Serious BF isn't sure about kids

posted 4 weeks ago in Relationships
Post # 2
Member
230 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

I would just talk to him right now about what he’s thinking with regard to kids, I don’t see any reason to delay this.

Post # 4
Member
13260 posts
Honey Beekeeper

I’m sorry but I have no patience for men who lead women on. I’d consider this to be at best an indication of someone who was never sure about kids, but told you what you wanted to hear, in other words a bait and switch.

You gave him all the time he needed to decide if he wanted to be in a relationship with you back when you told him you want kids. He doesn’t need any more time to “think.” 

Post # 5
Member
335 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

I know how scary this can be! I’ve kind of been there. Since you’re only 28, and have still only been together for a year, I think you can afford to give him some time to process and decide. 

I had some scares like this with my now-husband in our twenties and even very-early 30s (we’re the same age). I’ve always wanted kids, and he’s always known this, but I wasn’t in a hurry about it — I wanted to have a wedding and babies in my 30s, and we met at 23. To me, by the time we were in our late 20s it made sense to have a plan and timeline for all our big life goals. When did we hope to get married? When did we want to get pregnant? When would we try to buy a house? What were all the steps from here to there?

For my partner, he really struggled to wrap his head around what it would be like to have kids so many years before he was ready to have kids. Like when we were 27 or so our jobs, social life and life style wouldn’t have supported the a kid well (let alone home ownership or the costs of a wedding), and while it was easy for me to think of that time as a step on the way towards our future married home-owning parent life, he just couldn’t make the same mental leap. (He’d also had divorced parents and an absent father, so just some more baggage around the whole topic than I had). As a result he couldn’t promise me that he would have kids with me one day, even if it was 5+ years away. It wasn’t a hard no or anything, he just wasn’t sure. Over the years, this was really the only thing we had relationship strife over, but it was pretty hard a ttimes. 

So in my case, I just KNEW my partner was the one, knew (probably better than he did) that he would be a good dad, was confident he’d get his career and financial stuff sorted out, and so although there was some anxiety along the way I basically decided to have faith and waited it out. Once his career stabilized in his early 30s, we had some money saved and we saw a couple friends get married he got on board with the whole wedding thing — and as a necessary precursor to getting engaged, he committed to starting a family with me. He ultimately thinks he could have been happy with or without kids, but he definitely wanted to spend his life with me and he knew that meant we would be having kids. We married at 33, and started trying to get pregnant a few months later. Again, even though we’d agreed to it he was a bit anxious about it all at first, but it took us a bit to get pregnant (mild fertility issues) and he got much more comfortable with the whole thing over that time, especially as we watched peers start families. 

Now I’m 35, he’s 36, we’re settled in our lovely newly renovated home that we bought last year, and we’re both delighted to finally be expecting our first son in October. My husband is a much more grown-up, settled adult now, and feels ready to welcome the joys and challenges of fatherhood. It was a bit of a journey to get here, but for me, SO worth it. This is definitely the man I think I was meant to spend my life with. He’s always been a wonderful partner, and I’m sure he’s going to be an incredible dad and the perfect co-parent to balance my own parenting style. 

Anyhow, long story, and you probably don’t want to hang around for 7 years waiting for things to fall into place… but I guess my point is I think sometimes for men it’s harder to make the logical leap from “I don’t want kids RIGHT NOW” to “but I do want kids in X years, let’s make a plan”. Whereas for women, I think for both biological and social reasons, the idea that we have to plan out our baby-making years in advance might be much more hard-wired and come more naturally. 

Post # 6
Member
7348 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 1997

is he even sure he wants to be married? I mean, one thing at a time, and if he hasn’t proposed and has said marriage isn’t important to him, then I’d doubt that, too. Either way, you need to decide how long you’re willing to wait for someone who clearly isn’t on the same page you are.

Post # 7
Member
6366 posts
Bee Keeper

He needs to think carefully and decide. And he may need some time. But, I wouldn’t give him too long if you definitely want children, as if he decides he doesn’t, you need to move on and find someone who does.

As for him being in his 30s, he is only 31. And, he is on the fence IMO: he doesn’t sound sure either way. So I don’t think he is too old to swing towards yes, he does want kids. My parents weren’t sure, and ended up having me at 36 and my brother at 40. And back then that was pretty old to be a first time parent. That said, staying with him if he remains on the fence is a gamble.

