I can imagine it would be difficult to lose your mother as a young adult and then see your father move on with another woman. It must be even harder if he decides to have children with his new partner. What I can’t imagine is trying to convince my father to undergo a vasectomy in advance of any of that actually happening, all in a bid to protect my own inheritance.
A man wrote to Dear Prudence about this very situation. His daughter is worried about him being “taken advantage of” but I’m sure she has other motivations, as he states:
Q. Daughter Wants Me to Get a Vasectomy: My wife died last year. She is the only person I have ever slept with, but I suppose I wouldn’t necessarily wait until remarriage to have sex again. My college-aged daughter wants me to get a vasectomy. She’s heard stories of younger women taking advantage of older men and sometimes having their babies. She feels I wouldn’t be prepared for a new child (and I’m sure she’s also thinking of her inheritance). I told her that I’ll figure that out if and when I decide to have that kind of relationship with someone. But she’s worried that something will happen spontaneously, and then it will be too late. I think I have more self-control than that, but should I get a vasectomy just for my daughter’s peace of mind?
First of all, this letter does not note the man’s age. If his daughter is in college, he might only be in his 40’s. That is not at all too old to start over with another partner and have more children. Even if he were older, this is still none of his daughter’s business. I suppose I understand her concerns but she has no place to tell him what to do with his love life. If she were my child, I don’t think I would do very well at responding calmly. It takes an awful lot of nerve to tell your parent to be sterilized, regardless of the reason.
Of course, I recognize that she is grieving and I’m sure part of her motivation is wanting to be loyal to her deceased mother. I still don’t think it excuses her asking the question. Prudence agreed and was somewhat harsh in her response:
Maybe, to mollify your concerned daughter, you should take her with you when you get snipped””she can grill the doctor to make sure you’re done with sperm production. Then while you’re recovering with an ice pack to the scrotum, you can call in your estate lawyer and draw up documents that show her when you finally kick, she will get everything! I hope your daughter has some redeeming qualities. She has lost her mother, you’re all she has left, and she realizes that you will be a hot commodity on the dating market. I also understand a young adult could feel uneasy about the idea of her mother being replaced by a younger woman, one who might produce some half siblings (and future heirs!). However, these are issues for her to talk about with a counselor who can help her sort out her grief, fear, and avarice. She cannot make these demands of you.
It’s a bit of tough love, but I think he needed to hear it. I’m sure his own guilt might cause him to go a bit easier on his daughter but he really can’t let her speak to him this way. It’s his life and even if she doesn’t like it, he has the right to move on with his ability to have children remaining intact if he so chooses. And if she really is worried about her inheritance, if I were him, I might cut her out altogether. A year after her mother dies and she is more concerned about her future windfall than her father’s happiness? No thank you. I hope he is able to talk some sense into her and that she can be happy for him if he finds love again-or even, lust. Everyone deserves happiness, even if it makes someone else uncomfortable.
(Image: Lukiyanova Natalia / frenta/Shutterstock)