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My girlfriend wants children, but I don't...

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Relationship advice My girlfriend is desperate to have children. She says that a mother is all she has ever wanted to be. I used to think that I wanted children too, but in the past few years I have become unsure.

We have been together five years. In the first couple of years, we both said that we wanted children some day. Then we had a pregnancy scare, which turned out to be a false alarm. Afterwards, I started to think about whether or not I really did want children, and came to the conclusion that I didn't.

We spoke about this. She was very upset but eventually she said that even though I don't want children right now, she is willing to wait until I do.

I initially agreed to this, but as more time has gone by (a further three years now) I am getting worried that I am never going to wants kids. My heart tells me that I love her more than anything and want to be with her, but my head tells me it's impossible as we both have different visions of our future together.

What do I do?

My girlfriend wants children, but I don't...

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Product meets product. Product 1 and Product 2 read each other's product-descriptive sales blurb including promises about potential functionality and future upgrades, and even the small print, and each declare, 'I'll take it!', handing over their cash as they do so. If any of those main promises prove to have been empty or false, it's time to Call Advertising Standards in order to return the product to the store and recoup ones outlay or accept compensation.

So it's no good you declaring that you USED to want children. That is far too important a sales declaration to renege on yet still hope to be kept by the purchaser.

The simple fact is, when you fall in love with a partner you don't just fall in love with them but with the fact their choice of lifestyle present and future matches and upholds your own. So you no longer wanting kids is a MAJOR incompatibility which I doubt can be lived with. Or certainly not for much longer.

You shouldn't have allowed her to enter the relationship with you under false pretences on your part. If at the time you two started the relationship you hadn't been AWARE they were false, you certainly knew it a further 2 years on. So what if she said she'd wait? More fool her! You clearly knew her waiting would be for zero good reason. So why didn't you say so then? Where was your sense of responsibility towards the welfare of A. N. Other, let alone your most special-to-you person in the world?

Is this really about kids or more truthfully about kids and a lifetime with HER? Because the fact of the matter is, despite you don't THINK you want them just yet, when that's merely down to being developmentally unready, nature has other ideas and nature trumps individual conscious thought and decision.

Picture her having left you and married another man with whom she's sprogged. How does that picture feel?

You might just be trying to push to get your way (timeline) out of the fact she created the impression the first time of being push-able. Yes, well, that may be as may. But everyone has their limit. So picture that scene and tell me how it feels.

Trust me on this: save for your IVF-ers, *no-one* who had kids was ready at the time. This is a male thing: "Right, got the job, got the mortgage, got the relationship - what's next?". Life's not like that, which is why that famous line, 'The best laid plans of mice and men...' (from the poem by Robert Burns):

"But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane [you aren't alone]
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft a-gley, [often go awry]
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promised joy."

And leave us nothing but grief and pain for promised joy.

Don't want kids, ever? Or don't want kids WITH HER (ever)?

My girlfriend wants children, but I don't...

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PS: What about just ONE kid? Does that feel less scary?

My girlfriend wants children, but I don't...

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Is has nothing to do with the number of children. And if I did ever have children, I could think of nobody I would want children with more than her - I love her with all my heart, and the last thing I want to do is hurt her.

She is so sure about what she wants. I used to be, but now I'm completely undecided. Understand, I don't want to hurt this girl. At all. I don't want to break her heart now by leaving, nor in another five years should it come to the point where I still don't want children.

But how am I supposed to know that? For all I know, 12 months from now I could decide that I'm ready for children. If I leave her tomorrow, I will lose that possibility. How am I supposed to know whether or not I will ever want children in the future? All I know for certain is that I don't want them now.

My girlfriend wants children, but I don't...

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By leaving HER? Mate, her finding "someone like you" (to quote Adele) is a far lesser hardship in the long run than denying herself her raison d'etre for being alive and on this earth! You can be replaced. A lost opportunity to experience motherhood can not. Think on...

