I want a child together – He doesn’t.
Dear Positive Way,
I am in a 2 year relationship I am 27 and he is 36. He is divorced with one son and I am single with 3 children (never been married). The reason for his divorce was lack or same religion and compatibility. We are 100% compatible. We are living in separate houses as agreed so that we can do what is right by God and our children. Also, we are active in our religion and rededicating our lives as Christians. We plan to get married sometime after we rededicate our life. The problem is that I want a child with him some point in our marriage but he does not because he says lets raise the ones we have so that we can enjoy our life and that it would be to much stress. My point is I want to experience raising a child with my first husband because it is a joy and it is what you make out of it. We don’t want to continue wasting our time when we are both standing firm to what we want. He says he may change his mind one day but it is not guaranteed. I just cry every time we talk about it because it hurts inside. I have to either marry him and later resent him because we won’t have our own children or settle and be unhappy. This will eventually lead to an unhappy marriage. What do we do ? signed, Mariah, age 27
Dear Mariah, you are in a difficult position and very wise to understand that this opposite position that you have in reference to having children will eventually lead to an unhappy marriage. If either one of you gives into the other then resentment can build and that will eventually cause more difficulty in the relationship in the long run. Here are some things for you to consider:
1. This has to be resolved before a marriage takes place. Don’t count on him maybe changing his mind. He either has to commit to having a child with you or make it clear that it is not an option before you move forward with marriage. Don’t assume or hope that he will change his mind. That is unfair to both of you.
2. Having another child will not make your relationship any better. It will only provide more stress and strain on the relationship and the other children. You already have 3 children and he has one child. Four children is a great responsibility and it does make sense to concentrate on raising and supporting the four you now have instead of trying to plan for another at this time. Men often don’t have the parental instinct that you may be yearning for and they don’t necessarily bond with a child until the child is older and can communicate their wants and needs. You may be having false expectations in how this may bring you together as a couple.
3. A stepfamily has many challenges in and of itself and are very difficult for all parties involved. It can take years for a stepfamily to work out their issues and it is better not to bring a new member into that family unless and until the stepfamily has worked through all of the issues that come up as everyone adjust to the new family unit.
4. Reevaluate your circumstance and ask yourself why you feel it is necessary to have another child. What do you think having another child will bring to your relationship? Why is this so important to you? Can you love and be with this man without having a child together? Once you have answered those questions and you still feel it is necessary for your happiness then you must make that clear to your partner. If he still feels he is not willing or interested in having another child then I would suggest you end the relationship. Neither one of you should settle for something you don’t want.
5. A child is a lifelong commitment and responsibility. Parenting will never end even when they become adults. Work hard at being the best parent to the children you have and don’t try to force this relationship into a direction that will only satisfy one of you.
Talk things out thoroughly without crying or trying to manipulate each other into giving in. Make a list of the pros and cons of having another child together and then discuss the list in detail. If you love one another enough then you will respect each other’s position and try to work through your own issues regarding your position on this matter. If you can’t come to a mutual agreement on how to move forward then put the marriage on hold and don’t try to force the issue. Seek out counseling from your pastor or social services regarding this matter. This is a big issue that should not be ignored or put aside.
Please understand you have free will. This advice is given only in the realm of personal growth and self-help. This is not to be considered a substitute for therapy or professional counseling. We wish you well.