‘She doesn’t want children, so am I wasting my time?’
This week, a man asks whether he should split up with his partner because she doesn’t want to have children.
He says that they have an ‘ideal relationship’ apart from that it causes arguments when he mentions the possibility of starting a family.
Will he be able to continue the relationship on her terms, or would it be best if they went their separate ways? Have your say.
Also, check out last week’s dilemma, which is from the point of view of a newly-divorced man who wants to meet someone new – but without any commitment.
My partner and I have been together for five years and I’ve known from the start she didn’t want children. We were in our mid-20s and kids were the furthest thing from my mind, so I didn’t worry. We both love sports, like to travel and are sexually compatible, so in many respects we have an ideal relationship. It seemed easy to brush it off as something that didn’t matter.
Some of our friends have now started families and kids seem to add so much to their lives that I’m wondering whether this is more important than I’d thought. But whenever I bring the subject up, it causes an argument.
I come from a big family but my girlfriend comes from a broken home. You’d think she would want to be part of a loving family as it’s clearly something she missed out on, but that’s not the case.
I know I don’t have a future with someone who refuses to have kids but I hope one day she will change her mind.
I just don’t know how long to wait – the older I get, the more I worry I’m wasting my life. I want children while I’m young enough to enjoy them. I’m reaching the point where even sex feels like a waste of time.
What the experts say
The fact the baby issue has now crept into your love life says a lot and Dr Angharad Rudkin is concerned. ‘The idea that you can’t have a conversation about this indicates how important this is to you both, and how irreconcilable your differences are,’ she says.
‘Your resentment will lead to other arguments, more dissatisfaction and weakening commitment.’
A good relationship means a shared vision of the future.
‘Ignoring your problem is like leaving in a teabag,’ says James McConnachie. ‘The longer it festers the more bitter the tea will become, until it’s undrinkable’.
McConnachie recommends therapy to understand your girlfriend’s motivations. ‘If she is anxious and avoidant, and it’s something you clearly can’t talk about together, then talk it over with a counsellor,’ he says.
‘Don’t wait for the inevitable deterioration of your relationship,’ says Rudkin. ‘Your partner may be afraid she will repeat her parents’ mistakes but it’s important she knows parenting is something you’ll do as a team.’
If you can’t resolve this, there is only one option. Splitting up will be painful but it’s better sooner rather than later.
What do you think?
Leave your own advice in the comments section below and we will publish a selection of the best reader words of wisdom.
What you said…
Remember last week’s dilemma regarding a man who wanted post-divorce casual flings?
We asked you what he should do, and you said:
- Get some therapy – 33%
- Take some time out from dating in general – 27%
- Stick to his guns and keep searching for someone – 26%
- Stop being selfish and wanting just casual sex – 11%
- None of the above, I’ll leave a comment – 3%
Dr Angharad Rudkin is a clinical psychologist
James McConnachie is the author of Sex (Rough Guides)
Got a sex and dating dilemma?
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First appear at ‘She doesn’t want children, so am I wasting my time?’