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Thread: Child-free decisions and your partner

  1. #1
    Frankly my dear Girl Friday's Avatar
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    Child-free decisions and your partner

    I am a little beyond shocked right now. While out on a walk with my husband he brought up that we should start planning for our future, and for someday down the road when we want to have a kid. I was so alarmed. I had told him over 4 years ago kids were out, not just because of my health issues, but I just don't have any desire at all.
    Over the last year my health has been a big issue to the point of complete hysterectomy being on the table, though it did not come to that. All the doctors of course would not take my decision of not wanting to have kids, so I threw out to shut them up, I am aware I can adopt should I change my mind, but my health is first.
    I had to explain tonight to my husband, and he says he got that, but he wants to know if there is more than a 0% chance that I will change my mind, and we have so much to offer as parents, oh we can make an impact on the world, blah blah blah. I tried the best I know how that those things don't matter to me, if I want to make an impact I'll find a charity. He says it is fine and he gets my decision and is ok with it he just wanted to know. I just am worried now that there is this whole cloud of I want a kid but you don't - even if he says our relationship comes first.
    How do you deal with this? I thought we were on the same page years ago on this issue and somehow it turns out we are not.

  2. #2
    When my fiance pulled the same thing, we went to counseling. After several sessions he agreed that our relationship came first, etc. etc. and his sudden, not even 100% certain longing for a child was not a reason to give up what we had.

    Cut to two weeks before the wedding when he has a breakdown at his bachelor party and tells everyone he won't marry me because I won't have kids. Of course, he waits two days to tell me and does so in the form of an ultimatum - if I didn't agree on the spot to change my mind on something that he KNEW from the start, he would walk. I wouldn't relent. He walked. That was it.

    Curiously enough I saw he reactivated his online dating profile and he still has "probably not" checked for kids. What a fucker.

    Anyway, my advice? If he's not committed to you enough to drop the kids issue, run like hell before he does it to you first.

  3. #3
    she said destroy Lágnætti's Avatar
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    I don't have any advice, but I'm curious as to what triggered this little turn-around in him? Are all your friends having kids or is he suffering a mid-life mortality crisis or something? People suddenly decide MUSTHAVEKIDSNOW for all sorts of odd reasons that aren't always based on anything very, er .... realistic.

  4. #4
    Frankly my dear Girl Friday's Avatar
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    I have talked with him more (after a xanex) about this. I told him I was really worried, freaked out, etc. And I'm really worried that this will be an issue down the road. He has said 100% it is not, the me/we/us is more important than some potential for a kid down the road.
    He also fessed up that the two coworkers he hangs out with after and on the weekends are OMGSQUEEEMUSTHAVEBEHBEHS. Always talking about it - he says maybe it is all that and feeling aimless. I told him there are much better ways to deal with aimless and "make an impact" and still be true to my (our) decision and who I am. And we have had counselling recently, and even told the therapist no way no how kids. I do believe him, but it better not come back up.

  5. #5
    thundering blissful towards death stillorbiting's Avatar
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    This is one of my biggest fears. I really hope things work out okay for you.

  6. #6
    she might not be so bold fullofwish's Avatar
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    Oh, I really really feel for you. My last long-term relationship broke up in the midst of discussions about marriage because I held firm to what I told him right at the start of our relationship, which is that I didn't want to have kids. Exactly one year and one day after the break-up, he announces that he is having a baby with my best friend. (Which, incidentally, got "officially" posted to FB this morning so I am feeling all crazy and anxious this morning, ugh).

    Keep talking to each other about it and I am sure it will be resolved. I think having children is a choice/milestone that is put on an extraordinary pedastool these days, and there is a lot of a subtle (and sometimes overt) social pressure to chase that milestone. When you are feeling aimless and not sure what you want for your future, it is an easy thing to grasp onto for meaning or validation. It sounds like maybe just with the company he has had recently that it has been triggered in him, but as a couple I hope you can find something more meaningful for you together to work towards that will give him some peace in that respect.

    Good luck!

