He says no kids; what do you do?

Last week, I shared my stories of how my two husbands didn’t want children. I should have mentioned that some of the guys I dated in-between would have been happy to father my children, but they weren’t the kind of men I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.

Several of you have already commented on your situation. Check the two previous posts to read what they said. There’s still time to join the conversation. Has your partner told you he or she doesn’t want to have kids with you? Or is it just implied by their actions and reactions? How do you respond? Do you say, okay, I love you enough that I can accept your decision? Do you say, uh-oh, that’s a deal-breaker? Do you accidentally-on purpose stop using birth control? Do you tell everybody in the world what a rat he is but stay with him anyway? Are you afraid to bring it up?

This is a tough situation, but the one thing I learned is that moping in silence or complaining to everyone but the person who could help solve the problem doesn’t fix anything. So what do you do?

It’s not always a question of wanting different things. What if your partner would like children but is physically unable to have them? Do you love him or her enough to stay with them anyway?

I’m looking forward to your comments.

Next time (drum roll), we’re going to talk about abortion.

***
Meanwhile, several publications are reporting on a recent study that said married couples with children are happier than those without. Here’s a link from the Vancouver Sun. I don’t know if I buy it. See what you think.

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23 thoughts on “He says no kids; what do you do?

  1. At 38 yo, I stayed because I thought what were my chances of finding a new mate and having children in the very near future was slim to none. I had to learn to accept my situation with my husband. Would I like a daughter like he has? No..I'd rather be childless. She has brought little joy into his life but LOTS of pain. I could only dream our child would of been a much better person.

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  2. Found out around age 14 I'd never have children. 19-20'ish actually dating (I had a very low opinion of my desirability…make that ” have”) a really great guy who very nicely mentioned one date that he was looking forward to having *his*own*bio*children one day. Well, that helped end that amongst other stuff. So I'm 30'ish and dating another nice guy who wanted to marry me, but I broke up w/him for various reasons including previous (leaving out lots of drama queeny stuff thankfully). No hubby/no pregnancies/no fertility treatment stories/nada zip zilch….one of the nameless who cares of the childless not by choice mob.

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  3. Congratulations, Sue, on publication of your book. I tried sending a Mothers' Day message (a nonmum's message) but blew it so hope this one gets through. Your book's a very valid take on an aspect of childlessness not often considered but it's affected many people – male and female – with potential to create big schisms. I empathise with doubleme – a wise conclusion after seeing a father-daughter relationship gone wrong. There are worse things than being childless!
    I've bought your book but not yet read it. The Sydney writers' Festival has consumed available reading time but your's is on my list. Good luck with it! Gillian

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  4. Hi Sue … a quick note only to test I can get through on your blog site – have tried twice but without success. Just wanted to say Congratulations on publication of your book. I've bought it but not yet read it as the Sydney Writers' Festival last week increased my reading list by a yard at least.
    Good luck with sales – a valid commentary on another seldom-discussed aspect of being childless.

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  5. Anonymous. Another tough situation. I'm hoping that we will not be nameless and invisible much longer. People need to get that a lot of us can't follow the usual husband and babies progression.

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  6. I am new to this site and have been reading alot of the material and it has helped be understand i am not the only one in the world that feels pain? in this way… i am 26yrs old and have a husband who is 30yrs old. he helped me get through college and now i am working full time at a job i love and he has his… we were married 2yrs ago. I have wanted babies right away after marriage and he has known this for the 8yrs we have been together… he even went out and got some baby items that people just didnt want any more and we are now storing them in our spaire room. BUT when i have tried to talk or ask when we might start tying to put those items to good use he tells me he is not ready and doesnt want any until we have a house… fine… i saved… then when we had enough saved up for a house he spent it on a new truck that we didnt need. i have offered to Give this stuff away because i love my husband but if he doesnt want any why hold onto things that only remind me of what i cant have? when i went to put these said items in the dotation box for young mothers he was upset with me and put everything back… i dont know what to do or say any more to make him understand that there is no point of keeping these things any longer when all i ever hear is “NO IM NOT READY” or ” NOT UNTIL WE HAVE A HOUSE”

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  7. Anonymous, it sounds to me like your husband has some growing up to do. It's not really about the baby things he collected. You can always get baby supplies. It's about committing to becoming a parent. Fighting clearly isn't helping. Is there any way you can calmly tell him, “Ready or not, it's time?”

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  8. I think posting the problems are mine, mainly unfamiliarity with the sign-in process … seems I've wasted valuable comment space by sending in two!
    To Anonymous, the problem with the constant delaying of something so important to you is that it has the potential to damage your relationship, which is clearly also of great value to you. Instead of setting financial targets, how about setting an age target, as Sue suggests an 'it's time' target whether that's immediately or say in 12 months time. You're at the height of your fertility and your energy levels for handling motherhood so there's a valid argument for doing it sooner rather than later. But … I'm not a counsellor – I'm only basing this on some of my own experiences … and I never got to have kids!

