Serious BF isn't sure about kids

posted 4 weeks ago in Relationships
Post # 16
1911 posts
Buzzing bee

ughhhh this is tough. I feel for you because you know what you want and unfortunately you can’t decide this for him

ETA: I just saw your update that he is 100% sure about marriage so that changes things! Given your update I would follow PP’s advise about giving it 6 months and seeing how he feels about having kids


Post # 17
458 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2020

My fiance and I are both fencesitters. Most of my friends are. We live in a big city and love travelling so it’s common here…Unfortunately, people do change their mind. It kind of fluctuates


Post # 18
1803 posts
Buzzing bee

Values and life goals are critical to be in line with for a successful relationship. This is the starting point for dating, weeding out those who don’t share your goals and values. Difference in plans for kids v no kids is a deal breaker. Building a relationship with a fencesitter would be good for someone who is certain they could be happy with either outcome. If having kids is important to you, stick to dating people who know where they stand and share your desire for children. The longer you let a relationship go when core values are not aligned, the harder it is to come to terms with the impact of the issue when things come to a head. The more feelings grow, the more your lives become enmeshed, the more painful it is to part ways when deal breaker issues become…well, deal breakers.

I think this is likely to be a very painful waste of your time. There are other fish in the sea. I would back out before more time is lost and narrow the search to people who share your goals and values. There have been so many heartbreaking posts here of people who married someone who was on the fence and landed on the opposite side, and equally as many posts of people who married someone who said they could be happy going along with what their partner wanted (usually agreeing to have kids) and then procrastinating ultimately to throw accusations that they were pressured into the decision and never really felt comfortable with the decision. Result: painful,  bitter divorce.

Post # 19
384 posts
Helper bee

Definitely have a straight forward conversation. Do you or do you not want children… whith me? Marriage and engagement (if thats in your plan) its your life you need to know! 

btw how long you have been together?

Post # 20
679 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

View original reply
@jazandlo:  hi bee, I was in your exact position in Jan 2017. I now have a toddler and a second baby on the way with that man. It can end well but I basically gave him an ultimatum and a deadline to reach a decision (I was 34 and had fertility issues so I literally didn’t have time to waste). He is an awesome dad with no regrets, but he was hugely on the fence and leaning towards no. It really could go either way, so decide how long you are willing to give him, have some tough and honest conversations, and make the decision that you can live with for life. If my guy had wavered, I’d be a single mum with a donor dad for my kid. I had accepted that because having a baby was non-negotiable for me. I know how awful it feels to love someone and to fear that they aren’t on the same page. For my guy, it turns out he was just fearful and once he’d sorted that out, he was prepared to take the plunge. I’ve also had the flip side…I married a guy who promised we would start trying for kids as soon as we were married. We got married and he refused to even discuss it and we had sex 3 times total in our 18 months of marriage. So you definitely want honesty at the end of the day! 

Post # 21
140 posts
Blushing bee

Personally I would end the relationship and look for someone who knows they want kids. 

I knew since I was little I didn’t want kids, and I think it’s one of those decisions both partners need to be “Hell yes” about. I don’t mean to offend those who had partners or themselves on the fence, but people have regretted having kids-  look it up if you ever want to be really depressed. And that’s bad for both that person and their kid/s. 

I’ll add that, at least if you’re in the U.S, the economy has changed and is still changing to where kids are moving out later- if they’re moving out at all. Is that something you/your partner would be okay with? If not, how would you feel about financially supporting your kid or possibly watch them become homeless? 

I know that it’s not pleasant to think about, but with the changes that are going to happen in a post-COVID economy and as global warming causes more issues, these are things you must consider. 

Post # 22
234 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

View original reply
@gimmepretty:  👏 Totally agree with you! 

Post # 23
1063 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

My concern would be that if you make it a conversation and he thinks he will lose you that he may ‘say’ all the right thing and sure, we can have kids in 5 years, he may even convince himself that it will be okay by then and then when the time comes he wants to keep putting it off or tells you he has changed his mind or gives an excuse. Then you are married and your lives are intertwined and you will also be older and have wasted a lot of your fertile years.

