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.
I want kids, he doesn't(82 Posts)
I've just turned 30 this June and got engaged. I'm at a point in my life where I am thinking seriously about having children and discussed this with my partner of just under 9 years for a number of years.
He has always said he didn't want children but has wavered in between with statements like "I don't know how I'll feel in the future" which was apparently enough for me to cling onto.
We've just had a very serious talk about it in which he broke down into tears saying he didn't want children and doesn't want to break up. Now I'm completely stuck, I feel like I can't leave as we have a home together, have been together for such a long time and actually work together. I don't want to be the bad person but I don't want to resent him when it's too late for me.
Should I give up on children as I have also flip-flopped on the whole children issue too? My brother has recently had a baby and I have hoped that might tip the scales in my favour with my partner as he has grown quite attached to her.
Thanks for any advice you might have.
If he doesn't he doesn't, if you do you will have to break up, it sucks but is quite common in your 30's
i don't have any similar experience, but I would say that your relationship / marriage will not work if you fundementally want different things. Having children is a big thing that you need to agree on i'm afraid. Neither of you have a crystal ball as to whether his or your feelings will change in the future, or if indeed you were both able to have children. But as with all areas of life you have to make an educated guess....
And right now you are not on the same page. You could give it a time period before you decide if you want to carry on with the relationship and in that time you have relationship counselling, or you could just cut your losses and leave now. It will be harder to leave once you are married (legally and emotionally). or you could just bury your head in the sand and hope he will change his mind - whilst wasting your fertile years on him if he doesn't.
Good luck OP
This is one of those areas in a relationship where there is no room for compromise.
Sorry! I hope you make the right decision for you.
Well, you're young enough to find someone else if you want children.
Only you can decide if you want just him or you want a family.
What you can't do is expect him to change his mind - don't wait on any hopes - assume he means what he says. And choose on that basis.
or you could just bury your head in the sand and hope he will change his mind - whilst wasting your fertile years on him if he doesn't.
Please don't do this. A friend of mine did just that and then when they were both over 40, the husband left her for a twentysomething and had kids. My friend gave up having children for her husband and then was left with nothing.
Unfortunately this is a deal breaker. Neither of you is wrong to want what you want - but these are not compatible.
Leaving him because of this issue doesn't make you the bad person, any more than him not wanting children makes him a bad person. However, there is no point prolonging this situation - you have plenty of years of fertility ahead of you but you do need to crack on with mourning this relationship and meeting someone new. It's very sad but there it is. So sorry this has happened but it's not that uncommon I think, to be with someone in your twenties who isn't necessarily compatible with your life goals in your thirties.
Its a big thing to disagree on OP. I think you need to weight up the pros and cons of both staying with him without children, and leaving in the hope you find someone else who does want them in the hope you are still fertile- or what if you find out you could never conceive all along?
Lot for you to think about but think about it properly- dont leave someone you love to be with someone just because they want children. That isnt fair
You're only 30 - break up now and get on with life. Don't blindly let the next 5 years pass you by and realise you're 35 and stil in the same position. Compared with the joy of having children, the hassle of extricating yore self from a long term relationship is nothing.
Why did it take nearly 9 years to get engaged?
Does he actually want to get married?
sadly I've seen the scenario numberseven mentions, where a guy will say/think he doesn't want kids, the woman spends her 30s with him, not having the kids she wants, and then finds in her 40s that he goes off and has kids with someone else. By 35 plus you'd find it much harder to split up/meet someone else/have kids within the time frame needed, but currently you'd have no problem doing that at 30.
KeepCool- why does that necessarily mean anything? I was 10 and my brother 12 before my parents got married. Doesnt mean they were any less in love or their relationship was less valid
TORROLOCO - I see a correlation between the two; usually when two people are right for each other, they generally want the same things at the same time, and don't drag it out for nearly a decade and then one of them change their mind!
You mustn't ignore your feelings and pretend they will go away . A friend ( acquaintance) of my mums who is now in her 60's ...was in the same position . Her husband never wanted children & thought he would be enough even though she really wanted kids , then when she was in her 40's he left her She is so bitter about her life & what she gave up . She has no friends as this bitterness has eaten away at her.
I split up with someone a year ago for a similar reason. He already had kids though, but was open about not wanting more. We also work together.
I'm not going to lie- it nearly destroyed me walking away from him and even know I am struggling with seeing him everyday (I think he is with someone new, but I'm not stupid enough to ask).
