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children or no children?


kynard
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So last week I asked my boyfriend if he wanted kids and he immediately reacted by telling me that he doesn't want kids, is more inclined to adopt, and already has two kids. Let me back up, he has been dealing with family stressors: his mother and grandmother are ill, and he is the sole provider for his family. Five minutes into the conversation, i told him if i want kids and he doesn't then we have a problem and asked him if we should break up. He told me that he didn't want to but couldn't see any other solution. After i calmed down, i told him that the question was asked out of context( we're only 23, not married, and not ready for children) and basically it's not something that we should worry about. We ended up breaking up the next day when we talked because he felt that breaking up felt like the right thing to do. It is now wednesday and we've spoken but we keep going in circles because i am hurt and don't know how to deal. I had suggested that we speak again tonight but ended up cancelling because i don't think it's a good time for us to speak right now. I told him that i had some things to sort out and he can feel free to contact me because i'm willing to listen but that i would be calling him when i have sorted things out on my end. I've spoken to my mother, sister, and brother in law about this and they all say that this isn't a good enough reason to break up. I can assure everyone that reads this post that our relationship wasn't perfect but there was/is a deep love and respect that is shared between the two of us. Should i just let it go although my heart tells me to stick around to see what happens?

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Do you really think that it was a good time to bring up this subject and then say that you should break up when he is going through the worry of providing for his family and has great emotional concern because both his mother and grandmother are ill?

 

Perhaps he just feels that he already has enough stress to deal with.

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Oh it was definitely the wrong time to bring it up. I apologized profusely and right now, it doesn't seem like he wants to hear what I'm saying. Almost as if he's put a block. That is partly why i decided to keep the lines of communication open. It's just hard because I can't but feeling that it's all my fault...

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Hi Kynard,

 

I'm sorry that you're confused and hurting. I know that the kids issue is a dealbreaker no matter how much you love someon. How long have you been seeing each other? What is your feeling on kids? Do you only want to have your own? You're right that this isn't something you need to worry about this second because you have plenty of years of fertility left and like you said you aren't ready for marriage. Also, from what I hear men that young may change their minds about kids. But since he already has some, maybe he realizes he doesn't want any more. And you can NEVER count on someone changing their mind. Do you think this is the man you are going to marry? In my opinion, you should never give up your dreams for anyone else. And if it's really important to you want to give birth to and raise your own children, there may be a man out there that would be a better match for you.

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I think if you're sure you do (or don't) want kids, and your partner is sure (s)he doesn't (or does), then that's a big problem to try to overcome in a relationship.

 

What perplexes me is that I don't understand why he doesn't want to father any with you, but doesn't mind adopting? I can see where health issues could be a concern to lead a woman to make such a decision, but not a man.

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but we keep going in circles because i am hurt and don't know how to deal. I had suggested that we speak again tonight but ended up cancelling because i don't think it's a good time for us to speak right now. I told him that i had some things to sort out and he can feel free to contact me because i'm willing to listen but that i would be calling him when i have sorted things out on my end.

The thing is that you are making this all about your feelings even though you did apologise. You are trying to make him be the one to sort this issue out but not really acknowledging that he is occupied with other serious issues. Not a good idea.

 

I think you should tell him that you understand he has to take care of his family right now and regret bringing it up at this time. Say you wold like to help and support him and you can put the children issue on the back-burner to talk about when both of you are less stressed and more able to talk without other distractions clouding the issue.

 

edit: especially in the light of your previous post here:

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DN, when I tried to do that, he kept affirming me that he DEFINITELY does not want kids and that i can not bak on him changing his mind. i told him that i accept that and that we really shouldn't be talking about the issue much less break up over it due his family circumstance. like i said previously, it seems as if he doesn't hear that and continues with the breaking up part. for some reason, i don't feel like that that's the right solution to our "problem." maybe i'm just being stubborn...

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i am a very spiritual person and i don't know what God has planned for me. sure, i would love to have kids, but it's something that may or not change. most 23 year old guys that i know don't want kids, all of my friends( male/female) don't want kids. sometimes i feel that things like that are or can be a result of someone's circumstances. i honestly feel that he is overwhelmed with thought of his future plans considering that is famliy's future isn't too clear. does that make sense? i am just really thankful for a forum like this and do honestly appreciate all of the advice that is being offered to me by you.

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i am a very spiritual person and i don't know what God has planned for me. sure, i would love to have kids, but it's something that may or not change.

 

With all due respect, that is rubbish. Relationships demand compromise - give up a day of golf, don't spend so much time shopping, put up with the in laws, watch Desperate Houswives, less time on the internet etc etc.

 

Wanting to have a baby is not something you compromise on. If you do your relationship is doomed anyway.

 

What we are all saying here is that maybe this is not teh right time to be discussing it with him, he seems to have a lot going on.

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I agree that it was the wrong time to bring it up - my question is, why wasn't this discussed early on before you got involved? I realize that you feel you are too young to marry/have kids but since you apparently know you won't date someone seriously who you would never marry, why didn't you bring it up earlier? I also realize you don't want to come on too strong in the beginning but there are ways of exploring the issue without making it specific to you - just talking about views on family, having kids in a more casual sense.

