Social Question

tedd's avatar

I want kids, the g/f doesn't, what do I do?

Asked by tedd (14073points) August 20th, 2012

Long story short, I want kids at some point in the future, and my g/f does not. We’ve been dating for almost two years and moved in back in May. I have always wanted to have 2–3 children. I am open to adopting a child, but would like at least one natural child. My parents divorced and remarried new spouses, and I ended up with 9 total siblings. My g/f was adopted herself, and was an only child to her adopted parents. She has apparently for some time known she didn’t want children, I believe even of the adopted variety.

By in large my philosophy has been to avoid this issue as even though I want kids I’m not really close to the point in life where I want them… so why rock the boat ya know? But my g/f has brought it up increasingly since we moved in, and it’s beginning to weigh on me.

Do we continue on in this relationship, knowing at some point we’ll meet this impasse? Do we just call it off now before it becomes even more involved? How do we go about compromising on this issue if that’s the plan, since it seems pretty much an all or nothing scenario?

What do you suggest?

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98 Answers

cookieman's avatar

We’re it me, I would end it now before investing more time and effort into the relationship. Wanting to be a parent is a big enough issue to be a deal-breaker for me.

tom_g's avatar

@tedd: “How do we go about compromising on this issue if that’s the plan, since it seems pretty much an all or nothing scenario?”

Unfortunately, it does seem like there is very little room for compromise here. I know couples who don’t have kids and do not plan on ever having kids, but they’re both on the same page. Having kids – or not having kids – is a rather big deal in terms of what your lives will be like. A friend of mine recently divorced, and his (ex)wife accused him of having pressured him into having a kid.

I wish you the best of luck, and I don’t have a solution….other than – find someone who wants kids.

keobooks's avatar

I think the only way this could come out in a good way is if you “compromised” and didn’t have kids. Sorry but there is no halfway point on this. Having vastly different lifestyle dreams is a deal breaker no matter how much you love each other.

However, when you break up, don’t get mad if in a few years you see her happily raising children with some other guy. People can change their minds – but you shouldn’t sit around waiting for it.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Find a new GF. THis is fundamental.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

If this is the same girlfriend that you talk about in this post, then she seems to be the one who has her feet on the ground when it comes to the topic of having children.

Let’s say though that she works through her issues and you pay off your financial debts. You are both still together. If she still does not want to have children, then it should be her choice. If she decides to bear a child or to adopt with you, there is always the chance that her attitude about parenthood will change. Then there is the other chance that it will not. Do you understand all of the repercussions that might occur in the later scenario?

Bringing up a child, not to mention several, is a huge responsibility. If the girlfriend isn’t willing to sign up for this, then it should be considered a non-starter.

CWOTUS's avatar

This isn’t really much of a puzzle.

You have at least three honorable options:
1. Stay with the girl in the hope that one of you changes his or her mind. Either of those options is not wholly unlikely.

2. End the relationship now over an opinion on which you may disagree fundamentally when the time comes that a decision is necessary (about potential future offspring, so it’s not even a “real” disagreement at this time; it’s sort of an ongoing postponed disagreement, unless you want children “right now”). As young as you both are, that decision can be postponed for even a decade or more without any major problem.

3. Continue to pretend that things can go some other way. That seems to have been working fairly well for you so far…

I won’t even address the dishonorable options.

OpryLeigh's avatar

It depends if your love for her is stronger than your desire to have children because, as she is the one that doesn’t want kids then the choice will be hers should you stay together. I imagine that, if you want children, that desire rarely changes but, if you don’t want kids, it can change (at least easier than going from wanting children to not wanting them).

If you know that your desire to have children is stronger than your love for her then I suggest ending it now. If you love her enough to accept that she may never change her mind and you won’t have kids then stay together but be very careful to make sure resentment doesn’t set in a few years down the line.

Maybe you could look into fostering in a few years time, that is really the only compromise I can think of because it’s often less permanent than having your own child or even adopting but that shouldn’t be done unless both people are 100% committed as, in many ways, it is harder than raising children of your own.

JLeslie's avatar

I apologize in advance for how harsh this might sound.

Children are usually a deal breaker. This is a very very big issue. The people I know who married and never were on the same page with this wound up divorced. Either they divorced and the one spouse went on to have children with a new spouse, or the original couple had a child and wound up divorced. That’s my experience with people I know, not some sort of scientific data collection.

Are you thinking she will come around or something? Go ahead and have a baby for you? Or, that she will change her mind because some people eventually regret not having kids as they get older?

Know that if she never really is thrilled with the idea, but goes ahead and has a baby for you, there is a reasonable chance she will not have some magical spell come over her that makes her love being a parent. If you have a picture of how you want the mother of your child to behave, you have to consider that. That is what has torn up the relationship of some of my friends. The other parent didn’t help out enough with the baby, or was not warm and affectionate in the way the other parent thought they should be. They could not live with that person anymore, could not watch it, were always extremely angry at the parent who was not very nuturing or not willing to make sacrifices or not willing to accept their relationship was different now that there was a baby in the family.

