Dear Dr. Brilliant Cliché:
A woman develops a burning desire to have children. Her husband does not share her desire but he loves his wife and offers a compromise: he will agree to have children as long as she exclusively raises the children. He will live with and support the household financially but does not want to be involved with the children.
Is there a remote possibility that children could flourish in – or at least not be harmed by such an arrangement?
Is there ever a realistic way to compromise when one spouse wants a child and the other does not?
Dear Miss Givings,
Although this situation often happens, and usually without either a warning or contract, it is always a bad idea. If the father didn’t live in the house it would be easier- he’s a sperm donor, and done is done. But if he lives in the house, or if the mother has any continued relationship with him, it is a recipe for children with behavior problems. Any child wants attention and is good at getting it either negatively or positively. An uninvolved father will generate negative attention. Besides, no matter how much this woman wants a child, it is very hard to raise a child alone. You’ve heard it takes a village!!
Why is this woman even contemplating this rotten arrangement? This loving husband is an idiot! A child is not a dog. A dog gets between your feet. A child will get between whatever sort of relationship they have currently.
Just say NO.
Dr. Brilliant Cliché
Granny says: wait a minute, I have to wipe the drool off my chin- my mouth was hanging open in sheer astonishment.
Only an man in terminal stages of denial could imagine having children and then remaining diplomatically indifferent to them while his wife struggles with the diapers, colic, projectile vomiting and 2 am feedings. I won’t even get into imagining the teen years. And only a woman in a similar stage of denial would consider accepting the offer.
I have some questions. Do either of these people know anyone who has children? Do they remember their own childhoods? Do they understand how much time, attention, and love it takes to be a parent? What is this freaking’ father going to do, hire a nanny and pat himself on the back? Does he know how hurtful it is for any child to have a father who is indifferent and doesn’t give a crap? What kind of role models do this couple imagine they are being, and what sort of relationship do they envision any of the kids will aspire to in the future after being raised like this?
Excuse me, I’m going to have to go get a box of kleenex. The drool just keeps on comin’.