Childless by Marriage Needs Your Input

Dear friends,

I’ll be honest. I have published 607 posts on this Childless by Marriage blog, and I can’t think of anything I haven’t covered. Usually something comes to me, but it hasn’t so far this week. That doesn’t mean I have any intention of quitting. We need each other.

I have been going through old posts—I’m in 2012 right now—fixing dead links, typos and other problems. When I transferred this blog to WordPress from the Blogger platform, some weird stuff sneaked in. It feels good to fix the embarrassing errors. Please let me know when you find mistakes. I can usually repair them in a few keystrokes, but not if I don’t know about them.

I’m thinking I might want to put together a “Best of Childless by Marriage” book. I did that with my Unleashed in Oregon blog last year, and it’s nice to have everything in one place. Also, I worry that all of these posts will disappear someday if something goes awry with WordPress or the Internet. My work is my baby, so I stress over these things.

I need your help. I see this blog as more of a conversation than as a place for me to show off my writing. You readers are a critical part of the Childless by Marriage blog, and you are all in different places in your childless journeys. So today I’m asking you to join me in my brainstorming for 2018.

  • What do you want to talk about?
  • What have you not seen here that I should cover?
  • What kinds of posts do you hate? Be honest.
  • Would you like to see less about me and more about other people?
  • Do you like lots of links? Do you click on them?
  • Would you like to address the readers directly in a guest post?
  • Do you have specific ideas for future posts?
  • Do you have questions you want to ask me?

You are a great group of readers. I have had very little trouble with spam or people being mean to each other here. I’m grateful for that. I truly welcome your suggestions. I also hope you will tell me if a link doesn’t work or you can’t read a post on your computer, tablet, phone or other device. Please comment here. You can also reach me directly at


Celebrating Childless by Marriage the book

7d455-childlessbymarriagecoversmallFirst you marry a man who does not want children. He cheats and you divorce him. Then you marry the love of your life and find out he does not want to have children with you either. Although you always wanted to be a mother, you decide he is worth the sacrifice, expecting to have a long, happy life together. But that’s not what happens. This is the story of how a woman becomes childless by marriage and how it affects every aspect of her life.

That’s the description of my book Childless by Marriage, which debuted five years ago this month. At that point, it had a different cover and was only an e-book. The paperback with the current cover came later in the year.

The book tells my story, but I also include interviews of many childless women, as well as things I learned in over a decade of studying childlessness. Chapters include “He Doesn’t Want Children,” “What Have I Done?” Who Knew It was a Sin?” “The Evil Stepmother,” “Exiled from the Mom Club,” “Why Don’t You Have Kids?” “Can a Woman Be a Dog’s Mother,” “Mothering Fred,” “Side Effects of Motherhood” and “What Will I Leave Behind?”

The book has not become the raging bestseller that I dreamed of. The many publishers who rejected it all warned that while it was well-written and covered an important topic, there might not be a big enough audience. Also, it might be depressing. Maybe they were right. But I published it anyway. You can buy it at Or just send me a check for $15.95 at P.O. Box 755, South Beach, OR 97366, and I’d be happy to mail you a copy.

I hate advertising myself and my books, but that’s part of the writing game these days. You have to build a “platform” and promote, promote, promote. That’s part of why I started this blog, but it has turned into more than just a plank in my platform. We have built a community where we can share our thoughts and feelings freely. It has been almost 10 years since that first post! No wonder I struggle some weeks to find a new topic.

Another part of book promotion is giving talks. To that end, I will be one of the speakers at the NotMom Summit in Cleveland, Ohio the first weekend of October. The most exciting part of the conference for me will be meeting the many other childless/childfree authors whose books I have read, quoted and mentioned here. Anyone can attend. Check out the website for details.

Ten years, five years. So much has happened in all of our lives during those years, right? I feel like everything has changed, but I have no intention of quitting the blog or the book. You all are such a gift to me. Thank you so much for sharing your stories.

Keep coming back, dear readers, and let me know what you’d like to talk about here.


As I write this, my dog Annie is a hundred miles away having knee surgery. Over the next few weeks, I will be wrapped up in keeping her comfortable and quiet and preventing her from chewing on her stitches. I suspect I won’t get much sleep. I came home from the veterinary hospital covered in dog fur. Annie drooled all over my car seats. Motherhood, human or animal, is messy! I hope I’m up to the task. Our old dog Sadie had a similar surgery, twice, but my husband Fred was around to help. This time, it’s just me and Annie.


