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I offer free 30 minute telephone/Skype consultations for people wanting to find out more about coaching on the 'baby decision'. Email me at mailto:beth@ticktockcoaching.co.uk and assistant Laura will respond and arrange an appointment with you. Visit http://www.ticktockcoaching.co.uk/ for more information about my coaching services.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Common Challenges: 'I want children but my husband (or boyfriend doesn't)'

This is a problem that can be particularly tricky.

You are in a relationship. You love him. You had dreams about having a family.

And yet.

He doesn't want a children. There may be many reasons for this including:

- he already has a child or children from another relationship.
- he thinks he is too young or not ready.
- he has never wanted children - maybe you never discussed this or maybe it wasn'tan issue before in your relationship.

SO, you've got some questions you need to work through to - do you want children more than the relationship if he is adamant he doesn't want kids? Or is there a way you can discuss this with your partner so he will listen? What if he doesn't change his mind? Would you be prepared to go off and 'do it alone' as a single mum? Or try to find another relationship?

There are no easy answers - I've worked with women who have decided to stay in a relationship and they had to do some work on letting go of the dream of having children, and then, looking at what they would be positively bringing into their future. I've worked with some women who have decided that they would leave the relationship - because they felt that yes, they did want a child more than the relationship and they didn't want to leave with the regret of not having a child. And for some women, the refusal of their partner to discuss or look at the issue meant that they realised the relationship was not want they wanted.

For everyone in this position, this is a challenge in life that we have to face head on and do what feels most incongruent with our values, our vision of what we are wanting in our life and with what our deepest inituition tells us is the right move.

117 comments:

Abigail Smith said...

I found myself in the position of meeting (aged 31) a man who was five years younger and ambivalent about kids. After two years of torturously going over the issue, I did what's always advised against and gave him an ultimatum. He decided that it was better to have kids than to break up because that way we both got something we wanted (staying together), whereas if we split we both got something we didn't want, and I might miss out on something I did want if I wasn't lucky enough to meet someone else in time. He also knew that he would love his kids when they came along, and that the chance that he might enjoy fatherhood was a risk worth taking.

Three years later, with two years of TTC behind us, we are embarking on fertility treatment, but his position has completely turned around. He now actively looks forward to becoming a dad, and says he would regret not having a family. It took the possibility of not achieving the goal for him to realise how important it is to him. His own father also, sadly, died in the intervening period, which gave him a sense of his own mortality and a keenness to have a family that he could be proud of and enjoy in his later years. His sadness that his dad never got to meet his grandchild is clear - he doesn't want that sadness for himself.

While an ultimatum wasn't easy for either of us, ultimately it galvanised the issue. It's important to remember that while the woman must decide whether she wants the relationship more than she wants kids, her partner must also decide whether he wants the relationship more than he wants to remain childfree.

Beth said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story. What I say is that at some point, we have to be clear about our bottom line - and that means being clear that if we want to be in a relationship with children, and it's that important to us that we might have to break up with our partner, we say that! It's then clear and out in the open. Well done you for taking this brave and difficult step.

oddsbodikins said...

Thank you for sharing this.
This very issue has plagued my relationship for the 10 years of its existence. During our discussions early on, he said he didn't want kids. We were 23 then. I never really expected a man of that age to have the same kind of desire for a family, and certainly not as much as I did. I figured time and maturity would come and feelings would change. I waited. And I waited. There were many times that I'd brought it up and there was no change. There were scattered moments when he would make allusions to the possibility of having children, and I clung to those moments as if my life depended on them. There were also the times that he'd dangle the prospect of getting me pregnant during intimate moments, but he was intoxicated at the time. So, in my 10 years with him, I've stopped and looked back on my decade with him and I've found that I've ignored him every time he told me "no". It took me a decade to realize, to really wrap my brain around the fact that I'll never have a family with him. He doesn't want it. If he did change his mind, it would only be to appease me. I don't want a child with a man that "gave in." That's not fair to the child or me. I tried to convince myself many times that I didn't want children, that I'd never have the freedom I'd have now, that having my man was better than giving him up for a child.
I knew these words were a lie as I formed them in my mind. Since I was 12 years old I thought about what I'd be like when I had children. The family I wanted- the dual parent dynamic. Me, and a man who wanted these things with me. Sadly I hitched my wagon to the wrong man.

Now I'm 33 years old, in a marriage where I love my husband, but not like I did when we first met. We're roommates now. I love him for who he is, and for him to change his mind now wouldn't be him. I have no anger for the time I waited for an answer. The answer was always there, I just didn't like the answer he gave me. After much agonizing, therapy and soul searching, I've decided that I'll never be happy the way my life is now.

After the holidays I'll begin divorce proceedings and I pray that there is someone out there that is looking for me as much as I'm looking for him. There are times when I feel downtrodden and hopeless, maybe I've waited too long. But I try to suppress those feelings and stay optimistic.

There are days when my emotions are completely out of control- days when I scour the web for sperm banks, being a woman, I have everything I need to have a baby with the exception of sperm, and that isn't too hard to come by now. But I know that I want a partner in life and parenthood. If I must settle, it will only be after giving love a second chance. I even stooped so low to look at dating sites. The worst part of looking at the dating site, other than still being married, was that I spoke to a man that shared all of my feelings about family & children. Unfortunately, I met him 10 years too late. I'm ashamed of going to the dating site, it was wrong, but for a few days it gave me hope. A hope that I thought was almost burnt out. There are a lot of men out there and now that I've come through the darkness of denial, I'll get back out there and find someone that shares my desires.

I've not been very successful finding women out there with stories similar to mine, but I'm sure they're out there. I've known the same agony and heartache. So, while I can't tell anyone else what to do, I can at least say this, you need to find your own path to happiness, and I hope that it doesn't take anyone else 10 years to figure it out like I did.

Best of luck to you all.

Beth said...

Oh, thank you so much for sharing your experience with us. If it is any comfort, at 33 there is every possibility of you meeting someone and having a child together.

Angela said...

oddsbodikins, I could have written the first half of your comment, except I'm nearly 38 and my husband is 41. We have been together six and a half years. It might sound strange but I really envy your position. At 33 you still have plenty of time to find love with a man who wants a family, and then to have that family. As for me, my husband is in the "considering" phase, but like you I don't want to be that jerk who ultimatumed her way into having kids. I've seen in my own family how the reluctant father turns into the resentful father. I wish you all the best. I've also been previously married -- divorce is one of the hardest things to go through, but when you're sure, it's also the biggest relief. You're not alone!

Sinnamon said...

I wish you all the best. Like was said divorce is the hardest thing. I waited 20 years before leaving my husband. He never wanted children and now I am with a wonderful man who has two grown children. I am now 42 and feeling that I missed out by making wrong choices and waiting too long. My new partner doesn't want more children (which I can totally understand)having had them and they are older now. That makes it very difficult for me as I would never insist he give in for my sake when I believe I could have made changes much earlier to my life but didn't for various reasons. It is unfortunate that is cam come down to having to choose between one or the other and the uncertainty that lies ahead of making such decisions. I hope you are one of the lucky ones and get what you want x

Sinnamon said...

I wish you all the best. As previously said divorce is the hardest thing to go through. I left my husband after 20 years and am now 42. He never wanted children. I am now with a wonderful man who has 2 grown children and because of that does not feel the need to have anymore. I completely understand that although it impacts on my greatly. I at times am fine without children and at times completely obsessed by wanting them. One thing I try to remember is the certainty of now and what I have now and the unknown I would be venturing into otherwise. I sometimes tell myself that to feel better though. I don't know what the answers are. It's a tough tough place to be at. I think my age is a factor and if I were in my 30s the decision would be easier. I wish everyone the best with their endeavours and look forward to hearing more of your stories as they develop.

VPitt said...

oddsbodikins,


I would love to hear your comments/ideas. I think I am on the same boat as you, and I need to talk to someone.

oddsbodikins said...

It's been a while since I posted here. My husband and I divorced last March after a 10 year relationship. Divorce was so much more difficult than I ever imagined. I think I ran the gamut of emotions. At first I was filled with a feeling of hopefulness and possibility that I could finally move on with my life. Then I made the mistake of seeing someone else before my ex left. Even though we had decided to end our marriage, he was devastated to see me with someone else. I was ashamed of what I did to hurt him and spent the better part of a year and a half beating myself up over it. I wasn't that type of person that cheats. I hadn't thought of it as cheating, as the decision to divorce had already been made. It had been a long time coming, too. He could never tell me what he wanted out of life, what would make him happy or how he felt about me. He was very sure that he did not want children. There was no reason to stay together anymore and the reality was that we were both just wasting our time together. I never meant to hurt my ex by talking to other men. I should have had had the sense to wait until our divorce was final. In the process, I lost the respect of my family and some friends. My best friend of 15 years won't talk to me but remains friends with my ex. This was the worst experience I've ever been through & had nearly all the people close to me disapprove of everything I did.

UNTIL...

Continued...

oddsbodikins said...

UNTIL..last week,when I succumbed to my curiosity and clicked my ex's name on a post that he commented on that belonged to a mutual friend. He had moved on & had a girlfriend, which I was aware of for a long time. The thing that made me nauseous was a comment on their photo that stated: "can't wait for the newest addition!"
W T F !!!???
Further investigation resulted in a grainy picture of my ex-husband with the woman I knew to be his girlfriend that was heavily pregnant. Yeah, I was about to vomit. While I had been "unfriended" by him a year ago, and what I could see was limited, I could look up on the local newspaper website for birth announcements and marriage licenses. On 9/14/12, in the listing of the births in the local hospitals: My ex, his wife, boy.
I was at work when I read this and fell apart at the seams to my boss.
I had just read that my ex, the man who had professed to me for a decade that he did NOT want children was now the parent of a baby boy.
I had people telling me that we had divorced and we had both moved on, and this had nothing to do with me. While that is true, I felt it was necessary to point out to these devil's advocates that while I was married to my ex, he never came near me without a condom, pulled out (while still wearing aforementioned condom), and if it so happened while we were intimate and I was on top, he would damn near throw me off him. (Yeah, condom was still on then, too. In case you were wondering.)The fact that he went to extraordinary lengths to ensure that I never accidentally got pregnant, certainly made me think that he had stopped with his extreme measures once he was with new girlfriend, I mean, new wife. How could I not feel like he just didn't want children with me? He was with me for 10 years and I begged him for just one child. The answer was always he didn't want kids. Not one. None. He said it to me, to my family members, my friends. I thought he was just young & didn't know what he wanted. That he'd mature and his feelings would change. After 10 years, I had to realize he was serious & he wasn't going to change. For me to stumble upon the birth announcement of my ex-husband's son. WOW. I just realized I wasted my best years for getting pregnant on a man that just couldn't be a decent human being and be honest with me. I understand that it is hard to tell someone something that will hurt them. But stab me quick and get it over with. The hurt will heal and I can respect that you value me enough as another human being not to waste my life. Don't push the knife in slow & twist.

I've cried every day since I found out. I've felt so worthless, stupid, angry, betrayed, lied to... emotions that I don't even have the vocabulary to name. I want to confront him, or my friends that I know knew about it and chose not to tell me. I know that I'm not the only woman that this has happened to, and I'm sure I won't be the last, but this is the first time it's ever happened to me and it has cut me to my core.

I know that I wasn't perfect in my marriage. I certainly wasn't perfect as we got divorced. Maybe this is karmic retribution, I don't know.

I'd love to hear if someone else has gone through this or just to hear your thoughts on my experience. I need to find a way through this hurt so I can come out of this with my wits intact.

Thanks to all,

Beth said...

Thank you for sharing such a difficult and painful situation.

One thing that I suggest to clients is to do a letting go exercise. It goes like this:

Stand in a room and imagine there is an invisible line in front of you. Where you are standing is in the present. Say outloud all the things you want to let go of. It could include I want to let go of sadness, of self-blame, of replaying this relationship.

Then when you have finished, step over the line and say everything you want to be embracing. This could include happiness, fresh starts, honest relationships.

When you have done that, notice how you feel. And repeat whenever you feel overwhelmed by sadness or anger.

Laura Rivers said...

I am in a 10 year relationship also and desperate to try for a baby. I am 29 and my partner is 26, he has told me for about 5 years that he doesn't want kids EVER! I am heartbroken every time the baby discussion comes up, he gets very angry and says it never going to happen and i should just get over it already. In a way i see that i have tortured myself by staying with him and basically ignoring his "never" as "someday". I now have to make the gut wrenching decision to leave him and find a man who wants marriage and babies or stay with him and cry myself to sleep at night grieving something we will never have.

Beth said...

Laura, what a difficult and painful situation. You will get through this and remember to be kind and gentle with yourself. It is a difficult decision to make for sure. Sometimes in relationships when two people want such different things in life, it can unfortunately mean that the love you have is not enough. Spend sometime thinking about the relationship you would ideally like to be in in five years time and ask yourself if this is the relationship that would be close to what you really want. Again, be kind and gentle to yourself!

Logic said...

Hello I am 32 -33in December and my boyfriend is 38 in a few weeks. We have been together for eight and a half years. I have always wanted marriage and children and he always sayed the same. I moved in with him this year and we argue a lot. More recently I told him I would like to start trying in the next two years as I feel I am getting older now and I am ready and want a family. He said he isn't sure he wants them now and needs time to think. It's been a week now and I just need to know but he says he feels pressured into making a decision, buut I have told him we need to go separate ways if we don't want the same as we will end up resenting each other.

I am also now not 100% happy about how we get on we disagree over a lot of things and he tells me off for booking a two day hen weekend with my friend even though I have earned this money myself. I never ask him for a penny, I always pay half when we are out as he never pays for me, and more recently he said how he spends more money on me at Xmas than I do on him, which I felt was not true but even if it was should that be such an issue.

I have felt unhappy the last week, and feel deep downi am not really happy. Should we split up? Every time we talk it ends in a huge row him saying I never consider him or listen to him, saying I twist things. Do I get out now while I am young

Beth said...

Hello Logic,

It sounds like there are a range of issues that you aren't happy with in your relationship which might be a sign that it is time to review whether this is the right relationship for you. One thing I recommend - if your partner is willing, is to look at relationship/couples counselling. It'll help you to communicate your worries and concerns to him and then see if you can resolve the issue. And if you can't, it could help you see how you could break up.

Jessica Everitt said...

oddsbodikins.....

I am 34 years old and like you, have recently realized that my husband of 10 years will never want children. I am conflicted because I love him so much and the thought of leaving and trying to find someone else does not interest me in the least bit. We have discussed this at great length. I believe that he really loves me and wants to stay married to me, but he just doesn't want children. He has told me that he would understand if I divorced him and moved on. This is just another slap in the face to me though. I cannot understand why he would not desire to give me what I want if he loves me so much. I don't know if I should leave or stay. The thought of him being with someone else KILLS me and believe me, I have ran the scenario of him finding someone else and starting a family! Just the THOUGHT makes me suicidal. I am desperate and don't know what to do!

I know it has only been a few weeks since you posted about your discovery. What has happened since then? Any advise for a someone in your same situation

Beth said...

Hello Jessica,

Thank you for sharing your situation here. I would encourage you and your husband to seek a couples cousellor or therapist in your local area. It sounds like there is alot of love in your relationship and working on the issue together might really help you save your relationship.

