Husband says he doesn't want children

posted 2 months ago in Married Life
Post # 2
716 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

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@togetherforever18:  oh bee this sucks. I was in this situation a few years ago. Prior to marriage, my ex and I agreed to try for 2 children. Once married he changed his mind. To be fair he had illness and fatigue and I honestly think it was the right choice for him, but I wish he’d been more upfront prior to marriage. 

For me it was non-negotiable. I knew I couldn’t live my life without at least trying for children. I knew if I stayed that I would resent him and the relationship wouldn’t work. I had made it very clear from the onset of our 6 year relationship that children were to be a part of my future. We went to counselling as a couple and I went to counselling on my own. It helped me to reach a decision. 

I still loved him when I left him. In retrospect there were a million red flags so leaving him was absolutely the right thing to do (kids aside). At the end of the day, you need to decide if it’s easier to live without the possibility of having your own family, or the possibility of living without him. 

I left when I was almost 34. I am expecting my second son with my beautiful partner in 2 weeks. I’m almost 38. Had I not met my partner I would have tried my best to become a parent on my own. Zero regrets. My toddler is the best thing in the world. 

Edit to add – if you have always been upfront about your desire to have kids, your husband should be understanding if you decide to leave over such a non-negotiable. Mine wasn’t – he was angry and upset. If I had been the one to change my mind about such a life changing factor I would EXPECT my partner to consider leaving me. 

Post # 3
9529 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

He’s allowed to not want kids, but if you do, I’d find a partner who’s on the same page. Waiting around to see if your husband changes his mind (which he may never do) isn’t worth putting it to chance. Being on the same page about kids is a huge deal. It completely changes the kind of life you lead. 

As for the “what if I’m infertile” stuff — I think you’re going down that road to help justify staying with him because if you really want a child in your life, there’s IVF, there’s surrogacy, there’s adoption, etc. 

Post # 4
2056 posts
Buzzing bee

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You’ve only been married two years and you’ve already had a “bad patch” over this. You’re right about the resentment. You went into the marriage with an understanding that the two of you were in agreement about having children. It’s inevitable that resentment will deepen as your desire for children becomes more pressing with time and you’re reminded that he is the one who changed his mind. He’s allowed to change his mind, of course, but it changes the premise of the relationship. Children/no children is a fundamental life choice and life experience. To go into it, not wanting it, would be misery. To be denied it, wanting it, would be misery. This is a deal breaker issue for good reason. You can’t be happy together when one of you is miserable over a major life choice you can’t agree on.  Staying for love is not going to pan out, since love is delicate and is not going to thrive while personal unhappiness and joint resentment sets in. There are other men out there who desire children. You can find love again. As for fertility problems, you won’t know until you try. But if you stay, your husband is your fertility problem.  There are steps people can take when there are fertility struggles, such as hormone treatments, IVF. Where there’s infertility, sperm or egg donors can be found, surrogacy is an option and adoption is an option. This is not a persuasive essay to have children, these are the basic truths that will cycle through your head day in and day out as this issue grows between you. You and your current husband are incompatible. The good news is you both have time to find other life partners who are compatible. He’ll be happier with someone who wants a CFBC lifestyle as much as he does. You’ll be happier with someone who wants children as much as you do. Procrastinating this issue will just waste time for both of you. Part ways as amicably as possible and free yourselves up to find partners that are a better match. Life values are not the things you compromise on. The reason is, it just doesn’t work. It will destroy your relationship and your personal happiness. Don’t that to yourself. Waiting until fighting forces you apart will cause so much unnecessary pain for both of you. Don’t do that either. Just do what needs to be done before resentment makes an amicable split impossible, take some time to heal, and find someone who shares your values.

Post # 5
2270 posts
Buzzing bee

I would sign up for individual counseling. Would you be open to that? This is a huge thing with many complex layers and I just think talking through it with an objective 3rd party professional could give you some much needed clarity.

I understand why you’re saying things like “what if I turn out to be infertile?” to justify staying with him, but I don’t think that’s a good reason. It’s not going to change the underlying resentment you’ll feel if you stay in this marriage. 

Also, couples counseling isn’t an option because “he’s not a big talker”? That sounds like B.S. to me. He’s allowed to change his mind, even on something this significant, but surely he must realize he just dropped a huge bomb on your marriage that’s going to have major ramifications? Is he even apologetic about changing his mind on something he KNOWS is important to you and that you’d agreed on before you got married? I’m not loving his attitude…(or what I take to be his attitude, reading between the lines). 

Post # 9
2270 posts
Buzzing bee

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@togetherforever18:  That’s really hard bee. It sounds like his mind is made up, so in that sense maybe couples counseling wouldn’t be that helpful. I definitely think individual counseling would help though and I hope you’re able to do that.

