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Partner doesn't want a second baby

(136 Posts)
Longsuffering24 Thu 28-Jan-16 21:49:58

We have 2yr old DS and I feel the time is right to have another baby. I've always wanted 2 children and now as I approach 37 I feel it's really now or never. My partner has made it very clear he doesn't want any more but the thought of never having any more children is devastating. I fear that this will ultimately ruin our relationship. I'm considering all options including leaving him despite the fact that I love him and I know our DS adores him. I don't know what to do. Surely he can't really care about me if he's prepared to stop me following my dreams? I get so angry about it that sometimes I can't stand the sight of him. Would I be selfish to turn my DS's life upside down by leaving or should I just live with things the way they are?

StillDrSethHazlittMD Thu 28-Jan-16 23:02:01

I've seen people say this before: "If he really loved me, he'd change his mind and let me have another child", which is pretty much what you're saying with "He can't really care about me if he's prepared to stop me following my dreams".

Sorry, but it doesn't work like that.

You're basically saying if he doesn't give in to your desire for another child, he can't really care for you. By the same token, he could say you don't really care for him because you won't give in to his desire for no more children.

He wants one. You want two. Your "dreams" are in EQUAL importance to his "dreams". His desire for one child is as EQUAL in importance to your desire. It's not a competition.

It's a sad situation. If neither of you feel they can change their mind - because you can't compromise on this - you have a choice. Accept it, build a fabulous life for your family of three. But if you do that, perhaps have some counselling because if you stay it will not be fair to resent him. Or, reject it, leave your husband, split up your family and see if you can find another man in the next few years to give you another child. But do think how your current child will feel in terms of being passed from parent to parent every few days and when they are older, that your desire for another child doesn't make them feel they weren't enough for you and that you preferred to break up the family (and I've known that).

Good luck.

Offred Thu 28-Jan-16 23:19:45

Did you not discuss this stuff before you married?

Has one of you changed their mind?

Agree with everything Seth says BTW.

AnotherEmma Thu 28-Jan-16 23:22:21

They're not married I don't think - she refers to him as a "partner". But the question still stands - did you never discuss how many children each of you wanted before having one?

MarkRuffaloCrumble Thu 28-Jan-16 23:32:26

Good point about separating Seth. LongSuffering if you do split up over this, you may end up with shared care of your existing child and then another child with a new partner who is with you full time.

This can be a really tricky situation for a child and is in fact one of the reasons my dp and I won't have any DCs together, as he doesn't want his DCs to be in that position, with their dad living full time with another child and only part time with them.

I know the saying 'a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush' sounds trite in this situation, but you really need to think through the possible repercussions if you do split up. You might not meet anyone special; you might meet someone wonderful who doesn't want or can't have DCs, you might meet someone and have DCs with him and cause jealousy issues for your current DC as well as the inevitable stress of a break up.

That's not to say you should put up with a situation that doesn't make you happy, but you would do well to try and get some counselling to try and come to terms with having one child.

Glastokitty Fri 29-Jan-16 01:40:06

I also agree with Seth. However people asking did you not discuss it first, people do change their minds. My husband and I wanted three children, but after a hideous pregnancy and birth with multiple health issues followed by PND, we decided one was enough and have never regretted that decision. In fact I now think one was ideal for us, and I'm very happy and grateful for how things turned out, hopefully the OP will be able to find happiness in whatever she decides to do. But having an only can have massive advantages IME.

magoria Fri 29-Jan-16 07:09:07

You are 37.

What will you do if you split up and don't find anyone else to have a child with? Or by the time you get over your ex, meet another man, wait to find he is a decent one and introduce to your son you find it is too late for another?

Have a read of some of the dating threads on here to see how hard it can be to find a new partner.

How are you going to find not having your DC every other weekend when they spend time with their dad? Or even worse 50/50 care?

AutumnLeavesArePretty Fri 29-Jan-16 07:21:55

So he can't lve you as won't give in and give you what you want but you can possibly love him if you would force him into fatherhood against his will. This is a child you are talking about not a new car.

