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fremen_warrior's avatar

Relationship pickle - what would you do?

Asked by fremen_warrior (5487points) 1 month ago

(first of all for those who remember me: “Hi again; sorry for being away for ~3 years…)

Dear Fluther, Fremen_Warrior has a relationship question for you…

it boils down to: (when) should I break off my relationship of almost 2 years (we’re living together), or… or what?

The details: moved in together (her idea) about a year after we started dating – we were both moving to a different city, so it made sense. I earn more than she does and while I could support myself on my own here she would have a difficult time doing so.

Moving in together was a big step and too early, in my opinion, but she really wanted it, plus financially it made sense. Now I like things the way they are and would not change anything, but… she recently found out that having children SOONER rather than later (i.e. within the next 2 years max) is optimal dt. health reasons.

I was never ok with the idea, always said, “if at all, 10 years from now at least” but even that is a lie I think; I just don’t want kids. I really value what we have; she made me a happier man than I ever was. I’m just thinking this is not going to work now, we are at cross purposes, and to continue this would be unfair of me.

My dilemma is that I think I should end the relationship, as I am sure when I tell her I do not want kids she will say this is a dealbreaker, but on the other hand I know this will devastate her, plus she will have a difficult time finding a (very small) flat and supporting herself with what she earns…

I will basically be breaking her heart if I do this, and I know I will be sad too.

more info on us: I am in my early 30s still, she is in her late 20s. I mean we both technically have time to start over, still I care about her and it makes me sad to think she would no longer be a part of my life… We do not have a lot to talk about, but we enjoy our company enough anyway, we travel, we support each other. This is the first relationship either of us had been engaged in for more than 1 year…

I just don’t want to be the bad guy here, but I feel any choice I make is going to be a bad one.

So here it is, my (pathetic) little dilemma. And yes I turn to “random strangers on the internet” for advice, I know but I really need help sorting this out. This is making me so anxious :/

Thank you!

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14 Answers

janbb's avatar

First of all, this is not a pathetic little dilemma. It’s a big lifetime decision. Don’t beat yourself up for worrying about it or asking for help. You laid the issue out very clearly and I don’t think it’s fair to either you or your girlfriend not to deal with it. If you really don’t want kids now and she does, that probably is a deal breaker. I think you should show her what you wrote here or tell her some version of it and talk it out between the two of you. As far as her housing goes, maybe you can help her to look for another place (roommates perhaps?) or help her financially for a time. It would be nice to suggest that you stay friends but that rarely is possible. Honest discussion, probably much of it painful, is what’s needed. One more tip, if you can, try to make it a decision that you both come to rather than a fete accompli. My Ex presented me with the fact that he was moving out and that was made much more painful in that he didn’t allow it to be a joint discussion. (By the way, I remember that you live in Poland.)

chyna's avatar

Hi @fremen_warrior. I do remember you.
This is a huge deal. You say it is not fair to you, but it is not fair to her either. Yes, it will be sad for both of you, but I think you need to break it off so she can find someone that wants to have kids. I never wanted kids and did not have them, so I can’t imagine being with someone that wanted them. It would be unfair to make someone believe I wanted them and after a few years, possibly after it was too late for the other person to have kids, spring it on them.

Good luck and don’t wait so long to come back to Fluther next time.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

Welcome back! You aren’t a bad guy. If you were a bad guy you’d just say ‘I don’t want kids – deal with it or fuck off’. You obviously care about this woman, but you don’t want the same things in life.

You have no option but to tell her. Then you’ll have to deal with the fallout. There’s no way to say what will happen from there. You two need to have a serious talk about your futures. Can you commit to having a child in the future? Can she genuinely give up on having children and not feel resentful? Can you keep sharing your accommodation, but your relationship ends?

There’s no way for us to tell you how this is going to play out, but you are right to raise your honest desires for the future. It’s not wrong to not want children. However, it might very well be a deal breaker for her. Her future living situation is something you should care about, but if you end up breaking up, it’s not your responsibility. By the sound of it, you will be kind and will help her to find something else.

