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My partner doesn't want children....

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My partner doesn't want children....

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Marriage, Relationships & Families
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inaminuteinaminute Forumite
288 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Marriage, Relationships & Families
I've not posted before so please be gentle with me..:o

I'm in a dilema... have been with my partner for several years now, I'm in my mid 30's and its decision time. We both work hard, we have a nice home, lifestyle etc but I feel that something is missing. When I say missing I mean children. The past 12 months I have been going around in circles getting him to realise how important they are too me. We have spent hours talking about it, arguing and me crying. It seems that all our friends are either pregnant or having children but he has catagorically said NO. I know he will never change his mind not now which upsets me so much.

Thing is he seems happy with his life the way it is and can't understand why I'm not happy with mine. I love my partner very much but as the biological clock is ticking I'm yearning more and more to have a child / family of my own.

If I stay I keep asking myself will I be happy in this situation 12 months, 2 year and 5 years down the line.... and I don't think I would. When you love someone though its a tough call to make. Is the grass any greener? If its not broken why fix it.... ?

Basically I wondered if anyone else had ever been in this situation and what was the deciding factor for you?

Thanks in advance for your help.


  • fernliebeefernliebee Forumite
    1.8K posts
    I'm so sorry to hear about your sad situation, neither choice is an easy one for you.

    I've never been in this situation, but I have always known that I would have children, and as such couldn't be with a man that didn't. If you feel very strongly about it, then it may be time to find someone who shares your wishes for life.

    Some people are happy to never have children and have no regrets but it sounds as if you will regret never having children, and may end up holding this against your partner.

    Your other choice would be to stay and try to come to term's with your child free life. Maybe some volunteer work with children? Or focus on yourselves and try to focus on the positives of not having children.

    Neither decision is easy but only you can decide, good luck in making it. x
  • Don't forget that it's not a clear cut decision between him and children. You might not meet somebody else whilst you're still of child bearing age or you might meet someone else who doesn't want children either! You might not even be able to have children when it comes to the point of trying for them.

    If everything else in your life is good, be careful of losing it for something that may never happen anyway.
  • ailuro2ailuro2 Forumite
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    If you get to menopause age and have never tried for children when you obviously yearn for them, will you resent him and split anyway??

    What do you love more?

    The idea of being a mother or being with your partner?

    If he is not going to change his mind, then you need to decide what you want most, not an easy thing to do, but we only get one life.

    We had one child who wasn't planned, and when we tried to have more it just didn't happen, so remember it's not as easy as some people make it look.;)

    Posting the question here shows you're thinking seriously about this. Ask your family and friends what they think.

    Whatever you do, don't deliberately fall pregnant and hope he'll learn to love it, that's a recipe for disaster and not fair on the child.
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  • bunty109bunty109 Forumite
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    My friend was in this situation, although their partner always said they didn't want kids. They made the decision to end things as it was so important to them, and the partner came back to saying that if it meant that much then it was something they would consider. Fast forward a couple of years and they then said they still didn't want children and the relationship finally ended. I felt annoyed for that my friend had been messed about for 2 years as it was so selfish of their partner.

    My friend is older than you and had other relationships but still hasn't found anyone to have a child with, although things may have been different if they hadn't spent her time hoping their partner would change their mind.

    It is a tough one. All I know is that I couldn't have married someone who didn't want children and if I were you I would probably grow to resent your husband. But as others have said, maybe no children with him is better than a future without him? Only you can make that decision.
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  • fernliebeefernliebee Forumite
    1.8K posts
    Your right ONW I was thinking this after I posted.
  • ceridwenceridwen
    11.5K posts
    It must be difficult to live with feeling this way. But - it is true that you may not find someone else to live with/love that is a good partner to you AND wants children as well.

    I think it sounds like one of those situations that we all come up against somewhere along the line in our lives - that we want something that a lot of other people have/accept as normal and it looks like we ourselves arent going to be able to have it. The something concerned could be having children/it could be something else important to us personally. Either way - the end result is the same - we have to learn to accept/live with that fact as best as we can manage and make the best of the other things that we DO have in our life.

    Voice of experience here - in a different connection - in that I would have liked to meet The One and get married. There was no logical reason why this never happened - as I meet plenty of men/am attractive/etc....but in the end I had to accept that it simply wasnt going to happen. I had plenty of dates and several men who wanted to marry me - but I never met The One and am now in my 50s and the dates dont even happen anymore (well - have you taken a good look at the average man in his 50s? - so I gave up even thinking about dating). It would have been nice - occasionally I still wonder what my life would have been like (well - over and above the fact that I would have been a sight better-off financially) - but, by and large, I've learnt to focus on other things (friends/interests/groups I'm in/etc) and see the advantages of being single (rather than the down side of it).

