Boyfriend says he only wants 1 child and it's a dealbreaker – advice?

posted 1 year ago in Relationships
Post # 47
2460 posts
Buzzing bee

londongeocity :  +1. 


You really have no idea how many kids you will want. My Darling Husband and I always say how we would ideally want three children, but honestly we could have one and really struggle coping with being parents and we are okay with that. Life changes and you have no idea how everything will play out. He has already agreed to one child and adopting so I think k the decision would be sure okay with that path if that’s what he does end up deciding? He could change his mind about wanting two biological kids. But will you be okay if he doesn’t? 

Post # 48
11454 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

Each of you has a right to hold out for whatever life you choose, and only each of you knows how important this issue is to you personally.

I only wanted to add my own experience with one child vs. multiple children in terms of how it affects the dynamics of relationships.

I have not been able to have my own children, but my Darling Husband has four (including two who were young ‘tweens/teens when we married and two who have been adults since we met.)  I also now have multiple grandchildren.

One of my best friends and her husband have one living child  (not for lack of trying. They experienced multiple perinatal losses), and I have another friend who married a man with one child.

Obviously there must be tons of exceptions to what I’ve observed in these specific scenarios. However, my own experience has been that when there is only one child, the child has tended to be more demanding of the parents’ time and attention than when there are multiple children.

What I’m trying to say is that, it’s possible that your SO has not considered the fact that having two children could potentially offer benefits (in terms of companionship for the first child) that may, in some ways, make your lives as parents easier rather than more difficult. Obviously the costs of having two children and the amount of work at any given time, increases with more children, but there could be some advantages that he may have not thought about yet.

Post # 49
6447 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 1997

I have to agree with a PP that you are 34. Break up and start another relationship and you will probably be a minimum of 36 in a best case scenario before you’re married to someone else. If you got pregnant immediately, you would be 37 at delivery. So, yes, if you have no issues with fertility you could potentially have 3 or 4 children  (with almost no break in between and no time to be married before conceiving). 

But all of that assumes absolute best case scenario with meeting someone, marrying, conceiving immediately, etc. If any of those things didn’t go according to plan, you would time yourself out of multiple children anyway. I’d think long and hard before dumping an otherwise great man who only wants one child. 

Post # 50
1260 posts
Bumble bee

I see that you’ve resolved the issue with him. But to share my thoughts I don’t think he was being dishonest at all. I always talked to my fiancé (back then boyfriend) about childREN in theory. Or kidS. God forbid he read into it as much as you did because when I really think about it seriously, I can really only see myself having one. Two is a possibility but I wouldn’t count on it. We have since talked about it and agreed to have one and see, but likely it’ll be just one.

also to share a friend’s experience, my friend wanted 2 kids and his wife wanted 4 (she too came from a bigger family and she loved the experience). They compromised and had 3. For a few years there he would always say he would’ve been happy with 2, it just took up so much more time energy and financially impacted them. He looked tired and unhappy all the time. Now the youngest is 5 he seems a lot happier. But I totally see your boyfriend’s point of view. One more child will be a lot more work and take up more financial resources. I think he’s being realistic about his expectations of how he want his life to be.

Maybe you’ll come to a different conclusion after one child. But for now, I think don’t focus so much on the vision which may or may not be realistic to even achieve and more so on the reality.

Post # 51
63 posts
Worker bee

I agree with a lot of the posts. Leaving a good relationship because you want more than one child… even if you did there is no guarantee you would meet somebody else and have 2 in time.

However I would also question if you know what you want in the relationship or if you are actually happy. Because most people could not dream of leaving their partner because they only want one child lots of people would still struggle of their partner didn’t want any. Are you sure that you truly love him? What would happen if he was infertile? Would you leave him then? 

Edit: It’s still very early days in his thoughts of starting a family. Prior to you he didn’t want any children but he can see it with you. He could change his mind when you have one and decide that he wants more, you could change your mind and decide that you only want one. That’s the issue with planning a family, you never know what either of you will truly want until it comes to it. Would you be prepared to risk falling from ‘cloud 9’ and everything you have for something that you want? I’m sure that if you think about it you cannot imagine ever replacing him or somebody else making you feel the same way he does. Settle for one and a loving partner for now and see where you are both at afterwards. 

  • This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by  dan28.
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