A selfish man filed for divorce when his wife got pregnant for the fifth time. He did not want to face his responsibilities as a father, but he lived to regret it.
Todd was a businessman who lived selfishly. He believed the world revolved around him and did not care about how he treated other people, including his own wife, Linda.
She had no idea just how selfish he could be until they started welcoming children. Todd had made no secret about his desire to raise male kids, but Linda had not paid attention to that because she thought every man always wanted boys.
When she got pregnant for the first time, she was elated, but her husband was a bit more reserved with his happiness. She decided not to worry too much about it thinking it was probably him getting cold feet as a father to be.
When they learned it would be twins some months later, Todd got even more reserved. The behavior worried Linda, but she kept mute.
A few months shy of the delivery day, the doctor revealed to Linda that the twins were females. The news did not dampen her joy, but the same could not be said for Todd. He was very unhappy with it.
“I wanted a male child!” he yelled when he learned of his unborn children’s sexes. “Not one, but two females?! Surely this can’t be my lot!”
A child is a child regardless of its sex Todd,” Linda told him, but that did not placate Todd.
When the girls were born, Todd did not take part in the delivery. He remained at home, acting like he had no care in the world. In truth, he was too selfish to accept the responsibilities of becoming a father, but nobody knew that.
When his wife finally returned home with their babies, Todd kept his distance as though they all carried the plague. He refused even to hold his children, and he ordered Linda to put them in their nursery.
His behavior shocked his wife, and after she tried several times to convince him to even look at the kids, she gave up. Caring for the kids became her sole responsibility, but it was not easy for her because she also had to fulfill her duties as a wife.
All the while, Linda pondered on what could have made Todd the way he was, but she came up with nothing. Years passed, but Todd still refused to associate with his children like a father.
He kept them at arm’s length and did nothing to raise them except providing money to feed and clothe them. When Linda got pregnant again, she hesitated before announcing the news to Todd.
When she did, he wanted no part of it. “You’re pregnant?” he asked. “Again?”
“Why do you speak like you’re not aware of what making love leads to?” she shot back, irritated.
“Well I don’t care,” he told her. “All you ever do is make female kids when I want to have males.”
“But the doctor says only male genes decide if a child will be male or female, why are you blaming me?” he had no answer.
After that argument, Todd started treating Linda even worse. When she told him she was carrying twin girls again, he got even more irrational.
He would refuse to go home for days, and whenever he did, he avoided his children and frustrated their mother. He could not tell her that he was more afraid of becoming a father than he was angry about their sex.
To him, becoming a father meant giving up many things in his life, and he simply had no interest in doing such a thing, so he continued using the fact that they were females to cover it up.
When Linda gave birth, he was overcome with fear and guilt. He could not face her, and even contemplated getting a divorce, so he turned to anger whenever she and the children came into his view. Eventually, he barred her from sleeping in their marital bed and moved her things to the nursery.
Linda pointed out how there was no bed for her to sleep, but Todd was beyond caring. He had convinced himself that Linda was the evil one for giving birth to children in the first place.
Linda would often cry because of how sad she was that her husband was acting the way he was. She had to care for all four girls herself while Todd enjoyed his life doing the things he liked.
He made sure she kept the kids out of his sight, and he soundproofed the nursery walls to prevent their cries from reaching him. As a result, Linda was essentially alone in caring for all four kids.
It was stressful for her, but her children made it all worth it. They were all healthy and beautiful. Linda was a single child and had always yearned for a sibling, so she was grateful that her kids would not have that problem.
Linda continued to fulfill her duty as a wife and mother despite its toll on her body. Then one day, she discovered she was once again pregnant
She was reluctant to tell Todd, and for good reason. When she eventually did, he exploded with rage. Never mind that she could not have conceived the child without his willing participation.
After yelling at her, he packed a small suitcase and decided he would go on vacation because the way he saw it, he needed some time to enjoy himself after footing the bills of his older kids.
While he was gone, a man named Steve visited his wife. He was their neighbor and left town two years before after losing his wife and kids in a vehicle accident.
“I heard that you have become a mother so I have come to pay my respects,” he said when Linda invited him in for lunch.
“Thank you, Steve,” she replied. “I didn’t think you would want to come back here after….”
“I’ve been running for years Linda, but I’ve learned you can’t outrun yourself,” he said sadly. “Enough about me, let me meet your angels.”
That day, Steve spent a lot of time with Linda and her children. He played with the girls just like he used to when his daughter was alive. He was genuinely happy for the first time since his wife died.
The next day, he returned, and so the trend started. Every day that week, he visited Linda and her kids, who had quickly grown fond of him as he was the first father figure they ever had.
When Todd returned, he resumed his fight with Linda. He had had enough of the marriage but at this point, all he wanted was for her to get rid of their unborn child. She refused to do that, and their dispute continued until one day, she collapsed from stress.
Luckily, Steve was around, and he was able to get her to a doctor who treated her and recommended lots of rest to save the baby. Linda was distressed because she knew Todd would not care for the kids, but again, Steve stepped up and offered to do that while she rested.
In the weeks that followed, he cared for the kids, and it endeared him to her heart. When she finally got better, she approached Todd and registered her displeasure, which fell to deaf ears as expected.
The following week, Todd filed for divorce and Rose happily signed the papers, since she was already falling in love with Steve anyway. However, it was with the condition that she would be allowed to remain in their matrimonial house until she found herself a suitable place to live. So Todd demarcated the house to avoid meeting her and the kids.
Steve kept visiting her to help her care for the kids, and slowly he developed feelings for her. Finally, one day, he asked that she move in with him, and she obliged.
To Todd’s dismay, Linda welcomed a son afterward, and one year later, she was married to Steve. They kept living right next to him while he remained alone and watched his kids call another man father.
That was when he realized how selfish he had been. It ate at him from the inside, and it eventually pushed him to take his own life.
What did we learn from this story?
- Selfishness is a bad trait. Todd was too selfish, and it cost him his wife, children, and eventually his life. He did not want to face his responsibilities as a man, and even worse, he blamed Linda for it. When she had enough, she left him, and he never recovered from the loss.
- Children are a blessing. Todd wanted boys and blamed his wife for giving him girls when in truth, it was not exactly something either of them could control. Children are a blessing regardless of what sex they are, but Todd did not believe that, and it cost him.