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I think I would like children and responsibility, husband does not want either

(32 Posts)
Sofia83 Tue 05-Apr-16 14:04:50

Some advice would be very welcome. When I met my now-husband I was 26 and never really thought about children very much. I had come out of a horrible relationship with a very unfaithful partner who (along with his family) put a lot of pressure on me to produce a child asap. Therefore after coming out of the relationship and into a new really great one with husband, his saying he really didn't want children was fine by me as all the pressure was suddenly off and I was with someone who really adored me just for me (he still does).

However, I am now 33 and seeing my friends all start families and am feeling increasingly preoccupied by my snap decision to say no to kids all those years ago. I really worry that I am missing out on a wonderful and truly challenging and rewarding experience. I feel I have changed a lot over the years, mainly because I am older and am very loved by my husband, and I am simply thinking more and more about kids no matter how I try not to.

I've started to look at my husbands 100% anti kids stance a bit more closely. He is very edgy about anything that he perceives as too much pressure or responsibility, being very reluctant to even babysit his niece and nephew overnight because it makes him too uncomfortable (I told him he had to). While I have grown more confident and feel a great need for more responsibility and involvement in the world and am getting interested in things like children and future plans, he seems to be pushing anything that seems responsibility away. He struggles to hold down a job because it's not his passion (he is an aspiring photographer and is currently unemployed and vaguely job hunting) and gets terribly ill as soon as a job gives him too much pressure. He struggles to manage his finances and seems only interested in "if we won the lottery" daydreams about the future rather than working with what we have. I manage all our household finances. And every time he hears a baby crying or sees a parent looking vaguely stressed he turns to me with big eyes and says "Thank god that will never be us, it looks so horrible".

I'm not sure what to do. I love my husband dearly and he's absolutely devoted to me. Initially I thought that giving up on children would be fine, great even, because it would open up a whole world of wonderful experiences and adventures that we could have together. But he so consistently can't get himself together or get his head out of the clouds that I'm worried that I might be trading something motherhood for giving my husband the low stress environment that might actually be stopping him from growing up.

HeddaGarbled Tue 05-Apr-16 14:08:23

I think you have grown out of this relationship. Sorry flowers

Branleuse Tue 05-Apr-16 14:10:36

He sounds sweet, but he wouldnt make a good father.

You need to come clean about wanting children, and decide whether you would be ok to find a different relationship to do that in, because it would be completely inappropriate to have them in this relationship

MidnightVelvetthe5th Tue 05-Apr-16 14:10:59

Her sounds like bloody hard work!

The baby question is only part of it, he doesn't have a job & won't plan for the future? tbh he's not father material, once the baby has been born he wouldn't cope unless he were to make some serious changes & he doesn't sound as though he's prepared to.

Have a serious talk with him OP if this is a deal breaker for you. Its fine to leave him if you want babies & he doesn't, just because you didn't want them when you got together does not mean that you cannot change your mind. If you hang around waiting for him to change then one day it will be too late.

And tbh it sounds as though he's already fulfulling the child dynamic in your relationship.

TheNaze73 Tue 05-Apr-16 14:11:32

You only get one stab at life & everyone has the right to change their mind. Although, I would totally agree your husband would have every right to bring up the previous relationship conversation, you may have an itch here, that won't go away. Think you may be facing the biggest conversation this relationship will ever have. Good luck

Twinkie1 Tue 05-Apr-16 14:13:38

Blimey, sounds like you've already got 1 child!

Guiltypleasures001 Tue 05-Apr-16 14:13:43

I'm sorry lovely he sounds like a little boy who is scared by the big wide world, and I don't mean that to sound horrible. I also think your baby sitting him in this relationship which doesn't sound equal, and you are his carer not his wife life partner and lover.

I can only imagine what has made him this way I have an idea. And I also know that unless he realises these issues and wants to change, I think your going to be very frustrated and living a half life as a carer.

Shirkingfromhome Tue 05-Apr-16 14:15:54

You have to decide if your desire to have children outweighs staying with your dh. Blunt but that's what it comes down to. flowers

Lottapianos Tue 05-Apr-16 14:16:09

That's tough Sofia83. It sounds like you are very different people who want different things. People change in relationships, and change their minds, and can start to move in different directions.

It sounds like your husband really doesn't want children - plenty of people don't, and its a perfectly normal and legitimate choice (its one I've made myself). If he doesn't want to be a parent, he most definitely shouldn't be one. For heaven's sake, do not listen to anyone who tries to tell you that he would love being a dad really, or would 'fall in love' with the baby and it would all turn out ok in the end etc etc. Respect his choice and take him seriously.

