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Spouse doesn't want children

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My wife and I married a little over 3 years ago and discussed having children numerous times prior to marriage. Now she says that she doesn't want children. I'm having trouble accepting this and think I may resent her for the rest of my life because of it. Outside of that we have a solid marriage. Any suggestions?

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Has she told you why - fear of pain, financial, scared of being left alone with the children if the marriage fails?


But if you feel that she misled you, and this is a deal-breaker for you, then, in my opinion, you would be justified in leaving the marriage.


Be careful that she just agrees to save the marriage - she should have them because she wants them.

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That is a tough situation. I tend to agree with DN...what's the real issue here.


Does she know how important this is to you? I have to say that is a pretty big commitment to reneg on. You don't say what sort of discussions you have had around this but it's probably stating the obvious to say if you haven't explored it fully with her you need to start communicationg.

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I would definitely sit her down and find out why she has changed her mind. How old is she if you don't mind my asking? Has anything in her life or your life together changed recently? Money troubles? Family troubles? That's a hard one, but if she is firm in her decision then you need to decide if you will be able to accept that. I would also suggest marriage counseling. They may be able to shed some additional light on this change of heart.

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I think DN and melrich both had very good points.


One, you need to explore WHY the change of heart (perhaps it is a fear that can be addressed, etc), or perhaps there never was an intention on her part on having them? How long did you date before you got married?


Next, you need to determine whether you can live with this or not. You stated yourself you would "resent her forever", and so it sounds like you really are not agreeable to this change in plans on her part. I think that differences in terms of wanting/not wanting children is a dealbreaker in most cases, and do think you would be justified in choosing to exit the relationship. Only YOU can determine that however.

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She's 31 and certainly no indication that we couldn't have children. She has lots of excuses, such as she's too busy, doesn't want to get sick when she is pregnant, doesn't want to be pushing a baby around in a stroller, etc. Basically, she thinks having children is too much of a hassle. And she actually works with kids for a living and always talks about how cute they are!

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Time for you to decide if this is a deal-breaker for you or not.


I think you should have a serious discussion and ask her to be absolutely honest as to why she doesn't want children - no excuses but real reasons. You should also ask her why she changed her mind after marriage.


If she is adamant then you should proceed according to your decision about if this is a deal-breaker.


The marriage vows include 'for better or worse, sickness and health; and if this were a medical condition then I think, ethically and morally you should stick by her.


But if she married you saying she wanted children, and either was lying in order to get you to marry her, or subsequently changed her mind to suit only herself, then I think you are released from any undertakings made at the time of the marriage. One of the prime reasons for marriage is the procreation of children.

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  • 2 years later...

I do think it was unfair for her to dump this on you, especially after numerous times of talking about having kids BEFORE the marriage. That is something she should have definitely been up front and honest about before she jumped into this mess.


But! You do have to respect her choice not to have children. I know how it is to feel like the only woman on the planet who doesn't want children. It's frustrating because people are always asking, "Why don't you want them?" "Don't you want to be happy?" Don't do that to her. She's making a fair judgement for herself. Most times, it's best if someone doesn't want kids to NOT have them.


So don't pressure her into having them. That will only bring a child into the world to a mother who really didnt' want it in the first place. Would you want to expose a helpless, innocent child to that?


I say if it's that truly important to you to have babies, then you need to tell her that you just can't live with it. And if she really does feel the way she says, then you need to leave. There's no hope for you in a marriage when you're going to be resenting your wife for something she simply has a right to feel. It's not going to work. You cannot make a marriage work when one person resents the other.

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