{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I'm 30YO M, met the love of my life three years ago. After going out for a year I understood i'd want to be childfree. My partner never had such intentions and has strong maternal qualities. I felt like there is no good way out but after doing \"the talk\" she told me I was the love of her life and that's more important to her than having kids. We are now talking of settling down and I can't help but think that eventually her desire for kids will overcome her love to me.\nWhat should I do?", "post_id": "62d32b74dd3e9600245545dc", "reply_count": 165, "vote_count": 7, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d051", "bowl_name": "Consulting", "feed_type": "crowd" }

I'm 30YO M, met the love of my life three years ago. After going out for a year I understood i'd want to be childfree. My partner never had such intentions and has strong maternal qualities. I felt like there is no good way out but after doing "the talk" she told me I was the love of her life and that's more important to her than having kids. We are now talking of settling down and I can't help but think that eventually her desire for kids will overcome her love to me.
What should I do?

likehelpful
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I think this thread has taken the spot of “most toxic thread” on FB for me. Majority opinion is either A. OPs desire to be child-free is unwise or deranged and/or B. OP’s partner can’t be trusted to make decisions about her own life. But both of these fall back on old school perspective that the only way to feel fulfilled in life is to have kids and if you don’t want them something is wrong with you.

Having kids is arguably the single most impactful decision someone makes in their life. From a social, economic, professional, perspective — it shouldn’t be a surprise that people fall in different places on the spectrum of desire here, yet the lack of empathy and black/white views in this thread it would appear that it is, in fact, a surprise for someone to choose to be child free and/or be open to either possibility.

likesmarthelpful

Very, very well said EY3

likefunny

My experience, for your consideration.... Kids are a really big decision - one that changes your life forever. My husband and I were good without kids. We liked our life as it was. We were pretty apathetic either way - neither one of us even liked children. Our decision to have a child came down to one question... "If we don't have a child, is there a possibility that we will regret it later on in life?" The answer for both of us was "yeah, probably" so we decided it was time to go for it. For a long time, I was really scared I would regret it and a kid would ruin my life. I am happy to say that I was wrong.
Our daughter is THE BEST. I am so glad we made the decision to have her. We are still not "kid people" - we don't like any kids except ours, and that's okay. It's true when people say "it's different when it's your own". We probably won't have anymore because one kid is just so easy and doesn't really impact your life the way 2+ kids do.

All this to say - maybe consider compromising and just have one child. :)

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Come on! Have 2 more! It doesn’t get hard until you have more than 5 😂. Glad you and your husband joined the parents club.

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Women have a fertility window. Every moment you spend with her now is effectively stealing her future. Man up and walk away.

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I agree. IF you will never want kids, then you need to trust you'll find someone else with the same view...and you should probably make it known early on in any relationship before you're three years in.

She might say that she doesn't want kids, but really, she does.

I have a young daughter and expecting a second and it's awesome seeing your child grow and learn and re-living experiences for the first time through their eyes. It's extremely hard work (if you actually care about your kids), but extremely rewarding and something that will hopefully be a part of you for the rest of your life.

You also definitely should continue to have conversations about this topic with her often. People grow and priorities change. When I was in my young 20s I wanted to get drunk and party with my friends. I don't think I could handle that lifestyle now in early 30s (even if I didn't have children).

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Let her go. One of you will resent the other for the rest of your lives

likehelpfulsmart

@M1 - getting a dog!

Ouf - honestly you are overthinking it correctly. I agree that her desire will overcome her love eventually.

I want you to reconsider having kids. Imo it’s a beautiful thing but i really can’t project my opinions on yours so maybe try to restart your thinking on that because you are preventing her from having a beautiful aspect of life. It can also be a beautiful thing for you. Try to reconsider.

likefunnyhelpful

Exactly Kearney. Which is why it makes no sense bringing children into the world when one partner doesn’t want the child. A child deserves stability. You could have all the money in the world and be emotionally unavailable. No one deserves that.

Your options are: trust her , or don’t. If she’s telling you that you’re the love of her life and she doesn’t need kids to be happy, believe her. Could she change her mind? Sure. But any number of things could change that would influence how your relationship evolves.

If you both think you have found your person, then I say trust each other and build the life you see together.

I’m honestly surprised and pretty bothered by the overwhelming sentiment in this thread that if you don’t leave her, you’re ruining her life, when she has made the decision for herself that she’s comfortable not having kids. I don’t get it.

likesmart

OP actually hasn’t said at all whether she even wants kids; just that she has “maternal qualities”.

I can’t imagine being a 30 yo woman being dumped by a guy because he decided I have “maternal qualities” and whatever I say about what I actually want is not believed. I suppose I’d eventually be glad to be rid of someone like that?

Idk OP. On one had I think it’s laudable to be thinking about this. On the other you seem quite immature in your efforts to do so.

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For those saying I should let her go, well, she doesn't want to go.. she insists I'm "her one" and that everything will be ok.
On the other hand I think she ignores her actual wants, and whenever there is a baby around it somehow ends up in her arms.
But breaking up with her when *none* of us wants to break up just seems crazy to me..

likesmart

I’m on the side of the person who wants kids. Don’t punish her by thinking she’ll one day change her mind if you know you never will.

