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Life Choices - Kids or Relationship

  • 07-05-2020 2:20pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭


    Firstly, sorry I know there are a few slightly similar threads, which I have read, but my circumstances are slightly different so I wanted to start a seperate thread.

    I am a male aged 40. My GF is a female aged 37.

    We have lived together for 3 years renting.

    I would be happy to buy a house with her. I would be happy to marry her.

    What is stopping the relationship move forward is kids.

    We have both sat on the fence with kids for a long time. It is now crystal clear - she wants kids.

    I really don't think I want kids. I have never had an interest in kids but I have never really being around kids much. A little part of me thinks that maybe my feelings about kids are normal for a guy. All my friends with kids seem happy. However, my gut tells me no to kids.

    I love my girlfriend. She loves me. I have being in a series of bad relationships through the years and I have finally met someone that I really love and like being around. I was never that happy before I met this girl.

    I have told her that I have no interest in kids. She does not want to end the relationship, nor do I but we both realise that we either agree to move forward without kids or have kids or end the relationship. We have both agreed to have a serious conversation about this and make a decision before the end of this month.

    She has said things like she will do all the looking after of the kid (not fair and nor how I would like it) and 1 kid is fine with her.

    Basically we have three choices, agree to have a kid with her (and see if it happens) or end the relationship go back to being single and most likely unhappy or we go forward together without kids.

    The decision is really weighing on me. Any advise or thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks.


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,495 ✭✭✭✭eviltwin


    If you are genuine about not wanting children, and it sounds like you've really put a lot of thought into it, then you have no option but to end it.

    I know that's not what either of you want but asking her to give up her dream of being a mother is unfair, it's unfair for you to feel pressured into having a child you don't want and it's unfair and irresponsible to any potential child to knowingly bring it into a world where one parent doesn't want it.

    People will tell you you'll change your mind once it's here etc but you might not. It's a risk not worth taking and there's no compromise when you both feel the way you do.


  • Registered Users Posts: 807 ✭✭✭Jenneke87


    Children are not something you want to come to regret. Either you break up or you d o not have children. I dont think there is another option.


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,222 ✭✭✭✭banie01


    If she wants kids,cut her loose, let her down easy but don't try and string her along.

    I'm a 40y.o male, with 1 son with my 1st wife.
    I'd only ever planned on one, came from a big family myself and I didn't want the same for my family.

    I lost my 1st wife 13yrs ago, and not long after that had a vasectomy.
    When I did start dating again, it was always one of the early topics raised.
    If it gets serious, there isn't going to be kids not even by accident ;)

    It's a deal-breaker, and it should be.
    Don't leave her hoping you will change your mind, don't leave her think it will be different when it's your own.

    Talk to her, make it clear where you stand and of that means that she wants to call it a day?
    Do it for her, don't make her be the one to call an end to it on top of everything else.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,978 ✭✭✭Caranica


    In my case the genders were reversed. We got married, said we'd talk about it in a few years. In the end, I really didn't want kids and he really did. Marriage ended. He knew how I felt before we got together but he thought that in time I'd change my mind. I probably thought he'd change his mind when he saw how good it was just the two of us.

    So my advice is, work out what you want. You think you don't want kids, are you sure? If you are, then you owe it to yourself and to her to be open about it. There are lots of people out there who don't want to have kids, they still have love to give. You can find love again.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,270 ✭✭✭✭Dial Hard


    Like Caranica, my marriage ended because I (also female) didn't want children.

    Unfortunately, OP, this is the one true dealbreaker; there's no compromise that can fix this and all the love in the world isn't enough to get a couple through it either. If, in your heart of hearts, you know you don't want children then you need to end this now. It'll be the most difficult thing you've ever done but kicking the can down the road will only make it even harder for both of you when the end does come, believe me.

