Dear Annie: I’m 46 years old, college educated, with no children. I recently celebrated my 20th wedding anniversary. It’s not what I would call a good marriage. My husband occasionally has fits of anger and has been verbally abusive.
More than eight years ago, I had a miscarriage. My husband wanted to keep trying. He repeatedly has said that he can’t imagine a life without children. I told him that having children is not going to happen, and that if he wants a divorce over this, I won’t fight him. He is welcome to find someone else to have children with. What I did not tell him is that soon after the miscarriage, I started taking birth control pills and continue to do so.
I feel guilty that I might have misled him in that he may think there is a chance for children, although I would hope that at my age he would be past that. My question is: Should I tell him about the birth control? I’m not sure what it would accomplish. I’m afraid of his reaction to finding out, and divorce terrifies me. – Torn Between What Is Right and What Is Safe
Dear Torn: Regardless of what you may have told your husband eight years ago, if you allowed him to have the impression that you were willing to get pregnant again, then obviously, you have been dishonest. This was grossly unfair to him. But you cannot undo the past, and with your husband’s anger issues, we can understand why there seems no point in telling him now. But a marriage that isn’t good to begin with is not likely to get better without professional assistance. Decide whether divorce terrifies you so much that you are willing to live like this for another 40 years.
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