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Boyfriend doesn't want kids but I do

(105 Posts)
Ruby2sday Tue 14-Nov-17 10:36:30

So my boyfriend of 4 years told me last night he definitely doesn't want kids. When I first met him he said he didn't but then after a couple of years he started talking about having kids in the future and we've discussed things like what kind of parents we'd be ect. So for him to suddenly say he now doesn't ever want them is a bit of a shock.

We are only 25 and 28 and he knows I wouldn't want kids for at least 5 years but we're planning to buy a house together next year and I don't know whether I can do that with him if we'll never have a family together... I'm so happy and in the perfect relationship and I can't imagine how I'd ever leave him but I know I'd be ultimately unhappy if I never had children. Maybe since he's changed his mind before he might come around to the idea again but what if he doesn't? The odd thing is he used to work with kids and really enjoyed it and if he sees a really cute baby on the street he'll point it out to me. He's tried to persuade me it'll be just as fun being a cool auntie but that's just not the same.

I don't think I'd ever be able to bring myself to leave him but now I've just got this sick feeling in my stomach that I can't be with him forever if I ever want kids. Do I wait and see if he changes his mind as he gets older? Can I get a mortgage with him with that hanging over my head? The fact that there was a period when of his own volition he did want children gives me some hope but what if the time comes and we're married and he just doesn't? What do I do?!

Bella8 Tue 14-Nov-17 10:42:02

In my opinion kids can be a deal breaker. You will end up resenting him if you have no kids and one day when you're a lot older you'll feel like you've wasted your life to keep him happy and what happened if you end of splitting up in the future and you never had kids and then it's too late. Would you be okay with this? Or if you do have them when it gets tough and the baby is screaming he will resent you for having 'the kids he never wanted.' Sorry to be so blunt but both parents have to be fully on board for babies or it can't work. 4 years is a while and it's a shame but you're young and I guess you have to ask yourself so kids mean more to you than him? Would you be happy staying with him forever growing old and only being the two of you? It's a difficult decision but you still have time to find somebody else who wants the same things as you as this is a major difference.

Bella8 Tue 14-Nov-17 10:42:24


Bella8 Tue 14-Nov-17 10:42:58


NameChange30 Tue 14-Nov-17 10:50:13

For goodness sake don't wait and see if he will change his mind. He told you at the beginning that he didn't want kids and he's said it again now. Despite changing his tune in the middle (which might just have been idle talk, kind of imagining a future life that you have no intention of actually living) he has actually been pretty consistent. You need to take him at his word. It wouldn't be fair to try and persuade him to change his mind. Kids are a bloody big deal.

I know it's painful but you must cut your losses and end the relationship now. You probably don't want to think about it but to be blunt you need to find someone else who does want kids. And it would be good to have time to do that without worrying about your biological clock.

If you're not ready to end it just yet please don't buy a house with him or tie yourself to him in any other way. It will just make the inevitable separation even more difficult and painful.

FizzyGreenWater Tue 14-Nov-17 10:59:17

This is tough as you are both fairly young. I know when I was his age I didn't want children - that changed!

BUT. It's a risk you absolutely cannot take. You really can't. You absolutely certainly would be MAD to commit to a house etc. knowing how he feels - you are absolutely shooting yourself in the foot by doing that.

Because if you know you want them, then you need to listen to that and go for it. It's highly unlikely to change, if anything you'll want them more as time goes on. No, being a fun auntie is NOT the same... and the tragedy is that no matter how much you love him, this issue will eventually tear you apart as whichever way you slice it, what he proposes means that you don't get to live the life you want in order to please him. You'll end up resenting him, splitting anyway and then possibly finding that you've left it late to start afresh in good time for a new relationship to naturally develop to the point where you have children. DON'T DO THAT. You'll regret it so bitterly.

Also - it's an awful thing to say but if you tell him it's a dealbreaker, then it's very likely that he'll start making the noises you want to hear, to keep you. Well who knows in the future... I might change my mind... I might feel differently at 30... etc. Don't listen to this sad He's been very clear, and also a teensy bit manipulative already in trying to persuade you that just being an auntie is 'the same' when it absolutely isn't. He's clearly thinking of himself there and trying to pull you round to getting his way, which really shouldn't happen with a responsible partner on something so huge. So watch that.

