It’s likely, if you’re a woman, you’ve thought about having kids most or all of your life. From the time you were very small you played with dolls, had small stuffed animals, played house, etc. The man in your life hasn’t done any of that. Most boys play by competing, building things or breaking things. It’s no wonder that some men get to adulthood and haven’t seriously wanted or even thought about having children. Of course, some do, but a growing number of men opt for what they perceive as the simpler or more results oriented life.
If you are a woman who is married to or dating a man who isn’t interested in having a family that involves children, you’ve probably asked yourself a bunch of questions. What if he never changes his mind? Can I live a life without kids? Am I crazy for wanting kids? Why does he not want kids when I want them so badly? Does he really love me if he doesn’t want to have kids with me? And, probably a hundred more.
The questions can keep your head spinning and start some pretty big fights with your partner. It’s easy to get hurt feelings and cause a lot of misunderstandings. Especially when one day he says “maybe someday” and the next day he says that he never wants kids. It’s important in a time like this to understand he is as confused as you are. While you’ve had a lifetime of thinking about kids, he’s just begun. He probably didn’t think about kids until you first mentioned it, or he saw a male companion that he admires enjoying life with kids. He’s got a lot of catching up to do. Be patient.
Undoubtedly, you’ll try to convince him that you really want to have kids. You might think, he’s a man and men are usually logical, right? You can try giving him a long list of reasons such as: I want them, kids are great, think about how happy they are to see you when you get home, they will always love you, you’ll love them, you’ll be a great dad, think about the fun we’ll have together, etc. He might talk about all of the negative things such as: think about the cost, we don’t need kids to be happy, think about how limiting it will be for us, etc.
The truth is that it’s unlikely that you can make a compelling argument for having kids that he’ll accept. It would be very easy for each of you to get to a place where neither of you can change your mind without looking weak. For men this is something that he loathes to do. Many men equate looking weak to someone they respect to a sentence of death. Since you are a person he respects more than most, he would have a very hard time giving in to you and looking weak.
So what to do? There isn’t an easy 1-2-3 checklist. Your goal will be to help your partner find a compelling future with you and with the children you have together. How do you do that? To answer that question, you need to better understand men.
Let Him Find A Compelling Future
Men need to be needed. That’s why they play sports, work for jerk bosses, fall in love and get married, etc. Men want to provide. They want to be the hero. They want to be admired. They want honor and respect. They want to feel like they are free to lead themselves and their family. They want to set their own course and the course of the family.
When a man finds that a life with you and with children meets his needs, he will make the decision to have kids. It won’t be your decision that you made for him, but his decision. When this happens, watch out. When a man makes a decision that meets his needs he will work hard to do it. He’ll likely find his need for achievement will be fulfilled by getting you pregnant!
How can you help him find a compelling future? Ask him to imagine his life 5, 10, 20, and 40 years in the future. Ask him what he’s done. What did he miss out on? Who did he provide for? What is he most proud of? Ask him how did he feel like a hero. What legacy did he leave? Does he want a legacy more compelling than business or a job? Ask him if he might want more out of life. Did he mention the amount of love he had during those years? Would he like more love? Ask him how can he get more love in his life.
These questions and similar questions may over time help your partner see a future with you and children. Don’t expect an overnight change and don’t try to force it. The more you demand an immediate answer, the more likely he’ll be to deepen his resolve to not give you the answer you want. By demanding he make a decision or submit to your wishes, you will have taken away his need to chart his own course. He will be less likely to see that his needs could be met by having children with you.
A Note Of Caution
It’s suggested by some women that you should force his hand by either “accidentally” getting pregnant or telling him that you’ll leave him if he doesn’t have kids. This should be avoided. It certainly will damage the trust in your relationship that will show up later. This could ultimately lead to a divorce or worse, a long-term unhappy relationship. Either of which isn’t a healthy environment for you and your child.
Don’t be surprised if he says yes one day and no the next. Remember he’s confused and warming up to the idea of having kids. His brain is trying to process everything that he thought he wanted and trying to figure out how to change it. For some men, trying to understand why they might want kids is similar to them trying to understand that the earth really is flat. He’s had one set of beliefs for so long. Changing them isn’t easy. Expect some missteps and him saying things that don’t make sense. Don’t take it personally. Understand he’s going through a change that he didn’t know was coming and didn’t know he wanted. With this understanding, love him even more.
Take the time and let your man find a future with you and a larger family. Who knows, maybe he’ll want 3 or 4 kids once he decides.