I Want Children, They Don't: Can The Relationship Work?
Relationships are filled with highs and lows. One of the most tangible aspects of any relationship is communication. It is not tangible in the physical sense but an emotional one.
What happens in a relationship when partners have different expectations? You could be dating a man with kids, or someone who don't like kids at all. What can you do when there are different expectations? It’s simple: compromise and attempt to make it work, right? Unfortunately, it is not always that simple. There are many instances where partners strive for different things in a relationship. Differences are a part of what makes many relationships work, but not all succeed at doing so.
For instance, consider a relationship where you want your own children, but your partner doesn’t. Can the relationship work with this magnitude of differences in desires? There are a variety of perceptions regarding the idea of bringing children into a relationship. Some couples prefer or plan to have children once they’re married and others believe that having children will make the relationship stronger. There are many who prefer not to have kids at all. In a few cases, a partner who wants children will sometimes fall for someone who doesn’t want any.
The approach to the conversation about kids can be a fragile one that some couples avoid. It’s an important talk to have and should be addressed before the relationship advances too far. Regardless of its importance, many people skate around the topic, and it’s usually because they’re uncertain that their partner feels the same as they do about bringing children into the relationship. This topic should be discussed, as it reveals what each partner wants from the relationship regarding children.
Many factors may influence whether a person does or doesn’t want kids. Children are a significant responsibility, one that may require a lifetime commitment. It’s normal for a person to be unsure if they want children or not.
It can be antagonizing to realize that there is a major disagreement in such a huge life decision. However, what happens if you eventually see that you can’t reach a mutual agreement about having children? The following suggestions may help you arrive at a mutually beneficial decision.
If It’s An Immediate Plan
If someone wants children early in the relationship, it may be best for them to be upfront and honest with their timeline. If one partner wants kids immediately and it’s not in the immediate plans of the other partner, then it may be best to dissolve the relationship to not create future resentment. The beginning of the relationship may be a suitable time to ask the baby question, as it’s often a very important thing in a relationship for most couples. For the partner who wants children immediately, ask yourself if waiting is something you’re emotionally and physically prepared to do. For the partner who prefers waiting a few years, ask yourself if starting a family now will prevent you from achieving other things or if you feel you can be a good parent if you had kids now. Both partners should ask themselves if changing their minds about when to have children will be something they can accept moving forward.
If It’s An “In The Future” Plan
Consider the talks you’ve had with your partner and at what point in the relationship they wish to have kids, since if having children is not your mutual desire, it could potentially bring problems in the future relationship. Staying married for the kids is a situation that you do not want to be in. Can you make it work or find a middle ground? This depends largely on the tone of the conversations and how forthcoming having kids is in the future of the relationship and whether both partners have a definite answer on their feelings about having children.
If both partners want kids but not immediately, a couple may make the relationship work. They can continue to build and strengthen the relationship, which might bring them closer and put them in a position to make kids a part of their plans. If both parties are young, planning for kids in the future may not be a bad idea.
Consider Various Options
There are various options regarding bringing children into the relationship. If it is the fear of taking care of a baby, adopting an older child may be a better option. It allows you to avoid the first few years of the child’s life, which may be something you are uncomfortable with doing. The most important approach is to consider the primary reason preventing you from wanting kids and determining an agreeable compromise.
Sometimes, it’s not the fact that one partner doesn’t want kids. It could be that they do not see having children with the person they’re seeing. In this case, it’s not that kids aren’t in their future. Instead, the partner is not someone with whom they see having a long-term relationship, which means they wouldn’t consider having kids with them.
Once you’ve considered the above questions as they apply to your specific situation, it’s time to move forward. The desire to have kids is strongly embedded in the hearts and minds of some, which can make it difficult for them to understand why anyone wouldn’t want to have children. Those who fall in the category of not wanting kids may find it hard to understand why others jump at the opportunity to assume such a massive responsibility.
If you’re in a situation where you and your partner face challenges in the relationship, such as whether or not to have kids, it may help see a relationship counselor. In addition to talking to a professional, you should also do the following.
