Difficult dilemmas: When you want a child... but your partner doesn't

I've had a number of clients over the years who have come to me because they do want children but they are in a relationship with someone who doesn't want children.

Often, the decision in this situation isn't whether you want children.  Rather, the question is  'Do I want children enough to leave this relationship and have a child on my own?'   I found this column where the writer has decided that   I'm 41. My boyfriend doesn't want kids, so I'll have them alone – without leaving him

I have spent my entire adult life preparing to be a mum. I spent a decade in therapy unraveling the damage instilled by my parents. I progressed my career; advanced my education; traveled and worked across the globe; crawled my way out of debt – all so I would have zero regrets about being a mother and feel as self-actualized as possible before taking on the responsibility of creating and rearing another human.

But her vision didn't really mainfest.   At 41, she is in the relationship she has always wanted with a person she loves and the relationship is good.  The problem is, he doesn't want children.

For many of my clients, the dilemna they would be facing is would they stay with their partner or leave the relationship.  As one client said  'I have to balance out my desire to have children with my desire to be in this relationship.'

Now, it is possible to change a partners name and bring them on board with the plan to have a child.  I have worked with clients to help them have open and authentic conversations with their partner.   What I've found over the years that having centered, open and authentic conversations where we can really articulate our desires and feelings and where we can listen to the other person, shifts are possible.

In this case, the partner is adamant that they do not want children and in cases like this, the partner is not going to shift their position no matter what.

What is interesting in this article is that the writer has decided she is still going to have a child and not end the relationship.

I don’t take my partner’s decision on children personally or lightly. It has absolutely nothing to do with me, nor does it represent his feelings for me, and I respect that he did not acquiesce to his previous partner

I have heard of this solution before and it's one that does pose particular challenges.  If we are living with someone or in an intimate relationship, that other person does become a parental figure with many of the joys and challenges that go along with that.    How they can both negioate that relationship will be interesting.


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