Ask Wendy

I Want Children, She Doesn’t, Should I Do It Anyway?

Friday, February 17, 2017
Hey Wendy, 

My girlfriend and I have been together for five years. We’ve talked about what we would name kids, but two weeks ago I asked her about our future and what she wants for her life in the next decade or so.

We talked about everything from finances and careers to moving out of our area or not. Nothing surprised me except the important thing. She told me she doesn’t want to have kids.

She said she just never pictured it in her life. She feels the physical and financial responsibilities are a lot and she also doesn't want to be pregnant or give birth.

I love her and I can't picture a future without her. But I always expected and want to be a dad and take care of a family. There's no middle ground here and I don't know what to do.

Michael T. — Oakland, CA

Hey Michael,

So an acquaintance of mine from Rome never wanted children, but her husband did. She said, “I’ll do it for you one time, but if I do, this child is yours; I’m not looking after it.” He assumed she’d warm up to the idea once she was pregnant. She didn’t. She meant every word she said, and she made no attempts to hide this from their child.

Their child is now in college, and I can’t fathom how much they must shell out each week for therapy. He resents the hell out of his mother, that I know. He never felt wanted. Basically, it’s a mess.

Children are not something to compromise on. It’s not an issue you want her to come around to if she’s felt this way her whole life. You can’t try it out, run a science experiment on it, or wing it. You need to believe her and accept her wishes. This may mean you break up because you want to be a dad more than you want to be her husband, and that’s understandable. We all have the right to want what we want. It’s a little annoying that she let you make up baby names without mentioning her lack of desire for kids to you, but you have to be willing to throw the baby out with this particular bathwater.

If you stay, please find a way to make peace with not being a father; otherwise you’ll resent her for what she didn’t feel comfortable providing.

 

 

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