I wound up childless because I didn’t have THE CONVERSATION with my husbands-to-be before we got married. I did not tell them I definitely wanted children and make sure they wanted them, too. I just assumed. It’s always a bad idea to assume anything. You might be wrong.
I get lots of e-mails these days from women, and a few men, who are in the same position. They thought they’d have children. They married or entered long-time partnerships, discovering later that their mates did not share their desire for offspring. I have heard stories of hidden vasectomies, forced abortions, and, most often, partners who just refused to discuss having children. My friends, if they refuse to talk about it, they are probably also going to refuse to parent–or maybe they have concerns that can be worked out. You’ll never know for sure if you don’t put it in words.
In my own situation, I have come to realize that if I had communicated how important it was for me to have children, my husband would have cooperated. Yes, he said he didn’t want more children, and I know he meant it, but I also know after all these years, that he loved me enough to do it to make me happy. I didn’t say the words. I was afraid I’d lose him.
We also need to talk about it with our friends and relatives. One man recently told me he’s afraid to say anything to his childless friends about the fact that he has children and they don’t. That’s how friendships end and the world divides into parents and non-parents. Sometimes it hurts not to have children. Let your friends know that, but know they don’t have to hide their kids from you either. Talk about it. It will make life a lot easier.