Aethelflaed's avatar

You break up. Sorry, but this is really one of the biggest deal-breakers out there. Next time, try to find out if you’re both on the same page about kids before the relationship gets too serious.

tedd's avatar

@Aethelflaed When the relationship started I honestly didn’t think it was going to be long term. More specifically I didn’t think I was in the market for something long term (having just got out of a serious relationship). So her opinion on having kids didn’t really matter. As the relationship progressed and it became clear it would be long term… but I already knew her viewpoint… that’s when I adopted the worry about it later plan.

Trillian's avatar

Do you really want suggestions, or have you already made a decision and are looking for validation? Because according to you, this is not a solid relationship to begin with. Do you remember making this statement? “Our power went out a week or so ago, and while she was at work I went to the trouble of driving around town (with no working stop lights mind you) and picking up food I could cook on the grill. The cherry on top, I bought some of her favorite Ice Cream (Jeni’s) in pint form and put it in our freezer when I got home. I knew it would melt, but I figured it would stay frozen enough that we could eat it all immediately after dinner. Well the food portion goes fine enough and seems to actually cheer her up from a bad/sad mood she was in. But then I tell her to open the freezer and get out the ice cream (surprising her)... and she gets upset! ”
I was part of a very long question that you posted, and the conclusion seemed to be that this was not going to go away on its own.
Saying or writing the words; “have some kids” and the actual reality are so far removed from each other that it’s almost pointless to try to explain it.
But think about the way you feel when she goes on one of her rants, then ask yourself if you really want to subject a child to that psychological abuse, over and over and over. Having to live with the uncertainty; never having a safe set of rules that they can live by that won’t set her off.
I suggest, with all due respect, that you reconsider your choice of partner before you bring a helpless child into the mix.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@tedd Well, at some point you both knew her position and decided to move in together, so if it wasn’t pertinent in the beginning, it’s not suddenly pertinent now.

tedd's avatar

@Trillian She has drastically improved (thankfully) from when I made that post. She is facing whatever it was that had her going nuts, and we’re improving back to our previous standing as a couple (though we’re not all the way back there yet). But the recent issues have just highlighted some other concerns in our relationship, such as eventual children.

creative1's avatar

This is a pretty big inpass to be in and if it were me I would sit down and have a heart to heart with them and tell them how I feel and then discuss how you want to go on whether or not it is with each other or separately.

gailcalled's avatar

See Tedd. See Tedd’s girlfriend.

See Tedd wanting children

See Tedd’s girlfriend not wanting them.

Run, Tedd, run.

Trillian's avatar

@tedd That’s good. However, it really does seem like this may not be a person suited to having children. And here’s something else to consider; her mental instability can be passed on, can render her an ineffectual parent, and can be a serious detriment to the kids all through their lives. How many people do you know who ended up having to be the adult and take care of a parent who was incapable of nurturing and caring for their kids?
Serious consideration is called for here. Raising a child is tough already. Being a child is tough. In fairness to the children, one should try to stack as many cards in their favor before hand.
You knew that she didn’t want kids, and just because you’ve changed your feelings does not make it alright to expect her to. It’s unfair of you. If she were to “give in” and have a child, chances are good that she would come to regret it later on and resent you and the child.
Try to see past what you want right at this moment and think long-term.

JLeslie's avatar

@tedd A rabbi once told me interdating leads to intermarriage. What that means is don’t date people you would not consider being with forever because of some red flag or major difference. Red flags cannot be ignored just to have a little fun, because most people become attached. Some people can do it, not become attached, but I think most can’t.

I’m sorry this is happening. I wonder what your girlfriend is thinking regarding the baby issue? Is it a deal breaker for her? Is she going to break up eventually if you don’t agree to live without ever having children?

tedd's avatar

@JLeslie I don’t know, we’ve put off talking about it… especially over this summer as we’ve been tense about other issues already.

gailcalled's avatar

^^^That bodes well for a successful long-term relationship? Jeez, Tedd, the ship is almost on the rocks. Man the lifeboats.

syz's avatar

You have to respect her decision, so if you truly have a different vision for your future, then you need to end the relationship and move on.

JLeslie's avatar

@tedd Are you guys already having a lot of other issues? Fighting a lot, short temepered with each other, little things really pissing you off? I only ask because if you both know there is a big issue like baby decisions, you might both be pulling away emotionally anyway, and it usually causes discord in the relationship. People do it so the break up will make more sense I think. They do it subconsciously. That’s my analasys from obsefving people, I am not a psychologist or expert in any way shape or form.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@JLeslie Please read this post from a month ago. GF Question.

tedd's avatar

@JLeslie @Pied_Pfeffer Yah that about sums up our recent troubles. As I stated a bit ago in this thread we’ve drastically improved over the last month and a half or so, but we’re still not quite back to where we were. Those issues though brought up several dormant issues that we hadn’t really been facing.

