Dear Kate: Should I try to get pregnant by ‘accident?’

By Katharine Luckinbill

Dear Kate,

I married a man more than ten years my junior. I am 36, he’s 24. Before we married we discussed wanting children, but I want to start now, and he isn’t ready. He says he wants to travel and not be tied down for at least few more years, but in a few more years I will be close to 40 and it will be much harder for me to conceive. I am wondering if I should just get pregnant “by accident” or is that just way too unfair?

Can’t Waity Katie

Dear Can’t Waity Katie;

First of all, clever nickname. Kate Middleton … Waity Katie … Can’t Waity. I get it.

Second of all.


No. No, no no no!

You cannot pretend to get pregnant by accident. Absolutely, undoubtedly, unconditionally NO.

Not only is that not the way to bring a child into the world, but the repercussions it will have on your relationship when he eventually finds out could be irreparable. If you love this man enough to have his children, I’m assuming you wouldn’t want a nasty divorce to be the outcome of having a child.

If you read this column regularly (and I hope you do!), you know that I am a firm believer in communication, compromise, and respect.

If you go through with this, and your husband does find out someday, he will most certainly lose respect for you. However, your query raises the question—do you truly respect him if you’re willing to deceive him in such a way? It’s worth some thought.

So, back to that ol’ stick in the mud, our friend, Communication. Have you tried having a real, honest, and non-blaming conversation with your hubby about why this is so important to you right now?

Try sitting him down, explaining to him how much you love him and the reasons why you think he’d make a great dad. Then, really compassionately, explain why waiting too much longer to have a baby makes you uneasy. Is it how your body will handle it? Your age when the kids are grown and the possibility that you wouldn’t know your own grandchildren? Or maybe it’s simply that you’ve waited your whole life to be a mom and you feel absolutely, 100% ready, willing, and able.

Then, be prepared for whatever he has to say in return.

Do you know why, exactly, he doesn’t want a baby right now? He wants to travel … okay, but kids don’t exactly stop people from traveling for the rest of their lives. So, maybe it’s something deeper. Maybe he doesn’t think he will be a good dad (another reason to remind him how you feel about that). Maybe he doesn’t think you two can afford it. Can you? Or maybe he really does want it—just in another few years.

In this last case, you may have to look into other options. Have either of you discussed, or even entertained, the idea of freezing your eggs? The technology has come a very long way since it was first introduced, and it’s a way to still get pregnant with your own eggs, and your husband’s little swimmers, even if he’s taking for granted that men can make babies pretty much until the day they croak. Take a look at this article for some info.

On another note—women are getting pregnant later and later these days. Even years ago women still got pregnant at 40-something, and had strong, healthy babies. There really isn’t a hard and fast rule about when *all* women can no longer reproduce. Have you been tested your own fertility? I’d suggest you try that and see what your chances are now, and what they might be in 2-3 years. Read here for more.

You may be very fertile for many more years, so at least find that out first. Also take a deeper look into why this is something you need to do so badly right now that you are willing to risk your marriage for it. Talk through it and find a solution together. Remember, marriage is a two person tango. You can’t dance it alone. You’ll just end up confused and lonely at the end of the song.



Dear Kate is a column that runs on every Thursday at noon. It is written by the wise Katharine Luckinbill, who you should follow on Twitter. Got a life, friendship, family, dating, or relationship question that you’d like Dear Kate to answer? Send it to and she will help you out.

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4 thoughts on “Dear Kate: Should I try to get pregnant by ‘accident?’

  1. Kate S. says:

    Why marry this man if having children right now was so important? I don’t understand why people walk into these kinds of situations knowing what is going to happen. Your advice, Kate, is so utterly sound. And much more coherent than I could manage. I’ve known of similar situations where the “oops! I’m pregnant” routine really backfired. I mean REALLY backfired. Love is really the most important thing, and respect (as you mention) is the foundation of love. You simply don’t do something like this to someone you love. Period.

  2. Catherine says:

    Kate, great advice. Something else for Can’t Waity to think on is, how would she feel if she pulled the wool over her husband’s eyes? The guilt over the fact might outweigh the joy of a baby. And, as you point out, the rift could be irreparable.

  3. expliKate says:

    Only an unhealthy relationship and unhealthy child will grow from such an unhealthy decision. I agree with all of the above.

    Good advice and great resources. 40 is NOT the end of options.

  4. Kathleen says:

    While I agree that communication, compromise and respect are all important factors in a healthy relationship, honesty is a major factor, as well. If the children issue was discussed before the marriage, why the change or heart now? Good job, Kate, when asking if “can’t waity Katie” had respect for her husband by trying to deceive him – better yet, where’s her self-respect?
    Good advice, Kate, hopefully, “waity” will actually heed it!

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