WHY don't you want kids? And how on earth do YOU know you still won't want kids in another x months or years? Bet you will. Male or female, the drive rears its head at some point, it's inevitable. Because itt's human. Particularly when you're genuinely in love and the relationship has hit that stage. So if you don't feel you want them then all I can assume is, either you have some unresolved issue blocking that natural urge (crap parentage?) or your biological clock has yet to begin ticking. Remember, there was a time when you were convinced you'd never-never-never-never use the potty instead of pooing into your nappies. I take it you're NOT sat 'here' in your Pampers as you type this? ;-)

What is the farthest flung deadline you could think of which wouldn't present to her as being a totally unreasonable stay? You say 12 months. Where did THAT come from? Nowhere? Don't be fooled by your own psyche. You could have said 2 years, 3, 4, couldn't you. Yet you didn't. "Ov awll the barsh in awll the woyld..." you said 12 months. Could you comfortably ask her for 18 just to give you that extra leeway in terms of probably finding yourself ready by then to start trying, bearing in mind it could take a year of trying before any attempt even proved successful? In fact, it's not unusual for a woman to experience a couple or more spontaneous, early miscarriages before the final, successful attempt, anyway. So that adds more time.

Me, due to the fact you say IF you wanted them you'd want them only with her, I suspect this is a simple case of you being a worry-wart and control-freak too used to believing you're in charge of your destiny ship's course when, oh no you're not, meaning, yours and her level of bondedness just hasn't quite yet hit that magic mark whereat making a 'product' of your relationship (because it's become ready for 'promotion') is next to naturally activate in the 'programme'. That or you're struggling against what you can sense, which is, one look at your baby's face and you'd be completely and utterly SMITTEN! If you have that powerful an attachment potential inside you, as can often be elusively sensed by the especially sensitive, it would make sense that you'd be scared of it, of something so monumental.

Anyway - speaking of being 'locked in'.. shouldn't you and she be getting MARRIED before you even start thinking of making a mini-you? Could THAT be the problem from your mind's point of view?... that you personally don't feel SAFE enough BECAUSE your love train is stuck in a tunnel and not moving onto the next station on that line? It makes sense that you wouldn't be ready for Station 2 if you haven't even hit Station 1 yet, don't you think?

"Scott and wosshername,
Sitting in a tree
K-I-S-S-I-N-G.
First comes loves,
then comes marriage,
*THEN* comes the baby in the baby carriage".

It's prioritised that way for a reason.

My girlfriend wants children, but I don't...

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Now that I think about it, I'm not exactly surrounded by what you would call "happy families". I have a lot of friends who had kids, things didn't work out with the partner, and are now single parents. I know a couple who are still together, but whose kids come between them all the time. My own childhood was not bad by any means, but things with my family are very strained right now. I couldn't imagine bringing a baby into a family that is full of unresolved issues. There are also things with her family which turn me off the idea of having children - primarily the belief that we (being me on one side, her and her family on the other) would have very different ideas of how our children should be raised.

And even after thinking about all that, I still feel that the main reason I don't want kids right now is because I am just too happy being kid-free. I know it may sound selfish, but I love having my freedom, and I know that having a baby will take that away from both of us. It sounds stupid, but I enjoy ordering in or going out for dinner on a whim when we can't be bothered to cook. When we have a rubbish time at work, we'll book some holiday and go away for a long weekend somewhere quiet and secluded. On payday, I love nothing more than having the day together going out shopping for new outfits, spending hundreds of pounds of our wages that would have to be spent on nappies, baby-grows, and formula if we had a baby.

I'm not ready to give all that up yet. I'm still enjoying "me and her against the world". And if you bring a baby into that equation... well, all that care-free living stops. Right?

My girlfriend wants children, but I don't...

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P.S. How do I know that style of living is EVER going to get boring for me? There are people in the world who live quite happily without having had children. There are also people who don't feel like they want kids until their mid-30s. I could be either of those. But how the hell am I supposed to tell?

My girlfriend wants children, but I don't...

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P.P.S. And marriage had never seemed that important to me. I would rather take the money we would need for a wedding and spend it on a once-in-a-lifetime holiday, or a flash car, or a down-payment on our next house.

