DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have three children. Before we were married, we discussed that I wanted a big family. He said he didn't want kids at all. This didn't bother me because I had been told I would never be able to have children. We ended up not only having one "surprise" baby, but three.
My dilemma is I desperately want to have more children. My husband has not only said no -- he's said HELL no, over his dead body. Then he got a vasectomy. I feel I'm between a rock and a hard place. I am considering going through a sperm bank. What is your advice? -- MOM OF SURPRISE BABIES
DEAR MOM: You knew before you married your husband how he felt about having a family. You thought you would never have children, but have been blessed with three. Be grateful and quit winners, because if you follow through with what you're considering, you could wind up raising your children alone.
DEAR ABBY: My mom once said that her younger sister had an unwed pregnancy in the early 1940s and gave up a baby girl for adoption. Mom told no one else but me about this. She later said her sister had confessed it to her husband late in life and that he had reacted violently.
I recently attended a family funeral and had a conversation with my cousin, who said he was concerned about possible dementia in his mother because -- among other things -- she had asked him about his older sister. (He doesn't know he had one.) I didn't say otherwise, but I'm debating with myself if I should say anything or just keep quiet. My aunt died last week, after being a widow for several years. -- KEEPER OF A FAMILY SECRET
DEAR KEEPER: If there were anything positive to be gained by revealing this secret, I would advise you to tell your cousin. But there isn't. So keep your mouth shut.
DEAR ABBY: During our many years of married life, we have lived in six neighborhoods. In two of them, there was a married couple comprised of a housewife and what I would call a "garaged husband." These husbands spent all their spare time working and puttering in their garages. One of them worked on his motorcycle and truck; the other rebuilt an antique truck from the ground up. Both created excessive noise with their projects.
One of the men eventually moved his bed into the garage and, not surprisingly, the marriage ended in divorce. The second man spends more time with his youngest son (who also stays in the garage most of the time) than with his wife.
Have your other readers made similar observations? Is this a version of the "man cave" syndrome where men like to hang out? -- ANOTHER HUSBAND IN OREGON
DEAR HUSBAND: I will leave your question open to readers, but I think variations of "garaged husbands" might be ones who render their spouses "sports widows."
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