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“My Brother Didn’t Tell the Woman Who Wants to Start a Family with Him That He’s Had a Vasectomy”

One of the important things that many couples discuss when things start to get serious between them is whether they are both on the same page when it comes to wanting children. It’s not unusual these days for people to decide that they’d prefer a childfree lifestyle, but this is usually only sustainable when both partners agree. For some people the urge to start a family is so strong that meeting a person who doesn’t want them would be a deal-breaker for them. In these circumstances, as hard as it may be, the only decent thing to do is admit that you aren’t compatible, and move on with your life and find someone with the same values and life goals as you.

Writing into Reddit, one woman explains how she recently put her foot in it at a family gathering. Her brother Mark, who had always been open and vocal about the fact that he did not want children, brought his girlfriend Hailey to meet everyone. But what became apparent as the event wore on was that Mark hadn’t been quite so upfront about his future child-free existence with Hailey, who he was planning on settling down with.

My brother (Mark 40) won the lottery when he was 20. It was $1,000 a week for life. He was young and wanted to travel. He dropped out of school and has spent his entire adulthood basically seeing the world. He comes home to visit every few years and we FaceTime with him when he is near a signal. He doesn’t travel first class or stay in expensive resorts so he has actually built up some nice savings.

He came home with a girlfriend, Hailey, 28, this year. They met when they got stuck in South America during the pandemic. She has been traveling since she graduated from university and she works out of a laptop.

I (f54) live in the same city where I was born. I love it here. I love being close to my parents and my grandchildren. And most of my siblings. Mark hated being the youngest of eight and always swore he would not have kids. Our parents were older when they had him and they didn’t have the energy for him truth be told.

Mark came home when he was thirty and told is all that he had had a vasectomy and that he would not be contributing to the world population.

Hailey is a pretty young thing and she is also intelligent and sweet. I can understand why anyone would fall in love with her.

We were having a family BBQ to celebrate mark being in town. There were maybe 30 people in my parent’s yard and house.

I was talking to Hailey about her future plans now that the world opened up again. She said that she was ready to settle down and start a family. I asked if they were planning on adopting from one of the countries that they had travelled to or if they would try in North America. She said they had talked about it and would be having at least one child of their own.

This may be where I fucked up. I asked where Mark got his vasectomy reversed or if they were having in vitro fertilization. I know they can harvest sperm from a testicle even after a vasectomy.


She went very quiet and went over to Mark. They spoke and they left.

Mark called me later that night to scream at me for ruining his life. He hadn’t told her and he was planning on just continuing to travel and maybe adopt if they decided on it. He said I shared private medical information and that he never wanted to see me again.

I apologized over and over. I seriously had no way of knowing that he was planning a future with this girl without telling her a pretty big piece of the puzzle might be missing.

I feel bad for him but I think he should have told her.

Wow! It sounds like Mark is a major a-hole! Imagine the level of entitlement involved in making the decision  not to tell her he has had a vasectomy. Instead he’d let her face the worry and heartache that inevitably comes with failing to conceive.

So they talked about it and he didn’t bring it up on his own terms at all??? Wouldn’t that have been the time for him to tell his partner about the vasectomy?? (violetlavellan)

Your brother wanted to build his marriage on a lie. That poor girl would have gone through years of hell trying to get pregnant (and society immediately assumes there something wrong with the woman if she can’t get pregnant) only to find out he had been snipped. And then she would have wasted her most fertile years. If she didn’t want kids (or only wanted to adopt) then it wouldn’t have been your business to say anything, but she wants a natural child and it would have been cruel to hide the truth from her.

Your brother is mad that his lie got out. There are a few dealbreaker topics you should cover before the wedding (before engagement really) and kids is a big one. If he was willing to lie and deceive on this one, I would wonder what else he was lying to me about. (Suagr_Mama76)

According to one commenter this behaviour may not be as uncommon as we might think.

I worked at an IVF clinic. Wife had EVERY TEST in the book for 6 months before her husband FINALLY did a semen analysis, which showed that he was firing blanks. He finally fessed up that he had a vasectomy. I felt so bad for the wife. An entire year trying for a baby and 6 months of invasive testing and her husband said NOTHING! (tap2323)

Unsurprisingly, there was no sympathy for Mark, and nobody agreed that his sister had ruined his life.

NTA. This is all his fault for being a lying asshole. It is not your responsibility to keep his secrets, especially if you don’t know it’s a secret. She dodged a bullet.

You didn’t do anything wrong. You assumed your brother had been honest with her. It’s not your fault he doesn’t deserve her. (AdDangerous1243)

NTA. This woman was literally planning a life and for a family and wanted at least 1 child that was hers biologically. They obviously had spoken about this and he never told her. It’s not your fault he chose to lie by omission. He ruined his own life b/c he chose not to be honest with his partner. (colmcmittens)

If anything most people agreed that Op had unwittingly saved poor Hailey from a lot of heartache, and helped her dodge a bullet.

Wow! He was going to let that poor woman stress over not getting pregnant and think that there was something wrong with HER reproductive system.

Way to go, OP. You saved her so much heartache. (Dr_Mombie)

Could you ever come back from deceit of this magnitude? Would this be an instant dealbreaker for you?

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Jolene enjoys writing, sharing and connecting with other like-minded women online – it also gives her the perfect excuse to ignore Mount-Washmore until it threatens to bury her family in an avalanche of Skylander T-shirts and Frozen Pyjama pants. (No one ever knows where the matching top is!) Likes: Reading, cooking, sketching, dancing (preferably with a Sav Blanc in one hand), social media, and sitting down on a toilet seat that one of her children hasn’t dripped, splashed or sprayed on. Dislikes: Writing pretentious crap about herself in online bio’s and refereeing arguments amongst her offspring.

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