You are really young. He's your world at the moment but you have years ahead of you now to find someone who wants the same as you from life - that's crucial, if you left now you'd be fine - if you buy a house, stall for five years and finally leave at 33 then the picture may look very different.

dogfish1 Tue 14-Nov-17 11:05:26

Bloke here. Your chap is deluded if he thinks being an auntie or uncle is remotely comparable to being a parent, and selfish if he thinks you won't resent him and be miserable if you don't have kids due to his view. Nothing wrong with that view, but it's a minority one and as he gets older he may come to see that for most people, women especially, their kids are far more important to them than their partner. I agree, cut your losses. Also worth noting as Bella says that you may well split up for unrelated reasons eventually, and that is highly likely if there's a lingering resentment on this scale.

Beautiful song, BTW.

slothface Tue 14-Nov-17 11:12:12

Did he ever actually say "I've changed my mind and want kids" or was it just musing about what it might be like to have them? I've never wanted kids, still don't, but that doesn't stop me sometimes having discussions like "well if I was a parent I think I'd do XYZ," and talking/thinking about it hypothetically. But I've always been clear with anyone I'm dating that I don't want kids.

As hard as it is, I think it's a deal breaker. If I was in his position and someone stayed with me hoping I'd change my mind and began increasingly trying to talk me into it (not saying you're doing that, btw) it would be very annoying and I'd feel like my stance hadn't been listened to or taken seriously. I'm sorry you're facing the prospect of losing your relationship, that really is devastating, but not wanting kids is such an innate feeling I don't think it would be worth your time or his to hang about and see if it changes

Ausparent Tue 14-Nov-17 11:15:07

You are effectively putting whether you have children or not in the hands of someone else.

If it is important to you than you are giving him control over a massively important part of your life and he will make the ultimate decision.

If you want children and his view stops you having them, I can't see a relationship surviving that.

MatildaTheCat Tue 14-Nov-17 11:18:32

I’m so sorry but your perfect relationship has changed now and you will never feel quite so content. Neither of you are wrong but you are wrong for one another in this very fundamental difference of opinion.

He may possibly change his mind but also may well not. That’s a risk and one you will worry about all the time.

I recommend you think very carefully and consider leaving the relationship now. 25 really is very young. You have masses of time to do other things, meet more people and live in other places. It would be tough at the beginning but nothing compared to the pain of realising in your 30s that your DP was serious and you are left resentful, heartbroken and childless. That’s the worst case scenario.

thecatneuterer Tue 14-Nov-17 11:18:52

Fizzygreenwater equally I said at 25 that I didn't want children and I never changed my mind. If you stay with him accept that it means not having children. Don't keep thinking he will change his mind. He probably won't.

TammySwansonTwo Tue 14-Nov-17 11:20:48

I think you need to explicitly have the conversation that having kids is something you definitely want, and if he definitely doesn't then that leaves you at an impasse.

Don't give up having children because your current bf doesn't want them - your relationship could break down when you're in your late 30s for other reasons and then it's going to be very difficult for you to have kids with someone else. He can make that choice for himself but not for you.

I love my DH to death but it can't compare to being a mum - if he hadn't wanted children I would have had to leave, but we talked about this a lot before we married. You're very sensible to do this but you have to listen to the answer or what's the point?

ThroughThickAndThin01 Tue 14-Nov-17 11:23:07

He may change his mind. He may not. It's a huge gamble for you to risk that.

Unbelievably DH and I hadn't even discussed having children until after we were married, but I think as marriage/relationship followed by children is the normality then if either hadn't wanted children we would have said before commitment.

He's had the strength to tell you, - you need to think how you would feel about a life with him with the knowledge that he's denying you becoming a mother if you do.

magoria Tue 14-Nov-17 11:24:32

Sorry but I agree with the others.

Don't expect him to change his mind.

