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WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

How do you cope with desperately wanting something you probably won't get?

Asked by WillWorkForChocolate (23150points) September 16th, 2011

It could be anything, a better car, better house, a raise, a specific pet, etc…

For me, it’s that I desperately want another baby but my husband doesn’t. He used to tell me he wanted four kids, now he says he’s fine with two and doesn’t want to start over with another newborn because he’s too “old”. He’s 34, lol. I know he doesn’t want another child, but I really do and it makes me feel incomplete, somehow. I’m having a hard time coping with it.

What do you want that you can’t have? And how do you move on from the feeling that you’re missing something?

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30 Answers

woodcutter's avatar

I will reflect on what I have now and feel grateful for it. Some things are just meant not to happen is what I have figured out.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I relate to your situation, and I cope by telling myself I don’t want it anymore. It works, sometimes.

janbb's avatar

It took me a long time to get over wanting something I couldn’t have. Finally I was in so much mental anguish that I had to make myself get past it. I empathize with your feelings.

marinelife's avatar

I would focus on enjoying your two children that you have now. Think about the fact that not having a third child gives you more time and attention to lavish on them and on your husband.

If you feel incomplete, consider volunteering (perhaps with infants at a hospital).

janbb's avatar

As a side note, I wanted three also and it could have been lovely but I am just so happy with the two (now grown) sons I have and can imagine what it would be like to have wanted children and not been able to have any.

Blueroses's avatar

Have you ever considered foster parenting? There are so many kids in need and so few families to help them. You can opt for temporary or long term care and you get a lot of options for what children you’re willing to take in.

Your question: it hurts like hell when I know I can’t get the something I really want. I’m learning strategies to replace that thing with something I can achieve but have to work for. Distraction, I guess. No time to obsess.

nikipedia's avatar

I know this is not answering your question at all, but does your husband fully understand how badly you want it? If (not saying this is the case, just supposing) your wanting a child is a 10 and his not wanting one is a 6, it seems pretty clear what the resolution should be, no?

tedibear's avatar

@janbb – You say that you had to “make” yourself get past it. How did you do that?

SpatzieLover's avatar

Hmm…my husband & I go back and forth on the same issue @WillWorkForChocolate. I’ve now come to the decision that if we have a 2nd, it will come from someone else. Just when I came to that definite my husband & my son say “We want a baby”...UGH!

I have to focus my energies on the two of them right now.

janbb's avatar

@tedibear By learning to treat the longing as an addictive behavior and eventually cutting off the stimulus for the longing. It took a lot of work to come to that point.

blueiiznh's avatar

This is a tough one. It also brings to the front of my mind that while I love kids and want more of the little cherubs, I have to accept that it just may not happen.
The child thing of wanting is a bit different than wanting a new car or a horse or something of physical value. Those kinds of wants, I simply set my mind to it and being a determined person gets me to it.
My opinion is that 34 is not old at all to have another child. Add 10 years and there is room for solid argument.
A gift like a child is completely different. even if you both want one, you still may not for many reasons beyond control.
In your case, perhaps a career around children (daycare, school, child therapist, etc) or volunteering in a way that allows you to nurture children might help. It could also make you desire one in a greater way, but I don’t know of anyway you can simply redirect those kind of wants. Hence trying to satisfy it in some way may get you through.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I have learned to accept the things I can’t change and work towards changing the things I can.I think through what my options are and try not to spend much time with regrets.It does no good.
I love kids but cannot have them.It is just the way it is.
I do however, have nieces and nephews that I can see or call anytime.I have good friendships with them.
I appreciate what I do have that is for sure.:)

CWOTUS's avatar

I don’t give up on the “wanting”. There’s no reason to stop wanting what you want, if you really do. But I don’t obsess over it, either. I try to refocus my conscious attention on things that I can be, do or have – but I still want what (or who) I want.

skfinkel's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate Not easy. I had two children and really wanted more as well. We waited a bit, but I was pretty clear this was so pretty important, and I didn’t want to have more unless my husband was fully on board—since he gave much to our children as well. I did have two more, two boys, and all I can say is that it was a very, very good decision. If it helps any, my husband also felt that it was a good thing.

