Maybe Mum

For all the Maybe Mums out there wondering whether motherhood is for them

Do doubts about the desire for children affect your relationship? My tips!

Do doubts about the desire for children affect your relationship? My tips!

Do doubts about your desire for children affect your relationship? Do you not want children, but your partner does? Are you unsure about your desire for children, but is your partner very outspoken about their wish? That is incredibly challenging; I also know from personal experience. Of course, it’s important to search for your own feelings, but don’t forget to communicate. If you leave each other in the dark, the atmosphere won’t get any friendlier. And yes, doubts about your desire for children can indeed have a significant impact on your relationship.

Relationship & doubts about the desire for children

The most important thing in your decision is that it’s about what you feel. What is your choice? Of course, this is a topic you discuss together; after all, you’re going for a child together. But don’t forget that ‘together’ nowadays often doesn’t last forever. If you look at the statistics, more than one in three marriages in the Netherlands ends in divorce (CBS Statline 2020). But if you add cohabiting couples who break up (which is less well documented), the suspicion is that 1 in 2 relationships ends. And let’s not forget that a relationship can also end due to the sad fact of your partner passing away.

Your choice

Because you don’t know what the future holds (for both of you), I think it’s wise to search for your own feelings. What do you want? Do you want a child? Are you unsure? Or are you actually convinced that you don’t want children, but has your partner made you doubt? Stay true to your own feelings. It can become so painful if you don’t… A lady I know had a desire for children. Because her partner didn’t want them, she didn’t have children. She chose the relationship and followed his feelings. Well, when their relationship ended after years, it was no longer possible for her to have a child. After all, women don’t remain fertile forever. But the same applies in reverse. Do you want to keep your partner – who wants it so badly – with you without children (because that makes you happier?).

Keep communicating

During the search for your own feelings, it’s important to keep communicating with your partner. And that can be very difficult. I can recall many conversations that ended in tears. But I also know enough stories of couples who eventually even argue about it and throw accusations at each other. Of course, you can disagree; that’s not a problem. And it might even get heated. But remain respectful towards each other. Not to mention intimacy; if there are tensions, establishing a connection with each other is difficult after all.

Communicating in your relationship: 5 tips

So how can you continue to communicate effectively in your relationship if you have doubts about your desire for children? Here are a few tips:

  1. Stay open and honest with each other: Doubts about your desire for children are sometimes difficult to put into words, but try to do so. Share your thoughts, feelings, concerns, and needs with your partner. Always be honest and open about it. This also prevents the other from having false expectations.
  2. Listen actively and show empathy: Truly listen to each other. If your partner is speaking, don’t interrupt them. And certainly don’t override them with your own opinion. That doesn’t work. Ensure that you really listen and then ask questions. Show empathy for their viewpoints; even if it doesn’t apply to you. Your attitude is also important here; maintain eye contact and nod for confirmation. Nothing is as annoying as an uninterested partner.
  3. Keep it civil: If you have a different opinion about having children, it’s easy to point fingers. However, accusations, insults, and hurtful remarks are of no use; they only lead to conflicts. Maybe not immediately, but strong statements always linger a bit. Respectful communication forms a healthy foundation for a relationship; even when things get a bit tougher.
  4. Be patient and give each other space: Don’t expect your partner to have an answer right away. Is your partner actually the impatient one of the couple? Then explain that it’s important to give each other space in this situation. You can even agree to let the topic rest for a while. And plan a moment to discuss it calmly.
  5. This is a process you go through together: Yes, you need to search for your own feelings. This applies not only to you but also to your partner. You want to know how both of you really feel about having children. And precisely in that deepening, which you personally undergo, you can also search for similarities. Even when discussing disagreements, there’s often common ground to be found. Dare to talk about compromises too. After all, there’s no compromise between having children or not, but there is between how you want to care for and raise them.

Photo Pexels: foto/paar-zitten-vraagstuk-argument-8560647/ – pexels-timur-weber-8560647.jpg – My English is not very good, so I’m translating this with the help of Google Translate and ChatGPT.