Let us know what happens.

Beth

Sammy Girl said...

Jessica, I am in a similar situation along the same time frame. A week ago yesterday (November 16), my husband of a little over three years shared with me that he has changed his mind about wanting children.

We started out with all kinds of hopes and dreams, naive about what really faced us, and I believe that it is those struggles he has endured as an immigrant to the U.S. that have changed his mind. He has had to start all over from being a respected teacher back home, and hasn't felt good about himself since the moment he got here. I've been the breadwinner this whole time. It's been terrible, but we've managed to hold on to each other and love each other very much.

I turned 35 in August, and it was tough. I don't look it or feel it, but I am 35. My husband is just a few years younger. He will be 32 in February. He is now in a job training program, and I thought that once he got a job we could start trying for a baby. I'm also saving money from a salary increase from my new job. I thought all the cards were finally lining up, but then he told me his mind had changed. I was and still am heartbroken.

After a few days of me not wanting to speak to him and staying away, we finally talked. He told me he would understand if I couldn't accept his changed mind, but he was crying over the thought of it. We have been through so much together. I dreamed of having children with him. In some ways, I don't think he really wants this, but is scared of additional pressure on top of what he's already been through (it's been pretty bad). He has cried at the thought of me leaving over this.

I don't know what to do. I have seriously thought of getting pregnant on "accident" because I feel like he would love a child no matter what. I'm not sure how quickly that would work since I have only one fallopian tube. However, I have decided to find a bank where I can freeze some of my eggs and give him until August to figure out if this is what he really wants. It would be some insurance for me, and this would be enough time for him to find his footing again, and hopefully find his confidence again. It's been tough.

Jessica, I would love to talk with you about how you're dealing with this same issue. It sounds like we both have a loving marriage, but this baby issue has been a horrible wrench thrown into things.

Please let me know if you'd be willing to talk this out with someone going through the same thing.

Samantha

lettymj said...

I'm 28 years old and am in a relationship with a 43 year old man. We absolutely adore each other and we were friends before any romantic relationship started. We work in the environmental industry and have so many common job and personal interests. He is separated from his ex, yet to get a divorce, and has 2 children (12 and 14) from this relationship. In the beginning he wanted to be with me so much and I was coming out of a 7 year difficult relationship, so I was reluctant to commit so soon. But I really fell for him and we started a relationship.

I was honest early on that I've always wanted to have children, and he said it was a beautiful idea and that he hoped one day we could make it happen. As time has gone on and the difficulty of our relationship has set in (lack of time together, his guilt to his kids for the family unit break down) and he has started to pull back from the idea of having more kids with me.

I dont want to pressure him but I dont think its fair to be going along with the intention that it will happen if he knows deep down it wont, the least he could do is cut me loose. I have no idea what to do in this situation, do I stay and hope for the best, give him time to process the thought of having more children, as he had never thought he would have more? Or do I cut it off, losing the man I love so deeply?

neverthelessyet said...

I am 33, he is almost 29 and I have just texted my husband of 4 years that we should start looking for the things we both want - I want love, honesty and a normal family (with children) and he wants to be free and indipendant (from my controlling as he says).

At the begining we were so in love and so happy. That was the best relationship could ever happen and he was the kindest and most caring man I met. Since we both were from different countries we both moved overseas> He's been strungling with jobs eversince, for more than 3 years already and with me being the only breadwinner - doing a stressful job and double or sometimes tripple shifts all that time... Now any conversation, shopping together, going out, staying in, etc. ends with an argument and him being nervous and angry. We cannot even decide about the bunch of dills together as he wants one and I want another and if I still want mine that means "I will never change"... I do understand him being depressed about not having a proper job and being financially not stable but I am afraid he hardly appreaciates me being sole breadwinner with no health or wish already left to continue neither the relationship nor the life we and I have now...

When he once left I was begging him to come back. When he came back I could no longer stand him having no feelings to me and never stopping arguments about every small thing and me being always blamed that I will never change and that I will ever "control".

When then I said we should move on and each to different sides he became emotional asking to try once again as he could not imagine his life without me being in it. However he would say from time to time that he even does not want sex with me as it so often ends with arguments about children.

I knew he was not eager to have them from the very begining and just before marriage we "agreed" not to have them but to be together as we were so much in love. His major argument was that since he was muslim and I was christian I would not be able to raise his children good muslims so he chose to be with me rather than having children at all... Of course I hoped he will change his mind soon seeing what a kind person I am myself, that he will se us with my nieces or nephews and will want a child himself. Beside we were so in love! But things got only worse...

I am sure he will never go for counselling. What I am not sure is even if I (should be WE...) work this relationship out, does it really worth me hoping he will change his mind about children??

I was just crying my eyes out after sending that text to him when I found this blog and shall say thank you to everyone who shared their experience here. Thank you and wish you all merry Xmas x

the Queen of Spades said...

OK. So I am 43, and have never had the urge to have a child until now, with my current boyfriend. I attribute this to the fact that I love him intensely, respect him, know him to be kind and caring, loving and considerate with his two existing children with his ex-wife. I have been assuming we would talk about it and if possible, try to do this together. However it came out recently that early in our relationship he made a comment about the fact that he got "fixed" years ago due to his ex-wife's refusal to use other birth control (or have sex as it turns out) but that this was reversible. Then he amended this by saying he wasn't planning to have more children. No absolutes, but just to be clear. AT the time I thought, OK, not a priority for him nor I. Six months later I am realizing that he's the first man I've ever had these thoughts about concretely. Apparently he thought he had been clear that he is against having more children. When pressed he cites the exhaustion, stress, money, work involved (and I suspect the stress of doing this with a very anxious and needy ex-wife.) He says he was fine without having any kids but he had the first kid and then the second to "make her happy".

Well I am flummoxed as I was unclear about this absolute "no more kids" thing and frankly, it tapes into my "never good enough" script (Adult Child of a Narcissist Mom here as well). It's thrown me into complete chaos because I have been deadset against having a kid just to do it, because I "should" etc. etc...and now when faced with an ultimatum from him that it's not even a discussion I am like a deer in headlights. I don't want a baby on my own, or with anyone I have dated in over 20+ years, including my ex-husband. I've never wanted to breed with anyone til him - mr. no more children.

I am realizing that for me having a child is a loving mutual endeavor, a joint project, an opportunity to create a loving unit of more than two of us, but it seems like that's not the experience of many women.

I am wondering if anyone else has had (or is having) a similar experience where you're not baby crazy so much as wildly in love with your partner and want to procreate (baby, book, you name it....I think it's about more than biology)?

Sound at all familiar to anyone?

Beth said...

Hi all,

Glad so many of you have found the blog recently and apologies for not being around in the past month to respond to comments.

I have to say that this is one of the most difficult issues that you can face in a relationship.

lettymj - yes, you need to get clarity whether you partner is really thinking that he is willing to have children but just not now or whether he really hasn't got the intention of having more children. This is difficult as he probably isn't sure himself. You do have a right to get some clarity - and you can do this without putting undue pressure on him. Many of my clients in similiar situations find it helpful to plan a conversation in a lovely, natural environment. For some reason, when you are walking together can be a good place. And gently bring up the fact that you would like to start trying for children in a couple of years. See how he reacts. And speak from your heart about your love for him and your desire for kids.

neverthelessyet - What a difficult and painful situation. It sounds like there are some difficult issues in your relationship. If your partner isn't willing to go for counselling with you (is he seeking counselling for his depression btw?), personally I think it may be time for you to think about leaving the relationship. Although this is a hard thing to do. Look for support to help YOU so you can figure what you want to do and feel confident about it.

the Queen of Spades - I have definately had clients report what you experience. That they never wanted kids before but with their current partner they really want one with him. Maybe it's about being in love and wanting something that you have created together to solidify it but it is a real experience. It doesn't mean you have to go and have a child though - some of my clients in your situation worked through it and when on to be happily childfree!

Jas Z said...

Hi all,
Thanks everyone for sharing the similar story here, I feel I am not alone.
I am 33 and I am dating my boyfriend of 38years old over a year now. I knew he doesn't want kids at beginning but I ignored it as it was too early to care, until last October after our one year anniversary and I thought it was time to check if he still doesn't have desire to have baby, then he tried to avoid the conversation and I didn't really carry on, till December, I really couldn't stand his ignorance of kids issue, so I initiated the topic and don't let it go, so we talked and his mind was still the same and doesn't want kid, I cried overnight and I can tell he was so sad and he said he wants to be with me. After a few days emotions, I finally calm myself down and decided to stand my feet down and I planed to have the final talk, I expressed in a very calm way and he was kinda of confused, so he told me he needs to think about it. Since then I didn't bring up the same topic again as December is such a lovely month with so much going on, so I didn't want to ruin this month. We just like nothing happened. We were always so happy together and we are very compatible with each other, I never doubted we will get any big arguments in any stage except this issue. We even discussed to go to Europe this July, but now seems I have to put everything on hold as I cannot just ignore this which is there all the time. During this month, sometimes I bit emotional like angry or upset but I didn't tell him until the new year. After everything seems to relax bit in jan, I initiated the same topic again a few days ago as I cannot afford to spend more te with someone who cannot give me what I want and I shouldn't settle down anything less, as I would regret why I didn't do it when I was younger and I will regret for nothing having the baby. He said he will marry me in another 3 years but he still cannot see himself with kid, he is old enough to know what he wants clearly, I don't want to lie to myself that he will change his mind one day which is impossible. He said he is lost and doesn't know what to do now and he said just bcos he loves me, that's why he doesn't want to promise me something that might change later. I do appreciate his honesty! I just told him there's not much I can do now, you need to figure out if its all worth to give up all the blessing future for his free lifestyle. We are not over yet as I am waiting for his final answer, there's little chance to hear the positive answer from him, even it does, should I believe that's really what he wants and can he guarantee he won't change back in another few months or years? But of course I will choose to believe him if he says yes he wants kid, but the chance is almost 0, so I wish I could prepare for the worst, even something comes up I don't want to hear, at least it won't turn out worse, but it's so hard to think in that way as I am not ready to leave yet but I will have to for good and for myself, as at the end of day, the person who has to pick up the mess is still myself, better to be earlier, it will be miserable but I guess everyone is stronger than we thought, so I believe I can handle it even thou I always thought we would be together for a long long time but have to be rational to face the reality and shouldn't compromise something like this as what I want is just something so natural. I know I already have all the answers but it is so hard to do it.

It would be greatly appreciated if anyone could give me some support or help or advice! Thank you so much!

goingslightlymad said...
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Angela said...

My advice is to ask yourself which you want more, the man or the baby? Because if you have the child against his will, it will be very difficult for him to get over the anger and resentment. Ultimately it will likely cause a breakdown. My husband has a child from a previous relationship, and he told her point blank he did not want a child. She had it anyway and he was extremely emotionally unstable because of it for at least the next two years. At several points he nearly committed suicide. People often underestimate how devastating this type of situation can be for the man, and tell themselves, "they'll get over it once he sees his child," but it often doesn't happen like that. After two and a half years my husband gave up trying to make it work and has no relationship to his son. Not saying this will happen to you but if you go forward with it, the consequences will negatively affect your relationship. If you can live with that, then have the baby. If it were me, I probably would, but would do everything in my power to give the father agency to choose what his role will be and make it as easy as possible. Because the power imbalance is very hard for men to deal with!

Jackie Roberts said...

Hi all,

I am 34. I will be 35 in June. My husband and I have been together for 10 years; married for the last 6. Last Sunday he came to me and told me that he truly loves me, but has decided that he does not want to have children. I've been wanting them all along and he has always put it off with one excuse after another. I have been patient and understanding. We have talked many times about when we would have kids someday. We've picked out names and discussed everything from water birth to schooling. He has just never been "ready." Now he says he always loved me so much that he thought he would get over it or change his mind and come around to wanting them. He has finally decided that he has to tell me no. He knows I love him, but he also knows this is a deal breaker for me and if I want a divorce he will give me one as nicely as he can. It has been a week now and I am still pretty numb. I cry a lot, randomly. Half of me is dying at the thought of life without him. The other half just wants him to get the hell out so I can move on with my life. Most of me just wants to scream, and puke, and maybe punch something. I don't know what the heck to do now.

Hannah Day said...

There must be something in the air at the moment. I'm 29 and my partner of 11 years told me last week that he never wants to get married or have children. He said that he really loves me and its killing him to break up with me but he knows that it is for my own good in the long run. I don't really know what to do. I just feel numb and a bit lost. I don't really cry about it and that is worrying me. When I do get upset though, I feel as if it is all my fault because I want a family and he doesn't. Should I have to change my mind? I don't know. I'm just so confused and a bit angry, like I've wasted my life. Its so hard also because I feel like I've lost my best friend as well as my partner. I feel so alone. I feel as if my world has been shattered by this and I am beginning to think that he is a selfish pig. I also just don't understand his decision. Does he just not love me enough? I keep hoping and praying that he'll change his mind but I don't think he will. My biggest fear is that he will go off and have a family with someone else in the future. That would kill me.

Beth said...

Hello Hannah and Jackie,

Welcome to the blog.

It is really a difficult and horrible experience you are both going through.

One thing I can suggest you do is to do lots of writing about how you are feeling. And I want to reassure you that it is totally ok to feel angry. Express that in your writing and then you can tell your partner how you are feeling.

It sounds like both the men are pretty adamant they don't want to have children.

Which leaves you in a difficult position of having to decide whether to stay in the relationship or go.

I have clients who have decided to give up the dream of having children to stay in a relationship and I have had clients who have decided to leave the relationship because they knew that eventually they wanted children and felt they wouldn't be able to get over the resentment of their partners if they stayed.

However, it sounds like you both need time to process your feelings and what has happened.

ruthie said...
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Alex said...

I'm 26 a man and I don't want kids but my girlfriend (30years old) does. She loves the idea thinks I would be a great father. After loosing my father I don't see how I could measure up to him a great man with extreme patience, care and love. I can't see myself sacrificing the time, commitment and energy. Also, please dot take this the wrong way but I don't like kids. I love her to bits and I would utterly be devastated if she left. I know she loves me alot too but having kids is more important to her. There maybe certain medical issues which may prevent us from having kids anyway so we are going to get that checked out. She said she would stay with me if there was a medical problem and we couldn't have kids but if it was choice issue more then likely she would leave. I don't know what to do. I feel like my life is going to be changed either way in which I will not be happy. I'm depressed about this and have cried many nights. I guess in the end I have to take solace in the fact she will be happy and be happy that I was part of her life.

Cheri Maes said...

Hi There, thank you for sharing.
My Boyfriend and I have been together for almost 4 years now. I have a nine year old daughter . it took him a little bit to get used being with a single mom. But he warmed up we used to talk about having one more child eventually but we wanted to make sure things where going to be long term. So I had the IUD placed. The other day while laying together he said that I should have the IUD Removed. I was so happy inside. Until he said he is planning to have a vasectomy. Which totally broke my heart. I don't know what to do at this point. I don't think I can stay knowing that I won't be able to have another child. I love him and I don't want to force anybody to do something they don't want to doBut I feel that he is making a life changing decision without me or my daughter in mind. I feel like I've wasted precious years.

egot said...

