DEAR HARRIETTE: My husband and I have been trying to have a baby for five years now. I am emotionally exhausted, and I am beginning to lose hope that I’ll ever conceive. How can I mentally prepare myself if it never happens for us? — Want a Baby
DEAR WANT A BABY: The mysteries of conception and childbirth are real and can be devastating for couples who are unable to conceive and/or carry a child to term. It can be frustrating to look at others’ lives and wonder why it seems so easy for them, even as you have set yourselves up to create a “perfect” home to welcome a child.
What you may want to do is think outside the box. What if you cannot conceive a child? Is it possible for a family member to be a surrogate for you? Talk to your doctor about surrogacy in general and how it works. Have you explored IVF? Many couples have been successful with in vitro fertilization. You can also consider adoption. This may be hard for you to consider right now, but there are viable options for parents who are unable to conceive.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I recently found out my husband was married when he married me. I never knew; I asked before, and he said no. He was married in another state, so I guess that’s why it didn’t show up when we got married, but legally, this makes our marriage null and void. He told me he got married for military benefits and never even lived with the woman. We’ve been married for seven years now, but it was all a lie. I want to leave him; am I overreacting? — All a Lie
DEAR ALL A LIE: Talk to an attorney and determine the status of your marriage. This is a practical and concrete step you need to take to protect yourself. Talk to your husband. Why did he think it was OK to withhold such important information? Ask him why you should trust him now.
Should you leave? That is a valid question. The two of you need to sort through your life and talk about the future. What do you want? What does he want? What does he have to say for himself regarding this huge lie that he has been living? How can he make up to you for this betrayal? Listen to him, and trust your gut. If you believe that he truly wants to be in a relationship with you and is willing to work to earn back your trust — and you want to be with him — give it a try. If you are done, have your lawyer begin the process to dissolve the marriage. Truth is, it may be simpler than that. If you aren’t legally married, you may be able to walk away. It really depends on what assets you share and where you live.
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