Last week, I wrote about how important it is to have The Conversation with our mates about whether or not we want to have children. It can be a tough conversation to have, especially for women. Sometimes men are like fish. We don’t want to speak too loudly for fear of scaring them away. I know that’s how it was with me. I lacked the self-esteem to say I wanted children and would do whatever it took to have them. With my first husband, by the time I found out he didn’t want to have children, our marriage was already going badly. It didn’t matter what I said; it wasn’t going to happen. But what if we had had that conversation before we got married? Maybe we would have avoided a troubled marriage.
With Fred, well, I suspect he was actually worth sacrificing children for. We had such a love, the kind they make movies about. He was the best husband a woman could want. He did not want to have more children, but I think if I really insisted that I had to have kids to be happy, he would have gone along with it. I didn’t insist. I just moped. I think part of me believed I had already lost my chance with my first marriage, and I was lucky just to have another husband. Also, to be honest, I wonder if my desire was not as strong as my desire to do other things in life, but I’ll never know. We avoided the conversation.
So what does one do if one’s mate says, “Absolutely not. I refuse to have children.” A lot of people who comment here are dealing with that problem right now. Do they push to the point of destroying the relationship? Do they risk abandoning the love they have in the hope of finding someone else who will welcome children? Do they give up their dream in order to stay together? How do you make such a decision?
I wish I had all the answers to these questions. We each have to find them for ourselves through soul-searching and prayer and being alert to those moments when everything becomes very clear.
What do you think? What do you do if he/she says, “No kids. No way.”