Thank you all for sharing these stories. I am 33 and my boyfriend is 27. We've been together for two years and in the beginning I didn't really think about the age difference too much but in the last year, as all my friends have started to have children, it has become more of an issue. I think he does want to have children eventually but he's still in a precarious position re work, has a lot of debt and none of his friends are even in serious relationships let alone dads so I don't think it's something he wants to do anytime soon. I find the topic of children REALLY difficult to bring up - I hate the idea of nagging someone into having them, and ideally it would be something that two people want to do together, not something that one person pushes the other into doing. He's lovely and would make such a good, supportive dad but I find myself trying to pull away from him because half of me thinks that I have to break it off soon if I'm going to ever have children. I feel like i'm playing really high stakes poker and I'm going to make the wrong decision. I know I would be SO sad if I didn't have children but it would be so hard to break up with a great guy and try to find someone else - also who wants to be the baby-crazy single girl in their 30s. Do I try and do it alone?? wouldn't that be impossible. urgh. These are the thoughts that spin in my head every day. I guess the choice is: push him on the point and risk him saying no or saying yes but regretting it/resenting it and then having a baby with the wrong person or break up with him and risk not finding anyone else in time or trying to have a baby alone. All the options seem rubbish and this is meant to be a happy life event! I always assumed it would just happen naturally with the right person, but I guess not.

Faye said...

So glad I found this - It seems that this is more common than I thought. I met my husband 11 years ago and we both wanted to have children - I went through premature menopause at 18 so knew it would only be through egg donation. We put it off and I convinced myself I could do without children but seeing my in-laws with their babies makes me yearn so muh for one............and now he doesnt want one. He wont even discuss the issue - he doesnt want them and that's that. Its torn me apart - he's very selfish anyway and its made me realise that, although I know he loves me, I'm never going to be equal to him and my opinions and feelings are never to matter to him as much as his own. He even told me to 'get over it'.

Am I wrong for now looking at whether I want to stay in the relationship? He wont go to counselling and I dont feel I have anyone to turn to - I dont really have any family or friends and only really socialise with his family and his friends. Please help - Im heartbroken, angry, confused, disappointed. :(

Beth said...

Hello Faye - I hear how difficult this is for you. I think it's important for you to be able to talk to someone about how you are feeling. And yes, it is ok to consider splitting up with someone over the issue - particularly if they aren't willing to discuss it or go to counselling with you.

My suggestion is that you find a local counsellor or therapist in your area who you can talk to about how you feel, and who can help you work through what you should do.

Best of luck - feel free to come back and comment here again.

Beth said...

Dear Egot,

My suggestion is to have a serious conversation with him - it's NOT nagging to have a deep discussion on what you are really wanting. In this case children. At 33, you still have time. You could agree to wait a year and start trying for instance.

But if he is really reluctant to talk or discuss it, you may want to consider whether this is really the right relationship for you.

However, I urge you to have a good discussion where you are very heartfelt and clear about what you really want.

Good luck!

Beth

Lucy Lu said...

Hi there,
I really want to share my experience just in case it helps anyone else.
I was in a relationship for 7 years from 19-26 with a man who said he never wanted kids or marraige. I thought he would change his mind as he got older, I wasnt worried. We had other issues in the relationship and eventually broke up. Within 2 years he had a baby with someone else and was engaged. I can only conclude that I wasn't the one for him and that deep down he knew it hence the reason for not commiting. I look back and think - lucky escape! (even though it took about 3 years to get over it, oh and my current partner cannot understand why I think I wasnt the right one, he puts it doen to timings)
I then met an Aussie man in London (I'm from UK) and we began dating. I really thought he was the right one. We didn't discuss babies for the first year but he started making comments that set alarm bells off so I asked him where he stood. He said 'I dont know, most likely one day but I dont have any desire for kids'. The 'most likely' kept me going for another year and we ended up moving to Aus together. Once in Aus, when we had conversations about kids he would refer to himself as 'not wanting them' but kind of vague. This Xmas just past, he just came out and said 'We are not having kids'. I was devestated as I am on the other side of the world from all my friends and family and here is the man I'd moved for just not caring about how I would take it - just so blunt.I have agonized, AGONIZED over the last 6 months as to what to do. I am 33 - he is 36. We have been together 3 years. Like others have mentioned, Ive thought about adoption, sperm donor etc - if I stayed with him for another couple of years to see if he changes his mind and if he didnt, go down those avenues.
Slowly it has dawned on me that 1) I am letting someone else dictate my life - life is so short, if I want kids I will NOT be happy with someone who deosn't want them 2) there ARE men out there who want kids and if I cant find one, it is possible to do it alone 3) I have loved 2 men, I am sure at 33 that is not it for me and I will love again 4) It is breaking my heart making this decision as it is easy to just stay with him, but in the long run, I will look back with such deep regret, i owe myself more than that - I owe myself at least a chance to find someone else...5) relationships are hard and testing enough wihout disageeing on the most important life goals - I just think its ultimately a recipie for disaster. This is a bit mixed up and I'm sure I'm not getting my point across. What it boils down to - I owe myself a chance at what I want. I have to leave him and I'll be moving out this weekend. He totally understands and is supportive which makes it better and eases my guilt a bit but I am still so desperatly sad and worry Im making the wrong choice. But I have to do it, I have to. Chances are - and I've told him this, he will probably be a father in the next couple of years with someone else, thats how the world seems to work. But thats ok, if thats true it was just not meant to happen with me.

Jutamat Junkaew said...

Hi, Beth
I dont know what to do, please help. I am 30 years. My husband is 41 years old.He never ben married, and no kids. We married for 2 years now.I am thinking of having a baby because our age and more complication as we are getting older. We talked about it and he said "it is no problem for us to have a baby, he would be very happy to have, and we will work it out." However, it has been more than 8 month nothing happen. I asked him again if he is really want to have a baby, or said it just want to make me happy, but nothing happened. He said he really want a baby, but I I give him presure. OK now I really get frustrated, coz it doesnt seem like what we have talked. He is 41 and still thinking about it, he is not ready and will never be, I realized. I stop the baby topic coz it hurt me every time i thinking about it, and want him to be happy. But it hit me every time, and time is ticking. What should I do?

Beth said...

Hello - what a difficult situation for you.

I suggest you set another time for a conversation and say how worried you are. Explain that you feel the need to start a family soon and you need to know that he is on-board with the decision.

Be proactive - you could set a deadline. For example, you would like to start trying for a child when you are 32 for example.

If he is still unwilling to commit, I suggest that you need to work out whether you can stay in the relationship or not. It might be helpful for you both to talk to a local relationship therapist to see how you could move forward as a couple together.

Let us know how you got on.

EaZiE said...

I am in a real dilema...
Firstly I am 27, my partner is 39 and has a 13 year old daughter whos father past away when she was 3.

We have been together for over 2 years and we are engaged. For as long as I remember I have wanted to be a father and have children of my own.

We love each other dearly and I love her daughter as she were my own however I still have an overwhelming urge to have a child of our own. We suffered a mc a year ago and ever since all I have wanted to do is try again.

My partner says sometimes she wants a baby, sometimes she worries about starting over again. We do not wear protection and basically her attitude is if it happens it happens. The problem is she is not willing to actively try for a baby.

I keep telling myself having her daughter is enough, until things like fathers day ect crop up. Me and her daughter get along amazingly but even today she is getting presented with an award at school and only wants her mum to go. I put this down to the amount of partners her mum has had throughout her life ( you cannot count th on 2 hands) and maybe she just thinks in a year or so I wont be around because thats been normality. The thing is im so jelous that my partner is experiencing parenthood and I am not and I worry that if we dont try now, because of her age biologically it will be too late.

I love them both but I know in my heart no matter how happy my life is if I lay on my death bed having never been a father I will regret it.

Its easy for her to deny a child with me because she already has her own :(

Kara said...

Hi Beth,

Wow can I just say I am so glad I found this blog post. I am relieved that there are so many other couples out there with the same issue I am facing.

My story although similar may be a little bit different. I want a baby. My Husband does not. He tells me he does not have the maternal instincts that crave a child. I understand this completely and he understands my wanting a child.
We are completely in love and very happy in every other aspect of our relationship, we are caring and respectful.

Some background, I am previously married and divorced, it was an unhappy marriage and I know just how lucky I am now to be with such a wonderful man. I am 29 and almost 30. I have had allot of gyno issue over the years and a few operations, my Doctor has just told me that if I am to have a family I need to start trying sooner than later with the latest being 2-3 years time and even then I may have trouble not only conceiving but carrying to term.
Where did my youth go? I thought I would have more time.

My Husband is 36. He has a daughter to a previous relationship. He was never in love with that woman but stayed with her unhappily for 8 years because she got pregnant. He loves his daughter but he would have never had her if it were his choice.

My husband loves me and wants me to be happy, for me to be happy he has told me he is willing to give me a baby in a few years but I know this isn’t what he wants. I don’t want to ruin his life, for him to resent me and be unhappy and possibly leave me.

A baby deserves to be wanted 100%.

I like to think that once we have one he will love it and we will be a happy family, social and unburdened but is it worth the risk?

I will not leave my husband. I love him. I want him more than I want a baby BUT I feel like a piece of me is dyeing when I think that we may not have a baby.

We have talked about this many times and we know exactly where we both stand and how each other feels and basically it comes down to the fact one of us needs to change our feelings or one of us will be resentful.

It’s my thoughts that maybe because he was burned befpre by the other woman tricking him into having a baby and staying with her unhappy for so many years that now he thinks he will be equally unhappy?
He says a baby changes your life, yes it does but I think for the better.
He says with a baby you are stuck home all the time, I don’t think so? And anyway we stay home allot now just the two of us.
He also let slip that I would be a burden on him as he would have to work to support me. This hurts allot and I am an extremely proud woman, I have never been unemployed and not paid my own way.
I know it will be tight with only one wage but many families do this and survive ok?

I guess what I am wondering is can we change how we feel maternally/paternally? Will this situation have a happy ending or end in resentment?

Thank you

Beth said...

Hello EaZiE and Kara

It's a very stressful situation you are both in.

EaZie - the good news is that your partner is not using any contraception and the odds are, if there are no problems with fertility and you are having sex regularly, she could get pregnant without any intervention or scheduling around ovulation. My suggestion to you is to try to relax about the situation - if she doesn't not become pregnant after a year of trying, then you may have to discuss with her either trying more actively or whether the relationship is working for you.

Kara - It is possible for people to change their minds. Your partner does sound very sure that he doesn't want another child. I also hear the hurt you feel when he suggests you may be dependent on him financially. I suggest that, if he is willing, you look into relationship counselling or therapy in your local area. If he isn't willing, it sounds like you might need to look at how you can let go of the idea of having a family with him and move forward to embrace a childfree life. I have worked with clients who have successfully done this - even though it was hard. Or perhaps you need to look at if you could leave the relationship to have a child with someone else or on your own. But I read in your comment you feel very strongly you want to stay in the relationship. There is no easy answer I'm afraid - just keep the lines of communication open as much as you can with him.

Tumbler said...

Weve been married for 4.5 years and have a 3 year old daughter. I'm 37 and my husband 6 years older. W discussed kids before getting married and agreed on two. Two weekends ago when we were to start trying for number two he tells me he doesn't want anymore kids. He is too old, doesn't want to be 61 at their grad, and doesn't want to risk it not being okay.

I'm completely heart broken, angry, you name it. I feel like he has strung me along. Even a month ago saying you'd only be a little pregnant for my sisters wedding.

Part of me wants to leave, another part of me doesn't want to wreck the family for our daughter. How can I accept this and move on when I am left hurting so much? How can I ever look at him again and not feel pain. I wake up in the middle if the night and can't lay beside him anymore and go to the spare room. I'm at such a loss at to what to do.

kayesweb said...

I can't believe I actually found a blog that addresses this issue!!! I am 46 which means I'm much older than most posting here. I can assure you the feelings you have will not go away. My husband, who is 49, told me very early in our relationship that he didn't want children. He said he knew how much I wanted them so if that was a deal breaker then so be it. I had just divorced my ex and had undergone infertility treatments and 2 miscarriages during that marriage. My younger sister had just announced she'd accidentally gotten pregnant. I think it was the combination of the infertility frustration and the fact that there would now be a baby in the family to love on that made me choose him over having children. I tried so hard to bury my aching pain of wanting a child, but it comes out often. I had to have a complete hysterectomy (no ovaries now) so I have no hope of carrying a baby in my belly. The only thing I've wanted to do since childhood. I had no other aspirations. I was going to be the greatest mom there was. Soccer mom meets Martha Stewart. I had my vision all planned out. Now I feel it's really too late. Leaving him and attempting to adopt as a single mom screams trouble. I just needed to say this out loud more than anything. I am thankful to find this community and will continue reading posts to help me sort through my feelings.BTW other than this issue we have a great relationship ~ not red hot love maybe more platonic after 16 years, but good.

Grilti Fritz said...

Hi Beth,

I am in a very similar situation. I am 34 years old and my boyfriend is 35. Although we have some arguments and a different perspective about the future, we love each other a lot. The thig is he does not want to have children, or, in any case, in ten years or more. He is perfectly aware in ten years maybe I will not be capable of having a baby anymore, but he thinks a baby will be a problem if we want to travel or go out, etc. He does not want to give me hope, and I am not sure what I should do. I really want a family with him, I need that to be happy. And I can wait, but I fear that if I wait too much, maybe I will lose my opportunity... We have only been together for one year and sometimes I want to believe he will change his mind; he says I want to live in a lie... I really do not know what to do. Do not want to leave him but maybe I should before it is too late. I really need advice, I am not sure if I should take a decission right NOW or I can still wait for something...
Thanks a lot in advance.

Beth said...

Hello Gill - sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I think that you should believe him when he says he does not want children for 10 years. Personally, I think it would be a good idea to lay your cards on the table and say that you do not think you can stay in the relationship if he does not want to have children within a year. If you are 35 and want children, this is a crucial time for you. But, as I have said before here, if you can get him to couples counselling or therapy that would be really good for you both. Good luck - let us know what happens.

travelerae said...

My story is the same as yours, but I'm still in denial and engaged to be married next year. I'm 32 and about to make the mistake you made for the past 10 years, except it really will be too late for me to change my mind and find what I really needed... someone I love to raise a child with. I will either be a single mom or I will give up my hope to have a baby. Neither option seems good, yet I cannot bring myself to stop now and turn back. We are in love, and unfortunately it's heart wrenching.

The worst part is that I did not want kids before setting what OUR life would be like together. It is OUR relationship that made a child seem like a viable option. Being single again, I would likely lose that desire and I would lose him.

What I earth do I do?

Confused said...

