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No Children: I'm in, but does he mean it?
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helplessone22 posted:
Hi, all. I would love some input and/or advice. I'm a 30-year-old female. For as long as I can remember, I've known I would never get married nor have children. I'm a caring, compassionate, loving person, but anything committal will never be for me: ESPECIALLY marriage and children. When people tell me marriage is the next thing and I'd be a great mother, inside I get really bothered. It's not the next thing. However, my greater concern is my present boyfriend. We've been together for 2 years now. My boyfriend is known as the guy who just glows, and children are instantly drawn to him. He's amazing with kids. He has even dated women with children before. At one point, he had a live-in girlfriend whose sister and sister's young daughter also lived there. He loved his girlfriend's sister's daughter living there. They were inseparable. He still speaks of her. He knows how I feel about marriage and children and says he feels the same way. His reasoning is that he's pursuing a music career. He already goes on tour periodically. He feels it would be unfair to a child and me. I don't know that I believe him though. He used to tell me that he got that I didn't want kids but I didn't have to be so negative about it/talk about it. Is there some way I can tell if he genuinely agrees he doesn't believe in marriage or kids? His friends who know him well tell me there's no way he doesn't want kids. He has also told me that many people have told him I clearly want kids someday. While that pisses me off, I don't know if that's a tactic to call my bluff?
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3point14 responded:
You just need to trust that what he tells you is how he feels. Does he typically lie about his goals for the future or how he sees himself? Who cares what his friends think, really?

I think everyone just kind of assumes that once you're with someone for a certain degree of time, marriage and kids are the next step. Most people assume this harmlessly, it's only because that's the typical "next step" and it's a common denominator in western culture, so it's just something that does come up.

However, I definitely understand being annoyed. I'm slightly younger than you and my BF and I have been together 2.5 years, and ALL THE TIME my friends and family are asking us "when" we're going to have kids and get married.I'm ambivalent about marriage, but I also don't want kids, and that's like common knowledge about me but people still bring it up. I've found not engaging in the conversation is what works best for me, and a tactful "What goes on in my womb is really up to me" has been how I've made my opinion known without seeming defensive. Honestly, you do seem really negative about it. Maybe your BF is taking that like you're rejecting HIM, not just the concepts of marriage and having children. Have you both assured each other that basically it's nothing personal?

I wish you the best of luck, and hope that both of you can trust each other to be truthful with each other about where your relationship goes.
 
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Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD responded:
Unfortunately, there is no way to know for sure. You need to ask yourself if you really believe that he believes what he's saying. Then you need to ask yourself if you believe it's true in the moment and that it's likely to stay true - he might honestly believe what he's saying only to find years down the line that he wasn't being honest with himself -- or that he's changed his mind. Can you give him the benefit of the doubt, or do you just have too much doubt?

Keep in mind that this is something that can evolve over time; so if there is no reason to decide this minute, it just may need to be an ongoing conversation.
 
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1nt3rnalc0mbu5t1on responded:
The unfortunate thing about relationships is when you are with someone for a long time you grow closer to them and you dont want to be without them. With that in mind, you may tend to distort your own dreams/future plans to coincide with your partners. Like everyone else has said its very hard to tell if he is being sincere or honest. As a guy, i know i dont want children and i have been married before and am not sure if i want to go down that road again. But from my personal experience I put some of my plans on hold so that my gf could persue some of her goals. Looking back, it was not the best decision i ever made, nor the worst. My point being that if you have been together for 2 years and you honestly love each other, you should be able to have a serious conversation and be openly honest with each other about what you want out of life and the relationship. Real couples may fight, but they know that if they get a resolution it is healthier for the relationship and they both get peace of mind. I would be hell for you to stay together for a long time and he begins to resent you because you never wanted kids and deep down he did. If you approach him and let him know that this is a serious matter and you want to be sure that your both on the same page, you may want to sit him down and talk it out

What ever you decide, follow your heart and good luck!


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