Childless by Marriage discussion rages on

Welcome! After several weeks of transition, Childless by Marriage now lives completely at this site. All of the old posts are here, along with most of the comments. In starting fresh at a new home, I thought it might be helpful to backtrack a little. Several posts have attracted far more comments than any of the others, and I don’t want anyone to miss a single comment or miss their chance to add their own thoughts. The old comments got a little scrambled in order when they were transferred to this WordPress site, but they’re there.

Most popular: Are You Grieving Over Your Lack of Children? Published Nov. 7, 2007, one of my first posts, this one has received 264 comments.

Coming in second: If You Disagree About Children, is Your Relationship Doomed? Since January 2013, I have received 241 comments. Click on the link to read what I said and how people responded. If you don’t see the comments at first, keep scrolling down. Clearly there is no good answer to the question I asked in my blog.

Third most popular: Can You Forgive Him or Her for Not Giving You Children? This one from January 2014 has gotten 105 comments. I think the most common answer has been, “No!” But read it for yourself and draw your own conclusions.

Does one of these topics speak to you? Go ahead and join the discussion. If you commented before, how about an update?

As of this week, this blog has been going for eight years. I find it hard to believe, but it’s a topic that never ends. Every day, I hear from people who are in the midst of trying to figure out what to do? Break up? Stay together? Get pregnant? Give up on having children? How do you live with the grief? Will I regret not having children? How do I relate to my friends and family who are all having babies? Come back every Wednesday for a new post, and we’ll try to figure it out together.

People of any age and life situation are welcome here. I only ask that people who are childless by choice refrain from bashing those who don’t feel the same way. Comments that smack of “breeder bashing” will be deleted.

Thank you so much for coming.


Get Some Boxes–Childless by Marriage is Moving

Dear friends,
Next month, I will have been doing the Childless by Marriage blog for eight years. My first post was published on Aug. 27, 2007. Unbelievable. Eight years. Don’t panic. I have no intention of stopping. But I am working on moving the blog to a new site at The address will be The new site will offer features I can’t get with a “blogspot” blog and increase our community of childless-by-marriage friends. I already have two other blogs at WordPress, Unleashed in Oregon and Writer Aid. If all works smoothly, the previous posts and comments from this blog will be transferred to the new site. But I don’t want to take any chances, so until Aug. 26, 2015, I will publish the same posts at both sites.
I started the Childless by Marriage blog before I finished the Childless by Marriagebook, which came out in 2012. To be honest, the blog has been more successful than the book. At the heart of it is your comments, so much heartfelt sharing of joys, sorrows, successes and mistakes. You offer comfort to me and to one another. This has become a conversation, not just me talking into cyberspace.
You have been with me through my own pain and loss, including the death of my husband from Alzheimer’s Disease in 2011. You have supported me as I adapt to my new status as a widow, a new age group, and a new life on my own without the usual kids and grandkids to support me.
Of course I want to sell my books and draw attention to my writing through my blogs and other activities. That’s why most of us start blogs in the first place, but you have become precious to me, and I’m happy to be here as your big sister or Aunt Sue to listen to what you need to say. Most of you comment as “Anonymous.” That’s fine. I’m glad I can provide a private space to say what we might not be able to say anywhere else. I feel like I know you anyway.
I’d like to make this blog more interactive, maybe add some guest posts, feature more of you in the main blog. I welcome your suggestions. Meanwhile, I’m here. I may be moving, but I’m taking you with me.

Don’t let people deny your childless grief

Dear readers,
Of my 406 posts here at Childless by Marriage, the one that has drawn the most attention over the years is the one titled, “Are you grieving over your lack of Children?” It was published in 2007, early in the blog’s life and has drawn 205 comments. Most come from women who are struggling with painful feelings about not having children. Many seek advice on what to do about reluctant husbands and how to cope with their sadness. Some can’t seem to find anything to live for if they don’t have children.

It’s hard for me to know how to respond. I offer sympathy and some advice, but I don’t have all the answers. Each of us has to decide for ourself whether we can live without children and how much we’re willing to sacrifice to have them.

Over the years, I feel that we have built a community, and I hope you readers will read each other’s comments help each other.

Meanwhile, let’s talk about this grief. It’s real. We have lost the children we would have had. It’s almost like a death. Our whole lives we will see other families with children and grandchildren and remember that we will never have what they have. It hurts bad. But people who are not in our situation don’t always understand.  They may tell us we’re better off without children, that we’re lucky to be free of kids, that all we have to do is adopt, that’s we’re exaggerating our feelings. They will unwittingly say and do things that cause us pain. Some of us choose to avoid people who have children, even staying home from activities with family or friends because we know we’ll be uncomfortable. People not in our shoes will tell us to get over it, to enjoy other people’s kids, enjoy the money we’re saving, and just move on. But it isn’t that easy, is it?

