Childless readers help each other

Dear readers,

I love it when you start talking to each other in the comments. I feel like we’re building a real community for people who need to communicate with others who share similar problems without worrying about anybody in the outside world listening in.

My last post, Antidote to the Christmas blues, in which I admitted how bummed out I felt about the whole holiday season, attracted quite a few comments. You can click on the link to read them. These readers raise some interesting topics.

For example, how do you cope when your job requires you to be surrounded by mothers and babies all day long? Some readers find it unbearable while others say it gives them comfort and fills the emptiness inside. Do any of you have such jobs? How does it make you feel? Is it easier for childless people to stay away from children?

Then there’s the whole question of what we tell people about why we don’t have children. The questioning never ends, does it? The thing is, if you honestly tell friends and family that you don’t have kids because your partner doesn’t want them, it can backfire on you. People get mad at your partner, decide he/she’s no good, and maybe decide you’re an idiot for sticking around. “But wait, I love him/her,” you protest. They don’t care. Know what I mean? Anybody want to comment on this? What response can you give–without lying–that allows everyone to remain friends?

On April 8, I published a long comment by “Kam” about the frustrations of being a childless military wife. Yesterday I received an email from Lisa, who is also a childless military wife. She would really like to talk to Kam because they have a lot in common. Kam, if you are out there, email me at, and I will connect you with Lisa. Ditto for anyone else who wants to talk about the military life without kids.

How is your holiday season going? I’m doing pretty well. Christmas will be over in nine days. Then we can look forward to a whole new year. So try to enjoy the festivities. Thank you all for coming here. Keep in touch.




23 thoughts on “Childless readers help each other

  1. Hi Sue,
    My comment is responding to coping at work surrounded by other moms. I work in a corporate office and there are two moms on my team. One of the moms was single when she started with the company and has married and had three children during her time here. I went to visit her at the hospital when child 1 was born. He was a little early and went straight to NICU. I was with her when she saw him the first time. When she was pregnant with child 2, the doctors gave her some scary test results (which thankfully turned out to be false) but before they knew that, I comforted her and encouraged her to get a second opinion. Child 3 was a total surprise. Her first two were boys, and she desperately wanted 3 to be a girl. When she found out 3 was a girl, I was ecstatic with her. Every day since child 1 was born, it’s been a constant daily play-by-play of what they do, what they eat, when they’re sick, what sport they’re playing, first days of school, etc. Child 1 is 7 years old now. It’s been excruciating even in the midst of being excited with her. The other mom on my team has two children and she’s not as vocal about all their activities, but she and the other mom talk a lot about what their children did at what age, and how they dealt with such and such issue with the child, and so on and so on.

    I’ve also dealt with the question of why my husband and I don’t have children. I’ve mentioned in other posts that he does not want them. As you can imagine, my mom co-workers have run through all the responses you listed above – I should leave, find someone else who will make me happy and give me a child. I deserve to be happy, he’s not being fair, etc. My love for my husband, and my commitment to my marriage, suddenly seem like they should take a back seat. I have staunchly disagreed year after year. I made a vow for better or worse, till death do us part. To me that is all encompassing, fair or not fair, and is to my husband as well.

    My husband and I agree that our marriage hasn’t exactly been what either of us envisioned it would be, but really, what couple has ever gotten exactly what either expected? We choose to stay together no matter what because we chose each other first for the person themself, not just for what we might get from each other.

    I guess over the years my skin has thickened up some and all the kid talk doesn’t eat away at me like it used to. There are worse days than others but I’ve accepted that this is my life. No one else, regardless of their opinion, has to live it. I would still choose my husband all over again, even knowing all I know now. I hope this helps someone who is struggling with some of these things.


  2. In my previous job, I was surrounded by seven moms on a daily basis. It drove me nuts having to listen to everyone all day long. Every day talking about their children. It was never-ending. My only saving grace was that every year my husband and I took a fabulous vacation. So whenever I had to listen to the monologue, I would redirect my brain to thinking about my next fab vacation. I knew none of these ladies could take these vacations because kids cost so much, so I always felt my vacation thoughts were my happy place for my brain to go. Sadly however, my husband’s health isn’t so well, and the reality of taking more fab vacations is dwindling. I just am not sure where to direct my thought now that I can’t focus on the next big vacation. It really did help, so not quite sure what to do with my brain.

    On another note, we will be moving to Colorado Springs as soon as my house sells. I got very excited to see there is a Meet-Up group there for women without children. Woohoo!!!!! How cool it will be to make new friends and not listen to non-ending monologues!!!! Can’t wait !!!!!!


    • Hi Candy. I’m so glad you’re going to have a group of women to hang out with in your new home. Maybe that will give you something to think about. I’m sorry about the husband and no more trips. As you know, I have experienced that myself. All I can suggest is to focus on smaller goals, a dinner, a movie, a walk, things you can still do. Moving is a big transition. I hope it all goes well.


  3. Sue,

    I trust that the holidays were good for you. Christmas Eve, I had to go have dinner with my stepson and step-grandsons. It was pleasant enough, but again I felt like an intruder and an outsider. None of my DNA was in either boy. That hurt ! I know what I must do. However, do I leave for my young Colombian girl or do I give up my dream of law school which I’ve wanted forever. Many people say the young girl will leave me. But do I stay in a marriage where I’m miserable with a fat old ugly woman whom I’m not attracted to. Or do I marry a women in her mid-30’s who can give me kids, but has some of her own and I get gypped out of that first experience. Again? I guess I just need to leave my 66-year-old wife, whom I haven’t loved for years and marry
    this young girl. Any of you who want to criticize me, shut your damn mouths and don’t go there with me. You will lose very badly! My mind is made up, I’m going to have the young wife and kids and have what I missed in my 20’s. I deserve to be happy and I really don’t care who gets hurt in the process. When I leave, there will be no talking, counseling or any of that. The movers will show up, I’ll drop it on my wife then and BOOM! I’m gone to a much happier life. I deserve it and I could care less about the consequences. Yes I’m angry. I have a right to be.