It would be extremely selfish to leave for something you alone want, your existing child doesn deserve to be taken from their father just because you want something. Imagine telling him when he's older you left as he alone wasn't good enough as that's the truth.

At 37, the chances of you finding someone, getting to know them properly, ensuring the are compatible with your existing child and then being long term enough to have a child are remote.

PitPatKitKat Fri 29-Jan-16 07:23:05

Firstly, I think you need to have/continue to have some really deep conversations about this so that you both know and understand the other's feelings on the matter. In a constructive "We want to understand" way, not an argument or discussion that is designed to change the other's mind.

Also agree with Seth that actually, rather than vying over who gets their "dream", the two adults in the situation need to prioritise the needs of the existing child in the situation. That switch in mindset might help make it easier on both sides.

I really think that unless there is some kind of abuse in the relationship, parents owe it to their children to give the relationship the very best shot they can.

You could expose yourself and your child to all kinds of heartache and difficulties if you go down the road of seeking another partner with whom to have a second child.

Longsuffering24 Fri 29-Jan-16 09:17:26

No we're not married. When we met I always said I wanted children and he said he did too. I just assumed (stupidly) that if he wanted 'children' that he wouldn't put the brakes on at one.

My priority is definitely my DS and I would never want to cause him trauma or all of the difficulties in the future which some of you have mentioned. I know that it is probably unlikely I would meet anyone else in time to have another child and there does seem to be something slightly wrong in doing that anyway.

I guess I would be accepting that I wouldn't have more children but whilst I'm in this situation I feel like it's being rubbed in my face all the time. My partner could make it happen but he chooses not to. I dont thinking of it like my DS isn't enough more that having a DC is so amazing I want to do it again.

It is of course a very emotive subject and so far we have mostly argued about it and I've tried to change his mind. I think you're right Pitpatkitkat we do need to keep discussing it but maybe in a different way. I guess my worst fear is that I won't come to terms with never having any more children and things will get nasty as I resent him more and more. I find myself looking at all the negatives in our relationship which wouldn't matter so much if he wanted the same as me.

Ifiwasabadger Fri 29-Jan-16 09:20:49

I am in exactly the same situation, only its my DH that wants more children and I very much don't. It's tough as I know he's unhappy and wants more.....ultimately he may resent me.

Trills Fri 29-Jan-16 09:39:35

I don't think that "you should have discussed this" is a fair response.

Nobody can really know ahead of time how many children they want, beyond "one more than I have right now".

Andthentherewasmum Fri 29-Jan-16 09:50:21

Can I ask why you want another child? What did you see in your dream that made you want two?

Might be worth exploring your thinking a bit more to get to the root of why you would feel deep resentment.

Your desire is understandable just interested in your thinking

AnotherEmma Fri 29-Jan-16 10:04:09

I still think it's a good idea to discuss it beforehand, even if you change your minds later. Anyway, it's too late for that now. I think PitPatKitKat gives very good advice, I agree with it all. Keep talking, and see a couple's counsellor if necessary - they can be very helpful.

Vaginaaa Fri 29-Jan-16 10:09:56

You only have one life. It's up to you whether it's more important to you personally to have another child or more important to you stay with your partner.

In your situation I'd be worried that the resentment would build to the point of a break up anyway meaning you'd end up with neither. So definitely try and get a handle on that.

And I know this is more a more negative opinion that people may not agree with but after reading many many threads on here, part of me would be wondering what if further down the line he cheats or you split up and he has another child with someone else. You'd have missed your shot for him but he can go on to have more if that makes sense?

Offred Fri 29-Jan-16 10:12:05

No-one has said 'you should have discussed this'.

What I was asking was 'did you discuss this'

Because if it had been discussed and someone had changed their mind there is a possibility that the reasons someone had changed their mind could be examined rather than the intractable opposing positions being discussed and rediscussed building resentment, which would facilitate a compromise.

As it wasn't discussed I think OP, that you need to accept that you have incompatible wants and you are where you are TBH.

I tend to go with the view that unless you both want a child you should not try and have one. That may seem hideously unfair but it isn't. People have the right to control their own fertility and someone's right not to have a baby they don't want trump's another person's desire for a baby.