I think I'm more confused than I was when I came here :-/.

My girlfriend wants children, but I don't...

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For some reason, I feel really sad for you...and especially for your girlfriend.
You know, if you two had not had a miscarriage, you would have a toddler by now that would be YOUR WORLD!!!!! I don't know what the statistics are on planned pregnancies vs. non-planned pregnancies, but just imagine all of the people in the world who did not want kids, but got pregnant.... and would not change a thing looking back! I am one of them! I wasn't ready, but I did not believe in abortion and I laid down in the bed I made. I think it may be a little different for women because I loved my son the whole nine months I was pregnant, but let me tell you what it was like when he finally came into the world. There is no other love like it. It is the most magical feeling ever. And that magic never dies. This is a baby who is innocent and precious and he is mine! All mine....and he depends on ME! And I will not let him down! Becoming a parent makes you selfless and makes you change a lot of things in your life because you will WANT to! Nothing will be more important to you. You will find yourself gladly making sacrifices because the world will be different to you once you have kids.

When I read some of your statements, it sounds like you are already a great father to your unborn child. You are already protective of them and you are claiming you don't even want them! You said "I couldn't imagine bringing a baby into a family that is full of unresolved issues. There are also things with her family which turn me off the idea of having children - primarily the belief that we (being me on one side, her and her family on the other) would have very different ideas of how our children should be raised." It really doesn't matter if the family has unresolved issues....those issues will clear up and there will be more issues later on too. The whole world is full of issues, and you still enjoy your life, don't you?

Stop making excuses for not wanting a baby. If you really love this woman and want to be with her and only her for the rest of your life, then you should give her a baby and just watch and see what happens the day you become "Daddy" and every day after that. You will look back and think how crazy you were that time you posted a problem on a forum about not wanting kids and possibly leaving the love of your life over it. And you're going to think "I could have missed all of this!". And despite what goes on in your families, it will be your duty as a dad to shelter your children from the things you do not want for them. It's all in your control.
Do you really want to be 70 years old one day and have nobody around? This life is REAL, and you need to make the most of it.
And you really need to stop going by what other people do. Just because other people's relationships fail and they become single parents, doesn't mean that will happen to you guys. Everything's is under your control, not theirs.
And I have to say that this woman CLEARLY loves you very much for having put up with this for 5 years out of HOPE that you would come around.

I really hope you change your mind.

My girlfriend wants children, but I don't...

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Thank you both very much. I was pretty sceptical when I came here, and although I've still got a lot to think about you have both helped me see things in a different light.

I do love this woman, and I definitely don't want to be a lonely 70 year old man with nobody to love. Maybe that's where the answer lies. An old man surrounded by kids and grandkids who love him, or one whose wife died years ago and left him alone in the world. I think I know which I prefer.

I still don't think I'm quite ready to give up the nice cars and holidays just yet, but I do feel more confident in saying that I see myself with a family of my own at some point in the future.

So thank you both. I think you may have just saved the most beautiful relationship I've ever had.

My girlfriend wants children, but I don't...

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Right I was on here a few years ago with the same dilemma only I was married. I have asked all these questions and got a million answer from men and women young and old. I can condense it into 2 eventualities. Number 1, stop fucking about and get on with impregnating her, that bits the fun part, embrace it and be a dad. Number 2, if you cant do number 1 let her go asap. If you cant do 1 number 2 will happen, and it means you aren't right for each other anyway. Trust me, I loved my wife like you do. But my friend no matter how much you love each other this will slowly but surely eat away at the both of you like a cancer until there is nothing left but bitterness and burned out shells. Her desire to spawn will grow as her eggs run out and she will resent you more and more until one day she will look at you and you will see no love, not only will you not see the love, you will see that she does not like you anymore, she hates you for what you have done to her. I was told to let her go to find someone who wanted kids with her, I didn't but in reality I should have. Women have a short shelf life, we don't, renalf fines just fathered a kid at 62. You have decades to piss about and change your mind, She doesn't and she NEEDS to breed mate. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but let her go because if she doesn't get what she wants / needs from you she will get it elsewhere. Maybe not yet but the countdown has begun. Do it now, the heart ache is inevitable but it will heal, save yourself the misery of watching your life and relationship rot around you. It will ruin you. You cannot fight mother nature, ever wondered why its mother nature and not father nature? Women hold the ultimate reproductive power. If you cant be the man to give her a baby, you have to be man enough to let het go. And remember when all the dust settles and the shit has flicked off the fan, my friend it is a beautiful world full of great people and in time you will both be happy again.
Just to question the comment above, I asked that question many times too, in counselling and various other forums. Just because you have kids does not mean that they will be there for you when your old, chances are they will, but not always, having kids for fear of loneliness in old age is not a good reason to have kids.

