Is the Problem More Than Him Just Not Wanting Children?

If your male partner is not agreeing to have children, even though you want them, is there more to your disagreement then just the baby question? That’s what Beth Follini of the Have Children or Not blog suggests in a recent post. Although they may have valid reasons for not wanting kids in some cases, they might also have issues with commitment, attachment and even narcissism, she says. It’s an interesting thought. I see lots of red flags in the comments here that make me think the man’s reluctance to have children is only one of many problems in the relationship. Know what I mean? Of course, the situation can be reversed, with the woman being the one who doesn’t want to have children. See what Beth says about that.

I’m kind of struggling through this week, so please visit this link and let me know what you think. Beth, who counsels clients struggling with the baby decision, also recommends a book called Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find-and Keep-Love by Amir Levine for more on this subject.

6 thoughts on “Is the Problem More Than Him Just Not Wanting Children?

  1. Hey there, Sue. Hope your week improves as you cruise towards the weekend. I wish for happy sunshine wherever you roam. I checked out the link and then I checked out Beth's link about narcissim. Sadly, I'd have to agree with Beth. Part of my husband's problem (as well as my own) is that we both have narcissist qualities. He's the grandiose and I'm the shy type. The past couple years of our marriage we've addressed various issues that seem to get in our way. Still, lifelong habits are hard to break and we continue to be a work in progress.My husband has a long history of making messes and walking away looking totally innocent. Because he puts on such a great first impression, he gets many “breaks” and “fresh starts” in the way of job opportunities, responsibilities, and friendships. He's loveable, charming and really does have a good heart, but I've been around long enough to see the patterns.And I used to sulk inwardly, all the while projecting a careful image of “having it all” and being a beacon of positivity. But I would pout at others’ fortune and seep in jealousy. I'd tell myself that there were tons of reasons why “I” wasn't happy, successful, whatever. The faults of other people of course. My childhood, a few crappy teachers, a few crappy guys. My daydreams were full of grandiose scenarios of ME. ME. ME. I was really something in my mind.After several years of quality therapy and a thrilling road trip to hell and back, we're finally at a truly fabulous place. God is good; that is all I can say. Perhaps I'm just exhausted and too tired to pursue parenthood anymore. We're probably the happiest and most emotionally healthy we've ever been. Maybe at this point in our lives, that is enough and maybe it's a success that we saw our issues and didn't pass them on to some innocent child. We all serve a purpose. Maybe our purpose has nothing to do with being parents. Maybe our purpose will be revealed much later in our lives and all will make sense.Being in a healthy place and moving forward with the truth is worth the price of parenthood, even if it makes me a little sad sometimes.Anon S


  2. Yes! Anon S., thank you for this comment. I'm sure a lot of women will be nodding their heads when they read this and thinking yes, that's exactly how it is with us. Recent generations, including me, do seem to be rather self-involved, and that's part of the no-kids story. I'm so glad you're coming to terms with it. I have had some revelations lately that lead me to believe I'm living exactly the life I'm supposed to be living. I never had babies, but I am taking care of things in so many ways. The sadness can hit like a sledgehammer sometimes. The dead husband thing is brutal, but overall, life is good.


  3. My husband delayed becoming a parent until we were at the age where it was try now or never and then we discovered it was too late. Initially, I was really angry with him, and then myself for not convincing him to try sooner. The reason my husband avoided it has nothing to do with being a narcissist. His mother died during childbirth when he was 9 years old and a therapist was able to get me to see that his avoidance of pregnancy came from a very deep source of pain and fear. After seeing that, I felt a lot more compassion for him especially because I see now that it caused him pain that we don't have children. We all have life experiences that cause trauma and they branch out and affect us in so many ways but more so when you are thinking about making an irreversible decision like have a child. Just writing to let you know that not everyone's issues fall neatly into one answer.


  4. Anonymous, March 1, thank you so much for sharing this. I know it's a difficult situation, but I can feel your love for each other shining through. And yes, there are all kinds of reasons and no neat answers. Take care.


  5. Oh, I definitely agree that many men who are insistent about not wanting children also have issues with commitment, and can be narcissistic. An ex of mine from years ago used to constantly whine about how his ex-wife wanted kids, and yet he couldn't get into his traveling and motorcycling when he was married and trying to conceive with her. Gee, my heart just bled for him, you know? I'm happy to report, though, that his ex remarried and has two healthy children. He is probably still alone, though, since he's too narcissistic for marriage, I'm sure.


  6. Anonymous (from March 1), my husband delayed us getting married and then when we tried to have kids it was too late for my own eggs, so I had a baby at 45 via donor egg. I love my baby daughter so much, but there is a part of me that can be angry at my husband for waiting – particularly because his mother is SO judgmental about any woman who doesn't breed at age 20 out of wedlock.


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