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Pregnancy & Parenting
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i dont want children but my wonderful husband does

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i have never had any desire to have children. my husband has been heartbroken for years, and starts talking about it every 6 months. we've separated because of this, and then got back together and it's just as bad. i'm not sure what to do:

a. live a selfish life and leave him heartbroken forever (i cant stand it and hate myself for having ever done that!)

b. leave him (tried. unsuccessfully. we're together now though we keep fighting about it) or

c. somehow convince myself to have children, although i'm sure i will be a bad mother because i dont want them at all!

he's an angel, and i cant stand this any longer

Edited Nov 15 2008 23:55 by msmysz
Reason: Locked since the OP hasn't logged on in months.
34 Replies (last)
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Is adoption an option? =( There doesn't seem to be any easy solution for you, but I feel your pain.
None of my business, but were you upfront about it before you got married? 

It's not selfish to not want kids.  It is honest. 

This really sounds like an issue you two should discuss together with a counselor.  Making the decision between children or each other is impossible.  But if does boil down to that - you can't be together, you shouldn't drag it out for years. 

yeah, he's always known, but i guess secretly hoped that i'd change my mind. and still does, or he wouldnt keep asking.

thank you, i'm desperate and will try anything

I know it must be really hard and I am not telling you what to do but I want to encourage you a little.  I know lots of people (really like 12) who didn't want kids, had one and love being parents.

You don't have to have 5 but you might love being a parent and I know that if you have a baby you will love it. It just happens.  I have two and adore them both.

Is it you don't want to be a parent or don't want to go through having a baby? 

i just cannot imagine being a mother, never have ... and at 25 i thought things will change but at 31 i doubt they will ... he shares your views but ... what if i dont?? that's a very scary thought!! to bring someone into this world who wont be loved as they deserve!

I have several friends that just know they don't want kids.  They enjoy their lifestyle and don't want to give it up for children.
It's a valid choice. 

You're in a terribly sad situation and I'm very sorry.  I hope there's a compromise in there so that you two can stay together and not have resentment.
and to add to the issues i've got a disease that makes it very unlikely that i ever will be able to have children, but i have no desire to even try! and that puts him off more than anything ... but his insisting makes me feel like he doesnt see the person in me, but just a uterus ... i know it's wrong, but i cant change the way i feel
I agree that you need to go to a couples' counselor and talk this out with some guidance. This is such a huge issue, and it sounds like you really need some help. Sorry to hear you're in such a difficult situation, it's very sad. I hope it works out for the best no matter what.
This is a deal breaker in many marriages. Ask him whether or not he thinks he can ever settle for living without children. If he really can't, and you really don't want children, you may be at an impasse. Couples counseling might help you get to the bottom of the situation.
Hm, not sure about the disease part, but you might want to have kids when you get older. I didn't really want any until I hit my late 30s, something about when the biological clock starts ticking. That said, if you really don't want kids, don't have them.

I knew a couple and he had always made it clear, no kids, she pined for years wanting them, but he was firm. They never had any...

Another couple, he wanted kids for years, she wasn't ready, finally when she hit 38! Now they have a baby girl, and he's over the moon!

Maybe look at sponsoring some kids overseas. You can get quite caught up with them, watching them grow and benefitting from your assistance--just a thought.
He needs to hear you when you tell him that you don't want this, and that you won't do this. I don't know where the problem comes from: maybe you weren't clear and definite enough (for fear of him leaving), or maybe he just chooses not to hear it (for fear of wanting to leave).

NOT all women are happy to be mothers "once it happens", sometimes they even wanted kids but in retrospect wish they hadn't had them. (This sometimes sounds impossible to women who have and love their kids, but it's true.) You are wise in refusing to "test it out". The consequences could be disastrous.

My Sister in Law had 2 children because her husband wanted them.  She didn't want kids.  Does she love them?  Yes, she does.  Should she have had them?  No.  She admits that she shouldn't have.  Please, if you do not want children, don't go with option C.  It isn't fair to yourself or any children you might have. 

You were upfront with your husband and although he hoped you would change your mind, he is being unfair by pressuring you.

Not wanting a child is not selfish.  It is a choice.  Selfish is asking a person to make a life changing decision when they have no desire to do it...especially after knowing from the beginning that the person is not interested.  My oldest daughter does not want children.  I would LOVE to have grandchildren, but it would be horribly selfish of me to want her to change what SHE wants just because I have a desire to be a grandmother.  It would be selfish of her husband to ask her to have a child when she is not prepared to have one.

Now, had my daughter not told her husband she didn't want children until after they were married, that would have been unfair.  If she had kept the information from him because she wanted to marry him and didn't want him to know in case it would be a deal breaker, that would have been selfish.

Maybe finding someone to council both of you will help you both.   The solution to this isn't going to be easy no matter how you look at it.