Heart broken.... I've been with my boyfriend almost 3 years. I am two years older than him. When we first met I had gotten out of a 8 yr relationship, my ex cheated on me constantly especially the times I was hospitalized, when I found my boyfriend I was the happiest person I felt head over heals especially since he was always there with me every time I was hospitalized. After a year in a half he confessed he had two kids, I had asked him in the beginning all he said was he had a godson. I was devastated betrayed confused heart broken,when he said he had two but forgave him because I love him. Few months later we decided to move to different state the state where his kids live. I left my family everyone I knew to build a family with him since he had promised to one day to marry me and have a family of our own. During the first months living together it was a lot getting use to each other I caught a lot of lies but he always used the excuse of not telling me the truth so I won't get hurt. I come from a traditional Mexican family where it broke my parents heart leaving home without getting married but I was already 28yrs old I just thought that after being in a relationship of 8yrs and never moving with him or getting married I just had to take my chance of falling in love with someone who was there during the good and bad. One day I told him that I wanted to start a family he flipped out and said he already had two kids he wanted them to grow older and enjoy him, but his ex already was pregnant with another mans baby. It hurt me that he didn't want a family with me I mean his kids love me but I just let it go. Few days later I brought it up I said I was not getting younger and wanted a family that I would not bring all the drama the ex gave him constantly, he said if I thought having a baby would replace his kids I was crazy he would never love anyone more than his kids that they had his complete heart that I only had a small part. I felt horrible when he said that. I told him I would want a baby, this was something I always wanted. He got furious and beat me like a guy. I put up a fight too, mainly to protect myself he choked me , put a pillow in my head and said I was going to die if I ever thought I would even bring that up again he then continue to hit me banged my head on the floor picked me up and threw me down and started it kick me in my stomach and back. Few months before I had fallen down my stairs so I already had two herniated disks but he didn't care he continue to hit me especially my back. I started to pray that he would finally stopped. Now I don't bring up having a kid to him and I'm afraid he would hurt me if I would leave now if he gets mad all I do is walk away. I cry every night because all I ever see in his Instagram and pictures of him his kids, his sisters and talks about how happy he is having them he never mentions me at all. I love him but I'm afraid of him at the same time. Now I don't want kids but now I don't even think of having them. Yet right after that beat he cried and said he wanted to have a kid not to leave him that he was sorry he then said he was mistreated as a child his mom left him but is that an excuse? Can someone be like that? I don't know what to do. Many will comment how stupid I am to still be here but I just don't think I can stop loving him. Please don't disregard this story. He promised he would get help anger management but til this day he hasn't . Now he doesn't lay a hand on me he just verbally talks smack to me.

Linda Gordon said...

Hi I'm facing a major problem I love my boyfriend so much he's 34 and I'm 27 and we have a son together (wasn't planned) and he has 3 other kids so he believes he's played his part in the whole having kids part and doesn't want any more at all I'm finding it very very hard to take I'm struggling to cope starting fights and breaking down I'm sooo blessed to have the perfect little boy but I really want a chance to plan a baby and give my son a brother or sister I no we aren't financially ready yet I need to go back to work etc but he's not giving in he's going to make sure he has no more with a vasectomy this breaks my heart he says I'm being selfish I really don't think I am I've taken on all his kids and I care for them and would do anything for them I just feel like my feelings are not being listened too it's really dragging me down and depressing me I love him with all my heart and if I was to leave him that would be unfair on our son I'm so stuck does anyone have any advice thanks

Tanisha Wilson said...

I have been in a relationship for seven years . We have been living together for half or most of that time. I had talked about marriage and kids early on. I never got any sign that he didn't want a family. When my brother died my want to have children grew. My brother died at 26 years old, childless. I feel like I was born to be a mom though I've tried to not want a family so bad. I thought I was too young so I waited four years. Now I'm 25 and cannot bare to be childless. My boyfriend doesnt want kids because he doesn't want them always around. Those were his words. So I talked to him and we said we would wait one year more to see if his mind changed. That year flew by and here we are months after. I leveled with him and told him that if he didn't get some advice on the matter I was leaving him. He talked with our pastor and all he told me is he is thinking about it as his duty to God. My problem with that is that I want a husband and father to my children. I want someone that will want them and love them unconditionally. Not because God wants us to reproduce. I also feel that God has perfect timing so maybe he will want kids if he has another relationship.

Tanisha Wilson said...

Dear confused, you love him but you are enabling him.He needs help with his anger but also it seems like much more.it doesn't make sense that he loves the kids he already has but is so violent when you bring the subject up.NO that is not normal but very irrational behavior. If you did get pregnant he could hurt you while you are pregnant and you would never forgive yourself for that.get out of the relationship no matter what you think it seems like it is a life and death situation. Im rooting for you and your beautiful future children. Even though your boyfriend might be the one.he is not acting like it and you two can not truly be happy if he is making both of your lives miserable. Maybe you wanting kids and his response to that is God's way of saying that it is not right with this guy.you seem to love so much and that is a reflection of you not of him.you are WORTHY of a family so give yourself a fighting chance. He is stealing precious time away from your life that could be spent with your children. I will pray for you.

Rachelle73 said...

I'd like to share my situation since I haven't read about anyone else going through the same dilemma.
I've decided this week that I'm going to evaluate my fertility and start the process of having a child. Not sure how I will go about it though. I'm 40, with my boyfriend for 1 yr now. I've always wanted kids but never felt ready, then last week something clicked, maybe the realisation that I'm turning 41 in August, I don't know.
My boyfriend is 44 and has 3 teenagers with his ex wife. He loves children, but isn't sure he wants to "start over". He did say he'd be willing to date someone who already has a child. He works for himself, and his cash flow fluctuates, so I know the added financial pressure of another child seems overwhelming to him right now. I, on the other hand, am financially independent, have a great job, 1 yr at 60% pay mat leave.
I'm at the point that I'll have a child on my own if I have to. We love each other very much and I feel uneasy about leaving him to have a child on my own. I don't feel that I can wait any longer to be in a relationship with a man that wants a child, that could take 2+ years anyway, time I don't I have.
We aren't super careful about birth control, using withdrawal sometimes, so I could just wait and see if I get pregnant that way. If I don't, once I know what my fertility situation is I can broach the subject of actively TTC and see where it goes from there.
If he says no way, then I'll have to evaluate what my next step is. Here are what I see as my options in order of preference:

1. He agrees to have a child together wholeheartedly.(not too likely but you never know)
2. He agrees to have a child together but I'm responsible.
3. Staying together and "accidentally" getting pregnant.( I view this as dishonest and unfair, but I'm sure he'd be happy once he got over the initial shock.)
4. Staying together but using donor sperm to get pregnant, thus relieving him of the responsibility of having a child (seems really bizarre to me, has anyone ever considered this?)
5. Leaving the love of my life and having a child with a donor. (This makes me very sad that my child wouldn't have a real father. Even if we are not together he-she would still have a dad)

Does anyone have any advice to give me? Or have a similar situation they'd like to share?

Jessica Long said...

Hi Everyone, it really does help to read other peoples stories and realise I am not the only one! I am 30, and as long as I can remember I have wanted to be a mum. My boyfriend (also 30) loves kids and works with kids (part of the attraction for me!). We have been together 2 years and have had many conversations about starting a family in the past few months - always instigated by me, each time he gives me a slightly different story. At first he thought he had too much he wanted to do first, when I tried to talk to him about what these things are and could we start to plan to do them he just became vague. He says he thinks he wants children but he doesn't know when and he isn't willing to talk about timescales or even discuss it much at all, he gets annoyed if I bring it up. He says of course we will one day etc. but I wonder if he just says this to shut me up! I feel like it is an underlying issue all the time and sometimes I can't control how upset I am. I even think it causes me to argue with him about other things because I am annoyed with him about this. I know this is destructive. I just wish he would be honest with me about what it is that is holding him back. He makes me happy in every other way and I don't want to lose him if there is a chance we can do this, but at the same time I don't want to end up resenting him and I also don't know how long I can wait. It is really the hardest decision I have ever had to make.....finding the person you want to have kids with and not having them feel the same...it's breaking my heart.

Sara said...

I am 35 years old and have an 11 year old daughter from a previous relationship. I have always wanted more children. Turning 30 was very hard for me, because I always thought I'd be a stay at home mom with 4 kids by then. When I was married, that had been our goal, but the marriage did not work out. I am now dating a wonderful man, but while in a previous marriage, he had a vasectomy. He does not have any children, and after lengthy discussions and much thought, he has decided he does not want to have any children of his own, although he is very willing to be a stepfather to mine. I am having a very hard time thinking about the rest of my life without having more children, but I'm also panicking at the thought of leaving him. He's a good man, and there's no guarantee that I will find anyone else. So my options are stay with him and definitely not have more children or leave him and possibly end up single with no more children. I don't know what to do. I feel like there are not a lot of good guys where I live.

StarSarah said...

Hi guys. I am so pleased I found these comments, they have really helped me. I would really love to hear the perspective from my man’s point of view – a man who does not want children that is. I broke up with my boyfriend last night over this subject. I am 33 and he is 32. We have only been together 8months but for me that is long enough to fall in love with someone and I know I want to be with him. Last night he said he had something to tell me and that was he is 100% sure he NEVER wants children. He had avoided telling me as he did not want to break up but a friend of his has encouraged him to come clean which I am grateful to him for. When my boyfriend told me it felt like I had been punched in the face because I want children so badly and I thought we had a future together where that might happen. As this is a deal breaker for me, and I am not getting younger, I called off our relationship. We stayed up crying till about 6am this morning and then I got in the shower and told him to be gone by the time I came out – he was and I heard him sobbing on his way out. I am really devastated but I know I did the right thing by breaking up with him because having children is too important for me. When I asked him why he did not want kids (which is such a shock as he loves children and is obsessed with his nieces and nephews) he said that he has always known that he never wanted them. He likes his independence and freedom and feels he would resent a child for taking that away from him. He also thinks this would make him a bad father including the fact that he is quite flaky and selfish. I of course knew these traits about him as it is something that has plagued our relationship from day one. But the good far out ways the bad with him so I have stuck by him and we have made it work and we were very happy together. I guess what I am secretly hoping for is that he will change his mind and realise that our relationship is more important than his decisions not to have children but I am not stupid and I do truly believe I am just kidding myself.

Beth said...

Dear all,

Apologies for not replying to comments publicity sooner - although I have tried to contact those personally where there was an immediate crisis that the writer was experiencing.

Many of you are in similar situations although of course, your situations are also very unique.

If anyone is ever in a situation where their is abuse either physical or verbal, please seek help locally - from your women's refugee or other professional. If there is violence in the relationship, it is not a good place to bring up children. Confused - I hope you are doing better now and have found support locally. Please let us know how it is going.

What I am struck by is the theme of not feeling listened to by your partner. Linda in particular mentioned this explicitly. If you are considering moving forward in a relationship without having children, it is important that you feel listened to and supported by your partner. This is a BIG letting go - to let go of the idea of having children is very hard and it's neccessary to feel like the relationship is worth it.

Finally, for those of you like Star Sarah who are ending a relationship. This is also a very hard decision. But unfortunately, sometimes love isn't enough. If you really want a child and feel like you couldn't let go of this desire, then sometimes ending the relationship is the right thing to do. Trust that you will move on and either find the right relationship to have a child or know that you could do it on your own.

If anyone commenting needs a more immediate response due to a crisis, you can email me at beth@ticktockcoaching.co.uk as I only check these comments infrequently.

Shannon said...

Hi Beth,

I am in my mid-thirties and really want kids, my husband has always known this and we are at the time when we've always agreed to start trying. He has a 10 year old daughter from a previous relationship and they worked REALLY hard to have her because he really wanted a child. Now he is asking me if I am sure. He says he doesn't really want anymore than the one, but he'll do it if I really want to have one. My response has been no and that I will probably leave over this because I want to have kids and share the experience with someone who wants to as well - especially when they do already have a child that was really, really wanted.

He thinks I am being ridiculous, that it shouldn't matter that he doesn't want to, as long as he agrees.

Am I being irrational or anything else to really stick to my guns and not want to have a kid with someone who is agreeing just to appease me?

Beth said...

Hello Shaonnon,

It's a difficult call. It's clearly important to you to have children with someone who will share the experience with you equally - I totally understand this and I think it's what most people want ideally. However, many times in a relationship, one person wants a child more than the other. If your partner is willing to go ahead with having a child and he already has a child already, he is aware of the huge undertaking and committment that it will involve. And he will know that he will have to step up and be involved. It is likely once the baby comes, he will not help being just as excited and interested as you are.

However, you have to ask yourself if you will be ok if he is less involved and less interested than you would like. Where could you compromise in your expectations?

Breast _Augmentation_to_explant said...

Hi All it has been so soothing to read about your situations and know I am not alone. Here is my story -

I am 33, soon to turn 34 and my partner is seven years older, he is 40. We have been together coming up 6 years, living together for 3 of those.

When I met my now partner knew I wanted children in the future and he said he was looking for a serious relationship , wife and mother of his children. I had come out of an unsuccessful 3 year marriage which ended in divorce only due to growing apart ( no kids, wasnt an issue.)

So when I first met my now partner I was in no rush to get serious again and I was only 28, but I never put him off comittment and have as always been honest and faithful as knew in the future a happy marriage and kids was exactly what I wanted.

We did the normal couple things, dated, holidays and 3 years ago brought a flat together. I did start to think would he propose? As I have been married before I do not want a big wedding and he is a shy person. I would like to get married for love and the committment to start a family, but being a divorcee that sounds a bit hypocritical, so I have understood he might not rush it. However for me, to start and be a family is the important bit.

I have said to him I would happy to start a family before being married. So I brought it up last year and now it is a big festering issue. If I am honest I have felt ready for kids the last two years but was being patient. Recently the burning desire (baby fever, clock ticking) is eating away at me keeping it in. I see families everywhere. I know it is not easy and all perfect but i feel i am missing out. My partner will not discuss it, he says every time I mention it I am pressuring him and he is not ready.

I have asked do you want kids? Yes he says in the future. I say do you want kids with me? Yes he says in the future. I say when is the future? Will you want to start trying in the next year? In the next 2 years? 5 years ? 10 years? He says he will not be pinned down to a time frame and the more I ask the more he will not discuss. Even as I say it affects me if I change jobs or should I take a better paid job with a lot if travel in the short term. Surely he knows after 6 years together?

I have asked him should I go back to my parents,if we want different things? He says no dont leave, he loves me.

I have asked my partner do you want to get married first before trying for a baby? No not nessarily he says. Do you want to get married to me ? Yes he says in the future. Ahhhh the magical future it is so tough. It is a dangling carrot of hope and keeping me here.

I do not want to start again with someone else,or be a single parent, but I also see really he doesnt want to marry me or be a family. I am emotionally exhausted. Why can't he be honest?

He says things as excuses for it not being the right time in our relationship. Excuses like he wont have kids until we have a 3 bed house. This is impossible we have a 2 bed flat now and prices are crazy here in greater London. When I ask to move he says no can't afford it. He says we can only move if we go far away from London as doesn't want to buy again here ( his choice of location is where we live now) The cost of commuting and the time would make having a family impossible. Both our careers are London based, I am only one to have increased my salary, I try so hard to make it work.I don't see him compromising.

Oh and apparently women can still have babies at 40 as his sister in law did, so no need to rush into things. I know this is possible if you only meet the right person late, but why wait until I am 40?

I know it is pointless and as another post said happened to her, my partner is very careful that that I do not accidently get pregnant.

I just cannot face being by myself, giving up my home and being single again. It doesn't mean I meet anyone else and I do not want anyone else, this is very hard as I love him. I guess it's not true love if we cannot agree on the important things.

L x

Beth said...

Hello L,

What a difficult situation. It sounds like your partner does have some issues around committment.

I think it is fair enough after having been together with him for 6 years to expect him to take your desire to have children more seriously.

What might be useful if you can see a couples counsellor - Relate offer free couples counselling.

