Post # 1
I am turning 34 in January. I would really like to be married and have children someday, and I’m concerned that I’m running out of time. My SO is 37. He wants to be married and have children as well, but definitely does not feel the same urgency that I do. He wants to have more fun before he “has to grow up at 40”. We have been dating for two years, living together for a year and a half. After he mentioned he was considering proposing last Thanksgiving, (he didn’t) I’ve been waiting for him to propose for a year. It has been very difficult managing the ups and downs of holidays, trips, hints it’s coming soon, hints it’s NOT coming soon, etc. My self esteem has taken a hit, and it’s been difficult to try not to be resentful about the whole process. I know he loves me very much and wants to marry me eventually, but I worry that if we do things by his Peter Pan timeline, it will be too late to have kids.. At this point, I don’t care about a fancy ring. I don’t care about a big wedding. I’m worried that it will be too late for me to have any children.
Part of the problem is that I don’t think my SO really knows a lot about the birds and the bees part of the loud, ticking clock. He’ll say things like he knows of lots of people in their 40’s that have had kids (he can’t name names) or that no one in his family had a problem with getting pregnant. (most of them had all of their children before they were 21 years old) It’s lot of magical thinking and being misinformed.
My question, fellow bees, is how do I educate him about fertility over 35 without coming off like a total crazy lady, but also call attention to the fact that I really do worry about often? There are harsh facts and realitiies when it comes to how expensive fertility treatments are, how the risk for Down syndrome goes up after 35, how mucher longer older couples might wait to finally pregnant, how heartbreaking that it can be to have multiple miscarraiges, etc. I have a bunch of links that I’ve compiled that have plenty of information about the increased risks for miscarraiges and pregnancies over 35. I’m tempted to print it all out and just give it to him. I’ve thought about bringing him to a doctor’s appointment. Any thoughts on how to approach this? Have you dealt with a similar problem? What is the most grown-up way to approach this topic/
I love my SO and want to be with him for the rest of my life. I am definitely open to adoption if biological babies aren’t in our future. However, it really bothers me that sees no rush. I’m hoping that my nerdy SO will at least consider some of the scientific facts.
Post # 3
I would suggest talking to your doctor and reading up on some data from reliable sources (sounds like you already did), and then calmly inform him about this. If he wants to have children, believe me he will WANT to have this information. My SO worries about things that can affect my fertility and we’re not close to even thinking about kids.
The point to get across is that it’s all about RISK. Sure, his aunt’s cousin’s step-sister had a perfectly healthy child at 53 (or whoever he can’t name), but you should be minimising the risks of developmental and fertility issues as much as possible. Also, he may not know the whole story behind his anectodal evidence. Did these women receive fertility treatment? Did it take them 6 years of TTC? Plus, his family genetics are totally unrelated to yours. Show him one of those fertility charts – your ability to conceive without treatment will drastically go down in a few years, and he should be aware of this.
And basically tell him exactly what you said here.
Post # 4
@IrishLucky34: Welcome to the HIVE!
OP, please don’t waste anymore time!! I am 30 and I know all about this, and to boot, my SO is 2 years YOUNGER than I am. I just had to sit down and have a very real conversation about timelines, my expectations out of life (i.e. kids), and that even though more women are able to have kids later in life, the risk goes up considerably.
I had this conversation and I was honestly ready and willing to walk if I didn’t get the answers I wanted…because no matter how much I love my SO…I love myself MORE and enough to get the life I deserve.
Post # 5
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
You can give him all of the information you want to, but he’s already made it pretty clear to you that he’s not interested in being a big boy grown up for another few years. He wants more time to be child free. He’s not ready to take on the huge responsibility of a new life, regardless of your ticking clock. I’m turning 34 in january as well, we already know we will need fertility treatment, and it’s looking like I’ll be pushing 35 before my husband is ready (if he’s ever ready). I do get your concerns. But if a guy isn’t in a mental/emotional place to try for kids, that’s just something you have to wait out (or walk away from, your choice). This is one of those things that, try as you may, just cannot be rushed.
Post # 6
@IrishLucky34: The bees have given you some good advice about talking to your SO, but in the meantime I wanted to share this article with you:
It made me feel a little bit better about fertility in my 30s — hope it helps you too!
Post # 7
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
I would sit him down with all your information and tell him this is something that’s a priority for you. You’d like to be engaged and married within a year, and then trying for a baby. (Or whatever your timeline is.) Tell him you don’t need an answer right this second, but within a reasonable timeline, he needs to decide if that’s something he’s interested in as well. Sometimes they just need a little nudge and to know that you’re not going to wait around forever. Good luck!
(As much as I think he’s the absolute most wonderful man in the world, I have a Peter Pan myself. At 31 and 33, we’re not quite in your shoes, but I can relate. This strategy worked for me in terms of moving ahead with marriage and a baby timeline.)
Also, a lot of the birth defects actually come from deformed sperm from older men…
@Olympia: love that! Thanks!
Post # 8
@Olympia: Thank you for posting that. 🙂
Post # 9
Well what happens when you just talk to him directly? Tell him that you want to have kids, your window of time for that is closing, and ask him point blank if that’s what he wants? What does he say? If it’s simply an education thing, take him with you to a gynocology appointment and hear it from the doctor first-hand.
Post # 10
Try working backwards. He wants to be ‘grown up’ at 40, that’s fine. So lets assume he wants a year of marriage before kids, that’s reasonable. That puts marriage at 38-39. Weddings take a year or so to plan, that puts engagement at around 37.
