A couple of years ago I got to know a young woman and I ended up writing a column about her. She’s around 30 years old and she doesn’t want kids. She says she doesn’t have a maternal bone in her body and becoming a mother would devastate her. You can read the article here.
Her and her spouse married at age 19, but even then they talked about it and were in agreement to not have a child. They’re often peppered with questions of when they’re going to have a family—
as soon as that ring was slipped on my finger, she said, people were asking about babies.no kids by choice
What I admire about that couple is that even at a young age they talked about their future and decided together what they wanted and what they didn’t want. I really give them high marks for that.
What if that talk never took place?
What if one partner were waiting for the other to make a decision? or to change their mind?
There are a few things that are complete deal breakers for me in a relationship–things like cheating, child abuse, (I reserve the right to add to this list at any time…) and a total and complete lack of communication on the desire to have children–where one partner wants a child and the other is vehemently against the idea.
Imagine if you’re a woman and this was not discussed before marriage. Assumptions of starting a family drift through your mind but your partner isn’t being forthcoming with their lack of desire to start a family.
Whoa….that’s a tough one. What do you do?
Time is ticking. He doesn’t want a child and indicates that he will not change his mind. Do you continue the relationship hoping he’ll waver? Do you give up your dream of having a child or being a mother because he’s made that decision? Or, do you leave and seek out another partner?
Let’s reverse the situation.
You want a family but your wife isn’t the least bit interested.
It has nothing to do with pregnancy, health, or child birth, but with the whole idea of having to raise, nurture, and be responsible for a child. No thanks, she says.
Even though the marriage relationship is good and strong, the man feels the need for a family, but his wife digs in her heels.
Should he stay?
Doesn’t he deserve to have a say in this decision?
Should he leave and seek out a new partner to have a family with?
You know, if a couple marries and tries to conceive and is unable, thats one thing, but it’s another when there’s a lapse in communication to the point of leaving a gaping canyon between the couple.
Where infertility is a journey couples experience together the relationship base is strong and they’re working toward a common goal.
When fertility isn’t an issue, but there’s a refusal by one party then this is a deal-breaker. Once the bitter reality hits the other person the base is shattered and irreparable.
This is very sad but unless one partner gives in there will always be resentment and a sense of being cheated out of an important part of life. And, if one partner gives in then they too will be resentful and unhappy. A child doesn’t belong in the middle of that mayhem.
Before you marry or decide to commit to anyone, make sure you’re on the same page. I’ll tell you that having a family is not really a negotiable thing for most people so don’t go in thinking you’re going to be able to change the other person’s mind. If your partner is on a different page then step back and reassess the relationship–now rather than later.
A child deserves to come into the world with every advantage you can give them. Think long and hard about this issue.
If you’ve already committed to being child-free in your head and heart–that’s okay— but your partner needs to know long before the wedding or it’s not fair to anyone. You need to be on the same page as your partner when it comes to these huge life decisions. Be real. Be mature. Share your truth.
I really hope you don’t find yourself in a similar situation. Be honest at the beginning of any and every relationship. Own it and say it flat out so there is no mistaking what you’re saying. It’s not a topic to stay hidden.
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