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Old 01-05-2006, 05:57 AM   #1
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Help... my boyfriend's told me he never wants children...

I've been with my boyfriend for coming up to a year. We get along really well for the most part, and enjoy each other's company. We had a heart-to-heart last week, and had a "Where's our relationship going?" conversation.

He's told me in the past he doesn't want kids, but as the relationship was still in it's infancy I didn't feel it was necessary to make an issue out of it. I also thought he may change his mind in his own time when he gets a little older (he's 26, I'm 27).
But he told me last week that he definitely doesn't ever want kids. He's got loads of nieces and nephews, who he loves, but still says he'll never want any of his own.

I've always assumed I'd want and have kids one day, and enjoy spending time with other people's children (in small doses). Now though I'm not sure what to do. I love my boyfriend very much, and the thought of us splitting up over this kills me. I've had to deal with break ups before and whilst it's hurt, I've known it was for the best. But I don't feel that breaking up with him is for the best. I don't want to be with anyone else, I feel very strongly that I'd like to stay with him. But this isn't something that can be compromised on, is it?

We've left it in limbo for now, but things are going to have to come to a head soon. He says he loves me, but knowing that we want different things means he can't see a future together. But it's so hard to accept that this is the end. If we could find a way to stay together that we'd both be happy with, I'm pretty confident we would.

I'm trying to work out for myself what's more important to me - staying with my boyfriend, or having kids one day.

I'd really appreciate some advice. I've lost my appetite, can't sleep and am tearful all the time due to the worry and uncertainty.

 
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Old 01-05-2006, 06:22 AM   #2
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Re: Help... my boyfriend's told me he never wants children...

Well call me old fashioned, but I believe the conversation you had with him should have also included a marriage discussion. I know, I know,,,you don't have to be married to have kids, but in my personal view I think marriage should come first - babies next.
Putting me personal opinion aside, he is kinda young and SOME men change their minds. My husband didn't want kids when we first got married, but by the time he hit 34, he wanted a child. Now not all men will change their mind, but I know mine did.
I guess you need to ask yourself how important having kids is to you. If you are dead set to have them, and want them in the near future, I would say you should probably find another man that shares your same goal. If it's not that important to you and you could see never having them, I guess you could ride it out with your boyfriend and wait and see.
My theory was always this: If I got pregnant, fine. If I didn't, that was fine too. You need to ask YOURSELF what's more important, keeping in mind you too could change your mind.

 
Old 01-05-2006, 06:31 AM   #3
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Re: Help... my boyfriend's told me he never wants children...

I also feel that if I were to have a baby I'd want to be married actually. Marriage isn't an issue with us - he's already said he'd want to get married one day. We've both said neither of us would want a big ceremony, just a low-key affair. We've even spoken about whether we could see living together 1st as an option, and if the topic of children weren't an issue we'd look to do this a few years down the line before moving onto marriage. But none of this is realistic without knowing if we have the same goals in our relationship.
I'd like to think that he might change his mind one day, in maybe 5 or more years time, but I can't rely on that. And he's adamant in his mind that he won't. I think he'd make a great dad, as he's great with his nieces and nephews, but he says it's not something he sees himself doing, and that he's too selfish to give up everything for a child.

I feel heartened that others have been in a similar situation, and one of the partners has changed their minds after a number of years. But I can't rely on that, can I?

 
Old 01-05-2006, 06:48 AM   #4
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Re: Help... my boyfriend's told me he never wants children...

Quote:
Originally Posted by claire2006
But none of this is realistic without knowing if we have the same goals in our relationship.

I feel heartened that others have been in a similar situation, and one of the partners has changed their minds after a number of years. But I can't rely on that, can I?
Hi, Claire No, you cannot rely on things changing. It is obvious that you are looking realistically at your future, what is important to you and where you see yourself going. It is completely normal to do so at your age. Your relationship is now at a crossroad, thus the evaluation of where it will be going in the future. After a year together, a couple usually knows whether the relationship is something viable or not. It is obvious that both you & your boyfriend love one another and have spoken of marriage.....the thing is, do you see him as the one you would like to spend your life with?? Part of being married is sharing a similar thinking in terms of finances, children, family values and basic principles of marriage and committment. It seems that having children is something that you see important in your future while your boyfriend does not. You must now decide if you are willing to sacrifice that part of your future if you are to marry your boyfriend. You cannot go into marriage thinking that things will change.....what you see now is what you got.

