Your Partner Doesn’t Want Kids?


I’m going to assume that people who want kids and people who don’t want kids might read this post. I know this to be a pretty sensitive topic. As far as I’m concerned there is no right or wrong here, just personal choices.

Perhaps the rule of thumb should be: find someone that wants what you want. Obvious enough? Well you’ll be surprised how many people don’t really know what their partner wants concerning children until well into the relationship or marriage. I say it is a good idea to look into this early.

One psychological complication to doing this little bit of research into the needs and wants of your new lover is, believing what he or she tells you. In the case of having kids, a lot of people don’t accept the answer they are given. They figure they can change his or her mind during the course of the relationship.

I think this is a pretty big gamble. Chances are, he or she will stick to his or her original feeling about having kids. If you’re willing to live with a yes or no, either way is OK, then you stand a better chance of weathering whatever ends up happening in the relationship. If you secretly have your heart set on having kids (or not having kids) and you’ve gotten together with someone who doesn’t want them (or wants them), hoping to change his or her mind, you’re in danger of being chronically disappointed.

The mismatches can spell trouble for any love relationship. Imagine if you have kids you didn’t really want? Sounds horrible doesn’t it. Why would anyone have kids they don’t really want? Accidents, momentary lapse of self-control, no birth control, but none of these apply to what I’m talking about. I’m talking about having kids because you’ve given into someone else’s need to have them without a corresponding need of your own. Unfortunately, it happens all the time.

How about having to tolerate being in a relationship when you can’t have the kids you really want to have? You get into a love relationship hoping to have a bunch of kids and find out that your wife or husband isn’t interested. Some people will begin to feel resentment and chronic deprivation. They might start feeling rejected and unloved despite numerous reassurances.

Being denied children in a marriage when the need for them is strong can lead to divorce even if the reason for not having them is infertility. The point is, it’s better to avoid this conflict by finding out early what your partner feels about having children and making your own choice about whether or not it matches up with what you want.

Some of the most common reasons given for not wanting children are: too much responsibility, too many people on the planet anyway, they’ll get in the way of the things I need to concentrate on, bad memories of childhood I don’t want to replicate, I’ll lose the exclusive love of my wife or husband, they’re too expensive to have, having kids will ruin my body, not enough room where we live, and of course, I could get sick and die during childbirth.

Whatever the reason, remember having children should be a mutual decision and never an assumption that automatically goes along with falling in love.

Comments? Welcome. Dr. Tom Jordan

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Dr. Jordan

Dr. Thomas Jordan is a clinical psychologist, certified interpersonal psychoanalyst, author, professor, and love life researcher.

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