A letter writer’s husband has refused to have sex with her until she agrees to another child.

Dear EWC

My husband has a child from a previous relationship. And he and I have been married for three years and we have a one-year-old child together. He recently told me he has decided not to have sex with me until I agree to have another baby with him. I feel that to him it means punishing me but that really hurt my feelings. I do want to have another baby but I don’t think we are at a good place at this moment and he doesn’t realize it. He has very little patience when it comes to both kids and I feel like that to him doesn’t matter. I also feel like he just wants to have a big family because he comes from a big family. By the way, I’m 25 years old and he is ten years older than me. Please help! I feel so confused.

Hildegard replies

Your husband may be older than you, but he’s the one acting like a child. You’re very wise to realize that he’s trying to punish you by withholding sex. You two need marriage counseling to figure out 1) how to communicate more directly 2) how to be kind to one another, and 3) how to plan your family. You don’t need to get pregnant again in the middle of this situation; you are right about this. I wonder, does your husband treat you like this in other situations? Or is it just the child issue that has him so frustrated? He may be under a great deal of pressure to have a large family — whether from himself or from members of his family. Nonetheless, he has chosen a really childish way to deal with the issue.

I hope that you will stand up to him and not give in to his demand that you get pregnant. You need to address his poor problem-solving approach before you create any more children with him. It sounds like your reasons for waiting are reasonable and well thought out. Hopefully, you will be able to convince him to work on your relationship first before having more children. I wish you the best of luck with this situation. Stay strong!

Letter #: 432769
Category: Marriage

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