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37 y/o male. Wife (33 y/o) and I have been married for about 7 years. We fell in love deeply and quickly and were married within 2 years of when we started dating. We never really discussed having kids vs. not having kids until after we were married, but the understanding was kind of always that we would...or at least I thought that's what it was.

We moved several states away from where we grew up shortly after getting married. Now, years later after almost all our friends have a kid or kids, we still don't. That's of course fine in-and-of-itself, it's just to illustrate the point that with me pushing 40 and her at 33, the time is upon on. We did discuss having kids about a year ago - a very serious and formal discussion where we went out to a nice dinner and everything - and my wife came away from that saying should would have kids. Now, a year later, she has changed her mind because, turning 33 this year, she just "thought she would want to by now, but still doesn't."

Here's the thing: my wife suffers from serious depression. I of course try my absolute best to do everything I can for her, but sometimes it seems there's nothing I can do. I love my wife with 100% of my being....but I really want to be a dad and I always envisioned myself becoming one. I know I will deeply regret it later in life if I never become a father. I'm open to the idea of adopting a child, if that even helps her with the idea of parenthood, but I'm not sure if it would...we've yet to discuss that.

Because of my wife's depression:

  • She says she'd understand if I left her for another woman that want to have kids (I will not even consider this and it is insane to me)
  • Doesn't think she'd make a good mother (again, wholly illogical thought not rooted in reality)
  • Has no clear vision or plans for the future. When I ask her what she wants to happen, ideally, she just says she doesn't know.

Any feedback greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Edit: I suppose I'm just asking "what would you do in my situation?" I guess it sounds selfish, but I want to try and convince my wife to have kids...so if I had to have a single question, it would just be:

How can I convince my wife to stop listening to her depression and be open to the idea of having children?

That's what is really bothering me - that she seems to be letting her depression make this decision for her, and I KNOW for certain she would be so, so happy if we became parents!! I know my wife.

closed as off-topic by ElizB, Rainbacon, sphennings, OldPadawan, Johanna Jun 27 at 6:25

  • This question does not appear to be about interpersonal skills, within the scope defined in the help center.
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    This sounds like you and your wife need medical help, not internet suggestions. There's a lot of therapy options that can be looked into. It's not likely that anyone here will have anything useful enough for your situation that'll "turn things around" for you. – computercarguy Jun 26 at 23:39
  • Thanks, you are certainly right. I guess I need some therapy of my own too and don't have much of anyone to talk to about this. :( – KidACrimson Jun 26 at 23:46
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because computercarguy is right. While we do have some expertise with interpersonal skills. We're just a bunch of strangers on the internet who are unfortunately nowhere near well equipped enough to help you help your wife with her depression. In addition, questions asking for help convincing someone to do something are not a good fit here – Rainbacon Jun 27 at 2:08
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Disclaimer: I am not a professional. This is based on my personal experience going through depression and talking to friends who wen through such ordeals. I wrote this in hope it helps you understand the situation better.

First of all - I respect you for caring for your wife throughout her depression. I have an idea how much effort it takes.

Speaking from experience: she makes sense. Most likely she feels she would not make a good mother. And, unfortunately, that is most likely true. A person suffering from depression often has trouble taking care of themselves, not to mention kids.

As for the talk you had a year ago: it was formal. She might have felt pressured. She might have not wanted to disappoint you. She might have talked herself into thinking: things will change.

Caring for your wife, kids and, I suppose, being the primary breadwinner - this is a hell of a burden. Which you can not take a break from for the next twenty years or so. Are you sure you will not break yoursel?

First focus on healing her. Get her professional help. If you want to have kids you most likely have some headroom in your house budget. Spend it on therapy. Having shared her suffering for so long you possibly need help too. Kids come after healing. If by then you can not have kids then adopt some - you said you are open to the idea.

As for you feeling hopeless: this is actually common for close ones of those depressed. Two points here:

  1. You never share everything with those close to you. Really. And sharing with a therapist is easier since it will stay there and not reach your social circle.

  2. A depressed person actually understands how much of a burden they are. And if they truly care about someone they don't want to make it even worse, so they close off. One of my closest friends only learned that I even had depression after I almost went suicidal and he was the only person I could call talk to.

Once again: go to a professional. And even my psychiatrist says that medication is only meant to help you function until you get your mind in order.

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    Thank you so much, Jan. – KidACrimson Jun 27 at 3:49

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