It's my son that doesn't want children; his wife does.  They talked 3 years before marriage; she agreed 'no children', and now pesters him for at least one.

I've had 5 - wanted every one of them.  What might be good is GET INVOLVED WITH CHILDREN on a 'foster-home' basis; I did this with 3.

GET INVOLVED WITH CHILDREN at least at some type of level; charity - volunteering at the school - something that acquaints the TWO OF YOU WITH CHILDREN.

If you find out you like it, then go for it - 1 anyway.  If you don't like it, at least you and your husband can do something in your community FOR children; even if you don't have them yourself.

I've been through divorces; not a good thing.  You have a great guy - try to compromise in a way that gets both of you the type of outlet for children (him), and the freedom for you, and overcome this difficulty if you possibly can.  Diane

I wonder how things would be if you turned out to be totally infertile. Would he leave you and have kids with someone else? Is it that important to him?
"yeah, he's always known, but i guess secretly hoped that i'd change my mind. and still does, or he wouldnt keep asking."

Ask him if that's the case. If he's "always known" but thought you were going to change your mind.... why would he think that? Does he think that you don't know what you want? (That strikes me as disrespectful.) Does he think that he can wear you down on this issue by raising it regularly, by having you questioning your own decision? (That strikes me as disrespectful, too.) Did he think having kids wouldn't be so important to him? (That happens; he should have taken the time to think that through before broaching the subject with you, but now that he's broached it -- apparently a number of times -- he needs to decide what his next move is. If he decides to stay with you, then HE is making a decision to not have children, too.)

I think it's a terrible idea to have a child if you don't want one, to have a child only to please someone else. Please don't.

I think the suggestion to foster or nurture a child in some way -- whether overseas, in your home, in your community -- is a great one. Your husband could serve as a Big Brother, for example.

Good luck to you both.
I am in somewhat the same position.  It's not my husband that wants kids, it's my family.  I just dont have any desire to have children.  I like kids, dont get me wrong.  My hubby has a daughter from a previous relationship & I love her to death.  I've been called selfish, I've had relative ask me if we are on drugs or selling drugs, asked if we just like to party too much.  It's not any of those things.  We enjoy traveling.  We enjoy my stepdaughter.  I love all the babies in my family.  Whenever we have a family event, everyone passes the babies to me just to see how I react to them.  We've been married for 7 years now & I still have no desire. 

If you don't want kids, please please don't have them.  You are not being selfish; not everyone is cut out to be a parent, and it's better to know yourself

Fortunately my present husband agrees with me that we don't want kids, but my first long-term relationship ended before we got married because I didn't (and still don't) want kids.  We broke up amicably, and within a couple of years he had a family on the way.

My mother has known all my life that I don't want kids, but it took a long time for my in-laws to accept that we were not going to be producing any grandchildren.  Now that his brother has had a couple, the pressure is off considerably.

I really enjoy being a godmother, and being with my friends' kids and nieces and nephews, but I simply don't want any of my own.  That doesn't make me evil. 


I think this takes some deep looking into yourself and your reasons.
I can't give an honest answer without knowing more about the "whys"
Why don't you want kids? What are your reasons? How do you feel around babies and children? Do you think you would want them later?
I know a few women who never wanted children and then by the time they realized they did it was too late for them to have them. They are emotionally lost in life now. If you don't want children because of the way it effects your freedom or things you like to do, well, you'd be surprised how little all that is once you do have a child. I definately was not wanting my first child. Not at that point. But he has made me such a wonderful person and made me love life so much! If it is because you plain out don't think you'd do a good job then you need not worry about that either. All women are giving natural instincts about that kinda stuff. Our bodies respond to our children without us even realizing it.
If none of that is why. Just don't have kids. There is really no use fighting with him over it. Tell him that is final. Some people have kids who don't want them and they end up hurt and emotionally scarred. My mother never wanted me or my siblings and she was not a good mother. We all knew she didnt want us and we are all pretty messed up. =/
Even though this is an older thread, i thought I would post because I just read a fictional book about this very topic called "Baby Proof".  The couple in the book agreed upon marrying that they didn't want children but sometime later the husband changed his mind.  In the book, the husband and wife separate but then come back together with no real resolution other than they hated being apart from one another.  It's truly a very complicated issue.  Every child deserves to come into this world being wanted and loved by both parents.  While this doesn't always happen, things would be better if people who knew they didn't want or couldn't handle having children refrain from doing so.  Good luck with whatever you decide!
I am on the other side of the boat; I want kids and he isn't sure if he wants them. He said initially (throughout dating and early marriage) that he wanted them. No he's not so sure, he sees how much time, effort and money it is to have a child. I don't know what to do if he comes back with "I really don't want kids."
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