No More Kids Please

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Dear Hoopers,
I am a woman of 37 years of age. I had a fiancé and we had a baby girl and my fiancé passed on when our daughter was just 10 months old. Three years later I found someone whom I had a son with and the relationship did not work out and we separated. Recently a guy I knew for quite some time has proposed love to me and he wants to marry me. He has two kids from his previous relationship. He says to me after we get married he would like to have his own child with me but I am not interested in having any other kids, especially because the two I have are not from the same man. I am shameful of the situation and afraid of being judged of having kids of different men. What should I do to make him understand that we can still marry and not have kids together since we have kids of our own from previous relationships?
Regards,
No More Kids Please

Dear No More Kids,
It’s your body, you get to decide if you want to have other children. Of course this is always discussed and navigated with your partner, but you’re in the driver’s seat. The physical, emotional, and psychological needs of pregnancy and childbirth are enormous. While this can be the most rewarding and worthwhile process known to humankind, the process requires an immense commitment. If you aren’t ready for that commitment, then be true to yourself and communicate that to your partner.

My guess is that his desire to have another child with you is at its heart a good thing. A desire to make another human being with you is a special connection and I believe is a verbal commitment to his future with you. I would reciprocate your love and commitment to him, including a discussion that not having a child together wouldn’t lessen your relationship in any way. Help him understand that your desire not to have another child is in no way a reflection of your love and commitment to him. Discuss the excitement that you have to be a great step-parent to his children and for him to be in your children’s life. That is no less meaningful than being a parent to a biological child that you could share together.


Help him understand that your desire not to have another child is in no way a reflection of your love and commitment to him.

-Dr. Ryan

Let me also say that you don’t have to allow certain cultural expectations around marriage and children to make you feel a certain way about yourself. You said that you feel shameful for having children from multiple partners, but this seems unfair to you. Blended families are a reality in the world and don’t imply a moral judgement on anyone involved.

I have multiple half-siblings and have found them to be a special addition in my life that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. Make your own decision about having children but know that society (or your partner) doesn’t make that decision for you.
-Dr. Ryan

Dear No More Kids,
If you don’t want kids, you shouldn’t have kids. It’s also very important that you are on the same page with your partner in this decision, especially as you enter a marriage. Having children is a huge life decision and a topic that can cause great turmoil if there is not agreement.

Have you expressed your concern and reasoning for not having a child with your partner? It seems obvious by your question that you show clear emotional turmoil around this conversation. What should you do? Have a heart to heart conversation and learn if his want for children is greater than his desire to continue the relationship.


Have a heart to heart conversation and learn if his want for children is greater than his desire to continue the relationship.

-Kate

Similarly, what will his answer mean to you moving forward? While this can be a very difficult conversation it will be more difficult once you are married. It will also reveal if not having a child is a sacrifice that your partner is willing to make to move forward with you.

Sharing your life with someone is sharing in the difficulty and beauty that is life. While compromise is a huge part of a relationship, you can’t compromise on the decision to have a child.
-Kate