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Men not wanting children but partner does

(75 Posts)
SuperFlyHigh Sun 16-Oct-16 11:28:48

I wanted to ask a question on behalf of 2 close friends of mine who don't know each other.

S has lived with her boyfriend for past 4-5 years, he has a 10 year old son and they're engaged. She has always wanted children but he has said no. She's now 44 and he would not even consider her adopting. She owns her own flat and runs her own business.

T has been with her boyfriend for a year and they moved in together 6 months ago. Again, she would like children but he says no. She will be 40 this December. She owns her own flat which is rented out.

They both seemed to think it was too late to meet someone else (maybe in S' case) to have children with. So are sticking with the relationship for now childless.

I myself am dating but childless and happy to be so.

I just do not get sometimes why some men are so belligerent about not having children when their partner would like them.

BubsAndMoo Sun 16-Oct-16 11:31:36

I do not get why someone would expect their partner to become a parent when they didn't want to.

What was your question?

SuperFlyHigh Sun 16-Oct-16 11:34:18

Bubs sorry did not really explain myself.

Are they doing the right thing staying with a man who doesn't want DC when they quite clearly do? Will they regret it?

It really saddens both of them when I spoke to them recently. Would be different if they weren't that maternal (I had twinges but gone now!).

Myusernameismyusername Sun 16-Oct-16 11:34:50

It's totally fine for someone to not want children as long as that is clearly communicated.
Then it was your friends choices to stay knowing this and move in with the man. You can't assume someone will love you enough to change their mind about wanting children.
I think if woman want children they should find a partner who also does and men should not feel pressured into children they do not want

sarahnova69 Sun 16-Oct-16 11:35:44

Error because children are a massive, massive lifetime commitment and some people know they're simply not cut out for that?

Kewcumber Sun 16-Oct-16 11:36:52

I wouldn't have moved in with anyone who said they didn't want children at this age.

I adopted as a single parent aged 40 (though I started the process at 37).

I do find it odd that a parent who loves their existing child wants to deprive their partner of that experience when they profess to love them. But what can you do? You can;t make people want something they don't.

Settling for a partner instead of child IME is a mistake and they will come to resent them.

SuperFlyHigh Sun 16-Oct-16 11:37:34

Myuser that's the thing (didn't mention sorry don't mean to drip feed) according to both of them either they didn't mention kids and hoped the partners would change their minds about wanting them or subject was never discussed.

I agree if it was never discussed at the start then they shouldn't have carried it on if it was that important to them.

Myusernameismyusername Sun 16-Oct-16 11:39:52

It's something I try to find out sooner rather than later personally. I'm dating now and perhaps 3 years ago I would have had another baby I said never after 35, so now I look for a man who doesn't want more children either so I know we will be on the same page

ElspethFlashman Sun 16-Oct-16 11:44:55

Well both of them started these relationships at 40ish by the sounds of it.

So if they fancied kids but didn't discuss it or didn't emphasise it, then they were rather foolish.

RebootYourEngine Sun 16-Oct-16 11:58:53

You think men should be forced into having children just because a woman wants children.

Its not illegal to not want children.

SuperFlyHigh Sun 16-Oct-16 11:59:33

I agree with you Elspeth!

I think for a lot of women around the mid to late 30s and 40s your area for finding a man (or woman!) gets narrower and narrower and I think these women just settled and hoped the man would maybe want to have children!

I did meet someone myself at 38 who was half and half about wanting kids (he said he did want them to please me then changed his mind and he has a teenager), that was slightly annoying and I told him so. His main reason was "my teenager when a baby was really hard work and lots of crying and I couldn't put up with this now!". Fair enough but don't string me along!

SuperFlyHigh Sun 16-Oct-16 12:01:51

Reboot I don't think a man should be forced into wanting children if he doesn't want them at all!

I am just asking/wondering that if his partner (female) does want them (these 2 women have nieces and nephews so see a lot of other people's children which makes them more maternal so they told me) then is that really a bad thing? If it would make her happy? Or is it all about his happiness and what he wants?

Myusernameismyusername Sun 16-Oct-16 12:06:03

You can't have a child to make someone else happy that would be a terrible idea

Aussiebean Sun 16-Oct-16 12:09:50

A relationship is about being a partnership.
Generally people date and get to know each other and discuss how each sees the future.

It is in this stage where the desire to have children generally comes up. If you do want children and he/she doesn't then the decision has to be made by the one who does whether they continue with the relationship.

