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to think that my friend is making a huge mistake, giving up her chance to have children for this man?

(43 Posts)
PolarExpressionist Tue 30-Dec-14 13:29:04

My best friend of fifteen years met her DP three years ago. He made it clear to her from the beginning that he didn't want children - he's a bit older than her and has two grown up sons and some grandchildren. She's totally in love with him.

She always said she accepted his terms, even though she's always wanted children and still does. In 'exchange', she says, he agreed to get married - something he didn't want to do at first. She sees this as a compromise.

Her family aren't supportive of their relationship, because of the age gap (she's close in age to his eldest son and the no children thing being the reasons) and she's cut out important people in her life because of this, close family members who think she's making a mistake.

The thing is I agree with a lot of what her family are concerned about. This man has a history of stringing women along for years and dropping them when they start to expect too much of him, children, marriage etc.

I think she's making a mistake in giving up something she wants so badly for a man who's only adjusted his life a little bit in return sad In the early days I expressed this concern but since the fallout with her family she's needed someone to have her back a bit, and I've not wanted to be yet another naysayer in her life.

All she talks about is this decision she's made to not have children. It comes up all the time. She's always saying how lovely it would be to start a family, but that it's worth it. I feel she's either trying to convince me or herself and sometimes I feel like pleading with her to just end things with him and do what will make her happy, but I don't know if I'm just looking at this from the angle of someone who has children? I knew I wanted children and I can't imagine changing my mind.

Ultimately I know it's none of my business. I just feel as though I'm watching my best friend make the biggest mistake of her life and I can't say or do anything - can I?

tumbletumble Tue 30-Dec-14 13:36:12

I agree with you OP. But what can you do?

WD41 Tue 30-Dec-14 13:36:44

You're probably right, she's making a mistake. But you're also right that it's none of your business. She's an adult and has to make her own decisions...try to distance yourself

CheeseBuster Tue 30-Dec-14 13:36:57

It's her choice and I don't think he's stringing her along if he's been honest. I think it's her choice to be with a granddad who doesn't want to be a dad again. Besides children younger than your grandchildren confused no one wants that!

If she enjoys her life then let her be. Not every woman needs to reproduce to feel fulfilled in life.

hennybeans Tue 30-Dec-14 13:38:31

Approximately how old is your friend? Does she have 5-10 years left of child- bearing years, or is she more mid- 30s really better get down to it?

Bogeyface Tue 30-Dec-14 13:42:30

It does sound like she is trying to convince herself that she has made a good deal. But as a pp said, what can you do?

She loves him and is prepared to do this for him and while I think it is a bloody stupid thing to do, its her life and her choice.

But, I wouldnt lie if she asked me about it. I would have to tell her the truth and if she cut me off then I would make it clear that I would always be there for her.

Bogeyface Tue 30-Dec-14 13:44:11

Not every woman needs to reproduce to feel fulfilled in life.

No they dont, but it does sound like this woman really wants children. The worst case scenario is that she stays with him, reaches an age where children will never happen and the marriage (if it happens, which I doubt from the OP) ends.

mytartanscarf Tue 30-Dec-14 13:44:55

It sounds like he's been honest. She's made the decision knowing the score from the start: MUCH better than men who say "maybe" until her child bearing years are behind her.

hennybeans Tue 30-Dec-14 13:45:03

Either way, she sounds really head over heels and I don't think there is much you can do as a friend other than try to maintain your friendship around this if you can.
I, too, think it is a great mistake and just don't think that a woman who wants to have children can just give up that need voluntarily for a man. It's very sad.
DH has a friend now early 40s who got married 10yrs ago to a woman who just doesn't want kids. She has none, just doesn't fancy it. He has gone along with her but every once in a while mentions to DH something about kids and it's terribly sad too. I always want to say to him, it's not too late as he's good looking, lots of positives, and could find someone mid 30s and have them. Alas, your friend is not a man and won't have that choice.

Thurlow Tue 30-Dec-14 13:48:09

I kind of agree with you, OP, though in your situation I would never say anything at all. After all, she is going into this relationship with her eyes open. Plenty of couples go into relationships with someone they know won't or perhaps can't have children. What's more important, children or the person you love?

But I would worry she will end up heartbroken somewhere down the line.

You have to smile and bite your tongue though.

PolarExpressionist Tue 30-Dec-14 13:49:16

If she enjoys her life then let her be. Not every woman needs to reproduce to feel fulfilled in life.

I agree, but she's wanted children for as long as she can remember. She would get pregnant in a heartbeat if he changed his mind.

She's in her early thirties.

I wouldn't want to distance myself, it's what her family have done, and it's awful to see her go through that.

Inthedarkaboutfashion Tue 30-Dec-14 13:50:35

I know so embody in a similar situation. She met him and he already had children, one grown up and three younger ones. He doesn't want any children wih her and they now been together for 15 years (during which time he has had another child with his ex). He is adamant that he doesn't want any more children and certainly not with her because he wants all of his children to have the same two parents.
She has stayed with him despite wanting children of her own and has now convinced herself that the sacrifice is worth it as she is madly in love with him. She isn't married to him and he has no desire to marry her. I do worry that she will get to 45 and realise she has made a mistake and I hope they don't split after she has left it too late to have children.

Fullpleatherjacket Tue 30-Dec-14 13:57:35

You and her family are probably right but she doesn't want to hear it.

If she asks for your opinion give it, otherwise all you can do is listen for now and be there for her if the relationship fails.

