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Vasectomy - venting

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Newguy2 posted 7/28/2020 12:53 PM

So I'm a little over 3 years since D-day.

My wife and I had a discussion the other night as she currently has an IUD which needs to be removed and spoke to me about getting a vasectomy. Originally in our marriage I told her that I had no problem getting a vasectomy. However, since the affair came out I'm apprehensive. A part of me acknowledges that as I'm nearing 40 years old I really don't want to have anymore children - and I know I don't want more children with my wife. However, if things fell apart in our marriage and I met someone who really wanted kids there is flexibility there. I've also been contemplating whether I really want to have more children at all... sort of the question: am I keeping my options open regarding future children to keep my options open regarding a future possible relationship? I know if it was my choice I wouldn't have more children.

Anyway, my wife interpreted my response as punishment. She believes I don't want a vasectomy because I'm trying to 'get back' at her. Then she went on this tangent about how 'this is a reminder that she needs to just think and make decisions for herself".

I explained to her that the affair has disrupted our relationship and it's going to take time to mend. She expressed that she understood how impactful it was, but then followed up with 'well how much time do you think it will take? a year from now? 5 years from now?' I think she wants an end date for the impact of her affair on our relationship. What the hell?

I don't know what to think of this conversation. First of all... I'm not going to get a vasectomy unless I personally decide it's right for me. I think her responses are full of passive-aggressiveness. And I don't think she understands my perspective even though she says she understands. She hates when I say that she doesn't understand how the affair has affected me... but if you even half understood, you wouldn't be invalidating how I feel in an attempt to get what you want.

This whole situation has brought back a whole mess of triggers about the affair. I really think I need to sit down and go through everything that is on my mind with her. It is emotionally exhausting to talk with her because our relationship becomes a 'push and pull'. If I bring issues up she pulls away. And of course, I have my own personal issues with not wanting her upset with me... so I put in my best effort to resolve the conflict so I don't feel guilty.

Underserving posted 7/28/2020 13:15 PM

Itís crazy what the A changes in your life. Things you wouldnít have given a second thought to, now youíre having to take pause over.

I am only 31 with 2 daughters. Iíve always thought I would like to have 1 more child, but I know now I donít want that with my WH. Being a single mom to 3 kids would be harder than a single mom to 2 kids, and thatís not something I thought Iíd ever have to worry about, but here I am.

So thereís another loss Iíve had to deal with. The child I had planned on conceiving this very year will not be happening. I also know I donít want to have any permanent form of birth control, as I donít know what the future holds, or if Iíll have another partner who may want more kids. It sucks we have to constantly stay prepared for the marriage to end.

Would LOVE for him to have a vasectomy though. It would give me great satisfaction to know he could never have another child with anyone else.

Whatslove posted 7/28/2020 13:26 PM

My opinion, this is your body and your future. Stand your ground. Actions have consequences, yes sometimes for the rest of your life. She doesn't get a say on when you're done healing. It's easy for her to replace her IUD and tell her in 5 years you'll reevaluate.

I have the same POV as you, me and my ex were done having kids but now that I'm single, I realize I may meet someone who really wants to have a baby and maybe I would even want to have one with them. So I won't be making any permanent choices. All to say, your feelings are valid.

hikingout posted 7/28/2020 14:15 PM

Hi Newguy,

I am the WS and we are 3 years out as well.

I had several thoughts as I was reading your thread.

One, I do agree, it's your decision on what you want to do permanently to your body. After our last child was born, my H went and had a V the very next week. I really didn't want him to, but he had others from a previous marriage and it was wise as far as stretching resources, colleges, etc. But, having more kids or permanently making that not possible is always a touchy subject to start with even without an affair. He had told me when we got married he was only open to one more child, and so I really wouldn't have had a leg to stand on to argue for more or against it. I understood that was the deal going into the marriage. Still I DID have feelings about it, and I did share my feelings about it because I didn't want it to fester. It didn't change the outcome by any means, but it did change the way we felt united on the outcome because by discussing my feelings out loud and allowing him to do the same helped us come to a deeper understanding of each other.

And, if he told me that he wasn't having one today because he wanted to remain open to having more children if he met someone else he wanted to, I think I would have feelings about that too. Even if again, I had no legs to stand on to disagree with his choice. It would be difficult for me not to have emotions about that even though I could at the same time understand I caused the issue.

