I was introduced to the idea of childlessness-by-marriage by Sue Lick’s blog where I learned various ways the concept can present itself. Recently, it was Dear Abby who revealed yet another version that I was surprised I hadn’t thought of. I’ve edited the letter here, but not to worry. The writer’s pain is just as raw.
Dear Abby: I had been single a long time when I married a wonderful man, ‘Edgar,’ who had custody of his 2 children. After we had dated awhile, he told me about his vasectomy. He said he and his wife had agreed not to have any more children…As our relationship progressed, Edgar told me he would have the vasectomy reversed if I wanted to have children – which I said I definitely did. After 2 years of marriage, I finally brought up the subject. Edgar then informed me he didn’t want to reverse the operation. He said he couldn’t handle having another child..Abby, I am crushed. I thought Edgar loved me enough to give me children out of our union and love. I love his children and wouldn’t favor our children over his. I would never consider leaving Edgar over this, but I don’t know if I can ever forgive him for deceiving me and leading me on.”
Signed, “Childless and Heartbroken“.
It doesn’t seem to matter to the writer whether Edgar lied to her 2 years ago when he said he’d reverse the procedure, or if now, 2 years older, he’s realized that the pre-dawn screams of a hungry infant are sounds that he never wants to hear again.
Would it matter to you? Is a deal a deal, no matter what? Of course, it is telling that the letter makes no mention of Edgar mentioning a change of heart. Instead, she describes his responses as being flatly concrete.
Abby’s response includes a plea for couples considering marriage to go through prenuptial counseling “to ensure compatibility.” ENSURE? Seriously? Yeah, ’cause nobody ever lies to a pastor or counselor.
“While you would never leave him, [Edgar’s] dishonesty is grounds for an annulment of the marriage.”
Smooth, Abby girl.
When Childless and Heartbroken was typing her letter on a tear-stained keyboard, she meant what she wrote. She wants to be with Edgar ’til Death do them part.
But, what if it’s his lie that “do them part”? Or, his change of mind? Or whatever the hell it was? It might never happen. They may make it through this trial. Nevertheless, Abby let Childless know she has an option out, and a fairly easy one at that.
There was no lecture. No “You should’s” or “You should have’s”. Only information that Childless really, really needs to have.
Abby is OK by me.
*Dear Abby is syndicated by Universal Uclick.