JLeslie's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer Thanks.

@tedd My take is she is pushing you away. Waiting for you to pull the plug. Of course, I am only going on what you have written on fluther, I don’t live inside of your relationship. You mentioned in the other Q her birth control possibly affecting her mood. If she uses mirena IUD I think it very well can be the culprit. If she takes the BC pill she should try switching pills, especially if she is on one of those low doses or triphasals with many different colored pills.

Sunny2's avatar

It sounds to me like she may be having questions about your relationship too. You need to have a long serious talk about all the issues between you. It probably would go better with a counselor to help you. If that is not practical for you, try writing down the main ideas and analyzing them together. Perhaps you can come to a mutual conclusion. You can love someone dearly, but the match may not be a good one.

wundayatta's avatar

If you want children, then at a very fundamental level, you probably believe that children _are_love. They are the expression of love. The creation of love. Creating new life is the most loving act there can be for a couple who wants children.

If one of you doesn’t want children and the other does, then there is a fundamental disagreement about what love is, and you, in specific, are being kept from expressing your love. In which case, it isn’t love. Not at its most fundamental and deepest expression. Not at its most creative.

This is not to say that people can’t have deep love without children. They can, of course. But it’s not what you want if you are a person who wants children.

I have had both kinds of love and I won’t compare them. They are both completely satisfying in their own ways. But they are fundamentally different at a level that is beyond expression.

I think you have to separate from this woman. I can’t imagine how you will do it. I’m sure it would be very difficult. But it will be a lesson about what happens when you get involved with someone who has a fundamentally different way of being in the universe from you.

Best of luck. Do it sooner, rather than later. If you can. If you don’t do it, then you must resign yourself to not having children, and please do not blame your gf. It’s not her fault. She was always honest. You have to accept responsibility for this, yourself.

ucme's avatar

Do as a podiatrist does & accept defeat.

marinelife's avatar

I suggest that if you want kids and it is a deal breaker to you not to have them and your g/f does not want kids and it’s a deal breaker to her not to have them, that the two of you have to break up.

The issue will not go away. Why keep on being involved with someone who wants something different from you on a fundamental issue?

downtide's avatar

This, above all issues, is a dealbreaker. I fear the only solution is to go your separate ways.

bkcunningham's avatar

It really doesn’t require this much work to have a loving relationship with someone.

KNOWITALL's avatar

There are a bunch of unloved and unwanted children in the world so what makes your dna that spectacular that you specifically need that dna reproduced in your child?

You said your g/f was adopted, so if you don’t value an adopted child as much as one with your dna, are you in turn invaliding her as well as the child?

You are a child of divorce, so statistically your chances of one marriage for life are slim as well. Add to that her being adopted, your chances are even lower. Maybe you shouldn’t have any children that can be negatively affected by your future divorce and remarriage.

My suggestion is to talk it out, each take time AWAY to think about it, and form a rational decision together that you both can agree on.

If you can’t agree, then take your super dna and leave and find a breeder somewhere with more spectacular dna and make your super baby and live happily ever after – LOL

tedd's avatar

@KNOWITALL ????? WTF are you talking about?

At what point did I imply I have “super DNA?” And in fact in my OP I pointed out I’m open to adopting one or more children.

Is there something wrong with wanting to have a biological child? And what’s all this crap about marriage????

Your whole post makes me think you’re drunk.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Not drunk just busy- sorry if I offended you. I get very passionate about childrens issues and I simply do not understand the great value people put on biological childen. It’s almost always men saying it, too, which raises my hackles.

Marriage, children, kind of goes together in this world doesn’t it? It’s not fair to the child for it to be otherwise.

Unless you’re perfect and have no history of any hereditary illnesses, including and up to mental illness, poor vision, bad teeth, low IQ, etc… I don’t get the point of a natural child.

tedd's avatar

@KNOWITALL How about wanting to pass on your genetic heritage? I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who was against being able to pass down your own biological children.

And moreover the list of “hereditary illnesses” you listed that would apparently negate your qualifications for having a biological child seem to scream eugenics to me.

tom_g's avatar

@KNOWITALL – Probably the pot calling the kettle black here because I have been known to derail, but I’m pretty sure @tedd was asking about his current relationship and how to proceed – not whether or not to reproduce from his own seed. Seems off topic.

tedd's avatar

@tom_g Incredibly off topic.

RandomMrAdam's avatar

@KNOWITALL – I don’t understand your reasoning… Are you implying that only those with flawless traits should be previed to having children? No one is perfect, but I think if you are physically able to have children and you can care for their well-being and will be there for them, then why not?