    It's an unbelievably horrible situation for you both, you have my heartfelt sympathy.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,321 ✭✭✭Loveinapril


    I am so sorry you are in this predicament but the only option is to break up. Kids are tough. Myself and my husband planned our children but the stress they bring could have ended us so many times. We were as solid as you can get before they arrived. Even if you have one that she "looks after", EVERYTHING about your life will still change. You really don't want to regret children but I am sure that if you and your partner decide to go forward without children, she will resent you, especially seeing as she is coming closer to the age where conceiving naturally will be tough. So if you plod along until she is 40, then break up because she wants children again, it is less likely to happen for her. If you really love her, you need to be brutal.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,117 ✭✭✭✭Jimmy Bottlehead


    As said above OP, if she wants kids and you don't, there's no middle ground.

    If you love her, then do the hard thing and end it. As someone else said, don't put the burden on her.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,703 ✭✭✭Xterminator


    OP you can only be open and honest with your partner.

    I think you need to take that good long look in the mirror. Why dont you want a child? Are you sure about the reasons. Dont answer me, answer yourself honestly. If this breaks up your relationship and you are single and living less well off next year will you regret this decision?

    And if your decision is no child] then stick to your guns and let the chips fall where they may.

    Personally I don't think i would be happy if i got my way, but it made my partner fundamentally unhappy - but then i was never opposed to kids simply was not my priority at the time.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,338 ✭✭✭Pauliedragon


    As posted above OP it's best to move on in my opinion. My long term relationship/marriage ended mostly due to her wanting kids and I didn't. One regret I do have is not being more upfront with her earlier as we are still friendly.


  • Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭LegacyUser


    I really don't think I want kids. I have never had an interest in kids but I have never really being around kids much. A little part of me thinks that maybe my feelings about kids are normal for a guy. All my friends with kids seem happy. However, my gut tells me no to kids.

    for the record lots of parents out there never had an interest in kids before they had their own, and as a parent i still hate being around other people's kids, but i do love my own, and i'd do anything for them, including putting up with other people's kids...

    but the fact you say your gut tells you no to kids screams a lot... i believe you should always listen to your gut.

    the Vasectomy question raises and solves a lot of these kind of issues, leaving your partner aside for the moment would YOU have one tomorrow definitely? maybe? not?

    the answer to that question may help you figure out your own mind and what you really want first and once you do you can sit down and deal with the next step, what are you two going to do about it?


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  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,885 Mod ✭✭✭✭shesty


    We have 3 kids.They are hard work.I mean it is amazing, can't describe it, but they are HARD on your relationship.Any problems bubbling under the surface, kids will bring them up.

    It won't be one you can sort out, so be up front.If you aren't interested in kids, then honesty is the best policy.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,872 ✭✭✭✭cj maxx


    As said above, there is no middle ground in this.
    Either you are both in for the option of children or you're not.
    And don't forget that even if you both decided on children it doesn't always happen.
    If you are set against having children and she isn't there is only one option
    End it .
    I could give you the speil about you will love him/her when they're born but if this isn't what you want, you will resent her .
    If she doesn't have the chance of children she will resent you for denying her probably her last chance at parenthood
    Sorry OP. My take on it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 126 ✭✭FitzElla


    Agree with everyone above. This is not something you can compromise on.

    Having a child is an utterly life changing event, there is no way you can have an absentee father role or keep your relationship unchanged. Equally her desire for a child is not something that will go away. As time is not on her side you owe her every chance to find someone she can have a child with. If you love her you owe her that chance to be happy.

    I'm sorry for you both as it will be hard to make the decision.


  • Administrators, Politics Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 25,947 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Neyite


    She has said things like she will do all the looking after of the kid (not fair and nor how I would like it) and 1 kid is fine with her.

    This sounds like she's clutching at straws, but in reality that simply does not work. It's just not possible. Are you going to leave a baby screaming while she's in the shower and pretend you can't hear it? Or ignore a toddler hurtling towards a pot on the stove because 'she does all the minding'.. it's just not workable, and would build up a world of misery for both of you and setting up a child for MAJOR emotional issues.