If having children is important to you and your boyfriend feels as strongly about not wanting children one of you must sacrifice for the other in order to have a successful happy future together. Since you cannot and should not expect to change your boyfriend's mind it is only wise that you look deeep within and ask yourself if you can marry him and not have children together. The answer to that question will tell you whether the relationship is a viable one that will eventually lead to marriage. If not, perhaps it is time to move on.

I know this is a difficult place to be since everything else in your relationship seems to be good. However, if having children is something that you always saw as being part of your future, your furture happiness may not be with your boyfriend. Good luck ~ Goody

 
Old 01-05-2006, 06:49 AM   #5
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Re: Help... my boyfriend's told me he never wants children...

If he is serious about never wanting children and you want them then the answer is obvious...leave him to be with someone who wants children like you. My ex was the same way atfist he wanted children and then some years into our relationship he did not want them anymore. This is a guy who fears comittment that is all. You need to make the choice of what is more important to you. Either stay with this guy and not have children because you truly love him or go find someone that shares the same beliefs as you.

 
Old 01-05-2006, 07:26 AM   #6
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Re: Help... my boyfriend's told me he never wants children...

Quote:
Originally Posted by goody2shuz
If having children is important to you and your boyfriend feels as strongly about not wanting children one of you must sacrifice for the other in order to have a successful happy future together. Since you cannot and should not expect to change your boyfriend's mind it is only wise that you look deeep within and ask yourself if you can marry him and not have children together. The answer to that question will tell you whether the relationship is a viable one that will eventually lead to marriage. If not, perhaps it is time to move on.
I've ordered a book to try and figure out my feelings. It's about when one partner wants children and the other doesn't. This should arrive in the next few days. Hopefully if I can read this and work through my feelings, I'll be better placed to know exactly what I am and am not willing to compromise on.

I'm not at the stage where I want to get married and/or have kids now, or even in the next year or two. But in 3-5 years I'd def be looking at something like this once I hit 30+. It's normal to think of the future by this time, isn't it?.

I've come onto this site really to try and get some advice from those who are wiser and more experienced in these sort of things. I really appreciate your response.

 
Old 01-05-2006, 08:02 AM   #7
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Re: Help... my boyfriend's told me he never wants children...

Quote:
Originally Posted by claire2006
I'm not at the stage where I want to get married and/or have kids now, or even in the next year or two. But in 3-5 years I'd def be looking at something like this once I hit 30+. It's normal to think of the future by this time, isn't it?.

I've come onto this site really to try and get some advice from those who are wiser and more experienced in these sort of things. I really appreciate your response.
Claire ~ Yes it is completely normal to think of the future at this time in your life. The thing is, after a year most people know whether another is going to be part of their long term future. Staying with someone who you see as not being that would not be in anyones best interest unless of course they aren't looking to settle down for a very long time.

In your case, I think, from what you have shared with us here, that your boyfriend possesses the qualities that you see as being long term relationship/marriage material, except for the having children part....am I right in assuming this???

You need to evaluate just how important having children to you is, if this is the case. If having children is something that is vital to your overall happiness in life then this relationship despite all the other good things it is, will not fulfill you. To be honest, personally, having children was always important to me....when people asked me when I was a little girl what I wanted to be when I grew up the first thing I said was "a mommy." I worked in Pediatrics so even if I couldn't be a mommy for biological reasons I was covered .

Anyway.....what I am saying is that only you can determine whether you can give up having children for a man.....the book is a good idea and coming here is too. It's not an easy thing but one thing I must say is, if you know that you want children and that your boyfriend does not then it is only fair that you find somebody who shares the need to have a family with another one day. Realistically, it takes time to find a good man and staying with the wrong one will only keep you away from finding the right one.

~ Goody

Last edited by goody2shuz; 01-05-2006 at 08:12 AM.

 
Old 01-05-2006, 08:13 AM   #8
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Re: Help... my boyfriend's told me he never wants children...

Quote:
Originally Posted by goody2shuz
In your case, I think, from what you have shared with us here, that your bofriend possesses the qualities that you see as being long term relationship/marriage material, except for the having children part....am I right in assuming this???
Hi Goody, yes what you're saying is right. He's a lovely, warm, friendly, attractive, generous, kind man. This is why it's a struggle to push those things aside and agree on a split. But I know what you're saying makes sense.
If I turn off my emotional attachment and involvement, I can see what you're saying makes sense, logically. But on this one my heart wants to rule my head.