Post # 8
Member
1679 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

Yeah I wouldn’t give him much time at all. He is in his 30’s and it sounds like he has had a long run of travel and friends and doing whatever he wanted being single. I don’t think there is any reason for him to not know if he wants kids at this point. 

There are plenty of people who have kids because they love their partner enough to want to do it for them as otherwise the relationship would end but still he would need to have an answer for you now regardless. For example, I don’t imagine the large number of older dads (Bruce Willis as an example) really needed more kids but he married a much younger wife who wanted them and if he wanted her he had to say yes to kids. 

I also wanted to add that I don’t think him not being sure about having kids is the same as being generally nervous about that big step. My husband has known he always wanted kids but he did go though a nervous phase about actually having them and if he was ready to do it when we started TTC. We are 27 weeks pregnant and his nervousness turbed to excitement pretty quickly. So there is a big distinction between the nervousness every new parent goes though even when they are certain they want kids at some point, and guys who are just in general undecided if they ever want kids or not. Don’t let him mix the two together and confuse you. Him being nervous isn’t an actual excuse to not want kids. An actual excuse would be that he just doesn’t have that gut urge to have kids, or he loves a lifestyle free from kids, those kinds of reasons are valid and honest. 

Don’t get strung along here. Yes people do change their minds but in my opinion there are some things in life you are either a hell yes about or it’s a no. Marriage and kids are two of those things. You either hell yes want to marry someone and have kids with them or it’s a firm no. Such big choices need to be a hell yes to create a foundation strong enough to stand up to life’s challenges together. 

Give him a month to thibk it over and tell him if he still isn’t sure than you need to go find a relationship that does meet your needs. Don’t say that btw unless you really mean it and are ready to leave if he doesn’t want kids. Never say you need to end a relationship to elicit a response from someone. That’s the difference between an ultimatum and just being in control of your own life. Ultimatums are said to get a reaction out of someone and are super immature. Telling someone your needs and leaving when they aren’t met is being a mature adult. 

Post # 9
Hostess
4152 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

View original reply
@mrsssb:  I agree.  D.H. and I are both nervous to have kids because it’s a huge responsibilty and lifestyle change, but are still both excited to TTC in a few months.  We are both OP’s S.O.’s age. 

I think that at our age, even in a HCOL city, which trends toward older marriages and older first time parents, our friends are pretty set on whether or not they want children.  Many of my friends still plan to wait until mid 30s, but are sure that they want them.  I honestly wouldn’t give your S.O. too much longer in your position. 

Post # 11
Member
335 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

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@jazandlo:  Fair enough about having your own preferred timeline. As it happens, mine was “get pregnant by 33” and then that just didn’t happen because of biology. But if yours is “get pregnant by 29” that might not be realistic given that you’re only one year into a relationship. I guess think about your own timeline and how much flexibility you’re willing to have, then communicate about that frankly with your partner so he understands both that you’re willing to give him some time to work through this on his own, but also what the limitations of that timeline are.

Although also keep in mind that sometimes men are bad at working back from timelines and need to be guided through them… my own engagement arose from a conversation in which I had to walk him through the following: I’d like to get pregnant at 33, I just turned 32, in our city you need to book the good wedding venues 12 months out, also it’s going to take a couple months to get an engagement ring made.  Once he was clear on all that he was like oh — we should go see a jeweler next week shouldn’t we? Which, duh.  

Post # 12
Member
335 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

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@missinthecity:  I’m in a HCOL city where none of our friends had a kid below 31, but there are still a few folks on the fence at 35-36! 

Post # 13
Member
2162 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2020

I would give him another 6 months. A year into the relationship is pretty early. 

Post # 14
Member
2894 posts
Sugar bee

I will say it’s not uncommon for people to question whether they really want to have kids or not.

While I’ve known since before puberty that I never wants kids, I also know a few people who never questioned the fact they’d have kids someday but later questioned this or changed their mind, usually once they started seeing peers who’d had kids and the impact it was having on them.  (ranging from watching a friend go through a few months of sleep deprivation to the financial impact to lifestyle changes).  

By any chance, does he have any friends who’ve had kids in the past year or two?

Post # 15
Member
27 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: June 2020

View original reply
@jazandlo:  Your worries are completely valid and to me I feel like it isn’t odd that after the scare he thought more in depth about things. I really think you should sit down and seriously tell him about what you’re looking for in the near future and if that doesn’t match up anymore then you have to decide if waiting or not waiting will be worth it. Also maybe he wants to be married before trying or something he hasn’t let on yet? Good luck xx

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