My wife and I are separated and heading for divorce for precisely this reason. When we were dating, we both declared our intention to remain child-free. Mine was philosophical, hers was based on disgust with the biology of childbirth and child-rearing; and she perceived herself as a sort of child, whence having kids would be inappropriate. We never reached closure on the philosophical justification, but were happily child-free for over 8 years of marriage. Now we are both in our late 30s. Last summer, my wife suddenly announced that a couple without children is not a "real family", and that her life would be meaningless unless she experiences motherhood and child-rearing. If she doesn't leave behind a biological legacy, then her life amounts to a waste and an idle travesty. Years ago, she endorsed and supported my decision to take medical steps against fertility. Now she says that because of that, we must divorce, so that she could become a single mom, or find another man. Several months ago, she left me, moving out of our house to an apartment somewhere in town (she won't divulge her address to me). We meet maybe once a week in parking lots or restaurants, conversing about what to do. I've given up trying to reason with her, trying to offer her alternatives such as us volunteering in community activities involving children. She's determined to reproduce - and I'm only a few divorce-papers away from losing her.
So sorry to hear about your situation Michael. I'm sorry you guys couldn't reach an agreement about remaining child-free.
I'll confess to agreeing with her on one single point: "a couple without children is not a "real family". As firmly as I am against breeding, I am also against the institution of marriage. Until we procreate, we ought to all simply be free individual humans. Free to "hang-out exclusively with one another for years at a time", or not! Monogamy serves no purpose other than providing a second steady adult to supply food to offspring. I think offspring need parental contracts to protect them from irresponsible breeders. But I don't think child-free adults need binding monogamy contracts.
Sounds to me like you'll be better without her. By the few writings I've read of yours, it seems like you have your head screwed on in a very thoughtful way. You will quickly bounce back from this sadness of loss. I realise I'm several months late in responding, so you may have already accomplished this.
Do come and hang out here and write some more :)
This is why I want to get a tubal before I get into a long-term marriage.
So they will know that I'm serious and so it won't be a birth control sabotage away from him having legal binding claim to me forever.
Also, I hate children. Have always loathed children, and for me it's not a philosophy thing so much as....I have shit I want to do. I want to own a massive garden, I want to travel the world and go to dangerous places and go backpacking across Europe.
You can't do that with a toddler in tow.
Also sometimes it's the people you're around--if suddenly all your friends are having kids/getting engaged/getting married...you tend to react in some way. When I had an ex who's friends all got engaged to their long-term girlfriends, I got dumped so he didn't have to bring me to any of the weddings. I imagine if she's seeing all the attention that pregnant women/women with children are getting, her reaction was suddenly that she has to leave a "legacy" so she can have attention for it/get praise for it. It's also ingrained in a lot of religious doctrines, that women who aren't homemakers are "lesser".
I honestly am nothing of the sort, and I still have my sights set on owning a tiny apartment in the city, a small cottage in country with a massive orchard and garden, and then maybe, one day, setting up a series of halfway houses for atheist kids/cult victims who need help getting out of their bad situation. I have a lot of dreams, pipe and otherwise, that I'd like to see or try to get to fruitition.
If my biological clock starts ticking I'll probably adopt a brown kid around age 13 because those kids never get adopted. Not brown kids, not kids over the age of 3 months or so--most of those "pro life" people give zero fucks about children who need a chance if they're brown or not a newborn.
Still, I'll never get the "oh no, I haven't produced shitty progeny of my own, thus my life is ruined" idea. I have SHIT genetics. I'm fat, I'm considered ugly, do I WANT to bring a kid into the world that will be subsequently bullied and told that they should kill themselves? NOPE.
I was so happy when I turned 40 because now I don't have to worry about a perfect stranger bugging me about having kids. I still have to worry about perfect strangers bugging me about marriage, though.
I agree agree agree :)
I hope I don't encounter this situation however I make it PERFECTLY clear before I begin dating a man that I don't EVER want children. You can image that my dance card isn't that full, lol.
Nether is mine <fistbump>
It usually tends to be because I bring up the "nope, never want kids, and I fucking hate suburbs" on the first date or while we're still in the chatty stage.
Really weeds out the people who'd otherwise assume I want kids by default.
Also, have you had to deal with the creepers who've already picked out the names of "their future kids" and want like, 4-6 womb invaders and automatically assume they'll be naming the children but not doing any of the actual child care?
FUCK it is creepy. Women who design their wedding dresses are designing dresses for themselves. It's almost like me picking out plastic surgery I want my future husband to get. The choice has nothing to do with me! How do guys get off choosing names/exactly how many kids they want?
I'm getting health insurance soon and that means I'm going to get fixed. He hasn't tried to stop me.