It sounds like you have two issues - he doesn't want children (and maybe you do), and he doesn't seem too great at taking responsibility in general (while you are very responsible). Only you know if these are things you can live with. Its a very difficult position to be in. Where do you see yourself in 10 years time? Can you imagine still being with your husband and being happy? Can you see yourself at 43 without any children - how would you feel about that?

Pinkheart5915 Tue 05-Apr-16 14:17:08

flowers Sounds like you might of out grown the relationship. It's understandable you have changed What your 26 year old self wanted your 33 year old self doesn't.

I don't think your change him mind on children, he might his feeling clear at the start and that is still what he wants a child free life.
You have to think of you stay with him, no children will you Resent him in a few years?
If you want children and he 100% doesn't then the only way is to split and start again? You only get one go at life

Goingtobeawesome Tue 05-Apr-16 14:18:48

Don't ever trade something you want for a man. I tried to convince myself my ex was enough and gave up the idea of marriage. My engagement ring meant nothing really as he had no plans to marry me. I'm now happily married to someone else with a houseful of kids and animals. Granted, the ex was a controlling abuser - which is why I left - but I wouldn't have had the abuse if I hadn't have ignored my wishes.

Parenthood is hard work. Knackering. Expensive and worrying. But it's also joyful, fulfilling, brilliant.

DryShampoo Tue 05-Apr-16 14:20:10

I agree, you've grown out of him - and I say that as someone who was childfree until 40 by choice, but, crucially, with a DP on the same page, and both focused on demanding jobs and travel. He's not wrong not to want a child, obviously, but his position does sound like a general, and almost pathological, fear of responsibility and commitment - and he would clearly be a disastrous father at the moment if you got pregnant accidentally. At 33, you may have to choose between your relationship and having a child.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Tue 05-Apr-16 14:20:45

I'm really struggling to articulate this so bear with me... There is nothing wrong with not wanting children, if it's a choice made freely and positively. I have a number of friends who are childfree by choice. But they've done that by looking at the good and bad sides of parenthood and making their decision accordingly - not just by focusing on the negative sides. That's they way a child makes decisions - 'I don't want to go to the party because I might not like it.'

Struggling for an analogy but ... there's nothing wrong with not owning a car if you decide that it wouldn't enrich your life. But there is something wrong with not even contemplating driving lessons because someone else always drives you (that's laziness) or because you're scared of the road (that's your anxiety making decisions for you).

Your DH sounds like he's used to taking the easy road, not because it's the road less travelled, but because he can't be arsed with any other way. You need to talk to him seriously. But I'm inclined to agree with Hedda - you've outgrown him (and not just because your feelings about children have changed).

Dellarobia Tue 05-Apr-16 14:23:20

Your post sounds like you think your DH (as well as you) would be happier if he decided to grow up a bit and take responsibility in several areas of his life, not just becoming a parent but also financially, career wise etc. But it doesn't sound like he thinks so! From what you've written, he's not about to change his mind.

You need to do some serious thinking about how you want your life to be. If you want to be a mother, you'll have to leave this marriage behind.

I really hope things work out for you.

Twitterqueen Tue 05-Apr-16 14:31:11

You have a child already. Why do you want another? ... Let me answer that q for you!

You are clearly an adult, responsible, aware and conscious of what you want in life. Unfortunately your husband is none of these things. For me, he would be a burden. 'real' children are far more rewarding and you have clearly thought through the whole mother / child / family model.

I have to agree with others and say that you have outgrown him. Find yourself a proper DH and have a lovely child or two with them.

Sofia83 Tue 05-Apr-16 14:31:28

This is all already really helpful, thank you so much. I find it terribly hard to get my head straight with this sort of stuff. I suppose everyone does. I have no illusions at all about people who absolutely do not want children and have really thought it through and am really pretty envious of people who have a firm and confident position. Children are incredibly hard work, the hardest thing that any of my friends have ever done by many miles. My own father never wanted children and was given an ultimatum by my mother. While I know that my dad loves me very much, I also know he was a miserably unhappy father and only really got anywhere near the life he wanted when he retired and could spend time away. In a lot of ways I destroyed his life. I just can't stand the thought of ruining another life of someone I love sad

ImperialBlether Tue 05-Apr-16 14:34:47

I don't think it sounds as though you have much of a life with him. It sounds as though you are a carer - wouldn't you like an equal? Wouldn't you like to be with someone who talks enthusiastically about his job and who likes to plan to go to places? If you go anywhere with him, you have to pay, don't you? It sounds as though you'd have to plan it, too. Don't you resent that?

It sounds as though you, too, are not part of the world because of him. He is holding you back from experiencing so much in life.

