She Wants Kids, He Doesn’t – Now What?

Name: Amy
Age: 38
Question: I have been dating a man with 2 kids for about 4 months. I do not have any kids of my own. At the beginning of our relationship we discussed kids and i told him i wanted a child either naturally or by adoption. He told me that he did not want another biological child but wasn’t sure of me having a child by artificial insemination or adoption. Last week, he finally told me that he can not be a father to another child. He said he had made a commitment to his children and he wants to stick to it. The conversation was pretty emotional for both of us. We ended the weekend with me taking the time to decide if i wanted to continue to be in the relationship. He continues to text and call me and i know that he cares. But i am torn…



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24 Responses to “She Wants Kids, He Doesn’t – Now What?”

  1. Felemelt Says:

    Very strong and respectful of both parties to speak up about their desires for children. If the OP wants to have her own children that badly, now is the time to say “thank you”, mourn the 4-month relationship, and go off in search of a man who will accept her future offspring.

    • Howard Says:

      I used to work for this obnoxious guy named Anthony, whose speeech was, “you got problem with the wife, you got problems here and there; go out and sell some product and make some money and you gonna cure more than half your problems”

      Yes money has that strange relationship in our lives these days. I raised two daughters, and I can attest to how much it all costs. So if I met someone now who desperately wanted a kid, it’s a decision about whether I want to retire early as planned, or have another kid. Well you don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out what my idea about having another kid is. If things dramatically changed; if I did sell that large building in Manhattan, maybe I might think differently.

      In Europe, especially countries like Germany, this has become a problem with men avoiding the expense of children, hence a shrinking white population. The family courts have certainly made this worse too with their obscene ratios as to what child support should be. I am certainly glad I never had to spend a day there, but I have friends who have moaned long and hard about it. The high earner or low earner is not the one who gets hammered the most there. It’s the middle class guy that gets destroyed.

      But then again it seems to work that way with everything in our country with the middle class guy. He ends up paying a higher tax rate because he doesn’t have loopholes like the rich or percentwise large standard deduction like the low income earner. His income is too high for affordable housing. His kids get no help at college because they say he is making too much. Guess they don’t figure cost of living is NYC.

      Getting back to the original post, Amy if you want a kid, go have a kid, but don’t expect that a guy has to pony up to financing your desires. It’s nice to find a guy on the same page, but time is passing. Trust me, this guy is already putting out some serious money with the two kids he already has. His is actually being very rational.

  2. dimplz Says:

    I think 4 months is really early in the game to make a decision about the rest of your life. You can:

    a- Wait to see what happens and your relationship may break up for other reasons
    b- Wait to get married and see if he changes his mind
    c- Find someone who matches your values and goals in life
    d- Marry him, realize you really want children, and get divorced because of this dealbreaker

    To me, this seems like a dealbreaker to you. Where there’s one, there’s more. Choose C.

    • uesider Says:

      Not really- she’s 38. She doesn’t have much time to dawdle. If she wants a shot at her own kids, I agree, c is the best path.

      Many women do e- continue the relationship and “forget” to take their birth control. That’s definitely not the right answer.

      • dimplz Says:

        I’m 38, too, but as a fellow 38 year old, I would tell her that having children biologically really isn’t everything. I say this because I know women who put that first, and married the person they were with in order to get that. Now, they are divorcing and trying to co-parent with the douchebag they married. I think if you really wanted kids, you would have had them by now. Not you, UE, the collective “you.” At 38, you have to think that there is a possibility that you may not find a partner who wants to have children, therefore you may not have kids, unless you choose the single mom route.

        I think if marriage is what the OP wants, first and foremost, find a man who wants to be and will be a good father. If it’s children she wants, first and foremost, find a sperm bank.

        • uesider Says:

          I hear you- but shouldn’t she have a shot at having kids with her partner? If that’s what she desires?

          She can adopt now in certain circumstances without a partner and she certainly can figure out a way to get pregnant (sperm bank, etc.). She wants a shot at a “traditional” relationship with a child and therefore she should seek someone who wants the same thing.

          I agree with you, she probably won’t find what she wants- there are certainly a lot of women looking. She certainly has the right to find a partner that wants what she wants, and that isn’t him.

          • dimplz Says:

            “I hear you- but shouldn’t she have a shot at having kids with her partner? If that’s what she desires? ” Absolutely. But, if time is an issue, and at the moment she hasn’t met that man yet, and she has her heart set on birthing her own, it will be difficult. I’ve got a good guy right now, but I’m not engaged/married and time is an issue for me, so that’s why I say it. I know a few women who’ve conceived in their 40s, but they did miscarry first and it was a very stressful experience. I personally think you should make sure you have the right person – if you’re meant to be a parent – you will be (either naturally or through other methods). I’ve stopped freaking out about the “when” for the most part these days.

            • UESider Says:

              I agree- but for her the “right person” is a man who is on the same page with her desire to have a child.

          • Crotch Rocket Says:

            shouldn’t she have a shot at having kids with her partner?
            Yes–with a partner that also wants kids. He doesn’t, so she needs to decide which is more important to her. Her desires do not trump his.

  3. Selena Says:

    He made a commitment to his children and wants to stick to it? And part of this commitment is not being able to be a father to any subsequent children? Interesting logic. Too bad he didn’t explain it so clearly to you in the beginning. SMH.

    • dimplz Says:

      Selena, it is the beginning. I think they’re hitting the important topics within a reasonable timeline.