Talk Openly About The Issue
It’s easy to avoid the topic of kids in a relationship. It’s often avoided for most couples because children can be a complicated subject, and some prefer to avoid the debate that may take place. Relationships can flourish from simple debates or disagreements, but complicated topics such as having or not having kids may not be as easy to approach or overcome.
The fact is, women are usually more eager to approach the topic because their biological clock isn’t forever in their favor. They don’t have the option or the luxury of waiting until they’re much older to have kids. After 35, a woman’s fertility drops, and the probability for genetic disorders, among other issues, can rise. Women who are nearing that age aren’t always able to wait a little longer to start a family.
In this scenario, the couple should talk about the issue at hand immediately. If you’re a woman who desires to start a family but is involved with someone who expresses they don’t want children, you should address it soon. If you’ve been dating for a few years, there is a chance that your mate may have changed their mind about having kids by now.
If you want to avoid dissolving the relationship, there are other alternatives to consider. For instance, it may be an option to become foster parents before embarking upon the parental journey. It may help the reluctant partner realize what being a parent really entails and help them change their minds. It’s a great way to get an up-close view of parenting without making a permanent commitment.
Becoming a foster parent is a complicated process, as it involves authorities taking the necessary precautions to ensure that both prospects are fit to become fosters. You may also consider talking with other parents or spending time with them and their kids. Doing so offers another perspective of parenting. It shouldn’t be the isolated indicator of whether or not parenting is right for a person, but it can help with the decision-making process.
Social media and television often sensationalize parenting. It provides various perspectives of raising kids, and viewers could attach themselves to the parents that remind them most of themselves. Some parents are sure they want children but are scared to death once it becomes a reality. It’s the fear of not knowing what each second, minute or the next years will bring.
Do What’s Best For You
Love is a big word that requires a big commitment. Loving your mate does not mean that you’ll agree on everything in life. It also does not mean that you will be able to overcome every obstacle you encounter. When it comes to having kids, you must make a conscious decision to do what’s best for you.
If your partner has decided that they will never want kids, that’s fair. It’s not fair for you to decide to spend your life childless because of their decision unless it’s what you really want. Be sure that changing your mind and not having kids is something that you can truly accept for the rest of your life. Sometimes, love for a mate can cause a person to give up things most important in life, such as having a family. In the end, what really matters is doing what’s right for you.
A Therapist Can Help You And Your Partner Come To An Agreement
Deciding whether to have children or not can involve tense discussions due to differing preferences and values. Sometimes, a mediator acting as a nonjudgmental observer with no stake in your decision can be an invaluable resource when it comes to discussions revolving becoming pregnant and having children. In today’s era, it can be difficult for two busy people to find common time to meet with an equally busy therapist. By using online therapy platforms like Regain, couples may have a better chance at finding meeting times that are convenient for each person’s schedule.
There’s no need to travel to a face-to-face therapist’s office to attend a Regain couple’s therapy session. As long as you have a reliable internet connection, you can meet from any preferred location. This means that you and your partner can meet with your therapist while both of you are at work on your lunch break, or while you’re both at home. An online therapist can ask questions designed to stimulate respectful discussions around parenting. Perhaps one or both partners have apprehension about having children because of traumatic experiences they endured as children. Maybe they are fearful of ending up like their own parents. On the other hand, they could worry that they might pass on a harmful genetic disease. Whatever the reasons are for being unaligned, a therapist can help you navigate the decision together.
Online therapy has been effective in helping many people overcome issues related to their own upbringing. In a recent study, researchers set out to determine if guided internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) with a trauma focus was as effective as an in-person version in supporting people with moderate post-traumatic stress disorder. 196 adults participated in the study with a 71% retention rate after one year. Results were so promising regarding the efficacy of online treatment that researchers advocated for the method as a first line of treatment for people with PTSD.
It's also common for partners to seek therapeutic support after they have become parents. Some people may find that their parenting styles differ significantly from that of their partner. In a separate pilot controlled open trial, 12 parents participated in a web-based intervention designed to address specific parenting issues. Results from the study yielded positive effects on the parents’ psychological flexibility and emotional control and their mood and coping skills improved steadily throughout the intervention.