I don't think at 3 years out you have to be firmly decided about your future, but I do think that mixed messages can and do occur and that sometimes also feeds into the flare up.

For example, my h says he considers us R'd. We still discuss routinely the A, it still impacts our relationship. I don't have different expectations about this, this is what needs to happen and I am at peace with that. He gives me no indication he is not fully committed to the idea. If he isn't, I would surely rather he say that.

We are planning our early retirement that will happen soon and making lots of long term plans. I do not find that any of his statements about our future are incongruous with anything other than planning continuing a commitment with me. So, if he said anything now that would be incongruous with that, it would take me by some surprise. I would still understand it, but I would be caught off guard and it would likely hurt my feelings initially.

Understand, if he decided he didn't want to be committed to a path yet, and he was vocal about it, then I would accept it. It would not change my commitment to him. If he wanted a divorce tomorrow, I would understand it was me who ultimately broke the marriage. But, if he was giving me every indication of one thing and then he hit me with another then I would need a minute to adjust. I am not saying you are doing that, just giving you some thoughts.

Even though I cheated, and even though I feel like I do have a good (as good as another person can) understanding of what I have put him through, I am still a person with feelings and reactions and they are not always going to be perfect in that exact moment of disappointment. And they are not even always going to line up with my own logic, at least not initially.

Now, with all that said, demanding time lines from you on how long it will take to heal, it points to me that you *may* have an unremorseful wife who has done nothing to educate herself on Trauma, Post-Affair Recovery, or on your specific hurts as the BS. That has to come first and her work on that, before anyone can even ask you to have some compassion or empathy. My post really wasn't to garner that for her. I don't know your journey or if this is a pattern for her or anything like that. All I am trying to do is illustrate that conflict or new revelations can be difficult on either side during our efforts to R.

It may be your wife doesn't deserve R, or you are still in limbo, or that you are both just trying to get through raising kids, or whatever it is. But at some point, as you try and R, if you believe she has been consistent and is generally remorseful -and you too want to see if it can really work - you will both have to be vulnerable and brutally honest with one another.

[This message edited by hikingout at 2:19 PM, July 28th (Tuesday)]

gmc94 posted 7/28/2020 14:33 PM

my wife interpreted my response as punishment......She expressed that she understood how impactful it was, but then followed up with 'well how much time do you think it will take? a year from now? 5 years from now?'
WTF? At three years? This doesn't strike me as remorse or empathy or anything a BS can work with.

It is emotionally exhausting to talk with her because our relationship becomes a 'push and pull'. If I bring issues up she pulls away.
I have this too. Every now & again I'll get a glimmer of nondefensiveness, but it's rare and it is not enough. It's one of the many reasons I do not see myself as "in R" . It's the wayward's job to figure out how to lose the cowardice, own their shit, and talk about it w/o defensiveness. It's not your job to either stifle your feelings or try and pull her back into the conversation. Either she wants to be M or she doesn't.

I don't think she understands my perspective even though she says she understands. She hates when I say that she doesn't understand how the affair has affected me... but if you even half understood, you wouldn't be invalidating how I feel in an attempt to get what you want.
Words are cheap. Her saying she understands doesn't mean jack. We learn what they really mean by their ACTIONS. And these actions strike me as selfish, entitled, manipulative, wayward stinkin thinkin.


[This message edited by gmc94 at 2:36 PM, July 28th, 2020 (Tuesday)]

ChamomileTea posted 7/28/2020 14:45 PM

Just to look at things from a standpoint of practicality, the person you're most likely to impregnate right now is... your WW. And when you're not sure how that relationship is going to play out, the last thing you need is another baby.

leavingorbit posted 7/28/2020 14:57 PM

I think sheís allowed to have feelings about birth control options for both of you. Thatís a huge topic that needs a lot of communication and I feel as close to a ďwin-winĒ solution as possible. Hikingout summed it up well.

However, I donít see how youíre in R. Her communication and attitude need work, IMO. I get why she would be hurt by your response: youíve got one foot out of the door, but are you gonna stop having one foot out if she keeps projecting her fears onto you? Is she in IC?