Most men process information better when it’s presented logically, instead of emotionally. Talk to him about his future goals and plans, and let him talk through it.
Post # 11
Wow, thank you all for your thoughtful responses! You guys are the best. I apologize if this following post gets bitter or Debbie Downer. It’s been a bad waiting day for me. I could use some advice before an uncomfortable, possibly-have-to-break-up conversation with my SO tomorrow.
I’ve talked to him about it directly with him twice, and I got two different answers. The first time was a non-confrontational conversation around six months into dating. He told me about when he’d want to get married and have kids. It wasn’t my ideal baby timeline, but what he told me was a reasonable compromise. Like, a year off from mine. Doable. Not a deal breaker. The second time was three months ago. We were talking about his brother’s wife just had a baby and that his brother turns 40 in a few weeks. My SO said “yeah, I don’t think I’d want to be a Dad until I’m at least 40.” That’s not what he told me when we first dating. I was angry and I started to it down for him logically by years if we were to have one kid. Then I broke it down for him if we wanted two kids. He looked like a deer in headlights while I was talking. He knew he had pissed me off big time. Then, he got defensive by saying things like he knows lots of women in their 40’s have kids now, that people who are healthy and fit like us don’t have to worry until later (what?!), that no one in his family has ever had a problem with getting pregnant right away, etc. I tried to debunk his myths surrounding the topic, but it turned into an argument quickly. There wasn’t going to be a reasonable “maybe you’re right. I’ll have to think about that” coming from either one of us that night.
Do I think he’s firm about the no kids until I’m 40 thing? Not really. He said it without doing the math. 40 years old just seemed far enough away from right now for him, and he sees no reason to rush. When I pointed out time constraints with that number and he saw that I was not happy about it, he got defensive.
I’m going to have a talk with him about this tomorrow night. I’ve had some time to digest what happened and have a clear idea of what I do really want & what I’m willing to compromise on. I resent that I was led to believe we were on the same page about starting a family, and now I have to go back and get clarification. I wish I could just have a civil conversation with him about considering the medical risks involved, let him know how important this is to me, and that that would be enough. I’m scared that it will turn into Peter Pan vs. Biological Clock again. I really hope it doesn’t come down to this. I will move on if it’s clear that we’re really not on the same page though. 🙁 I still do really want children someday.
Post # 12
I’m in the same position. I’ll be 34 in March. I haven’t figured out yet how to bring this up. I did tell him that my doctor wants to change my birth control pills. That is true, but I was kind of mentioning it in the hopes of him asking what else I had discussed with my doctor. I’m just too chicken to talk to him about the whole fertility going down at 35 thing.
Post # 13
@IrishLucky34: As a PP mentioned, it might be a good idea to bring him to your ob/gyn appointment. Your doctor might be a better person to discuss the risks of a later pregnancy, since he/she would be a relatively unbiased opinion. And he’s right, SOME women are fine having children later in life. My Mom was 38 when I was born, no fertility treatments, no complications, nothing but natural (and I’m her only child). What she doesn’t tell people is the ONLY reason she even attempted to conceive at that late of an age is because she was willing to terminate in the event of abnormalities. Her thought process was “give it a fair shot, if I don’t conceive, it wasn’t meant to be, and if I have to terminate, then I won’t try again”. From what she’s told me, the time before the amnio was incredibly stressful and she was constantly worried. Fortunately, all was good 🙂 But that’s a lot of stress and anxiety to put yourself through.
Post # 14
I am in a similar position. My FI and I have always wanted children, however my FI also use to tell me stories of how he knows many women that have conceived children in their late 30’s. We talked about having kids very open and honestly before we got engaged, I simply told him that I wanted to be pregnant before my mid-late 30’s. I also found it helped for my FI to hear from other friends and family members why it is important to start trying for a child before your late 30’s, it really brought home the message. I would leave articles about fertility in the bathroom since I knew my FI would read them while he was in there.
I think what really helped my FI understand the importance of trying to conceive ASAP is when we did the math. One day he was on the couch complaining how old he felt and how tired and sore he was. I asked him to imagine being 50 and running around playing with our 10 year old, imagine how tired he would be then. My FI started doing the math in his head and realized how old he would be when our child did x and y and decided he was ready to start trying to conceive.
It is important to my FI that we be married or almost married before we have a child. We are getting married on Oct 4, 2014 and we were planning on trying to conceive a few months before the wedding but decided to hold off until the wedding because of morning sickness and possible complications that could occur with the pregnancy. I will be almost 34 and FI almost 36 when we will start trying to conceive. You are not alone, I hear my biological clock ticking everyday, sometimes men just don’t understand.
Post # 15
I think you need to pull up the articles, the statistics, and the risks and show him. Perhaps ask him to go for a visit to your general practioner to talk about it with them.
I would also ask him WHY 40. How does he know when he is 40 he still won’t feel ready. I’m not sure why 40 would be a magical number. I think it’s common for people to never feel quite ready but eventually you need to take the plunge and hope that it will work out. I saw a comic once with a very old couple that were asked “so when are you going to tie the knot” and they said “we’re still waiting for the right time”. That comic came to mind when I read your post.
Maybe he can be flexible with his 40 timeline, especially since he had originally said sooner. Maybe 38 or 39? You also have concerns about the timeline of getting engaged.
I think you need to tell him that you want to talk about timelines/ the urgency you are feeling. If he can’t handle it or discuss it without getting angry and then perhaps counselling is in order. Communication is KEY for marriages and parenting. This is something you and him will want to work on before getting married.
Post # 16
Once again, you guys are the best! I will let you know how the talk goes tomorrow.