      • Selena Says:

        Except he didn’t see his way to telling her his definition of commitment when the subject first came up – apparently BEFORE 4 months in. As she wrote it, he was unsure and then FINALLY told her how he really felt. Why didn’t he tell her upfront?

        • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

          Maybe because he didn’t know? Maybe because he was waiting to see how his kids took to her? Maybe because he spoke to his children and asked how they’d feel about having another sibling and they said they’d prefer he didn’t? Maybe financially he feels he needs to focus on the children he has rather than adding another mouth to feed to the bunch?

          Maybe he’s using his kids an excuse because it’s hard to argue with someone who’s saying he’s committed to his children?

          There are a ton of possibilities here.

          • Selena Says:

            Yes lot’s of possibilities. Among them- knowing he doesn’t want any more children, but doesn’t want to risk rejection by a woman by being honest with her when she brings the subject up in the first few dates. Instead he waits until she gets closer to him. And tries to spin it as if having a child with her would somehow be unfair to the children he had with someone else. Blarney.

            • dimplz Says:

              It’s been 4 months, and with him having 2 children, I’m going to guess they saw each other every other weekend, which means they have had a few dates.

        • uesider Says:

          Uh, maybe because he was unsure? Now he’s sure, and he’s communicated it to her.

  4. cat Says:

    according to the post, he did tell her from the beginning. “At the beginning of our relationship we discussed kids and i told him i wanted a child either naturally or by adoption. He told me that he did not want another biological child but wasn’t sure of me having a child by artificial insemination or adoption. ” Perhaps the “commitment” he made to his children is being able to afford to raise them… we don’t really know a lot about his circumstances. But, I agree with dimplz. deal breaker, sad, move on. or decide to be a mother to his kids (if the relationship goes the distance). and, 38 is not too old, i have a friend who is 45 and having a kid.

  5. Kristen Says:

    You certainly can’t demonize either party here, since they seem to be very honest and self-aware. I feel that if you really want a child, you should probably put a deadline on yourself to find a father, and start saving for single mommy-hood in case you don’t find him by your timeline.

    I know a single father who with one woman he was engaged knew he didn’t want to have children, but with his current fiancee, imagines them raising a family. I think some men will eventually come around, but I wouldn’t wait for someone to change their mind at this phase in my life (35 y.o.)

    Besides, at four months, I’d say it’s best to cut your losses with this guy. I’m sure he’ll understand, and you will be free to find someone who has the same values as you.

  6. Mandy Says:

    I feel like we’re missing some key information here. How old are the guy’s kids, and how much does he have custody of them? The OP said she was willing to consider adoption…if she becomes stepmother to these kids, and they’re young, perhaps that could fulfill some needs.

    Also, I think I’d want the guy to dig a little deeper into the idea that he doesn’t want another child because it would take away from his current children. That, to me, sounds like he’s scared. It’s not that he’s just done having children and doesn’t want to have another…the particular reason that it would take away from the other kids just reaks of his insecurity as a father perhaps.

    I would explore it a little further with him, and the idea that being a stepmother could fulfill some parental need in the OP, before breaking it off. But you’re 38 and if you want children you need to act now. Don’t wait and see if things change.

    • Howard Says:

      Ah come on, you know the deal. Women consider it perfectly ok for a guy to raise kids he didn’t biologically father, but want would rather not mother kids that have another mother.

      If a woman waits till she is 38, then she and only she put herself in that situation. So she has to deal with it. She better start looking at artificial insemination if she wants the kid to be biologically hers. Or she better sart looking real fast for the guy below 40 who has no kids.

      Once guys get above 40, they really are in no hurry to have kids especially if they already have kids. Her safest bet is to start looking at sperm banks. The traditional ones, aka the random stranger, can work too.

  7. LaLa Says:

    This is definitely a relationship deal breaker if you want a kid and he doesn’t. If it’s important to you, then you need to end the relationship and get back out there and find a man who does want a kid. At 38, you don’t have time to waste in a dead-end relationship (which is what it is if you guys have different views on something as important as children).

    • dimplz Says:

      To me, that’s the tip of the iceberg. She has no clue what kind of father he is, probably hasn’t met the kids, and doesn’t know his parenting philosophy. I just think she has nothing to lose at this point by finding a man who matches her wants.

    • Kurt Says:

      This seems like a no-brainer decision to make. I question why the OP was unable to reach this conclusion on her own. If having kids is really important to her, she needs to move on now. She should probably be looking at men who don’t have children instead of ones who already do have kids.

      • just_me Says:

        I think the OP’s “problem” is that even though he knows that SHE wants kids (and he doesn’t) and it sounds like they took some sort of break for her to decide what she wants to do, HE is still trying to contact her (presumably to get her to come back to him) so she is torn about what to do (“if he cares this much about me, then maybe he would change his mind later…..?”).

        While he might change his mind in the future, I think it is very unlikely that he will do so since he has already has kids (and knows the drill and what is involved, I think the chances of changing his mind could be *slightly* higher if he didn’t already have kids, esp. if he were to suddenly feel that his life wouldn’t be complete without kids, etc). Four months is not that long to date, if she really wants kids, she needs to move on NOW before she gets further involved with him, only making it harder to break up with him in the future.

        On the other hand, at 38 YO, the OP needs to face the facts that she may never have kids and determine which is more important to her-waiting for a partner (who she may never meet) who wants kids with her, or giving up her dream if she finds a great guy to share her life with who doesn’t want kids. (note: I’m not suggesting that this guy is the one for her to give up her dream with).

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