Post # 1
My fiance and I have been together for over 3 years. We fit together perfectly. We want all the same things in life and we are both ready to move on in life, get a house, get married, etc. There is one little catch. He loves children and I do not. I don’t like screaming, spoiled children. Well, not that he does. Anyways, I’m not sure if I ever want children. I think I will one day but I’m not 100% yes. He told me he’ll only marry me if I say 100% I want children. To me it is more 80%. I told him all this and he says that it is not good enough that I think I will want children. I realize this is a super important part of his future and I don’t want to be unfair to him. However, it also makes me feel like he does not love me unconditionally. I love him a lot and I don’t want to lose him but I also want someone who loves me no matter what.
I’d just like some thoughts from some neutral 3rd parties. Thanks.
Post # 3
That was a dealbreaker for me when I started getting serious with my FI. Early on, he had told me he didn’t want children, but I didn’t think much of it because our relationship was so new. As it got more serious, I knew I needed to let him know how I felt about children in my future in case we needed to split ways. I had to know for sure before we got completely serious because, even though I loved him, I knew I had children in my future, period. It made me sad to think that they might not be with him, but that was the situation.
He eventually grew to accept, and then like, and then wildly anticipate the day that we will have babies, so the problem is solved.
I guess you both need to figure out who is going to compromise on this situation. It’s a personal question that every couple needs to address.
Post # 4
I think you both need to be in 100% agreement on this issue – whether it’s to have kids or not to have kids – the important thing is to agree on this before marriage. It’s not fair to either partner to change one’s mind on this issue after marriage. I don’t think it means your FI doesn’t love you unconditionally because he wants children. It’s a normal part of many marriages to build a family together. Just an FYI – all kids are not screaming, spolied children if that helps.
Post # 5
Ah I totally see what you mean about unconditional love. You have a great point! Even if you were open to having kids, the way he is putting it is a little ultimatum-ish… especially since you are the one who will have to bear the children!
I totally agree on disliking screaming bratty children. I think a lot of that is something that the parents can control. If I didn’t think that, I would also not want to have kids.
I do think that love and marriage are two different things. Love is just one of many ingredients in a happy marriage…
Post # 6
I do realize not all children are screaming and bratty. 🙂 And I agree with mrbee that a lot of it is parenting. my cousins are horrible but my aunt and uncle don’t ever tell them no. i guess i should clarify additionally. i think that what really is holding me back is i find it all terrifying. i don’t want children anytime soon and i just don’t really want to think about it yet. I’m young and I’m not ready for children. I just find the whole pregnancy/childbirth thing terrifying. I work in the medical field- that does not help!!!! He says if he could carry the baby he would but the fact is- I’m the one that has to! I guess I wish he was trying to be more comforting and less attacking. That is my big concern now. To me, it is turing into more of an issue on his giving me an ‘ultimatum’ and not on having children or not.
Post # 7
Have you guys looked into/considered surrogacy?
Post # 8
To be honest, I think being on the same page wrt having children is pretty much a necessity for marriage. If he wants kids so much he’d be willing to bear them if he could, I think I understand why he needs to know that you feel 100% certain about having kids as well. Otherwise you want different things out of life. I understand why it might come across as an ultimatum, but I suspect from the add’l info you’ve provided it’s really not about controlling you or not loving you unconditionally. I’ve know for most of my life that I want to have kids…however that might be (adoption etc if I can’t ultimately conceive). And I don’t think I’ve ever even allowed myself to get serious about someone who didn’t feel the same way. I may very well not be able to conceive, and I knew that kids were important enough to my FI that we talked about this almost as soon as we were getting serious. His opinion is that he wants kids, but if they come into our lives in some way other than naturally/biologically it’s okay by him. But there are many people who might not feel that way, and I don’t think it means they love their partners less. It just means that is something that is so important to how they want to live their lives they’d be compromising themself not to honor it. Surely there are things your BF could do that would make you not want to be with him anymore…even if you didn’t love him less.
I’m sorry this is such a difficult discussion. But I’m thinking that you are being harder on yourself than you deserve. It doesn’t sound to me like a lack of unconditional love or some kind of judgment on your life’s goals and desires. You might think of it differently and consider how much you’d be willing to allow him to compromise himself to be in your relaiontship. It sounds like he’s asking that question (also vis-a-vis how much you’d have to compromise yourself to have kids).
Post # 9
Your post caught my attention and I just wanted to add a comment. When I got married the 1st time, we were 100% in agreement about wanting kids-however, nature did not agree. We tried for a long time and ended up having to go the assisted fertility route, which, due to cost being extremely prohibitive (FYI-fertility treatments are not covered by most insurance and the cost is VERY high) We decided to go low tech-meds and using a calendar bc quite frankly, we couldn’t afford to do much else. He had surgery, I had surgery and it looked like having chilren of our own was not to be. So, we started adoption procedures-home visits, the classes you have to take, etc.
Fast forward-there was a new fertility drug on the market, aimed specifically at women with the fertility issues that I had-which I took. It didn’t work one month, they increased my dose, and it worked the next month and I did indeed get pregnant.
My point in telling you all of that is to tell you this: while having children may be a necesssity for him-you also need to broach the question of what happens if EITHER of you CAN’T have children. The problem may be with you, but it may be with him-something like 70% of fertiity issues lie with the man.
