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He says a vasectomy would be too painful for him

DEAR HARRIETTE: My husband and I have two children together. Carrying, giving birth and breastfeeding the two children were very painful experiences for me. We don’t want any more children.

My husband says a vasectomy would be too painful for him and suggests I have my tubes tied instead.

I don’t understand how he thinks that’s fair. I experienced the pain of two pregnancies and deliveries, and he experienced nothing. How do I get him to understand that a vasectomy is the least he can do?

— No empathy

DEAR NO EMPATHY: It can be impossible for a man to fully understand what it takes for a woman to give birth – let alone all the other twists and turns of being a mother.

That said, you can put your foot down. No vasectomy, no sex, or at least no unprotected sex. It can motivate him.

DEAR HARRIETTE: Last Christmas was difficult for me. I visited my family and we argued for most of my trip. My father, in particular, was extremely rude to me and made comments that hurt my feelings.

To protect my peace, I already planned to spend Christmas out of state with my best friend. I told my dad that I wouldn’t be home this year, but he did everything he could to convince me to spend Christmas at home.

Should I tell my family that my real reason for not coming is that I had such a bad time with them last year?

— Hard Truth

DEAR HARD TRUTH: I strongly believe in telling the truth as soon as possible. Otherwise, bad feelings escalate and assumptions are made that often make relationships more difficult.

Chances are your dad didn’t want to upset you last year, and he probably has no idea how he interacted with you affected you so much. If you ever want things to change, you have to let him know.

Schedule a time to talk to him on the phone. It would be great if it could be a video call so you can see each other. Be honest and clear because you are also trying not to be mean. Tell your dad that you made other plans for Christmas because you had such a bad experience last year and you don’t want it to happen again this year. Tell your father that your memory of the visit was a moment full of negativity.

Remind him that he’s been mean and rude to you. Give him examples so he can understand what you mean. Tell him that his comments, in particular, hurt you deeply. So this year you decided not to put yourself in that situation.

Assure your father that you love him, but this year you will do something else. If he wants to try fixing the fence with you, schedule another time when you can get together.

It’s OK for you to keep your current plans as long as you can promise yourself that you’ll have a good time and won’t lament being away from your family while you and your best friend enjoy the holidays.

Harriette Cole is a life stylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send your questions to askharriette@harriettecole.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

California Daily Newspapers

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