I want to start a family but I don't know if my boyfriend is family material

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2009
I want to start a family but I don't know if my boyfriend is family material
8
Wed, 07-25-2012 - 9:46am

I've been with Chris three and a half years. He's got many good qualities that I love about him. He's been very forgiving of my mistakes of which I've made a few (I won't go into detail but let's just say some guys wouldn't have stuck around) so obviously he isn't afraid of commitment. I'm pretty sure he genuinely loves me. We have discussed marriage and children. At one point I wasn't sure that I wanted any because my life was in turmoil. He is ten years older (Im 31 and he'll be 41 in August) so his response to me saying "don't count on children with me" was that he didn't care either way. He loved me and was willing to settle regardless. He always wanted children, as I have too...but I was 30 and not ready. In the first few months of our third year together things became difficult. We were both stressed and after many arguments we were both fed up. I told him it may be good we have a "break". His nephew was visiting at the time and we were at eachother's throats so I asked him if I should go home for a few days. He said yes. At that point I decided to leave for a few days. I left my pets and clothes and things in his apartment (was living with him) and after a few days texted him to ask if he'd like to see me. The answer was no, his nephew was still there ( I'm assuming he was still holding a grudge and angry ). Finally I couldn't wait anymore I needed my ferrets and I told him we should take some time apart. 3 months later he calls me. In my mind, I had already moved on. I understand he needed time, that's not my issue. He apologized for the way he had been and felt bad that I wasn't a part of him having his nephew there. He said he missed me and wanted to start again and understood we need to communicate better and take care of eachother. I was so happy to finally hear from him I cried. I kind of dropped everything and ran back to him, which now I know was a mistake. I had already decided to start seeing other people, and all that I had experienced in the 3 years taught me how to handle the possibility of another relationship. For ex.----> I would take things slow. Get to know him better and allow him to know me and what I expect too. In a way I was relieved to be starting over, but I must have been masking the pain because as soon as I saw his name on my phone I just cried and cried. But what I discovered during these 3 months was that I di want to have children. And if I do have kids, I want it to be with the right man. Now mind you, my family life is NOT perfect by any means. I have little to no contact with my mother, grew up without a father, and basically it's just me and the woman who raised me- my grandmother. I'm happy with that but I don't want to repeat the mistakes my mother made. I want my child to have both a mother and father who love and respect eachother equally. My concept of a good father is someone who teaches the child to respect the mother, and mom would do the same for dad. Also, the parents need to be able to handle stress and pressure because I'm sure if any of you have kids you know stress is a given. They need to be an example of patience and love, to show them acceptance, and also give their children the tools they need to grow. But if my boyfriend has no communication with his mother and sisters, deals with stress by clamming up and being bitter, and shutters everytime I try to talk to him about something we disagree on ( and I'd say I'm pretty good with bringing conversation up gently ) I'm questioning whether he's the right man I should settle down with. I asked a friend for advice and she says I should discuss these things with him. But everytime I try I think he feels pressured and immediately goes into defensive mode. She said to try counseling, but he always has an excuse to hold off.  She says I can't judge now, because kids can change a person....but should I really take that risk? 

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-24-2010
If your BF told you not to count on children with him, then I would listen to that. He doesn't want to have kids with you, and there really isn't a clearer way for him to say it.

If you two are at each other's throats now, it's not going to be any easier once kids come around. Kids put an extra layer of stress on a relationship, and even the best relationships can suffer once kids are in the picture. You said, " I want my child to have both a mother and father who love and respect eachother equally." The two of you don't have respect right now. I think it would be a mistake to bring an innocent child into this. It's one thing to risk your own happiness, but I think it's just cruel to do that to a child when you know there are already problems in the relationship.

It sounds like this guy probably isn't the one, IMHO.
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-27-2004

""She says I can't judge now, because kids can change a person....but should I really take that risk? "

Absolutely not!  Suppose kids DON'T change him?  Suppose they change him for the worse?  Then you will be a single mom, raising your kids on a vet tech's salary and nagging him about child support.

You've told us about a guy who has a strained relationship with his female relatives, who won't discuss important issues, and who is not willing to accept counseling to save his relationship.

I know you love him, but love yourself and your future kids more, and don't make babies with him.  In fact, don't try to make a future with him, because it won't make you happy.  Ask the vet to introduce you to some nice guys, and go from there.

Avatar for ukgirl82
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-17-2005

"If your BF told you not to count on children with him, then I would listen to that. He doesn't want to have kids with you, and there really isn't a clearer way for him to say it."

I think you've misunderstood her - she said that SHE is the one who told him not to count on having kids with her, not the other way around. She goes on to say that he always wanted kids but could accept not having them.

vettech, no, I don't believe you should take that risk. You can't just have kids and hope it will work out. Having kids doesn't fix anything. If you can't sort your communication problems out with him, you should not have children with him. If you decide to remain with him, I think you should remain childless. If you've decided that having kids is more important, you need to end the relationship.

I think it will be easier to move on when you definitively break up - last time, though you mentally prepared to move on, a big part of you was obviously still clinging on and understandably so, because it never firmly ended. You "took some time apart" and had no idea if or when you'd heard from him again. Without closure, it's difficult to move on. If you end it this time, there will be closure and you will be able to move on.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-24-2010
ukgirl82 wrote:

"If your BF told you not to count on children with him, then I would listen to that. He doesn't want to have kids with you, and there really isn't a clearer way for him to say it."

I think you've misunderstood her - she said that SHE is the one who told him not to count on having kids with her, not the other way around. She goes on to say that he always wanted kids but could accept not having them.


Whoops!  You're right.  I have the worst time reading super long posts in a single paragraph.  I swear, my brain goes on vacation or something.
I agree with everyone else.  No kids with this guy.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2009

Thank you everyone. Your answers were insightful and gave me some things to think about. And sorry my post was super long. I tried to make it short as possible but there's so much to it. I agree that there is no respect in our relationship. I also agree it wouldn't be smart or fair to bring a baby into this environment. If there is any hope for this relationship at all, therapy is the only option. We have discussed it, but it needs to happen and it can't be with held anymore. Otherwise yes, I'll have to end it this time.. closure included! Thank you again.

Avatar for khatru1
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-07-2004
If your BFs idea of dealing with problems is to clam up, become bitter, etc, then you are definitely not with the right man. How would you ever be able to solve anything with him? Now you are talking about children, what would they learn from a father like that?
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-29-2002

If you need to go to therapy to make a relationship work, before marriage.  Then it is not the right relationship. 

You have been with this man for 3 years, and it doesn't sound like it has been a steady relationship.  Given that he cut off contact with you for 3 months, and then suddenly calls you when he is ready again.

I personally would end the relationship and move on to find someone you can have a healthy life with.  Relationships do require effort to maintain, but they shouldn't be uphill battles.

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