As you can see, whether you’re deciding to have children, currently awaiting the arrival of your child, or navigating the new world of parenting, online therapy has the potential to be a helpful tool. You can read reviews of Regain online therapists below from satisfied participants.
“Austa has been wonderful thus far. She has helped my partner and I during an unimaginably difficult time... She has also guided us in communicating effectively and setting appropriate boundaries in our relationship. I was hesitant to pursue counseling at the beginning, but I truly believe that it is making a difference for our relationship. Austa is easy to talk to and she is a great listener. I would wholeheartedly recommend her as a counselor.”
“Sessions with Natalie are very insightful and give practical advice on implementing new habits and changes. Be prepared to engage and be challenged to think in a different way. I know that my partner and I can already see improvements in our relationship and feel more positive about working through our issues together.”
People who choose not to have kids are sometimes seen as selfish or uncaring. There are many misconceptions surrounding people who choose not to have kids. It’s important to understand that not everyone will or should become a parent. It’s an important decision that should be approached with caution. Children are precious and deserve to have parents who will give them the attention and love they deserve. Sometimes, a person has to confront personal emotions or overcome other issues before feeling ready to assume responsibility for and love a child. It’s a decision that should be respected because of its personal nature. Couples can agree or disagree with having kids, but most importantly, they must do what’s best for them and the child in question. Should you feel that you and your partner might benefit from a knowledgeable, compassionate therapist, you can reach out to Regain today to start exploring your decision in more depth.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Do You Do If Your Partner Doesn’t Want A Baby?
If you haven't had a conversation about children with them, raise the issue when you feel ready. Make sure you know what they want instead of just guessing. While you are at it, you can discuss options like adoption and fostering children.
If you have already talked things out with your partner, and they said clearly that they do not want a baby, you have a decision to make. You have three main healthy options.
First, you could decide to accept their decision and remain childless unless they change their minds. It is important to be sure that this is something you can live with for the long term, especially if you are a woman who may be close to the end of their childbearing years. Consider your long-term health, wellbeing, and satisfaction with your life. Is this something you will someday regret bitterly? If so, this probably is not the right choice for you.
The second option is to end the relationship and seek a new relationship with someone who does want children. Staying with someone who doesn't want children when you wanted children so much would be an extremely frustrating situation. All your attention might be on hoping they will have a change of heart or convincing them to agree to have a baby. Leaving the relationship may be your healthiest choice if you cannot give up the idea of having a baby.
Finally, if they are only opposed to going through a pregnancy or raising an infant, you could choose to adopt or foster a child. Make sure both of you are on board with the decision before you make any commitments. Again, honor your own feelings as well as your mate's. The decision to have a baby or adopt a child is one that you will live with for the rest of your life, and you are certainly not limited to these options. Do not choose this option if you are more than a little unsure.
How Do I Make My Partner Want Kids?
You probably cannot make your partner want kids, and pushing the issue too far may bring more pain than success.
Imagine what would happen if you tried to force your partner to want kids. They might convince themselves they want children because they want you to be happy. They may even convince themselves they want children. But deep down, they probably still feel the way they did before. Then, when the child arrives, they might come to resent you for pushing them into parenthood. Even worse, they may resent the child for changing your relationship in ways they did not want. This could be the beginning of an extremely dysfunctional family.
On the other hand, if your partner is open to considering children but isn't sure yet, you may pique their interest by arranging to spend more time with kids you know. Show them how happy you are with kids and how well you can manage the tasks of parenthood. Let your joy show, and let your partner get a chance to interact with the kids, too. Trying to make your partner want something they do not want could spell the end of your relationship. But if your partner is willing to explore the possibilities, they might decide for themselves that children are what they want.
How Do You Tell Someone That You Don’t Want Kids?
Tell them how they can understand and at a time and location where they can have the opportunity to discuss it with you freely.