I think your choice is really, how much value do you place on the opportunity to have another baby?

You can't guarantee that if you left you would have another but if you feel so strongly choosing the opportunity would be preferable to feeling forced into accepting you have no choice IYSWIM?

PitPatKitKat Fri 29-Jan-16 10:46:36

Hello Longsuffering

Just to add, you mention seeing the negatives in your relationship and feeling resentment build. My personal experience is that open ended discussion aimed at understanding one another can fix that kind of thing to a pretty workable extent.

Firstly, it lets you express your emotions around the situation rather than bottle them up. Secondly, you might come to reasons in the other person's position that you don't agree with and that don't change your own view, but that you can respect and live with. Both those things will make the ongoing situation a lot easier for you both.

Good luck and take care flowers

LeaLeander Fri 29-Jan-16 12:04:32

Why not focus on what you DO have?

April2013 Fri 29-Jan-16 12:12:07

I think he needs to explain why exactly so at least you can understand his feelings in detail. Is he thinking not now or not ever? What is it that puts him off? Has he thought of this recently or has it always been in his mind? I think he also needs to do the same for you. I think if this is symptomatic of bigger problems in your relationship and you can't resolve it given time and perhaps with external help then you might need to weigh up perhaps using a sperm donor or adoption and being a single mum with 2 children and your son having split up parents but a sibling and possibly a happier mum (if you are v unhappy in your relationship) vs staying together as a family unit of 3, but it might be this is just a difficult patch and you could find a workable solution for you both. I totally understand the desire to have a second and to want to get on with it now, it really eats away at you.

Flamingo1980 Fri 29-Jan-16 12:41:33

I agree that you need to find out exactly WHY he doesn't want a second.
Some men feel totally excluded when their first baby arrives and can't wait to 'get their wife back' which starts to happen around the age of two. If this is the case you could look at being more inclusive next time and make him feel more part of it etc. That way he will be more assured that he will have a better experience the next time and be more open to another one. Maybe he's worried about finances. Maybe he himself was bullied by his sibling and always swore to only have one child. Maybe he's worried about your health.... WHO KNOWS I don't but you do need to get to the very bottom of the problem before you make decisions.

StillDrSethHazlittMD Fri 29-Jan-16 12:47:51

Talking is obviously good but you also have to be prepared for him not to have any discernible reason - like finances, like your health (or his). Sometimes there are reasons, sometimes it is literally a gut feel, just as you have a gut feel you want more.

If your husband asked you why you wanted another child, the answer is probably not much more than "I just do, I feel it here". And if he says "That's actually the same thing, I just feel it here that I don't" then that's all there is to it. You can't discuss it beyond that - you can discuss things if there are reasons like finances. And sometimes, that is a perfectly acceptable reason anyway.

When it comes down to it, it's not like an either or. I would prefer that car over this one because it has X and the other doesn't.

LeaLeander Fri 29-Jan-16 12:51:38

No one needs to justify the decision to not produce another child. Demanding explanations is unfair. As others have said, it's not a new car. He does not want responsibility for another human being and that must be respected.

The OP knows her partner's decision. She can proceed with her life accordingly, with him or without him as she chooses. Keeping in mind most of us have to compromise dreams vs reality - one is not guaranteed having it all.

AnotherEmma Fri 29-Jan-16 13:02:49

No-one's telling the OP to "demand an explanation" hmm It's healthy for two people in a relationship to discuss how they think and feel about important issues like this. As a PP said, the purpose of the discussion is to understand each other's pov, not to justify themselves or persuade each other. I honestly think it's the only way to move past it without resentment building. If it's too difficult to discuss I think couple's counselling would help, and maybe individual counselling for you, OP, if you're still struggling to come to terms with it.

PitPatKitKat Fri 29-Jan-16 13:05:02

YY AnotherEmma- the talking isn't to justify, it's to understand one another and be a safe outlet for emotions, as well as provide emotional support for one another.

StillDrSethHazlittMD Fri 29-Jan-16 13:09:30

AnotherEmma a PP said "I agree that you need to find out exactly WHY he doesn't want a second." I can see why that could be interpreted as "demanding an explanation".

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