For those who want to have biological children; they should not ask themselves Do my poor teeth and my less than 20/20 vision omit me from being qualified? but rather Can I financially and emotionally care for this child that I want to bring to this world? For those who want to adopt, more power to you! but for those who want to have a child from their genetic code from both parents who plan to love and care for them, why should less than perfect genetics prevent those who want a child of their own?

JLeslie's avatar

WTH? This Q is about having children. Not about whether they are biological children or not. The OP’s girflriend does not want to raise any children. She doesn’t want to be a parent. Or, did I miss something?

KNOWITALL's avatar

Because there are hundreds of thousands of unwanted children in the world already. It’s like saying I want a registered poodle even though there are hundreds of thousands of dogs at the local pound. Our planetary resources are not unlimited you know.

BTW- you can’t force a woman to be a mom no matter who’s dna is involved.

@JLeslie- I simply asked what was so great about his dna that he needed a biological child. I was being serious and he took it as some kind of attack.

gailcalled's avatar

@KNOWITALL: Wrong answer for this particular question. Ask your question separately.

“If you can’t agree, then take your super dna and leave and find a breeder somewhere with more spectacular dna and make your super baby and live happily ever after ”

This is hostile and aggressive language; no one mentioned super DNA or super babies.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I know, I should have kept it at ‘dump her’ in this forum. My bad.

gailcalled's avatar

@KNOWITALL: “My bad” is a lazy and ugly use of the Queen’s English.

JLeslie's avatar

@KNOWITALL But, I don’t think the Q is about biological children, it is about having any children biological or adopted.

Edit: actually it is about what to do when two people in a relationship don’t agree on whether to have children or not.

mangeons's avatar

Have a serious conversation with her about it and see if she is willing to compromise at all, whether it be waiting until later to have kids, adopting one, etc. Ask her if she sees herself changing her mind at all in the future. If she doesn’t see herself doing either, and you’re dead set on having children, I’d end the relationship. If you don’t have the same goals in life, it is likely that one or both of you will end up being unhappy in the relationship.

@KNOWITALL He never said he was against adopting children. He even specifically said he was open to adopting one or more children. Wanting to pass down your DNA and family line isn’t uncommon, nor is it a crime. If you’d like to argue your point of view on that subject, I’d suggest you ask your own separate question about it rather than bringing up a rather off topic point on someone else’s.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Color me scolded. (;

noraasnave's avatar

@tedd I throw my 2 cents in with many others answering: Children are a big issue, and the situation only gets worse the longer both of you wait. She might be persuaded to have/adopt children, but you don’t want children with a woman that is persuaded against her beliefs/resolve to have them. The children suffer, you suffer, she suffers. It is better to find a person that wants to have 2–3 children down the road.

My first wife didn’t want to have any children, but told me that she did so that I would go through with the marriage. To her it was a baby contract, when the youngest of the two was done breastfeeding my first wife left….just left. We are moving towards a happy ending on this story now, but the hurdles are painful.

@KNOWITALL It sounds to me like you are projecting for some reason…there is some overcompensation there as well. You have already been beaten down with words, but identifying why you feel so strongly about your views is important to your happiness.

Also, I know a lot of couples contemplate going through the pregnancy process for the experience as well. Pain makes some of the most long term and eventually endearing memories.

intothewoods's avatar

Are you sure she is absolutely against having any children at all, i.e. adopting them? If she herself is adopted then maybe that has had an impact on her life and it’s important to her to have that connection with her child. Also, have you spoken to her about why she doesn’t want to have biological children? Just because a woman doesn’t want to bear children naturally doesn’t mean they wouldn’t make a good mother. You say you two have had problems recently, but obviously at some point you pictured having a future and children with her….does she have any motherly instincts? I think the bottom line is, if you see a future with this woman, you should have a serious talk about things and see what your future may hold.

augustlan's avatar

After having a serious heart-to-heart discussion, if the two of you are still not on the same page about having children, I would end it. It will only be more painful later.

dabbler's avatar

If someone you trust on other issues tells you they do not want to have children believe them.
Then make your own decision accordingly and own that decision.

Coloma's avatar

Yes, sadly, not looking good. This is way too huge of an issue and personal desire to surmount IMO. My ex conceded to us having one child, I would have liked two, and the marriage failed anyway. lol
I LOVE my daughter beyond words and would never have given up the opportunity to have at least one child. Sorry to say but you cannot, absolutely CANNOT ” hope” she will change her mind. Tough call, but if kids are really important to you she is a risk not worth gambling on.

jerv's avatar

TL:DR

My wife and I have been together since 1994, and one of the first things we did once we decided our relationship was serious was resolve this issue. We both knew each others feelings quite early on, and we were of the same opinion, which made things easier.