I feel that having kids needs to be one of those things that you agree on. Your life definitely does change-every part of it. I went from being a clean freak to realizing that the laundry will wait in exchange for one more snuggle and story on the sofa. We rarely eat at restaurants without crayons on the table. My kids are HORRIBLY behaved with me, angels with others (parenting I have done and I’m a special ed teacher-go figure) The main point is that this one of those things that you need to have an agreement on-you need to agree on the biggies: religion, finances, sex, children, & lifestyle. Just MHO.
Post # 10
I have to jump in and applaud your honesty. You have been totally up front with your fiance and you absolutely deserve props for that. Please don’t tell him you are 100% sure you want kids just to get him to marry you. Children-having or not having them- are a deal breaker for many people. Just because you maybe don’t want them doesn’t make you a bad person, but it may mean that you shouldn’t marry your fiance. He definitely shouldn’t be pressuring you to be anything other than what you are. Ultimately the decision on whether or not to have children is yours, but you may have to realize that it might cost you this relationship.
Post # 11
Just because h wont marry you unless you want children does not mean he doesn’t love you unconditionally. He wants a future with you and in his idea of the future children are there.
I don’t think hanging out with other people’s kids will help you become 100%. The reality is that most people dont like children, they only like their own. You would be suprised at how many people fit into this category. Trust me, when you have your own child and are carrying them around for 9 months and learn the meaning of their every cry, you will learn to love even the kicking and screaming because its YOURS.
Post # 12
I do think it’s important to have the conversation about children and the boundaries you are comfortable with: (whether through adoption, naturally, surogate, etc.) before you’re married. This is part of life you will need to address, and airing your wants and needs and desires is a part of that.
It would be a total deal-breaker for me if my fi weren’t 100% sure he wanted kids one day- it’s not something I can compromise on, despite my great love for him. Mr. Bee completely nailed it- love and marriage are two different things, and just because you love someone doesn’t mean a successful marriage will it make.
Unconditional love is a two-way street…
Post # 13
I am in your boat about children. I don’t want to screw up a kid and raise them wrong, or be in pain during labor.
I was up front with my FI and told him how I felt. We aren’t married yet, but we’ve gotten to the point where will agreed to have one kid. If we can’t have it because of fertility reasons, we’ll adopt or foster a child.
Have you told him why you feel this way? Does he know about your fears?
Like Mr Bee said, have you thought of surrogacy? What about adoption or foster care? In MI there are thousands of kids in foster care. Maybe if you guys did that for a little while it would help ease your fears? You could be an emergency care place where you only take in young kids (under 4) and only for a day or two.
I wish you the best, and I hope everything works out.
Post # 14
You know, I’m one of those people that could go either way about kids. Some days I’m like "yeah i guess I want them" and some days I don’t. After waiting tables for a few years, I HATE babies!!! Even the ones gaggling I go "ugh, shut up" in my head. They just gross me out. I didn’t grow up around babies, maybe that’s it. And when they scream…I stare down the mother, trying to mentally let her know her screaming child is ruining my nice dinner. Also why my FI and I avoid casual dining restaurants now. However, I’ve been told by many, many people, that it is not the same with your own baby. My FI’s sister HATES kids, and you should see her with her own. I guess it is different. It has to be, right? However, knowing that my FI wants kids SOOOO bad and seeing him with his nephew puts my mind at ease. We’ve talked about how I’m going to need nights away with my girls (i have to start having them at 24 b/c of a health problem, and I don’t want to look back and realize I missed out on my early 20’s and/or lost my friends because of this) and he’s already told me how much he will help me (i’ll still be in grad school) and he won’t be one of those dads that says it’s "my" job and lets me handle all of it. Since you commented that you are young (as am I) it is sort of hard to look at yourself and realize you are yearning for children. At 23, I certainly am not "very excited" about being pregnant in the near future. I get to barf and drink water instead of wine! But, I always assumed that when i was in my later 20’s or early 30’s that the desire to have kids would hit me. Some women are late bloomers about that and like to get their living done first before they have a family. And since you like 80% sure, maybe that is what it’ll be for you? Or maybe you’re worried about financial things or your own independence? I know that is a huge factor for me. I am not ready to completely devote my life to another human being yet. Nor will I be ready to in a year. But, that’s what your FI is for, to help you out and share the responsibilities. Discuss parenting with him and maybe that will make you at ease. What are your qualms about having babies? The money, the time, the screaming?
Post # 15
If you want to see how serious this discussion is, just google "I want children wife doesn’t" or similar and you will come across the saddest stories ever. People who love each other enormously, but are divorcing because they can’t agree on children. People whose once-happy marriages have turned into hell due to the fighting over this discussion. I think you really need to agree on this before marriage, to save yourself this terrible heart-break later on.
Post # 16
I’m sorry that you’re put in such a position. However, I have to say that if my fi didn’t want children it would be a deal breaker for me. I’ve wanted to be a mom for as long as I can remember and I can’t imagine life without them. A pair of friends recently got divorced over the issue. She had managed to convince herself and him that she didn’t want children and then had a change of heart two years into the marriage. They both ended up with broken hearts… I really think that is is something that should be decided on before marriage, so I see where your fi is coming from.