I moan.

“Oh, you’re so funny,” she says. “You guys are my model couple!”

“That’s very sweet.” I’m genuinely touched. “But listen, this could split us up. I’m not ready to get pregnant and for some reason I agreed to stop taking the Pill.”

“Just talk to him. I’m sure he’ll understand that you need an adjustment period. Don’t worry; he loves you!”

“I can’t have another full-blown discussion; it might turn into a war. I need time to see how I really feel.”

“So take the time, sweetie.” She links her arm in mine. “How about me? I’m not even married with zero prospects on the horizon. And I want to have kids.”

“Oh, no, take it from me, you don’t! Marriage is hard work. It’s constant negotiation. It’s exhausting. It’s always the singletons that romanticize it,” I groan.

“Yes I do! Yes I do! You’ve got to help me find a man,” she insists.

“Okay then! This city is full of eligible men.”

“It’s not that I don’t meet men, I’m just not interested in most of them.”

Aha! I think. She’s picky. Well, wait a second, I was picky too.

“You know, most of these men have such issues. And they’re just not attractive to me. Listen, it’s not as easy as you think, meeting the right guy.”

“Of course I know that! That’s why I didn’t get married until I was 30. In my parents’ generation I would’ve been an old maid.”

Most of my friends are single, as a matter of fact. There is only one couple I know that lives down the street who recently had a baby. Oh wait, there is G- from upstate with two kids, but she married very, very young.

Maybe cohorts travel through life doing the same thing at the same time and we keep shifting to a younger and younger cohort. As a matter of fact, a friend actually asked me to wait on having a baby so that we can have kids at the same time… but first of course, I’ll have to wait until she finds a man and gets married.

We hardly ever see the couples with kids. This is not only my doing: the husband is vociferous about not wanting to spend time with other people’s kidlets. Not that I can blame my attitude problems on him, but as you see, I am not wholly responsible.

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