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Husband wants only one child now

(98 Posts)
blueleonburger Wed 02-Sep-20 14:52:30

Hello all,

I’ve lurked for a long time but this is my first time signing up and posting a question. I’m going round in loops in my head on what to do so hoping another perspective can help.

I’m 28 years old and DH is 29, nearly 30. We have no children. We’ve been married for 3 years, together for 6 in total. From the beginning when we first dated I was always open about wanting a big family. I was happy with the idea of 4 kids even! Looking back, four kids is probably a lot but I said this to him and he didn’t seem fazed at all. He was happy with the idea with having lots of children in the family and understood it was important to me.

A year or so after we got married, he changed his mind said he wanted two children. Initially I was very upset by this. His reasons were mainly environmental, and if I wanted more than 2 kids he’d only be happy with it being done via adoption. I explored my own reasons for desiring a big family with my therapist at the time (likely related to grief and loss in my own family). Eventually I came to terms that two would be it and I accepted it and moved on.

Now in the last three weeks he’s changed his mind again and now only wants one biological child. He says he’s firm on this and again says the reasons are environmental. I appreciate his reasons are valid but I’m personally devastated. I feel what my vision of my little family would look like is being taken away. He says adoption is always a possibility too but for me it wouldn't be the same and I’d rather have at least two of my own.

His environmental views have become stronger over the years and although I appreciate them I sometimes feel he’s quite judgemental and critical of how I live my own life (e.g driving with the car, refusing solar panels because it’s too expensive to get them installed, wanting any future children to eat veggie only etc). I do my part to help but feel it’s never enough and I’ve started to become resentful.

I’ve tried to imagine life with just one kid of my own and it just makes me sad. I think I’ll always think “just one more”. I can’t be angry at him because his reasons are valid and I can’t force him to have a child he doesn’t want.

I keep going over different scenarios in my head. Is this enough justification to leave? It’s not like he’s saying he doesn’t want ANY children. And if I left there’s no guarantee I’d find someone, and if I did, could successfully have children with. If we stayed together, we might change our minds. We might not. And one of us would be resentful.

What do you think? I’d very much appreciate hearing another opinion on this as I feel completely at a loss what to do.

OP’s posts: |
SunbathingDragon Wed 02-Sep-20 14:59:56

How is the rest of your relationship? Will you always resent him if you stay and only have one child, or maybe none if he decreases the number he wants again?

I hadn’t even met DH at your age but we have had four children together so don’t feel it’s too late to end things and move on.

Coriandersucks Wed 02-Sep-20 15:01:27

You’re both making big decisions based on something that hasn’t happened yet. There are so many variants - what if you don’t get pregnant easily, what if you have a miscarriage, what if you don’t enjoy being pregnant, what if your first born is a nightmare or you suffer from pnd and decide you don’t want any more? Or, for your husband, what if he is so overjoyed at becoming a dad he desperately wants another, and to give his first born a sibling related by blood?

You’re putting too much pressure on yourselves to make a decision on something that is so out of your control, you need to accept that.

WaterOffADucksCrack Wed 02-Sep-20 15:01:56

Sorry you're going through this @blueleonburger. The bottom line is you're no longer compatible. You want a minimum of 2 children. He only wants 1. Plus he keeps changing the goal posts which could suggest he never wanted a big family he just lured you into marriage with the idea of one.

There are good men out there who won't judge you for how you live your life and won't try and force their choices onto you and who want 2 children or more.

You also have to judge whether he may do fuck all with a future child because you wanted one more than him. It's ok to want a big family. It's ok to want a small family. It's ok to leave a relationship when you no longer want the same things.

InDeoEstMeaFiducia Wed 02-Sep-20 15:02:03

This is a no-brainer. You are fundamentally incompatible. STOP trying to mould yourself to this person, because it isn't YOU. And you are going to be in for a miserable life with this man because you are incompatible. There is NOTHING wrong with what you want. NOTHING. And you do not need to fix yourself to suit him.

You need to split up and divorce. Why? Not because he only wants one child, but because he's grown into someone who is compatible with who you are.

You have plenty of time to find someone else.

I was married to a man who decided he never wanted kids. He was all on board when we married or I wouldn't have married him. Kept changing the goal posts. Only one kid. Then adopt a child (I do not want to adopt and there's nothing wrong with that). Then no kids at all.

