So I have been married to my husband for a week and we have had our first marital conflict. I was not expecting this one so soon since we have lived together for 2 years; I thought we knew each other pretty well. We talk a lot and I ask odd questions like, “what do you want done with your body when you die,” and less grime questions like, “What are your goals,” but I forgot to ask a major question that really impacks our future; “Would you ever consider getting a vasectomy?”.

I thought that my husband would at least consider a vasectomy as a possible option in the future but he firmly said, “No,” without even agreeing to read about the less invasive, scalpel free option available. 

I am not an expert on birth control in any way other than being a women who have been sexually active for over 10 years but to me it is pretty obvious how much less painful and risky a vasectomy is compared to tubal ligation. 

My husband and I have talked about having children vs fostering and adopting many times throughout our relationship. When we first started dating almost 6 years ago I wanted to have biological children and he did not. As our relationship grew we both shifted our views several times; I am not sure that I do not want biological children and my husband respects my decision and is open to fostering with the possibility of adopting. 

I think one of the things that caught me most off guard about this conversation is the sexist assumption that the women in the relationship is the one who has to figure out birth control options and suck it up if they are painful or uncomfortable. I am currently on a hormone based oral contraceptive but I don’t plan to be on this for the rest of my life. 

Ideally I would like for us to have a permanent means of pregnancy prevention but for a tubal ligation that would mean surgery and a week at least for recovery time. There are also higher risk of infection compared to the scalpel free vasectomy. 

There are other options for permanent and long term birth control but the majority of them are expensive or painful/uncomfortable. 

I guess I approach our relationship differently than my husband; if things were flipped and I could saw him a greater amount of pain by having a minor procedure I would do it without hesitation. My husband won’t even read about the procedure or consider it as an option in the future. 

Conversations like these ones make me doubt what I know about my relationship and my husband (*cue anxiety creating hypothetical catastrophic future situations*). I started to wonder if I was sick and needed a kidney and he was a match would he donate it to me? What if someone broke into our house and tried to hurt me; would he try to protect me? 

I know that my husband loves me but sometimes I wonder if he loves me the same way I do. I can’t imagine being with anyone else (yes I have dated and had several long term relationships before him) but sometimes small things in our relationship seem like really big hurdles to me. 

On the bright side we have a few years before we really need to decide. I hope someone reading this can have this conversation earlier than I did though. 

Love always,

Jean Marie