Scenario One:

Two people meet. They fall in love. They decide that they both really want to have kids. They may or may not live happily after.

Scenario Two:

Two people meet. They fall in love. They decide that they both DON’T want children. They may or may not live happily after.

Scenario Three:

Two people meet. They fall in love. One wants children. The other doesn’t. Then what happens?

Let’s play with scenario three for a second.

You and your significant other get along great except for this one nagging little detail. You don’t agree on children.

  1. Do you break up with the person?
  2. Do you go along with the wishes of the other because your love is too pure and you’re not leaving your soulmate over this?
  3. Do you spend your life convincing the other person of your side and coerce them into doing what you want?

Scenario Four:

Two people meet. They fall in love. They both decide they don’t want children. After being together for X years, one of them changes their mind and decides they want children.

What happens next?

Everyone is entitled to change their mind. We all grow and change and whatever. But what if you change your mind about a big thing? Whether or not you have a child is a big thing.

  1. Do you split with the person because you really want a child and they don’t?
  2. Do you coerce your partner into doing something that they don’t want?
  3. Do you trick your partner into having a child?

Should anyone be forced to have a child if they don’t want one?

Raising a child is a lot of work. Having children is a certain lifestyle. I completely understand why someone wouldn’t want to have a child.

Having a child is a wonderful experience. It’s a different path, but worth the time and effort and money. I completely understand why someone would want a child.

I get both sides.

But what do you do if you and your partner aren’t on the same page?

102 thoughts on “I Don’t Want Kids

  1. Children were a huge priority for me. It’s difficult to image not having children so it’s also difficult to image staying with a partner at any point who does not. If I did I know I would be resentful and feel cheated even if I had agreed early on so better to move on I think.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hmmm, tie in to that previous “tough topics” question I see! I’m going with the generalized let’s get to know each other early on but also watchfully observant when any children are around. Does the other person run screaming?? At least you have an opening to start asking questions about their viewpoint.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Though…I know people great with kids who didn’t want any…though you know I have a story. My sister in law got married not long after us, when we had a baby, my mother in law wanted sil and her husband to spend time with us so he would start to like kids. Personally, a crying infant and sleep deprived parents are not exactly a calling card to wanting children

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I just don’t see how it could work if one person wants kids and the other doesn’t.

    My daughter gets so mad when couples in TV shows and movies are about to get married and this comes up. She thinks it’s ridiculous to get to that point and not have the conversation.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I would make sure that there was agreement about this before marriage was ever contemplated.
    I can’t imagine a life without children .
    And, we should not be presumptuous in assuming that we ‘can’ have children, since rates of couples facing infertility are growing. 🌷🤗🌼

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Met my husband when I was 36, he is is younger than me so I told him early on into our relationship that I didn’t want children and if it was a big thing for him we should amicably call it a day enabling him to move on and find someone he wanted to start a family with. Seemed like the fair thing to do in terms of managing expectations and not giving someone crushing news down the line. Been together 18 years – all worked out 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Agreed, no one should be forced to have children if they don’t want them. My fiance and I had the conversation extremely early on, and both expressed neither of us wanted children. We love children and have little ones in the family, which do warm out hearts, and occasionally bring us back to the discussion of should or shouldn’t we.
    The same time we are looking to buy our first home – we both looked at the additional bedrooms as guest rooms, not future nurseries.
    Neither of us have a strong ‘yes or no’ but definitely need to decide one way or another xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. With children you got to be on the same page, otherwise it won’t work. RE scenario 3/4 – the question to ask yourself if you’re the one in the relationship who wants a child is, do I really want to have a child with someone who doesn’t really want one? Kids change everything including the dynamic of the relationship. Even for two adults who both wanted one, it can come as a shock. It’s important that both parties are fully committed.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. I wrote about exactly this experience in a post a month or two ago – The pursuit of unhappiness. Children are a shock to the system. I believe, ultimately, in a good way, but if you don’t really want them I think it can be brutal. Potentially in a negative way

