I had a discussion last night with my husband that left me feeling…uneasy. I’m not sure if it’s something I should be upset about, or if I’m overreacting.
I’ve always been a private person. I don’t like people being in my business and I like to keep things like money, medical matters, and marital issues, such as family planning goals, private.
My husband agrees, but is a bit more open than I am about such things.
When we were engaged, my husband and I discussed when we would begin having children. By the time the wedding came around, we had decided we would try to get pregnant within a year, probably later rather than sooner. A month or so before the wedding, my husband’s sister-in-law directly asked him if we were going to have children right away or wait a while. My husband told her that we would “maybe wait a year or less.” We ended up changing our minds and our son was born 10 months after our wedding.
So, fast forward to now, when a friend of ours made a comment that our sister-in-law had told her that we planned to “wait a year or two” before having children. She then said, “What, did your NFP not work?”
This really bothered me for a number of reasons, which I explained to my husband:
1.) Sister-in-law was directly asking about something that wasn’t her business.
2.) Sister-in-law told someone else about it and exaggerated it (“maybe a year or less” became “a year or two,” as usually happens when things get passed from one person to another)
3.) Our son is viewed by others as an “accident” and a testimony to people’s opinions about how NFP does not work as well as contraception does (friend and sister-in-law think contraception is morally acceptable).
4.) Overall, private matters in our marriage are no longer private and are being discussed outside of our marriage by others.
I told my husband that, in the future, if anyone asks about when/if we are going to have more children, how many children we are going to have, etc., I would like us to have a polite but vague response prepared, such as “Well, we are thinking about it…we’ll see how things go.” He said he would do that, and he was glad I told him how I wanted to handle it because he does not see sharing such things with others as a big deal. He agreed that sister-in-law shouldn’t have been repeating what he told her and he was also annoyed that “maybe a year or less” became “a year or two,” but he didn’t think it was a big deal or wrong of her to be asking such a question. He also said that in his opinion, it is not really that big a deal or un-heard of to talk about things like how many children you’re going to have, when you are going to have them, etc. (Sister-in-law has shared her number of children and timing of them multiple times with many people.) He said there is direct benefit to knowing other people’s family planning goals and for them to know yours. He gave a hypothetical example of…suppose we wanted to take a family vacation before getting pregnant again so we planned it for a certain time, but then sister-in-law got pregnant and they canceled the trip, it would have been helpful to know that they planned to get pregnant at that time so we could have not worried about the vacation. I understand where he’s coming from, but still don’t see it as a benefit to know everyone’s plans for the number and timing of their children.
He also said that people are going to speculate and wonder when/if you are going to have children whether you tell them about it or not, and so if you don’t share anything, then people start wondering and speculating too much, so it’s better to just tell them about it. :rolleyes: Once again, I see his point, but I don’t think it’s a valid reason for broadcasting your private business. I admit I’ve always worried more than I should about what others think of me and that I shouldn’t worry so much about it. But I still don’t see any valid reason for sharing something private such as the number and timing of children.
He said he respects my opinion and can see my point of view, and that he will give the polite but vague response we talked about if anyone questions him in the future. So, there’s really no issue. I guess I am still just annoyed that he thinks all of this is okay. Am I wrong? Am I overreacting about it? I’d just like opinions. Thanks.