Ask Amy: Oops — husband forgot to disclose vasectomy

November 29, 2011

DEAR AMY: Three years ago when I started dating my husband, I asked him about kids and he said, “I could never have kids.” Then I asked about what would happen if I got pregnant, and he said we would raise the child together. At the time having kids was not a priority for me, so I brushed it aside.

The problem is that once we got married (five months ago), I realized that having a child is a big priority for me and that I was running out of time. I knew it was wrong, but I would accidentally-on-purpose skip days of my birth control, eventually ceasing to take the pills at all. I knew that if we had a child, my husband would grow to love it.

The problem was that, after months of this, I never conceived. A few weeks ago, I finally decided to broach the topic again with my husband. I discovered that he had a vasectomy a year before we met!

He swears that he has mentioned it before, but I know he hasn’t. I feel sick knowing that he kept something like this from me. I also feel trapped in my marriage knowing that it will always be just the two of us. Should I get out while I can and find a husband who wants a child, or will I outgrow this need? -- Desperately Seeking a Child

DEAR SEEKING: When your husband stated “I could never have kids,” it sounds like he seems to think this is the same thing as saying, “I had a vasectomy.” It is not.

If he had told you outright that he’d had a vasectomy, this is not the sort of statement you would likely forget; his assertion that he disclosed this doesn’t ring true.

So far your marriage is built on the flimsiest foundation, with both of you behaving dishonestly about a matter that will dictate the course of the rest of your lives.

You will not likely “outgrow” your desire to have children — in fact, this impulse could grow stronger as time goes by.

You two desperately need to strip away the obfuscation and start telling the truth. Unvarnish it. Why did he have a vasectomy in the first place? Is he willing to have children now? Would he be willing to have his vasectomy reversed or adopt a child with you? Give yourself a reasonable timeline.

A counselor could help to mediate this conversation; total honesty and clarity about this will help both of you make a decision about the future of your marriage.

DEAR AMY: I’m really close friends with a girl at school. I recently told her I have a huge crush on her. I’ve had these feelings toward her for almost a year now.

When I told her I liked her, she said she was flattered but said nothing else. She and I are still really good friends, but I don’t know if she likes me back. How do I let her know I want to be with her? -- Confused Teen

DEAR TEEN: You already told your friend you have a “huge crush” on her (good for you for being honest and brave, by the way). You have disclosed what you need to disclose.

When she said she was flattered, she was basically stating that she values your friendship and is flattered that you feel romantic toward her — but she doesn’t feel that way about you (or she’s unsure).

If she is romantically interested in you, her actions will reveal it. She will initiate contact with you and basically make it clear that she wants to hang out more.

DEAR AMY: Here’s another suggestion for “Stressed Spa-goer in Va.,” about how to avoid professional conversations while at a spa.

Whenever I am in a situation where I don’t want to converse (for instance, on a plane) and I am asked what I do, I generally reply, “I’m a proctologist.” That usually ends all conversation immediately. -- Cornelius in North Carolina

DEAR CORNELIUS: When I don’t want to talk on a plane, I’ll try to sell my seatmate a copy of my book. That usually does the trick.

Write to Amy Dickinson at askamy@tribune.com or Ask Amy, Chicago Tribune, TT500, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60611.

2011 by the Chicago Tribune

Distributed by Tribune Media Services

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