Post # 1
So there are certain conversations that everyone says you should have before you get married, and they all seem to center around money and children.
Obviously finances are an important issue to discuss, but did anyone NOT have a formal talk about having children before marriage.
I’m sure I’ll be in the minority, but I have no interest in having children. My FI has always been great with kids and I think has always wanted one, though he says he could go either way. I on the other hand have always known that I do not want children. I dont have a maternal instinct & I honestly don’t see myself being so self-less to give up my entire life for 20/25 years to focus on the rearing of a child. Plus I’ve had so many issues with depression that I couldnt imagine passing my screwed up genes on to anyone else.
My FI is going to be 30 in a few months and I will be 25 in a few days. In my mind that seems SO YOUNG to have children, even though all my friends are starting to get knocked up. I almost feel guilty that I know that I wont even consider having a child for another handful of years, and my FI will be well into his 30s by then. But then again, if he was really focused on wanting that family life, he would have calmed down a lot sooner than he has.
Every time the topic of kids come up, we both kind of just say “eh, maybe” and shrug it off.
Anyone not have a formal “I want kids/I dont want kids” before getting married?
Post # 3
@memmielee: I did, because children are one issue you can’t compromise on. If one person wants kids and the other doesn’t, you can’t have a half a kid. When you are at opposite ends of the spectrum, one person will be left feeling resentful about the decision.
I would think if you are marrying someone, you should be comfortable talking about everything. I didn’t sit FI down and say, “now listen, how do you feel about kids?” All of the issues that were important to discuss pre-marriage came up natually when we were working towards that goal.
Post # 4
We both knew that neither of us really wanted kids. I guess we didn’t have a formal discussion, but it’s not like we didn’t know either. Now my fiancé says if I let him get a dog that will suffice! We have a cat who is my baby already.
Post # 5
We never really had a formal talk about it, but we both have expressed lots of interest in having children one day–like talking about names, how we’d raise them, moving to a good school district. Since we’ve already discussed all that, I didn’t think a “formal” talk was really needed.
Post # 6
Funny story about this: we had the talk, yes. We both definitely want kids, and I thought we’d agreed on three. And then, for my bridal shower, my sister and sister-in-law got my now-husband to make a video of himself answering questions that they’d posed to him. They asked me to anticipate his answers, then played what he actually said. One of the questions they’d asked was “How many children are you going to have?” He got this really serious look on his face, then raised EIGHT fingers!!!! He quickly followed this with a huge grin (he’s a goofy guy!) and the correction, “However many she wants!” But this made me wonder if he actually wants more children than he was originally letting on. But I’m 30 and he’s 34, so eight would be pushing it. Until they figure out how to allow men to carry children, he might just have to revise his expectations…..
Post # 7
its very important to be completely open and honest about those things. And be blunt. Because if the other person thinks they can change your mind in a few years and you are dead set, then that just becomes a cause of resentment.
FI and i have always said we wanted kids. If he told me he did not want them (i asked very early on) then i would have stopped seeing him. Finances, religion and children are three values you can not change in another person, and the person you marry should match your goals in these 3 areas. Otherwise there are rocky seas ahead.
Post # 8
@memmielee: I think that this can be a HUGE issue and it’s definitely something that you need to discuss before getting married. We definitely did, and we’re on the same page, thank god. Not sure what we would do if we weren’t.
Post # 9
I agree that children are something you can’t compromise about. So for us, it was at the beginning of out dating, because we do NOT want any children and wanted to make sure we were on the same page right from the beginning.
Post # 10
Yes, that was very important to me (I love kids). FI wantes one, and I want two. Like the good compromisers that we are, we have agreed on 1.5 kids ; ) I think we will just play it by ear on 1 or 2, I think we’d both be happy either way.
Post # 11
@memmielee: I think the “baby talk” before marriage is a MUST. People who don’t want children shouldn’t be forced to have them. I don’t have a choice. I’m (almost) 36, I had my tubes tied 6 years ago and I already have 5 kids. FI is only 27 and has no children. So in order for our marriage to work he has to love kids, but never want any of his own. Luckily it’s all worked out. But if he was on the fence about wanting a baby or definitely wanted one I never would have gotten into a relationship with him. I made it clear a week after I met him that I had these kids and could never have any more so that there would be no issue about babies later. I also think couples should discuss (if they both do want children) what would happen if they could not conceive. I think that also becomes an issue, for some otherwise happy couples, when it happens and they’re not both on the same page about it.
Post # 12
We’ve had a formal discussion but the conclusion was “not right now maybe in the future.” We both really have no idea. We both know we’re not ready now but neither of us are sure if we will ever want them. Hopefully we will both be on the same side of the spectrum in the future…
Post # 13
I can’t imagine marrying someone whose opinion I didn’t know about children! What would happen if you bound your lives together and THEN discovered you had different ideas?
Post # 14
Yes, we had it as soon as I knew I wanted to marry FI, which was about a year before we got engaged. It’s a big thing and you need to be on the same page. FI and I have agreed that yes but not till about 35 (4 years)
Post # 15
We had a formal talk – about a year before getting engaged. Knowing the other person’s rough timeline is important, and it’s equally important to know if one person’s wishy-washy just to appease the other person. “I could go either way” can translate to a lot of things – “Whatever you want to do,” “I’m not certain I ever want kids, but what if you change your mind?” and so on.
It’s a time-sensitive thing. Having kids is not critical for either of you yet – in the next 5 years, it’s time to start making some decisions, as fertility starts dropping in your early 30s. And by 35, it starts getting to “do-or-die” time. Pregnancies still happen after that, of course, but the TTC boards here paint quite the picture of what women increasingly go through when trying to get pregnant at that point in their lives.
But, as you’ve rightly seen, it’s also a, “If I have them, there is no going back.”
My question is – does your fiance know about your reasons for opposing having kids, OP? I say that because later on in your post, you mention that you both respond, “Maybe,” when it comes to kids. Is it no, or is it maybe? How confident is the ‘maybe?’ I would tell him straight-up why and how likely or unlikely your mind is to change…because he may be leaning more one way than the other, and that news could be devastating if it comes out in 5 years’ time.
Post # 16
We did, because it’s important to us to HAVE kids, just like I would imagine it’s just as important to you to not have kids.
There are definitely some major topics that should be discussed before marriage, I think, as they are generally non-negotiables: life timeline/goals (ie, home ownership, retirement, kids), to have or not have kids (and how many), religion (or lack thereof), and how to handle money.
Now, if your FI is of the “I don’t care if I have kids or not” persuasion, then you not wanting kids shouldn’t be a big deal. But if he wants kids, what are you going to do? Should he sacrafice that so that you get your way? Or vice versa? For me, a spouse who doesn’t want kids is an absolute deal breaker. Heck, FI and I have even had the convo of “when do we want kids? How far apart would they be ideally? How would we discipline? How many will we have (three if I get my way, ha!), if we can’t easy have kids by ourselves, how many medical interventions will we seek? At which point will we investigate adoption?”.