Post # 1
So I’m looking for a little bit of outside perspective here because I’m a little concerned about my situation.
I am an “on the fencer” about having kids. It’s something I’ve thought about a lot since probably 17 (I’m now 25) and I’ve never been able to come to a decision although I definitely lean towards being CFBC. I’ve worked with children from a young age, lead nursery school, babysat, and taught swimming lessons to kids of all ages for 5 years so I’ve had a lot of exposure to children through my life. I like them well enough but find them exhausting and a bit annoying. I’ve always concidered the pros and cons of having kids and have never been able to make up my mind about whether or not I want to spend my life raising children.
I started dating my SO a 2 1/2 years ago and he has always talked about wanting children. He says he’s always wanted them, always wanted as many children as possible, is a great caregiver and wants to be a dad and leave a “legacy” (his kids). Initially he got me really pumped up about it and I would agree with him. One night I got overwhelmed for some reason and broke down and told him I’m not sure if I want kids. I started panicking and wondering if this is the life I wanted and if we could be together. We talked it through, he felt bad because he said he didn’t know and never wanted to pressure me, which he didn’t because I had never communicated my doubts before.
Since that night (about a year ago) we’ve had many many conversations about why I might not want kids, what the responsibilites are after having them, what our life would look like without them, basically all the pros and cons. At this point my SO has now changed his tune about kids and is much more in my camp of “huh now I don’t know”. He told me that before we started talking about it he never really thought about it in depth, he just always said, since he was a kid, that he wanted to be a dad and have kids. Now that we’ve been talking about it he says there are a lot of very valid reasons not to have children and he believes he could have a very happy and fullfilling life without kids. He had just never concidered the CFBC side before.
I’m very happy that he is changing his mind just in case I decide I really don’t want to have kids, it’s been a huge relief. The problem is I’m concerned that he’s going to regret it one day because he always thought he would have kids. We’ve talked extensively and agreed that it will be a mutual decision whether or not we will and we have the time to make the decision because if we do decide to have kids it will be when we are in our 30s. I’m just scared that he will resent me if we decide not to have kids. I should trust what he’s telling me now, and I do, but it’s hard to believe he has changed his mind for himself when he never concidered being CFBC before me and sometimes I feel like I’ve convinced him. He says he loves me so much and would be happy with just the two of us but sometimes I’m afraid I’m taking something away from him even though when we talk about it he doesn’t make it sound like that at all and seems excited about the possibilities that come with being CFBC.
Has anyone else been through a situation like this? Has anyone else had their mind changed by their SO or changed the mind of their SO about having kids? Did it cause any problems in the long run or did you/your SO just genuinely realize they don’t actually want kids after talking about it?
I’d love to hear from you guys! Thanks 🙂
Post # 2
lauraspencer : I suppose that I never really thought of myself as someone who would have children. I never really saw marriage as something that I would have. either If I have to be honest, I fancied myself a future spinster cat lady. It wasn’t something I was agonizing over either. I very much enjoyed being single. However, curiosity got the better of me and I started to date in my early twenties and fell hard for my now hubby. He has always wanted children and after seeing his enthusiasm to start a family, I very much want to be a family with him. I wouldn’t say that my mind was “changed” I think I just opened myself up the possibility and now am quite looking forward to becoming a mother.
Post # 3
I’m not sure this is something you should “change his mind” about. I feel like having children or not having children is a desire within your heart. I think it’s something that he’ll have to think about and decide on his own from now pressure from you and then you two can go from there. And yes.. people can change their minds.. it’s happened before on the bee and to people in my life! I just think it’s unfair to pressure him into no kids if he truly does want kids. It’s a very life changing life choice! Just as someone shouldn’t pressure you into having kids if you don’t want them. You need to find a compatible partner either way.