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  9. This is such an interesting post because a lot of couples get married without really discussing how they see their relationship to be in the future, which could mean disaster for some. Talking about every aspect of a future life together is very highly recommended before actual marriage, especially the aspect of children. What if your partner has no intentions of having children, but you dream of becoming a dad or mom? Will you be able to give up that dream for your partner? Will you be able to live your life without resenting the person you love for taking away that dream from you? It's something to be discussed and seriously considered before entering a lifelong commitment with someone, and everyone should take the time to do it.

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  10. I am 36 and my husband is 56. WHAt? Right there, you might stop reading. How stupid could she be? Married at 29 and thought we'd have time. Than financial troubles followed by crises. Now, he really doesn't want to ( who could blame him at his age?), even though he agreed to a child before we got married. I've had an especially hard time since I turned 36. I slashed my wrists on Saturday. I knew I was angry, but I hadn't realized just how much until I found myself doing it. Don't worry, I'm medicated and doctored-up. I just feel so stupid. In every way. I am glad I found this blog, it helps, but is there anyone who has lost hope? How do you cope? I am just so sad.

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  11. Lizardgoat, I am so sorry it came to slashing your wrists. I think we all lose hope, but usually we find a way to cope short of suicide. Please just take things one day at a time and count the blessings you do have.
    Readers, do you have any advice for Lizardgoat?

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  12. I have never used anything like this before. I m 35 and my husband isn't t ready for kids he says and I m so worried that we may have missed our time and the longer it goes on I feel my chances slipping. He doesn't understand. I ve just spent 2 hours crying about this. So many people around me just had babies or pregnant again and I feel I have no one to talk to about this. Any advice welcome, I m broken!

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  13. Dear Anonymous,
    If you read the other comments, you'll know you're not alone in feeling this way. Somehow you have to make your husband understand that you can't wait any longer and that it's killing you to think you might never have children. I'm not sure how to go about that, but don't hide your feelings and if you can enlist someone else in the family to help, try it. I wish you all the best.

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  14. I married a man 12 years older than me and moved to this country with him from the UK, I never thought I wanted kids and we never really discussed it but now I'm 39 and started thinking about how good it would be to have a child he is adamant he doesn't want one, he has 2 from a previous marriage that didn't work out. I think we'll break up if I get pregnant but I can't stop thinking about it, he is 52 – is that too old for a guy?
    Any advice would be welcome…..!

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  15. Anon, I know what I want to say, which is that you chose this situation and now you're stuck with it, and what I think I ought to say, which is keep talking and show him how much you really want to have a child and maybe he'll change his mind . . . Is 52 too old? Some would say yes. Some would say no. I'm not being much help here. Readers, what do you think?

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  16. I am 30 and dating someone that is 52. We've been friends for years and actually casually dated one other time. This time it's gotten very serious. He has always been honest in not wanting more children (he has two that are 18 & 22). His biggest concern is being an old dad and also that he really doesn't want to do it all again.

    Initially I thought maybe he'd change his mind eventually and shoved it aside as something we could worry about later. But I have come to the realization he's not going to change his mind. But, it's too late. I am madly in love with him and can't picture my life without him. Part of me thinks I would be ok without kids – but the other part doesn't want to change my mind later and then resent him. Ugh.

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  17. Staci, That was pretty much my situation, too. I think it was worth it to be with my husband, and if you're madly in love with someone who has been your friend for years, you could be very happy together. It's a tough choice, but it might be all right without kids. Just know he probably will not change his mind.

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  18. My now husband and i had several talks about kids before getting married. I told him that not having a baby would be a deal breaker for me. He said that while at the time he has never thought about it that he wanted one. I just had a feeling that he didn't. I asked several times and have him every opportunity to leave. He kept saying he wanted the same things as me. Now we're married and he doesn't want kids. I feel deceived. I feel that he'll either cave and resent me for his life for bullying him into something he doesn't want, or I'll cave and resent him for “taking away my chance to be a mom”. How long can a marriage last like that? I'm just scared and defeated.

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  19. AmanderMonster, I wish the situation you describe didn't keep happening to people, but we are human, and folks change their minds. All I can say is keep talking. Maybe he'll change his mind again. I wish you luck.

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  20. My husband too is putting off having children until we finish our house getting built, or so he says. I think that when we get the house built he will come up with another excuse not to. He is the only child and says IF we have children he only wants 1. I would love to have 3 or 4! The only thing I have EVER dreamed of doing is being a mother. Now it seems impossible. I trust God, and I know that if it's His will, it will happen. But at the same time, I'm so angry at my husband for trying to control my right to have children. I'm to the point now that the thought of not having children is crushing to me. Why does he get to decide?!?!?!?

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  21. Anon May 3, Your story reminds me of how my first husband kept putting off having children, too. After 6 years, the marriage died. Would we have had kids if we stayed together. I don't know. He does not get to decide. You would be the one getting pregnant. I hope you can work this out.

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