Now, had she wanted children, odds are that our relationship would not have lasted long enough to get married. Kids are not something like choosing the color of the sofa you buy together; it’s a life-altering thing for both parties, and if one party wants no part of it then trying to force the issue is inhumane at best. A child that is born to a mother that doesn’t want them is going to have a bad life, and you cannot adopt unless both you and her are on board.

So, either abandon hopes of fatherhood, or find some amicable way to break things off.

nicole29's avatar

If I was ever with a man that told me he didn’t want children, I’d end it.

I wouldn’t want to give up something that I’ve basically always known that I wanted.

Nor would I want to ruin his plans. To say that you don’t want children, is not a decision made lightly for most people… and the idea of bringing a child into this world with someone that did not absolutely want that child, is incredibly selfish and IMO incredibly wrong.

This whole idea of “If they love you… they will make a baby with you… even though they don’t want one….” makes no sense to me. A child should never be made as a concession, and there is no middle ground.

Aethelflaed's avatar

Very rarely has the entirety of Fluther agreed on something so much as “children or no children is a huge dealbreaker”. Good job, everyone.

tedd's avatar

@nicole29 I’d just like to point out to you specifically… that at no point did I suggest that her having a child would be some concession to me… or that I expected she would do it because she loves me and wants to be with me and it is a requirement. My entire post and comments thereafter are to point out the difference she and I have on the issue and ask for possible solutions that would make both of us happy, if there are any to be had. Please don’t take a page from @KNOWITALL and put words in my mouth.

tedd's avatar

So the g/f and I had quite the unhappy talk about this last night… Long story short here are the new revelations:

-She’s not opposed to having children, she just doesn’t want to physically be pregnant and go through child birth.
-She’s very open to adopting and suggested surrogacy for a biological child.
-She said she never wanted children, until she met and started falling in love with me.

So on the one hand I’m happy cuz she does want children… On the other hand the idea of using a surrogate for a biological child is not very enticing to me. The incredible cost, involving a 3rd person in this, and taking away a viable surrogate from parents who can’t physically conceive themselves being the biggest issues.

I dunno, it sucks in the first place because this isn’t even a question I want to be thinking about right now. I would bring it up before ever asking her to marry me, but this is the least of my concerns at the moment… and now it’s become a huge fight and ventured into other issues.

gailcalled's avatar

The writing seems to be on the wall, @tedd.

Take a deep breath and try to be analytical.

wundayatta's avatar

Why doesn’t she want to carry the child herself?

tedd's avatar

@wundayatta She is afraid/horrified by the process of pregnancy and the actual act of child birth. She doesn’t want to put herself through it. I understand and respect that… it just brings up those conflicts of interest.

bkcunningham's avatar

It really doesn’t require this much work to have a loving relationship with someone.

wundayatta's avatar

I guess she has plenty of company in her point of view. I might change, though. Plenty of women survive the ordeal, these days. But I’m glad you respect her feelings.

gailcalled's avatar

Being terrified about being pregnant and then delivering the baby (the inevitable consequence of being pregnant) does not bode well. That is essentially the fun and easy part, except perhaps for the actual delivery.

Raising a child from birth is not a task you take on lightly. Without the overwhelming urges. the nasty parts will outweigh the joys.

CWOTUS's avatar

My advice to you specifically, @tedd, is to change how you think about this. And I’ll give an example from my own life to illustrate what I mean.

When I was much younger, after having learned to sail and enjoy that, and then reading books like Tinkerbelle, and Gypsy Moth Circles the World and other books by single-handed sailors on epic voyages, I decided that I wanted to sail my own epic voyages. I wanted to single-hand a small boat of my own across the Atlantic. Kids? Eh, I figured I’d get married and have kids or not have them; they didn’t figure so much in my planning when I was much younger.

Well. I’ve done a lot of sailing, but no epic voyages. I got married and we had the kids. I was happy to go along with my wife’s strong desire, and figured I could be a ‘good enough’ dad. I eventually completely changed my focus to ‘being the best dad’ and ‘having the best family that we could have’. I spent a lot less time sailing than I thought I would. The kids are now grown and gone and only close in a figurative way. I’m still capable of sailing, but the epic voyage is less and less likely now.

That change in focus has certainly not ruined my life. I don’t resent my kids for getting in the way of an earlier childhood dream. I’ve enjoyed my kids (and in earlier days, my wife, too) immensely. (I still enjoy the kids.) I might still sail someday; that’s certainly not completely out of the question. My life is just fine, even with the bypassed earlier dream.

It’s certainly commendable to have dreams and to make plans and then proceed along paths that are congruent to those plans in the attempt to realize the dream. That’s what makes us human. But as someone said once, “Life is something that happens while you were making plans for something else.”