Let her go - if you want her to be truly happy then you want her to have her dreams fulfilled, and if that involves children and you're 100% against having children, then you need to recognize you can't make her happy.

Alternatively, how against children are you, and why? If you love her to death and you know she wants children, how do you know you won't be twice as happy with a mini-her running around terrorizing the house?

Lots of stories out there about people's lives being changed for the better by having kids. Have you given it fair consideration?

likesmart

💯

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Why are we all suggesting OP will be the one to change his mind? Maybe she'll change her mind and realize she doesn't want kids? I've seen that happen too

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SA1 I wouldn’t say I regret having a kid, but was definitely happier and more fulfilled when my wife and I were DINKs. It’s taboo to say, but children often degrade people’s happiness and quality of life.

Few things in life are as obnoxious as people who try to force their own reproductive choices onto others, and while the childfree crowd can be caustic, at least it tends to be to get people off their own backs rather than to harangue people into creating life when they don’t want to.

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I don’t know how you can be so absolute as to say you don’t want kids. But if you are sure, let her go. I wish I hadn’t waited so long to have a child, it’s the most cosmically important thing I’ve ever done and work, which I used to prioritize, is just BS and won’t matter to anyone.

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Never understood men who don't want kids. Like we're basically children and like all the same things lol - video games, sports, junk food. Like women, I get it. You're shoving a little human out through your hoo haa. Might be scary. Anyway. I think it's undoubtedly going to become a huge problem - it's a deep biological desire hard wired into some folks. Western dating culture is weird. You get all the way to falling in love before discussing real issues like kids.

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But the money though

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I don't know where you're coming from, but seems unwise to actively choosing not to have kids.

It's the adventure of a lifetime.

Best, a dad.

likefunny

I'm glad you've had. So have I. But I tell you, there's no adventure like having kids. Everything just seems dull and meaningless in comparison.

It's for sure not a walk in the park, but oh so rewarding.

I get that not everyone have the opportunity to have kids due to different reasons. But saying no to kids when you can do it with someone you love (connecting to what OP said)? That just makes me sad to know what that person will miss out on.

funny

Don’t get married unless you’re open to having kids with her someday. Otherwise, her window will pass as she ages and you will not be able to un-do the regret and resent that will follow (though impossible to know to what degree). Give yourself more time to think through this. If the answer is still no to kids, consider letting her go. No one will ever find a perfect match in a partner but a handful of core things have to be in complete alignment if you want to stay happy and not get a divorce down the road. Kids are absolutely one of those few core things.

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Generally, I’d trust her word. Nonetheless, if this topic is still bugging you, address your worry again. I’d strongly advise against allowing it to be a topic that is ignored and better not talked about. It’s going to be the elephant in the room for exactly as long as you treat it that way.

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Or let things play out…just because you don’t want kids now doesn’t mean you won’t in say 5 years.

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I like it

This is something you two should discuss with a professional therapist to work out that you’re 100% on the same page and that remaining childfree won’t bring up resentment from her. Unlike so many (irritating) people who treat others’ reproductive decisions as negotiable, I’m not going to advise you to reconsider. Just make sure your relationship is strong enough and that she’s totally sincere that you’re enough.

My wife and I are going to be one and done for a number of reasons. I love my kid a ton, but I was overall much happier when we were childfree. Being a parent is like having a second job you have to pay a ton of money to do, and it’s not terribly rewarding. It’s especially tough when you’re dual career.

likehelpful

Came on here to say the same thing. FWIW, my partner is a couples therapist and has had this exact issue before. It’s a tough one to work through and def sounds like you could benefit from professional help.

You should have brought it up when you figured it out. Now 2 extra years have gone by that she could have moved on with. Have this conversation asap and let her decide for herself.

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Sorry you are in such a position. My would be wife at that time told me she can never have a dog in her home and I accepted that despite being a lifetime dog lover. 11 years in and I hate a part of me everyday to commit to such a thing and not being able to change her mind since. However, given everything else I have if I were asked to make that decision again I would probably repeat. Not apple to apple comparison and no advice here but just something to think about.

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^yes, they are. They are not easy, but it is fulfilling.

Wouldn’t worry about it, I have kids and it was a mistake as far as I can tell at this point. Maybe it gets better when you’re a senior and need taking care of.

likefunnyhelpful

A kid shouldn’t ruin your professional life, unless it’s super high needs because of disability then I understand. And personal life, ya you mean like not going out with friends anymore? That’s normal. Your personal life just takes a hit for awhile. Then you make new friends with other young parents

likefunny

Have you asked yourself, would you rather be child free with out her, than with her and a child? If its ultimately the latter, that doesn't mean just have a kid, but it could help you navigate this.

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Or get a vasectomy… if she stays knowing you snipped the line to having kids than you know she meant what she said.

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Until she's 38 and her window is closing and she starts to fill with regret and wants to then go the route of a sperm donor and then you arrive at irreconcilable differences and divorce...

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