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Middle-aged, "Barren," & so confused...

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Old 12-27-2003, 07:10 PM   #1
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Annie45 HB User
Unhappy Middle-aged, "Barren," & so confused...

Hi all,

I used to be a member here long ago, life settled down, I drifted away from this board for awhile, and just when I thought my life was in order...bang, in comes the surprise. Well, now I'm back and asking for your help. Here's the long & short of it...

I'm 46, divorced 5 years, have two kids who are 15 and 11 who live with me every other week, am currently self-employed and living off investments I made from some inheritances and my divorce settlement so am for the most part financially secure and own my own home, am consistently told I'm intelligent and attractive from both men and women, have frequent offers of dates from men in the 35 to 55-age bracket...but here's my situation:

I've been seeing a man who is 7 years younger than me for over a year now, and we get along in every way--in conversation, in our interests, in our mutual sense of humor, and things are GREAT in the bedroom. He is divorced 5 years also, has a great job, owns his own home, and is very much into romance--like candles, fires in the fireplace, soft music, massages, know what I'm talking about. We go out, we travel, he's met my family (his lives out of state), spends the holidays with me and my children, and we spend practically the whole weeks (when I don't have my kids) together. The problem you ask? He just turned 39, and cries on my shoulder constantly about how his "life is over, he's old, and has nothing to show for a man his age."

I try everything to reinforce to him how attractive, smart, and successful he is and how great I see and feel about him, but all he can do is lament his past and the fact that he has nothing to show for his age--specifically children. He said something last week that is bothering me so much, I feel I need to end this thing and set us both free for both our sakes. While talking about his not having any children, I said somewhat jokingly that if I hadn't had a hysterectomy, I'd consider it even at my age. He responded with, "if you could have kids, we'd be married."

I am so sad and just plain depressed. I feel now that it's apparent that he's just been biding his time until he meets someone younger and fertile. I have never felt so old and on top of that, regretful of my hysterectomy, in all my years since the surgery. He says my kids aren't enough, although he thinks the world of them and treats them great, they are too old and almost on their own and have a dad--which is true, I mean in that 'yes,' they have a "dad." Yet this man would and could be a wonderful addition to their lives. He has said he loves me, that we have a connection that can never be broken, that nobody knows and understands him like me and vice versa; yet, that we are not only "best friends," but now in his recent terminology, lately we're "best friends with benefits."

My kids go back to their dad's for the next week tomorrow night, and this man and I always get together after the "kid exchange." Also he's on vacation this week and wants to go away to a resort for a couple days over New Years. We spent Xmas at my house with my kids, my kids really like him a lot (more than any man I've dated since the divorce)--he lavished us all with wonderful and thoughtful gifts, he offers his help with anything bad or wrong that happens, says very kind and caring things (well, he used to anyway), yet I can't get that one sentiment out of my head.

I feel like my womb is all that's missing, and if I had that, we'd be married and venturing out on our life together. I've always had a "hint" that there had to be something "unspoken" that's kept us from moving forward because everything else has seemed so right...and now I guess I know what's ability to have children. He wants children of his own, and I can't give him that, yet in the same breath he says he's too old to have kids now and it's too late in life for him--such a contradiction, I simply don't know what to make of his thought process?!

That sentence seems to have taken away every "feminine" notion I had about myself. I meant to mention also that he tells me all the time that "I have a great body, and even someone 20 yrs. younger couldn't pull off wearing the Victoria's Secret outfits I wear," but this weekend he added "if I took up working out, that since I have the body shape and form of someone 20 years younger, I'd be toned like women that age." I don't think I can bear to be with him tomorrow night--much less go away for a romantic New Years getaway. If he were to go that extra step and propose, I would feel he was "settling" and an older, barren, but still looks-pretty-good-for-her-age woman is not what he wants, just what he'd settle for.

So, what do you think...any hope or let him go?

"Childless (and un-toned) in Seattle," Annie...

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Old 12-27-2003, 08:02 PM   #2
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Ruth6:11 HB UserRuth6:11 HB User
Re: Middle-aged, "Barren," & so confused...

Originally Posted by Annie45
So, what do you think...any hope or let him go?

"Childless (and un-toned) in Seattle," Annie...
I believe that it is up to HIM now. Does he love you or the idea of having children more?
And you DO need to put it that way to him soon. "I love you but I cannot have your biological child. If that is a real need of yours you need to tell me NOW so we can end this."
There is nothing wrong with you at 46 to have 2 children (you are NOT childless!!) and to have had a hysterectomy.
I personally have a problem with women who have childen so late in life that they are exhausted beyond belief with a toddler. And whose grandchildren may never know her.
If children are more important he can go out and find a younger women - and guess what - she could be infertile!!

My husband married me knowing that I would not be having his children. He loves me for ME, and I know that. That beats being married to someone and wondering all the time if he is sorry, don't you agree??

Put the ball in his court. It really is HIS decision since it's HIS list of requirements for marriage...

Old 12-27-2003, 09:08 PM   #3
Want 2 B Well
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Want 2 B Well HB User
Re: Middle-aged, "Barren," & so confused...

The choice to not have children was really his all along so don't buy that regretful nonsense he is laying on you! If he REALLY WANTED children I am sure he could have found someone to marry and have kids with if it was SUCH a big priority. That was HIS choice!

Saying you would be married *if* you could have kids is most likely his way of keeping things at arms length. I might call him to the carpet on that statement and tell him he has no right to say something THAT HURTFUL to you!

My guess is that it may open up dialogue and you two could sort things out. Do you seem as if you are ready to "move" to the next level in your relationship?
Maybe this was his way of having you back off???

Married 1990
2 daughters, 7 & 12
Suffer from allergies & other aliments
Quit smoking June 3 2003
Will be 39 in Feb.
Scared to turn 40

I am a work in progress...

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Old 12-27-2003, 10:15 PM   #4
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Re: Middle-aged, "Barren," & so confused...

Not to sound snippy or anything but don’t you think these things are best discussed with him instead of guessing or asking for advice from strangers? Tell him what you’ve written here and how his comments have made you feel. He may not have meant them the way they sounded or maybe he did. You’ll never know and neither will anyone else but him…..

Old 12-27-2003, 11:06 PM   #5
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Re: Middle-aged, "Barren," & so confused...

Been there. Done that. The question to ask yourself is "Do you really want to have another child (if you could) or would you be having a baby just because he wants you to?" It happened to me when I was in my early thirties. I had two children from a previous marriage and met and fell in love with a man who had no children and never been married. He wanted a baby. I didn't. I did a lot of soul searching and came to the conclusion that I really didn't want to have a baby and would only be doing so to keep the relationship alive. IMO it was really a poor excuse for bringing another child into the world. Ending it was very difficult. But we did end it and eventually we both got married to other people more suited to our individual goals.

In your situation, if he really wants to have a child, then this isn't the man for you. He will turn around one day and resent you because you are the reason he's never had a child. Discuss this with him. Find out what his motivation is. Is he looking for an excuse to keep his distance from you and not have to take the next step? You two need to talk about this. It's his decision to make. If he truly wants a child, then the only answer is to let him go, as difficult and heartbreaking as it will be. I've lived through. Yes it was the most difficult thing to do. But I wasn't going to bring a child into the world for the wrong reasons.
Stalling is just going to make things worse. Have the talk and accept his decision whatever it may be.

Originally Posted by Lindarella
Not to sound snippy or anything but don’t you think these things are best discussed with him instead of guessing or asking for advice from strangers? Tell him what you’ve written here and how his comments have made you feel. He may not have meant them the way they sounded or maybe he did. You’ll never know and neither will anyone else but him…..

Old 12-27-2003, 11:49 PM   #6
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Re: Middle-aged, "Barren," & so confused...

I disagree that if he really wanted kids he would have found someone to have kids with. Some people don't realize just how hard it is to find someone right for you. But I do agree that you should lay the cards on the table and talk to him about it. His statement "if you could have kids we'd be married" sounds like he still has hope of having kids, or at least his desire for them is still very strong. Have an honest, frank discussion with him about it.

Old 12-28-2003, 11:43 AM   #7
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Annie45 HB User
Re: Middle-aged, "Barren," & so confused...

Hi, and thanks for your replies. I agree it's time for a "showdown" of sorts, but it's not as if we don't talk about it, we do, sometimes ad nauseum. I'm beginning to think that what some of your replies are saying is right--that it is more of a way for him to not go the extra step because we have talked about it so much.

It's his contradictory words that confuse me. He will say one time that he would love to have a child in his life; then in the next conversation about it, he talks about how he thinks HE's too old to have children in his life. I've told him, "hey, you're only 39, lots of men have children at that age and older." So in that sense, I've shown him the door to go find someone to be a mother to his child. He goes back to talking about our great relationship and how difficult meeting and starting all over with someone new (and younger) is not something he thinks is an option nor a desire for him at this point...which brings us back to square one.

Before me, he dated a woman who was 30 and had twin 4-yr. old boys. After they broke up (she felt he was too old for her--talk about putting the shoe on the other foot!), he went into a really deep depression about being "old," and finally admitted to me that what he thinks he really loved about their relationship was more her two kids than her. The "generation gap" he felt he had with her made him realize how he needs someone closer in age to him for interests, conversation, etc. Now he's looking into the plastic surgery of having his chin "lifted!"

Of course I made the mistake of being the constant in his life. Who was there to rescue him from his depression and continually remind him of all he has going for him in life? Me. He tells me all the time how I've literally saved him, how much he enjoys me sharing my family with him...yet then he goes back to saying my kids don't need another man in their life? The fact I can't have children has even led us to the discussion of adoption, but in reality, I do feel I'm too old to go through all that again, yet I feel I could offer something to an older child (you know, the ones who don't get adopted so easily,) but his focus is different. So confusing...

I told him that maybe we shouldn't "waste our single-time" by spending all our free time and all our weekends together, etc. If he needs someone younger and who is capable of having kids, then maybe he should be looking for that; and on the flip side, I should keep myself open to the possibility of meeting someone where kids aren't such a big part of the relationship scenario. I've dated men who have kids my kids' age and older...and yet, I still find myself always back with this man. Maybe it's something about me I'm not seeing.

I know I don't like these "age" comments he's making lately though...the ability to have kids, that I have a great body so now if I just toned up a bit, how we're best friends with benefits--that all seems to be hints of something.

Funny thing is, when we first met, he thought I was the one bothered by the age difference and he would get kind of angry whenever I mentioned it, so I dropped it. Now it seems as if it's an issue to him. I don't know, and that's why I came here to a group of "strangers" for some objective opinions--I have talked to him, but it just goes round in circles and I'm not sure I'm ready to give the "ultimatum" yet.

Thanks again, Annie...

Old 12-28-2003, 02:01 PM   #8
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Jennak HB User
Re: Middle-aged, "Barren," & so confused...

Oh my God...that was a HORRIBLE thing that he said to you..."If you could have kids, we'd be married".

I say this because I can't have kids, and a man I was involved with for 5 years at one point, said that he loved me, but because I could'nt have kids, was unable to take me/us that seriously.

Then what was he doing hanging around for all those years? He already had two kids from another woman and my response should have been, well, because YOU have two kids by another woman, I cannot take YOU/us seriously, but I did'nt do that. Why? Because you can't fault people for things like health/children that are permanent.

He went on to have a son with a woman he now hates and has since lamented that he "should've married me." Men that whine like this, are spoiled. They are always blaming it on someone else, usually the woman they are with.

Why is he 39 with nothing to show for himself? He has no one to blame but himself. He could have you--a wonderful person--and your children. I will never understand why both men and women feel the need to have matching DNA to love a child, or consider it "theirs'".

Whatever you do, don't blame yourself and don't let his jerky statement depress you. He sounds like a brat. You might want to start looking elsewhere.


Old 12-29-2003, 07:00 PM   #9
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Re: Middle-aged, "Barren," & so confused...

It sounds to me like he is beginning his ~mid life crisis~. I could be wrong, but it's my opinion. He is getting older and feels his age creeping up with children to carry on his story. This may be a geniune desire, and it might not be. I also would lay your feelings on the line. Tell him you care about him enough to let him figure out if children are what he needs to feel whole, But also stress that doesn't mean you will wait while he figures himself out. Only that you wish him happiness. It is sad though, that he wouldn't consider adopting a child. My husband I are going to start trying to concieve soon, I only have 1 ovary(laporascopy), and we have discussed fostercare/adoption as an alternative if we can not become pregnant. I find this to be a wonderful way to love children who desperately need it. 2 of my sis-in-laws have fostered and later adopted. These children are loved as much as any of my neices & nephews!!! I think it would shock some people how little DNA actually can matter!!! I wish you the best!! You sound like an honest, caring & intelligent person. I am sure there will be other men in your life.....and you will find a man who loves you and your children and be content.

Last edited by JavaKitti; 12-30-2003 at 09:36 AM.

Old 12-30-2003, 06:02 AM   #10
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Re: Middle-aged, "Barren," & so confused...

I agree that it's probably a midlife crisis. Therapy would probably help him for his depression.

Old 12-30-2003, 07:18 PM   #11
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Re: Middle-aged, "Barren," & so confused...

Hey! You remember me I hope?

I think one of two things is happening here:

He wants kids, and since you can't give him children of his own, he is easing his way out of the relationship. It could be he doesn't want to hurt you, and that's why he doesn't flat out dump you. OR it could be he has no idea what he wants, and he's just keeping you on a string until he figures it out. It sounds to me like he wants you around (because he cares about you) but wants to take the relationship down a notch so if he decides he wants out, he can get out easier. Am I making sense?

Another thing, sometimes men say things that they think are harmless, unimportant comments that they themselves forget about 5 minutes after saying it. Women on the other hand, will spend days torturing themselves over that comment pondering over what he MIGHT have meant, when to him it was merely a joke. I don't know if this is the case with you, especially since he seems to have emotional problems right now..but perhaps he really didn't mean anything by it?

Either way, you must talk to HIM.

Hope this helped.

Old 12-30-2003, 10:20 PM   #12
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Annie45 HB User
Re: Middle-aged, "Barren," & so confused...

Originally Posted by UF baby
Hey! You remember me I hope?
UF Baby! Yes, of course I remember you! How nice to see a "familiar face" on here! How goes it? Last time we talked, you were waiting to see if you'd get a reply to the letter you sent your b/f...whatever happened with you two? Please tell me that you are doing fine!

I agree with a lot...a whole lot...of what you said. The "keep you around, but keep other options open" is a theory I've considered many a time. The other poster, about the mid-life crises, so right, even he says that.

Well, I spent the last two nights & days at his house, and last night, out of the blue he says, "I think the only reason two people should get married is if they're going to have kids; otherwise, why put a piece of paper to it? If kids aren't part of their future, then just live together."

He went on to add that people "our" age getting married should have prenups...that when you're young and starting out, that's different than being middle-aged and being together just to have a second-half-of-life companion with, that most people "our" age already have worked out their retirement plans, they're long-term financial goals, so why co-mingle anything unless it's someone--the male or female--looking for some type of financial security?

And UF, you couldn't be more right about the "keeping you around" idea...I left in kind of a "huff," so to speak this a.m., and told him I didn't want to go away on the overnight New Years trip. He got all hurt and a bit angry, but I really didn't want to go so it would have been a bust. So tonight I check my e-mail, and there are two from him--one saying he wished he'd have taken my picture in the teddy I was wearing last night because I looked so pretty in it; the second one saying how he misses me and that, da** it!, I should be at his house, not here alone at mine.

I haven't decided whether to write him off totally, but I am surely going to take the other poster's advice and let him know that I'm not going to keep my options closed as to what I want, and in order for me to find it, I can't spend all my free time with just him. And I won't feel bad for wanting to be married again someday, whether that will include my being able to love someone else's children along with my own, or having more of an addition to my already-existent family who will love my children and enhance their lives also...but I know I want it to be for love of each other first and foremost.

So ladies and gentlemen, guess I got my answer. Thanks again for your very insightful replies, and please offer more...


Old 12-31-2003, 01:26 PM   #13
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Re: Middle-aged, "Barren," & so confused...

Hey Annie! I'm doing fine. The ex boyfriend had not contacted me in almost 5 months, and then about 2 weeks ago decides to bother me. It's a whole big mess..he wanted to be friends but I want nothing to do with him, so I told him to leave me alone just last night. And that's that. Hopefully things will work out.

As for your situation, I think you've made a good decision. He either just doesn't want to marry you (because of your inability to have children) or you both have different oppinions on marriage. I guess it's his choice, but he really shouldn't waste your time. Anyways, hope everything goes OK!

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