I have written here many times that it gets easier as you get older. It does, but the grief doesn’t go away. The loss is still there. Please support each other as much as you can. And don’t let anybody take away your right to grieve. The feelings are real. Be honest about them. As we work through this holiday season, let’s take care of each other as much as we can. Right now, let me wrap you in a big virtual hug. ((((((((((((( ))))))))))))). Thank you for being here. 


Childless by Marriage Blog Marks a Milestone and Looks Ahead

Dear friends,
Last week, we passed 100,000 page views. As of this moment, we’re up to 100,521. That seems like a milestone to celebrate. Yes, other blogs get millions of visitors, but ours is a special group, and I am grateful for every one of you. On an average day, we get about 250 visitors. Readers come from all over the English-speaking world, as well as from countries where most people don’t speak English. They find us via Google and other search engines, as well as Facebook, other sites about childlessness, and direct referral from friends.
The comments tell stories of women and men who are hurting and searching for answers. They wanted to have children, but they are in situations where it may not happen. In many cases, their spouses have decided they don’t want to have children, and they don’t know what to do. Sometimes the spouse is reluctant and then a physical problem ends the discussion in sorrow.
I have gotten the most comments in response to posts about grief. Just this morning, I approved two that both tell the same heartbreaking story from different perspectives. You can see them here. (Scroll to the end of the comments.) These anonymous women are 42 and 64 years old, but both are in so much pain they don’t know how they can stand it. I wish I had the magic words to make the pain go away. Perhaps some of you can offer some hope to these women.
I’ve been doing this blog for six years. It’s hard to believe. And no, I’m not quitting. Part of its purpose has always been to promote my Childless by Marriage book. I would like everyone to buy it. But the blog has grown into a special place of its own that goes far beyond the 300 pages of my book.
To post at least once a week for so long requires a little research, considerable stretching of the creative muscles, and occasional inspiration from above. Sometimes when I think I have nothing to say, God drops a story into my hands. Sometimes you, my readers, give me ideas with your comments and e-mails. It seems there is always more to say on this subject.
I’m working on a project to reconnect with the women I interviewed for my book. In some cases, more than a decade has passed, and I think it would be helpful to all of us to find out how their stories turned out. Did they ever have children? Are they still with the man they were with at the time? Have they found peace with their childless situation? Do they have regrets? The first responses have started coming in, and I look forward to sharing them with you here. (If anyone reading this was interviewed for the book and has not received an email from me, I may not have your current address. Please contact me at
Right now census figures show that one-fifth of American women have reached menopause without having children. That number is increasing. By the time today’s women of childbearing age are 45, I suspect it will be more like a fourth or even a third who never become mothers. But right now, I know lots of us feel left out, misunderstood and alone. We are not alone. Thank you all for being here, and please keep coming back.

Childless readers seek comfort in their grief

“Are You Grieving Over Your Lack of Children?” is the headline of the blog I posted here on Nov. 7, 2007. Since August 2007, I have published 366 other posts at this site, but that is the one that has drawn the most views–6873–and the most comments–152. Most people get to it by a Google search. I’m thinking they’re searching through tears because the key word is “grief.” It hurts to want children and not be able to have them, especially when it seems to be a normal part of life for everyone around you. You see other people cuddling babies and it hurts. You see your friends and sisters getting pregnant and it hurts. You see a child laboring over a Mother’s Day for his mom, and it hurts. You see an older woman going out to lunch with her daughter and granddaughter, and it hurts. I know. I feel that pain, too.

The comments keep coming in for that post, as well as for many others. People, mostly women, write to me in crisis. In so many cases, they thought they would have children with their spouse or partner, but now he/she is saying no, they don’t want to do it. Maybe they already have children from a previous marriage and feel that’s enough. Maybe they’ve had a vasectomy. Maybe one or both people have fertility issues. Maybe they just didn’t get serious about it until they were in their 40s and now it’s too late. Often, the writer, again usually a woman, is having to make an impossible choice: the man she loves or the children she’s always wanted.

I’m not a psychologist or marriage counselor; I’m a writer. I know a lot about this subject because of my own experiences and a boatload of research. I include much of that research as well as my own story in my Childess by Marriage book. I continue to collect all the information I can about all aspects of life without children and will share as much as I can. I offer my love and prayers in the hope that we can all find peace with what feels like a hole in our lives.If we can help dry each other’s tears and ease each other’s grief, then this blog is worthwhile.

Thank you all for being here. Keep coming back.