Regarding your fear that he’ll go on to have kids with someone else and it’ll “break” you…I think you’ve got to stop with the hypotheticals. They just aren’t relevant. The only thing you KNOW is that you want children and your husband adamantly doesn’t. You should base the decision on what to do about your marriage on what you know, not on murky fears and “what if’s” about the future. If you leave him you can have children. Even if you’re infertile, there are options. If you stay with him, you know what your future will look like: you’ll be childless and you’ll be resentful about it. 

I’ll just add that you’ve still got so much time at 28! I left my long-term ex boyfriend at age 28. Met my now husband at 29, got married at age 31, and at 33 had my first child. 35 now and TTC #2. 

I think the worst thing you coudl do would be to stay with your husband out of fear of the unknown. If you stay with him it should be because you have decided with all your heart that you are okay never having kids. You need to have complete conviction about that. If you don’t have that then you should leave. But much easier for internet strangers to say that than for you to actually do it! I get that. Which is again why I think individual counseling would really help!

Post # 10
89 posts
Worker bee

My husband and I both want children in the future, but we actually just had this exact same discussion a few weeks ago. 

My consenses: If he changed his mind about wanting children, I would probably end up leaving him 

His consensus: If I changed my mind about wanting children, he would probably end up staying with me

There is no right or wrong answer, but the fact that you are already feeling resentment over this is a telling sign. Imagine how much worse it will be at age 32? 35? 38? 

This isn’t an issue that can be compromised on, so you need to decide which is more important to you. Staying with your husband and never having children or finding someone who wants to have children with you.

Also, he is 36 years old. I wouldn’t hold my breath on him ‘changing his mind’. 

Post # 11
3866 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2017 - City, State

Children are not something someone should just “give a shot”. You can’t try children on like a jacket. Once they are here, they’re here. I don’t blame him for not just agreeing to have children to make you happy, anymore and I definitely wouldn’t expect you to not have children just to make him happy.

It’s an unfortunate deal breaker issue. If you want kids and he’s adamant that he doesn’t, then as hard as it will be, I think you’ll need to find someone else who shares your vision for the future. Definitely go to individual counseling to help sort your feelings about everything out, maybe he’s even be willing to attend a few sessions with you. 

This is a terrible position to be in and I’m so sorry you’re having to make such difficult choices. Agree with PP that you shouldn’t what if yourself into indecision. All you can do is make a decision with the information currently at hand.

Post # 12
3485 posts
Sugar bee

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“I feel like if he truly loved me and wanted to make me happy and went into the marriage knowing I wanted kids, why wouldnt he give it a shot?”

Because parenthood is a huge responsibility and commitment, and deserves more respect than just “giving it a shot”.

Post # 13
3900 posts
Honey bee

Oh bee, I’m so sorry that you are in this position.  I went through this as well.  

We had talked extensively about how kids were a non negotiable for me and that I wouldn’t marry him if he didn’t want them.  He said that he did and we got married.  He did say that he wanted to enjoy married life for a couple of years before trying and that was fine with me as I also wanted to travel and enjoy the freedom before we settled down.

Well about 2 years in he finally admitted that he never actually wanted kids but thought maybe he would grow into the idea and we just started to constantly fight about it.  I felt so resentful and felt that he purposely wasted my time, my life and now I was stuck with either having to choose to stay with no kids or start over at the age of 32.

Our relationship deteriorated because of it and about 6 months later (and lots of therapy), I decided to end it.  Staying the that marriage felt like I would just be miserable forever and the unknown seemed exciting all of a sudden.

My life is not what I thought it would be and I don’t have any of my own biological children, but my lovely and kind fiance has two older kids and they have accepted me into their family with open arms and I couldn’t be happier. 


Post # 14
2131 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: City, State

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@togetherforever18:  “if he truly loved me and wanted to make me happy and went into the marriage knowing I wanted kids, why wouldnt he give it a shot?”

Bee, I truly feel for you, but I know you know this isn’t the way this works. For one: He could be saying the same thing about you concerning giving a child free life a shot. And also: There would be resentment on *his* side if he agreed to have kids when he didn’t want to because he enjoys his independent life. And finally: Parenthood isn’t something to force someone into. Children deserve parents who wanted them and will love them unconditionally. 

As a childfree by choice woman, my best advice is that you move on. You are at an impasse and he has already told you he understands if you have to leave. Those are not the words of a man who seems likely to change his mind. Nor should he have to. Children are a huge responsibility he does not want. 

It will be hard to break apart the life you’ve built, but if you want children that badly, it will be worth it and it’s what you need to do. 

Post # 15
3065 posts
Sugar bee

This is the penis spray guy!!! Why are you still with a cheater??? And wanting to have kids with him??? Gross. Just leave already.

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