Shit hits the fan, that’s what happens.
Ever since I divorced my husband, I have been dating as a package: if you want me, you’ll also have to accept my son. It wasn’t always simple or easy, of course. There were men I genuinely liked but who just wouldn’t accept my son.
To me, my son will always remain my priority. That may not have been the case had I met someone who didn’t want to have children before I had a son. I mean, would I throw a perfectly good relationship down the drain just cause someone doesn’t want what I don’t have?
All too often, people look down on people (read: women) who want to be parents. But realistically, if no one wanted to become a parent, then we’d be funked. We need people to want to be parents, or else how are we going to keep our species going? How will capitalism get its next wave of workers and consumers? Ha!
Joking apart, the wish to become a parent is a very strong and innate one. We are, after all, biologically speaking, designed to reproduce, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. There is also nothing wrong with people who don’t want to be parents, of course. It’s not a pathway for everyone and, let’s be honest, with a seven billion-strong world population, we’re fine with a few less.
With one partner’s babies and another partner’s pets, will everyone involved have enough patience?
So, if your partner doesn’t want children, or if you partner wants children and you don’t, then you’re going to have to sit down and have a very serious discussion. Much like politics (read my article about that here), wanting or not wanting children reveals a lot about us, our hopes and dreams, and our vision for the future. This is why children should not be up for discussion, simply because leaving that dream unfulfilled could make you feel unfulfilled.
I’m not saying you should throw your relationship away, though. Start by talking it out with your partner, and keep your cool: your hopes and dreams are no more important than theirs. If needs be, see a couple therapist. And don’t be afraid to discuss adoption – even adopting a teenager!
My advice, however, is not to settle. Having children isn’t something you just forget about.
What do you think? Can two partners remain together if they want different things?
Let us know in the comments section below.