  7. #7
    Frankly my dear Girl Friday's Avatar
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    Thanks so much for the replies. I think it is ok, and we have discussed other options for the future that DON'T involve kids and how to deal with being aimless and bored. And just in case, I have my therapist's number.

  8. #8
    And it's snowing. tivoklr's Avatar
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    If he's that bored he can come take care of my kids for a couple of days

  9. #9
    Make it Pink Medusa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tivoklr View Post
    If he's that bored he can come take care of my kids for a couple of days
    Or volunteer for programs that would give him a chance to hang out with kids!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Hypatia's Avatar
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    As someone who is *still* ambivalent about having kids, being with someone who is very much against having kids, I have learned that it is better to just be honest about it. Wanting kids is more than wanting to have an impact on the world and being bored. I think it is fundamental that your partner understand where his urge is coming from and then for you two to have an honest conversation about the matter. The urge to procreate is deep, and to be with someone that doesn't want kids when you do creates a deep conflict within a person, one that is quite painful. The need to be love and be loved by someone and the urge to procreate are basic human responses to being alive. When one is at odds with the other, it can be hellish.

    I don't think that being child-free makes anyone a freak, quite frankly there are too many people on the planet to begin with. So making more just makes the problem worse for everyone. Thank goodness there are enough of us that are smart enough to see it.

    Just my 2.

  11. #11
    Frankly my dear Girl Friday's Avatar
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    He has expressed each time we have talked about it as the primal urge to "spread his seed/DNA", pass it along - and this comes up every time, along with the "making the world a better place". At least he is in touch with that and aware. It doesn't feel like he is ready for this to derail our relationship. And we still are talking about it. I will bring up the volunteering next time we discuss it. I think he needs that personally (since he really hasn't ever been involved in that activity), as I've spent my whole life doing some sort of volunteer work off and on, so I don't have the "make it better" urge as much as he does.

  12. #12
    Tomorrow is another day cinny~lou's Avatar
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    I can't believe I'm posting this, but I'm hurting so much and I don't know where else to turn.

    My boyfriend broke up with me because of this very reason - I'm childfree and he's decided he's not. He was one of my best friends for 3 years and we'd dated for 6 months. How do I start to heal from this?

  13. #13
    she said destroy Lágnætti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cinny~lou View Post
    I can't believe I'm posting this, but I'm hurting so much and I don't know where else to turn.

    My boyfriend broke up with me because of this very reason - I'm childfree and he's decided he's not. He was one of my best friends for 3 years and we'd dated for 6 months. How do I start to heal from this?
    Getting dumped always hurts. Unfortunately, it's just part of life's rich pattern and fortunately, it's hardly cancer and whatever you feel like right now, it's not going to kill you. Would it hurt less if he'd dumped you for any other reason? Be thankful you were only together six months before he had his little procreation revelation. Try not to dwell on it too much, go out and do nice things for yourself. They world has no shortage of men, let's face it.

  14. #14
    A Matter Of How You See It Kala's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cinny~lou View Post
    How do I start to heal from this?
    By putting it into perspective. What if you had married this man and afterwards he told you that he now wanted children? You'd probably then be faced with a difficult dilemma: Either capitulate to his way of thinking and have kids you really didn't want or face a divorce. Please hang in there - it could be so much worse.

  15. #15
    she might not be so bold fullofwish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cinny~lou View Post
    My boyfriend broke up with me because of this very reason - I'm childfree and he's decided he's not. He was one of my best friends for 3 years and we'd dated for 6 months. How do I start to heal from this?
    My last relationship ended for the same reason, after 4 years and a mortgage together. And you do, just like Kala said, have to keep it in perspective. You have your beliefs about what kind of life is right for you and you're sticking to it. That is a really positive thing! I found that keeping that close to my thoughts when I was feeling like shit post-break up was important to my healing. Keep it in perspective, focus on the positive and you will heal yourself.

    A year after our break-up, my ex was expecting a baby with his new partner (who had been my best friend) and at that point I was REALLY GLAD I had stuck to my guns. It was messy, hurt and came at a price, but I did what was right for me and I feel much better now knowing that.

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