What To Do If You Want a Baby But Your Partner Doesn’t | sheerluxe.com

What To Do If You Want a Baby But Your Partner Doesn’t

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It can be a difficult conversation to have, but if you want a child and your partner doesn’t, where does that leave your relationship? Is there room for compromise and can you hope to change their mind, or should you start to reconsider your future together? Life coach Carole Ann Rice advises how to navigate this sensitive issue...

At what stage in a relationship should children be discussed?

In any long-term relationship, it’s always best to try and ascertain what each of you want in terms of life plans and goals before things get too serious. There’s no absolute timeline, but if you’ve been together for nine to 12 months it’s reasonable to broach the subject to find out if you both want children or not. If your other half has decided not to have children they may have very strong reasons as to why, making it difficult to convince them otherwise – don’t assume that you both want the same thing, and don’t put it off for too long.

Can a compromise ever be reached?

The most important thing is to try and understand why your partner has reservations before trying to force them into doing something they are not comfortable with. Remind your partner that this is a biological urge and to not have children would be a huge loss to you. Perhaps you could both spend time with friends who do have a family to try and show them a loving family unit is a very positive thing. Explore childcare options and how it would physically work should you decide to have children – sometimes the idea of having a baby can seem very daunting and they might feel their life and independence will be compromised for the worst, so it’s a good idea to realistically think about logistics and how life could be juggled. However, it’s important not to force your partner into this as it would put a huge strain on the relationship and can lead to resentment from both sides. 

Can things change over time?

Absolutely, some people just take a bit longer to make the decision. Talk to your partner about making things work – for example, if they want to travel, you can suggest travelling with your children. Give them time, but don’t decide to have children if one of you is genuinely unsure – the reality is that you always love your own children but it's a life commitment you both need to be fully on board with.

On a Similar Note

What should you do if the situation is non-negotiable?

You need to check in with yourself to see how you feel about this decision. They key word here is ‘accept’, not revenge or regret, as you need to be 100% happy to sacrifice not having a child without holding any bad feelings against your other half. If you decide the love for your partner is stronger than your desire for a family then you must try and nip any negative feelings in the bud early on, and focus on making a happy future as a unit of two.

At what stage can it be a deal breaker? 

If you can’t accept your partner’s reluctance and start to feel resentment towards them then it’s likely your relationship will break down sooner rather than later. You both need to truly accept the decision, whether that’s to have children or not. For women, this is a time-dependent conversation – don’t assume and leave it hanging in the air until your fertility is compromised.

How can you tell your family of your decision without feeling judged?

It’s inevitable that your parents will be disappointed if they've always dreamt of having grandchildren but ultimately, they will hopefully respect that this is your journey. Tell your parents the reasons, what you want from life and hopefully, in time, they'll come round to the decision.

Anything else?

Never decide to have a baby as a relationship fixer – if a relationship is already rocky, having a child will just put it under even more stress. Also, remember there’s always an option to freeze your eggs – this can allow you to have children later on, or have children as a single mother.

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