Go with the flow, in other words. Take the pressure off your girlfriend and allow her to continue to have her own “well, that wouldn’t be so bad… to… yeah, I really want to do that” realizations. In the meantime, enjoy what you have, and (a personal recommendation from me) learn to sail. That is, enjoy the succession of moments of “now” with her. (You may also find alternate substitute activities to raising children until that time comes – or in case it never does.) Because the other reality is that maybe you’ll find that one or both of you is infertile anyway, and all of this discussing and convincing and (maybe a little) cajoling is for naught. Life may have other plans for you. So go with that. Enjoy what you have while you have it, continue to make your plans and (maybe) new dreams if life takes you that way, but don’t make a decision right now about what must or must not be in your life for it to be happy, successful and worth having “just the way it is.”

JLeslie's avatar

@tedd Just curious, she wants to use a surrogate, but your girlfriend’s egg? Or, the baby would only be yours biologically? She will go through the shots? The bunches of hormones to grow a bunch of eggs? The ultrasounds and the retrieval?

I think your relationship is obviously going through some troubles right now, even aside from the baby question. My advice is to really be sure she is the right person even if you agreed on children.

tedd's avatar

@JLeslie We didn’t delve that deeply into the matter, so I dunno whether she would want to use her eggs. That thought had occurred to me, that for all the invasiveness she’d be going through to use her own eggs, you might as well just do it the old fashioned way.

To the point, I didn’t really want to think about this issue yet. It’s something I’ve never really considered vital until you reach the point of engagement.

gailcalled's avatar

@tedd: Um, it was you who asked the question, wasn’t it?

tedd's avatar

@gailcalled On here yes… I mean overall… She had been bringing it up after we moved in whilst I was of the philosophy of not rocking the boat. That last comment was more of a whine than a real addition to this conversation, lol.

gailcalled's avatar

Perhaps you need to distance yourself from all the opinions here and take some time to really consider your situation. We seem clear about things but after all, it is your life.

Here’s what the poet Mary Oliver says; “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

tedd's avatar

So the g/f is upset at my opposition to the idea of using a surrogate based on cost/taking a surrogate from needing couples/involving a 3rd person/etc.

Basically she said that I don’t think she’s worth it.

Trillian's avatar

So, once again, she is taking something you said and twisting it into something else. Making a very large production out of it and sucking the life out of both of you to simply sustain the level of energy required for all that drama.
This is psychological game playing.
Are you sure this is the atmosphere you want to bring a child into?

jerv's avatar

@Trillian I also wonder what kind of upbringing a child would have around a mother like that.

tedd's avatar

@Trillian Well I’m not looking to bring a child into anything anytime soon, lol.

JLeslie's avatar

Goodness. I still say, this issue is too big to be in disagreement and get married. I don’t think there is anything wrong with your position or hers, but the point is you two need to be in the same line of thought to feel united. To be united.

Your statement about engagement being the time to figure these things out. I would say overall in our culture engagement means the two people plan to get married, not that they are still figuring things out. I think you might be deciding whether you would ever propose to this woman or not. That could be making her feel very insecure, so she is on edge. Not that you shouldn’t be figuring these things out, you need to. I wonder if she is inthe same mode?

Does your gf think in terms of forever and marriage? Or, is she like you? Just dating for now? Reminds me on Oprah once the show was about teenage couples having sex. One couple the girls parents were not happy the kids were having sex. Anyway, the psychologist on the show asked the teens how long they thought they would be together, and the girl talked about continuing to date, basically staying together, maybe get married one day. The boy said, “I don’t know, we’re just in high school.” The girl was blindsided.

@trillian is right, if you would not want her to be the mother of your children, then why keep dating her? Since you do want children.

tedd's avatar

@JLeslie I think we’re both in the same boat about where we are as a relationship. We both think marriage is a definite possibility, and neither of us would be in it if we didn’t think there was a pretty strong chance for that. We’ve also both been avoiding this kids issue, as at the moment it’s not important to us.

I feel I should rephrase my point a bit to just to clarify it. I wouldn’t ask her to marry me, until such things as this were sorted out.

JLeslie's avatar

@tedd I think I am just very lazy about the big questions. I would not want to “work” at finding mutual ground on the topic of kids before getting married. However, I have very bad fertility problems, which has been a horrible trial in my life, and of course it affects my marriage somewhat, so ironically I did have to think about IVF, surrogacy, surgeries, and all that mess.

I did find out before I was married if my husband was ok with aborting a fetus that had a problem like a genetic disease. I cared that he expected to pay for college for our kids. And, some other big things that were very important to me.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Trillian and @jerv Exactly. This is why I said, If she decides to bear a child or to adopt with you, there is always the chance that her attitude about parenthood will change. Then there is the other chance that it will not. Do you understand all of the repercussions that might occur in the later scenario?

cookieman's avatar

My wife and I had almost this exact conversation when we were dating. Here’s how it went.

her: “I’d really love to raise a child, but have no desire to get pregnant. (she then explained her various reasons)

me: “Well I love the idea of adoption. How does that sound?”

her: “That sounds perfect. Let’s look into that.”

