A father-of-five says he and his wife could be headed for divorce because one of them wants a sixth child and the other doesn’t.

The couple has five children, with the eldest heading off to university next year and the youngest aged four. And the conversation about adding a sixth baby to the family has recently been on the table.

“My wife’s parents passed away three years apart from each other with the most recent in 2022 when my wife was 36,” the dad explained.

“Since her parent passed in 2019, she has mentioned wanting another baby to help with the grieving process and focus her love. I have been on the fence and we have gotten to a point of potential divorce as a result.

“After the youngest, I got a vasectomy. We went back and forth over if I would do it or her, but I went through with it because I mentioned she had already done enough by having five kids. She went with me to the procedure and was there for me through the process.

“Fast forward to today, I’ve been back and forth, but am not 100% certain on having another and getting a reversal. She says I’m inconsiderate of her and that I broke our wedding vows by not being there for her in her time of need.”

The dad says he’s concerned about how the family will cope financially, and he’s starting to enjoy the freedom of having older children.

“She says that I’m being selfish by not taking her want into further consideration or having a reversal by now. Am I the a**hole for not having a baby to support my wife through this tough time in her life and did I break my wedding vows?”

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  • It’s not being selfish to not want more children. I didn’t think you could get a reversal and it was a joint decision to have it done anyway. If you’re not sure, instead of arguing find out first if it is possible for it to be done. You may find that the argument is moot. It’s not a good way to have a child to help you grieve over the loss of a parent.


  • It’s a joint decision, both people should agree without coercion. It’s not selfish to not want any more kids.


  • This is not the answer to help someone grieve. I am with the husband on this one, babies should be bought into this world for a positive reason not because of grief


  • A few things… grieving is not the right reason to want another child. Grief is a huge process that needs to be worked through and big life decisions shouldn’t be made at this time. And secondly, communication is key. You’re not being selfish, you had a plan. Plans definitely can change, but if this is nearing divorce, clearly there may be other issues at play. You need to communicate and come to a decision that you can both live with. I think she needs help with her grief.


  • I was thinking about what the article says that the wife wants another baby to help her with the grieving process of her parent that passed: not the right motivation to have a child in my opinion


  • i think its selfish as in this world raising the children. 6th child not really a goods thing


  • I honestly think the wife should try counselling first. They obviously both decided 5 children were enough for the husband to get a vasectomy and i really dont think grief is a good reason to have another child.


  • I’m not seeing selfish at all. They already have 5 children. He’s had a vasectomy. There’s lots to consider beyond helping her through the grieving process. If anything, she’s being selfish and using emotional blackmail to get what she wants.


  • Oh, and if you need emotional support buy a puppy!

    • Yes, I agree. A pet can be a good alternative


  • The father is not being selfish at all! A child is a lifetime commitment- not a counsellor! It’s selfish wanting to have one to help you in your grief, they are rewarding, but also taxing and it’s just going to become a huge strain. Secondly, the poor guy has already had a vasectomy- asking him to get it reversed when they already have 5 kids is a huge ask and not guaranteed to work. She’s also getting older and I’d be concerned about the strain on her body too. The whole thing is just silly.


  • I think the desire for another child needs to come from both side. The wife saying that he’s inconsiderate of her and that he broke their wedding vows by not being there for her in her time of need, is in my opinion kind of an emotional blackmail.
    I think some psychological help for the wife to help her in her grieving process would be appropriate


  • She also needs to be considerate of her husband and children. It’s a two way street.


  • A baby shouldn’t be used or made to help heal a grieving period. It’s best she sees a professional for her grieving and possible as a couple too.


  • NTA. Babies aren’t emotional support animals. While grief is personal and takes many forms, especially over parents (I’m unfortunately not a stranger to this), its gauche to want another child as a distraction from healing the root cause of the issue. Therapy is the first step here, otherwise the wife might end up projecting some heavy emotions and expectations onto a child.


  • I think your wife needs counselling desperately. She should also realise that your going through reversal surgery doesn’t necessarily mean it will work, depending on how long ago you had the vasectomy. And she could be putting you through a great deal of discomfort for nothing. You really both need to have a mediator to fix up your ailing marriage – her grief over losing her parents won’t be lessened by having another child.


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