We divorced when I was 29. I remarried at 32 and had 3 children.

Make plans to split right now, stop trying to re-create who you are and ditching your needs in life to suit him, it'll never be enough for him. And who would want to parent with someone who's not on the same page?

Stop blaming yourself, too. He's the one who changed the goalposts. He gets to decide what he wants for himself. But you do, too.

Getting away from him, you'll get perspective on how much you've been conditioning yourself. And how much better life is when you realise your own boundaries are perfectly fine.

InDeoEstMeaFiducia Wed 02-Sep-20 15:04:55

As for, 'Well, you might find you're unable to conceive or have one and have secondary infertility or he changes his mind'; it is still no reason to stay with someone with whom you are so incompatible. I considered that, too. And you know what? I thought, 'I'd rather have taken the chance to give it a try, and find out it wasn't meant to be, then never try at all.' That was just my line in the sand. You can't live for what if's. This is a core value of yours. Those are important because they are who you are. There's nothing wrong with who you are.

TheAugusta Wed 02-Sep-20 15:05:16

If it were really important for me to have at least two children I would leave him now so that you have time to meet someone else who shares that desire. It is reason enough to leave - he’s not bad for wanting this, but he’s changing some serious aspects of your life that you care about. I’d only stay if I knew I would be able to continue the relationship without ruining it with resentment. I also wonder whether actually he’ll decide he doesn’t want any biological children.

LilyLongJohn Wed 02-Sep-20 15:06:08

There are lots of variants here, you may not conceive, might only be able to have just one, etc etc. The adoption process is brutal and not an easy process and very different from having birth children.

But, if you couldn't conceive or only conceive the one you're likely to resent him anyway.

Are you sure he actually wants any and he's not trying to whittle you down to one and then announce that actually he doesn't want any?

Sounds like you have very different outlooks in life now

beelover Wed 02-Sep-20 15:08:32

I think I would be looking to leave him. He's constantly shifting the goalposts about something that is extremely important to you. He could keep stringing you along with the promise of one child only to change his mind again and suddenly it could be too late for you. He seems selfish to me, why do his ideals have to trump yours?

InDeoEstMeaFiducia Wed 02-Sep-20 15:11:52

Oh, and btw, NO ONE who is not 110% on board should ever even try to adopt. Personally I think he's going to whittle you down to none. My ex tried that for a bit, then 'later' 'I'm not ready' (he was older than I was), 'next year'. Now he's in his 50s and never had any.

PlateTectonics Wed 02-Sep-20 15:12:55

I would feel resentful about this OP. He's entitled to want any number of children of course, but he seems to keep moving the goalposts. If he's judgemental and critical too, are you sure he is the right man for you?

Lozzerbmc Wed 02-Sep-20 15:13:53

I dont see why you need to decide now? Wouldnt wish it on you but what if you cant have children or hate being pregnant? He may change his mind and want more children - you might be happy with one.....

Are you happy with relationship generally is the key question.

PicsInRed Wed 02-Sep-20 15:14:58

How long before 1 becomes none?

That is, until you hit menopause and he leaves and quickly has 2, 3 or 4 kids with someone else. That's an all too common scenario.

He hasn't been honest throughout. Time to decide whether you want to scrap your family dreams for a man who lies to you.

Mintjulia Wed 02-Sep-20 15:15:39

I'd leave. You can't build a life on shifting sands and he isn't taking your wishes into account or finding a compromise. If he'd said the idea of four was pretty daunting and why didn't you try for two and see how you felt, that would be reasonable.

But What happens if he decides on no children? Or if he decides no children after you've conceived?

It's time to call it a day. Sorry

turnitonagain Wed 02-Sep-20 15:18:27

You have to decide if you want to live like this. Let’s say you can accept one child. Will he be pressuring you on food choices, clothing choices, and other parenting issues to fit his environmental views? If you find him telling you off about solar panels annoying it will be worse when it’s something you want for your child and he’s insisting against it.

I would be seriously questioning when having one child with someone if we couldn’t agree on such fundamental issues like lifestyle.

Shockingstocking Wed 02-Sep-20 15:18:58

He doesn't sound ready for the adjustments that family life requires and you're moving in different directions quite radically. It sounds like trying to have a relationship with a monk who will always have this other great love that comes first. It upsets the dynamic and undermines your views. I don't think this can work. It would be very hard to have an only child and not give them a sibling if you don't want it that way. My children would be lost without each other.

