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Old Today, 07:35 AM
 
3,936 posts, read 3,603,247 times
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Go see a good, issue-focused therapist about this, alone. You need to work out your own feelings about having a child, and the effects it will have on your life, and your marriage, if you do or do not. Realize that you could lose your marriage over this - men can decide to move on to a woman who wants to have children.

I've had much joy and much grief from having had children, but it's been a tremendously life-enriching experience, that I would not have forgone for anything.

When I wanted another child, and spouse didn't, spouse went to a counselor to discuss it. Spouse decided that they could better deal with the stress of another, than I could deal with the loss of not having that subsequent child. So we had it. Most generous, giving thing spouse could have done.

You've got to decide whether it's something that you feel so strongly about, that if your husband cannot agree to, you would be willing to lose your marriage over, not that he's threatening that. Or possibly you can see it as a wonderful gift that you can give to your husband, the ultimate expression of love.
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Old Today, 07:37 AM
 
3,936 posts, read 3,603,247 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldjensens View Post
I wanted one kid. No more than that definitely not. Also no kids until we paid off our student loans and credit card debt, bought a house, and had 6 months living expenses in savings.

Oops, Birth control is only 99.995 effective. Oops - you are having twins.


Hey this parenting thing is really cool, let's have another one.

5 kids later - Ok that is enough.

You never really know what you want until you try it. However if you have kids and then learn you do not want them - well that is a big disaster. Worse would be to have kids, not want them and also end up divorced.

It is a tough decision. Part of it depends on how set your husband is on having kids. If that is key to him, he may move on eventually if her realizes you are never going to change your mind. Perhaps he could adopt some and they can just be his kids and ot yours? or maybe have a surrogate bear them for him.

I have known many people who decided they did not want kids. A few realized they actually did want kids but by the time they realized that or changed their mind, it was too late. Some did not want kids but then in their 40s they had one. Not sure if it was an oops or a change, however they are really glad to have a child now. It is their whole life.

Having a kid or kids eventually takes over your life. It really becomes who and what you are. Pretty much everything else ends up on hold. So, if you have kids against your will you will end up resentful. You will not do a good job raising your kids and you may end up getting divorced because you are resentful. You could end up raising kids you do not want on your own.

It is hard to know what you really want or may want in the future. I suggest you consider counseling to sort things out and maybe try fostering to see what it is like. I can tell you it is a surprise how demanding it is to be a parent and also how rewarding it is. I never expected the extent of either.
Hahahahaha! I love your story! A true illustration of "Man proposes, God disposes".
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Old Today, 09:01 AM
 
117 posts, read 88,611 times
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Thank you. I don’t mean to argue but I thought “fear of having children” is equal to “ desire to not have”? What’s the difference between these?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LO28SWM View Post
When you guys agreed to not have children you were practically children and it seemed so far off that it was no big deal to make that agreement. Now he has grown up and is having second thoughts and wants a child. You've grown up and reaffirmed your desire to remain childless. This isnt an issue that you compromise on. It's a deal breaker in a relationship. He will be unhappy and unfulfilled. Or you will be unhappy and forced into children. You 2 need a marriage counselor. This person will help you get to the root of your issue, whether is truly a desire to not have children or fear of having children. And it will help him understand if he is just not getting something from his life and thinks its children or if he genuinely wants children. After that, if the situation is the same, you guys dont belong together
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Old Today, 09:07 AM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
41,518 posts, read 40,263,192 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tr2163 View Post
Thank you. I don’t mean to argue but I thought “fear of having children” is equal to “ desire to not have”? What’s the difference between these?
To me, they aren't equal.

I was afraid of childbirth, but it didn't mean I didn't want to do it.
I'm afraid to fly but I still do it because I have to.

If you have never had that pull to be a mother, never once wanted to have your own children, then that is more equal to the "desire not to have."
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Old Today, 09:26 AM
 
Location: Winterpeg
801 posts, read 297,101 times
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The "fear" comment stuck out to me, too. The fears that you listed, OP, are just fear of the unknown. You seem to have catalogued all the bad things you've ever heard/seen about children, and are basing your decision on the feelings about that list. And crying because of your fear? That seems a bit extreme. There is something going on here beyond simply not wanting kids.

If you don't want to have kids, that's one thing. But like BirdieBell said above, most people do lots of things where we have fear. We want to have the experience so we are willing to push through the scary bits. I was freaking terrified when I was pregnant and I suddenly really realized one day that this huge thing in my belly was going to have to come out somehow! (spoiler alert! I survived, and it was actually a really cool experience, though not one I chose to recreate).

There is nothing wrong with not wanting kids. I know lots of CF older adults (many are teachers, go figure) who made their decision when they were younger, and are quite content. Heck, after I had my one kid, I totally lost the feeling that I must procreate, so I understood their feelings fully. That's different from someone who jammed out on having kids, because back in the day they were scared of having to wake up on someone else's schedule for a couple of years.
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Old Today, 09:26 AM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
20,821 posts, read 13,675,485 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LO28SWM View Post
When you guys agreed to not have children you were practically children and it seemed so far off that it was no big deal to make that agreement. Now he has grown up and is having second thoughts and wants a child. You've grown up and reaffirmed your desire to remain childless. This isnt an issue that you compromise on. It's a deal breaker in a relationship. He will be unhappy and unfulfilled. Or you will be unhappy and forced into children. You 2 need a marriage counselor. This person will help you get to the root of your issue, whether is truly a desire to not have children or fear of having children. And it will help him understand if he is just not getting something from his life and thinks its children or if he genuinely wants children. After that, if the situation is the same, you guys dont belong together
Yes, yes, yes!

