What to Do If You Want to Have Children but Your Partner Doesn’t?

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Do you want to have children soon, or someday? Becoming a mom is an exciting, life-changing decision, but what if your partner doesn’t want to have kids?

In all relationships, it’s important to compromise, but there are some things that are non-negotiable. Is having children one of them? And if your partner doesn’t want any, does it mean the relationship is over?

Ask yourself why you want to have children

If you’re thinking of having kids, it’s really important to ask yourself why. The truth is, most couples date, get engaged, get married and have kids – in that order, more or less. And there’s a chance that you’d like to have kids simply because, well, that’s what people do after a certain point.

But is that really and truly what you envision in your future? Are you willing to bring kids – an enormous change and commitment – into your life? If you still want to be a mom after you ask yourself these questions, then you know it’s something that’s important and true for you.

Spending a little time in self-reflection also helps you discuss your reasons for wanting children with your partner. This can be a gateway to understanding his opinion and viewpoint on starting a family.

Ask your partner why he doesn’t want children

If your partner says he doesn’t want kids, it can seem like an absolute ultimatum. But it might not be. So, communicate with him about why he doesn’t want to have kids. Because It could be a complex or simple issue that’s fixable.

  • Emotional blocks that need healing

If your partner had a rough childhood or experienced trauma, these might be reasons for him not to want kids. And that’s pretty understandable.

However, if emotional blocks are holding him back, it’s important for him to address these and heal them, not to make him want kids, but to help him overcome internal issues and become the person he’s meant to be. He may change his outlook on kids if he’s in a better place.

Blocks don’t have to be only about negative family experiences or trauma. They could also boil down to a scarcity mindset or a fear mindset.

  • Short-term concerns

When your partner says he doesn’t want to have kids, does that mean now or never? Because the truth is, he might have very good, rational reasons why having kids right now isn’t a smart decision.

Maybe he wants to spend more time building his career. Maybe he wants to meet certain financial goals first. Perhaps he wants to have a house, rather than a hip studio. Does he have student debt to pay off?

He might want to wait so that he can provide for and support a family. If that’s the case, is that something you’re okay with, too?

Ask yourself if this is the right relationship

If having kids is something you’re 100% certain of, and your partner isn’t on the same page, it might be time to ask yourself if you’re with the right guy.

The thing is, you might have an amazing relationship and maybe you’ve both invested a lot of time in this relationship.

But if you give up something that’s so important to you – like having kids – to keep the relationship going, you might end up incredibly unhappy, resentful and regretful.

Wouldn’t you rather be with someone who doesn’t make you look back, asking “What if?” all the time?

What do you want more: a relationship or kids?

If you want to have children and he doesn’t, and there’s no compromising on the matter, you have two choices: you can choose the relationship sans kids, or you can leave the relationship to find a kid-friendly partner.

When you’re at a crossroad and have to decide which direction you’ll go in – kids or your partner – you might choose him and find that you’re actually okay with that choice.

Consider compromise

If you really want to be a mom, but your parent doesn’t want kids, are there ways to compromise? For example, you might be able to take care of children even if they’re not your own.

For example, is adoption an option, especially for an older child or even a teenager? Another consideration is to volunteer at local hospitals, schools, libraries, charities and refugee organizations. These places can be a wonderful way to act as a mother.

Is being a single parent for you?

If your partner doesn’t want to have children, that doesn’t necessarily mean you can never have kids. If your career allows it, and you’re financially able, have you considered having children through a surrogate parent?

By talking with your OBGYN, you can discuss the options, costs and just how realistic this plan is for your life situation.

Don’t pressure or push for kids

Depending on the dynamic of your relationship, you might be able to convince your partner to have kids with you, and ultimately, for you. But whatever you do, do not do this. Sure, you may end up with what you want, but deep down, it’s a pretty selfish move.

He might be okay with kids for a little while, but if it’s something he’s truly not open to, it will only complicate your relationship.

What makes it even worse, is now you have a kid thrown into the mix, and that’s not fair on the child.

Don’t expect him to change for you

Your partner might not want to have kids for good reasons, but reasons he might be able to work through. For example, after healing emotional blocks, or learning to cope with psychological issues, he might feel ready and excited to have kids – like you.

Or, if there are short-term restraints, like finances, career, and home, which are holding him back, these too, have simple solutions.

But when you talk about these things or help him work through these issues, it’s because he is interested and willing to work through them, too. And to eventually have kids with you.

But one thing’s for sure: never expect that you can personally change your partner. The only person we can change is ourselves, and trying to change anyone – especially your partner – is a bit unfair.

Think about it, would you want him to try to change you and your desire to have kids? Chances are, you’d resent him for that.

So, try to always hold him and his preferences in both respect and love – even if you don’t agree or understand them. This can help you to work through the situation in peace and mutual kindness.

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