Darkness Falls posted 7/28/2020 18:00 PM

I think maybe what she means about ďhow long?Ē is solely about the vasectomy, because your timeline on deciding that dictates HER decisions about birth control.

survrus posted 7/28/2020 21:09 PM

NG,

Wait your WW had a 4 year affair and expects you to turn in your bullets sorry no dice what's a gun without ammo, unless your in the UK and then it's no gun either.

Yes you need to keep the threat that you can have more children just in case she gets in an affair again.

She can get her tubes tied.

ThisIsSoLonely posted 7/28/2020 21:29 PM

This will not be popular, and I will echo many of the comments about your WW still not working as she should. But you can't control that. This you can.

I'm going to go out on a limb and address the big massive elephant in your comment. But first it's funny you wrote this, as I think the same thing and I'm a BS:

She expressed that she understood how impactful it was, but then followed up with 'well how much time do you think it will take? a year from now? 5 years from now?' I think she wants an end date for the impact of her affair on our relationship. What the hell?

I am almost 3 years out from d-day1 (3 long fucking years) and I want an end date for the impact of my WH's affair on our relationship (or my life)...badly. So I can't fault a WS for feeling the same way I do. I really found myself ruminating on things, and now that I am that far out, and not in R, I feel like it was too long, and that SI for all of its good advice and life-boat qualities, helped me stay stuck in that mindset. Whether you feel that way or not, it does help to take a minute and say to yourself (or better yet, to her): "I want this to stop being a part of our life, so I get where you are coming from. The fact is, I can wish all I want, but it's not going to happen for me right now, and maybe not ever."

Now for the elephant...

The reason why your wife is upset is because she thinks you are punishing her - but in fact you aren't telling her the truth about what you are thinking. You aren't communicating with her and giving HER the agency she needs to make a decision about how to move forward with your marriage. If you are in R, she gets that agency for decision making too, or she should at least be told that you aren't willing to share with her right now. If you are in R, or trying to, and you are a valid participant in trying to reconstruct your marriage, it is not fair of you to leave your wife with the wrong impression about what you are thinking - otherwise you are just punishing her - and sorry, but if you are trying to R then punishment isn't constructive.

After reading your comment, I think you need to say something along the lines of this to your WS:

"I'm not getting a vasectomy now because I don't know what is going to happen with you. If things fell apart in our marriage and I met someone who really wanted kids there is flexibility there."

I think that at 3 years out you need to be having those conversations - you only have 1 life as far as I know - so don't waste any more of it. It is clear that the A IS still intervening on your decision making and it sucks, but if you want you and your wife to be able to move forward, you have to, at some point, tell her what the holdup is.

The fact is that you don't want the vasectomy because, at least in part, because you are worried that things won't work out with your wife. In other words:

you are keeping your options open

Ouch. Yeah. That hurts anyone. But it's the truth. And the truth is what is preached around here, and I think as a BS we forget that some of that lies with us too.

Right now she thinks you are punishing her - and she's wrong. She has no clue what is really going on in your head. Because you aren't telling her. And if you want to stay married to this person, or even if you don't, or you aren't 100% sure, then they deserve to know that.

The fact is, she cheated. The other fact is, you decided to stick around. That means you are participating in the marriage, and as we've learned around her, keeping shit to yourself, holding it in, generally doesn't help. You don't have to say it in as harsh a manner as I said it but you get the picture.

I also know being 2.5 years out myself, that this shit is terribly hard. I would indeed like it to disappear. If only...

[This message edited by ThisIsSoLonely at 8:25 AM, July 29th (Wednesday)]

RocketRaccoon posted 7/28/2020 23:21 PM

'this is a reminder that she needs to just think and make decisions for herself"
Did your WW forget that it was BECAUSE of this type of thinking that she got everyone into this predicament?

Your WW is definitely not a safe partner yet.

It is emotionally exhausting to talk with her because our relationship becomes a 'push and pull'.
If your R was on the 'right track', it should not be this emotionally exhausting to talk about the relationship.

If I bring issues up she pulls away.
A truly remorseful WS would not be be pulling away from discussions about the relationship. She is still protecting herself only. Still very wayward thinking IMO.

