Fertility doesn’t last forever

I spent the weekend with family, including some young male relatives who are in their 30s and not yet married. One just ended a long relationship because his girlfriend wanted a commitment to eventually getting married. He said he was too busy building his career and resented her pushing him.

The other, almost 40, has been with the same woman for many years, but apparently they aren’t going to get married until/unless he figures out what he wants to be when he grows up. Another young man at the party, mid-30s, has also kept himself uncommitted. When I look around the family, most of the men in their late 20s and early to late 30s have not yet committed to either a relationship or parenthood.

Now, I don’t want to see anyone rush into a bad marriage just to be married, but I feel for the women who love them and would like to have children with them. The men say they want kids, but not anytime in the foreseeable future. They bristle when their women push for a commitment, but our eggs don’t last forever. I fear that many couples in their childbearing years will end up without ever having children even though they wanted them. Being childless by mutual agreement is fine, but this kind of childlessness by delay makes me nuts.

Have you seen this happening among the people you know? As a woman old enough to be a grandmother, I want to shake these guys sometimes and tell them to grow up.

I’d love to hear your comments.

P.S. I’ve been on the road for almost a week and it’s brutally hot here. I’m tired and cranky, but I mean what I say.

4 thoughts on “Fertility doesn’t last forever

  1. Yes, that is quite a common problem, I think. Many women of childbearing age are aware of it. They are reading articles advising them not to put their careers ahead of babymaking for too long or it will be too late. Many of them are saying in response – it's not the career, it's the men who are rarely ready to settle down and have a family!


  2. I am that girl. I've struggled with it for years, and finally asked for a separation this February (childlessness wasn't the only reason). We've been married 14 years, and there was always one excuse or another. Turning 40 this year, though, I realize that even if we divorce and I do eventually heal, date and possibly build a life with someone again, by then physically having children will likely not be an option. Knowing that he still “could” at any age, and that I will not makes me more sad than I thought possible. I always thought I was okay without having kids. He gave such reasonable, sound, inarguable reasons I acquiesced. I'm trying to heal and grow from that regret…


  3. This is absolutely a serious problem. I am in my late 30s and so are most of my friends. Of my circle of friends, I am the only mother. I have one friend who never wanted kids, but all the others would love to have children. However the men our age seem to have a hard time committing to a relationship and having children. None of the women I know is childless because she put her career first ( a common assumption that I find very insulting by the way) but because their partners feel “too young” to settle down with a family. Mind you, these men are all in their late 30s or early 40s.


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