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Old 03-18-2008, 12:31 PM
 
Location: Wake Forest
934 posts, read 84,236 times
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Default Do people not discuss having children before they get married anymore?

I see posts every so often about couples who are married, but one wants kids, and the other does not.

My husband and I both knew (well before we got married) that we wanted at LEAST one (actually, we only wanted one for a long time, then several years after our first decided for a second!)

It would seem to me, that this is a pretty big thing to be in consensus about BEFORE you get married. I have an awesome hubby, and love him to pieces, but if he had not wanted children, I would not have married him. I would have waited to find the right man, who I loved, and who shared my desire for kids.

It seems unfair for one person to have to 'give in'- and either have a baby, or not. One of the spouses will always be unhappy, or at least, slightly resentful that they either did not have a kid (and really want one) or resentful that they DID have a kid, and didn't really want one.

Why does it seem that this is not discussed before marriage anymore? Does one think they can 'change' the other's mind?
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Old 03-18-2008, 12:44 PM
 
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I think a lot of times one thinks s/he can change the other person's mind. I also think that feelings may change depending on when the kids are had. We went in "knowing" WE wanted them-we discussed it prior to getting hitched. However, we waited 5 years (not on purpose-just worked out that way) before we had our first child. A lot happens in 5 years and there were doubts of if we were making the right decision-just not as sure as 5 years prior. It's one of those things that maybe isn't set in stone for some people.
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Old 03-18-2008, 12:48 PM
 
2,011 posts, read 3,220,183 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommiewrites View Post
I see posts every so often about couples who are married, but one wants kids, and the other does not.

My husband and I both knew (well before we got married) that we wanted at LEAST one (actually, we only wanted one for a long time, then several years after our first decided for a second!)

It would seem to me, that this is a pretty big thing to be in consensus about BEFORE you get married. I have an awesome hubby, and love him to pieces, but if he had not wanted children, I would not have married him. I would have waited to find the right man, who I loved, and who shared my desire for kids.

It seems unfair for one person to have to 'give in'- and either have a baby, or not. One of the spouses will always be unhappy, or at least, slightly resentful that they either did not have a kid (and really want one) or resentful that they DID have a kid, and didn't really want one.

Why does it seem that this is not discussed before marriage anymore? Does one think they can 'change' the other's mind?

I think that you are 100% right. This is an area that I don't think is easily compromised on. A person (or couple) either wants to have children or does not. Neither the husband nor wife should have any guilt or reservations regarding their decision either way. I think that one of the reasons why it might not be discussed (I think it is discussion in many cases) is that the couple does not want to "lose" each other over their differing decision and sometimes, it's just going into marriage with the "love is blind", "love will fix everything" mindset. The fact is that sooner or later, the question or having children (or not) will come into the picture.
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Old 03-18-2008, 12:50 PM
 
Location: Cumberland Co., TN
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All the people I know who have gotten married in the last 10 yrs. have discussed and agreed on having or not having children. When I married (#2) I already had 2 kids and had a tubal so there was no discussion.
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Old 03-18-2008, 12:53 PM
 
Location: Colorado
1,892 posts, read 2,203,694 times
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My wife and I were married last year and we had the conversation on several occassions before we married. We were both on the same page in regards to our decision. Otherwise, I don't think either one of us would've wanted to go through with it.
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Old 03-18-2008, 06:01 PM
 
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Please, I think my husband and I talked about wanting or not wanting kids very early on in our dating relationship. Like you said, if he did not want a family, then he would not have been the right husband for me.

This issue would - an should - be a deal breaker.

Thankfully, he wanted kids (we both said 2 kids, but then just had to add one more) because he's an awesome partner and a fantastic dad.
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Old 03-18-2008, 06:40 PM
 
Location: USA
1,246 posts, read 2,079,396 times
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I am engaged to be married June/July of this year, date pending on whether I can get out of my lease a month early or not. Having said that, both he and I are divorced. I have custody of my 2 children, a 19 year old son and 15 year old daughter, both living at home with me. He has custody of his 3 children, 15 year old son, and 2 daughters ages 3 & 4.