It is not fair on any child to be born having one parent who loves them and another who only agreed to keep the other happy. So the child's existence is neither here nor there. Then add to that the sleepless nights, the sickness, the lifestyle change and then there is resentment between the parents.

It's not all about his happiness. It's about the two people wanting the same things. If they don't then either they move on, or accept.

SuperFlyHigh Sun 16-Oct-16 12:15:02

Aussiebean I get what you say...

However in these cases the women are older (and they know it) so meeting a man becomes harder and having a child becomes harder...

From what they've told me they would regret having children but stay with their partner now as they feel they wouldn't meet anyone else. So I suppose they accept it.

I just wonder if down the line they will be bitter and resent their partner if they stay with him (because they feel they're too old to meet someone new etc) and don't have a child? The one who has a stepchild I feel is in a slightly better place as she loves and likes her stepson.

graphista Sun 16-Oct-16 12:17:05

It astounds me how many couples don't honestly discuss this. I was always very clear I wanted children but have ended up latterly on the other side but not lacking the desire for children, medical issues and surgery mean I can't have any more. That's put paid to 2 relationships of mine sadly.

Aussiebean Sun 16-Oct-16 12:21:16

It might lead to resentment. But by what you say, both men have been very clear they don't want children. So they have made the choice to stay as opposed to leave.

They could go it alone if they wish, but they don't, there are other options but this what they have chosen.

They may regret, but they have made a choice.

If they men have been stringing them along though, that is different.

Bambamrubblesmum Sun 16-Oct-16 12:26:53

The bottom line is people take responsibility for their own choices. If they choose to stay in the relationship knowing what the other person's viewpoint is on not having kids then they have to accept that.

If they cannot accept it then they can choose to go it alone and maybe try through a donor to conceive or try to meet someone else.

You cannot compromise something as important as a child to make someone else happy. That's not fair on the child other the other person in the relationship.

madgingermunchkin Sun 16-Oct-16 12:27:14

Hang on, they are expected to upend their lives, and probably lose half their wages/pension and their home when the relationship goes tits up, just because the women decide they want kids?


No one, absolutely no one is in the wrong for not wanting kids.

The fault lies entirely on the women who did want them, for a) not having that discussion fairly early on (especially at their "advanced" ages and b) for sticking with these men ounces it's been made clear its not happening and hoping they'll change their minds.

RebootYourEngine Sun 16-Oct-16 12:36:14

But you are saying that because you said that these men should ignore what they want and have children because their partners want them.

Kidnapped Sun 16-Oct-16 12:52:38

How keen exactly are these women to have children?

They have left it very late, and now they've been told that it won't happen with their current partners, they still won't do anything to change things.

Maybe they are really not that bothered when it comes down to it. Nobody 'owes' anyone a child.

You seem to be suggesting that these men are 'belligerent' by not giving in and fathering a child. An act of hostility. It isn't - it is just their own point of view and it is no less worthy a point of view than someone who does want a child.

And fathering a child you don't want in order to keep your partner happy is an awful idea.

maisiejones Sun 16-Oct-16 14:30:01

I really cannot believe you Super. You think that these men, who are quite clear that they don't want a child, should go ahead and impregnate your friends anyway because these women want a child and it would 'make them happy'? What a bloody recipe for disaster that would be. There is far, far more to having a child than just making someone happy ffs.

SuperFlyHigh Sun 16-Oct-16 15:13:58


That's the thing though these women got into relationships and rightly or wrongly didn't discuss having kids but "assumed" it would be ok if it came up, at least that's what I've gathered from speaking to them.

The women quite rightly want what lots of other women want which is a child and yes, they should have addressed this earlier in life with other men in their lives if they wanted children that badly. But they didn't. I'm only telling you that now through speaking to these women as friends they've both stated they would like a child but their partner doesn't want one. They're quite happy to continue the relationship though.

They also, well of these women was adopted and from her talks with me I feel she has slight issues round being adopted though she is happy with her adoptive family. The other woman has relationships with her 2 sisters (who have children) though strained with 1 sister, her mother also died when she was a teenager but that's another story.

I totally agree they should have spoken about the children before they both "got serious" but I can see the women are prepared to sacrifice not having kids, so they can have a relationship with their partner instead. That's fine.

SuperFlyHigh Sun 16-Oct-16 15:15:01

maisie as far as I know these men didn't state at the start they didn't went children it either didn't come up or not til a bit further down the line.

Myusernameismyusername Sun 16-Oct-16 15:15:45

You can't assume anything and that's the fundamental flaw they now are accepting

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