Dear Abby: Two years ago, I married a kind, hard-working man I’ll call Travis. These two years have been the best of my life, and I couldn’t imagine a better husband. However, I just got some news I feel is threatening our marriage.
Travis’ friend from childhood, “Bethany,” wants to start a family with her wife. Travis informed me that he agreed to donate his sperm to Bethany so she can become pregnant. I feel betrayed. My husband will be starting a family with his friend before we have kids! I know it may seem irrational, but I feel like he’s cheating on me.
When I told him how I felt, he said I was being selfish and it was his decision. He also said it wouldn’t matter because he isn’t going to help raise the child. Does Travis really have the right to donate his sperm without my consent? If so, how do I suppress my anger toward him and Bethany? – Fuming In The Midwest
Dear Fuming: You are asking some intelligent questions, but ones that should be answered by an attorney. Your husband may be the nicest, most generous man on the planet, but there are contingencies that need to be taken into consideration before Bethany becomes pregnant. Please suppress your anger long enough to convince Travis that he shouldn’t rush into this agreement without legal counsel. He may thank you for it later.
Dear Abby: Traditionally, husbands-to-be ask the fiancee’s father for permission to marry her. Why do we never hear about the bride-to-be asking the husband’s mother for her permission?
Had I asked my MIL for permission to marry her son, I would have known right away she was opposed to it.
Now, three rocky years later, she’s still accusing me of taking her son away from her. She tells him if he ever wants to leave me, he’s more than welcome to come back home to Mommy.
Had I asked, I would have known up front that she hated me because she didn’t want her oldest to ever leave. Would I still have married him? I think I would have, but I would have been prepared for the treacherous days ahead. – Unprepared
Dear Unprepared: Traditionally, women were considered to be the property of their fathers, which is why permission needed to be granted before they were “given” in marriage. The same was not true of sons.