InDeoEstMeaFiducia Wed 02-Sep-20 15:19:39


How long before 1 becomes none?

That is, until you hit menopause and he leaves and quickly has 2, 3 or 4 kids with someone else. That's an all too common scenario.

He hasn't been honest throughout. Time to decide whether you want to scrap your family dreams for a man who lies to you.

Read and re-read this because I've seen it happen so many times over the years!

Workerbee80 Wed 02-Sep-20 15:20:21

He sounds quite controlling tbh. I doubt he ever wanted 4 kids as he changed his mind pretty much as soon as you were married. Call his bluff - say that kids is a deal breaker and see what he says. I honestly think you'd be better off without him though when your outlooks are so different.

altiara Wed 02-Sep-20 15:22:11

Is this your deal breaker? Then yes, it’s more than enough to leave.

Personally at age 29 with no children, I’d find someone else. He’s gone from not fazed by 4 children, to saying 2, then 1. I’d be thinking he’ll turn around next year and say no children.
Plus making you feel judged and criticised, that will only get worse if you do have children!
Why not find someone with the same values that wants a family.

Backtobasics5 Wed 02-Sep-20 15:24:39

Ohhh OP I feel for you. Your husband has completely messed you around he’s basically fobbing you off and taking control.

How did the adoption part come about? Why exactly would he want one child and then Consider adopting another one??

Listen to your husband OP he’s making it very clear as to what he wants

Backtobasics5 Wed 02-Sep-20 15:25:38


He sounds quite controlling tbh. I doubt he ever wanted 4 kids as he changed his mind pretty much as soon as you were married. Call his bluff - say that kids is a deal breaker and see what he says. I honestly think you'd be better off without him though when your outlooks are so different.

This (but OP needs to be actually serious) not a bluff

holrosea Wed 02-Sep-20 15:35:55

I'm going to echo may PP here: he has changed the goalpoasts and children are something there is little wiggle-room on. You can't have a maybe child or half a child.

Granted you are speculating and it is entirely possible you might have difficulty conceiving even with him, and what about if you conceive twins?! However, speculation aside, you have become incompatible in the lifestyle that you want and you no longer share a vision. I'm also suspicious that he's dropped from 4 to 1 as that in itself is drastic.

Playing devil's advocate: could he even be suggesting adoption not as a decent, moral choice, but because he knows it is a difficult and complicated path that you may not succeed at, and this fact might put you off even trying. He's not saying "no", he's just giving you impossible choices.

As some other PP have picked up on too, he sounds bloody annoying. Saving the planet is a noble endeavour but solar panels are expensive and what if this hypothetical child likes eating meat?

farmertom Wed 02-Sep-20 15:37:24

I feel so bad for you OP. He's been very unfair and comes across as quite controlling.
I understand that people change as do their values and he has, by the sounds of it, become more extreme in his views as he gets older. At your age I think he will do the opposite of mellow and only get more judgemental and fanatical, which can happen with those types of extreme views.
I'm all for living as ethically as possible but limiting your family size because of "environmental" factors is rubbish imo.

I would be tempted as PP mentioned to say it's a deal breaker. Be very clear that he can live his life how he wants but should not be judging you or your choices. It's the same thing with couples with differing political views, it's fine to hold them and you can have a great relationship as long as you don't judge each other (usually more left wing judging right wing).

Anyway I don't think you are too old to find a man to have a future and children with. I also think it sounds a bit like current DH might make things a bit miserable in the future with or without kids l.

CuriousaboutSamphire Wed 02-Sep-20 15:44:14

Yes, his reasons are valid, for him. But what are the chances that if you said you wanted to TTC right now he would suddenly want no kids at all because [valid reasons]? Then what would you do?

You, as an individual, without his input, need to work out what you want. Not what you and he want, but you, the person.

If you want kids more than him then leave, find someone else. For, as you said, at the moment you are heading for a situation where one or both of you will feel resentment.

lowlandLucky Wed 02-Sep-20 15:46:04

How would he feel if you had twins ? I wonder if he wants to end the marriage but hasn't got the guts to tell you but thinks by saying he only wants one child you will finish it. Put his backside out the door and don't waste another day on him.

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