 

If having kids is a must for you then it is clear - although unfortunate - that he likely is not the guy for you.

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it was discussed. and he always told me that he didn't want kids right now. which is/was understandable. now, that i asked a week ago, his answer has changed.i've known this guy since the 9th grade( i am a college graduate) and during that time, his views on family and children have fluctuated.

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kynard,

 

I agree very strongly with DN. This is a matter that he shouldn't be burdened with at this time, just out of respect for his troubles.

 

The only experience I have with this situation is a longtime gf who suddenly wanted a baby after clearly knowing I didn't. She left me to get pregnant, the guy ran, and she made overtures to return to me with her baby. It was very sad.

 

Be sure to build a sound foundation for motherhood. If he's not the one, don't force it. He has to want a child when he's also ready.

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i am a very spiritual person and i don't know what God has planned for me. sure, i would love to have kids, but it's something that may or not change. most 23 year old guys that i know don't want kids, all of my friends( male/female) don't want kids. sometimes i feel that things like that are or can be a result of someone's circumstances.

 

in that case, i think you have to ask yourself some questions.

 

for example, is maintaining this relationship more important to you than the possibility of never having your own children?

 

knowing that having children still could be a big issue, are you willing to stay with him knowing it could very well tear you apart eventually, spending months or years more on this relationship that could have been used to find a partner who definitely wants children?

 

in my experience, guys my age (21) don't want kids NOW. but in surveying a lot of my guy friends, i noticed that most of them have a pretty clear answer as to whether they'll want them EVENTUALLY. that's true of most of my female friends as well.

 

you might just have to search your heart on this. i want children, so personally, i could never see a future with a guy who didn't want kids. i'm young, so it's possible my desires could change, but i think it's risky to commit to a guy who already knows there are limitations on what he can offer you. just my opinion, though.

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it was discussed. and he always told me that he didn't want kids right now. which is/was understandable. now, that i asked a week ago, his answer has changed.i've known this guy since the 9th grade( i am a college graduate) and during that time, his views on family and children have fluctuated.

 

I am glad you discussed this and, in a way, since his views fluctuate, they may change back. It's not surprising that they would fluctuate again at a time like this. Do you think there was anything sabotaging in your reason for bringing this up at the time you did? It was pretty likely that he would not give a positive answer right now, right?

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when i was 21 i never even thought of kids i am now in early 30s and am thinking of kids if i find a new young gentleman to take me on. You are so young ot have kids it is fine to discuss it but it shouldnt be the be all end all of things - ask him if he ever wants them and then think aboutother things in your life make your relationship a happy one first kids will come later no doubt if other things interfere then dont bother just find another man you are very young to tie yourself down and you dont know what is out there - you have so much to find out yet - dont regret before you even start - kids are for the future at least late early 20's any earlier means you dont give yourself a chance to grow - enjoy your life please it is imperative for you to be happy when you are 50.

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Bataya, i have no idea why i brought it up. Perhaps I shouldn't. But in my true opinion, i really don't think it's a make or break type of things. I truly love him and can't the thought that i may have ended it forever. I am doing some soul searching and am trying to figure out what it is that i want out of life. i know that most of all, i want to be happy and being with him makes me happy. i don't know. maybe i'm just hopelessly in love...

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Bataya, i have no idea why i brought it up. Perhaps I shouldn't. But in my true opinion, i really don't think it's a make or break type of things. I truly love him and can't the thought that i may have ended it forever. I am doing some soul searching and am trying to figure out what it is that i want out of life. i know that most of all, i want to be happy and being with him makes me happy. i don't know. maybe i'm just hopelessly in love...

 

At this point as tempting as it is I would stay away from the "hopelessly in love" analysis. Be a lot more practical and hard-headed. When that "hopelessly in love" fades a bit and becomes a bit less thrilling, heady, etc. how would you feel then if you gave up your opportunity to have (biological) children for this man? It's hard to think that way, I know, but you owe it to yourself and to him to be brutally honest with yourself. When your friends start having babies, will you be able to be around them and think "yes, I wanted that but I am glad I got to keep my man even if it meant not having babies." Maybe that will work for you, maybe not - but giving it up for some lofty notions of hopeless love may not get you there, ten plus years down the road when the decision starts to have more of a timing element than it does now.

 

What I would do - once his life settles down a bit with these crises he is experiencing, tell him you want nothing more than to be in his life - when he definitively decides about having kids. That you don't want to get more attached to him knowing his current position on having kids.

 

Or, you can give yourself one or two more years of dating him and then decide how you feel about it - it just might be much harder then because of the increased attachment.

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Yes Batya, I would have to agree with your advice. Something in me doesn't feel that it's necessary to cut all ties with him. However, my feelings about his views being jaded by his current life circumstances won't go away. Instinctually, I have decided to still law loy for as long as i can. Meaning, i won't be contacting him no matter how much it hurts until i can hold a conversation with him or see him and be able to make a conscience effort not to bring up the subject. I'm tired of fighting over it and would rather have in my life in general even if we aren't together right now rather than have a person like him be totally out of my life forever. Thanks for the advice.

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