The problem is that some people are what is called avoidant - they tend to resist making committment. It can be very exhausting and ultimately, you might feel that, despite the pain of ending the relationship and the uncertain nature of being single that this state of exhaustion and anger towards your partner is not worth living with.

do let us know what is happening and how it is going.

Stephanie Morrow said...

I recently left a 13 year relationship because I wanted a family, and he did not. He said he couldn't promise me children (I'm 33, he's 40). I have been incredibly upset, understandably. I keep wondering if I made the right choice. We got along in every single other aspect of the relationship, except this one. I have been single for a month now, and it's hard. Probably the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life. When we started dating he knew I wanted kids, and he was open to the idea. As the years passed by I told him that our relationship would have to progress or I would leave. He agreed to it. Things never changed, and I never acted on those ultimatums. Finally, in March, I decided it was time to move on. I have been going through so many emotions. Anger at him for not being able to give me the single thing I want, anger at myself for not being able to put away my desires for him, sadness at the whole situation. I just can't understand why it's something he can't promise me. I have tried to see his perspective and it's just not one I understand. It's comforting to read other stories here and know I'm not alone. For now I just keep taking things day by day. He and I are still very close friends, which is both a curse and a blessing. 13 years is a whole lot to just give up on.

Ambivalans said...

I am 38 and my husband is 50. He has two grown up kids from his former marriage. I have a good relation with them. The boy is 17 and the girl is 26. We've been married for 5 years now and we had a really traumatic relationship for 3 years. He was extremely jealous. I attempt to leave him twice but we ended up together. I was persistence to go to a couples threapy if he wanted our marrige not to be over. So, he agreed and we got help. I want a child so bad. Of course i am surely awere of the fact that wanting does not always means achieveing but i really have to try. I talked to him about my feelings and how importand is to have a kid for me. Also, i told him that i understand if he wouldn't want a kid anymore. He is 50 and he has some health problems. I said i wouldn't blame him but he has to think this properly and talk to me sincerely.
After a week he said he tought about it and he decided that he doesn't want any children. Yes, i was so sorry to hear that.
He said he wants me to have kids even this would mean doing it without him. Well, i said i had to think about the new situation and what this makes me feel.
I did. I feel awful. Oh, btw, my sister is pregnant with her first child now, which makes me question my situation even deeply.
I want to take my chances. I love him but not with passion. We have been through so may hard times and each time he hurt me made things harder and left a scar on my heart and mind. I came to a point where i should confront myself.
I want a divorce. I don't know how to tell him about my decision. This decision means that i have to start my life all over again. So hard but i have to be strong. I owe this to myself. I really would like to have your opinions and advices.

P.S English is not my native tounge so, please forgive my mistakes.

Beth said...

Dear Ambivlans,

I know it's difficult but it sounds like you know in your heart what is the right decision for you to make. I would recommend you find a counsellor or therapist in your local area to talk about this with - they can support you through your decision to leave your partner. Best of luck and please let us know how you are doing.

Jessica said...

Hello,

I have been married for 3 years, however have known my husband for 10. He has a child from a previous relationship and prior to married we didn't discuss children much. I was so in love with him I wouldn't have cared how he felt (stupid). We have a three year old son that happened unexpectedly. He was not planned and my pregnancy was very very stressful. We fought a lot and after he was born, my husband didn't handle the stress of a newborn well. He ADORES our son but he has very little patience at time. It breaks my hear because I want another child sooooooo bad. Just one more. I want a close sibling for my son, as his half brother is 9 years older than him. I want to be pregnant one more time and have it planned. My husband flat out refuses to have more kids and it hurts so bad. I don't want to get a divorce but how can I deal with the resentment I feel?

oddsbodikins said...

I am in an impossible situation. I'm 37. I found a man that wants a family but he has had some bad things in his past. About 14 years ago, when he was 19. He was accused by his stepmother of sexually abusing his stepsister. He told me that he never did the things he was accused of. He got an attorney, but the attorney didn't work very hard to defend him. The attorney just worked with the judge and told him that he would get 20 years in prison if they went to trial. The judge and his attorney talked him into signing a confession and taking a 5 year prison term. He served hard time, lost the first half of his twenties to the prison system. He now has to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. He cannot live anywhere near a school, parks, daycares... He can't get a decent job because no one will hire a former convict.

When he told me that he didn't do the things he was accused of, I believed him. I immediately believed that the conviction could be expunged. After I did some research, it looks very very unlikely that he could clear his name. Most likely impossible that he could clear his name.

I met him and became enamored of him, he is wonderful to me and dotes on me. We have interests in common,and I believe he's a good person that is innocent or a least made a drunken mistake when set up by an evil stepmother. After about a month of being together, I got pregnant. For about 5 days, I was overjoyed. Then my family found out. They've looked him up and seen his record and they are all livid at me. I've been screamed at by my family that I've ruined my life by being with this man and that I could not have my baby on my own. My mother told me that if I go through with this, it will kill my father and my grandfather. I will be on my own and get no support from them. My sister in law has told me that he is not welcome at her home and does not want him around her children. My family is also livid that I did not tell them about his record. I have already had a friend cut me out of her life, and that was before she found out I was pregnant. My boyfriend is elated over the pregnancy. He talks about being a dad all the time. He knows that my family is extremely disapproving of my relationship with him. He doesn't know that they are pushing me HARD to terminate my pregnancy.

I go back and forth about every 30 minutes as to what I'm going to do. A life with him would be very difficult. My family will abandon me and I've always been close with them. If I terminate my pregnancy, I fear I'll never get another chance. I'm afraid I'll resent myself and my family. I am in a no-win situation. I've wanted children all my life. And I finally find someone that wants them with me, he has this impossible black mark in his past that cannot and will not wash off. It is there forever. I do not know what to do. I've been talking to my counselor and friends and while the final choice remains mine, I don't think I can live with any of the choices I have available to me.

Beth said...

Dear Jessica,

I hear how disappointed you feel and angry at the situation.

It is possible to move on from your feelings of resentment and anger if you don't want to end your relationship. But it sounds like you need to work through those feelings first - have you and your husband tried talking to a local relationship counselor? That can often help.

Best of luck,
Beth

Beth said...

Dear oddbodkins,

What a stressful situation and difficult situation! In cases where you have already conceived and are looking to decide whether to have an abortion, I always recommend you speak to an impartial and independent counsellor in your area. It sounds like you are doing that already and I hope the situation becomes clearer for you soon.

Warmly,
Beth

Kyle-Lynn Esposito said...

I am thirty. A rape survivor and childhood abuse survivor. Have been married three years. Have been stuggling with telling my husband that I have changed my mind and want kids.Before we got married we were on the same page and promised neither of us would want kids. Now having told him, I feel heartbroken because he is honest in saying he still only wants a childfree life with me. I don't know what to do. He said he would rather let me go than have me hate him later.

Beth said...

Dear Kyle-Lyn,

What a heartbreaking situation for you. It's really difficult when one partner wants children and the other one doesn't. I think that it might be a good idea for you and your husband to look at working with a couples therapist to see if you can work together to find a solution that might work for you both. Let us know how you get on.
Warmly,
Beth

rach said...

It's nice to know they is not just me out there with problems. Here's a what I hope will be a short account of what's wrong don't want to bore you.
Am 32 (33 in june) my husband has just been 33 we got married in 2009 and met in 2003.
I never hid the fact I wanted children and my husband has always said in the future problem is his future keeps extending.
3 years ago Last June I came off the pill ( he suggested it) on 17th Nov that year we had sex for the last time him expecting me to be pregnant instantly I knew I wouldn't be the timing was all out. Anyway since then it's excuse after excuse. He said we needed to decorate the bedroom we did he said when we both had secure jobs we do and I also work for myself from home again his suggestion. Then it was paint the stairs we have. Sort the damp problem we have. Get a new kitchen we did last February. Still NOTHING he won't even give me a time frame it's just soon. Both my mum and younger sister have had surgery for endometriosis and am worried I could be next and struggle to get pregnant am not getting any younger obviously yet he thinks we have all the time in the world. Am to the point family and friends keep asking when are we planning to try am fed up of making excuses and I find myself in tears now daily I don't want to leave my husband I love him but am so depressed I can't see a end to this can anyone see a solution.

Shay G said...

Dear Beth,
I'm 34 and my bf of 6 months is 38. We discussed the baby issue after a couple months of dating. And he said he didn't want anymore kids at first but then later said he may feel differently later. I dropped the issue because the relationship was so new and I didn't want to scare him away with the discussions. So now here we are at 6 months and he is adamant about not having anymore children and I'm adamant about not changing my decision to have them. His reason is our ages. He ready to live life and so on. But his youngest child is just 7 so it's not like he has grown kids and I'm asking him to go all the way back to diapers. I clung to the fact that he said he may feel differently later. I hoped that he would grow to love me enough to give me a child. It was not my life plan to have a child in my teenage or early 20's. I wanted to be sure I would not be a child here to struggle. Now I'm ready to start planning And discussing it because I would like to start trying next summer. I know this is the man I want to spend the rest of my life with. Our relationship is near perfect except for when the issue of a baby comes up. I've never been this happy in any of my relationships. It's really hard to let go of a relationship that's so fulfilling. I've bonded with his children and love them as well. I've tried to get used to the idea of not having a child of my own and I just can't. I'm so confused and hurt. I feel like he being selfish. Or am I the one being selfish?

Beth said...

Hello Rach

Sorry for the delay getting back to you - I only check these comments every week or so.

It really sounds like you aren't happy - if I read your comment correctly, you haven't been having sex with your husband for a while - a few years?

Have you told him how depressed you feel about the situation? I think yo u and he need to resolve the situation. It might be an idea to talk to a local couples therapist together to see how you can resolve the situation together. If he isn't willing to do this, then it would be good for you to have someone to talk to yourself.

I hope it works out for you.

Beth said...

Dear Shay,

Sometimes in a relationship, despite loving each other, two people just want very different things from life. And that can be the case with the baby decision.

He sounds like he has been pretty clear about not wanting children - although he did say he might change his mind.

When I work with clients in your situation, I coach them to find ways to speak very clearly and assertively with their partner. Sometimes, you need to get clear on your bottom line. Would you leave the relationship if you couldn't have children with him?

OR could you let go of your dream of having children for the relationship?

It's a difficult choice because unless he changes his mind, either option is not your ideal life.

achinamhora said...

Hi Beth and everyone. I am sharing my story so that it may comfort someone in a similar situation. I am 29, I have been married for 6 years and he is 37.

I am at the point where I am leaving my marriage because of the no baby issue. When we got married it was never a question as we both knew we would have children in the future. In the first year of marriage, I didn’t fall pregnant and realised there might be a fertility problem. Then we relocated to South Africa (We are Zimbabwean) and his stance on having babies totally changed. Initially I was happy because we would have better fertility treatment options in this country compared to back home. I had earmarked the money from selling our car for this, but he made imprecise excuses until it was all used up.

I have begged him, cried, threatened, shouted from both ends of the emotional spectrum to try and get the message through to him that I want to have babies and I will NEVER feel fulfilled in my life unless I become a mother. I would give anything to hold that little baby in my arms and care for the child as s/he grows up. Previously I got pregnant when I was in high school and the baby died at 3 months. Since then I have this burning desire that almost overpowers the voice of reason, to be pregnant and to have my babies. I only just managed to finish school and get my degree without getting knocked up again. I wanted to do it right, especially to please my family. So I thought my dreams of motherhood would come true when I got married.

At times my husband says to me yes we will have just one child (I want 3 or 4), but neither gives a specific time when, nor commits to actually trying. He refuses to have a sperm test done, and honestly I feel like I have given him enough time to get over and deal with any internal issues and fears he has. I ended up going for a fertility check-up myself and my reproductive system is fine and ready. I don’t know if I will have the time and patience to look for another partner to have babies with or if I should just go ahead and be a single mother.

To oddsbodikins your story touched me very much, do what you feel is right because you are the person in your situation, you know what’s best for you. Just be ready with your game (tough) face on to fight the responses from people. Also things do not happen to people as a punishment or reward, they just happen in time and chance, so don’t be hard on yourself. If it was not meant to be, detach your emotions from it and let it go and be at peace with it. To Beth I will be back in 2 years with an update on how things go for me.
Good luck parents in waiting.

pugasaurusrex said...

I also find myself in the same, sad boat as many of the other posters here. I'm 32, and have been married to my husband for 5 years. When we first married, we always assumed we'd have children "in five years." Well, the five years are up, so we had the conversation, and he said no. He has been struggling with depression for about a year, during which time I carried the burden of our marriage, including all of the housework, emotional support, etc. while he languished his life away in front of the television or playing video games.

I've realized several things working through this hurtful process:
1. Why would I want to have a child with someone who doesn't carry his fair share of the relationship?
2. If his wife leaving him isn't enough of a "rock bottom" to cause him to seek treatment for his depression, what will it take?

It hurts because I'm losing my best friend, but I don't know what else to do. I'm scared he will spiral further into depression once I leave, and be unable to care for himself.
He is currently looking into a vasectomy, which sort of feels like a slap in the face, but also makes things really final for both of us.

Anyone else go through this experience with a mentally ill/clinically depressed spouse? I am feeling very guilty about not sticking around through his illness, but know that time is a factor working against my future fertility. For now, we are still living together, as housemates until I'm able to find a job closer to my family. I am so resentful and scared that I have to start my entire life over again, but know that I cannot stay in this situation. I want to be a mother to a CHILD, not to a depressed man-child.

valerie said...

I need advice, I am 26 soon to be 27, my husband is 40. We met five years ago and married four. He he two wonderful children from his first marriage, a 13 year old girl and 11 year old boy. I love them both very much as if they are my own, we are very close. They don't live with us, we see them during the week and weekends, the other time they are with their mom. Even their mother and I are close and she is glad that the kids and are close. For a little bit I couldn't make my mind up on kids, I teeter tottered back and forth about children of my own. Although I wasn't sure my husband told me when we stated dating that he would love to have another child with me. I wouldn't consider it then bc at that time my step children were 6 and 8 and my step daughter was very very close to us and she felt like if we had a baby we wouldn't want to spend as much time with her. I knew that was just her being too young to understand and I couldn't bring myself to even think of doing something that would upset her. My husband and I agreed we would possibly start trying when she was 13 which she is now. We decided two years ago that we definitely wanted to have a baby, so we come up with a plan and wanted to start trying this year. Well as we all know our plans mean nothing. This past January 2015 my 39 year old very fit husband had a massive heart attack and had to have open heart surgery. He is almost two months out now and the Drs say he recovered extremely well with no damage to his heart. If he lives a a healthy life, exercises three days a week, he will be able to lead a perfectly normal long life. Well now he says absolutely not to having a baby, won't discuss it he says he has plans for us that does not include children.the reason I finally decided 100% that I wanted a baby with him is bc I love him so much and I could see how wonderful a baby would be to have some of us both in it. I want his baby and only his. Another reason I decided bc I thought if we ever lost one another tragically we would still have a piece of him or me to cherish. Since his heart attack he says he wouldn't be alone bc he would have his kids. On the flip side if I lost him I have nothing!!! I have no legal right to my step children and when they grow up they wouldn't have time for their daddy's widowed wife. I'd be all alone if I lost him even if it is forty to fifty years from now, I'd still be all alone!! Leaving him is not an option he is my soul mate, we had a fairytale beginning and a love story marriage. We knew on our first date that we wanted to get married, it literally was love at first site. I don't want a baby with someone else, I want his baby with his personality, my heart and his brain. I only want his baby. I don't want to push the subject right now bc he is still recovering but in a few months I want to bring it up. I have baby fever bad, I'm so sad that he doesn't want one anymore. Please someone give me some advice

Beth said...

