My wife is pregnant, but I had a vasectomy
I am a widower who has four children with my late wife. Two years ago I started a relationship with another woman, and we got married four months ago. We never really discussed children, as she also has two from previous relationships, and combined, all our children are pre-teens and teenagers. My new wife has now announced that she is pregnant and she is ecstatic. Except that I had a vasectomy after my last child – 10 years ago – and there is no way this baby is mine. I am very conflicted because she is a good partner and a good mother to all our children, and I dread the thought of starting over. But this was no immaculate conception or warped science – I’m simply not the father. What do you suggest?
You’re shocked by your wife’s pregnancy when you’ve had a vasectomy. And you’re worried about your marriage. Understood. The situation begs some questions. However, statistics actually say that in Jamaica about 30 per cent of children do not belong to the men they call fathers. It seems there may be a need to be more DNA testing in Jamaica. The situation is not fair to fathers or to children.
However, life has strange twists and turns, and it’s important to know that if we let it, life will deliver us some amazing adventures. I’ve heard great stories of people experiencing surprises that work out in amazing ways. For example, a child who was said to be the “outside black sheep” was the one child to care for the parents when they were old. As is said, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.”
My counsel for you:
Talk to your doctor: Here’s a reality – yes, it’s not immaculate conception, but amazing things do happen. It’s apparent that there’s a one per cent chance that you could have gotten her pregnant. So talk to your doctor and find out about this phenomenon. It seems that about one to two out of every 100 women whose partners have a vasectomy do get pregnant, but that’s within the year following the vasectomy. So it is remotely possible. Talk to a medical professional about this.
Talk to your wife: Here’s a question your situation begs, how did your wife not know about your vasectomy? That’s a big deal. Yes, neither of you may have wanted more children, but having had a vasectomy is something you should share with the woman you’re marrying. So sit down with her, and ask her first if there’s anything she’d like to share with you. This is to give her an opportunity to come clean if there’s any infidelity she needs to confess. The likelihood of that being the case is much higher than you getting her pregnant. After you ask her in a respectable manner to be open and honest, then let her know about your vasectomy. Apologise to her that you never mentioned it prior to your marriage. I pray that you’re wise enough and strong enough to handle this in a decent manner.
Prepare for some drama: You’ll need to know what’s going on regarding possible infidelity or the amazing possibility of your being a father again. It doesn’t have to mean the end of your marriage. But if there is infidelity, one of the challenges is that it puts your health at risk. If she maintains that there’s no infidelity, let her know that you love her, yet to put your heart at ease, you’d like to do a DNA test when the child is born.As the Americans say, “trust, but verify”. Let her know you’ll owe her a cruise and a lot of make-ups if you’ve caused her undue pressure and the child is indeed yours.
Your situation is not easy but you can navigate this with skill. If you need further help reach out to me at www.counsellorscouch.com.
Get on The Counsellor’s Couch with Rev Christopher Brodber, who is a counsellor and minister of religion. E-mail questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.