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he would still have to work and pay bills and have responsibilities like every other adult in the world, even if he didn't have a family.
Yes. However, about a third of the time, and with less than half the responsibilities.
That's where the mid-life-crisis comes in...... the part where there is an exponentially-diminishing reward for effort.
 

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My husband (M/40) has seemed so unhappy for the past few months. I (F/38) assumed it was due to work stress. Our daughter is now 5yo and he revealed to me last night that he never wanted to have kids and I pushed him to have one. He loves our daughter but also feels like she's ruined his life and now he's doomed to be unhappy and to just deal with it. He loves me and he doesn't want to leave me or end the marriage. But how can I live like this knowing he's unhappy everyday?
Encourage him to get some therapy. Depression in men can take many forms. If he is struggling with depression, the best thing you can do for him is help him seek help.
 

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That's where the mid-life-crisis comes in...... the part where there is an exponentially-diminishing reward for effort.
I hear you, but it doesn't necessarily have to be like that, IMO.

I feel that sometimes, MLC is a bit of a reckoning... finally realizing that you are with the wrong person or in the wrong field, or w/e and wondering why you didn't do something about it sooner. Thinking, is this all there is?

I could be wrong, but it just seems to me that happily married people don't seem to have as many MLC issues.
 

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You need to have a major discussion (if you haven't already) about what specifically is
Bugging him about fatherhood. It sounds like maybe he's just not into kids? He needs to come out and
Express his feelings in detail. Maybe there is somethings come out that can help.
Personally I can't imagine Not being crazy about your kid, but thats me, not him.

IMHO maybe people are being a bit hard on the dude. After all, he is doing his duty if only out of
Duty. You can't really fake feelings. Can that be changed somehow? Counseling.
 

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I think you should ask him if there's anything you can do that will make him happier about the situation. You might also tell him you are past some of the harder years having gotten out of toddlerhood. Find out if there's something you can do to make him happier.

He probably just isn't a kid person. Maybe he would be happy with a dog or something like that or maybe he wants more alone time with you and you can manage all of those things.

Or maybe he wants more time with the guys or off by himself fishing or something. He probably is feeling trapped so just ask him what he needs. Don't share this with your child.
 

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some people love being parents some love their kids.

The fact that he won't voluntarily do anything with his daughter is extremely sad. It tells me that he isn't feeling a connection. He is either unwell (depression) or is moving on from his family.
Some people don't enjoy kids at all. It doesn't mean he is unwell, it just means he doesn't enjoy them and doesn't want one.

There are many people in the world who prefer to be child free for this reason.

It doesn't mean there is something wrong with him though.

It's unfortunate he went ahead and fathered one. Maybe he didn't know the full extent of his not wanting one until after the fact.
 

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I feel like there was a point where he tried harder but maybe he was trying to convince himself that things would change/get better. His actions with her have always seemed to lack something. He just seems like an empty shell interacting with her.
Is there anything specific that he misses? Cuz this isn't normal... While it's normal to get burnt out at times because kids can be a handful, it isn't normal for a parent to feel drained every time they interact with their kids at all...

Is it possible that he is depressed?
 
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Some people don't enjoy kids at all. It doesn't mean he is unwell, it just means he doesn't enjoy them and doesn't want one.

There are many people in the world who prefer to be child free for this reason.

It doesn't mean there is something wrong with him though.

It's unfortunate he went ahead and fathered one. Maybe he didn't know the full extent of his not wanting one until after the fact.
I'm leaning more towards depression, since the daughter is five and it has only been the last few months that he has been unhappy.

Depression is a nasty beast and can really **** up a person's outlook on stuff.
 

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I'm leaning more towards depression, since the daughter is five and it has only been the last few months that he has been unhappy.

Depression is a nasty beast and can really **** up a person's outlook on stuff.
He says he never wanted kids and only had one because she pushed him into it.

That doesn't sound like depression to me.
 

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He says he never wanted kids and only had one because she pushed him into it.

That doesn't sound like depression to me.
It does to me, if it's a recent development. Depression can easily cause someone to be convinced that a person, even loved ones, are the source of their unhappiness. It's one of the reasons it is often a relationship killer.
 
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Happens a lot more than people usually want to admit to.
I have known people who enjoyed and wanted kids. I have also known people who didn't want kids, but who sacrificed that to please their mate, and did their duty to help instruct and provide for the kids. I have also known people who simply let their kids go to hell in a flaming rowboat.

In my opinion, behind door #1 is a good person.. Thankfully, we have some of these people here. Behind door #2 is a good person, thankfully, we have some of these people here, too. Behind door # 3 is a person who should be exterminated like a rodent. We would be far better off without them here.