Among our early discussions once the relationship was heading into the serious arena, was that of future children. We both agree that with the 5 children together we have enough. However, we do say how nice it would be to have one of our own together... but it is more as a commentary than anything else for both of us or on both of our parts.

We have both however have also agree that IF another child would be conceived it would not be a horrible thing either but we would see it as an added blessing and both of us would welcome the addition into the family.

We are both on the same page on this very important issue, because it is. The decision to have or not have children can and probably should be a deal breaker because if the couple does not see eye to eye on it or they have different aspirations in this direction it can be a huge source of stress in the marriage and ultimately lead to resentment of one to the other and a marriage breaker.

My fiancee and I agree on the use of birth control and are discussing and considering the possibility of a vasectomy for him as it is far less intrusive and complicated for him than it would be for me to have tubal ligation. Risks are far less, vasectomy is outpatient and non-invasive while tubal is not, etc, etc.

We have also discussed the slight possibility that either one of us or both of us may change our mind, doubtful but the possibility exist and both of us are in agreement that should one of us change our mind, it would be discussed and the other is not strongly opposed to the idea. It would be more of a discussion as to being able to provide that child with everything that he/she would need emotionally, physically, intellectually and spiritually.

I personally don't think that people necessarily go into marriage without the discussion coming up at least once. I do however believe that they go into marriage with a bit of a nievity in that they believe that either they will change their mind or that they will change their partners mind after they are married or as was said... that marriage will somehow just miraculously fix or solve this difference between them. That is a huge mistake in my opinion. While yes either of those can happen, the reality is that both parties may be setting themselves up for failure should the reality of it not happening be what occurs.

Mari
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Old 03-18-2008, 07:23 PM
 
5,244 posts, read 3,046,003 times
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We got married through the church so it was a requirement that we take pre-marital classes. You'd be surprised how many couples there that were about to get married had not discussed it. My husband and I love to talk to eachother so we had already discussed children, money, etc. Nowadays, I would hope people still talk about it before marriage but from some of the posts recently, it looks like it is not discussed.
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Old 03-18-2008, 08:43 PM
 
24,781 posts, read 26,159,449 times
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Well, hang on. People are allowed to change their minds. We went through all the marriage classes. My wife and I started out wanting lots of kids. But by the time #3 rolled around, I said "enough."

The same thing with people deciding they want none at all. I've known people who started down the avenue of infertility treatment, and said "Oh, to hell with it," while the other partner still wanted to try.

Or, the reverse happens where a person doesn't originally want children, and suddenly they do. I've seen that happen, too.

In short, people change over time. Their attitudes, aspirations, fears, and philosophies. And I don't care how many marriage encounter classes a 22-year-old will attend before the wedding, that person will be different in a host of ways five to six years after saying "I do." Or, at the same time, how many times did you agree to something in principle during those discussions but, when it came down to decision time, taking a different slant on things?
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Old 03-18-2008, 09:35 PM
 
1,623 posts, read 4,230,921 times
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Most people do not discuss any of the important issues ie money, kids, work, what they want out of life, religion before marrying.

They think "love will make things work out". And they are wrong, hence the high divorce rate.

My friend and his wife moved in before marrying and she did nothing but complain about living with him. They are now unhappily married with 1 child and are fairly miserable on a daily basis...hmm I didn't see that coming...NOT!

If you want some real fun, find an interfaith couple preferably expecting a child, and ask them how they intend to raise their kids. Then sit back and watch the fireworks! My wife (then fiancee) and I were discussing this very issue way before we were ready to have kids, so I asked a few couples we knew...only to touch off huge fights...I couldn't believe people had actually gotten married and were having a child yet hadn't nailed down what seemed to us one of the basic criteria for a happy marriage...
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