The sooner you end this, the sooner you begin to heal, move on and meet someone who shares your views on children.

glitterbiscuits Tue 14-Nov-17 11:38:05

The biological clock can kick in and the ticking is very, very hard to ignore.

ilovekitkats Tue 14-Nov-17 11:40:58

If you want children and he doesn’t then there really is no future in the relationship. He might change his mind, I’ve seen it happen , but he might not and then where does that leave you?

I married knowing that I might never have children but I chose to do that for several reasons and I’d never desperately craved children. We did have DC and then he left anyway so if I hadn’t had them I’d be on my own now having possibly forsaken children for him.

It will be hard to end it but you both need to be brutally honest and deal with it.

Iwasjustabouttosaythat Tue 14-Nov-17 12:00:03

I remember having a very serious discussion with DP when I was about 25 about how I never ever want kids and now is the time to break up if he really wants them.

Fast forward 12 years and we have 3 gorgeous children who are my world. I was adamant too.

I'm not saying you should wait around to see what happens like my DP did because it's biologically easier for a man to wait and see. I'm just saying that people do change as they get older.

I think you need to find out why he doesn't want kids. What is there in your lifestyle that kids would ruin? Because whatever it is might get pretty dull after another decade.

AuntieStella Tue 14-Nov-17 12:03:05

Don't buy a house with him.

You can take more time to see if there is a way ahead - but if he really means it (and you do have to stare that possibility in the face) then you do not have a future with him. So don't do expensive, legally binding things with him.

WitchesHatRim Tue 14-Nov-17 12:04:41

I think you need to find out why he doesn't want kids. What is there in your lifestyle that kids would ruin?

Some people just adamantly don't. It's just as valid a choice as wanting them.

Justbookedasummmerholiday Tue 14-Nov-17 12:06:01

Can he give reasons why not? My now dh said he had never imagined having dc.
Turns out because his own dps were so bad he didn't want to follow suit and had no faith in himself he could be good at it!!
We are married with a toddler and he is actually an amazing df!!
And I didn't bully him into it!!

Pacificly Tue 14-Nov-17 12:11:31

You'll have to ask yourself if you are happy to commit to the current longterm reality of no kids and if he changes his mind yet again that would be OK and equally OK if he never changes it either. Basically you may have kids but mostly likely you need to be accepting of none.
Ofc maybe him thinking of a future with kids actually cemented his original thinking of no kids!
You are both young I know most 25 yrs old don't think of kids as such but equally they aren't adamant on none.
My own Dh at that age said he wasn't necessarily thinking of kids but also didn't not want any either. We've 2 dc now.

Deedee0208 Tue 14-Nov-17 12:18:13

I had a friend in the same position as you, she decided to stay with her partner and not have children even though she really wanted them, they were together for 17 years and he left her for another women, younger model, we’ve heard a couple of months ago that she had his baby, my friend is now 42 and on her own absolutely devastated, if she could turn the clock back she would, not saying your partner would ever do this but no one knows what the future holds x

NameChange30 Tue 14-Nov-17 12:22:15

Yes i was going to mention that possibility, DeeDee. I've heard of several women whose partners apparently never wanted children... until the relationship ended and they had a baby with their new, younger partner hmm

BishBoshBashBop Tue 14-Nov-17 12:25:47

My BIL didn't and doesn't want DC. He was always open about it. His ex partner thought she could get him to change his mind. Even joked about accidentally on purpose having an 'accident.

Needless to say she now understands he means it as he has found out about her saying this and has broken up with her.

She should have taken him seriously 6 years ago.

stitchglitched Tue 14-Nov-17 12:29:10

He shouldn't have given you false hope that he might have changed his mind, and pointing out cute babies to you in the street knowing you want them and he doesn't is very cruel IMO. That said, he has now made his views clear so if I were you I would move on. I wouldn't give up the chance to be a mother for any man. I was married to the 'love of my life' at your age. Many years later with a different partner and 2 kids together I can barely picture my ex's face and there is no comparison in how I thought I felt about him and what I feel for my children.

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