There’s a curious phenomenon that happens in the waning days of a marriage. I was just talking to my friend who's been divorced for over a decade. She had, just prior to her divorce, a colicky two-year-old. She got pregnant and miscarried. She immediately tried to get pregnant again. Oh, and she was having an affair.
It was her lover who made her think twice. He said, "Listen, your marriage doesn't seem to be on a good path, are you sure you want to do this?" But she's in good company; it happens all the time. Women who are unhappy in their marriage fall under the delusion that having a baby, or another baby, will save their marriage.
My advice: cross your legs, ladies! Having a baby will not save your marriage. You’re really looking to regain the lost connection with your partner, so focus on that instead. There are lots of ways you can rekindle that spark as a couple.
Then there’s the scenario where she wants children and he doesn’t, or he’s not really sure. Tricking your husband into impregnating you shows lack of integrity and will come back to haunt you. Even if you do, and he sticks around for a little while, he’ll be gone in about thre
e years. That seems to be the time frame I’ve seen in my practice and in research.
The third reason women may try to have a child to save their marriage is because they feel like they’re not important. Their husband doesn’t pay enough attention to them, and in some cases they’re already stay-at-home moms with their current children growing older and more independent. Sure, having an infant around will make you feel useful, if not important, but it’s not going to save your marriage.
Surely there’s also a biological component to this strange phenomenon. Women in their 30’s do feel that proverbial clock ticking. But it’s helpful to discern whether you just want a baby for the sake of the baby, or if you have ulterior motives.
Take an honest look at your relationship. Is it strong and healthy? Do you spend time together? Do you genuinely like your partner? And lastly, would you still want a baby if you knew you’d be divorced in two or three years? If you can answer yes to these questions, you’ve got a strong foundation that will likely withstand the stresses of having a baby.
If you answer no to these questions, you might want to focus on improving your relationship first (or instead.)