    To me, this is her desperately wanting you to come around when you see the cuteness of your own offspring. That you'll turn into a doting dad and create the family that she envisions. And sure, that might happen, but what also might happen is that you hate fatherhood. And that's a hell of a risk when there's a tiny person who will be directly affected by this decision.

    You can't have half a kid. You can't share a home with a child and expect no relationship to develop from their side. And any rejection of that relationship that develops from their side sets them up for lifelong issues.

    I think you need to call it a day if you genuinely never want children before it gets to a point where one happens anyway.


  • Registered Users Posts: 856 ✭✭✭miec


    Hi Op

    I am afraid like other posters here this is one of those awful non-negotiables, I got married many moons ago, I wanted a child, my ex did not, though he hid it from me until after we got married and then I became depressed so he had a child to please me and it broke our marriage. Also it is not feasible for her to do most of the raising, a child needs both parents and if you remain with her and a child but are cold and stand offish, how will that impact the child? It would feel like an abandonment to them, so I am afraid, if you can, end it because this is one of those things that neither of you can compromise on.


  • Registered Users Posts: 960 ✭✭✭Triangle


    I am so sorry you are in this predicament but the only option is to break up. Kids are tough. Myself and my husband planned our children but the stress they bring could have ended us so many times. We were as solid as you can get before they arrived. Even if you have one that she "looks after", EVERYTHING about your life will still change. You really don't want to regret children but I am sure that if you and your partner decide to go forward without children, she will resent you, especially seeing as she is coming closer to the age where conceiving naturally will be tough. So if you plod along until she is 40, then break up because she wants children again, it is less likely to happen for her. If you really love her, you need to be brutal.

    +1, kids will change everything in a relationship and you should realise this.
    I have three teenagers now and have great Craic with them, they are absolutely gems in my life and I wouldn't go back for anything. But just be aware, that life does change with the responsibility of kid(s)


  • Registered Users Posts: 62 ✭✭Make It Real


    Maybe turn it round completely and remove the one thing you have right now - choice.

    So, what if you both suddenly found out that...

    - You were unable to have kids.
    - She was unable to have kids.
    - Both of you were unable to have kids.


    How would each of those make you and her feel, individually, and as a couple?

    Does that give a different viewpoint or more clarity on what you want and the situation?

    What would it mean for life and your relationship together?


    (With genuine apologies and empathy to anyone living with fertility issues).


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,272 ✭✭✭qwerty13


    “She has said things like she will do all the looking after of the kid (not fair and nor how I would like it) and 1 kid is fine with her.”

    I know you’re not planning on going down this route, but just to say, as others have too, that you being an unengaged parent could really mess up your child. My mother was - in my teens - very open about how she never would have had children had the ‘marriage bar’ not existed, and children were just ‘expected’. There were lots of other issues with my mother too, but being made subtly - and not so subtly - aware that I was, well, a bit of a hindrance, really messed me up for years.

    I’m not saying that you’d behave like that. But just be very very aware that kids pick up on things. I can remember being about 5/6 and knowing that my mother wasn’t the parent to go to if anything was wrong. So don’t have a child in order to appease your GF. There’s way bigger life consequences than you’re possibly aware of, if you take it from the child’s point of view.

    It’s a horrible situation to be in though. I wish you every sympathy with your decision.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,055 ✭✭✭Emme


    OP you have wasted a lot of her time and don't waste any more.

    Do men realise that women only have a short window of fertility? There are so many cases of men stringing women along regarding starting a family with "ah shure maybe next year" or "I need to think about it for another while". Women do not have these options. A man can meet a younger woman any time he wants and have children with her.

    I think she may have wanted children all along but was "on the fence" hoping that you would agree to have children with her. Now it is getting very late for her. If you don't want children let her go. Her changes of having children are a lot slimmer than they were when you got together first but she will still have a chance to try and find somebody who wants children or even have a child on her own.