Please let us know how things work out. Once you broach the subject with her, it might be worth looking for a therapist who can help you unpack this situation and work out what’s going to work for you both. Sometimes, having an outsider there to help you consider all the implications is very valuable. It might help to take some of the emotion out of the problem, while also helping you to honestly evaluate how you move forward from here.

Coloma's avatar

Yes, you must tell her, now, not later. All you can do is be gentle but firm. Tell her that you have realized that you do not want kids, ever. Not in a few years, not in 10 years, not in 20 years and that it is in the best interest, for you both, to move on.

She then has the option to either relocate back closer to her family or find a room mate if she decides to stay in the same city as you. Breaking up is never easy but much better than one or both parties having to concede on such a huge life event as having a kid.
Be prepared that she might claim that she can live with that, but, that would not be true given it seems her desire for a child. She is, in a sense, already pressuring you to make up your mind by tossing out the optimum pregnancy ages as it is.

Also be VERY careful to not get tricked into an “accidental” pregnancy and if you are still sexually involved make SURE you suit up and open your own condom. Sometimes desperate women think if they get pregnant the guy will come around, baaad mistake, and usually with tragic outcomes.

Cruiser's avatar

You have to want t have children of your own plain and simple. Being a parent is a LOT of work and more than likely will change the fabric of your relationship as you know it now. Don’t do anything you are sure you want for your future.

elbanditoroso's avatar

I’m with everyone else who has answered, and especially @Coloma and her comment about being tricked.

If not having kids is a dealbreaker, then better now that waiting.

From your description, it sounds like this wasn’t really planned, and that circumstances caused you to live together (as opposed to positive and eager motivation) – so this is what happened.

I think you are sincerely torn by this, which makes you a thoughtful person. More power to you.

imrainmaker's avatar

You seem very thoughtful and caring person. But you basically lied to her when you said you could think of having them after 10 years may be. Was it before moving in or after?

Strauss's avatar

I remember you. Nice to see your post, sorry it’s so painful.

I agree with everyone above, you must talk with her. If you really care about her, and it sounds like you do, this is something that should be resolved sooner rather than later. First, the “deal breaker”, to make sure there is no room for compromise. Then the exit strategy to minimize the hurt involved, keeping it as sincere, amicable and logical as possible (not an easy task).

BellaB's avatar

It sounds like you’re good friends but not really great romantic partners to begin with. You moved in together as a matter of convenience for her.

Don’t become a father the same way.

Sit down and tell her the truth – that you do not want to be a parent – ever. Be honest.

I don’t think ýou’ve got any responsibility for her ongoing living expenses if there is a break-up. She can find another room-mate.

You can both find more suiting partners/travelling companions.

As @Coloma has suggested – make double/triple sure that there is no chance of an inadvertent pregnancy.

Stinley's avatar

I would add that you should have this conversation as soon as possible so that you can both start moving on.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

First off there is no ring on it so no one truly owes anyone, it is like at let employment, and either party can jet without having to explain themselves, not like you have a contract. That being said, I would have a talk with her and have a serious talk about children and when, if there is no compromise that can be made, I guess you have to part, love would not have conquered that issue. As you say, you are young enough to do it again, and maybe again, and hopefully you both do not grow too old to have spent all the opportunities and end up alone….but at least you would not be stuck in a commitment, bygones.

BellaB's avatar

@fremen_warrior , if you are 100% sure that you don’t want to be a biological father, go for the snip. And go for the test post-surgery. Make sure there are no little swimmers left.

flutherother's avatar

You don’t have to end the relationship but you do have to tell her how you feel. That she makes you very happy but that you do not want children. If it is a dealbreaker so be it. I don’t think there is anything else you can do if you don’t want to live a lie.

tinyfaery's avatar

Don’t live a lie. It’s unfair to you both.

You can help her in anyway you are willing to. You don’t have to be in a relationship to support someone you love.

Being honest to yourself is one of the hardest things you will ever earn. Yes, earn.

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