Date: September 14th, 2021 10:58 PM
Author: bespoke hateful hell selfie
Dear How to Do It,
My wife and I are both in our late 30s and have been together as a couple since we were juniors in high school. We were both like-minded, career-wise, and we each went into the tech field upon graduation from college. We started a business together and have been very successful at what we do. Since we were both so driven to get our company off the ground, it left little time for creating a family outside of just the two of us.
About two years ago, we found ourselves with enough financial stability to where we could pull back somewhat from work and begin planning on having children. My wife stopped taking the pill, and we began in earnest trying to conceive. Unfortunately, during this time, my wife slept with another man during a night of heavy drinking—at my behest. At that time, I was the only man my wife had ever been with sexually (I actually lost my virginity in middle school and was active all throughout my high school years), and we had been having discussions about her fooling around with someone else. To me, sex is just a physical activity, and the thought of her trying another dick not only didn’t bother me, but it actually excited me. So one night after we had a watch party, I encouraged one of my good friends to hang around afterward for some “additional partying.” The alcohol clouded our judgment, and we didn’t even consider using condoms.
Of course, a few weeks later my wife turned up pregnant, and doing the math, we immediately knew that my buddy could easily be the father. Nine months later, my wife gave birth to a baby boy that obviously was not mine. (My friend is of a different ethnicity.)
Now having told you all of this, I don’t want you to think my problem is the obvious. I’ve accepted the consequences of my actions, and I love “our” son more than anything. We co-parent with my buddy (yes, we are still good friends), and I don’t care what friends and family have to say about my wife giving birth to another man’s child. Here’s the rub: We had always planned on just having one child. Now that she’s done so, my wife is not interested in having more children. Even though I love our son, I still really want a biological child of my own. Am I wrong for feeling cheated? Should I continue to press the issue and try to convince her to give me a child as well. I don’t want to end up resenting either my wife, my friend, or my son, but I fear that could be a distinct possibility in the future if I am left childless. What do you advise?
—One and … None?
Dear One and None,
I don’t see this as you being cheated. You played yourself. You knew the one-child plan going into this, you ignored the very obvious risk of pregnancy (alcohol may have clouded your judgment and made consequences easier to ignore, but it did not delete how babies are made from your brain), abortion doesn’t seem to have been considered despite the awareness that your buddy’s seed could very well have been that which was planted, and here you are. I don’t believe you’ve actually accepted the consequences of your actions in context because you’re balls deep in them, and yet you’re asking for our blessing to change the terms of your agreement. You put “our” son in quotes, and you fret about being “left childless.” That makes me worry about your “parenting.” You could work on your wife—as much as you are in a situation of your own making, I don’t think a conversation is out of order, as people do change their minds about things, though don’t even think about coercion—but it might be more useful to work on yourself. Through your choices and allowances you made a baby in an unconventional way. The way I see it, the kid is your son. Raise him without scare quotes.
A side note on my bias: I understand that people feel compelled to spawn, as the continuation of our species depends on it. I know many people who have had babies in recent years, some of those babies I’m even fond of. Hopefully the world will be better with these new little people in it. But if you’re asking me well in advance if you should reproduce, given the state of the planet’s ecology, I’m never going to give you an enthusiastic thumbs-up to bring someone into the world who may very well die an early death of thirst. That sounds dramatic and I hope it doesn’t happen, but that’s just where my mind goes, and you took me there.