Relationships are filled with highs and lows. One of the most tangible aspects of any relationship is communication. It’s not tangible in the physical sense but an emotional one.
What happens in a relationship when partners have different expectations? It’s simple: they compromise and attempt to make it work, right? Unfortunately, it’s 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 she wants her own children, but he 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 or, others believe that having children will make the relationship stronger. There are a few that prefer not to have kids at all. In a few cases, a partner that wants children will sometimes fall for someone who doesn’t want any.
The approach to the conversation about kids is a fragile one that some couples avoid for as long as possible. 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.
One partner may be unsure if they want children in the future or one person in the relationship may just want one child, while the other may want more. Many factors may influence whether a person does or doesn’t want kids. Children are a big 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? She wants children/he doesn’t but can the relationship work?
Consider the following:
If It’s an Immediate Plan
If she wants children early in the relationship, it may be best for him to be upfront and honest with his 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 good time to ask the baby question, as it’s often a very important thing in a relationship for most couples. For the partner that wants children immediately, ask yourself if waiting is something you’re emotionally and physically prepared to do. For the partner that 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. 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 wanted kids but not immediately, a couple may make the relationship work. They may continue to build and strengthen the relationship, which may 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’s 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’re uncomfortable with doing. The most important approach is to consider the primary reason preventing you from wanting kids and determining an agreeable compromise.
This May Not Be the Person for You
Sometimes, it’s not the fact that one partner doesn’t want kids. It could be that they don’t 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 isn’t someone they see having a long-term relationship with, which means they wouldn’t consider having kids with them.
After Taking the Considerations into Account
Once you’ve considered the above 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; it makes it difficult for them to understand why anyone wouldn’t want to do so. 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 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 most prefer to avoid the debate that may take place. Relationships can flourish from simple debates or disagreements, but complicated ones such as having or not having kids aren’t 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 older to have kids. Then she wants children/he doesn’t scenario is most commonly because of biology. After 35, a woman’s fertility drops, and the probability for genetic disorders, among other issues rise. Women who are nearing that age aren’t always in a position to wait a little longer to start a family or her mind will begin to focus on children in the first place.
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 that 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 a parent being entailed 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 sensationalize parenting. It provides various perspectives of raising kids, and viewers tend to attach themselves to the parents that remind them most of themselves. Most parents are sure they want children but are scared to death once it becomes a reality. The fear doesn’t set in because they think they’ll be bad at parenting. 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 doesn’t mean that you’ll agree on everything in life. It also doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to overcome every obstacle you overcome. 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 will spend the rest of your life with that decision. 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, the only thing that matters is doing what’s right for you.
Men and Women View the Family Spectrum Differently
In addition to biology, there are other differences in men and women, especially when it involves having children. Children bring a variety of changes to a relationship. Sometimes, it’s difficult to address or understand the changes that may occur.
Following are a few of the most common differences that may impact the difference in a couple’s opinion about when and if starting a family is right.
Men and women view readiness to start a family differently. Men have been viewed as the primary provider for their families for years. Normally, they would only want to have children when they feel financially secure enough to support children. He wants to go further in his career or pursue higher education before committing.
Women usually have an emotional motivation to start a family. They see multiple reasons to start a family and feel strongly that supporting the child can be done with the effort of both parents. In a sense, their emotional urge convinces them that the love they have for each other will help them care for the child properly.
“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 easily 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 become a parent. It’s an important decision that should be approached with caution. Children are precious and deserve to have parents that will give them the attention and love they deserve. Sometimes, a person has to deal with personal emotions or overcome other issues before caring for 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.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
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 now. Make sure you know what they want instead of just guessing. While you are at it, discuss options like adoption and fostering children.
But if you have already talked it 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 her 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 manipulating 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 dealing with 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. 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 come to resent you for pushing them into parenthood. Even worse, they may resent the child for changing your relationship in ways your partner does 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 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. Choose a quiet place where you both can talk privately and at your leisure. That means don't spring 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 don't want them right now, or not ever? Do you mean you don't want to have babies or don't want kids at all? And, do you want kids, but just not with them? Lastly, think about whether you would be willing to compromise. Being clear within yourself will 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.
And whatever you do, be a good listener. That is, give them a chance to state their position and express their feelings about it. Whether you bring a child into the world or live a happy life without kids, you both need to share your feelings about such important issues with each other without fear or hesitation.
If you are sure 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 will have problems throughout your relationship. Then, even if you grow old together, you will 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's what you should include:
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 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 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 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 he wants to have a baby with you is to ask him.
There could be many different reasons why he wants to have a baby with you. Maybe he likes babies and wants one to be a part of his life. Maybe he sees having a child with you as a way to show you how much he loves you. He might want a baby because he values your relationship and looks 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 his claim on you. Or, he might be hoping a baby will keep your relationship together. And 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 him, discussing why he wants to half a baby and what he hopes will happen after the baby is born. Then, if you still feel unsure about why he wants 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 you don't want another child?
Tell her clearly and directly that you already have the number of children that make you happy. Let her know how much you love her 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 her you have decided that you don't want anymore.
Then, listen to what she has to say if she asks you why then it's time to tell her more details about how you came to your decision. Unless you want to end the relationship, it's important to help her understand why you feel the way you do. And, you must try to show her that it isn't a judgment or condemnation of her, your family, or your fitness as a couple. Just be honest with her, and at the same time, who her how much you care for her.
How do I know if my partner is ready for 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.
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 will never know for sure until after the baby is born. Having a baby is a leap of faith in some ways. But by asking yourselves these questions, you can address problem areas and make changes if needed. Then, you may be able to prevent problems that could easily happen if you have a baby when one or both of you are not ready.
What are the signs when a relationship is over?
It is usually abundantly clear when a relationship is over. Here are some of the signs you might notice.
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 wouldn't 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, child or 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, rules, 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 always very important as well. And although your husband might have to give you space to pay more attention to your baby at first, you can help him by including him in taking care of and enjoying time with your little one. It's not that your husband is less important; he’s just likely not as needy.
As your baby grows into a child, they will no longer need constant supervision and care. Then, you can shift more of your time and energy to your husband. This shift continues to go further toward your husband until your child grows up to be an adult. At that point, you can put your husband firmly back in your number one spot. Just remember: a baby is helpless without its parents, but your husband can take care of himself. And in today's culture, it's perfectly natural for your husband to be just as loving, caring, and responsible for your child's wellbeing as you are.