It was literally a fifteen minute discussion. Sure we spent a couple weeks discussing the various adoption options and going over the details, but the big picture conversation (were we on the same page) took fifteen minutes.

I agree with @JLeslie, jumbo, tent-pole life decisions like this shouldn’t be so much work.

jerv's avatar

@cprevite It’s even easier when neither of you has any interest in parenthood at all :p

OpryLeigh's avatar

@tedd It seems to me that you may have reached a compromise although it doesn’t look like you are seeing it that way. Originally you thought she didn’t want children at all but now it turns out that she is slowly coming round to the idea so long as she doesn’t have to put her own body through pregnancy and birth. There are still other options, you could still have a child with this woman whether you adopt or use a surrogate but it now seems to be you that isn’t happy about these options. Is it really that important to you that you have a child conceived, carried and delivered in the traditional sense?

tedd's avatar

@Leanne1986 My opposition to the surrogate has to do with the fortune it would cost, the vast amount of time it would cost, involving a 3rd person in something very personal, and taking a viable surrogate from parents who simply can’t conceive.

It seems like a tremendous amount of cost/risk/work when we don’t need to have one. I understand and respect her view point and opinion on this… but I don’t share it. I don’t want one or both of us to end up resenting the other for the compromise we had to make on this… especially when a child is involved.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@tedd I agree it would cost a lot for the surrogate but my point is, if she is willing to compromise on this issue (ie: have children but not carry or deliver them) then you will need to budge from your ideal too if the relationship is ever going to work (and it sounds to me like, despite your problems, you genuinly want to be with this woman for the long term).

If she is dead set against pregnancy or labour then you will need to consider surrogacy if you want a child with your own DNA. Just because someone can get pregnant, doesn’t mean they should.

tedd's avatar

@Leanne1986 My points are two things. One, why are we adding so much complication, cost, and risk to something that is already complicated, risky, and expensive. Two: assume we do both compromise… is that really a good situation? Who’s to say in 15 years she doesn’t resent me for making her mother any children, or I don’t resent her for putting us through the mess of surrogacy? I don’t know how I feel about introducing children into the world in such a possible situation.

JLeslie's avatar

@tedd I actually feel like you. Surrogacy you can pay out a shitload of money and not wind up with a kid. With adoption you are more likely to wind up with a kid, but sometimes within the process babies can fall through so to speak. Pregnancy is not also without it’s possibilities of complications and losses, but usually it didn’t cost too much, unless God forbid there is a major health crisis, and usually you get oregnant having fun. If you adopt a slightly older child you can already kind of know if it has any major health problems, which I think is a plus. There are no guarantees with any child of course adopted or biological, but I think all of us hope for health.

I probably should have done surrogacy a long time ago, you might remember from above I have had a lot of fertility problems. I also have had other health problems, and my husband and I literally fear I could really mess myself up or die God Forbid. But, when I was young and overall healthy, I never thought twice about being pregnant or delivery. I figured other women do it, so can I.

I respect your gf’s right to do whatever she wants to do regarding her body. I would never say to her she is wrong, but I don’t really understand her position. But, she probably has reasons I don’t know. If I knew all the information about why (I am not asking you to find out why) I might completely empathasize with her.

What if she became pregnant by accident? I doubt that will happen, I’m sure she is careful, but on the outside chance, is she going to abort? Wiuld that drive you nuts and hate her?

OpryLeigh's avatar

@tedd Of course she may resent you in years to come, you may resent her for things (related or unrelated to this specific issue) too. It all depends on how you both feel about the situaion at the time plans are made and if she is saying that she is coming round to the idea of having children then, providing you haven’t pressured her, that is her choice and I would believe that she is being honest with you. It’s right to think of the “what-ifs” but I almost get the impression that you are “what-iffing” to the point of talking yourself out of this relationship.

The question here should be, do you want to be with this girl? Are you 100% sure about that? If you are 100% then you will find yourself having to compromise along the way, even on a subject as important as this one (whether that should or shouldn’t be the case is irrelevant). If you have even the smallest amount of doubt in your mind that you can make (or want to make) this relationship work then, with the differences in mind sets here, it’s time to walk away.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@tedd I would be.. cautious with someone who changed their mind on something as big as kids once they met me. It’s not impossible, but I’d want to make sure it was really “once I met you, I started without any prodding to dream about us having kids together” and not “I want you in my life, and that also means I have to have kids in my life”. And what happens if, god forbid, you two end up divorced? If you, specifically you, have to be in the picture for her to want to be a mother, does that mean if you two get a divorce when the kid is 8 she’s just out of the kid’s life? Or stays in the kid’s life, but grows to resent the kid and mothering? Does she want to be the primary care giver, and if not, would you be willing to be? Kids are a huge undertaking, and it’s best when both people want to be parents regardless of whom they are doing it with.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@tedd Here is another factor to take into consideration: She’s not opposed to having children, she just doesn’t want to physically be pregnant and go through child birth.