Dear all,

Achinamhora - Thank you so much for sharing your difficult decision. Please do update us and let us know what happened.

Pugasaurusrex - What a terrible situation to be in! It sounds like you know what you need to do - as difficult as it sounds.

Valerie - I hear how desperate you are. My suggestion is that in a few months you encourage your husband to go with you to couples therapy so that you can look at trying to resolve this together. Do a search on the internet for couples counselling in your local area. Please update us to let us know how you are doing.

Allison said...

I've been in a relationship with my boyfriend for 2 years now and we are planning on moving in together in the next few months. He's 31, I'm 29 and it's by far, the best relationship I've been in. The only issue we're having is he's undecided about the possibility of children. He knows he doesn't want children in the next year (nor do I), but cannot tell me with confidence that he wants them in the future. He's concerned with the lifestyle change that comes with a child, but says he sees himself with older children (i.e 15 and up) when he gets older. I've made it very clear to him that I want the possibility of children in my future as I'm not getting any younger and he understands this. I guess my main question is should I still give the relationship time/continue with the discussion as he is not saying no to kids? When does indecision become a decision in itself? The idea of breaking up with him is killing me....just not sure what to do!

Flosspops said...

It is sad but I realise I am not alone as I sit in my new house having left my partner of ten years because we have different visions. Initially I didn't want a baby but I was 24 so... He was and remains more certain and as he in 13 years older than me he is not eager t be a dad. Well after heart ache and soul searching I left well aware I still might not get what I want but I can foster or anything so am ok with that. Now he emails and says maybe... To be fair he has said maybe in a variety of ways but as much as he now says he was scared etc I feel like he has taken years by not being honest I said 5 years ago I had changed my mind and did want children. I don't know he is a good person but I want him to be happy and am not sure going back will make us happy.

Beth said...

Dear Alison,

It sounds like you have been very clear. I suggest that you give a date by which you'd like his confirmation that he will go forward with you ad have children. For example, you could suggest the deadline when you are 31. However, if you two could seek the help of a couples therapist or counsellor to help you, that would be good because the danger is, that if he still remains indecisive in a couple of years then you will spend more years of your life committing to someone who will not ultimately want the same thing as you.

wishitwasnthard said...

I am a 36 year old that is in a relationship with a 47 year old.  He has 4 children from two previous relationships.
We had been friends for years and after both our relationships had fallen apart we  struck up a deeper friendship.
 We talked at length about why our past relationships had not worked out.  His past relationship ended because of infidelity, and it has scarred him deeply.
My previous relationship I entered with the statement to my ex "if you don't want to have children with me in the next few years, do not enter this relationship with me."  We were together for 3 years and it was painful but I ended the relationship because he could not commit to having children with me.  It was a constant argument and the resentment built until it was unbearable. 
My current boyfriend  was aware that having a child was a goal in my life that I was set to do.  I want to be a mother, and have always wanted that. 
In the beginning we talked openly about the subject, he having a vasectomy, there were options to consider and he was open to adoption, sperm doners etc.  About 6 months into our relationship, after a very emotional weekend,  things  changed.  He started to deal with an event from his past, he was molested as a child.  I encouraged him to seek treatment and go to the police.  He has gone and started to do counselling now.  Unfortunately, what has come out of his dealing with this event from the past is that he is uncertain about the future.
 He came to me on our 1 year anniversary and told me he "may possibly" not want to be a father again.  He explained that he is fearful of being a single father again and that he wants me to have what I most want in life and he knows that is a child.  He tried to break our relationship off because of this.   I refused.   I want to have a child but I also want to have a child with him.  He is an amazing father to his children. 
What is difficult is that the past he is dealing with has made him feel that the future is too uncertain, and with what he is going through emotionally he has not been able to fully commit to me if he wants to have a child or not. 
I have had mixed feelings now about whether I should bet a mother, maybe I have become too selfish, maybe my life is good the way it is?   But, he asked me a while ago, if he was totally into having a child if I would question whether or not I still wanted a child, if I would say "i don't know?" And the answer was no.  If he totally wanted a child there would be no question in my mind if I wanted to be a mother, the answer would be YES.
He tells me that I should go seek another relationship and find the man that will give me what I want most, a child.  This seems like an option, but at 36 I am not getting younger and I'm afraid to look for another relationship and go through the same thing I have gone through in the past two. I feel like I'll just find the same thing, a man that wants to have children with me at first and then changes their mind. 
So, I've come to the point that what I have (mostly) decided on is to seek a fetility doctor.  
On my 37th birthday week I will be seeing a doctor and seeking out artificial insemination. I have looked on the sperm bank for suitable donors and have tried to be optimistic about this.
 I would love to raise a child in a loving home with two parents, but when I weigh the options it just does not seem to be in the cards for me.   I don't want to wait until it's too late to realize that I will never be a mother and know that I have given up that chance because of a hope for the perfect man to come along.
I guess what he needs to decide, is when the time comes, will he want to be a part of my (and my child's) life?  I will have to leave that to him and go get what I want even if it means losing a very special man whom I really love and care for.

wishitwasnthard said...

Update: we have decided to end the relationship. Although my heart is broken and I will moss our relationship and the attachment that I have to him, I need to be true to myself and go for what I want.
If I decide in the future nit to have a child, at least I know I haven't made that choice because of someones influence over my decision.
Let's hope I made the right desicion for me and my future.

Sarah said...

I want to know what happened to each and every one of these ladies on here. I have taken the time to read each and every entry as I find myself on the same boat as they. I am in a happy relationship for 1 year and just moved in with my boyfriend (it is the first time I have ever agreed to move in with a boyfriend, I've never been married). I have tried to break up with him two other times about this very topic. The problem is, is that he was not up front to me about his not wanting kids until we were together for 3 months and by this time I have fallen in love and become attached. The second time I broke up with him was in January and that lasted for a week. It is the first time I have felt so safe and comfortable in a relationship with someone who has so many common interests as I. That week apart was really hard for me and honestly I'm at a point now where I feel like going through that kind of a heart wrenching break up with someone I still love is not something that I can handle right now. However I am 35 and my menstrual cycles have become more intense and more emotional. I cry for days about not being able to have a child. It is something I've always envisioned myself having but I wanted to take my time and find someone who I thought would be a good father. My Boyfriend is 48 and has 2 older kids and a recent vasectomy, literally 2 months before he met me. He agreed to have a baby with his previous fiancée but broke it off realizing he can't go through with it. I am a repeat of his previous relationship :( When I talked to him about him not wanting kids after the 3 months into the relationship he seemed as though to consider it after I went back to him to talk after our first break up. And I guess that small little hope is what kept me going with him. My last menstral cycle was intense and I couldn't sleep at night and cried for days. My body is rebelling against my choices to be with a man who doesn't want kids right now. I am afraid if I leave I will be giving up a really great relationship and end up single, alone and childless anyway. It is hard at this age to find a man who hasn't had any kids yet and is willing to start over if he already does have kids. I could not do it on my own financially or logistically. I don't own my own house and I don't have any family here, my family lives 10 hours away. So doing it on my own seems impossible. I feel stuck. I really want to hear updates on all of these stories to see if these women feel they have made the right choice for themselves. Thank you for this blog, Beth. I've been searching for months to find something like this outlet.

CHWINVA said...

I've read a good many of the posts on here. I happen to be one of those guys that is forward thinking and am in a new relationship. I have children that are almost out of the house. My new girlfriend is in her mid 20s... I'm in my 40s. She has always wanted children and we approached the subject early on (at my urging), that if things worked out, it was possible I would not want children. She says she always has, but, may change her mind. Over the course of the past 2 months, I've heard it many times that 'when she has her own' what it will be like or how she will raise them. I am now certain I do not want kids... it is going to be difficult to break it off, but, I think being honest now, as early as it is, is the best policy. Even if she came back and said she no longer wants kids, would rather have me, which is a big possibility, I think I would not be doing the right thing if I did not end it, which is in her best interest for her long term happiness. Any thoughts on the matter?

Beth said...

Sorry for not responding to the comment left here recently - I've been away and haven't been very good with keeping up with the blog. Sarah - it's so difficult. I have heard from clients who have made the decision to stay with a partner - and usually it involves mourning and letting go of the possibility of having children and then seeing how you can embrace the future in the most positive way. It may be that if you see a relationship counsellor you can resolve the issue together.

And CHWINVA, it is very difficult. I suggest you be as clear as you possibly can about how you do not want children. She may say that she can accept that and wants to stay with you - and that might be the right choice for her. All you can do is be as clear as you possibly can that you most definitely will not want children in the future.

megcain said...

Hi, Jackie. I know this post was from a couple years ago, but your story is very similar to mine. Just wanted to see how things have worked out for you?
I'm 36, my husband is 39. We've been married for 10 years, together for 17. And we have always talked about children in the future tense- names, schooling, etc. Now that I am really feeling that urgency because of my age, he all of a sudden says he doesn't think he wants children. And I feel like it's too late to find someone else- even if I did find someone, the thought of having a child with someone I basically just met, when I've been with the same person for 17 yrs just seems crazy. But will I be able to get past the resentment of never being able to be a mother?
Please help.

Chris Underhill said...

Hi.

Im 38 and my girlfriend is 31. I have 2 children (9,5) from a previous marriage.

I love her very much. She so desperately wants children of her own but i dont want any more.

Its a deal breaker for her and she is on the verge of leaving.

If i give in i dont feel this is the reason to bring a new life into the world to simply make her happy. I fear i will resent her.

I dont want to lose her but keeping us comes with a new life.

I feel very sad and juat wanted to say to anyone else out there they're not alone in this type of situation.

"Love like you've never been hurt". I just dont know if i should throw caution and let it happen.

Life - never that simple is it?

Beth said...

Hello Chris,

Sorry for the delay in responding - it's really stressful situation. What I suggest is to think about if there is any way that you could imagine having another child in a way that work for you? One of the difficult things for your girlfriend I imagine is that she will have to be compromising all the time in order to be a good stepmother and be involved with your children. It's quite a big ask when someone really wants children of their own to take on a stepmother role as well. I hope you are able to work things out for you and let us know how things progress.

Beth said...

Hello Megcain,

Again, sorry for the delay in responding. It's a very difficult and stressful position - if anyone out there can speak from personal experience to this one and let Megcain and others know how you moved past this feeling of resentment that would be great.

Personally, I believe it's possible to move past this - but there has to be a conscious letting go or mourning the idea of having children before you can do this.

CHWINVA said...

Chris,

I broke up with mine ... I regret it. If not for my vasectomy I would have done it. Live without regret brother. If you feel like its,true love, choose her. My opinion.

Viola_Luna said...

Hi. I just turned 37, my bf just turned 43. We've been together only 6 months. He doesn't want kids, I love them but feel if I walk away, it's a loss regardless. What man wants a late-30's woman to have kids?

I was in a 7 yr relationship w/ my ex (engaged, then he changed his mind 3 months before the wedding). About a year later I was in a 10 month relationship w/ a guy 7 yrs younger. He wanted a family but busy finishing up school/getting his career on track. Granted, different cultural situations made our relationship unlikely.

At this point, if I want a family I'd have to be a stepmother. Egg freezing is too expensive for me, single motherhood is also out.

I feel like I wasted my best baby-making years, and despite trying damn hard to work on myself & hustle to find a good man, my dream of motherhood mocks me every time I see a pregnant woman or family. I feel like a loser & failure.

So many people say I'd make a great wife/mother, and assume I am anyways. Yet here I am, watching women pass me by.

My current bf accepts me for who I am, quirky weirdness and all. I tell myself this kind of man is better than hoping for something that will most likely never happen.

I cry, get depressed and harden my heart sometimes when I see happy families, to buffer my sadness. Recently I disabled FB--seeing so many engagement/marriage/pregnancy/birth announcements left me a wreck. I needed to recalibrate the value of my life on my terms, not compare to others. Maybe later I'll genuinely be happy for them. But for now, it's too painful.

I tell myself there is more to life than children. I have hobbies, dreams to create, travel...My head sees the reality of my situation, but my heart still yearns for motherhood like a toddler having a tantrum.

My bf is a wonderful man. I don't want to lose this for a silly dream, but...Damn these emotions/hormones :(

Thanks for reading. Although some of the stories here are quite heartbreaking, I don't feel so alone in this quiet despair.

Chewy027 said...

A post made by the Queen of Spades in 2013 resonates with me. I'm not much of a blogger but find myself seeking out others' experiences as I deal with mine. I'm 34, he's 38. Both of us are finalizing divorces. He has two young boys. When we met we were both exhausted from our past relationships, found comfort in one another, and have grown to love each other in a way that I have never known before. His marriage was fraught with all sorts of abuse from his ex, not that mine was much better, which has really soured him on the idea of a happy ending. I'm not sure why I'm still full of hope but I am. When we first talked about marriage and having more children he told me that he wasn't interested in either... His thoughts on marriage quickly turned into "only if I am sure it's forever". He was very honest about his vasectomy, which we both know to be reversible. I have a young daughter, who I am very fortunate to have in my life, so at first I didn't know if I really wanted another child. There were a number of times when I could have had a second with my previous husband but I believe children should be born out of love and in those moments I didn't feel like the timing was right. It wasn't until a couple of months ago when we started building a home that the 5 of us would share that I started to feel an intense desire to have another child; a child with him, no one else. The topic of marriage and children came up again a couple of days ago... funny how those big issues sneak up on us. He says, maybe marriage in 5-10 years and no more children. He didn't like who he was when his two boys were younger and what type of person the stress of kids turned him into. He worries that we'll ruin what we have by adding another level of full-time stress to it. He tells me that he loves me desperately. Tears up when we talk about not being with one another. He's really trying to come to a resolve on this issue without putting either one of our wants at risk... there just doesn't seem to be an option that works. I don't know what to do. I love him. I want to be with him. I want us to have a child together. I don't want to have a child with anyone else but him. I don't want to resent him for not allowing us to experience parenthood together. I'm so scared to make the wrong decision. Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated... I'm stuck.

dandy said...

hello there,

im chris and alot of the comments on here relate to my situation at the moment. i have been with my girlfriend for 2 years, i'm 31, she's 36, she has 2 wonderful girls 11 and 13 from a previous relationship. From the beginning she said she "probably" didnt want any more children, although if she met someone special she may consider having another if thats what they really wanted. I fully understood that from the beginning and at the time i thought,ive met a great girl who ticks every box and if this goes well she has 2 girls who i could be stepdad to and children of my own wouldnt be a desire of mine.
well 2 years on everything went better than i could have imagined, i get on with the girls great and my girlfriend is an amazing person, but over the 2 years she has clearly hinted that she definately doesnt want children, the problem is, the more ive got into the relationship the more ive realised i really do have a desire to have my own children, i see my friends with their kids or are due to have kids and i just cant help thinking things like "i might never have that chance" and it constantly plays on my mind. also coz my gf had children in her early 20's and brought them up on her own, she feels she missed out on a lot and the last 2 years we've been to fesivals and out partying a hell of a lot. (which has been great, and ive loved every min of it) but i done all that all through my 20's and now i feel ive had enough of all that and really want settle down. about 6 months ago we had our only real big argument, didnt spk for a few days then when we spoke i just came out and said i dont think i can go through life without having children, and i actually said im gonna have to leave, everything got very emotional and that point i actually realised how much i love all 3 of them and just couldnt walk away. thinking things like, "you dont have to be a real dad, to be a dad" and "i could meet someone else and find out i cant have kids pr something, then ive thrown away what ive already got". so the the last 6 months ive tried to put all my feelings aside, but the truth is i can't, i keep getting the same inner desire to want my own kids, and recently we've both been talking about saving up for house together, but i keep making excuses like things are fine as they are etc, and the truth is i cant commit To something like that knowing my own desires to have kids may not be met. in the argument 6 months ago, she did say she might come round to idea of having another kid, but im 99.9% sure she only said that out of fear of losing me, coz since she has given more hints she couldnt go through all that again, and even if she did want another, i feel she would only be having one coz i wanted 1, i wouldnt want that as that wouldnt be right. anyway, im at the point now where i feel i need to face it head on and make the decision to leave, would be heartbreaking, but deep down know its probably the right thing to do and hopefully 1 day meet someone who would like to start a family, or put my own desires away and stick with with a good thing ive already got, but risk regretting a few years down the line,

many thanks for reading, and some advice would be greatly appreciated

Cassandra said...

