I have a wonderful family of two daughters and a good husband who has been the love of my life for 14 years. We have had our issues in marriage but always managed to get through them.
The only major thing is that my husband seems to be getting impatient with me for not bearing him a son. Whenever he sees boys, he goes quiet and has this blank stare in his eyes. At home, he doesn’t talk much and he has told me about his desire to try for a son.
I am running out of time not since I am 37 but I think if I don’t succeed, he may go to another woman. I think this issue is stressing him and even though we are struggling to raise our two daughters, he is willing to try for a son. What can I do to please him? He is really not settled and I think he is losing patience.
Gladwell, in our African set-up, which remains largely paternal, this is a big topic of discussion. Men have this thing about having a son to carry on the family name (daughters are deemed to get married and carry on the family name of their matrimonial home). As a result of this inaccurate perception that is nonetheless deeply entrenched in African culture, it is common for a man to feel somewhat incomplete in the absence of a son. At this stage, it is not important to get into scientific reasons as to why you have only borne him daughters because this is not a scientific issue but a social problem anchored strongly on our cultural beliefs.
The hard truth is that there is not much you can do to ensure that you bear him a son other than just trying your luck. Often, men do not understand that in such situations, every woman so much desires to give birth to a son but women have no input into the sexual orientation of the children they bear. We should always be ready to accept the child that God blesses us with regardless of their sex and our expectations. This takes some level of counselling and willingness to accept on his part since if things don’t go as planned this gap will always exist and may become a source of conflict in the family.
I emphasize that the best way out of this is to try one last time – if you are both psychologically and financially prepared to have another child. However, if it doesn’t work out, then there are always ways of dealing with this. Counselling goes a long way in assisting people to accept situations that they cannot change and in learning to make the best out of them. Essentially, daughters are just as good as sons and while every man wishes to have an heir, not everyone is lucky enough to have one.
Discuss the realities of having a 3rd child (boy/girl) and make him understand that it is your utmost desire to bear him a son but if you go ahead and try for it, he ought to be open for any eventuality. Worry not about the possibility of him looking for a solution from another woman, this is not entirely dependent on the children you give him – it is a matter of choice and conscious decision to cheat.
Simon is a relationships counsellor
One can feel how heavily this matter is weighing down on you and your desire to change the state of affairs. Unfortunately some things are beyond you. You have limited influence on this matter.
The male child has been overrated especially here in Africa. A son is viewed as one who propagates the lineage or the family. However, one can either have boys or girls, so it is only human to desire children of both gender. But there’s a limit to how far our desires can push us. You say you are struggling to take care of the two children you have. Meaning you do not capacity for another child for now.
Desires should be within reasonable scope. We know that our desires are getting out of hand when we begin to disregard what we already have. You have a great family that your husband is putting at risk just because of what he does not have. From the science point of view, the gender of a child is determined by the male parent.
All is not lost. You can talk to a medic who can offer you help or guide into conceiving a boy. This would call for both of you having balanced dialogue on this matter without anyone blaming the other. At 37, it is not too late to have another child. With a united front, you could achieve this. And even if this does not happen, you first need to get to a point where you truly appreciate the children you already have. Girls can and have turned out to be a great delight to the parents and so have boys. The opposite too is true.
Give attention to the children you are already blessed to have. They will make you proud and give you the satisfaction you are looking for.
Hilda Boke Mahare has a background in Counselling Psychology
Do you have a life or relationship dilemma that you’d like help with? Send your question to
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