        Liked by 1 person

  7. This is such a huge topic that if two people in a relationship disagree, they would probably be better off by going separate ways. If someone doesn’t want to have kids, they shouldn’t be forced into it. Imagine what kind of parent they would become. Talking about the big topics should come up as a relationship gets serious. Before my wife and I were married, we went through the book “The Hard Questions.” Topics of kids, finances, religion, politics, and more are covered. You ask each other the questions and discuss. I would encourage everyone who is contemplating marriage to use the book — or something similar.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Those folks will likely have a difficult awakening if they get married or live together. Marriage can be hard work. You’ll disagree on many things. Some of those things can lead to arguments. If love conquered all, would any marriages end in divorce? Well, except those drunken, spur-of-the-moment marriages in Vegas.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Yikes!!! IMO it is never a good idea to have kids if you don’t want them. At one time I said I didn’t want any but I was burnt out from babysitting as a teen. Once I was married I changed my mind. I have one daughter who really wants to have kids (and is using that as an excuse not to get the vaccine, fear that she won’t be able to or that there will be some kind of problem) and one daughter who definitely does not want them and has already had the conversation with her boyfriend about it. Both parties have to be into it otherwise it won’t work and would definitely not be a good thing for the child. I do remember wondering how my husband was going to react when I told him I was pregnant 10 years after our first two. He loves kids so much it was not an issue for him.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. We definitely do change and have the right to ado so. If you choose that you do want kids or not is your choice. No-one should try to change your mind. Raising kids is definitely hard work and requires a commitment that is unlike anything else. You have to put your EVERYTHING into but it’s definitely worth it. For me it’s the best gift you can get but I understand if someone says it’s not for them.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hmm………your commenters have been personal and forthcoming then so should’ve I, I’ve known since a very young age I never wanted children, why? I’m far tooo insecure and overthinking………jeeze imagine the consequences if I messed fatherhood up, and I’m a firm believer not everyone should assume they are parental ‘material!’

        Liked by 2 people

      2. 😀 this is turning into a confessional LA you should be a therapist! I have a relation who went off the rails at 17, she drank took drugs then got pregnant, social services decided she wouldn’t be a fit parent and the child was taken into care………there was a happy ending though, that baby was adopted and is now a married mother of two and a school teacher, I met her recently and a lovely calm person…….How would she have turned out if she’d been raised by a drug addicted instead of loving adoptive parents? Nope, not everyone is cut out to be a parent and there’s no shame in admitting it.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Returning to your recent dating theme, a couple’s first date!

    I just this second remembered one other Kevin O’Leary tip, as well as business goals the ‘do you want children?’ Question HAS to be addressed, if one is adamant they don’t want kids and the other just as passionate they want err three! Then I’d suggest the relationship is doomed to fail from the beginning! Sorry for killing tonight’s mood and all.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Scenario five!

    A couple are happy with their childless married life but then one day the lady has that wtf moment as she’s sitting on the toilet peeing onto her pregnancy test kit, btw does a positive test turn a blue or red colour? Then what do the couple do? Both didn’t want children, both agreed never to have children now their lives will be turned upside down for the next 18 years! I guess the choice is abortion (controversial in the USA), adoption (a truly awful and damaging for the lady) or just ride the impending rollercoaster the best they both can? Like I said, lol apologies.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Always something to think about…I didn’t want kids and then got pregnant. Decided to go for it. Best decision I ever made. However, I get the other side of this

      Liked by 3 people

  12. Interesting conundrum, when my brother-in-law married both him and his wife did not want kids. They were adamant…then the doctor told them it would be nearly impossible for them to conceive for xyz reasons. That changed everything. They now wanted a child desperately? They have three. Sometimes we want what we can’t have and I wonder if that plays into the equation? C

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Fascinating discussion topic. Well laid out as always, LA. When I was married my husband wanted kids and I didn’t and then we got divorced and I wanted kids and had them by myself. But that’s a corner case.