Start by choosing where and when to tell them you don't want kids. That means not springing this news on them in the car or at a crowded restaurant. Please don't bring it up with you're in the middle of doing something. Take a special moment to express your thoughts and feelings about not wanting kids.
Now, consider what you mean when you say you don't want kids. Do you mean you do not want them right now, or you do not want them ever? Do you mean you don't want to have babies or don't want to raise kids at any age? And, do you want kids, but just not with them? Lastly, think about whether or what you would be willing to compromise. Feeling clear within yourself can help you make your position more understandable.
While you are at it, tell them how you feel about your relationship with them. If you want to stay with them and have a happy life together without children, let them know. Also, be prepared for them to ask you why. If you don't know exactly, that's okay, too. Just tell them that. Be open with them and let them know whether this is a negotiable subject or a firm decision.
Whatever you do, strive to be a good listener. That is, give them a chance to state their position and express their feelings about raising children, as well.
If you are confident that you don't want children – now, in the future, or with someone else – you must let them know how you feel as early in the relationship as possible. Otherwise, you may have problems throughout your relationship. Then, even if you grow old together, you might always have this tension surrounding the fact that they wanted to have children, you didn't, and you never came to a healthy understanding about it with each other.
How Do You Unspoil A Child
Unspoiling a child takes some patience and perseverance. Start by having a conversation with your partner to make a plan. Here is what you can discuss:
Don't say you're sorry when they do not get what they want.
Don't give rewards for every small accomplishment.
Limit how many things you buy for them.
Lengthen the time from when they ask for indulgences and when you give them.
Don't engage with them when they are having a meltdown; instead, ignore it unless they are endangering themselves, others, or property.
Set clear boundaries and enforce them.
Help them set goals, and then do not reward them until they complete their goal.
Show gratitude and remind them to show gratitude every day.
Teach them calming techniques like deep breathing and counting to ten when they are upset.
Check your own attitude to ensure you are not setting an example of being an entitled or demanding person.
Be consistent in the way you respond to their behavior.
Set up a system where they can buy things for themselves by doing household chores.
Encourage your kids to give to others.
Once you have your plan laid out, talk with your child. Speak on a level that is appropriate for their age. Let them know that things will be different because you love them and want them to grow up healthy, happy, and prepared to be successful once they are on their own. Then, follow your plan consistently.
How Do You Tell Someone That You Want Kids?
Have a quiet talk with them and let them know exactly what you are thinking about wanting children.
If you feel joyful at the prospect of having kids with your partner, show them through your words, expressions, and tone of voice. Be upbeat, but at the same time, be mindful of their feelings and reactions. If you have wanted children for a while but they have never said they wanted to have children, approach the topic with sensitivity and understanding. Give them a chance to respond in their own way, in their own time.
Then, if they say yes, you can begin to plan your family. But if they say no, ask them if they can imagine that they would ever change their mind. You don't need to push them to say something they don't believe, but you do need to have some idea of whether children will ever be a possibility for the two of you. Whatever you decide together, this discussion will help you maintain better mental health, wellbeing, and life satisfaction individually and as a couple. Just having a conversation about something you really want is healthy because it allows you to express your feelings, even if the two of you decide not to follow through with it.
Why Does He Want To Have A Baby With Me?
The only way to get a somewhat accurate idea of why someone wants to have a baby with you is to ask them.
There could be many different reasons why they want to have a baby with you. Maybe they like babies and wants one to be a part of their life. Maybe they see having a child with you as a way to show you how much they love you. They might want a baby because they value your relationship and look forward to having a child that will have characteristics of both of you.
There are also some not-so-healthy reasons guys sometimes want a child. For example, a guy might want a baby as a way to stake their claim on you. Or, they might be hoping a baby will keep your relationship together. That’s usually not a healthy reason to have a baby because it puts too much pressure on the child and doesn't usually work, anyway. It's far better to have a strong, healthy relationship before you decide to have a baby.
So, have a long talk with your partner, discussing why they want to have a baby and what they hope will happen after the baby is born. Then, if you still feel unsure about why they want to have a baby with you, consider talking it over with a relationship expert. With a little help, you both can get a better perspective on your reasons and expectations before you decide to start a family.