How does a parent explain that to a child that is the result of a surrogate birth? It is relatively easy to explain the choice of adoption. The same goes for a couple who opt for a surrogate birth due to health risks. If I were to find out that my mother opted not to carry me because she did not want to be physically pregnant and go through child birth, then it might be a difficult issue to work though.

Possibly, it could be overlooked if she turned out to be a loving and caring parent. If she didn’t, then it would be something that most likely would always haunt me.

bkcunningham's avatar

You guys aren’t alone on this conversation in a relationship, @tedd. Here is a very simple to read article that touches on this very personal topic. The one big thing I think you have going for you as a couple is you. You seem very wise and kind. I hope the very best for you and your girlfriend. Be happy.

JLeslie's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer I think you can explain, but then you wind up influencing the child to probably want to get a surrogate too. Or, at least if the baby is a girl. Not different in my mind from passing on a fear of swimming or germs or heights or that math is too difficult.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@JLeslie I disagree. While it could potentially be an influence, it can just as easily go in the opposite direction. In this case, it was a choice made by the parents at one point in their lives. This is not an example of an ongoing fear perpetuated by a parent.

JLeslie's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer Going the opposite is an influence also, but I agree it doesn’t have to influence the child. I do however think it is like a phobia if not wanting to be pregnant has to do with a string of medical fears, or something to do with body image. We don’t know what the real case is. Doesn’t like needles, afraid of the pain, afraid she will get fat, afraid she will have a scar, we have no idea what is in her head.

wundayatta's avatar

Will she want to try to breastfeed the baby after someone else gives birth to it? I gather that is possible, although I wonder if it is another thing she might prefer to avoid.

JLeslie's avatar

Breast feeding is possible.

gailcalled's avatar

Possible but labor-intensive. Source

“Stimulation of the breast will eventually lead to induced lactation. It’s perfectly possible. It’s just easier to initiate lactation with the changes in hormones that occur at the birth.

But the stimulation has to be frequent, and it takes a long time. Adoptive mothers who wish to induce lactation have to begin pumping months in advance of getting their babies.”

“This site”: suggests that the woman take hormones to up the odds.

jerv's avatar

@gailcalled Where is the second link?

gailcalled's avatar

Sorry. I got distracted. I’ll see whether it is still in my history

LInk here.

Kardamom's avatar

I have not yet read everybody else’s answers, will do that after I post.

Considering all of the other problems in your relationship with this girl, which you posted Here this whole situation is likely to get worse, rather than better. And bringing a child into it would be a crime.

I’m one of those people who never, ever wanted children. I could not/would not continue to be in a relationship with someone for who having kids was important. It wouldn’t be fair to either person.

Having children, or not having children is a very profound idea. And no one should ever try to force the other person to change his/her mind. Unless you think you could be happy without having children, it might be time to exit this particular relationship.

I assume that you have asked your GF why she doesn’t want to have children. Some answers are qualitatively different than others. If she doesn’t want them because she never had the “maternal instinct” and simply does not want the responsibility of raising children, then you should probably look for another person who is more like minded with yourself. There’s nothing anybody could say to me that would make me want to have children. It’s been that way my whole life. And no, I don’t hate kids, I just can’t see myself in that position as something positive.

On the other hand, if she just doesn’t want to have kids because she thinks she’s not ready, financially or emotionally, then there is a chance that she might have a different opinion of motherhood if her circumstances were to change.

Again, this is one of those big things that should have been discussed before you guys got serious and moved in together.

I’m still going to suggest that the two of you seek some type of pre-marital or couples counseling. There’s a lot of un-resolved stuff going on in your relationship. Is there any reason why you or she would be oppossed to getting some counseling?

Coloma's avatar

Bottom line, if you love kids and pets do not marry someone who wants neither. My life was hell for years with my ex, who tried to steal my sunshine with everything I loved, from having a child to getting a puppy. Shit, I got rid of my beloved Macaw because he did not like the bird and was jealous over my affections towards both my daughter and my pets.
I should have dumped him far sooner and kept my bird. lolol

RandomMrdan's avatar

Good grief… I’ve always been able to have the fore sight to see a relationship isn’t meant to be, which is why I’m almost always single. I don’t invest the time, if I don’t see it working out in the long run. I know you always criticize me for being single… but now I can criticize you for never being single.

It would seem to me that two people afraid of being single have managed to find one another. Because I’m sure she’s had similar thoughts about the future of the relationship too.

If I were in your shoes, I would have ended it. Being that you live together, maybe wait til it’s closer to lease renewal.

Any progress updates on your situation? She still acting crazy? It’s strange for me to hear all this, as each time I see you guys, you seem like everything is going great. It wasn’t until recent that I came across the questions you asked a long time ago.

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