    I have a very good friend who got married to someone who on the first date said he’d never have kids and that was fine with her. And then about 12 years in, she decided she wanted a child. It was clear she’d have to leave him to do that and she opted to stay. But the marriage has grown sad anyway because it turns he’s never been faithful over all the years of marriage. (Insert here that I love both of these people so I’m trying to convey this without judgment). Watching this from afar has convinced me that when people change their minds, if possible they should have the most honest series of conversations about what they are called to do even if they are afraid of the consequences of breaking up. Because you can stay/go for the right reasons and the wrong reasons and an honest breakup is better than dishonest hanging in. My opinion anyway…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think you’re right, that we need to have the honest conversations. But I don’t know how many people are actually able to do that. It’s hard facing truths, both internally and with someone else

      Liked by 1 person

  14. My dear friends in Santa Barbara were in this predicament. The husband wanted kids. The wife did not because of a tragedy that happened to a sibling. I won’t go into details but she couldn’t take the chance of loving a child and losing him or her like she did her brother. Later on, the husband convinced her to have children. They couldn’t get pregnant. They went through en vitro twice and it didn’t happen. She regrets the years she didn’t want to have kids. She wanted to adopt and her husband said absolutely not. I see this as a very sad part of their relationship.

    My son is 28, his girlfriend of nine years is 34. They went into the relationship neither wanting kids. Now I’m seeing that they do and the clock is ticking. They aren’t ready for the financial aspect — although many people have kids without money. Also, they don’t want to raise a child in an apartment with roommates. They are thinking of harvesting the eggs for several years from now.
    This relationship is TBD.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Of course I’m hoping my son and girlfriend get married, move to some place more affordable than San Francisco and I have grandkids! As for my friends, it’s been a heartache for them for years.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. My partner said he probably wouldn’t want kids for the first couple years of our relationship and we both knew that I did. I didn’t want to be without him and cause he’s younger than me and comes from a very small family I said I’d prefer to take the chance on us, let us grow up a little more together (we were mid 20’s at the time) and now we’re getting married and have been trying to get pregnant. Neither of us tried to change the others mind, and I suppose we’re lucky it worked out that we eventually landed on the same page about it.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Simple, and not simple, of course. I think much reflection and discussion are in order; and then? If agreement cannot be reached, then splitting up is most beneficial, I think. The issue with conceding, is it will breed resentment over time, which will more than likely damage the relationship beyond repair.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. You know, your posts are not showing up in my reader. I get them in notifications, but sometimes I don’t catch that (if I’m busy too many blah blah blah)


      2. This is happening to several folks that follow me. I will probably write something about it this weekend in my diary entry. Not sure what the deal is…WP does funny things sometimes. When this happens to me, I usually unfollow and follow the blogger again, yet, I am new to this blogging thing, you know…😉

        Liked by 1 person

  17. I think even this needs to be talked about before deciding to get into a relationship. In the same way that you have alternative pathways for a career or a for a long commute. You talk about the pathways of your relationship. What happens if our desires change? What happens if one of us gets extremely sick and needs permanent care? What happens if one of use gets a job that requires us to move? Things like that. These are unavoidable changes that can occur in life. Our relationships do not exist in a bubble. The more you can prepare for the better. And the things you cannot prepare for you trust God to guide you when it arises.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. When we first started dating, my boyfriend told me right away that he doesn’t want kids at all. Even though I was shocked a bit (in my country, hearing somebody saying that is fairly strange), I never picture myself as a mother, so I was quickly ok with his opinion.