Anyway, whether you get a vasectomy or not, it is up to you. It is YOUR body, and it is YOUR choice.

BluesPower posted 7/29/2020 05:24 AM

Wow, it is real insensitive of you to be so hard about her affair.

How can you be so mean? Don't you know she is sorry.

When are you finally going to get over it.

I really don't understand anyone giving her a pass on this, I think everyone knows what is going on.

Golly, it has been three years already, I have not screwed anyone else that you know about... What is your problem?

What was the reason the you stayed with her again?????

[This message edited by BluesPower at 5:24 AM, July 29th (Wednesday)]

Crushed7 posted 7/29/2020 06:59 AM

Look at your WW's statements and I think you'll see that they are all self-centered and manipulative. Which is an indication of how she hasn't done the work necessary to change and, therefore, she still isn't a safe partner. That's the real issue -- it isn't the conflict over a vasectomy, your timeline or you "punishing her", but about how she continues to lack empathy, insists that things revolve around her and tries to manipulate you into going along with her agenda.

Anna123 posted 7/29/2020 08:18 AM

This is so lonely had a good point. I was thinking the same thing, your WS doesn't know what is in your head. I agree you shouldn't do the vasectomy for the reasons you stated, but maybe you can explain it as gently as possible. Then the truth will be told and you may feel better about it also. It isn't as cut and dry as you not doing it because the marriage may end, but it is you making a final decision on the rest of your life, which you don't feel prepared to make at this time.

BTW, as a woman, I never expected my ex to ever have a vasectomy and I doubt he ever would have. Some men do, some don't. You aren't being difficult or unfair. This is a physical procedure versus non permanent birth control On the other hand you sure as hell don't want her pregnant again-----

[This message edited by Anna123 at 8:19 AM, July 29th (Wednesday)]

ThisIsSoLonely posted 7/29/2020 08:33 AM

I am pretty disappointed to hear multiple times in this thread, the usual SI BS sentiments that seem to say it's okay not to treat your WS equally in your marriage when you are trying to R - at 3 years in. The days/weeks/months following d-day are totally different - they are filled with confusion and uncertainty and anger and everything, a lot of which is totally not constructive, but that's okay. IMO it's total nonsense to keep hanging onto that attitude for too long - and it's destructive to you. If you are trying to R then you as a BS are trying to work through the mess of infidelity AND work on the rest of your marriage. That is what you are committed to do. This does not mean it is okay to "keep secrets" from your WS. If you are disappointed in how your WS is handling things, then you SAY SO to them, and let the chips fall as they may.

You've got to let go of the outcome and tell her. Let this vasectomy discussion lead to some of the real shit that clearly YOU are holding in (and maybe your WS is too). And if she gets mad - maybe this is the breaking point, or maybe it's the break through point. But I can tell you what it is right now...limbo...and limbo is fucking hell.

Honestly, I think too many of us don't stand up for ourselves, and a lot of the advice here is really counter-productive as it seems to be: oh, you are the BS so you are allowed to gaslight and lie about what you are thinking and feeling to the person you are allegedly trying to reconcile with AND you can be frustrated as hell that they aren't being open with you. Why is that? Fear of losing the marriage maybe? Conflict avoidance? And marriage isn't some game of chess and we all know how unfair it is...well newsflash: if you are trying to R then you should be trying too - being open and honest.

You were right - this is exactly what you should do:

This whole situation has brought back a whole mess of triggers about the affair. I really think I need to sit down and go through everything that is on my mind with her. It is emotionally exhausting to talk with her because our relationship becomes a 'push and pull'. If I bring issues up she pulls away. And of course, I have my own personal issues with not wanting her upset with me... so I put in my best effort to resolve the conflict so I don't feel guilty.

I will say I eventually adopted a "tell all" attitude, and my marriage did not work out, but that being said, had I kept my mouth shut all I would have been doing is delaying the inevitable.

