I have been editing old posts and their accompanying comments. (Please proofread, friends.) I’m dying to know what happened to all of those people whose partners said no to kids and put them into a tizzy of should I go or should I stay? There were so many. Today I was reading some of the 245 comments on a 2013 post titled, “If You Disagree About Children, Is Your Relationship Doomed?”
Anonymous: Hi, … I got engaged six months ago to my on-off partner of three years. We had been all off, and he said he wanted to get married and have kids. He had not said this before so I felt something had clicked for him and us. He was so up for it he even got me to add pregnancy coverage to my health care immediately. I have just turned 42 and we got married a few months ago. Our finances have been tight and we also weren’t getting on great, but I thought kids would be in the mix when we got things sorted. We have just had a chat and my husband has changed his mind about having kids. He says he doesn’t want them anymore, and it is not and will not be open for discussion. I am devastated. I would not have gotten engaged had I realized this truth, as I always have wanted kids and would not have entered into a relationship with someone who wasn’t open to trying. This is very real and raw for me, as it was only a few hours ago. I feel it’s my calling to be a mother.
My response: Anon July 15, I’m so sorry this happened. I find it amazing how many guys change their minds after the wedding. Have another chat and let him know how hurt you are. I pray you can work this out.
By now, surely the issue is settled one way or another. They broke up or they stayed together. They had a baby or they didn’t.
If you have been in that situation, please tell us what happened. What did you decide to do? Does it feel like the right decision now? It will help those coming behind you to figure out what to do.
I’m relieved to know that I still agree with the advice I gave back then. Also embarrassed that I needed to proofread, too. I hope the typos are all gone now.
I leave tomorrow for my father’s funeral. I know that I will be sitting on that front-row pew as a party of one with my brother’s tribe: wife, children, grandchildren, in-laws, with other families nearby. Just me. For years, it has been me and Dad, but he’s the guest of honor this time. Damn.
So there’s that. If you don’t have children now, the loss compounds in the future because you will also not have your children’s partners and children, and your grandchildren’s partners and children, and everyone’s in-laws. The loss just expands. Like an earthquake that starts out small then blows the world apart. They say each higher number on the Richter scale is not just a little bit more but exponentially more (WAY more).
Something to think about.
Thank you all for being here. I treasure you.
2 thoughts on “Did They Stay Childless Together or Split?”
Hello Sue. These posts are so poignant and remind me that I am heading to the same future as you as my Dad aged 84 weakens. To add to this I am not even an aunt as my one brother is also childless. Not sure why as we have never discussed it but are close enough to talk about any other given subject. My partner of 17 years died last year, and I am so lonely. Please be kind to yourself in your newly acquired orphan state and take comfort from your friends and readers who wish you so much love. x
Oh Sue, I’m so sorry for your loss. Do talk to your brother about it. He may be feeling kind of lonely, too. That’s one good thing that has happened. My brother and I have gotten a lot closer lately and talked about a lot of things we never discussed before.