Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
ZOMBIE THREAD ALERT: This thread hasn't been posted on for a while.
I don't want baby but my partner is really broody -aged 43 does(30 Posts)
I have been with my partner for nearly 10 years. We are in a civil partnership. I hit 30 and was broody but decided I didn't want kids (was in a previous relationship) I am aged 42 and my partner is 43 and has told me she feels broody and has discussed the idea of having a baby with her friends who are all supportive of the idea. I have health issues and struggle to work 30hours a week and just don't feel I have the energy or desire to bring up a child. I love kids but I just don't want one. My partner feels a child would give her life more meaning/purpose and that I should be compassionate and talk the issue through but I am struggling to do this. I feel this is more about her personality and that you can get meaning in life in lots of ways without necessarily having kids.I believe she avoids engaging in any activities outside of work that would give her life more meaning-as do my friends.
We have spent the last two years getting a visa to emigrate to Australia-this has been granted and I have a good job there starting in February. She would join me (that was the plan) after some surgery we have been fighting the local NHS for, for 5 months -this has now been agreed.
I feel really angry that this additional issue has suddenly been added to what's already a stressful time. My way of coping is to cut myself off and let her get on with feeling what single will be like -just the way I am . I just feel that I don't know what to do...she says the feelings may pass?
She was pregnant in her 20's but had a miscarriage and felt at that time she didn't have the resources to bring up a child alone anyway..
any advice please help?! thanks
Well. It's a bit last chance saloon, isn't it? Her surgery isn't booked for another six months at least, so there would no baby making until after you both got to oz anyway. It all seems like a bit of a non-discussion at the moment.
I'd hazard a guess that the moving to Oz thing is giving her the willies and baby making is a distraction activity. Now that it's all a done deal it's only natural to be at the 'wtf' point. Has she got a job to go to in oz, or just you? Being a trailing spouse is a pisser, being a trailing spouse with no job and no kids is enough to make a woman batshit crazy.
Let alone adding being in your mid-forties into the mix. Everything is a bit now or never, (with no absolute guarantees of fertility, jobs, homes, successful emigration etc etc etc ad infinitum).
I think a bit of a 'I might want a baby' is an absolutely reasonable ponderance given all the other change in your lives.
Good luck with oz, anyway. Hope it all works out. When we emigrated it took me 18 months to find a job at 42. At less than half of my previous wage and an hour commute. Fortunately there's more call for middle aged blokes ;-)
Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.
I think feeling broody is something you can't just switch off so if it has hit her then she at least needs to chance to talk through her feelings with you without you immediately saying no and thinking this is going to scupper all your plans. Maybe she just needs an open environment to discuss it and work it through and then will come to the conclusion herself that it isn't the right path.
it is possible to have health issues and get a visa! Yes all declared in the medical. I won't cost Australia anything. Thanks for the 'selfish twat' comment ..v.helpful.
everyone else thanks for your comments..I have discussed it with her but I still don't want a baby and would be lying if I said otherwise..
Sorry if I missed it in your op but how long have you been together?
Will your partner have a job to go to in oz when you emigrate there?
Ignoring her so she feels what it's like to be single isn't very mature of you and she might actually choose to be single in the hope of finding someone willing to have a dc with her.
It's almost like you aren't validating her feelings or supporting for her broodiness but punishing her for it by ignoring her.
If she is not going to be working then if you did have a child then she would be doing most of the work that is involved with babies etc.
She is 43 and the clock is very much ticking for her and i imagine chances of actually conceiving are pretty slim at her age.
If she wants to fill the void in her life with a child then that's her call and not what you or your friends think she should do outside if work .
You should have a proper conversation about this iron out all the pro's and cons on both sides and come to a mutual agreement if possible.
Not discussing it properly with her will just breed resentment on both sides,whatever happens.
It's too early for me sorry re read your op,The feeling may pass for her but maybe not before the choice is taken from her by Mother Nature.
I agree with others that she probably is freakin. Out a bit with life changing move to oz and clock ticking, is there a chance she is grieving for the child she lost even though at the time it wasn't convenient, it happens an it takes over your life
been there sort of but ultimately led to me ttc,I got over that need but by then little did I know was successful in ttc..
Your feelings on this are just as valid obviously and I hope you both come out the other end happy.
If you've always agreed you don't want children and she's moving the goalposts then yes, you should discuss and listen to her, but you are not obligated to change your mind.
Does she plan to get pregnant next year after the move to oz? How will you support a baby? I don't know what benefits are like out there but I doubt you'd get any, and the cost of living and childcare is prohibitive. Can you afford to live on one income? Especially if you have health issues which could impact on your earning potential?
Plus, she's 42. Next year she will be 43. It's not unheard of for a woman to get pregnant through donor sperm at 43 but it's likely to be unsuccessful.
Al in all this doesn't seem a very realistic plan. Suggest she gets a cat?
