My Partner Wants to Break Our Commitment to Be Childfree Because of His Mother

Relationships
month ago

Have you ever felt like someone else’s wishes were pulling you in a direction you didn’t want to go? Imagine deciding with your partner not to have kids, only to have that choice turned on its head due to your mother-in-law’s longing for grandchildren. Recently, a young woman found herself in a similar situation and came to the online community for support... In her letter, we’ll explore how tensions created with her fiancé led to a change of course.

She wrote:

«I (29F) have always been open about not wanting children with people from the first date. I don’t want to waste their time nor mine. I met my fiancé (32M) online about 2 years ago. We had a lot in common, including not wanting children. He proposed 4 months ago.

The other night, we went to his parent’s house for dinner. His mother came up with a pregnancy topic, and made clear that she wants a grandchild soon. Every time, the subject of children come up, I usually change it quickly. But this time before I do that, my fiancé answered that we wouldn’t start trying until after the wedding and after buying a house, so that we wouldn’t have to worry about moving while I’m pregnant.

I was extremely surprised, but I figured maybe he hadn’t discussed not wanting children with his family, and he just didn’t want to talk about it yet...»

She continued:

«On our way back home, I asked my fiancé to tell his mother about our initial decision of going childfree to avoid talking about it down the road. To my surprise, he told me that he was no longer sure about not wanting kids. I was shocked and asked him when he changed his mind. He revealed that he was never sure about our initial agreement, and that now he might consider having kids with me. I was really hurt that he lied to me, because I was very clear when we started dating that under NO circumstance whatsoever would I consider having children.

We argued, and he basically told me that he had thought back then that I might change my mind with time. But the real problem was that he didn’t know that I was sterilized at 25... In fact, when I was 22, and despite using birth control, I got pregnant and got an abortion. Afterwards, the stress of that possibly happening again was too much that it began to take a toll on my mental and physical health.

Long story short, after 2 years, I was able to find a gynecologist that understood my situation and accepted to sterilize me. My mental health improved as soon as I had the appointment scheduled, and ever since, I no longer have so much anxiety. This was a year and a half before I met my fiancé. I never told him this story, because I thought it doesn’t matter since he didn’t want children either.

When I finally told him that I actually CAN’T have children, my fiancé got very mad at me for „hiding“ that truth from him, and said he wouldn’t have dated me if he knew about it. But having to mention that I’m sterile is irrelevant to the fact that I don’t want children. I want no adoption, no surrogacy, no step-parenting, I can’t even handle babysitting a kid for 3 mins! That’s why the topic never explicitly came up until now...

Next, he dropped me off at home and went to stay with a friend.»

She added:

«At this point, I am extremely sad... I really do love him, but I was very clear about NOT wanting children from the start, as it has always been a dealbreaker for me. Am I wrong for not telling him the truth about not being able to have children? I’ve actually gotten messages from his friends saying that I am, while others are on my side that it didn’t matter. I’m confused and feel lost.»

Others joined in on the online platform to support her.

  • If your fiancé was this duplicitous about the topic of parenting, he’d likely discount your opinion on other important life decisions. