On popping them out

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My sister-in-law’s fiancé has known me for nearly 3 years and he’s always known my husband and I aren’t going to have kids. My sister-in-law has always been cool with it since she’s known about my husband’s decision about kids for 10 or so years and respects our choice. He, however, thinks of wives as baby factories. They want to get pregnant as soon as they’re married and he thinks we should have done the same thing. He even said to me in July that I should have been in the hospital with a baby boy because we’d been married for 9 months, give or take a week. No matter what we say, he keeps trying to talk me into popping one out.

If their friends are over and they have a baby, we’ll get an impromptu invite to their place but he won’t tell us there’s a child there. If we go, he then tries to get me to hold or play with the baby. I’ll tell the parents that the baby is cute so as not to offend them and say I’m just getting over a cold so I shouldn’t hold the baby just in case. He’ll then start the insentient nagging about the joys of motherhood. He’s even had the nerve to tell me that I’ll never be a ‘real’ or ‘fulfilled’ woman until I have kids and that I shouldn’t bother working anymore because I should get used to spending my days at home when (not if, when) we have a baby.

When he realizes that isn’t working on me, he switches to the guilt method, saying things like “What about all those people out there that can’t have children?”. I feel sorry for those people, I really do, but just because I have the ability to do something doesn’t mean I have to do it.

The crazy amount of nagging to have children is annoying, but what really frustrates me is the fact that he never gives my husband a hard time about it. It’s somehow my fault that we as individuals came the the decision that we don’t want children before we even knew each other.

I understand that some women feel they were put on this earth to be a mother and want to have children with every fiber of their being, but I’m simply not one of them.

Anyway, I guess I should head to bed and get myself pregnant because it’s my ‘duty’ and it’s #MFIF

Child-Free, Australia

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19 Responses to “On popping them out”

  1. pavlovsothercat Says:

    I can’t have children, and I’m not at all offended by the choices you make about your own body. I’m offended at the suggestion that I would somehow want you to make choices based on my situation.

    I don’t actually want children either, and really empathise on the nagging. My fertility isn’t really the business of people doing the nagging, but I have sometimes given in and told them that I actually can’t have children just to see the look on their faces after what feels like hours of them trying to wear me down. Of course after looking ashamed for a split second the look on their faces is pity, which is especially annoying when I’m quite glad about it and find being pitied more than a little offensive.

    • linggeek Says:

      I’m in the same sutation as pavlovsothercat. Can’t have kids, but never really wanted them. I was never really nagged by my family until I reached my late 30s/early 40s and “time was running out,” but they were ashamed of themselves and very apologetic when I finally said I couldn’t have children. My husband’s family has never nagged either after a few inquiries if we interested in children about 15 years ago, but my brother-in-law’s wife did something really awful to me once. While pregnant, she asked me why my husband and I didn’t have children, and I said, “Well, we can’t have any, but I don’t really miss them since I have a very fulfilling life” (I run my own business). She then went on to tell me that no career could ever make up for children and that I’d never be happy. AFTER I JUST TOLD HER I COULDN’T HAVE CHILDREN.

      That said, even though I can’t have children, I don’t know if I ever would have WANTED them. If I had, I would have adopted. Telling people you can’t have children usually gets them to shut up, but why should we HAVE to tell people that? It’s our right to do what we want with our bodies.

  2. popesuburban Says:

    Next time he starts banging on about people who can’t have kids, ask him if he doesn’t think it’d be a bit sadistic to have a kid you don’t want, so they can see yet another person living their dream and not even liking it. Because really, that would be terribly cold and evil.

    Seriously, though, he’s at least kind of a terrible person for being so pushy, and for singling you out like this. I’d be inclined to stop seeing him– yes, potential for drama and all– until he learns to behave because this is a serious problem and just asking like a normal adult would has not resolved it.

  3. rillion Says:

    You’ve known this guy for three years and put up with his shit for that long? Good god, clearly he isn’t getting the hint. Say something FORCEFUL– tell him he’s being a giant asshole for continually harassing you about this, and you’re not going to put up with it any longer. Or maybe it would be easier to just send him a link to this post. And quite honestly, it’s not very considerate of your sister-in-law to not have said anything to him herself by this point, if she hasn’t.

    • Clement Says:

      thumbs up to this comment.

    • aetra967 Says:

      I actually have been quite forceful with him at times about this. I’ve told him off many times (literally yelling) and once I actually broke into tears because I’d realised I’d pulled my fist back and was about to punch him. I’ve done Tae Kwon Do for over a decade so I could have really hurt him. _he still doesn’t get it_

      • jesurgislac Says:

        Then I think you just need to quit going round.

        Invite the sister-in-law over by herself. Make clear her boyfriend isn’t welcome. And tell her: he’s not welcome, and you’re not visiting, because you don’t like getting bullied and he’s bullying you.

        Tell her, when she visits, you’re concerned that what he’s doing to you, his girlfriend’s sister-in-law, he might do to her – a bully is a bully. If he’s mean to you, because you’re not doing what he wants, what is he doing to her when she doesn’t do what he wants.

        At least that gets it out in the open.

        Seriously. This guy sounds like real bad news.

  4. rillion Says:

    …and your husband, for that matter. If this guy doesn’t understand the words “WE DON’T WANT CHILDREN, END OF STORY” when it comes out of a woman’s mouth, then perhaps he would comprehend it from a man.

  5. jesurgislac Says:

    While I don’t care for Rillon’s tone, I have to agree with the second point.

    Your future former brother-in-law’s hassling of you about kids has gone WAY over the line. He’s insulting you and belittling you, and it makes me wonder how mutual the decision was for him and your sister-in-law to have kids, and how much this attack on you is a reminder to her about what will happen to her if she “gets out of line” and decides she doesn’t want to have kids.