I feel a little silly being so emotional about it all, as I know that outsiders looking at this will think I should just accept it's not going to work and get on with it - I'd prob feel the same if I were reading my "problem" as written by someone else. It's never that simple or clear-cut when it's a life-changing decision that's going to affect you in such a painful way though, is it?

 
Old 01-05-2006, 08:31 AM   #9
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Re: Help... my boyfriend's told me he never wants children...

Nobody here would see this as an easy thing for anyone to experience....when you get right down to it the final decision is ultimately yours. Let's face it....it is more difficult to find a good man than it is to find a man who wants to have children. Most men, when ready to commit, do so with the need to share love & family with another. But there are some men that just don't see themselves as fathers and having the need of children in their lives. You need to realize that if your boyfriend feels this way and has shared this with you then it is pretty much the way he sees his future and it's overall happiness. The thing you need to decide is can you be happy being married and not having children. Some people are & can be.....are you one of them??? That is what you must find out by looking within. It would be just as unfair to ask him to have children when he doesn't want them as it would be to ask you not to when you want to.

I have a cousin who didn't want children. His wife did. They are very career oriented to the point that they dedicate their time to their business on a 24/7 basis. They got a dog and seem to be very happy and have been maried for over 12 years. So personally I have seen it work out but my cousin's wife was able to make that sacrifice. Can you??

Take the time you need to know what must be decided....no one says it must be done today. Some of life's biggest decisions do not come overnight. Just know that no matter what you decide you will be okay. And remember.....most importantly, you cannot make another person happy if you are unhappy so whatever your decision may be that is what you must take into account.

~ Goody

 
Old 01-05-2006, 08:48 AM   #10
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Re: Help... my boyfriend's told me he never wants children...

I've always just assumed I'd have children, so having to deal with these questions now has thrown me. If I could discover that I'd be happy not having children, and could have a fulfilling life with my boyfriend in the future (with the substitutes - dogs, nieces and nephews etc) then I'd want to make a go of it. These next few days I hope to be able to find that out. I'm hoping the book will force me to answer some questions truthfully in a logical method.

My boyfriend is now of the opinion that even if I came to the decision that I wanted to stay with him and that I was accepting of the decision that we'd never have children, he believes I'd not be being true to myself because he doesn't think it's possible to just change your mind about something so important.

Hopefully by really looking into this by getting advice from people like you, and by reading up on the matter, I'll be able to give him my proper view on what my head's saying.
Easiest thing would be to just split rather than face all these questions - I'm pretty sure he's thinking this.

 
Old 01-05-2006, 10:07 AM   #11
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Re: Help... my boyfriend's told me he never wants children...

Hi, I thought I should put my experience into this conversation. I am 25 years old. I have never ever wanted children of my own, though I absolutely love other people's kids. Growing up, I always knew two things...I never wanted to get married and I never wanted kids.

Well one down! I'm married, but still having reservations about the other one. When Mark and I met, I told him flat out that I didn't want children...ever. He did but he wasn't really 100% sure if he did. He ended up making the sacrifice and staying with me. Almost seven years into the relationship, we are still together and have a very satisfying life. We have pets, who are like children to us (spoiled rotten).

Whether or not I will want children in the future is still in the air but as of now, the answer is no. There are many reasons why I don't want children. I admit that I have a commitment issue. I try to take each day as it comes and don't plan way into the future. 18 years is a huge jump for me and it would be hard for me to promise that to someone other than my husband. I'm also selfish, and like quality time for myself and my husband. It's nice to just get a whim and get up and leave without having to worry about child care or taking a baby around. Don't get me wrong, not all of my reasons are self-absorbed. Financially, a child can be expensive and I just don't feel like we have the money to raise one. I grew up in a single parent family and we relied heavily on County Aide to survive. It was hard and I don't want my child to also go through that. I am also very overweight and could not chance gaining more weight, and I have high blood pressure and that can cause potential problems for me and the baby during pregnancy.

Who knows, someday I may wake up 100 pounds lighter, my blood pressure will be gone, we will have lots of money, and I will feel extremely maternal. But for now, I don't see it in the cards. I do get maternal feelings sometimes and think about becoming a parent, but bottom line is, I'm not ready and don't know if I ever will be.

