Dear Abby: Wife opposes husband's plan to donate sperm to a friend

Dear Abby: Wife opposes husband's plan to donate sperm to a friend

October 4th, 2017 by Jeanne Phillips in Life Entertainment

Jeanne Phillips

Jeanne Phillips

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

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?

My husband asked my dad before proposing to me. I think it was a nice gesture, and Dad was delighted for him to be included into our family. 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. (His three other siblings still live there.)

Had I asked, I would have known up front that she hated me (not because of who I am, but 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 FOR THE TREACHERY

DEAR UNPREPARED: You have my sympathy. When mothers-in-law from heaven were handed out, it appears you were assigned someone from as far south as one can get. She may be the reason that verse in the Bible about leaving and cleaving was included. Your situation illustrates why it's important for women — and men — to get to know the family of their intended before taking that trip to the altar.

P.S. 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.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

To order "How To Write Letters for All Occasions," send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby — Letter Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. Shipping and handling are included in the price.

Getting Started/Comments Policy

Getting started

  1. 1. If you frequently comment on news websites then you may already have a Disqus account. If so, click the "Login" button at the top right of the comment widget and choose whether you'd rather log in with Facebook, Twitter, Google, or a Disqus account.
  2. 2. If you've forgotten your password, Disqus will email you a link that will allow you to create a new one. Easy!
  3. 3. If you're not a member yet, Disqus will go ahead and register you. It's seamless and takes about 10 seconds.
  4. 4. To register, either go through the login process or just click in the box that says "join the discussion," type your comment, and either choose a social media platform to log you in or create a Disqus account with your email address.
  5. 5. If you use Twitter, Facebook or Google to log in, you will need to stay logged into that platform in order to comment. If you create a Disqus account instead, you'll need to remember your Disqus password. Either way, you can change your display name if you'd rather not show off your real name.
  6. 6. Don't be a huge jerk or do anything illegal, and you'll be fine.

Chattanooga Times Free Press Comments Policy

The Chattanooga Times Free Press web sites include interactive areas in which users can express opinions and share ideas and information. We cannot and do not monitor all of the material submitted to the website. Additionally, we do not control, and are not responsible for, content submitted by users. By using the web sites, you may be exposed to content that you may find offensive, indecent, inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise objectionable. You agree that you must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of the Times Free Press web sites and any content on the Times Free Press web sites, including, but not limited to, whether you should rely on such content. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you acknowledge that we shall have the right (but not the obligation) to review any content that you have submitted to the Times Free Press, and to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content that we determine, in our sole discretion, (a) does not comply with the terms and conditions of this agreement; (b) might violate any law, infringe upon the rights of third parties, or subject us to liability for any reason; or (c) might adversely affect our public image, reputation or goodwill. Moreover, we reserve the right to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content at any time, for the reasons set forth above, for any other reason, or for no reason. If you believe that any content on any of the Times Free Press websites infringes upon any copyrights that you own, please contact us pursuant to the procedures outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Title 17 U.S.C. § 512) at the following address:

Copyright Agent
The Chattanooga Times Free Press
400 East 11th Street
Chattanooga, TN 37403
Phone: 423-757-6315