You should be compassionate and talk the issue through. And any other issues arising from her being asked to move to the other side of the world, facing surgery, realising her chance of having a family has probably passed her by.....
If you have always been clear that you don't want children then I don't think you should have to change your mind, it isn't something you can compromise on, but you owe it to your partner to at least help her work through the issue with your support.
Hmmm, the thing is, moving to another country, on your visa/salary is going to put a strain on your relationship anyway. That's on top of finding your way around a supermarket, new house, new friends (or lack of, for a while) etc.
has she got a job lined up in Oz?
You've got it all sorted, move, job, not wanting children, she hasn't.
In her shoes I might perceive it as being:well, my partner is getting a new start, what do I get?
I am not totally randomly shooting theories, I was in that position and did feel resentful.
Thanks everyone well the plan was to move to auz and both work as we both have jobs in demand in auz. Ironically its always been her dream to live in auz.. i took some converting but will improve my health and love the sun so wanted to try it.I dont know about benefits and we would not be eligible anyway for two years which we both understand.I feel that this is a relationship breaker unfortunately if she does go through with a pregnancy.I love her and its painful atm
She doesnt have a job to go to yet in auz as she is having facial surgery before leaving and will need recovery time before flying .. Job searching etc. we planned to borrow some money on the mortgage to fund our trip over there and i would support her until she found work.
The only thing you can do, is as other posters have said... talk to your partner. Don't say straight off the bat 'I don't want kids and that's it'... try and get to the route of why she feels that she does, and explain why you have your reservations. It sounds like it would be something that has to held off until you are Oz and all the surgery etc was done anyway.
If she just can't get past it, then I don't see the relationship lasting I'm afraid. The biological urge to have a child is not one that can be squashed down and forgotten.
I also think in her position, I'd be crapping myself over what I would be doing and would I be lonely... etc. Especially if she struggles socially out of work.
Aye, whatever - but don't negate my entire posts because I said you sounded like a selfish twat with the whole 'treat her like she's single' routine.
Speaking as a woman in her forties who has emigrated, and struggled to find a job (with my partner working) you really do need to grow up a bit and realise you are in a relationship. That means you do have to discuss and make joint decisions.
If you aren't prepared to discuss and make joint decisions, I am baffled how you have managed to get to the point of having a visa - you must have been prepared to talk things through with her at some stage.
So, in this instance, you ARE behaving like a spoilt teen - but as you presumably don't normally, there is still hope. Sit down and start talking, which is all I suggested initially.
And don't bother asking for opinion if all if you want is validation of your own behaviour - it doesn't work like that round here.
It's absolutely fine not to want to have a kid whether you are well or ill. You've always said you didn't want any, so you've been entirely consistent.
If she does want a child, and, as everyone has said, it will be very unlikely at this state, then she has to decide whether she'd rather try & find another partner pdq, go it alone, or stay childless with you.
Cutting yourself off from her & hoping this phase will pass is not helpful though, you need to talk it all through. And you need to be clear that a child is not for you, so she can't kid herself that you'll come round.
Having a child if you don't have good health is a nightmare. A friend of mine's older sister is married to a (lovely) guy with chronic fatigue syndrome. They hoped it would get better, but it hasn't & he really, really struggles.
I think you really can't avoid talking about this, because there can be no compromise. If she really wants to try for a baby and you really don't then it's a deal breaker and you need to split before she gives up her life here and follows you to Aus and ends up increasingly resentful because you are getting everything you want in life and she is not.
Now it might turn out that this is a wobble based on age and the fact that everything is changing or it might be something she genuinely desperately wants. You wont find out by refusing to engage in conversation.
Be careful of saying she can experience life being single - she might decide with that kind of implied ultinatum that she would be better of going it alone.
I don't see any selfishness here. You've supported your partner through health issues, you're willing to move to the other side of the world because it's her dream and financially support her while she finds work there (not always easy, I have to say - and the cost of living in Australia these days is utterly eye-watering compared to the UK) and after always agreeing you never want kids, she's now saying you aren't being compassionate for not wanting to contemplate it.
Kids alter everything. They're all-encompassing and all-demanding. And as she's 43 now, won't be finished with surgery for another 6 months or so if you factor in full recovery, and you'd presumably need a donor and very possibly IVF, you're looking at a timescale that makes conception really unlikely anyway. I do think that as a married couple you do need to discuss things, but I also think your frustration is completely understandable because really, thinking a child is an issue you can compromise on is barking mad. You both need to be on board because it is so unfair on the child if you aren't. And while as a society Australia is child-friendly, as a state provision system, not so much. They didn't even have mandatory maternity leave until I believe this year, for a start, and it's brief. They offer very good support for disabled people and education, and the healthcare is great (albeit partly dependent on compulsory, subsidised insurance, and with a co-pay) but if you were looking at being parents, this country is going to be a better place for the first couple of years, certainly as UK citizens. Has she even contemplated what the birth would cost, given the health insurance levels you'd need, especially at her age? And what is the legal position in Australia for gay couples who have a baby together? Here, both parents go straight on the birth certificate if you have a civil partnership. Over there, would the non-bio mother's role be recognised legally in any way at all? As far as I know only ACT is allowing gay marriage, which Abbot will challenge in the higher courts... and what rights to parentage does that convey? Finally, what on earth would it be like, having a first child so far away from all your support systems - family, friends, familiar culture?