What struck me in your post was how frightened you are. I think you need to find out why you are frightened.

Your DH does not have an inkling about how your lives will change with a child. Frankly his attempts at persuasion sounds immature.

If you cannot feel 100% committed to parenting, then I recommend not having a child. But you need to get your anxiety examined. You need to know if you could open your heart to a child. And your DH needs to get a handle on what parenting involves.

I have three grown children, one of whom became a parent relatively late. Both parents, who are older, are excellent at parenting, and are surviving nicely. You are not too old to be a parent if you are committed to it.

Once a parent, you will always be a parent. And, watching my children grow and develop is the most fascinating thing I ever did. I am thankful for the experience. But I always knew I wanted a family.
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Old Today, 09:34 AM
 
117 posts, read 88,611 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BirdieBelle View Post
To me, they aren't equal.

I was afraid of childbirth, but it didn't mean I didn't want to do it.
I'm afraid to fly but I still do it because I have to.

If you have never had that pull to be a mother, never once wanted to have your own children, then that is more equal to the "desire not to have."
I see what you mean. To me they are more or less the same. I don’t have the desire because every time I picture it into details, it freaks me out, like real panic attack. I feel enormous amount of pressure and couldn’t breath when husband said he wanted one. I can’t say that I never once wanted to have my own, I’m pleased with my imaginary child when I don’t need to do any work like growing a plant, but the ideal of having one quickly gets buried into my fear if I start planning on it.
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Old Today, 09:39 AM
 
Location: Las Vegas
13,724 posts, read 24,928,527 times
Reputation: 25802
It's just a fact the female gets stuck with the majority of the child rearing work. And that's what it is, another 24x7 job that doesn't go away. You lose all your freedom and you can't even shower or use the restroom on your schedule. And your body will never be the same either. Forget vacations and trips. Forget sleeping in on the weekends. You get endless dirty diapers and snotty noses. A trip to 7/11 is a major event that requires logistics.

If you have kids, you will love them. But you will also resent them for taking away your life but you knew that in advance so you just suck it up. It's the price you pay unless you are wealthy enough for things like live in nannies. Most people don't have those options. Kids put a huge stress on relationships and your sex life as well.

If you don't want kids, don't have them. I think having kids is an easy decision for men because their lives don't change as much as the women's.

My H was happily child free for years. He watched our friends have them and knew it was a lot of work. We took trips to Europe and they went to Wally World. Then he changed and decided he wanted one. I knew my H well and bottom line, he was a lazy man. He always did the bare minimum and just scraped by. He never did his share. I knew darn well if we had a kid it would be MY problem. That's not even a criticism, just a statement of fact. And I knew it was very unlikely being a father was going to change his lifelong habits. If the baby needed to be changed and he was playing a video game or watching TV...he would let the baby wait! So I said no and told him if that was a dealbreaker for him, he should leave me and find someone else.

I made the right decision for me! If my H wasn't lazy, I might have given in and done it.
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Old Today, 09:51 AM
 
1,419 posts, read 908,371 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silibran View Post
Yes, yes, yes!

What struck me in your post was how frightened you are. I think you need to find out why you are frightened.

Your DH does not have an inkling about how your lives will change with a child. Frankly his attempts at persuasion sounds immature.

If you cannot feel 100% committed to parenting, then I recommend not having a child. But you need to get your anxiety examined. You need to know if you could open your heart to a child. And your DH needs to get a handle on what parenting involves.

I have three grown children, one of whom became a parent relatively late. Both parents, who are older, are excellent at parenting, and are surviving nicely. You are not too old to be a parent if you are committed to it.

Once a parent, you will always be a parent. And, watching my children grow and develop is the most fascinating thing I ever did. I am thankful for the experience. But I always knew I wanted a family.
You owe it to the child to be 100% committed, if a proactive decision to have children.

You also owe it to yourself.

But more important, is the obligation to the child.

There are thousands of poor "reasons" to decide to have children. It is one thing to have changed your mind on it as that happens over time (both ways ... I know people and couples who early on were planning to have children and as life happened decided it was not for them). That is part of evolving. But it is still a serious, personal decision and you are allowed to based that decision for you on whatever make sense for you.

And consider that life happens - you may be single-parenting in five years.
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Old Today, 09:55 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
22,604 posts, read 16,733,740 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hedgehog_Mom View Post
If you don't want kids, then you shouldn't have them. They're as much work as you're imagining, and then some. Being a parent is rewarding, but it changes everything about your life. You can't be spontaneous with a kid. They need routine. You can't just think of something fun to do, grab your husband, and go do the fun thing. You've got to plan ahead and be prepared for those plans to still fall apart.

I'm 40 and my kids are both teenagers now. By the time I'm 45, my youngest will be 18. When I see my friends having babies, I secretly think they're nuts. Who wants to be 60 with a kid still in college? My brother in law will be 59 when his kid is 18. That's crazy to me. He looks exhausted all the time trying to keep up with a 3 year old. When he first wanted a kid ten years ago, my sister got him a dog and said if he could take care of a dog for a while, they could have a baby. But it's nowhere near the same thing.
That's kind of been my line of thinking.

I'm a guy. I'll be 33 in a couple of weeks. It's unlikely I'll have kids by the time I'm 34. I don't necessarily want to be the "old dad."

My uncle is 63 with one kid still in college. He's in good health, affluent, and still running his own business. It would be a real burden to someone in poor health needing to retire on a more average income.
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