I'm 36 so is he. When I met my boyfriend 2 years ago he specifically said that he didn't want to date unless it was moving towards marriage. That he wanted something exclusive and committed. We dated long distance at first. He lived about 5 hours flight from me. But we never were apart for longer than 2 weeks. That was our rule. In the last 1 1/2 we've bought a house together, moved in, supported and had one of the most amazing relationships in most areas.

However, he had never been in an exclusive relationship for longer than 6 months LONG DISTANCE. 3 months up close. I am the longest by leaps and bounds. What's been confusing is that he has muscled through commitment and had a hard time. Frequently telling me he wanted out. he had a porn addiction, and also was very open to women. A player basically. He's been working on that.

The issue is that all of a sudden, after I helped him move from another country, been his support, he says now that he wants to break up. That he didn't want a relationship in the first place. That he doesn't want kids. So crazy. I showed him all the emails and letters and texts that he's given and sent me all about "our kids and our house". :(

He can't deny that his very words were to get married and have kids. Now I am 2 years in. I am a beautiful woman, I don't question that I will find someone who wants me. To this day it's more that I don't want to just be chased, I want to have a marriage, a husband, a lover.

Where I am now is that I'm living in a separate room from him. I am planning on moving out as he put the majority of the money into our perfect house. Even though I did a lot of the work in the negotiations. This breaks my heart too.

He completely did a 180 on me and I feel stunned and frustrated cause I would have never gone this far if I knew that he would change. I feel lucky that I didn't have a child though with this man but still, I'm floored.

My question is - how soon should I start dating? I feel so committed and respectful to our love and the good times we've had, but he doesn't want me. My biological clock is ticking and my love and respect for him is in opposition to my biological clock and wanting to find what I signed up with him in the first place. How do I do this ethically? He wants to end this. Wants to be single. I don't want that vapid life. I'm sad.

Sarah said...

How are you doing now

Sarah said...

Update: we have been open to each other about the idea of having kids or not. The topic comes up every month during my emotional change of hormones. He is finally bending a little on the idea of reversing the vasectomy or foster/ adopting. There is still a lot of conversation that needs to happen around the details and committing to the idea. His willingness to bend has made me feel very secure in our relationship.

Sarah said...

This story sounds so similar to mine. How are you doing now?

Charlotte said...

Hi I'm 30 and my partner is 38 I am in a very happy relationship ive been with my partner for 12 years an decided I want a baby when I suggested to try for a baby my partner didn't seem happy and said we should of done this years ago I understand I've left it along time which I regret it seems that he doesn't want a baby every time I talk about it he dismisses it I love my partner and love my life with him I am so worried that ill lose him I don't know what to do ?

Erica Brown said...

I am so glad I found this blog and that there are other women out there struggling with this issue.

I have been married for 3 yrs, my husband is 33 and I am 29. We both work full time and are hardly ever home. We met on eHarmony and one of the questions was "Do you want kids?" Of course when we met at the time (I was 23) I was 2000% sure I NEVER wanted children. So as the story goes we met, fell in love and got married.

Fast forward to present time, I am starting to have second thoughts about this DINK (dual income no kids) lifestyle. While I don't particularly like children, I would not be opposed to having my own with my husband. Our marriage is filled with love, respect, support, admiration, understanding, etc. We are the perfect match through and through. He doesn't want children and that's the way it was when we met. There is no changing his mind, and there is no discussing it. If I do bring up even the slightest hint that I have changed my mind he shoots it down and gets upset. While I agree with his argument that it's not fair for me to change my mind, I can't help how I feel. And I am not necessarily saying at this point I have changed my mind, but I am starting to feel like I could one day want children of my own. I also know when that happens and he doesn't change his mind I WILL resent him for it.

My sister is due December 7th with her first child. She is 33 and plans on having at least 2 more. I have talked to my mom about this feeling I can't shake of one day hoping to become a parent, and she said my sister's child will probably be fulfilling enough and that I probably don't really want them. One of the things she asked me that stayed with me was "if you could do it all over again, would you still marry him?" And my answer is unequivocally yes.

But what if I did change my mind? All this time I have felt like this horrible person for saying I didn't want kids and got married, then changed my mind after the vows and my husband is left feeling betrayed. Should I let a man decide my fertility? He has already said if it came down to it he would step aside and let me go to have children elsewhere.

I don't know what to do or how I feel really. This feeling has been growing for 2 yrs. now. I have prayed and prayed and prayed about it. Some days I feel great and happy with my choice, and other days I feel lost and hopeless. I have considered going to counseling but haven't brought myself to that point yet. I would be devastated without my husband in my life and my whole world would change, but at the risk of resenting him one day is it all worth it? We currently live a lifestyle that wouldn't support children or the time for them. His career is about to take a new direction that will require him to work more than he already does, and I might end up leaving my job to help him. We take a lot of vacations and can afford all the luxuries of life, but we work for every penny we have.

My biggest question is this:
Will I regret this decision?
Will I regret letting a man decide my future and stick to my plan as I set it?
Will I resent him and have our marriage fail anyway, and then it be too late for me to have my own children?

He can already sense I am not myself these last few months and I believe that is the resentment starting to set in. I just can't help how I feel.

Please offer me some advice. I feel like the spoiled brat who got exactly what she asked for, but in the end still isn't happy. I have a lot of guilt and talking to him about it makes it 10x worse.

Erica Brown said...

After I posted this I talked to my husband and he is more sympathetic than I thought he would be. He said "let's talk in 6 months" which is a huge relief. I would still like advice though as I don't see him changing his mind...

Beth said...

Hi Erica!

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you - because this post was published a while ago, it can take me some time to realise there has been a new comment.

That is an excellent sign - that he is happy to talk.

I think that it would be great if you could sit down with him and write out a letter from your heart - why you love him and also why having a family is so important to you. Look at what compromises you could make - for instance, if he is fearful of losing his independence, what reassurance could you give him?

Ultimately, it is a big decision to make - if you really do want kids there is a danger of you feeling resentful in the future.

If after you talk in 6 months he still hasn't come round, I would suggest couples counselling or therapy.

I hope that is helpful!

Let us know what happens!

Nikkole Wyrabkiewicz said...

Hello,

I am in a very similar situation as many here but am desperately looking for a viewpoint from someone who decided to give up the dream of having children to stay with the man. I would love it if I could talk with someone who has done this, and how their lives have turned out.

I am 28 and my boyfriend of 4 years is 38. I do not have children, but he has a 19 year old daughter. Very early in our relationship I asked him if he wanted to start all over again and have another family, and expressed to him how important it was to me to have a family. I always had the fear in my mind (especially in the beginning) that because he was older, already had an older daughter and had already experience most of the family life, and was almost "done" raising his daughter - that he may not want to start all over again. But he reassured me in our early talk that he did want to have more kids, and have a family because he never got to do it the right way as he was in high school when his daughter was born. He also missed out on the first 5 years of her life. A lot of you will blame this on him, but to be clear he is a REALLY good father. His daughters mother took her and disappeared and him and his family hired a private investigator to find her, which took 5 years. He has had full custody of her since she was 13 and she currently lives with him full time. (sorry for all the detail.)

Everything is just about as perfect as it gets between us. We are completely happy together when we aren't weighted down by the topic of kids. A year ago he came to me and said that he had changed his mind. He was starting to see how life could be now that he didn't have so much responsibility with his daughter as she was starting to become more and more independent. (Exactly what I worried about in the beginning). He is also afraid of having children in a few years when we would be ready, due to his age/stamina. Other reasons being how the world is today, he wants to travel, enjoy his/our life, finances, etc. All pretty understandable reasons. And I get it. I HATE to say this because I don't know that I would actually trade our memories, but I sometimes wish he would have decided this 4 years ago before feelings were deeply involved.

We are at the point now where we either go our separate ways or I give up the idea of having children. I have seriously been considering giving it up. I've always been afraid to have kids due to genetics (my mom has severe depression and schizophrenia), so I am terrified that may happen to me and I really don't want to bring a child into this world with the possibility of them not having a fully capable mom. I am a very independent person, love my free time, love my crafting/diy time, i like to travel, I love school, etc. In summary - I am pretty selfish with my time. I know that having children takes away A LOT of that time, and I am not 100% sure that I actually want to do that. But then I hear women who are mothers say that that all changes when you have kids. Do I want it to? I don't know. I am at a complete crossroads.

I know that we could have a happy life together. We are a very, very strong couple. But both of our fears is that I would end up resenting him one day. I cannot promise that I wouldn't. I don't know how I would feel in 5-10 years? He is also afraid that if I choose to give up that dream, that it is fault and he isn't sure that he can live with that. Has anyone been here? Has anyone given up this dream, and years have gone by? Can you give me your perspective of how your relationship is now....

Thank you...

Angela said...

It's been years since my first comment on this thread. We ended up trying to conceive but were never successful. Here's what I wrote about the experience: http://thinkofmeoften.blogspot.ie/2015/09/what-we-dont-talk-about-when-we-dont.html

I hope it might resonate with some of you.

Georgia Troubles said...

It is crazy to hear how many people are in the same boat.

I am 35 and just recently went through a divorce. My ex husband and I are the same age and we were married for 14 years, fresh out of high school. I am not really sure we ever truly "loved" one another. I pretty much always knew I never wanted children and he felt the same. I buried myself into work and volunteer work as an escape from my unhappy marriage. Eventually we ended up divorcing but not over the issue of children.

I met another man and fell hard in love with. I never knew I could love someone so much and I really feel that he loves me just as much. However, he is 10 years older than me and already has a teenage daughter from a previous marriage. His daughter is respectful to me when she visits but deep down she doesn't like me and blames me for why her mother and father can't be together. Our relationship will never be more than a friendship and I never want to over step my bounds and try to "mother" her. I am very respectful of mother and completely stay out of the parenting aspect of her life. My boyfriends ex wife and her family are very wealthy and they only had this one child so to say she is a tad on the spoiled side is an understatement and she can be quite dramatic and demanding. I often wonder if this is the reason he is so anti-child now.

However, for me, now that I am in a relationship with someone I actually really love deeply I feel very different about the topic of children and my "mommy" instincts are hitting me hard. All around me I have friends getting married and having babies while I have to just stand back watching and deep down I realize I will NEVER know that feeling.

So here I stand at a fork in the road of my life where I have a choice to either accept the fact that I will never have a child of my own or break up with someone I love so much that I am not sure I would every love anyone as much again. It is such a hard and depressing time and I feel very alone.

Most likely I will end up staying with my current boyfriend because I love him so much. Even if I were to separate from him today, the grieving period would be very extended for me, then IF I ever met anyone else and fell in love I would be to old to have a child by then anyway. I certainly would not want to get into a relationship with someone and have a child with them without truly knowing them.

It sometimes just feels good to vent my sadness and frustration to someone who is kind of going through the same situation and know I am not alone.

My boyfriend has made himself VERY clear to me that he does not want any more kids and that he will not have them either. He got very angry when I tried to discuss it with him. I feel so second rate now because it feels like I'm not good enough to be the mother to his children. I have the worst trait of grudge and I get really resentful towards him from time to time. He tells me he loves me more than anything and never wants to leave me and I believe him but at the same time I ask myself can someone truly love you that much and not consider their feelings at all. If he is committed to no more children then why can't he have the heart to say " I love you enough to let you go"?

I guess my question is for the women who have decided to stay vs leave, how did you cope through it?

Lonelily said...

Hi,
I'm 25 and in a 3 year relationship with someone I absolutely adore. He suffers with depression and during a recent bout of low mood has said that he doesn't want children. It's not something we've talked about in great depths before as it's not really been relevant because we're young and it's not something we'd want right now. However, he is and always has been aware that I definitely want children.
In the past he's never been as definite about it as me but he has dropped fleeting comments, 'can you imagine when we have kids..' 'our kids will..' etc. and I suppose I've clung to these as confirmation that he wants them.
It's a difficult situation with him being very low in mood at the moment because he tends to be very self critical or down about things he's usually interested in. His motivation for the future is always low at times like this, for example we're having a similar situation when it comes to talking about things like traveling (which he's always wanted, but right now can't even accept the thought of a weekend break as something inviting). So it's very hard to know how sure he is on this, and even harder to make a decision about anything when I feel like I'll never know what he truly wants until it's potentially too late.
The hard thing is that I don't even want children right now, I'm quite happy with my life and our life as it is. Had he never brought up not wanting children, I could have played ignorant for a little while longer. But now that the cat is out of the bag, I am torturing myself.
The trouble is, that I understand where he's coming from. As someone who suffers with depression he is worried about ever seeing that same torment in a child and feeling as though he has directly caused it. He also worries that he wouldn't make a good dad. I know why this is a worry, but I also know of so many arguments to the contrary.

Basically where we are now, is that I have told him that I want him to speak to someone and just show me that he is putting in the effort to do that. But personally and privately, I feel like I am falling apart. I feel like I am holding my breath one day at a time until I know either way. This is torture. He tells me that he doesn't want to be without me but feels as though he is holding me back. How do I know at this age whether having children with someone else will satisfy me more than this person that I love with all my heart?

How do I know that it's only the depression talking? Which version of 'him' do I trust? It's heartbreaking because he is the best and most genuine and gentle person I have ever met, he would be a fantastic father and would get so much out of being a father. I just don't know what to do.

Erica Young said...

Hi I am 28 my husband is 32 and he has a child from a previous relationship we will be married 10 years this year and from the beginning I have been open and honest that I have wanted children of my own. The first issue was our home was only 2 Bedrooms now we have a 4 bedroom in the process if getting a 4 bedroom I heard from him that once we get moved in and settled then we will start trying now we have been moved in for almost 8 mths I have serious baby fever he still says he wants a baby but not right now I am not getting any younger and it seems like he is just saying these things to keep me idk what to do or what to say without it turning into a huge argument. I am starting to feel resentment towards him because he already has a child so I feel like he doesn't want one with me. What do I do?

