(Closed) He doesn't know if he wants kids (a bit long)

posted 7 years ago in Relationships
Post # 3
1829 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

That sucks, if my SO did not want kids that would be a deal breaker and I would have to end the relationship.

Post # 4
4028 posts
Honey bee

@katedesaccord:  Not saying that things can’t change, but if he is 36 and does not want kids, my guess is HE DOES NOT WANT KIDS. Despite his excuse, he should know what he generally does and does not want out of life at 36 years old.

I wouldn’t suggest necessarily leaving him, but you have to decide if having children is something that you want to do. This could become a major point of contention. Regardless of how good your relationship is, you may come to resent him if you never have children. Also, if he really doesn’t want to have children, he could come to resent you or the child if you do.

Rather than off-handed comments, you two should probably have a very straight-forward, eye-to-eye discussion and make sure you two know exactly what the other one wants. If I were you, I wouldn’t let him leave the conversation until I got his 100% honest, certain decision. It is one thing to not be ready, but it is entirely differently to not ever want them.

Good luck OP!

Post # 5
47289 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

If it was me, and it was really important for me to have children, I would want a commitment from him before I got married.

How do you plan to handle it if you do get married and a few years hence he finally makes a decision and it’s not the one you want?

Post # 6
12245 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

You want kids. He’s told you he doesn’t want kids. There’s really no compromise there! Maybe it’s time to get some premarital counseling? I think children is one of those things you HAVE to be on the same page about…

Post # 7
1621 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Well. I wouldn’t say “kick him to the curb” but what I would say is that you both need to sit down and really talk about it.  Not talk around it or laugh it off….actually be completely honest with each other.

The way you describe it, he doesn’t want kids.  There’s a huge difference between being ambivilent about it (if it happens, ok, if not, ok) or not feeling ready now but wanting kids in the future.  This doesn’t seem to be the case here.  If he has said, “I don’t think I want kids.  Like, EVER.” then you need to ask yourself what you would do if you go ahead and marry him and then in 3 years he says he definitively doesn’t want children.  There is no right or wrong answer here, just the answer that is right for you.  But I can say that having a child with someone that doesn’t really want it isn’t usually a good idea for long-term happiness.

Post # 8
807 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

I’m going to throw out a different perspective and say that I think you’re ok as long as you keep an open dialogue about it, although I do think you should at least consider the “what if”–what if he completely changes his mind and adamantly decides that he does not want kids under any circumstances, are you prepared to deal with that? 

In my experience, it can certainly be a situational thing. My Fiance was way more on the fence when we started dating (young, apartment, not really in stable job situations yet) versus now, when he still wants to wait a year or two but does definitely want to have them. It doesn’t sound like either of you are at a deal-breaker point yet. Have you ever asked him why he doesn’t know if he will want them?

Post # 9
2622 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

Are you willing to risk no kids if he decides later that he doesnt want kids? This is a very real possibility because “I dont know” could easily mean “I dont think so, but maybe later I will be sure” or it could mean” I am pretty sure I dont want kids, but I know Kate really wants them. Maybe if I push it off long enough she will be willing to accept no kids”

If your great relationship is enough to sustain you with out kids, then take the risk. Otherwise your playing with fire and you will lose.

Post # 10
5155 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 2010


I am childfree, and definitely will not be having kids. I know I will not change my mind and would not lead anyone on otherwise. Having said that, I have met more than a few men who were rather ambivalent and would take it or leave it depending on their partner. This may be where your SO is coming from. Personally I think having kids should be a little more involved than that since they are a big responsibility, but like I said, I have met many men who have felt this way. They weren’t eager to have them, but as they kind of “knew” they would not have primary care or have to deal with pregnancy and the like they went for it. Sometimes it was just as they had little idea what it would really involve. It is just not a dealbreaker for them either way.

However, like I said, kids are a big deal. It is not just about having a baby. It is a lifetime of parenting, of children at various ages, and so on. They will change dynamics and add new stressors. You really should both be on board. Some of those men I mentioned above, well, they had kids as their partner wanted them and it turns out they wish they had not had them at all. They are good dads, but they are resentful of how things turned out, and often the relationships have suffered.

I am going to say at 36 he has a pretty good idea if he wants them or not. And I am going to go with “not”. It is time for you two to stop skirting around the issue, joking about it, and sit down and really talk. If you do find yourselves on opposite ends, there are some big decisions to make because it will come down, IMO, to whether you would rather be with him without kids, or without him and maybe with kids. I just do not think there is a compromise in having a child that is not wanted by both parents.

I will also add, this is not a “if he loves you, he will have them” thing. And your friends are wrong for that. Nor can you count in him changing his mind if you just have kids anyway. This is a “does he want kids or not” thing. I can honestly tell you one of the reasons I do NOT want kids is because I love my husband dearly, and our life together so much, that I do not want to add children into it. That is not the only reason, but it is there. Even if my husband really wanted kids, I could not even for as much as I love him as it has nothing to do with not loving him enough, and everything to do with not wanting to be a parent. 

Post # 11
4044 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

Is it possible that he has some kind of lingering concerns or reservations that he needs to resolve before making this decision?

I’m in my 30s and still don’t know if I want kids, and I have some very clear reasons for being on the fence, but I am not sure how to resolve them. Mostly it has to do with self confidence, and wondering whether I should take on the responsibility of a job that I’m not sure I would be good at. But definietely not an easy decision one way or the other.

Post # 12
2268 posts
Buzzing bee

@julies1949:  “If it was me, and it was really important for me to have children, I would want a commitment from him before I got married.

How do you plan to handle it if you do get married and a few years hence he finally makes a decision and it’s not the one you want?

I would be very careful of this too.

Honestly OP, to me it seems like he doesn’t want kids, but he also doesn’t want to give you an outright no, as he’s not sure how you will react or what it will mean for your relationship.

Post # 15
1856 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

@katedesaccord:  “He’s been pretty consistent in that he’s said he doesn’t really want kids…”

He’s telling you he doesn’t want kids when he knows you want them. There isn’t a lot of room for compromise there…

Post # 16
2268 posts
Buzzing bee

@katedesaccord:  If he truly loves you and wants to be with you for the rest of his life, which it sounds like he does, then I wouldn’t find it hard to believe that he would not give you a straight answer, when he knows that the answer he will give you, leads you both into the unknown.

I’m not suggesting he’s intentionally misleading you, but perhaps unintentionally misleading you as he’s afraid to hurt you, or to lose you.

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