If you find yourself in a situation where you’re in a committed relationship but your partner doesn’t want kids (and you do), take heart because you’re not the first.
Regardless, it is still a difficult situation to be in and one in which decisions must be made. It is never easy to choose between the possibility of having children and your partner.
That said, can you somehow make your partner change his mind? It’s not likely.
Dear Dan and Jennifer,
I have been dating my boyfriend for over a year. He tells me that he loves me very much and that he wants to spend the rest of his life with me, and I feel the same way but he doesn’t want to have children. I can’t give up the idea of never having a child and I don’t think he will ever change his mind. We were going to move in together, but since he made it very clear that he doesn’t want children, I decided to move to another state. He wants us to continue communicating after I move. I don’t think this would be a good idea. My friend tells me that the emptiness and loneliness might change his mind. I really don’t know what to think.
What should I do? Should I continue communicating with him or see him? Please help me.
- Jennifer, New Jersey
Talk to him.
In some way or another, you’ve found out that your partner is not interested in having children. That can be huge, life changing discovery, especially if you’ve looked forward to having children with your partner for some time.
Is the topic open for discussion? If so, take some time to go over with your partner your needs as well as his. Why doesn’t he want children? Does he want them later, but not right now?
Don’t pass judgment or be critical when you ask your partner these questions. You’re just looking for his side of the story so you can better understand where he is coming from. In turn, you should be able to share your side of the story and express your needs about wanting children.
It may be likely that the issue is non-negotiable. Some people just don’t want kids. They are content with their lives as they are and feel that children would be a burden. Some people feel as though they aren’t capable of caring for children. Either way, these are legitimate feelings that should be respected.
It’s non-negotiable . . . what do I do?
You’ve discussed the situation with your partner and he truly does not want kids. What do you do? It’s time to make a decision.
You can’t change his mind. You can try a number of things to try to change the way he feels about you and feels about the situation, but chances are these won’t work. Even if they did, the change would likely be short lived. Your partner has the right to have his own objectives for his life and that’s okay. You are only responsible for you and your life.
So what do you do? Do you choose the possibility of having children or do you choose your partner? It’s completely up to you, so take as much time as you need to think the situation over.
Don’t rush making a decision. Really think about what you want in life and what you’re willing to sacrifice to get it. Do you want children badly? Does the thought of having children of your own make you feel complete? Or do you feel as though your life would be lost if you and your partner didn’t make it? Ask yourself questions that really make you think.
When you’ve decided what to do, you need to break it to your partner. If you’ve decided to leave your partner or already have, you need to tell them exactly how you feel. You may be better off going your separate ways.
If you’ve decided to choose your partner over the possibility of having children, keep in mind that this can be a huge weight on your partner’s shoulders. They might not want to feel responsible for you not being able to have children and may break it off anyways.
All you can really do is take your time and make the decision you feel is right in your heart. Trust yourself to choose the best thing for you!