    On the other hand you have only been together 3 years and she would have been 34 when you first met. So she would have had to be sure you wanted children then and you said you didn't. When women get to their late 30s and they are in a relationship with a man who does not want children they have to choose whether they want to stay in the relationship and forget having children, leave the relationship and chance meeting somebody who does but risk being single and childless forever if they don't meet someone or else go the donor route and have a child on their own. Whereas if you change your mind in 10 years time you will have no problem meeting a younger woman who wants children.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,900 ✭✭✭randomname2005


    Emme wrote: »
    OP you have wasted a lot of her time and don't waste any more.

    Do men realise that women only have a short window of fertility? There are so many cases of men stringing women along regarding starting a family with "ah shure maybe next year" or "I need to think about it for another while". Women do not have these options. A man can meet a younger woman any time he wants and have children with her.

    I think she may have wanted children all along but was "on the fence" hoping that you would agree to have children with her. Now it is getting very late for her. If you don't want children let her go. Her changes of having children are a lot slimmer than they were when you got together first but she will still have a chance to try and find somebody who wants children or even have a child on her own.

    On the other hand you have only been together 3 years and she would have been 34 when you first met. So she would have had to be sure you wanted children then and you said you didn't. When women get to their late 30s and they are in a relationship with a man who does not want children they have to choose whether they want to stay in the relationship and forget having children, leave the relationship and chance meeting somebody who does but risk being single and childless forever if they don't meet someone or else go the donor route and have a child on their own. Whereas if you change your mind in 10 years time you will have no problem meeting a younger woman who wants children.
    If the op is telling the truth he didn't waste her time as they were both on the fence. If she was lying it was not him wasting her time.
    But to the op, most people above I would agree with. Don't under any circumstances plan to have kids just to please someone else.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,942 ✭✭✭bilbot79


    Firstly, sorry I know there are a few slightly similar threads, which I have read, but my circumstances are slightly different so I wanted to start a seperate thread.

    I am a male aged 40. My GF is a female aged 37.

    We have lived together for 3 years renting.

    I would be happy to buy a house with her. I would be happy to marry her.

    What is stopping the relationship move forward is kids.

    We have both sat on the fence with kids for a long time. It is now crystal clear - she wants kids.

    I really don't think I want kids. I have never had an interest in kids but I have never really being around kids much. A little part of me thinks that maybe my feelings about kids are normal for a guy. All my friends with kids seem happy. However, my gut tells me no to kids.

    I love my girlfriend. She loves me. I have being in a series of bad relationships through the years and I have finally met someone that I really love and like being around. I was never that happy before I met this girl.

    I have told her that I have no interest in kids. She does not want to end the relationship, nor do I but we both realise that we either agree to move forward without kids or have kids or end the relationship. We have both agreed to have a serious conversation about this and make a decision before the end of this month.

    She has said things like she will do all the looking after of the kid (not fair and nor how I would like it) and 1 kid is fine with her.

    Basically we have three choices, agree to have a kid with her (and see if it happens) or end the relationship go back to being single and most likely unhappy or we go forward together without kids.

    The decision is really weighing on me. Any advise or thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks.

    Just have the kids. You guys are quite old now anyway, it mightnt work


  • Registered Users Posts: 461 ✭✭Pistachio19


    Emme wrote: »
    OP you have wasted a lot of her time and don't waste any more.

    Do men realise that women only have a short window of fertility? There are so many cases of men stringing women along regarding starting a family with "ah shure maybe next year" or "I need to think about it for another while". Women do not have these options. A man can meet a younger woman any time he wants and have children with her.

    I think she may have wanted children all along but was "on the fence" hoping that you would agree to have children with her. Now it is getting very late for her. If you don't want children let her go. Her changes of having children are a lot slimmer than they were when you got together first but she will still have a chance to try and find somebody who wants children or even have a child on her own.

