My Partner Doesn't Want to Have Children: What Can I Do?

If your partner doesn't want to have children and you do, you face a dilemma that you must solve together. Here are some tips to make it a healthy and respectful process.
My Partner Doesn't Want to Have Children: What Can I Do?

Last update: 12 September, 2021

Stable emotional relationships are based on many pillars. In some couples, one of the most striking is having children. Therefore, when one of the members doesn’t want to have them, conflicts may arise that can seriously affect the relationship.

Nowadays, making the decision whether to have children or not can be difficult. That’s because it’s now largely a matter of personal choice and not just “the thing to do”.

At this point, you may be wondering what you do if you want to have children and your partner doesn’t. Below, you’ll find some general courses of action you can take to make the process healthy and respectful for both of you.

Why doesn’t my partner want to have children?

There are multiple reasons for a person not wanting to have children, or, to want them and then change their minds. These can range from, among others, the fear of their children inheriting a disease to economic reasons.

Certain personal factors also have an influence here. For example, some people might not possess much of a parental instinct or may consider that they’ll experience difficulties in the education and upbringing of their child.

Thus, when this question arises in a relationship, it’s always important to approach it with honesty and respect. As a matter of fact, the decision of whether to have children or not must be a genuine and mutual one. In this way, the couple doesn’t suffer and any potential children they may have in the future also won’t experience any hardship.

Troubled couple

What to do if your partner doesn’t want to have children

This can be an issue that proves to be a turning point in any relationship. In fact, it could even cause a break-up. For this reason, the objective should always be to find an agreement that both parties can accept that’s also as healthy as possible. Here are some tips.

Address the issue as soon as possible

This isn’t a situation that’ll resolve itself. In fact, the discomfort and tension are more likely to increase if the issue becomes problematic and ends up being the elephant in the room. Therefore, for your own well-being and that of your partner, the most important thing is to speak carefully with honesty and respect.

This, in addition to resolving the tension in your relationship, will help both of you in achieving a healthy coexistence in the long term. Furthermore, if the final decision is to end the relationship by mutual agreement, with no blame attached to either of you, you’ll both find it far more bearable.

Review your own ideas, wishes, and aspirations

The first step in communicating your desire to have children should be based on a deep reflection of your personal motives. Indeed, the decision to have a child should never be an impulsive one. In addition, it’s always necessary to make an assessment of the resources you have available for their upbringing. For example, money, time, mental health, etc.

You also have to consider how you’re going to handle the decision that your partner doesn’t want to have children. For example, if you decide to abandon your desire to have them, you should reflect on whether you can actually continue with your partner without holding a grudge against them. Also, consider whether there’s another life path you’re able to follow that doesn’t include having children. Finally, ask yourself why you really felt the need to have children in the first place. In fact, you need to work out what you ultimately want your long-term future to look like.

Worried woman

Don’t force a decision

Of course, any successful conflict resolution hinges on the premise that nobody ends up feeling that their rights have been violated. Consequently, in this scenario, you don’t have to give up your desire to have children; neither should your partner agree to have them under duress.

You must avoid creating false expectations, ambiguities, or prolonging the problem if your partner’s decision is final.

If, after the conversation, it’s become clear that your wishes are incompatible, it may be time to consider whether it’s best to go your separate ways. On the contrary, if the final decision is affirmative, you’ll have the complete assurance that you’ve come to a healthy, mutual decision together.

In the end, there’s always a fundamental factor in the resolution of conflicts of this nature. In fact, it’s perhaps the most important factor of all: good communication. Indeed, couples who communicate assertively avoid a lot of disagreements. Furthermore, they have a basis of understanding and honesty that facilitates the resolution of any conflicts and arguments.

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  • Angeles, L. (2010). Children and life satisfaction. Journal of happiness Studies11(4), 523-538.
  • Neal, A. G., Groat, H. T., & Wicks, J. W. (1989). Attitudes about having children: A study of 600 couples in the early years of marriage. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 313-327.