However, wanting children and wanting other “things” is completely different. Almost anything else that is “stuff” is ultimately unimportant.

wundayatta's avatar

There are things I really want, and I don’t know if I’ll ever get them. I find that if I concentrate on them, I tend to start beating myself up when I don’t get them and then I feel worse and worse. So I try to stop thinking about them. I try to be grateful for what I have. In some cases, I have ended up where I wanted to be. Like all my life I wanted to work for a university. Finally, at the age of 47, I was working at a university. I had given up expecting it would ever happen so that when it happened, it took me a while to realize I was where I had hoped to be decades before.

There are things now that I desperately want, and yet I cannot have them. It makes me heart-sick that I can’t get what I want. Sometimes, I remember to try to appreciate what I have, and to not obsess on what more I want, but I’m not ready to give up fighting for it, yet. I’m sure that when I do that—when I am able to be calm about it not happening and I start to focus on my life as I am living it, it will happen.

But right now I am in the complete wanting stage, and am frustrated and tantalized and going crazy with desire for this thing. So it is hard to cope with and it is affecting the rest of my life and not in a good way.

These things come in cycles. Right now I can see it and taste it and I can’t have it. Once day I won’t see it and then all of a sudden it will appear, right under my nose. But I can rush it. I can’t artificially turn off my feelings. I can just feel what I feel and then deal with what I deal.

You don’t know the future, @WillWorkForChocolate. Things can change and you have no idea what might change them. Don’t give up hope. You have no idea what might happen.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I write a list every few years and more recently, every year of the things I’m obsessing over and other things I can have. I decide to work on getting the ones that are possible. In my case, it is absolutely impossible to have what I want so in order to keep some sanity, I have to find outlets and as another jelly wrote, treat the obsession as an addiction and train myself to be annoyed with it, pick it apart and reason it down.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@Neizvestnaya The only thing is I can’t treat wanting another baby as an addiction and make myself annoyed with it. I’m more annoyed that my hubby doesn’t see my longing and agree to knock me up, lol.

I’ve been wanting another baby since our youngest was only 4 months old, and she is now 5. It’s been almost 5 years of this awful “need” and it gets worse every time I look at my daughters’ baby pictures and start crying.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate: I understand your position and I think it’s worse than what I go through, for sure. Most of us are conditioned by society that to not want more and more children means there’s something wrong with you, something selfish or mean.

Because this is about babies and family, ask you husband to do some counseling with you or else some deep emotionally sharing as to why he feels as he does. I work with teams of men, most of them with more than one family and the #1 grudge they have about multiple kids is they feel lost in the mix, important only for providing and fearful they can ever get to the point to enjoy adult things one on one or to have a retirement.

Maybe your hubby doesn’t want to hurt your feelings by saying he’s ready to let the kids you have now grow up so you and he can be “a couple” again? I dunno sweetie :( Find out instead of letting yourself spin your wheels and get more and more down.

Blackberry's avatar

I met a woman who I know damn well had the same connection to me as I had to her. I met her boyfriend that same night, so I obviously respect those boundaries, but another part of me hopes they break up haha.

Kardamom's avatar

I literally change my attitude. You can’t have everything that you want. Some things are simply not within our grasp and we have to look at it like that.

Since the financial meltdowns started a few years back, I have not been able to visit a few of my friends that live out of town, something that I did regularly back in the old days. I also can’t go out to eat, or go to concerts or travel. But I try to make the most of what I do have, I try to write more letters and e-mails and make more phone calls to the people that I can’t see in person, I have embraced cooking at home and I do more free things around my own town (things that I may not have seen or participated in before).

