I want a child, he doesn't

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-15-2006
I want a child, he doesn't
Wed, 12-04-2013 - 12:40pm

In a nutshell I'm a 34 yr old woman who finally found the love of her life less than 3 years ago! He's a year younger and like me, is drama and baggage free! We bought a house together a year ago and are still madly in love even though we see each other every day!  We communicate effectivly and have mutual respect for one another despite having different view points or opinions at times. He is the best partner in life that I could ever ask for which is why it pains me to no end that he does not want to have a child with me. 

I never had the desire to have children until I met and got to know him and the person he is. After the 1st year of dating I started having these odd feelings which shortly thereafter turned into my burning  desire to have a child with him. To bring a part of each of us into this world and provide the child with support and love, and watch them grow to become an amazing individual is something that pulls at my concious every day now.  My partner (I have no desire to get married but am not severly opposed to it either) and I have a stable home, decent finances, and a great support system around us with our family and friends.  He has so many wonderful qualities such as his caring, compassionate nature for humans and animals alike. He supports me with everything I do in life, is honest and approaches conversations respectfully with this thoughts especially when they differ strongly from mine, is brilliant, unbelievably handy, motivated, kind, strong yet gentle, communicative, funny, and the list can go on and on.  Through my years of dating and personal growth I learned after two bad long term relationships  that I was unwilling to just "settle" since I deserved more. He was the type of guy I always hoped I'd end up with in life but he is so much more than I could've imagined. . He surpassed my "checklist" and showed me additional qualities that I never even knew I wanted in a  partner. He brings out the best in me and I in him.  

While discussing my changing and now changed attitude towards having children he still doesn't want them. He is scared he's going to be a bad parent and said he wouldn't be able to take on such a great responsibility since there were no gaurentees he would be a good parent. I tried giving him examples of others, explained what I saw in him that made me fall in love with him and change my mind about children, talked about what we could do together yet he is still firm on his decision. I even brought to his attention his relationships with all of my friends kids who absolutly adore him but he still remains firm. I told him I would still stay with him if he doesn't change his mind since he is so important to my life however now, I feel slight resentment creeping in towads him.  I feel more hurt that he stripped us from having the opportunity to create something beautiful to  expierence and share another part of our lives together. If we tried for a year and couldn't conceive then that would be OK but not having the option doesn't sit well with me. His reasoning as to why he doesn't want children doesn't sit well with me. Lastly, the fact that he envoked these feelings in me to want to share a life and the fact that I don't bring out these feelings within him does hurt me.  

At the end of the day, I see that his unwillingness stems from his overly modest and sometimes lack of confidence he has within himself. Since we've been together he has grown more confident as the people in my network really appreciate him for who he is and let him know it. Most people from his network take advantage of his good nature and handiness by always asking "what's in it for me". 

I want to stay with him but I don't want to feel this way anymore. Sad, mad, hurt, confused, irritated.. you name it.  If he won't change his mind, how do I get this nagging feeling to go away. I find myself thinking of how great of a parent he'll be throughout the course of our days just by him being him and doing the awesome things he does. It drives me mad and I feel like I have OCD since the thoughts come frequently and I cannot stop them.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


iVillage Member
Registered: 12-04-2013
Wed, 12-04-2013 - 1:31pm

If your relationship is how you say it is, then you need to discuss that last paragraph you wrote with him.  Don't be afraid of losing him just because you're sharing how you truly feel about children and him. Be open and honest. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-21-2003
Wed, 12-04-2013 - 1:32pm

I'm assuming that you both discussed this issue a long time ago and that at the time, and up until more recently, you were both in sync about not having children. You have to understand that you both went into this with an understanding that you didn't want to become parents. You are the one who changed, not him. Now you are asking him to give up the life he wants, at least in a sense, to fit your new desires. That's not fair. 

It doesn't matter what his personal reasons for not wanting kids are. They are his and he has a right to them just as you have a right to change your mind. Telling him over and over again what a wonderful person and father he would be will not help the issue. For one, he could be correct that he is not father material. Secondly, even if he really did make a great dad, that doesn't mean that he should want it. You resent him for not changing. We can't help what we feel but obviously you realize that the resentment will grow and may not ever pass whch will likely tear you apart. You blame him for stripping you of an opportunity. How did he do that? He didn't unless I am incorrect in that you never discussed the issue before now and if that's the case then you are both to blame. 

I don't know how you can get past hurt and resentment if he doesnt cave to your wants. You say you will stay with him but if this is a deal breaker you are not only cheating yourself out of having a child but you are cheating him out of having a partner who loves and respects his choices and isn't full of resentment towards him for something that he can't and shouldn't have to change. I'm sorry I couldn't offer a solution but I think its importnt that you take a step back and think about this from his perspective. The woman he loves has had a pretty fundemental change and now he's the enemy because he hasn't changed as well. 

Avatar for xxxs
Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010
Wed, 12-04-2013 - 7:40pm

What about no that you do not understand?  You have changed you mind he has not.  The reason why do not matter.  No means no.  Move on.


iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Wed, 12-04-2013 - 8:19pm

This is one of those very hard decisions that people have to make in life because there is no compromise on having a child.  You have to decide whether you can stay with him & not resent him because if not, then you should leave, keeping in mind that you might never find another guy as great.  Maybe you could go to a therapist to get some help resolving this issue.  I do wonder why he thinks that he would be a bad father.  My ex has this single friend who helped raise his niece & nephew (they had absent dads and a not so great mother) and is "uncle" to many kids.  He also thought he might be a bad father since his own father left them--everyone who knows this guy thinks differently.  However, both people really need to be 100% on board with being parents because it is a lot of work & responsibility.