    You could tell your husband that if he doesn’t speak up and say loud and clear “WE DON’T WANT CHILDREN” you’re going to drop him in it: every time ff brother-in-law says anything to you regarding kids, you’re going to say to ffbil – with tears in your eyes, if you can summon that level of acting – “I’d LOVE to have children, but MY HUSBAND has forbidden it because HE doesn’t want any.” If he queries that, tell him to ask his wife, your husband’s sister, who’s known for ten years that her brother doesn’t want kids.

    It’s possible that your husband hasn’t really registered what’s going on/thinks you’re exaggerating. If so, a consistent program of dropping him in it might clue him in.

    If you say “You’ll need to ask my husband about that,” each time he starts in on the subject of how you should be “popping out babies” – just that, no more detail, each time, every time – it might also shake your brother-in-law loose of you. Or at least get your husband involved in the fight, since if either of you’re going to have a relationship-ending fight with your future former brother-in-law over his bullying you, it’s probably better her brother has it than you do.

    Because it is bullying. And it is worrying, because if he’s doing this to you, what is he doing to her?

    • Olaf Davis Says:

      “It’s possible that your husband hasn’t really registered what’s going on/thinks you’re exaggerating. If so, a consistent program of dropping him in it might clue him in.”

      Or she could talk honestly and openly to the man she married and explain how much of a problem she finds it. It’s so crazy it just might work!

    • aetra967 Says:

      My husband has seen it happen and he’s told my brother in law off as well

      • jesurgislac Says:

        Then again – really, I think:

        1. If you think he’s potentially redeemable, maybe a short sharp shock would do it. Tell him you no longer wish to be in the same room as him – and get your husband to say the same thing – because he won’t stop bullying you. Point out that he’s been asked, over and over again, to stop bullying and harassing you, and as he won’t stop, you see the only solution is to break off contact. Tell him you’re willing to resume contact with him once he apologises for past bullying and promises not to do it again. Then if he attempts to make contact, tell him – and your husband needs to tell him too – that the only way he can be allowed back in contact is if he begins by apologising for bullying you and you then make clear he’s used up his one chance – if he starts in on you again, that’s it: he’s broken any chance he ever had of ever being allowed in the same room as you and your husband ever again: yes, that means neither you nor your husband will attend their wedding, if they plan on getting married, because you are not interested in being in the same room as an unapologetic bully.

        You’ve tried everything else: you have the right not to subject yourself to his abuse. Tell him that.

        2. If he’s just an outright unredeemable bully, you need to help your sister-in-law get away from him before he hurts her – and need to make that clear to her, that you understand he’s an asshole, you don’t want to be around him, and you want to help her get away from him: never marry an abuser.

  6. shinobi42 Says:

    Yeah I can’t help but worry about your Sister-in-law, this is just way over the top. Especially going out of his way to invite you over when there are kids there? Not cool, what a dick.

    Unfortunately some people have to be trained how to behave in polite company, and someone, your sister in law, your husband, or all three of you have to let this guy know how inappropriate his actions are. And make sure that there are consequences for his actions.

    If he hates you, or there is tension for a while, that’s normal, you’re in laws.

  7. scrivener212 Says:

    >>“What about all those people out there that can’t have children?”.<<

    Tell him, "They can adopt."

    If he says you'll want children one day, give him the big kitten eyes and say, "But I'm afraid I'll drown them."

    If he says this is what women are meant to do, say it's easy for him to talk: he can't get pregnant. You'll have one when he has one.

    And then, perhaps, you should consider refusing to visit while he is there. He is bullying you. If your sister-in-law and your husband won't stand up to him for you, then refuse to visit her if he's going to be around. If he promises to behave but pulls the visiting baby trick, turn right around and walk out. I don't understand why you've let him go on like this. Your body is your own, and the only person who's entitled to make choices for it are you. If your sister-in-law and your husband are your friends, they'll stand up to this clown for you, but the only one who has a right to dictate the use to which you put your womb is you. If this asshat can't let go of it, then don't give him any more opportunities to harass you in this way.

    I've had people say how sorry they are that I've had no children. They always step back when I grin blithely and say, "I'm not!" That is usually the end of the conversation, however–or maybe it's the fact that when anyone has pressed the issue I've found somewhere else to be. The worst I've ever gotten is "But you'd make a good mother." I reply that I spent my teen years raising my sisters; I've been a social worker with teens for part of my working life; I've done my time. But the fact still remains, it's my womb, and I never planned to use it. Anyone who tried to shame me on that point was doomed to failure.

    • Curvaceous Dee Says:

      “But I’m afraid I’ll drown them.” Awesome comeback – and one I’m totally stealing to use next time I get hassled about my choice to not reproduce.

      xx Dee

  8. sz01 Says:

    It must really bug him that you don’t fulfill your feminine role, as he sees it. He sounds insecure (about his masculinity?) and very keen to control women. That would be why he only targets you, not your husband.

  9. mryan91 Says:

    For me, I never want to birth a child, plain and simple. However, I will one day want to adopt a kid, because I do in fact love children. It took me the longest time to explain to my boyfriend, who really wants a biological child, that I just don’t want to get pregnant. This was because he thought i was scared of the idea because I couldn’t give a real reason. After a few months of random conversations about kids, I finally talked it out with him about how it’s my body and my right and that somewhere deep down something tells me that I’m not too keen on getting pregnant and all that goes with it. He’s now completely on the same page with me, and if our lives continue to run the same path we will know how to proceed when the time comes to bring a child into our lives.

  10. amberisthecolor Says:

    “What about all those people out there that can’t have children?”.

    why is my instinctive response to this “what, you want me to have a baby and give it to them?”

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