Q&A: Wanting children but in an abusive marriage

Question:

Should we have children if my wife is emotionally unstable and has been physically abusive with me? We’ve been married for ten years and this has been going on the entire time. I very much want children and don’t know what to do.

Answer: We’re saddened for you and understand the painful prospect of life without children. Still, under the circumstances, we think it’s fortunate that you haven’t had children yet. Physical violence and abuse are serious problems in a marriage. It’s impossible to say for sure without more details, but that kind of behaviour you’re describing may indicate the presence of a personality or mood disorder. That’s not a good situation for a child.

We’d encourage you to make a determined effort to deal with these issues decisively before giving another thought to having children. You can’t possibly move forward until you’ve addressed this pressing need at the heart of your relationship.

Ultimately, your wife must acknowledge that she has a problem and do whatever it takes to get in touch with the sources of her anger and frustration. That may mean digging up past hurts, facing fears about the future, or exploring the possibility of chemical imbalances. In the meantime, parenthood will need to wait until these hurdles have been overcome.

If you’ve tried counselling and it hasn’t worked, try again – preferably individual therapy for your wife and intensive marital counselling for the two of you. Please don’t hesitate to contact our Family Support Services at 03-3310 0792 or write to support@family.org.my.

© 2018 Focus on the Family.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.

Share

MORE

MARRIAGE

Marriage

PARENTING

Q&A: Resuming friendship after an emotional affair

Should we terminate our friendship with another couple after the man and I became involved in an emotional affair? It’s over now, and our spouses have taken a firm but conciliatory attitude towards the whole thing. We’ve suspended our normal get-togethers for the time being. At some point, though, do you think it would be okay to resume our friendship?

Read More >

Q&A: Moving back in with empty nesters

Just as we were looking forward to the freedom of an “empty nest,” our adult daughter decided that she needs to come back and “get her life together” before “moving on to the next step.” But we don’t know exactly what this means, and we have no idea how long she’s planning to stay. Do you have any advice?

Read More >

Parenting

FAMILY Q&A

Q&A