    On the other hand you have only been together 3 years and she would have been 34 when you first met. So she would have had to be sure you wanted children then and you said you didn't. When women get to their late 30s and they are in a relationship with a man who does not want children they have to choose whether they want to stay in the relationship and forget having children, leave the relationship and chance meeting somebody who does but risk being single and childless forever if they don't meet someone or else go the donor route and have a child on their own. Whereas if you change your mind in 10 years time you will have no problem meeting a younger woman who wants children.

    Very unfair to claim that op has been wasting his partners time. He has said they were both on the fence and it has now become clear that his partner wants kids. Unless he's psychic how was he to know she wanted them all along? Maybe it's only become clear to her too, as often happens when women near 40.

    Op I think you need to be honest with yourself first and then be totally honest with her. If you do not want children then the relationship is best ended. If she wants a baby she needs time to find another partner/go it alone and use a sperm donor. Have the chat sooner rather than later and best of luck whatever you both decide.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,272 ✭✭✭qwerty13


    bilbot79 wrote: »
    Just have the kids. You guys are quite old now anyway, it mightnt work

    And it might F up the kids for life, feeling or knowing that they weren’t wanted.


  • Registered Users Posts: 28,374 ✭✭✭✭_Kaiser_


    Emme wrote: »
    OP you have wasted a lot of her time and don't waste any more.

    Do men realise that women only have a short window of fertility? There are so many cases of men stringing women along regarding starting a family with "ah shure maybe next year" or "I need to think about it for another while". Women do not have these options. A man can meet a younger woman any time he wants and have children with her.

    I think she may have wanted children all along but was "on the fence" hoping that you would agree to have children with her. Now it is getting very late for her. If you don't want children let her go. Her changes of having children are a lot slimmer than they were when you got together first but she will still have a chance to try and find somebody who wants children or even have a child on her own.

    On the other hand you have only been together 3 years and she would have been 34 when you first met. So she would have had to be sure you wanted children then and you said you didn't. When women get to their late 30s and they are in a relationship with a man who does not want children they have to choose whether they want to stay in the relationship and forget having children, leave the relationship and chance meeting somebody who does but risk being single and childless forever if they don't meet someone or else go the donor route and have a child on their own. Whereas if you change your mind in 10 years time you will have no problem meeting a younger woman who wants children.

    Completely disagree with this.

    From what he said, both sides were unsure about the idea. If she was hoping that he'd come around or that she'd be able to talk him into it, that's on her to be honest. He seems to have been clear that it may NOT happen too.

    To be honest though I do think that this is probably fairly common. I think a lot of guys probably don't set out hoping for kids when they get involved with someone. I think the drive for that generally comes from their partner (partly for the reasons you mention but also social pressure when a couple get "serious") and it comes down to something that they either go along with and (hopefully) grow into, or risk losing their partner if they still resist.

    Kids are a huge commitment and they certainly won't fix or improve a relationship and it's not something you can be half in/half out on.

    If the OP has decided he definitely doesn't want kids he needs to be upfront with her, but it's certainly not his fault or that he wasted her time


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,404 ✭✭✭valoren


    I would consider this situation as the culmination of mutual miscommunication. You've been living together for three years. Have you both not sussed each other out in that time in terms of wanting to have children, get married? Those deductions of the "future" you mutually unveil as a relationship develops? e.g. How do you feel about having kids? Do you ever see yourself becoming a mother? How do you feel about moving in together? Etc Have you not grasped her feelings about having children in that time? i.e. my partner is maternal/not maternal. What have you been talking about if not? It's an inevitable question which faces all long term partners, the kind of overarching major decisions that are mused upon, agreed upon and which define a long term committed relationship. Given that your partner is 37 then her biological clock is ticking whereas we men can have kids well past the menopausal age of our partners i.e. if I personally wished to never have children then I would only remain involved in a committed relationship with a woman who shared such mutual feelings and I would certainly not be in a long term relationship with a woman who had strong maternal feelings only to deny her the chance to start a family. The opposing feelings would also apply ie I wanted kids/she didn't becoming a deal breaker. That’s my personal opinion.