Post # 4
els2016 : Oh no I think you misunderstoon my post. I am not pressuring him at all and I’m not trying to change his mind! He has changed his mind himself because of the conversations we’ve had about it. He had never thought about the reasons not to have children before and now he seems to have changed his mind, by himself, based on things we’ve talked about. My concern was that he changed his mind because of me without realizing it, not just because he started looking at the facts. That is what my post is about.
Post # 5
One of my couple friends who are expecting a child in a few months, apparently she never wanted kids and he said he doesn’t want to get married if she didn’t want kids, so she changed her mind..
My other couple friends were both undecided when they met and got married, they’ve been under family pressure to have kids over the last few years. He’s warming up to the idea and think it will be nice while she’s adamant she doesn’t want kids and asked him to think carefully as to whether he does. If he does, they’ll probably have to split up because she doesn’t want to be responsible for him never having kids (and he’s an only child so his parents never having grandkids).
I’m not particularly pro or against having kids myself and until I met my fiancé when I was 30, I wasn’t in a hurry to think about having kids. I knew though with the right person I can have a child. I’ve warmed up to kids more as I’m getting exposure to more of them in the last couple of years. So I’m of the mindset that we should at least have one, and fiancé is of the same mindset.
These things happen, people change their minds as they grow older, people compromise, or they decide to break up because of it. It happens. Even if you agree on something now, given you’re not actually going to have kids until some years later, things could still change. It’s not on you if he changes his mind, or if he doesn’t. That’s his decision to make. Similarly you might change your mind, and you can’t blame him for making you change your mind if you regret it later. But certainly, if someone is on the fence, they can be influenced by what their partner wants for sure.
Post # 6
I know that you hear horror stories, but if he’s been open about his thought process and is a truthful person, I’d take his word for it. I do believe that there are plenty of people who are true, genuine fence sitters: by that, I don’t mean that they lead one way or another, but that they would be genuinely fine to go on either side depending on how their life shakes out. I firmly believe that Fiance is one of those people. I really want kids, and have been very open about it from the beginning. He’s happy to have them with me one day, and I know he’ll be an awesome dad, but is he someone who would have dumped me if I hadn’t wanted kids? I don’t think so…I think that, if I’d been CFBC, he’d have followed suit and been equally happy. Some people have visions of what they want their future to look like…I’ve ALWAYS wanted the kids and pets and chaos, whereas I think he was very open to whatever life sort of threw at him. It sounds like your SO is like that…just an all-around more flexible/open-minded person, who is open to a variety of options and loves YOU so is happy to embrace and accept your vision.
Post # 7
lauraspencer : I reread your post. I think you should take him at face value unless he gives you a reason not to!
Post # 8
I don’t think it’s easy to judge whether someone will change their mind or not. We are never the same people we started out as in ththe beginning of a relationship. Your deep seated self morally will usually remain but life changes you. A decision like this seems fueled by his desire to not want to imagine life without you RIGHT NOW but doesn’t feel the impact of potentially never fulfilling his desire for children. My husband and I are perfect examples of how growing in life can change you. We both met each other and had never thought about marriage and didn’t want kids. However, as we grew together we got married, bought a house, and now really want a baby. This was a 5 year progression of us looking at our lives and being at a different stage in our life than we were when we were unmarried, struggling financially, and living in a small 1 bedroom apt. All this to say, I don’t see it working when two people aren’t on the same page or even open to go with the flow of things. You’re dead set on no kids but he is not. He just doesn’t want to give up what he has right now for the unknown but I think that will only last temporarily. It’s very hard to know what the future holds so it’s your choice to take his word and continue the relationship. It’s not your place to speculate or ask strangers about their experiences because none of them are your boyfriend and we can’t help you stay or go.
Post # 9
I agree with dianaj17 : in that I think some people are genuine fence-sitters and could go either way.
I am one of them. I have never in my life felt an urge or strong desire to have children, and the only time I ever even think about it is in a whimsical, “what if” kind of way. Like you, I find children lovely but very exhausting, and I really highly value the time I have to myself and to do what I want, not to mention getting a good night’s sleep.
