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Boyfriend changed mind about kids(34 Posts)
My partner and I have been in a relationship for over 8 years, in this time we've gone through a lot. We've been long distance during uni, and then again when he moved away to gain experience in his industry. I've supported him through these times both emotionally and financially.
We bought a house together last year, it's bigger than we need right now as kids were part of our future. That's what I thought until 2 weeks ago when he dropped the bombshell that right now he doesn't want children. He is a massive overthinker, he had an awful childhood and essentially was abandoned by both of his parents when he was a teen.
He says this plays a part in some of his decision, but he also worries if it'll change our relationship having a child. And he says that my lack of motivation to exercise is another thing he worries about, how I'll feel about myself when I have a baby. He's been having these thoughts for the past 6 months and I'm upset that he hasn't come to me sooner than he has. And it's really playing on my mind.
I feel so torn, I don't want to end my relationship with him because I love him and he's an amazing person. However I want to have children in the future, he says he isn't dead set on not having them. However I don't want to get to the point where I'm ready to have a baby and he still doesn't want them. We are both 25, which is why I hope he may change his mind within the next 5 years.
Right now I feel so lost, like my entire future has been taken away from me. I don't want to split up with him, lose my home and have to move back in with my parents. And I'm so angry at the same time that he's held this for so long. I think if he proposed to me today I'd say no, as I don't want to go through an divorce when he decides he doesn't want children.
I don't have anyone else to talk to about this, I don't want to tell my parents and my best friend will tell other people so I can't trust her.
What does you exercising have to do with it?!
@shoxfordian Honestly I don't understand his thought process with that bit, he is really into fitness which I'm not as much. I think he worries that if I'm not in a fitness routine now then when I have kids I won't have the time and will feel self-conscious. When unlike him I don't have 2 hour lunches to workout and I hate the gym!
What does you exercising have to do with it?!
He's worried she'll get fat. 🤨
OP, this one isn't coparenting material.
You're only 25, plenty of time.
This is too big, even if you "convince" him, he'll watch your weight and hold it over you when you're invariably no longer as you were before.
Loads of time, go and find a better one.
Here's a bin for the duff one. 🗑
Kids/motherhood isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. My DH and I have the most amazing, blissful childfree (by choice) life to the point that I can’t fathom why anyone would optionally choose to have children. Women are often sold a lie and in reality it’s exhausting, thankless work that seems to obliterate your relationship. I say this from my experience of friends having babies and many of them separating within the first year despite being together a decade or more per-children. I truly get where your DP is coming from.
Having said that if it’s a deal breaker for you and you want children to be a part of your future you will have to end the relationship and find someone else to have children with. There is no way to compromise on this because someone always ends up miserable.
You're both still very young and got together extremely young. The exercise comment is a bit worrying as is the fact that his childhood etc is trumping your needs so everything is becoming about him and what he wants when he's ready.
25 is very young.
If you want to continue then do so but also bear in mind that he may never have a change of heart on this one.
If kids is a deal-breaker for you then you need to be thinking about backing away and disengaging.
The exercise thing is a bit worrying though.
Having a child will change your relationship - what specifically is he worried about though?
The exercise thing is a horrible red herring, and nothing to do with him.
His childhood does sound tough, but that doesn't mean he's going to repeat history.
He needs to get more specific about what he's worried about so you (together) can untangle it, otherwise it's just this big ball of fear. Either that, or he's making out he has worries, but the truth is he just doesn't want kids and you need to leave to find someone else.
I know you've supported him emotionally and financially...what does he do to support you?
I’d be most concerned by the exercise comment. He sounds pretty superficial and as if his primary reason for not wanting children is because he doesn’t want you to gain weight .
You mention all the support you have offered him over the years, what has he offered you in return?
I’d be considering leaving at this point if I’m being honest. Of course, he’s only 25 and may change his mind but he also may not and if he doesn’t, you’ll have wasted even more time with someone who isn’t on the same page.