But, despite it all, I know it was the right thing to do. I'm 33 (nearly 34) and struggling with dating new people. I may never meet anyone I love as much as I (still) love him. But I can try alone, and at least I'll always be able to say I tried.
"Please don't do this. A friend of mine did just that and then when they were both over 40, the husband left her for a twentysomething and had kids."
I hate to pile on, but I know two cases (personally) where this happened and more anecdotally. It's so infuriating, really. It's all "never ever" until they get a bit doddery and realise - hey! I'm a 40+ year old bloke, I'll probably never even change a nappy, why do I care? - and they have kids much later in life. Or maybe I'll just be nice and say maybe they only realised they wanted kids in their 40s, and didn't in their 30s, as 30s are the new twenties or something.
He's already wasted so much of your time and your life with his maybes.
I've had a friend in this situation and it had a horrible ending. She stayed, but the marriage broke down some years down the line. By then she couldn't have kids without medical help (and chose not to pursue that route). He has 3. Turned out, he just didn't want kids with her but didn't realise until they divorced and he met someone else.
The fact of the matter is though that OP does not have many years of fertility left. She's 30, not 20. The guy has the liberty of 'not knowing how he'll feel in the future' : our OP simply doesn't. She's on a time frame like every woman.
As pp's have said, there's many a fella who's waited till their 40's to have kids with another (younger) woman, leaving the now 40 year old ex childless.
Maybe it's time for a complete life change OP : new home, new job, new start.
It's horrid to say and to face up to but if you want children then you need to leave him and find someone new.
My parents friends were in the position where he didn't want kids / she did. She went along with him and when they got to 50 he left her and now has 3 kids with another woman. The poor lady is beside herself as she gave up her chance of having children for him (will never forgive him or herself) and can't have them with anyone else herself.
It would be a dealbreaker for me, however much you love him.
This is going to be a hard one. I broke up with someone who had always been the love of my life as he didn't want children and I did. Years down the line I found out through friends that he now had a DD (through ivf as new wife cc) I'm happy and settled now but he was always 'the one' and I never forgot him. So people do change.
Now I'm not saying hang on in there just in case. I'm very happy with my little family. So do what's in your heart. If you truly know deep down you want children 30 is the time to make that decision or you will regret not having a child and resent your dp for your situation. Time to pull up your big girl pants and decide.....
Please don't do this. A friend of mine did just that and then when they were both over 40, the husband left her for a twentysomething and had kids
Another who wants to emphasise this point. I know two couples where a similar situation has happened. If you want children, you need to walk away from this relationship as harsh as that sounds.
So sorry OP, it is a deal breaker. Please marry someone who can't wait to start a family with you. Parenting is tough enough without always having to wonder if he would be happier if you had chosen differently/ feeling guilty for his 'sacrifice'. This is not something you should have to compromise on. If you want kids and he denies you the opportunity you will end up hating yourself and him.
I've kind of been on both sides of this. My ex from the start said he didn't want kids but it was a deal breaker for me and I gave him an ultimatum, we stay together and that includes children or we split. He's now got 5 with ow/2nd wife I've just the one and couldn't have more anyway.
Then another relationship he wanted children but as I can't have more it was a stalemate situation. I let him go not fair to stop someone who wants kids from having them.
I've also known of several relationships where the truth of the matter is 'not with you', and they maybe didn't even realise that at the time themselves. I'm afraid I agree his changing his mind, waiting so long to propose (did he propose or did you? Or did you heavily hint?) Suggests he's not fully committed to you.
Cut your losses.
As everyone else has said, it's the one thing you cannot compromise on - he may resent you if you 'force' him into having children, you may resent him if he doesn't 'let' you have them.
I have one friend who stayed, and is now mid forties and utterly bitter about not having children, one whose husband was adamant that he didn't want children and she thought he'd change - he didn't, they divorced and he met someone else and had a child within a year (she's still not had children), and one who walked away, heartbroken, but five years later is happily married and has recently had a child.
Good luck with the decision - it's very, very hard ,but if you really want to have children, and you are sure that he 100% doesn't, then personally, I think you need to walk away.
It's a big sacrifice, to give up children for a man. Why are his views on children more important than yours? Make the break while you are young, you can't hang around hoping he'll change his mind. I always wanted children and there is no way on earth I would have been with a man who didn't, it wasn't an option for me.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.