This time in your life will never come back. You are at the peak of your life and yet you are caring for a lazy man who is happy to let you do everything (I bet you don't always love your job or love taking care of the finances) as long as he doesn't have to do a damn thing.

He's better than your last boyfriend, but your next one will be even better.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 05-Apr-16 14:36:04

No Sofia, you did not ruin or destroy your father's life and you will not ruin your H's life if you were to leave your H. What about you, you do matter you know!.

You and your H are on different pages and your H seems very similar to how your own father is. If you do want children it will not be with your current H, it may well be that your H simply sees you as someone to look after him and protect him from life itself.

Lottapianos Tue 05-Apr-16 14:41:37

I understand how you feel OP. My mother has told me that if she had her time again, she would not have had children, and knowing that your parent felt trapped by parenthood is a scary and sad thing. And arguably, something that you absolutely did not need to know. However, Attila is right - you are not to blame for how your father feels, or how your husband feels.

And yes, its time to think about what you want. What do you want out of life?

Sofia83 Tue 05-Apr-16 14:42:05

Thanks AttilaTheMeerkat, that's very nice of you xxx

lorelei9here Tue 05-Apr-16 14:51:34

I read this with interest as I am childfree and completely understand his horror about it. Bit puzzled he didn't refuse to babysit niece and nephew but anyway...

I think you have two separate issues in that he is a child as well. It seems as if you realise that trying to persuade him is a terrible idea; it is, I've seen both sexes get talked into having children and their misery is heartbreaking to see.

But if he changed his mind I don't think he'd be a good parent anyway as he has so much growing up to do. I'm sorry but it seems like you ought to move on for many reasons.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Tue 05-Apr-16 14:52:10

There's probably a psychological relevance to the similarities between your Dad and your partner - especially in not wanting children. That may have made you feel very safe.

Now, though, you don't need that similarity to feel safe - and you've grown up, and found aspirations, and you want a family. That's not unusual.

Your H seems to have not really grown up. He doesn't have a job, he actively avoids responsibility, he doesn't like to plan or do anything even minutely grown up. He seems to behave rather childishly. And whilst it's lovely that he's devoted to you, it sounds very much like you might have a mother/son relationship at times - you plan everything, do all the serious stuff, take care of everyone, hold down a job, and he just has to love you in return.

You need to talk to him. It may come as a complete shock, so give him an agreed time to think about it (so he's not tempted to bury his head) - a fortnight, maybe? Then have another talk to see what happens now. If he's dead against children and a job and responsibility, it may be that you have to follow this path on your own. If he isn't, you can set some targets to get closer to where you want to be.

Good luck. Whatever happens, you won't be ruining anyone's life - and don't sacrifice your own happiness through fear of that. At the end of the day, if he wakes up at 45 and finds that actually, he does want kids, he'll be able to do that - even if that seems hugely unlikely now. It's very unlikely that you would, unfortunately.

Sofia83 Tue 05-Apr-16 14:55:13

In terms of what I want, I can honestly say that I would be happy either having kids with someone who is totally on board and a good plan in place or remaining child free with someone who has got their sh*t together and experiencing all the things that are simply not on offer to people who have non-grownup children. And I have lots of wonderful kids in my life courtesy of my friends, I'm totally the cool auntie. I'm confident that children are not a deal breaker. I just really feel like neither option is actually on the table, and if it can only be child free I need waaaaaaay more to look forward to. I certainly need to talk to my OH about how worried I am, has anyone had this kind of talk with their partners?

Twitterqueen Tue 05-Apr-16 15:03:10

No no no. Please don't say that you ruined your father's life. You absolutely didn't. Your mother may have given him an ultimatum but he had a choice - not just at that point but at every other subsequent interaction with you. He chose his own life, his own reactions, his own way of dealing with stuff.

And your DH is doing the same. You are not responsible either for your father or for your DH. They made/make their own choices. And you need to make your own choices too.

WillTryAnythingNow Tue 05-Apr-16 15:05:58

Because he doesn't want responsibility, he's burdening you so you have twice as much as he does. That isn't a loving thing to do.

Because he doesn't want a job, he relies on you to earn enough for both of you. Again, that isn't a loving thing to do.

I wouldn't put up with a teenager hanging around the house, dreaming about winning the lottery and saying he doesn't want a job because he's not passionate about it. There are two answers to that - one is "Well, most people aren't, but they get on with it" and the other is "Well, work harder at your photography AND in the meantime, get a job in a gallery or similar so that you enjoy the working environment." He wants to dither about with his hobby while you support him. He needs to grow up and while you're with him, he won't.

I'm sure he is nice. I'm sure he's lovely. We would all be lovely if we could potter about at home with a nice interesting hobby and a partner who does absolutely bloody everything. Who wouldn't be nice in those circumstances?

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