Erica Young said...

Hi I am 28 my husband is 32 and he has a child from a previous relationship we will be married 10 years this year and from the beginning I have been open and honest that I have wanted children of my own. The first issue was our home was only 2 Bedrooms now we have a 4 bedroom in the process if getting a 4 bedroom I heard from him that once we get moved in and settled then we will start trying now we have been moved in for almost 8 mths I have serious baby fever he still says he wants a baby but not right now I am not getting any younger and it seems like he is just saying these things to keep me idk what to do or what to say without it turning into a huge argument. I am starting to feel resentment towards him because he already has a child so I feel like he doesn't want one with me. What do I do?

Jessica Schiltz said...

Hi, I am reaching out to you since your comment is fairly recent and I'm not sure if there is anyone else even active in this thread anymore. I am in a similar (but not the same) situation. I have been with my husband for about 3 years now, married for just a few months. Basically he has 2 kids from a previous marriage and I had none. We now have a 2 month old together which has stolen my heart. When we very first started dated he asked if I wanted kids and how many. I told him I did one day and that I always wanted 2-3. I added at that time that if I married someone who already had them i would probably be okay with just having 1 of my own. He was skeptical about remarrying and was pretty sure he didn't want more children, but was open to the possibility of both with the right person, but only 1 more kid to unify the family. Well fast forward to today. Here we are with the complete family, recently married, new baby and new house-but I don't feel complete. I find myself contemplating more kids now and feeling like one of my own may not be enough. We always said four kids was way too many but I made those comments not knowing what it felt like to be a mom. I love it. I'm good at it. As my little one quickly grows I smile at his "firsts" and then cry that it will also be my last time i experience that. He had scheduled a vasectomy right after I delivered our son which I cried and begged him to cancel. He did, but said he would absolutely not change his mind about having more. He is done and only cancelled with the hope that I am being hormonal and emotional and would clear my mind and be able to support him and drive him when he rescheduled the surgery. I feel selfish when I read comments like yours. I have one kid while others struggle to convince their significant other to have any at all. But I too feel resentment. I resent him for having 2 with his evil ex wife and only 1 with me. I also sadly am finding myself resent my step children (whom I previously adored). Because he had them already he doesn't want more with me. I feel awful. I am the one that changed my mind. He has stuck to the plan. I told him I am sorry but had no idea having a child would have such an impact on me. Looking back now it was silly of me to say such a thing, silly for anyone to really. Everyone says how important it is to discuss early on if you want kids and marriage before things get serious. Well, we did but things change so should we have to stick to our original statements we made having no knowledge of how we would feel later on? We are in a completely different place now than we were then. I am a mess. He has basically left me with the decision to give up any hope of another child or leave. We are both 32 so it feels like it's now or never for me too. I am madly in love with my husband, but having kids is so important to most of us. I am sorry my reply is not so much advice as me whining about my own issue. I don't know that there is an easy answer here for either of us. But perhaps we can find some comfort in reading what others have done and hearing their outcome. Right now I do nothing but cry myself to sleep. I'll keep you posted if that changes.

Erica Brown said...

It's been a while since I've been here, and I have to say rereading my post was a reminder of how confused I was.

Since then I've gotten over my need to have a child. I have since realized that having children is definitely not for me. It took about a year of soul searching until I realized that I got exactly what I wanted when I got married and knew myself better than I thought I did back then. It's a scary feeling to think that you made the wrong decision by marrying someone you're not sure if you can live with. I now know the choice I made was the right one for me to remain childless and honestly I couldn't be happier.

Doing what makes you happy and fighting for it requires a great deal of strength. Whether you're trying to decide if you should leave the love of your life in hopes of something better, or if you decide to stay and risk feeling empty. Life is full of hard choices without knowing the outcome. I am not trying to be preachy, but what made me happy was reaching out to God and putting this feeling I had on His shoulders to handle for me. It really made me realize what I already had was what I wanted.

I'm hopeful that everyone on this blog finds their way in this messed up world we live in. I truly hope you all find love and happiness in whatever decision you make. Be true to yourself and everything else will fall into place. And, if you're wondering how to get peace I would recommend turning to prayer because I am a completely different person I used to be and it does work. I wish everyone on here the best of luck and hope you all find yourselves.

God bless you guys <3

Anne Sarmiento-Stoner said...

I am in a relationship for 11 years soon 12 in 3 months. We went through so many ups and downs. In the last three years we go engaged, happy, and in a very much committed relationship. He didnt want kids when we started dating and like you, i thought maybe with time and maturity, things will change. He said we will adopt because there are many kids out there that needs a home, a family, and love. For me, regardless of how the child was born, i want a child. But, the yoyo of yes, maybe, no again, it's a roller coaster ride of happiness and ache at the same time. We are not married yet not after i graduate next year, but now, i feel like if it hasnt happened then why would it happen now both being married ans having a child. I am beginning to lose hope. At first, i thought maybe he is right, having a child might be a little selfish especially how the world is full of evil, killings, rapist, shooting at school and how the economy is. I have to decide do i love him that much or do i love the dream of having a child more. I dont know yet. But for now because i am still in school, i cannot make the decisions but i know that once i graduate, i will have to make a decision.

Blue Baboon said...

I appreciate being able to read everyone's situations and boy would I love to hear some good news from everyone as some years have passed since the first comments.

My boyfriend and I have been friends and next door neighbors for 2+ years and dating for 9 months. It's been the BEST relationship I've ever been in. I'm 34, he's 48 and has two grown kids. Before I ever even let him kiss me I said I wasn't going anywhere where a child wasn't a possibility. He said of course he'd be happy to have a boy especially.

My dog of 15 years died and I was then ready and brought it up. He said after thinking about it he didn't want kids any more. We passed a couple more months ignoring the huge issue. I brought it up again and he said he would commit to a consultation for the vasectomy reversal which he had almost 25 years prior.

The night before the phone appointment I started crying at dinner because I said I was so worried he wouldn't change his mind. We sunk into the discussion again and he said he even considered doing it just to keep me and acknowledged I had considered not having kids to stay with him. But neither of that was fair. We cried our eyes out that night and he went home (we had weeks prior) became not-next-door-neighbors as I had moved (not because of him).

We've tried to break up twice before because of this contrast in future desires but it never worked because we lived next door. It's only been a couple days since that last break up occurred. He texted last night to check in and make sure I was fine.

I'm just gutted. I'm bummed, sad and alone. Like so many others on here, I feel uncertain about meeting someone else to pursue a family with. He was SSOO good to me (probably because of his age and knowledge!) that it would be hard to accept anything less.

I'm going to try to adopt another dog again. At least I know I'm ready for that step since my baby boy died six months ago. Otherwise, I just feel lost, vulnerable and alone.

Wishing you all the best.

Kristin Golden said...

Hi everyone. I'm so happy to find a community of like-minded women struggling like I am. I'm 35, recently married to a man who never wanted kids. I thought I was OK with our love, travel, careers. Recently, though, I'm getting a strong urge. He does not want to be flexible at all. So, I'm heading home for a few days to spend time with my parents and old friends to get some "head space." In the meantime, I have drafted some questions for myself to consider while I make a decision. I hope maybe these questions can help others make a decision too!

Questions to seriously consider:

1) Is the fact that I’m away from home, not in a routine, and feeling lonely CAUSING me to want kids, OR is the fact that I REALLY want kids causing me to feel lonely and stressed?

2) Can my love for other things in life fulfill me: My loving relationship with my husband, our families, our active lifestyles & travel, our careers?

3) Is the fact that my best friend and sister are pregnant causing me to feel something more than what I normally would & is this temporary?

4) Can this feeling (if temporary) go away or be remedied if I take sarafem/Prozac and try to temper my PMS depression?

5) Am I willing to suffer a lot for the pursuit of having a child—i.e.—moving back home, finding a job/starting school, being broke for a while, dating again, going through a painful divorce because I will miss him and our friendships/family, facing lots of uncertainty in the meantime & relying on my family and friends to help me emotionally as I struggle.

MissJB said...

Hello Beth and all the women that have posted before,
Thank you for sharing. What a support to know that I'm not alone with this struggle! I'm a woman of 39 (almost 40), my partner is 48 and already has a daughter of 21 from a previous marriage. When we met I knew: this is the man I want to grow old with. And now, 5 years later, the feeling is the same. We are happy together and share a mutual passion. I never thought I would be this happy in a relationship.

But, ever since I had an abortion at 20 years old, I told myself that I wanted children. I never really felt it, but this became part of my story. When I met this man, he was very clear that he did not want any more children. He had had vasectomy 13 years ago, and mostly remembers how much he sacrificed in his marriage in trying to be a responsible father. When he thinks about his future, he doesn't picture a child there. He enjoys his refound freedom and that is a very legitimate wish as well.

I've struggled with this question when we met. However after a year or so, I had a clear intuition that I wanted to be with him. I was 36, never lived with someone before (Ok once: but that lasted 3 weeks), and knew that this was the right path. I did not want to be a mother when I was not able to be in a stable relationship. Also someone said: what do you do when luck comes knocking at your door but it looks different from what you expected? To me it was clear, this was luck knocking on my door! In the time that followed, I've never been so happy in my life! Based on my choice we moved in together and bought a house. The future was bright and promising!

What I did not expect however, was that after settling down my wish to be a mother came back. This time much more strongly. The love I felt was big and I wanted to have his children. It was the natural next step, but he was very clear on this point. I've reconsidered my former choice, we went through a tough time, he felt betrayed, because I had so clearly chosen the relationship before. But we talked a lot and made it. I thought I had chosen again, but I never really dealt with the grieve of letting go of my dream to have (his) children.

And now, one year later, turning 40, I ask myself again the same question. It turns out that 'not deciding is also deciding', is not the way to come to terms with this dilemma. Can I ever be certain that this is the right choice? I love him deeply, can't stand the thought of having a child on my own, with a donor, a man that I dont love. And I don't see myself fast dating to get a father for my child, not when I love someone already. And my age is not helping either. But I also hear the stories of women who do choose to be a mother and say that you dont know what that is until you are mother. So I dont know what I'll be missing. I tend towards letting go of my dream of having children. I know we have what it takes to have a happy future. But still.. I find it hard to make it definite.Is it possible to come to terms with letting go of this dream?

Beth said...

Hi Miss JB,

It's such a hard decision to make. I do think it is possible to let go of the dream and I have worked with women who have done this. But I think it's really important to acknowledge and mourn what you are letting go of. And then, you can look at what you are going to embrace - what things you want to bring into the world? How can you live your life with purpose?

Many of my clients in your situation find focusing on what they want to do and bring into the world that will give them a sense of purpose can really help.

And also, if you are letting go of the dream of having children, what do you want from the relationship, how can you both work together to create the relationship that will be what you both want it to be.... even if it doesn't have a child in it.

It feels to me like you have answered your own question.... that you do not want to go through with leaving your partner and having a child on your own with a donor.

One more thing you could try is to seek help from a couples therapist near you .... it might be that they can help you and your partner look at the possibility of having a child together, perhaps your partner has some fears or worries that a couples therapist could help you both negotiate

Helen Mich said...

I know it's been quite a while.
To hannah and others.
I know this is not the best answer you want to hear. But you need to get out of this relationship. Why would you want to be with a man who doesn't want to marry you or have kids? It's a huge red flag. Leave now and move on untill it's too late. I agree with Beth, divorce is very hurtful. It was the worse thing that I've ever experienced in my life. I'm ashamed of telling that I wanted to commit suicide. I thought I had met my soulmate, we were married for 5 years( being together for 8). We considered kids before we got married, but he just changed his mind 5 years later. It was so cruel of him because he kept on lying to me from year to year, looking for excuses and giving me false hopes. I couldn't imagine my life without him but I started resenting him for that. Everything went down hill from there. I would cry when I saw babies and his nephews, I became very emotionally unstable. It was the most difficult situation I had ever been in. I damned my life. Thank God he helped me with the choice since we both stopped talking.
Sorry, but I'm just really annoyed when people say: choose love or baby. Seriously? It's like choosing between food or water on a desert island. Most people have kids out of love. Why should a woman give up something so precious for a man? And not the opposite? So it turns out that the woman is a loser because she literally loses her chances and the man stays with what he had. So unfair. Life is unfair.
See I find two main reasons why a man would change his mind several years later:
His love started to wane
He never wanted kids to begin with.
After divorce I was depressed for 8 months and I was on antidepressants. I had no confidence, my self esteem dropped dramatically, I felt empty and betrayed. He was dishonest with me, I left my state for him, leaving my friends and parents behind. I lost the best years of my life when there were so many men after me. I could have met my true soulmate. Ahhhh... But....
2 years later I'm 31. He is 45. I'm happy and I'm a wonderful person who deserves better. I'm trying to be positive about my life and my true soulmate.
BTW: My ex wants to come back now but that ship has sailed. I could never trust that man who was so dishonest.
So, as you see, no one can really tell you what to do. Your heart has to help you with that. But you definitely will find a man at such age.

Kristin Golden said...

It is so refreshing to read people's comments on this BLOG. This is the first time I've really used a BLOG to communicate with strangers about an issue. I feel like it's helpful and a lot cheaper than therapy.

I wrote earlier about my dilemma which is very similar to many of you: my husband has never wanted kids, and recently I've been feeling like I want them, but he does not. I'm almost 36 so the time bomb is ticking. It doesn't help that everyone around us is having kids. My sister and best friend are due in a few months, and that certainly does not help either. I'm not sure if my feeling is "keeping up with the joneses" or genuinely wanting kids. My husband keeps insisting it's the latter when we talk about it. Either way, I think emotions can change. I do wish that he were more open about it, but I love him and I think we can be happy without kids.

Some days are hard, but most of the time I'm happy with our life as childfree and I can't wait to be an auntie soon. I think being an auntie, a teacher, and mentoring kids will help me feel that at least I've had a role in connecting with young people. :)

Have a great day everyone :)

Erica Brown said...

Thanks to everyone for posting you stories.

My husband and I are on the rocks right now because of the kid issue. I just turned 31 and the feelings have come up again. I'm afraid the fight this time was bad enough that if we continue down this path we won't last. I've got to figure out if i even want kids or if these emotions will pass like they have before. He doesn't get how it's harder for women than it is men in their 30s to stay child free. It's tearing our marriage apart because I may have changed my mind since we got married and he feels betrayed.

It's just hard right now and I hope this passes, thanks for reading

Unknown said...

I know this is an old post. But it helps to hear about so many other women (and a few men) in a similar situation. My situation. My boyfriend and I have barely started having the kids discussion. I am 32, divorced with no kids. He is 40, a widower with 2 kids in their teens. He has a vasectomy after his wife died. I have always wanted kids and never thought I would compromise on it. But I have never met someone like him. He enjoyed every bit having kids with his wife and loves being a dad. But he has implied that if that is something I want, he will accept being with me for now. I can't put into words how special this man makes me feel, how intense the connection is on every level. I am struggling with the descision as I know that nothing in life is guaranteed. I do not just want a child on my own, I want to create a life out of love and nurture it together. But if I give up this relationship, there is no guarantee that I will find that, or be able to have kids, not have fertility issues. I just wanted to share and see how everyone is doing with the choices they have made.