    • Tony, I could definitely say a lot of things. But I know you don’t want to hear it, so I’ll let it ride and see what other people say. I do think it would be kinder if you gave your wife some warning. Maybe she’ll wise up and leave you. Oops, talk to you later.


      • Ok. Sue, I’m not wrong. This has been festering for years. Predictably the middle aged women lashed out at me. I expected that. I’m a big boy and I don’t have to ask anyone’s permission.


    • Tony, thank you so much for your post today. I found it very useful. After reading what you wrote, I went to my husband of 31 years and read it to him. I then thanked him for loving me through the good times and the bad times as well as the weight gain through menopause. He then kissed me on my cheek, and with a boyish grin on his face, he told me I was still the love of his life. What a blessing it is for me to be married to a man that cherishes me and would never dump me for a younger women who will eventually grow older as I have. And even a bigger blessing to be married to a man that has not been unfaithful and ignored his wedding vows. Thank you for the reminder of what a good man I have loving me and for my Hallmark movie moment which I will never forget.


      • Candy,

        I’m glad you got it right. I didn’t. Although I do feel you’re not at all
        in agreement with my feelings. Trust me, many men feel this way. Women leave men for younger men. Truly I’m glad you’ve got the right one. In an indirect way I feel you were lashing out at me. But, I really don’t care what people think. It’s my life and I will be happy.



  4. Tony, I am going to be honest. Irrespective of your feelings towards your wife, no one deserves a surprise such as yours and the anger that comes with it. I don’t know your circumstances but you know, Sue might be right, but I will go a little further. Your wife may feel the same about you. Well, just saying, I hope you find your pot of ah mud err gold I mean at the end of your rainbow.


  5. Maybe I did piss some people off.
    But I’m not sorry for one word that I said. I’m truthful to a fault.
    But I thought we were allowed to speak our minds freely and not be criticized or judged. I see I was wrong. My opinions still stand.


    • You are allowed to speak your mind freely here. That’s why I approved your comment. But if you’re going to comment here, you have to be ready for some reaction. I know you can take it.


      • Sue,

        These are the reactions I was expecting. Age Gap relationships aren’t a big deal in most countries. In my mind, I’m right and see nothing wrong. Am I supposed to stay in an unhappy marriage that will be childless ? I think not.


    • If you’re so confident and resolute in your decisions, why are you trying so desperately to troll people on the internet? I’m sure the young woman willing to marry a much older, hostile, inarticulate, emotionally infantile man who metaphorically thumps his chest to bleat about his DNA will bring him all the joy and fulfillment he deserves.

      Sometimes, vengeance is unnecessary. Especially with people who are their own worst enemy.


  6. I never realized that we men have a biological clock. We do. My views about leaving for a much younger woman still stand and will forever. Starting law school in your 60’s is different. I have told my young Colombian girl that law school is demanding, expensive and brutal. She’s still on board. Having children in your 60’s may be somewhat daunting. However, in many ways I feel like I’d be a better parent now than I would have been in my younger days. For many years, I always said I wasn’t mature enough to raise kids. That may have been a cop-out, I don’t know. What I do know is that I feel like I’ve been
    gypped out of this experience, My wife said, “You bypassed parenthood and went straight to Grandpa!” I went berserk ! I said that wasn’t a damn bit funny and I resented it! I didn’t speak to her for three days. I said some hateful things and I don’t feel bad about it. Why is it whenever I tell a trusted friend my intentions, they’re horrified and want to talk me out of it? Why? Because I believe they wish they had the guts to do what I’m about to do. Oh, the women are aghast! She’ll leave you, yata, yata, yata. But they are at a loss to suggest what I should do. I’ve made it crystal clear what I’m going to do. For better or worse.


  7. Tony,

    Even at this late stage in the game of life, it seems to me that you are STILL too immature to become a father. There’s no need to revisit your poor behavior, but it is safe to say that you have demonstrated your inability to act selflessly or with any kind of dedication. I ask you sincerely: how do you suppose that you’ll be capable of loving a child unconditionally, even on their bad days, especially with that remarkably sharp tongue of yours? You speak of not wanting to be “gypped” out of a life experience, yet you do not stop to consider how any offspring might suffer as a consequence of your choices. For example, perhaps contemplate the experiences you may be cheating them out of due to your advanced age. So for children’s sake I ask you to rely on your trusted friend’s advice; at least where progeny is concerned. . .


    • I may well do this. He really looks tired and worn out. He confided in me that he will die and then what will happen with his kids? Valid concern. My feeling about this ebbs and flows. My big concern is marrying the young girl, dying and leaving her a young widow with children to raise in a country that she may never adjust to. I’m finding this decision is way more complicated than I first thought.


    • Sue,

      I don’t see it that way. Yes I have a sharp tongue. But I speak the truth. However, seeing what my friend is going through is getting me to rethink this. That poor man is stressed to the breaking point.
      I hope he comes through it.


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