From what you said it doesn't sound like he's worried you would be self conscious. Why would you be? If you aren't goi going to the gym now and aren't self conscious. He's worried you'll get fat and then you'll have an excuse not to go to the gym. Parenting is as PP said physically and emotionally hard for a bloody long time, but if you want to do it then being told that will not put you off. It will lead to resentment especially if you spend another 5 years with this man and he still says no.
Well have you asked him to be clear with you? Does he just not want kids NOW? Or AT ALL? And if it is the former, have you asked WHEN this might change?
If it were me I would say 'I want to start trying for a child in 1 years time that's the deadline, are you ok with that?' If he says yes, good, that gives you a year to showing him you can take charge of your weight issues. In a year, once you have proved you can get yourself to a healthy weight and maintain it, it's his time to hold up his end of the bargin. If he wont, then you have to walk away.
If he says he doesn't think he ever wants them..then you have to respect that decision. Waiting about for him to change his mind is not only daft, it is disrespectful of his choice. Having said that, if I was with someone I loved, I would choose them over hypothetical children any day. Because he is real and there. But if you feel like something is missing with him...it's unlikely to be kids, it's more likely that it just isn't the right relationship for you anymore. And I understand that to some people the dream of having children is very important so...guess you have a decision to make.
I'd flip this around. You have had a lucky escape finding out what he is really like before having children and a messy divorce and likely impact on your career they have (as much as they claim we can have it all it's incredibly difficult)
He's worried you'll get fat which in itself is a red flag, and I honestly think he's just decided he doesn't want kids with you. Sorry to be so blunt.
I wouldn't try and fathom out why or how he's feeling because he's made it pertinently clear he doesn't care about your needs.
Pull on your big girl pants and tell him you're not wasting any more time waiting for him to make up his mind when you could be free and single finding someone who does want you. Or being single and having a ball.
Cut this one loose, and the sooner the better. The dating pool gets surprisingly smaller after 30.
Seriously, if you’ve been together for 8 years and he’s flagging this now I actually suspect he may wish to end the relationship.
Many many relationships that start in the teens, “survive” uni and job placements etc surprisingly fold in “normal” conditions - this sounds like it could be one of those.
Meowington - that’s really good that you’re happy but it’s a bit unfair to say motherhood isn’t all it’s cracked up to be when you have no way of knowing that. There are ups and downs but I would never go back to my old life - you could offer me all the money in the world and the answer would genuinely be no.
OP I think the exercise comment is just a flimsy excuse. He’s clutching at straws. If you know you won’t be happy then you need to leave as it won’t end well. There are some things in life you can’t compromise on.
He does support me a lot, both in the past and now. He's supported me through very hard times, which is why I don't want a future without him as I don't know who else would care about me like he does.
The exercise thing sounds worse than it is, he's frustrated that I'm not using the equipment I asked for at home to do body pump with. But I really don't enjoy the online classes so I've used them a few times and have since stopped. Which is where the 'unmotivated' thing is coming from. I have had issues in the past with self-esteem and body issues but honestly who doesn't? I am looking to join a gym, I'm just struggling to find a local one which classes that are at reasonable times for me to attend. Which is hard as we've moved to a more rural location than we've lived in before.
I am trying to untangle the issues he has, as I suspect there are underlying problems from his childhood. Although he does see from my point of view that our children will never have to face up what he had to. One example being having to chose between feeding the family dog or himself aged 14. Financially we are much more stable than his parents ever were and we will be even more stable in the future.
I don't want to bin off this relationship as I'm happy with every other aspect and who knows I may not want children later in life. Or I might not be able to conceive. But on the flip side I don't want to spend more time on this relationship if ultimately one of us will end up missing out.
Thank you for all of your responses I do appreciate them
To be fair - many men at 25 are still immature and aren’t ready to have children. And don’t have the foresight to realise that it will change when they get a bit older.
And I find that often women are different at that age - they would say - don’t want a baby now, but in a few years time, etc....
I think men take ‘baby talk’ at they age as pressure to commit and immediately give up the fun lifestyle of a young and carefree person.