    So - I think a similar approach to being childless looks to me like the way to deal with this situation. Hope I dont come across different to the way I mean to here inadvertently - but I'm afraid there is no "magic wand" you can wave to change your partners mind - so I think it will be easier to deal with this situation if you accept this and dont try to do so. He will understand why you are trying to change his mind - but, if you try again, then he might start resenting you for not accepting his viewpoint.
  • It's not an easy decision to make ever.

    When I got married I assumed as most people do that one day I would be ready to have a child, unfortunately it never happened and after 5 years of marriage, and being together since I was 17 (12 years in total) we got divorced because of this very issue. It was devastating for me too, as I really loved him and couldn't understand how it had come to this, me or a child.

    I didn't want to have a child just to fix our marriage, due to my own childhood being a nightmare, he couldn't understand as he wanted a child more than anything.

    He got remarried at 40 and had two kids with someone else. He's the happiest person and loves his kids, even I can see the difference in him, we still keep in touch.

    In the end it worked out well for both of us, but it was the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life, to walk away from a marriage that was perfect in every other way, in the end it was down to one choice we both had to make. We're still best friends which is the best outcome I could have hoped for.

    Don't want to influence your decision in any way, just wanted to tell you how it was for us.

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  • inaminuteinaminute Forumite
    288 posts
    Thank you to everyone who has posted so far.....

    Without going into detail I know I can have children and my partner is aware of this.... it was before him but I felt he should know from the start.

    I've also thought that maybe I should be happy with what I've got but... I feel this 'issue' has driven such a wedge between us we are now at a stale mate. I feel hand on heart there are other issues in our relationship that I have done my best to address, resolve but haven't sorted themselves out. I've suggested relate, that was a big no, no on his part, as we are engaged I suggested we organise a wedding as a focus instead of children. Again he's decided that is a no.... he's been married before why do I want to change things? I instigated the engagement bit... another long story.

    So its not for want of doing my best to find a solution. I see friends who have children and play a part in their lives. I normally come away feeling sad and again questioning myself as to why he doesn't want what I do.

    My friends and family are very supportive but say ultimately its my decision and like a previous poster mentioned I may end up on my own or with another man who doesn't want children but maybe its the person I am with thats not right for me? :o
  • edited 10 May 2009 at 10:46AM
    Hectors_HouseHectors_House Forumite
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    edited 10 May 2009 at 10:46AM
    This is a tough one and I don't envy you.

    For me it was a case of thinking children should only be born into a loving relationship that is solid enough to have included the commitment of marriage.

    The right man just never came along, but that wasn't too hard for me as I've never had a meternal instinct anyway.

    I would have been prepared to try for a child however, had my husband wanted children.

    Now I find myself in my 40's going through an early menopause and in a relationship that if perfect. But, like me, he's never hankered for children and being 10 years older then me thinks it wouldn't be fair for a child to be born into a world where their parents were so old just as they were starting off in life in their teens.

    And I still don't feel maternal.

    But I have seen how devestating it is when you WANT children and cant have them for whatever reason.

    It's not a urge I understand but I can certainly see that it is of huge importance to the man or woman who feels this way.

    It sounds like you've spent plenty of time talking this over with him already and he wont budge. So only you can know if you can survive in a childless relationship in the long-term.

    Would it help to try therapy? I don't mean to get you over this urge of course as it's a deep-rooted need but maybe you and your partner could understand each other's viewpoint better with counceling and this would put you both in a cleared-minded place to decide how to progress with the relationship.

    Good luck with this OP.
  • MrsTinksMrsTinks Forumite
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    I always knew I wanted kids one day and I've always made that clear to any boyfriends over the years... One I dated for about 3 months before we decided that we wanted different things from life - I wanted a family one day - he categorically does not! We're still the best of friends to this day and I do cringe when I speak to him about his current girlfriend who wants kids despite him making VERY clear that not only does he not want children - he does not want to get married either... she still thinks she can "change his mind" and I know he's made clear that it's not going to happen. I feel like slapping her round the face and shouting "wake up luv - he's NOT going to change his mind!" - but it's getting to the stage where he's thinking of the snip just to make sure that no "accidents" might happen... And in my view that's not a healthy relationship to be in.
    If the two of you can't even agree on arranging the wedding then I hate to say it but you should be doing some serious thinking - in 5 or 10 years would you be happy still in this situation - still no wedding, no kids and by the sounds of it some serious lack of communication?
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