So many of you have been writing to me about your childless by marriage situations. I feel for your grief. I share it. Although I like to think I have accepted my situation and moved on, sometimes I want to curse and throw things when I realize, again, what I have missed by not having children. I never really direct my anger at my husbands who didn’t want to have kids with me. I’m more angry at myself for letting the opportunity slip by without taking action.
With my husband passing away, this will be my first year in a long time that I haven’t been married, so I have a new life to build. I get angry that this happened to us. It’s not fair that I don’t have kids or a husband at this age. But you know what? Hanging onto the bitterness doesn’t do any good. God gave me this life, and I need to live it.
Whatever your situation this year, let’s set some goals for dealing with being childless by marriage.
Repeat after me:
1) I will discuss very honestly how I feel with my partner or spouse. I will not hold back, even if I’m afraid that what I say will make him/her angry or sad. They need to know. Silent resentment will poison our relationship.
2) I will decide once and for all whether I can live a life without children. Is this person worth giving up children? If not, I will do something about it.
3) I will find a way include at least one child in my life as an unofficial godmother, auntie or whatever I want to call it. I can find this child in my family, among my friends’ children, in volunteering in my community, or even one of those situations where I “adopt” a poor child in another country.
4) I will find something to be thankful for every day.
5) (this one’s for me) If I am posting as Anonymous, I will start using a name. It doesn’t have to be my real name. It can be serious or silly, but it will help Sue tell one poster from another.
Happy New Year to all.
18 thoughts on “Goals for a new year without children”
ha! Great post Sue and helpful advice for the beginning of the new year.
I am anonymous SPS whose husband has put me on a roller coaster ride in 2011. He has turned a corner and we're actively working towards a happier 2012 (with or without children remains to be seen). I'm 37 and feeling that time is running out. But today I have peace that I'm exactly where God wants me. I can now be referred to as Anonymous Sara. 🙂
Best wishes to you for a Happy New Year.
Thank you, Anonymous Sara! Happy New Year.
Sue, you are such a courageous woman to share your story(ies) with so many people. I enjoyed reading your “Goals for a new year without children.” Something I found myself wondering about is whether Forgiveness is an important part of moving forward with this (as it is with so many other of life's challenging situations and circumstances). Have you written about that in your book? Have you blogged about it previously? If so, please direct me.Also, in regard to adoption, I just want people to know that it is important to take time to thoroughly explore your options. My belief is that the children we are meant to parent come to us if we are truly open to receive them–spiritually. They will come to us through our bodies, or otherwise. They will come to us from another country, a family member, an acquaintance, anonymously, or even (as is my case) via the Foster Care system right here in the USA. They will find you if you remain open to receiving…This isn't to say that becoming a parent is one's only option in regard to moving forward. Life is full of options and, since you mentioned the possibility of adoption, I just felt compelled to add my 2 Cents.Thank you for all you do, Sue!
Thanks, Unknown. I wasn't specifically saying one should run out and adopt, but just accept a child into your life in some way. They don't have to live with you, but pay them some attention. Give them some love.
I have not specifically written about forgiveness. Maybe that should be my next post. We do have to forgive our partners and ourselves if we are to move forward as childless people. Now that I'm older than my husband was when we got married, I understand better why he didn't want to have more children. We need to try to see the other side.
Sue, I am having some difficulty signing on to my Blogger/BlogSpot account. I am “Unknown” who wrote about adoption, above. I totally misunderstood your use of the term, “adopt” (even with the quotation marks). I suppose that should tell you where my mind is these days. Thank you for the clarification.
About Forgiveness…Perhaps your book has not been published yet, because you need to include that chapter….In my humble opinion, Forgiveness is a HUGE part of moving forward in life–it is necessary in order to truly release one's hold on the present (and past). From my personal experience, while it is difficult to delve into Forgiveness, it is so much easier than I anticipated it would be. What a relief.
Ah, the unknown becomes known. Hi, Dana. Yes, forgiveness is important. Resentment just festers. So, I will address “forgiveness” soon.
BTW, congrats on the little boy you adopted this year. He looks adorable. I'd love it if you'd share how he came to be yours.
Thank you for posting this. That is really all I can say for now. Thank you. By this post, you have helped in ways you do not know. You have given me a path to start from, and a hand to hold along the way. Not feeling so alone any longer. So, again, thank you.
Cara, you're welcome. Peace be with you.
Thanks for yours and others in this blog for your stories and sharing. I am encouraged by you all(and my therapist) to attempt goal No. 1 this weekend. So nervous but I can't hold back at my ripe age of 36. Any prayers help.
Anonymous Newly Blue
We're praying for you, Newly Blue. Try to stay calm and not place blame. Just tell him how you feel.
I just found this site while searching on my lunch hour, I think I am going to cry but I am at work, This is something I have needed and been looking for. I can’t wait to log in when I get home. Your stories are so encouraging and I don’t feel so alone. Nancy
Welcome, Nancy. I'm glad we can be here for you.
I'm glad to have found this site. I've been dating a wonderful guy I'm deeply in love with for over a year now. He doesn't want children, and while I was initially distraught to find out, I've subsequently decided that this isn't a deal breaker. I love him and want to spend the rest of my life with him. However, he's worried I'll resent him in the future, and I do worry I might have regrets later. I'm trying to do some soul-searching, and figure out if I'm making the right decision. Any advice?
Anonymous, none of us can predict the future. All we can look at is what we have now and what we think might happen. You have this great guy and believe you can handle not having children. As long as you focus on what you have and not what you DON'T have, you'll probably be all right. Will you ever resent him and have regrets? Probably sometimes. Take your time, talk to people whose advice you value and make the best decision you can. I wish you luck.
Very helpful post and website. I'm only 34, but my husband will not be having children. I don't know if I can leave him though. I do know I won't be missing out on this experience though. Doing it alone sounds awful, but I don't see any choice.
It's good that you know what you want. I hope you can find a peaceful way to have your child and be loved, too.
I just got married for the 1st time 1 year ago. My husband has 5 kids. I have 0. I am an only child to a single parent and always wanted to birth my own baby. I have dated guys with kids before when I was younger but never wanted a child then. I have only been pregnant one time and had a miscarriage after 3 months with my ex whom I was in a 9 year off and on verbally abusive relationship. I was devastated but felt like it happened for a reason. I wasn’t trying then, but I am now and it is hard. I had surgery last year to remove a polyp and was told it would help. NOTHING has happened. I have always had very irregular heavy periods all my life and I took birth control at age 15- 26. MY problem is my husband said he would not deny motherhood but after a year, he says we should wait. I am 40. He is 36. I feel I don't have too many more years. I would like to try. But I am feeling if I wait and never have a baby of my own because I listened to my husband who already has kids, I won’t be able to forgive him. HELP.
You might not be able to have a baby, but your husband needs to let you try in the time you have left. Keep talking until he understands you can't wait. I hope you can work it out.