Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Should you stay with the guy who doesn't want kids?

In looking for what to write about today, I keep going back to the comment I received over the weekend on a post titled, "He said he didn't want any more kids." 

Anonymous said...  
My boyfriend and I have been dating for going on five years and he has said repeatedly that he does not want anymore kids. He has two kids from previous relationships and basically refuses to even talk about what would happen if we have an accidental pregnancy. I do understand where he is coming from, he lost his daughter in a horrendous and long custody battle after his divorce, and although we see his son on a regular basis, he simply doesn't want anymore children. I very much want to be a mom at some point, and though I'm only 25 (he is 33) I know I want a child of my own too. I love his kids but it's heartbreaking and makes me incredibly envious and even a smidge resentful. I have nightmares about being pregnant and him leaving me because of it. I'm terrified of the possibility of becoming pregnant because I love him more than anything and don't want to lose him, but what if I do get pregnant even while on birth control? I want to know he won't leave me in that circumstance, but he won't give me any reassurance on the issue. Any advice would be appreciated!  

Oh boy. As I noted in my reply, my gut instinct is to tell her to get another boyfriend. If he would leave her if she got pregnant even by accident, come on, that's not right. At least that's my opinion.

I know what it's like to be in a relationship that is not good in some ways but still feel like I would absolutely die if he left me. More than once. And you know what? Eventually these men dumped me. Maybe I was too clingy. Maybe I scared them with my dreams of marriage and children and a nice house in the suburbs. Maybe they were just jerks. I'm no expert on relationships, but it does seem to me that if you can't discuss an issue as important as whether or not to have children, the relationship won't last. Also, if this guy is so anti-children, why doesn't he get a vasectomy so there won't be any accidents?

I would love to hear other opinions on this situation. If you read the other comments on that post, you'll see that this particular anonymous writer is not the only one struggling with this. It all comes back to the same question: Do you love this person so much that you're willing to give up having children for him or her?

Please comment.


Anonymous said...

In this situation I'd say to start looking for a new man who can fulfill your dream of being a wife and mother. Don't sell your life short to a man who doesn't care enough about your wants and desires to help fulfill them and be happy and proud to do so. Would you be "happy and proud" to give up the dream of being a mom just so he can be happy? Does he (and his kids) give you enough joy in life that you desire nothing else than to be with him/them? It's a hard choice I know, but at age 25 you've got time to find a new relationship that can be better matched to you.

Another angle is to ask why he doesn't want kids, for most men it's about money/child support. So if it's just about the money, work on 'your' finances, find a better job, etc. and then afford the baby with or without him.

Anonymous said...

I am in my mid forties and been married for 14 years. I'm not happy with having no children but it is now not possible for me to have them with my husband or anybody else. I love my husband and I married him before we knew there was a problem. So I'm sticking with it. If I was 25 though and it wasn't a bio problem I think I would see it more as "we are not suitable life partners". I know it is not easy as I could leave my hubbie to adopt (which he doesn't want to do). I have considered this long and hard and was tempted but couldn't bring myself to do it. At 25 though - there is a lot of life to be unhappy.

Anonymous said...

Leave him and find someone who shares your desire for children. You are too young to give up on your desire for children just to be with a man that is too selfish to give you a child. Trust me, you will REGRET spending all of your childbearing years with a man who won't give you a child.

I have been with my husband for 14 years. I am 38, and my resentment about not having another child grows stronger by the day.

You are young enough to find someone who shares your desire for children. Don't give this selfish man all of your childbearing years. You will deeply regret it in the end.

Anonymous said...

I would tell her to find another boyfriend. If he doesn't want kids then let him never have sex with her again. Because any kids would NOT be an "accident".

M said...

I've just discovered this blog browsing the internet out of desperation and trying to make sense of my situation.

My Boyfriend and I have been together 3 years and moved in together 6 months ago. He is 42 and I am 34. It's the most successful relationship I've ever been in. We respect each other and help each other flourish and grow. We found each other after we'd both been through some really soul-searching times and were both happy in ourselves and ready to share our lives with someone else.

After a being together for a while I got that anxiety where it all seemed so good to be true that something must be wrong - I started to worry he might not want kids. It took me a year to build up the courage to ask him - I was convinced he'd say "no - never" and this wonderful relationship would have to end. Instead he smiled and said that he'd never wanted kids before but that he loved the idea of changing his mind for me. I felt reassured and I relaxed into the relationship and didn't think about it again.

When we moved in together something inside me started niggling away and I started to feel that I wanted to start thinking about planning for a baby. I tentatively mentioned it to him and he seemed stunned! It seems that after all this time he'd been thinking that he'd made it clear to me that he didn't want children and he said he hadn't changed his mind at all. I felt shocked and deceived at first. Now I just feel shocked and distraught. I think it was a case of me hearing want I wanted to hear and him being a lousy communicator - trying to soften the blow and not picking up on the fact that I was so releived when we he said what he said.

He said that his own childhood has stripped him of any desire to have kids - his parents suffered a really nasty breakup and still don't talk to each other - 30 years on! He's afraid of losing contact with his children through a break-up and he says he just likes his life how it is. He is very much a person that likes things to stay the same (which I think is possibly a symptom of his unstable childhood - but it's not my place to speculate). He has made it quite clear that although he wishes he could change his mind, he just doesn't have any urge or desire to have a child.

The hardest thing to stomach is that I asked him what he would do/say if I found out I was pregnant tomorrow and he replied "strangely enough, I'd probably think 'let's just go for it'!"

I don't know what to do and I don't feel I can talk to anyone. I don't want to up and leave him straight away, but I don't know wheather it's worth sticking around for him to change his mind. He said he's open to couple couselling and talking to people - friends who he respects with and without children. I'm about 85% sure I want children - I in some small way I dream about being a mum everyday - it's just the way I'm wired and I'm at the crucial age. I think that if I stayed with him I would end up resenting him and bitter. But I might never find anyone as wonderful as him again - I can't imagine a better father for my children than him.

Sorry for the long post. Does anyone have any advice or links to where I can get advice/help. I'm devastated - up until yesterday I thought I was the luckiest girl in the world.

Thank you -M

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

M, I'm so sorry things have turned out this way. But your boyfriend's "Let's just go for it" comment makes me think there's hope that he might change his mind. Keep talking, do the counseling, make it clear that you will not be happy without children.