Dear Abby: My husband and I will celebrate 15 years of marriage next year. We have a 5-year-old daughter. Our dilemma is whether or not we should have another child.
I’m 38 and my husband is 40. We have become comfortable with the fact that our daughter is getting more independent. We plan on doing a lot of traveling, and I will change jobs after I complete school. We are not sure about starting over with a baby.
We are doing OK financially, and if we have a second child, it would have to be within the next year, while I finish my classes and can be home to be with the baby.
We would like your opinion, and also to hear from parents who had only one child, as well as people who were raised without a sibling.
– Maybe Only One in Georgia
Dear Maybe Only One: If you are considering enlarging your family only so your daughter will have a sibling, I don’t recommend it. What the six-year age difference means is that your children will not grow up “together.” By the time the younger one is starting high school, the older one will be in college and gone. Even when they are closer in age, it’s no guarantee siblings will be close.
I cannot – and should not – decide this for you. I am throwing your question open to my readers and will share their opinions with you. However, I’m sure they will be varied.
Happiness is up to her
Dear Abby: After 25 years, I have finally admitted to myself that I’m married to a workaholic, alcoholic womanizer. I have devoted my entire adult life, my time, effort and energy to my family. Now I feel used, abused and disrespected. I’m grateful to be a member of Al-Anon. It has helped me to understand that I cannot change anyone but me.
I have raised three great, successful grown kids. I have yet to make a decision for myself. I married for life. Must I continue to suffer in silence? Or do I hope that there is love, kindness and respect out there to be had?
– Stalling in Iowa
Dear Stalling: Let me remind you what you’ve already learned in Al-Anon: You cannot change anyone but yourself. The same is true of your circumstances.
You are entitled to receive the same love and respect that you offer to others. Because your workaholic, alcoholic, womanizing husband hasn’t changed in a quarter of a century, it’s obvious he has no intention of doing so.
You don’t need to find another man in order to be happier than you are now. Being alone could give you peace, contentment and happiness. The question you need to answer honestly for yourself is whether you would be happier without your husband’s negative influence in your life.