If you don’t change your attitude towards those things that are not within your grasp, you will go mad.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Thanks, @Neizvestnaya. I’ll try to do that. I do know that part of it is that he doesn’t want to start over because our youngest will be 18 in 13 short years, and he’d like to travel and have “kid-free” time. Personally, though, I want another baby so badly that I don’t mind adding another 5 or 6 years to the wait.

janbb's avatar

It’s not the same thing but I really wanted another dog when my dog died and my husband really, really didn’t. Eventually, I came to understand that it was destructive to our relationship to keep harping on it and that the person who really doesn’t want something has as much right as the person who does.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@janbb That is entirely true, and is the only reason I haven’t gotten down on my knees and begged him.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

That’s a tough spot to be in. If you really feel incomplete, time to have another conversation.

filmfann's avatar

A couple years ago, I worked very hard to find the owner of (REDACTED).
I examined online pictures, studied maps, and talked to neighbors of it.
When I finally found the owner, I offered him $25,000 for it. (He got it for free). He laughed, and curtiously said no. He said he had plans to cut it in half, and (REDACTED).

I was currently looking at retirement homes, and I found one that had the perfect spot for it. When I bought my new retirement home, my wife was thrilled with it, but I immediately realized it didn’t have a good place to put the (REDACTED). I knew this meant giving up my dream.
It does bother me. I want it I want it I want it I want it!!!
The idea that the owner, who probably has no idea what he has, is going to cut the damn thing in half kills me.
I cope with it by remembering how happy my wife is with the new place, and acknowledging that I have no place to put it.

But I still have hopes, which is why I am not telling anyone what it is.

augustlan's avatar

I can really relate to your situation, WWFC. My first husband and I wanted to have a lot of kids, hopefully 6 or so. I spent years longing for the first one, while we waited for the timing to be ‘right’. When she was only 6 months old, I was already longing for the second one (and sure enough, she was born 9 months later). Fast forward a year or so, and I was ready for another. Wham, bam, thank you ma’am, 3 kids born in 4 years.

Sadly, we were told we couldn’t have any more after the third, for medical reasons. It took quite a while to get accustomed to the idea that we couldn’t have as many as we’d hoped. The longing was still there, but I did finally realize that, for me, even having even six children probably wouldn’t have squashed that longing. It would probably just start up again after each subsequent birth. Since I had no intention of being one of those women with 19 children, I’d have had to say no to that longing eventually, one way or the other. I kind of reclassified the longing as nostalgia. More like missing having a baby around. I still miss it sometimes, but it’s not a heartache any more.

If it helps you at all, in hindsight I’m very glad we didn’t have more children. I love the ones I have with all my heart, but three kids is a handful!

janbb's avatar

Yes, my mother once said to me, “No matter how many babies you have, janbb, at some point it’s going to be the last baby.”

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@augustlan Thanks, your comment was really comforting to me. =0) I’m also not sure, for medical reasons also, if I’d be able to keep another pregnancy, even if my husband agrees. I’ve got severe endometriosis and because of that, I seem to get pregnant very easily, but I’ve miscarried 5 times. /sigh So I have no guarantee that I’d be able to carry the baby anyway. It sucks.

On the “semi” plus side, I think Mr. Chocolate started to waver a little bit last night after I told him how badly the desire is affecting me. I even explained my financial plan to cover the expenses this time. We’ll see how it turns out.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate: Have you considered Mr. Chocolate has been on pins and needles with each of your pregnancies following the first miscarriage? He might be so stressed at what can happen to your health that he’s resigned himself to feeling very fortunate and safe with the two children so far. Remember, he chose you first to be his partner, the love of his life to be with him forever.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@Neizvestnaya Yes, we’ve talked about that also. There was also a horrible mistake on the nurse’s part with my first delivery that caused major issues and I ended up having to get an emergency D&C. It was scary for him because his aunt had a similar situation and the doctor screwed up and maimed her for life. He almost cried when we found out I had to undergo the same procedure.

But… knowing that and understanding that still doesn’t kill the desire for me. It’s a difficult position.

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