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Fri, 12-06-2013 - 2:29pm

"I feel more hurt that he stripped us from having the opportunity to create something beautiful to  expierence and share another part of our lives together. If we tried for a year and couldn't conceive then that would be OK but not having the option doesn't sit well with me. His reasoning as to why he doesn't want children doesn't sit well with me. Lastly, the fact that he envoked these feelings in me to want to share a life and the fact that I don't bring out these feelings within him does hurt me."

What I hear is this:  "I changed my mind, I want something he doesn't want, and I'm extremely upset that he won't change to suit what I want.  He robbed me!  His feelings aren't as important as mine!  He hurt my feelings because I want something he doesn't!  Why won't he be a different person for ME and give me what I want?"

It is one thing to change your mind about having a family because now you can visualize the person you want to have a family with.  It is quite another to BLAME that person for "making" you feel that way and insisting that he should change because you did.  That is just self-centered.

Sitting around wishing for someone to decide he wants children when he repeatedly says he doesn't is foolish.  I know two couples who have divorced over this.  In both cases the wife decided after marriage that she *did* want children, while the husband remained firm that he didn't.  Children are a forever thing, they're not just adorable babies who bring light and joy into the world - they're sullen teens, occasional mean kids, difficult college students, stumbling young adults, people who make bad choices, etc etc etc. Maybe your BF is more aware of this lifelong commitment than you are.

Besides, there are NO guarantees.  Your image of "bringing a part of each of us into the world" is, again, pretty self-centered.  Kids are people, the result of some genetics and some nurture, but they are their own people.  My first child was adorable, precocious, amazing - he also turned out to have Aspergers, be transgender, have extreme anxiety issues (possibly bipolar), nearly died at age 4, and other exciting, unpredictable things.  My third was a placid, congenial baby who turned out to have hemiplegic migraines (looks like a stroke when he's having them, takes medication daily), learning disabilities, and similar extreme anxiety issues and now attends a $40,000 a year private school to help him overcome all of that.  Life is unpredictable anyway, but parenting is the most unpredictable part of it. 

Ask yourself, if you couldn't have a baby with your BF, would you adopt?  Or are your feelings entirely about making something that tells the world you're a couple? 

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-04-2003
Sat, 12-07-2013 - 1:34pm

Sorry you are going through this.  If having children or not having children is a deal breaker for you, then you need to honor your deal breaker and find someone who wants what you want.  Most men honor their deal breakers and don't change their minds.  Also, it doesn't matter if you accept or like his reasoning.  You will not change his mind.

To get over your sad, mad, hurt, confused, etc. feelings, that might take some time unless you find the right counselor/coach to walk you through the process.

My best to you.


iVillage Member
Registered: 12-05-2010
Sat, 12-07-2013 - 6:05pm

xxxs wrote:
<p>What about no that you do not understand?  You have changed you mind he has not.  The reason why do not matter.  No means no.  Move on.</p>

Sorry to hear you have found such a wonderful guy and you're having this conflict. Unfortunately, this is one issue that ordinarily can't be compromised on. There is no such thing as having half a  baby.  (Technically, there is, but the result is pretty disgusting.) I have to agree with xxxs and others here. If you strongly value motherhood, you need to break up and look elsewhere. Love isn't enough to resolve all conflicts of substance couples can have. I wish I could tell you otherwise, but I can't.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-07-2014
Mon, 02-10-2014 - 7:09am
I have a close friend going through this exact same situation herself. She's recently married and yet they can not agree on having a child. I can't offer any advice, because I honestly think this is one of the hardest situations to have to deal with. I do believe that if someone doesn't want something its difficult to get them to change their mind, just as much it is to change your mind when you have your heart set on the idea. I don't think its entirely fair to call you selfish when its proven that women get broody - we have hormones that men do not have. Yes having a child is a massive commitment with no guarentees, a decision that shouldn't be taken lightly. But at the same time thes ematernal feelings (once triggered) are extremly hard to switch off. Its human nature that women want to bear children. It doesn't help that age is not on our side. Men can still make babies well into their 40's, for women the biological clock ticks much louder. And men do get have these same emotinally driven feelings as women do, they seem to think fair more rationally about everything. I know how you are feeling because I have spent the last 4 years wanting children even though I wasn't in the right position to have one. I am glad I waited and didn't just have a baby for the sake of it, but I still and cried over it sometimes because the feelings of wanting one can be really overwhelming. Maybe therapy is the way to go, at least after trying something like that you might know for sure whether you will be able to work though this together, or whether you wil lhave to go your seperate ways. Good Luck !
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-2001
Mon, 02-10-2014 - 9:36pm

Welcome back, Rehina22 ~

Like the others have said, there isn't a way to make him change his mind and it's not fair to expect him to.  As others have pointed out, it's not him who changed, it's you.  I suspect at his age he's been around plenty of children to have an idea if having one of his own is remotely interesting to him.  Having children is one of those issues that you can't compromise on. You say you're not going to leave but you also recognize your frustration and resentment is growing and I'm sure you recognize that it will continue to grow.

As hard as it is, I think you already know you can't stay forever.  Take what you now know is possible in a relationship, use the benchmarks you've established with this guy for your minimum standards for a partner and add "wants children" to that.

Sorry, this is one of those situations that there isn't a fix or compromise for.

~ cl-2nd_life

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-15-2006
Mon, 03-10-2014 - 11:11am

Yes, I did share my feelings with him however we aren't quite sure where we go from here. 

I don't want to end our relationship but I also don't want to push him into doing something he doesn't want. 

So time will tell where we go from here.