    She has finally given you a clear indication that she wants children and it's now decision time for you. Kick the can down the road and you're not being fair to your partner given her stance. If you don't want to have children then you need to tell her. On the flip side, she ought to have been sussing out your feelings towards being a father in the same time frame. I know I sound harsh here but a compromise has to be made to salvage and balance your relationship. Either she put's off having children indefinitely (and takes on the risk of pregnancy at an older age if you do have children) or you make a firm decision that you don't want children and convey your feelings with your partner. If she wants children then it means the end of your relationship. You both have to weigh up your contrasting feelings and what that means to your relationship.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 692 ✭✭✭unhappys10


    Just my own experience as I would have been similar to you in that I didn't like children, didn't want anything to do with them at all and definitely didn't want to hear other people tell me about theirs.

    But I got married a couple of years ago and we decided we'd have children.
    I just thought to myself I don't like other people's kids but I'll like my own surely?!

    We have an 11 month old daughter and all I can now say is it is indescribable. No one can tell you what it's like no matter how hard they may try, the feeling just can't be put into words that will give you any sense of what it's like.

    I don't think anyone knows what pure love is until they have their own child, she is just amazing and I literally couldn't imagine life without her.

    Having said all that, there are some people out there who just don't want them and that's fine.

    Ps I'm a man.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,129 ✭✭✭✭lawred2


    for the record lots of parents out there never had an interest in kids before they had their own, and as a parent i still hate being around other people's kids, but i do love my own, and i'd do anything for them, including putting up with other people's kids...

    This was me and is me now. Never thought about kids. Never had any interest in them. Have three now and love them dearly and wouldn't ever want to turn back time.

    Couldn't be arsed with other kids though


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 692 ✭✭✭unhappys10


    lawred2 wrote: »
    This was me and is me now. Never thought about kids. Never had any interest in them. Have three more and love them dearly and wouldn't ever want to turn back time.

    Couldn't be arsed with other kids though

    Yeh I forgot to add this, I couldn't care less about other people's kids even now.

    Some of my wife's friends and her brothers GF have had babies recently and I couldn't care less, don't care about them nor do I want to see or hear anything about them.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,436 ✭✭✭✭Thelonious Monk


    I think men get a lot of stick in this situation. I am seeing someone for not far off a year and we haven't discussed children, neither of us have brought it up, and we're both the wrong side of 35. Does that make me bad for wasting her time and not talking about it?
    Men are capable of loving someone, so if you don't want kids and the alternative is losing the person that means so much to you it's not a nice situation to be in.
    I never understood the "I want kids" thing either, I've always been more on the "I want kids if it's with the right person at the right time and if it doesn't happen it doesn't happen" side of things, it takes two to tango.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 17,495 ✭✭✭✭eviltwin


    unhappys10 wrote: »
    Just my own experience as I would have been similar to you in that I didn't like children, didn't want anything to do with them at all and definitely didn't want to hear other people tell me about theirs.

    But I got married a couple of years ago and we decided we'd have children.
    I just thought to myself I don't like other people's kids but I'll like my own surely?!

    We have an 11 month old daughter and all I can now say is it is indescribable. No one can tell you what it's like no matter how hard they may try, the feeling just can't be put into words that will give you any sense of what it's like.

    I don't think anyone knows what pure love is until they have their own child, she is just amazing and I literally couldn't imagine life without her.

    Having said all that, there are some people out there who just don't want them and that's fine.

    Ps I'm a man.

    It's dangerous advice to tell someone they should have kids because it's different when it's your own. Not everyone will feel that way and it's the child who suffers. I grew up with a parent who regretted having children and its had a major impact on my life. Even if the other parent is amazing it still affects the child.

    Hopefully most people do love their kids but it's a huge risk to take.


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