I have a hard-and-fast rule when it comes to bringing children into the world; the “no” always wins. Kids need and deserve to be wanted. So, if there is one spouse who is against (or even wishy-washy about) becoming a parent, then it's a no-go.
Unfortunately, this couple hadn't come to any conclusions about kids before they got married. And now they were stuck with a major choice to make – would they stay together or split up so that Lindsey could pursue her desire to become a mother?
In our first conversation, Lindsey agreed that it would be a mistake to try to manipulate Mike into having kids when he really didn't want them. She told me she wanted her marriage more than she wanted motherhood. While it would take her some time to grieve the loss of her dream, Lindsey concluded that she was willing to give it up.
However, a few months later the couple was back for help, with Lindsey second-guessing her decision and Mike feeling horrible for being the cause of her sadness. The grief was greater than she had anticipated.
When it comes to making important life decisions, ask yourself, “Is this how I want to live between now and dead?” You are the architect of your life. However, there's another important concept to consider and that is, with every choice you make, you give something up. Think about it like this – when you cut your hair into a short bob today, you won't be able to put it into a ponytail tomorrow. Lindsay could have Mike, a man she sincerely loved and felt loved by, and no baby. Or she could leave Mike, start dating, hope to find another great guy, date for two years, confirm BEFORE marriage that he too wanted children, get married and then try to conceive.
What Lindsey could not have was a happy marriage to wonderful Mike if she continued to mope about and rehash their agreement to remain childless. Once you've made a decision, it's not helpful to continually reexamine it. We all have pieces of life that don't come together the way we imagined. That's just the reality of being an adult. Accept your decisions, including the parts you don't love, and don't waste time on regrets.
By the end of our second conversation, Lindsey recognized that ruminating over what could be was causing her to miss out on what was – a happy marriage to a man she loved and who loved her back enormously. Even when your decision results in something being left behind, you can still choose to enjoy the heck out of the path you've chosen.
Live your life honoring your decisions, whatever they may be.
You can listen to my calls with Mike & Lindsey here.