Bogeyface Tue 30-Dec-14 13:59:12

inthedark

He had another child with his ex while he was with your friend? So he cheated on her? What a catch!

ILovedYouYesterday Tue 30-Dec-14 13:59:17

I think it's a shame and she'll regret it in 20 years time (not saying that would be true for everyone)

But he has been honest with her - and I can totally understand him not wanting to start all over again when his own children are grown up.

Since she's the one who keeps bringing it up, I don't see why you couldn't ask her, next time she does, if she is sure she's making the right decision because you sometimes get the impression she's not sure.

SpringBreaker Tue 30-Dec-14 14:01:36

If she is in her early 30's then there is a great deal of time yet for her to change her mind and end the relationship. Or indeed if he stays true to form, for him to drop her and she will then be able to go on and meet someone who will want children.

You cant help who you fall in love with. I speak from experience as I have wasted 14 years with my now ex husband who had children from a previous relationship, as well as him being a violent abusive twat. I did leave it too late. Although I am actually glad that we didnt have a child as it means I have no ties to him and never have to see him again.

I am having to come to terms with the fact that I will never have a child now though, and that is very very difficult.

YBR Tue 30-Dec-14 14:13:50

The only thing you could do is reflect back what she talks to you about. i.e. pointing out that she is always taking about this issue, and is she really comfortable with her decision. It's risky for your friendship so think carefully.

I did feel I had to something similar once (rather different situation - effectively telling a friend that her fiance was controlling and manipulative, sounded like an abusive type). It was easier to say "I am concerned for you because you keep telling me xyz" because that diffused any hint of "What you're doing is wrong IMO".

It's only your business as a caring, concerned friend, and if you want to stay a friend it may well be best to say nothing. A difficult call.

AMumInScotland Tue 30-Dec-14 14:23:41

I think, since she keeps bringing up the subject of children, I would sit her down and say "Look, I know it's none of my business, and I'm not going to keep on about it as this is totally your life and your decision. But, as a friend, I have to say that you do seem to be thinking a lot about the whole 'never having children' aspect of this, and I can't help thinking maybe you're trying very hard to convince yourself that you're ok about it when it's actually a very big deal for you. So - I'm not going to try to tell you what is important in your life, and I love you and want you to be happy so I'll leave it to you to think about. I'm here for you whatever."

One serious conversation where you acknowledge the fact that it is a big issue, but her issue, then don't go there again unless she wants to talk it through some more.

Then at least you know you've pointed it out to her without nagging, and can focus on being there for her and being supportive wherever this ends up.

whitesandstorm Tue 30-Dec-14 14:27:13

Maybe it's for the best. Not a great world to bring kids into.

Cantbelievethisishappening Tue 30-Dec-14 14:27:53

Be there for her now and when it goes tits up which it inevitably will at some point. Nowt more you can do really. Frustrating for her nearest and dearest that's for sure.

Toggo Tue 30-Dec-14 16:06:41

I think she will regret her decision to marry the guy and possibly feel bitter about it in a few years' time. I would try to point this possibility out to her, but reiterate that you will support her decision whatever it is.

Is she afraid of being 'left on the shelf' if she does not stay wit him? And I hope for her sake that she is not secretly hoping that he will change his mind about having children in the future (sadly had a friend who did this). Rarely happens ...

Inthedarkaboutfashion Tue 30-Dec-14 16:17:09

He had another child with his ex while he was with your friend? So he cheated on her? What a catch!

I see it as cheating but she doesn't. Apparently she knew he would be sleeping with her but it was only for the purposes of conceiving a sibling for his existing children and not for any sexual gratification so that makes it okay in her mind. I would have ended the relationship as soon as he started discussing conceiving a child with his ex whilst refusing to have a much wanted child with me but I suppose we are all different.
Maybe he has some unique attraction that I haven't picked up on confused

CleanLinesSharpEdges Tue 30-Dec-14 16:30:37

All she talks about is this decision she's made to not have children. It comes up all the time. She's always saying how lovely it would be to start a family, but that it's worth it.

Next time she brings it up, try saying to her "you know this seems to be all you talk about lately. I don't know who you're trying to convince - me or yourself". Or a conversation along the lines of what AMumInScotland said. But after that, tbh, I'd start getting a bit bored of hearing the same old same old from her and try and steer the conversation away to other subjects.

To be fair to the guy, so far he's been honest, said he doesn't want children, agreed to marry her (are they actually married yet?), I'd hardly say that's stringing her along.

Bulbasaur Tue 30-Dec-14 16:39:01

Well, children aren't a be all end all. They're nice to have, sure, but you don't need them to feel fulfilled in life.

But she does want them. It's her choice though, and early thirties is still young enough to conceive. She as a little while yet to see if this is what she really wants. She might change her mind on him in a few years when the honeymoon phase of the relationship is over.

At the very least, he's being honest with her and not stringing her along. He's made his terms clear from the get go.

Bogeyface Tue 30-Dec-14 16:41:32

Apparently she knew he would be sleeping with her but it was only for the purposes of conceiving a sibling for his existing children and not for any sexual gratification

And she fell for that?! I take my hat off to him, that is the best "married man still sleeping with his wife while telling the OW they are seperated" line that I have ever heard!

Wow. Whats worse? The fact that he was clearly playing her in the most appalling way, the fact that his wife was probably none the wiser (or playing "pick me" sad ) or the fact that she believed that crock of shit? I cant decide.....

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