I have been working on compiling 12 years of Childless by Marriage blog posts and comments for an ebook containing the best of the blog, organized by topics. Being a longtime editor, I’m trying to fix all the typos, mine and yours, and check the links to make sure they still work. Don’t you hate it when you get excited about a link and then it doesn’t go anywhere? With almost 700 posts, it’s a slow process. But I think it’s a worthy endeavor. At least everything will be up-to-date.
Speaking of up-to-date, I am finding lots of comments from readers who were in the throes of figuring out what to do about their childless situation. Leave or stay? Try to get pregnant or not? How do they manage the unbearable grief? Now that years have passed, I really want to know what happened.
Here are a couple of examples from an Oct. 9, 2009 post titled “Is He Worth It?”
I left my homeland, a good job and great friends to be with my partner. I’ve known from the start that he will probably never want to have children. It never used to bother me, as I used to feel the same. But the older I get and in particular now that I’m living in a country where I have no family of my own and no close friends, I’m starting to feel slightly different about motherhood. I would never pressure him to have a child with me to satisfy my needs. But sometimes I wonder if I’ve made a mistake. I do love him. What are my options? Stay with him and hopefully have a good life with him, even if childless? Leave him, and perhaps find a man willing to have a family with me? How could I though, when my partner is the one I love. I really thought I was more or less decided against the idea of having children. So why am I starting to feel differently . . . ?
Nov 30, 2009·
I am so glad to have found this website, as all the other blogs seem to tell me to leave my partner. I love him to pieces and he loves me, but he is not considering having other children. He had an unwanted child at a very young age and does not feel he is capable of truly feeling in his heart that he wants to have another child. He says he prefers to not have another child if it is not something he truly wants as he knows how hurtful this would be to the child. He also feels like he has given so much so young that he wants to become stable in life before engaging in such a hard decision. I understand and I never really had the pull to have children before I met him. I don’t know if I would have that desire with another man. So I am left with this dilemma within myself. What is more important, risking possibly wanting a baby with someone that I don’t know that I would want one with or staying with the man that I love? At present, I am happy, but I don’t know if that will change. I guess the question is do I live for the present or for the future? I have made the decision to see a psychologist on this issue before making a decision. I hope you will all find peace with your decision.
So what happened? Are they still with their partners? Have they found a way to be mothers? If you’re out there, Torn and Anonymous, and you recognize these comments as yours, please bring us up to date, either at the old post, this one, or tell me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you did not comment on the subject at the time, you still can. Scroll down to the end of the comments on that post and add your thoughts.
If you commented on any previous post and would like to bring us up to date, please do so, whether everything or nothing has changed, whether you have several children now or none. Hearing how things turned out for others helps the rest of us decide what to do.
I look forward to reading the rest of your stories.
P.S. Reading the comments from the period before and after my husband died in 2011 touched my heart. You were all so kind. I thank you for that. I’m grateful for every one of you gathered here.
6 thoughts on “Did you resolve your childless dilemma?”
Sue, I commented a few weeks ago about my decision to separate from my husband because he has firmly decided fatherhood is not for him. Well, the boxes are packed, the movers have been scheduled and I will leave my home at the end of this month. It has taken me months to get to this point emotionally and mentally. I feel so many different emotions- sadness, fear, anxiety, grief but also a glimmer of hope that I just might be heading in the right direction. As of yet, the only mantra I find some measure of comfort in is, “I am not over it, but I can get through it.” In the deepest part of my heart I hold out hope that he would change his mind and we could put our marriage back together. I just can’t wait anymore, though. Waiting for him to want this feels like I am letting him decide what my life will be while I stand by with bated breath. I can not do that any longer as it is too painful.
Kris, good for you. I’m glad you’re taking charge of your life. It will not be easy, but it sounds like you’re doing the right thing.
I ended up getting pregnant. After years of arguing I told him right before he got custody of his two daughters that I couldn’t be a stepmom if I don’t get to be a mom too. This might sound selfish but some might understand.
I knew I wouldn’t be able to raise two kids as my own while suffering from the pain of being childless myself. We settled on one more child together. I had always wanted at least two because I grew up as an only child and it wasn’t fun. But with his two kids mine would already have siblings so I was ok with it.
Our little Patricia is now almost seven months old. And while being a stepmom is fun, it is not the same as being a mother to my own child. They have a mom they love and that’s ok. And I finally get to be the mom of a wonderful little girl.
And to be honest had he said no to another child, I would have left. I love him but in my opinion no man (or woman) is worth a lifetime of pain.
Thank you for sharing this. And congratulations on the baby. You show us a happy ending is possible.
Sue, I commented yesterday on another post that when I read your book, I was childless bc I wasn’t yet married, and that since then I have become an older mom. I love my kids and am so happy to have them of course. I do feel like I am the only one in my situation, and it is still hard to relate to those who get pregnant easily, especially those who are young and unmarried. Plus, as you can imagine, I get judged harshly by some people, as if I have done something wrong. For example my mother-in-law was so against us having children and kept going on about it. She made us feel not good enough without kids, and still not good enough with kids. We no longer have contact which is disappointing. Anyway I feel like I still relate to the childless since I was childless for most of my adult life. And I feel more respect for childless women than for (some) moms as I feel the childless have actually added more to the world instead of taken from it.
I’m happy I found this site. I’m currently in the midst of trying to decide what to do about children. I’m in love with my boyfriend. We’ve been trying to get pregnant for a year and half. He reversed the vasectomy and we started trying naturally. Then started IVF. We just completed a third round of IVF unsuccessfully. He has three older children from a previous marriage and doesn’t see them much, which is unfortunate. He was 100% committed to having a baby together, which was wonderful. We were so happy to embark on the journey together. Our conversation now revolves around, if having a baby is so important to me, then it’s time to think of having with someone else that can naturally and younger. If I decide to stay, then it will be without children. The decision seems unbearable to make for all the reasons so many others have commented on. He’s a wonderful man and I never thought I could be so happy with someone. I’m 36 and feeling the pressure to have a baby soon. I left my country to be with my partner and very happy where I am, but if I left, I have no idea where I would go.