One to One Coaching

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

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

What if you don't want children but your husband or partner does?

Last week, I received an email from a reader of this blog.  She has found the blog really helpful but was hoping for more information and writing about women who don't want children but their husband or partner does.   She raised an excellent point as I have more often explored the subject of when women want children but their partner/husband doesn't.    This is also where the emphasis is placed in media articles who are looking at this topic.

But I do regularly get clients who don't want children or aren't sure if they want children but who are feeling pressure from partners who do want children. In fact, I'd say that I've seen an increasing number of women in this situation.  So I will be exploring this issue over the next few weeks.

It's a particularly difficult issue for women because women are physically more involved via pregnancy and women are generally more responsible for child-care duties.  Whereas a man might take the attitude that they can be a father and be somewhat more removed from the process, this isn't possible for a woman.   So what keeps a woman from simply saying 'no, I'm not going to have children?'    I know from the clients I've worked with that there are several key reasons:

  • Having a certain amount of doubt whether they really don't want children OR whether there is a fear or anxiety if they overcome would allow them to make the decision.
  • Feeling guilty.  Many women who come to me feel guilt around not being able to give their partner or husband what would make them happy.
  • Fear that the relationship will end if they say this.
  • Having a small amount of desire to have children OR having a knowledge that they might enjoy having children or a family.
In my next post, I will look at the process of working out what to do if you are in this situation.


Dr. H said...

I relate to your key reasons. I don't know why I think I don't want children - my mind is blank on this subject even though I love my little nephews and nieces so much it hurts. I am 36 and my husband doesn't like change or anything that takes my attention away from him. Could this be a contributing factor maybe?? Recently I have found myself constantly playing this over in my mind. Still no answer!...

Dr. H said...
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Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Over at my blog (, I also get mostly women whose male partners don't want children, but sometimes it's the reverse and the men are the ones aching to have kids. Part of it is biology, but I also think men are more reluctant to talk about these things. In my own case, my husband knew I wanted children and he did feel terribly guilty about not giving them to me, although not guilty enough to change the situation. I think your post helps clear the air for both parties, and I look forward to your future posts on this.

LD said...

I am 44, have a beautiful 21 year old daughter, and after 4 years of trying to have a baby naturally with my 55 year old husband (and fully financially supporting us for 5 years) I realize I am done. I have given it all I am willing to give. My current husband never had children. When I finally mustered the courage to tell him I am not having anymore kids, his response was divorce. He said he will find a younger woman and have the 2 kids he has always wanted, one way or another.
I gave him my heart, my complete investment on every level, but I cannot deny what is true for me, knowing the lived reality of what having children entails. So I am letting him go, the man I deeply love, to make this vision happen for himself with someone else.