He probably is feeling trapped so just ask him what he needs.
"Trapped" is indeed the operative word. He is trapped between his own desires for his own life, and the responsibility of his real life. He needs to find a meaning beyond the daily grind which is HIS, not his family's, not his kid's. He needs to learn that not everyone has the same mission or calling in life. There are some people behind door #1 who found a sense of mission in their spouse and children. Everyone agrees that people behind door #1 are good. Everyone agrees that people behind door #3 are bad.

His problem is that there is a plethora of widely-variant opinions expressed about people behind door #2, and he is weary of trying to "draw the line", and he doesn't know "where" (or how) to "draw" it.

His child has the benefit of a good father. He may not be the kind of father YOU want him to be, and he may not be the kind of father his child wants him to be, but both his wife and his child need to recognize that he was not made by God and put into this world to live up to THEIR expectations. He has his own calling and his own purpose. He is GOOD because he has made the conscious decision to provide for his family, not because he becomes 100% sacrificial, but because he is far more tha 0% sacrificial.
 

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happily married people don't seem to have as many MLC issues.
You are correct. And, that is because, their natural inclinations are set to find fulfillment in marriage and family. There is therefore no reason for a "MLC".

he didn't know the full extent of his not wanting one until after the fact.
Dear God, who does ? We tend to grow up and do what our parents did. Most of us have a vague idea of our aspirations, but have no earthly idea how much time and attention and toil it requires to be a parent.
 

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It does to me, if it's a recent development. Depression can easily cause someone to be convinced that a person, even loved ones, are the source of their unhappiness. It's one of the reasons it is often a relationship killer.
She said earlier on that he has always been this way with their daughter, he just recently admitted why. If it was a recent thing then I'd agree that it's likely depression.
 

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Some people don't enjoy kids at all. It doesn't mean he is unwell, it just means he doesn't enjoy them and doesn't want one.

There are many people in the world who prefer to be child free for this reason.

It doesn't mean there is something wrong with him though.

It's unfortunate he went ahead and fathered one. Maybe he didn't know the full extent of his not wanting one until after the fact.
yes, but this is his child. There is no bond there. This is the issue, not whether he likes children. This is only really understood by parents. Even if you are not into children there should be a paternal bond. I know many many people that are not into kids at all, but they are bonded to their own.

-I've come back to edit this. I realize I'm answering this as a woman who didn't want children and I don't really like them on mass, I don't like the activities that go with them, play centres etc. I fell pregnant with my first, without any family or partner support. I had my child not because I'm anti abortion but I felt the bond from the moment I found out I was pregnant. My next child was planned with the same man. I would fight to the death for both of them. The children's father, my ex loved our second child. he went out of his way to spend time with them, he planned things, he showed favouritism, it was obvious.

He didn't want our first child, and it was obvious, sadly also to our child.

Sadly the second child he lost interest in when we separated and he moved out. He sees her, but has no real connection with her. She has been very unwell in the last few years and he just is not that interested. This has affected her badly. He goes through the motions. He is no longer emotionally connected to our second child. But he does his due diligence when he has his weekends with her.

But our first child, in the last few years he is interested in again. I think my ex now wants a pal and treats our son as such,

I guess what I'm saying is both of the children don't feel loved by their father. There is something missing. This has affected them both emotionally. So maybe the OP's husband doesnt have depression but this will affect the child and how she views herself. Most people attach to their children, some people just don't have the ability. Depression takes this away temporarily. Someone like my ex husband it's just not there, for their children or for other people.
 

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yes, but this is his child. There is no bond there. This is the issue, not whether he likes children. This is only really understood by parents. Even if you are not into children there should be a paternal bond. I know many many people that are not into kids at all, but they are bonded to their own.
That’s true for some but not all. My exH and I had one child and neither of us had other children. I was very bonded and he was not bonded at all. That never changed.
 

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Is it true, did you push him to have a child?

At the end of the day, he made that choice - he has to live with it. Is he a good dad? If not then your child is probably better off if you divorce and let your husband go his own way.

It's also possible that he's struggling with his mental health and that this is causing or worsening how he feels.

Either way, no more children with this man unless something changes (like treatment for depression). You both know he doesn't want more kids, so you both need to be responsible and prevent another pregnancy.
A bad dad is better than no dad. New research shows divorce is almost the most harmful thing you can do to a child.
 

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A bad dad is better than no dad. New research shows divorce is almost the most harmful thing you can do to a child.
So a father who is too high and/or drunk to care for his children and risks their lives is better than no dad? A father who doesn't care enough to feed his children is better than no dad? A father who emotionally abuses his children is better than no dad? A father who beats his children is better than no dad? A father who molests, rapes, or sells his children is better than no dad?
 
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