    Here is my two cents on the last two scenarios: I’ll break up with him. Having or not having kids is one of the most important topics that should be brought up from the very beginning of the relationship. If two people are not in the same page, breaking up seems to be inevitable.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. My daughter adamantly does not want kids. As in, she does not want to get pregnant and carry a child. She isn’t opposed to raising a child, though she doesn’t really love that idea and would most likely balk at raising a child from birth. For her, it is 100% a deal breaker to have her own, but there may be grounds for a compromise with her like adoption. It is something she would want to find out right away when dating before emotions even became involved and if someone changed their minds later, she would most likely end it. People can change or change their priorities as they move through life. The people around you, including the one you are in a romantic relationship with, aren’t always going to change with you and those relationships may no longer be sustainable.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. As of this moment, my daughter doesn’t want kids. But I don’t know if she wants a relationship either, so it might resolve itself that way. But yeah…I think you need to be up front about this topic

      Liked by 1 person

  20. I can’t remember exactly when the topic came up, but I am pretty sure it wasn’t the first date. But we did discuss it probably within the first three months of dating. I was 43 and she was 31 when we married three years after meeting. My wife has always been pretty adamant about not being a mother in the 11 years we’ve been together. With both of us dealing with varying degrees of mental illness neither of us feels adequate to raise a child. We couldn’t be happier just being cat parents.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Sc. 3 I know a couple who agreed to have kids 10 years after marriage. The woman never really wanted kids. Year 10, the woman had a hysterectomy, so they adopted. They eventually got a divorce.

    Another couple agreed to a specific number of kids. The woman got off BC and now they have four kids.

    I just think we ought to be up front about something so serious. I don’t think a person who doesn’t want kids should marry someone who doesn’t. It’s not gonna end well for either the husband, wife, or kids.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree. It’s hard when both really want to be parents…it’s disastrous if one doesn’t. I know someone who sort of tricked her way into pregnancy…and wonders why her husband is such a crappy parent…

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Very interesting. I believe patners must agree to what they want and what they should do to keep the love going. Opinions should be respected. However, one cannot spend his or her entire life just to convince the other to play along with him or her.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Honestly, even if you don’t think so this arguement will ultimately tear you both apart…I’m not wishing bad for anyone just stating reality which is unfortunately not so sweet…so in my opinion…maybe just let the other person go and have what they’s not going to be easy for both of you…but if you really love that person seeing them in eternal misery also won’t be a great scenario

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Before they get married, I feel couples should go through some kind of pre-marital counseling. I think having similar values and goals is important…and pre-marital counseling helps to open up what’s important. While heartbreaking to find out the other isn’t who you want them to be or would like them to be…better to find out early on than after the fact. That reminds me, I just read something about how this couple waited to have sex until they married (he wanted to wait) and then after they married, she finds out he has a micropenis. She feels duped. While I suppose you don’t have to have sex, I think you should at least fool around enough to make sure these things don’t come as a surprise. Also, it’s important to know how important these things are to each of you. BTW, I don’t know whether they stayed together and worked this out or not. I can see how this could be a problem, but there are ways to creatively get through this as well. Still, holding back on something like this? Not a great way to start a marriage. Anyway, I digress.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Like you and most of the people who commented, I have some experience re this issue. Shithead, guy I dated before POSSOB (idiot who filed for divorce from me after 30 years), already had a kid and didn’t want any more. This may have been subconscious reason I broke it off.

    I was already pregnant when POSSOB and I married. He told me before we married about his previous marriages AND that he’d given up the child of his first teenage marriage for adoption. Anyway, I think I had ascertained from all this that he wanted children. I’d already made the decision to keep my kid but wanted her to have two parents.

    Fast forward about 15 years to the time when we have two daughters who are my Jewish parents’ jewels who have and done any and everything for them. POSSOB has been told he will have to relocate if he wants to keep his job. This was another decision point for me but I decided to move with him because I wanted to keep the family intact for my high school age kids.

    Fast forward another 15 years and POSSOB has filed for divorce while I was back where I’d come from caring for my mom. Now he tells me he was surprised I’d moved and didn’t want to be around me or Mom because he didn’t want to be in a “Jewish” environment.

    BTW, this idiot is a thrice divorced Mormon alcoholic who was forced to dry out so he could keep his job when our kids were small. He’s relapsed more times than I can count since then but refuses to get any help from anywhere else, as far as I know. I gave up trying to do that. Hindsight being 20/20 I guess maybe I should have realized he had a problem with alcohol, and of course religion and family, long before I met him!
    partner aren’t on the same page?

    Liked by 1 person

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