Day after day, I receive comments and emails from women who are struggling to decide to stay with their male partners who don’t want children or leave in hope of finding someone who wants to father their children. But it’s not all women. Men agonize over this issue, too.
On Sunday, I received a long comment from a man calling himself Rollcage. Here are excerpts from what he wrote:
“So I’m 30/m and my partner is 26/f. We have been dating for a year and compared to many on here with years of marriage behind them that’s nothing, but this woman is extraordinary. The love of my life and I am on the verge of proposing to her.
“Apart from a few ups and downs we have a perfect relationship, we can talk without getting bored nonstop, we share so many similar interests and I could never have imagined a woman like her existed.
“So you probably can guess where I’m going with this. She is already a mother of one, a 2 year old boy from a previous relationship. . .
“She never wanted to have kids before they did and he managed to convince her to conceive. She had always said that she didn’t want kids and that if she did circumstances would be different (she would be married, post career, etc.). You could almost say she was deceived by him. He had no love for her, he simply wanted someone to give him a child after he lost his previous to a previous partner . . .
“My gf is an incredible mum, even more so when she coped so well raising him under the most difficult circumstances! She’s sweet around him and I found that part of her more and more attractive. I started to think to myself hey if we ever do decide, I know she’ll be a great mum.” At this point, I didn’t really think about kids, but I thought that it was possible that we may end up having one someday.
“Then something happened around two weeks ago. She was looking after him (he spent 2 weeks with his mum and 2 with his dad) and he got sick with the stomach flu. He was often sick when he visits her, we think because of the childcare he goes to, and my gf would often get sick herself as a result, something she can’t afford to do with her job. She also has emetophobia and doesn’t do well when he is vomiting. This always prompts her mum to visit to help look after him and clear the mess.
“This isn’t anything new, but this time this event, coupled with her current form of sickness and also a decision having to be made in the future about where he should stay for pre-school (they live in different towns), she decided that she just wasn’t made up to be a mum and that she should give her ex custody and see her son only every other weekend . . .
“I just don’t know how to feel. I can’t leave her, and I know I’ll be happy with her without our own, but her changing her mind about her own son has made me see things differently. I still don’t know if I will ever want kids, but the woman who I love who I always saw was such a great mum is now convinced motherhood is just not for her. She has told me she doesn’t want me holding it against her and she doesn’t want me trying to change her mind. Equally, she told me she doesn’t want to make me unhappy if she can’t give me what I want . . .
“I desperately want her to just notice how great a dad I would be and to crave a child of our own, but the stupid thing about that is I don’t even know if I do want children. I feel as if I’ve always expected to be the one in a relationship who probably sides more with not having kids, but suddenly I find myself wanting kids more than her (even though I’m not sure yet) and her lack of desire vs mine puts me off . . .
“My heart tells me I’m going to marry this woman and deep down I hope, spending more time together, she will change her mind.
“My head tells me I need to get used to the idea of not having children as most likely it isn’t going to happen.
“It’s almost like her wanting it less than me has made me feel unloved. I want her to be able to give me what she gave her ex, and I want to prove to her that it will be different, that we will enjoy it. Whilst she is the opposite, trying to convince me it’s a bad idea . . . ”
There’s a lot more. You can read the whole comment by scrolling down to the end of the comments on the original post. Then you can add your own comments here or there.
While I’m sharing links, here are some articles about the male point of view:
“The Untold Grief of Childless Men”
“Why Do We Never Worry about Men’s Childlessness and Infertility?”
Also check out my previous posts “What Do the Men Say about Being Childless by Marriage?” and “Father’s Day Tortures Childless Men.”
No, my friends, it’s not just the women who suffer with this dilemma. Please feel free to comment.