You Want Kids, He Doesn’t
When you find your soul mate—the person you feel like you’ve been waiting your whole life to meet—you think you’d be on the same page about major things. And, perhaps you are. You both want to do charitable things if you make lots of money, you both want to travel the world, an active social life is important to each of you, and you even share the same religious beliefs. But even if all of these other important values match up, it is still possible to be madly in love with someone and have different views on parenthood. More specifically, you may be all about it, and your partner may want nothing to do with it. Having children is the biggest decision a couple can ever make. Nobody should ever feel coerced into it. So, if you want kids, and he doesn’t, should you marry him?
First, how old are you?
First, let me just say that if you’re only in your twenties or your partner is in his early thirties, it’s important to know that men tend to come around to the idea of kids later. Men mature much more slowly than women do, so just because your 29-year-old partner says he doesn’t want kids now doesn’t mean he won’t want them in five to ten years.
Is he established in his career?
Regardless of age, you have to understand that men see themselves as providers and most men won’t want children until they feel established in their careers. They want to feel more than financially stable, and feel they have security and respect in their industries. Most men can’t even think about being fathers until those other things are true.
Why doesn’t he want kids?
Ask your partner why he doesn’t want kids. Does he genuinely not see how being a father could be rewarding? Does he truly not think it could be beautiful to make a child with a woman he loves? Or, does he just think it will be too much responsibility, time-consuming, and essentially life-consuming?
If it’s just about the lifestyle…
Some people are just afraid that having children will put a strain on their romantic relationship with their partners. Maybe your partner would want kids if he had some promise that your relationship would stay strong. Obviously, once kids arrive, a lot of things are out of your control, but if this is his fear, you can make some pacts. Agree to still travel together, one-on-one, regularly, and have date nights.
Why do you want kids?
Ask yourself why you want kids. This is important to ask yourself regardless of whether or not your partner wants them. If you’re going to confront your partner on what having kids means to him, you need to have asked yourself the same question.
Remember kids aren’t a Band-Aid
If you look deep inside yourself and realize that you want children as a way to further solidify your relationship and, well, lock down your partner, that’s not great. Having children cannot be a Band-Aid on a troubled relationship. Your bond has to be rock solid before you bring kids into the picture.
Did he have a bad childhood?
Does your partner’s reluctance to have children stem from his own bad childhood? Perhaps he could benefit from therapy. If his childhood still affects him so much that it controls a major decision like having children, that’s something he needs to work out.
Is this about your bond?
This may not apply to you, but it’s important to ask yourself: is your partner generally hesitant to commit on many levels? Like moving in together? Or getting married? Or buying property together? If so, then you have bigger problems at hand.
Could you feel fulfilled without them?
Ask yourself, truly, if you could feel fulfilled without children. Do you have something else in your life that you could devote that care, nurturing, and attention to? And come out feeling fulfilled? If the answer is no, then that’s nothing to take lightly.
Does he already have children?
Does your partner’s reluctance to have kids with you stem from the fact that he already has children from a previous relationship? It’s common for men who already have kids to be hesitant to want more, fearing it will upset their original children. But you can make a blended family work.
Could he change his mind?
Ask your partner if he could see himself changing his mind one day. (Hint: if he says maybe, that’s probably a yes).
Could you change your mind?
If you had to come around to the idea of not having kids, could you? Or do you plan on fighting for your side of this forever? You may need to also be willing to change your mind if this is going to work. You may have to make room in your mind for the idea of not having kids, or you’ll fight forever.
Have you taken care of anyone else?
Have you two ever cared for a living thing together? Like a pet? It’s amazing how nurturing and loving a pet together can open a couples’ minds up to the idea of parenthood.
Would you resent him?
If you wind up without children, would you resent your partner forever? That’s not the type of relationship you want.
Would you be happy without him?
On the flip side, could you be happy without this man? If you left him to be a single mother, would you regret it forever? If you must choose between this partner and kids, whom would you choose?