Posted by: alex | 2009-07-27

feeling guilty for not wanting kids

Hi there CS,
I have been married for four years, we hadn' t really discussed kids before getting married, as I suppose one should, anyway, we are happily married, and I am content. I secretly do not want to have kids, for lots of reasons, neither my family nor husband(who is 10 years older than me) know this, and I am bracing myself for the bomb that will go off once I tell them. I also feel guilty about this- my best friend has been trying to fall pregnant for three years. Do you think it is sometimes normal for women not to want kids?

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Our expert says:
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Of course the problem is not having discussed such an issue before marriage. Not everyone does want to have kids, and for that nobody needs to apologise. Sometimes it's that you dont actually like being with or mothering kids, sometimes it's a dread of pregnancy or childbirth, or some combination. But nobody has to want kids. The problem is if you marry someone who DOES want to have,kids, without telling them that you don't --- its like hiding other facts that would have been relevant to them, like your religion, a long criminal history, or whatever. They might not mind, but have a reasonable right to know.
It is entirely normal for some people not to want kids, just as it is entirely normal for some folks not to want to get married. And dont assume that this wil have to be a bomb. It might come as a surprise to your family, or maybe not. Either way, you should never have kids just because the family expects it. Do you know your husnand's wishes and feelings about this ? After 4 years, he might have been wondering why there have been no children, and if you have either or both been using contraception, with no discussion of doing otherwise, maybe he is content. Dont you need to have a calm discussio of the issue with him, rather than a dramatic confession ?
That your friend has been trying unsucessfully to have kids is sad, but of course in no way your fault, nor related to your preference not to have kids.

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Our users say:
Posted by: CTMOM | 2009-07-28

Some people are made to be parents and others not. I knew from the age of 6 I wanted kids and never changed my mind, My friend knew from the age of 10 she didnt want and still doesnt. We both in our 30' s and feel happy about our choices. It is YOUR choice.

Yes you should have discussed this before marriage but for all you know, he feels the same way too and is dreading YOU asking a baby. Sit down, talk to him and see where it goes.

Reply to CTMOM
Posted by: Angela | 2009-07-27

I have been in a relationship for 9 years and although my boyfriend has started feeling very paternal, he understands that I don' t want kids. It is a HUGE responsibility that one shouldn' t be dragged into due to guilt.

Reply to Angela

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