I just think if I was dating a man in his 30s I would expect him to know what he wants and if he can’t commit then I wouldn’t waste my time, it’s not even like you are pressuring him or wanting them anytime soon. 

Plus there is always the chance of accidental pregnancy, even if using birth control and would you want to be with a man who wouldn’t want the baby or would be resentful. 

I just think if you are in a serious relationship with a man/woman who is late 20s to 30s who wants kids then you can’t be selfish and you just need to be honest with yourself or date child free people as some don’t have the luxury of spending 10 years with a person who can’t even picture who they see their future. If he was single I would understand more as I get that guys may need to actually be able to picture the ‘right woman’ to have children with but if you are in a relationship and still can’t decide I have less tolerance for that. 

How many times have we seen posts on this board where a partner was unsure, said yes to kids and then changed their mind (both men and women) and then it just ends in heartbreak for everyone as there is no compromise for this issue. it is one of the most important compatability issues a couple will face. 

Post # 24
443 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

This is a tough one. I personally always knew I wanted kids and can’t fathom being on the fence about a decision as large as that, but I have so many examples of friends who were on the fence, or even in the “hell no” camp, who changed their minds and are now enthusiastic and excellent parents. So, I don’t think you need to write him off based on his cautiousness.

On the other hand, wasting time in a relationship with what may be a major incompatibility is not fun either. So, I’d encourage you to give him time… but make sure he’s using the time to make progress on the decision. The fact that his dad left means he may have some baggage around this issue… could you encourage him to go to therapy, or better yet, go together? At the very least, I wouldn’t shy away from the subject while he is trying to decide. Be open about how you think your lives with kids will be like, what you are excited about, etc. If these topics scare him, you have your answer, but hopefully he will come around to be more comfortable with the idea.

Post # 25
177 posts
Blushing bee

I don’t know Bee, this might be a hard relationship to let go but this is a deal breaker and not something that can be compromised on really. If you could be happy either way then it wouldn’t be as big of a deal but if kids are important to you and not to him that’s a problem with values aligning. Both are valid, but it might make you wrong for each other. 

I married a guy who didn’t care for kids at all but “would like one or two of his own someday.” But someday never seemed to come. And when he said he’d have a baby after I said we were wrong for each other and wanted different things in life I realized he’d probably only told me he was open to kids in the first place to keep me. I felt lied to and strung along. Having a baby with this man would leave me feeling like a single mother. I didn’t just want a baby, I wanted a family.  Not saying a guy can’t change his mind or fall in love with his own child but you deserve a guy that WANTS a baby with YOU! 

Post # 26
433 posts
Helper bee

Maybe something else to consider is that these are very uncertain times – I know a lot of people who are questioning previously settled views because of it.  He may be anxious about bringing kids into the kind of world that has things like Covid-19.  

I’d say it’s worth another conversation – but I wouldn’t do the ‘I will have to end this if you don’t want kids’ thing because as others have said, there’s a risk he will just agree so that he doesn’t lose you.

Post # 27
459 posts
Helper bee

He may never change his mind. Or he could and think he wants kids until you have them and he checks out. Be careful when you want different things such as children. Both people have to be entirely on the same page. 

Post # 28
3760 posts
Honey bee

My exH said he wasn’t sure about kids and when I told him it was a non negotiable, he changed tune and said that he would want them with me.

Jokes on me though, because I believed his lies.  We got married and then he changed his mind and expected me to as well since we were legally bound to one another.

I told him that I changed my mind about wanting to be married to him.  Ha.

When someone tells you that they aren’t sure about kids, believe them.  And yes, they can come around to the idea, but if you choose to stay you have to be prepared to be ok with not having kids.  

Post # 29
9 posts
  • Wedding: July 2018


Post # 30
1679 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

(No longer relevant) 

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