It does sound as though you need to talk it through, because she hasn't even thought it through. It's a visceral desire for a child, and God knows I sympathise with that one - but not when nobody else's interests are being considered at all, and nor are the practicalities.
only selfish in this one regard - refusing to talk about his partner's feelings. No one has to want kids (I'm in no way suggesting he's being selfish for his viewpoint - I couldn't care less and have no expectation that he will or should change his mind on that score) but it's very juvenile to refuse to talk about it and deliberately treat your 42 yo partner as though she's single to express your opinion and get her to tread your line. Really quite nasty.
That one line makes me shiver. Nothing wrong at all with not wanting kids.
But 'my way of coping is to cut myself off and let her get on with feeling what single will be like'.
Nasty. Really quite nasty.
And I'm also curious about the dictatorship to do with what she needs (in his eyes) - ie get out more. Given that we have had little snippets about her struggling to socialise, and then the drip feed of facial surgery, I'm wondering if there are deeper rooted issues to do with confidence surrounding his long term partner. In which case, the 'let her get on with feeling what single will be like' is threatening and aggressive and will play on her fears and self-confidence even more.
I don't give a toss whether he wants kids. I do wonder whether he is taking her feelings into account at all though - if my partner told me to get out more to take my mind off having babies, knowing I struggled to socialise, and then essentially cold-shouldered me because I wanted to talk about it, in some sort of 'this is what you've got coming if you keep on bothering me with how you feel, love', I'd be wondering why I had wasted the last ten years of my life.
Sure, no kids, I get that. But how about you treat your partner like a partner, instead of punishing her for how she feels and having the temerity to want to talk it over with you?
Erm - isn't the OP a laydee?
I was going to say him/ her throughout, but it matters not, tbh. It's till a relationship where one partner is cold-shouldering the other. Same sex relationships have exactly the same issues as hetero. Just shorthand, but am aware that some prefer to type s/he etc. I did as a yoof.
PrissyEnglish they're both women. They're in a civil partnership. While that doesn't alter the central facts, I do think that perhaps when you have such very strong feelings about a situation it might be an idea to ensure you've read it properly first? I think your view is based on the child issue, without concern to wider context, tbh. OP is already upending her life and taking on a lot of financial responsibility so her partner can follow her emigration dream - now suddenly a baby is in the mix, at the worst possible moment. I can understand the frustration.
I'd also point out the irony in calling a poster on Relationships - this is not AIBU - a "selfish twat" and then in the next breath accusing them of immaturity.
Yes, it is nasty, but more naive if you think you can get your way by cutting her off like that.
Wanting a child is an extremely powerful emotion and should never be underestimated.
Sadly this is a no-win situation. Whichever way it goes it will drive a very big wedge between you both, and once that's happened it's game over.
You or your partner might find The Two Week Wait interesting. It is a novel with two couples where one partner is very focussed on having a child and it goes into lots of fertility related and emotional stuff.
A few years ago I found myself with a new partner who eventually told me they really wanted to be a parent. I believed I had to choose between the relationship and trying to have a baby. I went on a long journey to make the decision.
Nope, my view isn't based on the child issue at all. It's based on a ten year relationship where one member is being treated as if (she) were single, because of her opinion, and discussion has been cut off before it has even started. It doesn't matter what she has changed her mind about - it could have been moving to Oz, rather than feeling broody. It could easily have been cold feet about the upcoming travel. Would that have been discussed, if she had suddenly said 'I've changed my mind, I don't want to go?' Of course it would, because the op has a job to go to, a visa, and has mentally made the transition to emigrate. The op would have a vested interest in persuading her to go (whether it was her idea in the first place or not). And yet, because it is over this issue, no discussion? What if the partner had said 'I'm not going. No discussion.'
I deliberately stayed away from the likelihood of there actually being a baby at any point - we all really know that's not terribly likely - but to deliberately treat a partner of ten years as though they are single in a petulant 'you are NOT allowed to change your mind' fashion makes me question just how equal a partnership this ever was. Weird that it being over a (theoretical) baby is getting everyone so angsty, though.
I have a feeling that the desire to have a child is stronger than the desire not to (ie you feel more of a loss if you want one but can't have, than if you didn't want but then do have). But that is just my opinion.
I didn't want dcs and made that clear to DP from the start. We now have two, and I'm so glad that (for once) I changed my mind.
I have also heard of women who know they don't want dcs that have a wobble around the "last chance" years, and then go back to being glad they are child-free.
But no matter what you have to talk.
Join the discussion
Please login first.