I am happily married to my wife but feel empty without kids

DEAR DEIDRE: I’M a 41-year-old married man and have been with my lovely wife, who is 50, for 12 years.

Neither of us has any children from previous relationships and we haven’t had children together.

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We work hard, have a happy, loving relationship, a great life, buy what we want, holiday whenever we want – though obviously not since the pandemic started last March – and on the surface, everything is perfect.

But underneath I feel an emptiness – a deep, relentless ache for a child.

As my wife is now menopausal, it’s very unlikely, if not impossible, that we will have any children together in the future.

I love her dearly but the thought that I will never be a dad pains me. Yes, we could in principle adopt or foster but that’s not what I want.

I know I could never love someone else’s child as much as I would love my own.

I can’t tell my wife how I feel. She will worry that I’m going to leave her, which I have no intention of doing.

But if I don’t say or do anything, I’ll spend the rest of my days living with this great grief and sadness.

And I know these feelings will only get stronger.

DEIDRE SAYS: Doing nothing means these thoughts will continue to plague you and seep into your relationship.

You need to be open about this. If you love her and see yourselves being together for ever, then your solution is some acceptance.

My support booklet Looking After Your Relationship will help you to communicate better.

If you can’t talk to her about this right now, offloading your feelings with a counsellor will help you to talk them through and find a way to share them.

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