I met somebody online two years ago. Honestly, back then I wasn’t looking for anything serious. I had used online dating sites on and off to meet people. Sometimes things would remain platonic other times things would take more exciting twists. I never thought that I would meet someone with whom I would have so much in common. Like they say, “love arrives when you least expect it.” That’s what happened to me. I am very happy, of course, but there is a problem that has arisen. My partner has mentioned how he wants us to live together, get married, and start a family. While I would be ecstatic to accept his proposal and become his wife, I do not wish to have children. I have not informed him of this. Honestly, I am afraid that it might adversely affect our relationship. Should I just tell him directly? Should I hint at it? Maybe it’s best to avoid the issue and suggest that I am not ready for kids at the moment leaving the future vague?
Sincerely, In Need of Advice
Dear In Need of Advice,
Your predicament is delicate. We understand how you can feel confused about what to do. On the one hand, if you are completely honest with your partner, you run the risk of creating a rift between you. On the other hand, if you are not completely honest about such a fundamental issue involving the future of your relationship, you stand a very good chance of making him feel betrayed further down the road.
In this case, we would urge you to be honest with your partner about your lack of desire for children.
If you step back a moment, you will realize that it is the only path that is fair to both of you. It allows you to be honest and it allows him to properly assess whether or not he is willing to continue in a relationship that will never produce kids.
There is a chance, of course, that he will decide to move on. You must be accepting of that before you tell him.
We hate using cliches like, “if it is meant to be, it is meant to be,” but in this situation, it is applicable.
You have your reasons for not wanting children just as much as he has his reasons for wanting them. Without talking openly about the subject there is no way of knowing if there is a middle ground where you can continue with your relationship unaffected.
Inevitably, it comes down to an issue of one of you willingly accepting the path of the other. The key word there is “willingly.” If you accept to have kids just to stay with him or if he accepts being in a childless relationship just to stay with you, over time that will build incredible amounts of resentment.
The sooner that you have this discussion with him, the sooner that you will know whether your paths should continue together or if they will have to diverge.