His comment about the gym is the same thing. Young and immature.
He may grow up. A few of my exes who at the same age were also not at all planning for any children ever - by now turned into normal middle aged fathers.
You are only 25. Give it a few years if the relationship is good otherwise.
Thank you @MMmomDD I know I'm not ready to have children yet, as much as I love my god children there are times when I'm glad to give them back to their parents!
The thing is though, a HEALTHY adult is not still affected by childhood issues to the extent that it determines their future choices. If he was undergoing therapy for it then sure, fine. Otherwise nah, not an excuse. . Plenty of people had rotten childhoods. I think when you are trying to untangle the reasons why someone doesn't want to do something, it is just overthinking. Sometimes people just don't want kids.
Can I say its mature and brave of him to say this to you now. You are young, you have options. You might not like it but listen to him and really hear him when he's telling you his truth.
I don't want children, and I came to the realisation later in life, its not for everyone. Its not a sign of being 'not grown up', its a sign of self awareness. The world doesnt need any more shit parents and unwanted children.
We bought a house together last year, it's bigger than we need right now as kids were part of our future.
Ours or yours? Have you not discussed kids either seriously or lightheartedly with him before now? Or has he changed his mind?
Maybe the weight thing sounds worse than it is. Maybe he's worried about your health, and knows you will obviously get bigger while pregnant, and is worried about how well you will be. He's also right, if you're already insecure now, how are you going to be gaining another stone or two? It will make your insecurity worse, that's kind of a given.
Jennifer2r is right too, he is showing maturity actually thinking about this, rather than some men who just shag a woman then run away.
But you are both 25. You don't need to have children right now. Why not use your want for children as your inspiration to get healthier and fitter? You lack motivation, use your future children as motivation. Getting fitter will increase your chances of getting pregnant for a start. It will make you feel better about yourself too, and make it a bit easier to lose the weight after pregnancy. It's hard to get motivated I know, I struggle badly with it. But you have bloody good reasons for it.
Take a deep breath, everything will be okay no matter what happens.
My first thought was that he is your boyfriend, not your husband. As hard as this situation is and as much as you have shared 8 years and a home together, you would be in deep trouble if he was married to you and then you found out this.
I am not saying leave him or stay, I am just saying that it would be much worse if you were married. Do not rush into any decision and do not make haste or act based on emotions even though this an emotional time. Sit down with your boyfriend and tell him how upset this is making you. Speak from the heart and tell him your scared and feel vulnerable based on what he said. Tell him he needs to take time (more time) to think and ask himself why he doesn't want children.
If it was me I would leave someone who would not give me children but that's me and not you and only you can make that decision.
Reverse the gender roles and I’m in a similar situation. Well, there’s are plenty of other problems in or relationship at the moment, but the main instigator is that I have realised I don’t really want children. I’ve been going along with it, hoping I’d change my mind, but now shit has got real and fertility clinics are in the picture, I’ve realised it isn’t what I want. My partner was devastated, and asked me to go along with it for a bit longer. I feel totally panicked and need space I’m not getting. I feel guilty that I’ve wasted his time (he said similar to a poster above, that I’d wasted the last five years of his life) and now I feel pressured to go along with it for a bit while I work out how I feel.
So I know it feels shit...but also, do t push him into quick decisions. It’s not a good idea for either of you.
Honestly - I think you should listen to him regarding his childhood and how he now feels about being a parent. He may not feel he has the right tools to be a good dad, or he may find the thought of being a parent is bringing up a lot of pain from his past.
I actually think it is a good thing to be cautious about wanting children when you know you have such serious issues. It doesn't, of course, mean anyone would be a bad parent - but having children of your own is a constant reminder of the things that happened to you as you watch them go through each stage of life.
For me, personally, it's a relief and amazing to see my child not struggle in the same way I did and to be part of giving him experiences that have led to him being happy and settled. But it's been hard to manage my own triggers regarding my less than stellar earlier years.
I would say that a great idea before becoming a parent for him would be to invest in some really good therapy in order to come to terms with his awful childhood.
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