However, I have always said that if it was important enough to the man I was with and I knew for sure I wanted to be with him and only him, I would have children.
My point is, I think some people can love their SO so much that they would be willing to go either way on the children issue. Your SO could very well be being quite honest with you. The only thing I would say is maybe encourage him to think about it some more – if there is still a while to go before you two get married, he should have time to do that.
The other comforting thing for you is that the clock doesn’t really run out for men. I know it’s not ideal to be a parent (a dad) to a child when you are old, but he can, theoretically, have children into his 70s if he wants, if, God forbid, things don’t work out between the two of you.
Post # 10
lauraspencer : If I had expressed a strong interest in kids early in the relationship and my partner agreed only to find out later she didn’t and was trying to convince me otherwise I would question her genuineness.
I don’t think this is something you should try to convince him. He may regret it which could have implications on the continuity of your relationship.
Post # 11
My Brother-In-Law went through this. He always wanted kids and then he got with this girl who didn’t. They were engaged and he completely changed his tune, talking about how terrible the world is why would he want to bring a kid into this and a bunch of other bogus. The whole family knew his change was only because of her. They ended up breaking up and he is with a great new girl and is talking about kids again. I strongly believe that if he stayed with her he would have been very unhappy bot having kids and he very quickly changed back in his next relationship which makes me believe he was never fully in board but loved his partner.
I do think he will grow to resent you but I could be wrong.
Post # 12
From reading your post it seems one or both of you could change your mind. You are only 25. Life happens and your views change as you as a human evolve. At 25 I certainly wasn’t thinking about having kids. When one or both of you are mid 30’s or even 40 and the finality of your decision comes into view you might change your mind. You have an easy eight years to decide and evolve, which is currently longer than you’ve been an adult. In order to not feel like you are controlling his views I would just let him know that you are open to kids or no kids and you may indeed change your mind.
If he decided he definitely wanted them would you change your mind?
I always assumed I’d have kids but never really knew till I met FH, he is so obviously born to be a dad that I got fully comfortable with the idea and can’t wait to have some tiny him’s someday. Probably not for a few more years. Plenty of time to do our own thing.
Post # 13
Plese don’t have children . My grandmother had my mother and my aunts because my gpa really wanted children and she was a horrible, horrible parent and aweful grandparent. My grandfather tried as hard as he could to make them feel loved but they always said it was a very cold childhood and hard knowing your own mother didn’t want to have you. Some women just don’t feel those maternal urges and if kids really annoy you as toddlers imagine how horrible a newborn can be.
Unfortunately things could go either way for you. Because you’re so young it’s hard to say whether or not your relationship will make it long term. Compromising on having children or not having them is too big of a compromise. There will always be that chance that his desire for having a big family will keep getting stronger, esp as friends and family have families of their own in the future. You have to mentally prepare yourself for the chance that you may have to let him go, guilt-free on both of your sides, so you can both have what you want- him children, you cfbc. GL
Post # 14
I don’t agree that being unsure if you want children or not will make you an awful parent as was mentioned above. People who want children can make really awful parents too, especially when they want them to fulfil all their needs. It sounds like you have a solid relationship with this man, and he is putting you first in his life over some fantasy children that don’t exist yet. That’s a good start. You may decide to not have kids now and have them later. My aunt was CFBC until she was close to her 50s then ended up adopting a baby and being really happy with motherhood later in life. There is always a push in your young adulthood to have kids now but other options do exist if you change your mind later. I can see why you are feeling unsure about it, as the woman is usually the primary caregiver. Have you asked him how much he would be involved in homelife and raising kids if you were to have them?
Post # 15
It’s hard to say if he’s just telling you what you want to hear. I’ve noticed a lot of men really don’t feel that strongly either way about having kids. Even if the two of you end up breaking up over this, it won’t be hard to find a man a man who truly doesn’t want them.