How Do You Tell Your Wife That You Don’t Want Another Child?
Tell your wife clearly and directly that your current children are enough to make you happy. Let your wife know how much you love them and the children you already have. Avoid starting with a long list of grievances or reasons you think having another child is a bad idea. At first, tell your wife that you have decided that you don't want anymore.
Then, listen to what your wife has to say if they ask you why; then it's time to tell them more details about how you came to your decision. Unless you want to end the relationship, it's important to help your wife understand why you feel the way you do. Try to convey that it isn't a judgment or condemnation of your wife, your family, or your fitness as a couple. Just be honest, and at the same time, show how much you care.
How Do I Know If My Partner Is Ready To Have A Baby?
It's impossible to know for sure whether someone is ready for a baby. However, some clues might help you assess the situation. Ask yourself and your partner the following questions or try to discern the answers from how they talk and behave.
Can you make time to help raise a child?
Are other goals, like college, career, and activities, more important to you right now?
When you are with children, how do you feel?
How much patience do you have with kids?
Do you have clear ideas about what kinds of rules you need to set when the baby gets older?
Have you experienced any dysfunction that was present in the family that raised you?
How much do you know about child development?
Are you physically healthy enough to have a baby or help take care of it?
All these questions can give you a good idea of whether someone is ready for a baby. Yet, even if they give you a definitive answer that sound perfect, you might never know for sure until after the baby is born. Having a baby is a leap of faith in some ways. By asking yourselves these questions, you can address problem areas and make changes if needed. Then, you may be able to prevent issues that could easily arise if you have a baby when one or both of you are not ready.
What Are The Signs That A Relationship Is Over?
It is usually abundantly clear when a relationship is over. Here are some of the signs you might notice.
You do not talk to each other unless it is necessary.
You always find someone else to tell when something great happens to you.
You do not spend time with each other like you once did.
You constantly argue and don't make up afterward.
You say hurtful things to each other without ever really trying to resolve the issue.
You cannot agree on starting a family, and no one is willing to change their minds.
One or both of you would rather have sex with someone else.
Another sign that the relationship is over is if one or both of you wants to have a baby to save the relationship. This is a desperate strategy that rarely works. What is more, you might not be having this thought if the relationship wasn't already in trouble. So, if you find yourself contemplating the possibility that having a baby would fix your relationship, a good option is to talk to a couple's counselor about it. Then, you can resolve your issues before you bring a child into a dysfunctional relationship.
Who Comes First, Your Child Or Your Husband?
Until your child is fully independent, your top priority often needs to be making sure your child has everything they need. They not only need clothes, food, and shelter, but they also need adequate attention, structure, and love. For some parents, especially a step-parent, this can be a difficult part to understand in the new dynamic of a family.
However, your husband is also an important priority. And although your husband might have to give you space to pay more attention to your baby at first, you can help by including them in taking care of and enjoying time with your little one. It's not that your husband is less important; they’re just likely not as needy.
As your baby grows into a child, and then a teenager, and then an adult, they will require less supervision. Then, you can shift more of your time and energy to your husband. Just remember: a baby is helpless without its parents, but your husband can take care of their own needs. In addition, your husband is also responsible for tending to your baby’s needs, as well. It is a good idea to have frequent discussions that center the baby and each of your responsibilities, so as to ensure that neither parent feels burned out or resentful for carrying most of the weight of child-rearing.
What makes a man not want kids?
Is it common for men to not want kids?
Can a relationship work if one person wants kids and the other doesn’t?
Do people regret not having children?
What age is it too late to have a baby?
What to do when you don’t agree on having a baby?
What to do if thinking about having a baby?
How do you bring up wanting to have a baby?
What do you do when your partner disagrees about having kids?
Do people regret not having kids?
Is it okay to not want kids?
Do hormones make you want a baby?
Is it selfish to have a baby?
What is a good reason to have a baby?
Why am I so scared of having a baby?
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