[This message edited by ThisIsSoLonely at 9:10 AM, July 29th (Wednesday)]

hikingout posted 7/29/2020 08:38 AM

Thisissolonely - you really expressed on of the things I was trying to say much better:

Now for the elephant. The reason why your wife is upset is because you aren't telling her what you are thinking. You aren't communicating with her and giving HER the agency she needs to make a decision about how to move forward with your marriage. If you are in R, she gets that agency for decision making too, or she should at least be told that you aren't willing to share with her right now. If you are in R, or trying to, and you are a valid participant in trying to reconstruct your marriage, it is not fair of you to leave your wife with the wrong impression about what you are thinking - otherwise you are just punishing her - and sorry, but if you are trying to R then punishment isn't constructive.

My exact thought is if you are thinking these things and not expressing them, she has a different understanding of your relationship. So, when you say things that contradict the understanding she has, it creates an emotional reaction.

The reason I said she *may* not be remorseful is because I can't tell just by what you said here. It could be more she is having an emotional reaction to what you are telling her, but can't articulate why. She might be bad at processing her emotions immediately, or more than likely she doesn't understand where you are coming from because you aren't telling her. The big clue I had was:

And of course, I have my own personal issues with not wanting her upset with me... so I put in my best effort to resolve the conflict so I don't feel guilty.

I could only put my finger on it enough to say "I surely would want to know this information". Thisissolonely nailed it.

If you were a new BS I would have said something different, or maybe not commented at all. But, 3 years out, without communication she feels you are working on R, and in many ways, I think you feel you are in limbo and haven't decided.
I will reiterate - there is nothing wrong with not deciding, and there are no BS or even WS who have a magic ball as to whether R will work or not. But, I can tell you I don't believe it will work without a lot of communication and honesty.

I think you may be operating from a place of fear, and as long as you do that you will not take your power back. It's why I went to the lengths to say "if my H wasn't sure it wouldn't change my commitment to him" If you say it - it will not change her level of commitment. If she IS committed, she will work harder because she will see what it is she has to work on. If she doesn't, she doesn't have a level of commitment to you, it's conditional. You have to know which one it is or trust can not be seeded. Say the ugly things, say anything you are thinking. She may need a minute, she may get emotional, but when push comes to shove if she has done any change she will figure her way through it. Three years is enough for that kind of change, if it's not there then I don't know if it ever will be.

[This message edited by hikingout at 8:40 AM, July 29th (Wednesday)]

ThisIsSoLonely posted 7/29/2020 13:56 PM

Sorry - In rereading my post I didn't mean to sound so harsh and in no way did I want to make you feel like the A and the aftermath behavior of your WS is your fault - it's not. But I do think that HikingOut was correct in that your fear is keeping you stuck in limbo. You've got to have that talk you alluded to, for you and for your WS - for your marriage. I know it's easier said than done, but just like anything else, with practice, letting go of the outcome is easier every time.

StrugglingCJ posted 7/30/2020 08:35 AM

You have to ask yourself what is best for you.. Do you actually think you will want more kids in the future?? Even if you split.. Your kids will still be your kids.

And do you want to R.. Tbh you need to be ALL in for it to work.. And sounds like you are planning an exit strategy? Only time I thought this way was when I had tried everything else.. R wasn't working for me then so I had to choose alternative strategies

BSPheonix posted 7/30/2020 10:49 AM

Quite clearly you're not ready to have a vasectomy now (if ever). Shortly before my wife's affair, she was pressuring me to have a vasectomy. I told her I hadn't had ample opportunity to consider but would. Shortly after her affair (a few months) she raised the topic again. I told her I wasn't ready to have one as I wasn't certain our relationship would last (I wasn't being fatalistic, just realistic). She asked if I wanted more children and I responded that I didn't...with her. I then had to explain that, although I was invested in attempting to reconcile, her behaviour had made it clear to me that things between two people can radically change in a short period of time and that I had to learn to trust her again, which included being sure that she wouldn't run off with another man... following which I may meet someone who wants children.

Edit:forgot to say, there are other contraceptive measures you and your wife could consider. Have you discussed these?

[This message edited by BSPheonix at 5:12 PM, July 30th (Thursday)]

thatbpguy posted 7/30/2020 11:45 AM

I think your wife needs to suck it up. She betrayed you, healing can take many years or last a lifetime. That's all on her. So if at some point in time when you feel you might potentially have a child again with whomever, you keep your gear intact.

She may not like that, and I get it. But she caused this and she needs to help you though it all. That said, remind her that you're still there after 3 years so that ought to encourage her as well.

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