My girlfriend wants children, but I don't...

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SCOTT88: I am brand new (like a few days) to this whole forum advice thing too and was skeptical myself. I came here for my own issues and for privacy sake, and then found myself helping others.
I got a little uncharacteristically teary eyed reading your last response and thinking that I could have helped you see the light that is surely there when you are ready to embrace it. Do what your heart says. Everyone is different. RAINCHECK was right in his circumstances but it doesn't appear he was able to be swayed in wanting a baby, which was his choice and his right. While I think you are different, only you can decide that... but I agree with him that if you KNOW for sure you don't want precious babies (who if you raise them in a loving home, they will absolutely be there for you when you are 70), then letting her go to fulfill her dreams is the right thing to do. :)

My girlfriend wants children, but I don't...

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I am a mother of 2. I would like to share with you what it feels to have kids in our lives. Initially my husband too was just like you. Said he wanted kids then as time went on he wasn't sure while I was.

We went on had the first one. He found it difficult to adjust initially and I had to kind of manage baby alone most times. But as he grew I have seen pride in his father's eyes for each of his achievements in life. Today they bond over food, sports and gadgets like two friends. Then came along our daughter. His world revolves around her. Both the kids are his motivation to earn better in life. To be successful coz that success increases manifold when you see the kids enjoying a good life that you are giving them. It gives you a self worth feeling. Increases your confidence in life. When he comes home his happiness doubles when kids welcome him. It means much more than me welcoming him.

Yes you need to manage cranky babies, change diapers, take care of them etc. but not your whole life isn't it? They grow up pretty fast and you both can still have your own time.

Now you have to decide, do you love her more or a few years of freedom enjoyment?

My girlfriend wants children, but I don't...

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"Thank you both very much. I was pretty sceptical when I came here, and although I've still got a lot to think about you have both helped me see things in a different light.
I do love this woman, and I definitely don't want to be a lonely 70 year old man with nobody to love. Maybe that's where the answer lies. An old man surrounded by kids and grandkids who love him, or one whose wife died years ago and left him alone in the world. I think I know which I prefer.
I still don't think I'm quite ready to give up the nice cars and holidays just yet, but I do feel more confident in saying that I see myself with a family of my own at some point in the future.
So thank you both. I think you may have just saved the most beautiful relationship I've ever had."

You're bloody welcome, Scott, but we can't take all the credit for helping you sort your feelings because this is always about teamwork, and you can't nail jelly to the ceiling. So thank-YOU for not being jelly and for LETTING us nail you to the ceiling. :-D

PS: What you described up there isn't selfishness in the negative sense, it's just instinctually knowing you're still *mid* 'becoming (psychologically) a Father ready to start doing fatherhood' with that developmental run-up process not having yet reached its close and you obeying it to suit, including engaging your conscientiousness. In other words, SOMETIMES selfishness is a *good and necessary* thing. So go finish doing your carefree year(s) until you become bored to death of it (you will) and find yourself suddenly eyeing other dads your age with giggling toddlers riding on their shoulders, and feeling strangely deprived and envious.

If only OTHER men put that level of pre-thought into fatherhood! The world would undoubtedly be a much better place.

This thread has expired - why not start your own?

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