I know Mark loves me to sacrifice for me. At times I feel really bad, especially when all of his friends are becoming parents for the second time around, and now his younger brother is expecting. But most of the time, he admits that he doesn't want children either because he is selfish too. I just think that he hopes and waits until I become accidently pregnant.

 
Old 01-05-2006, 11:53 AM   #12
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Re: Help... my boyfriend's told me he never wants children...

Just to add another facet to the conversation, assume that you know you want children.
And you know that this relationship has to end so that you can meet a man who DOES want a family.
You meet this man and get married.
Then you find out that one or the other of you are infertile (and no one has the money for adoption which is highway robbery nowadays)
There is no guarantee that the next man you love will want children or be able to have them either - but the one you have HAS been pretty clear about it.

Most women I know who NEED children need them. Not having them seem to leave a hole in them that they are unable to fill with anything else. Those who can't have children and need one will go to any length to have one.

So the question is exactly what you said it is:
Stay with your boyfriend or have kids one day.

Do you need children or just want them?

Last edited by Ruth6:11; 01-05-2006 at 11:54 AM.

 
Old 01-05-2006, 01:53 PM   #13
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Re: Help... my boyfriend's told me he never wants children...

Ok, this is a tricky one. Seems like you are very happy with your bf apart from the children issue. He IS very young, to be fair, so at his age, I would say there is still a significant possibility that he will change his mind. I was in a similar situation at arond your age. My boyfriend who later became my fiance also told me he didn't want to have children, but I just assumed he would change his mind. Also, we agreed that if I accidentally got pregnant, we would get married and have the baby. Well, I never did get pregnant--he was quite careful, and I guess it wasn't in the stars anyway. After a few years together, we broke up. He then married another woman, but to my knowledge, they still don't have any kids. And I know she wanted to have them also. So, I guess the risk is that some men DO mean it when they say they don't want kids. The only difference is that my ex was ten years older than your bf when I met him, and I think it's a crucial difference. A man might change his mind on this matter, but if he is already in his late 30s or older and never desired children, the chances are slim he will suddenly change his mind. But a guy who's younger than 30--I think it could happen. Most men nowadays say they don't want to get married or have children, and yet a high percentage still does, when they feel "ready" for it, whatever that means So, it's all about how much risk you are willing to take. And how much you want to stay with him even if having kids was not a possibility. Tough situation, I know.

 
Old 01-06-2006, 02:04 AM   #14
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Re: Help... my boyfriend's told me he never wants children...

Thanks for sharing your experience with me. It's really really useful getting this sort of experience and advice from others who have been through this.
I think at the moment I'm so scared to bring up the subject again with my boyfriend, for fear of tipping it over the edge into the decision I don't want.

I can tell he's hurting over this too, but that in his mind there's no realistic alternative other than to split up due to this difference we have. I've said to him I'd like to explore my feelings about children over the next week or two properly. Perhaps if I really look deeply into this I'll be able to understand my reasons for wanting a child, and whether or not I could sacrifice this to be with my boyfriend.

We've put a bit of distance between us since this subject was brought up, as I guess we both need some time to think. And there's no point carrying on as normal and pretending that there's nothing wrong.
My boyfriend has said that he doesn't believe that someone who's said she wants children can suddenly turn around one day and say actually she's happy not to have them now, just for the sake of saving a relationship.

I still think it's possible, and that if we got the rest of the mix just right and were happy enough together, that this could potentially be something that could be sacrificed. I hope I'm not kidding myself. A lot of soul-searching still to be done....

 
Old 01-06-2006, 02:47 AM   #15
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Re: Help... my boyfriend's told me he never wants children...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth6:11
There is no guarantee that the next man you love will want children or be able to have them either - but the one you have HAS been pretty clear about it.
Do you need children or just want them?
Hi Ruth, I've thought about this too - and you're right that there is no guarantee the next man I love will want or be able to have children. Similarly there's not even a guarantee that I would be able to have children either, is there?

Perhaps I need to stop all the doom and gloom, and look at this situation as a positive. (well, I'll try anyway.....).
I don't believe I NEED children, I think I'd just ideally like them.
If I could be involved with other children - i.e. I sometimes help out at schools to help children improve their reading -, and be involved with my boyfriend's nieces and nephews (and if my brother ever has children in the future too), as well as friend's children.

I need to explore more whether this will be enough forever I guess.

 
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