DEAR ABBY: My niece "Jane" is married to "John," who doesn't want children. Before she met John, Jane always loved children. She says he was traumatized by the toxic relationship between his parents and their subsequent divorce. John's father told him often that he and his siblings caused the divorce.
John refuses to have a vasectomy, despite the fact he doesn't want children, and insists that Jane use an IUD to prevent a pregnancy. I think it's the height of selfishness. Three of my closest friends married men who didn't want children. After age 40, they were all divorced. The men then went off, married younger women and all of them have several children. My girlfriends express extreme bitterness over being childless.
Abby, I'm afraid Jane will meet this same fate. Should I talk to her about my concerns? And what do you think about John's unwillingness to get a vasectomy? -- DISAGREEING IN DALLAS
DEAR DISAGREEING: What John's father did by denying his own part in his divorce and placing the blame on his children was unconscionable. It was also a lie. Children do not cause divorces -- their parents do.
If you want to maintain a close relationship with your beloved niece, you should not only not meddle in her marriage, but also keep your nose out of their sex life. John may be unwilling to have a vasectomy not because he is selfish, but because he is afraid of the pain (the procedure is not painless) or because he mistakenly fears it will make him "less of a man." But, ultimately, he should take the necessary steps to prevent a pregnancy, because he's the one who wants to remain childless.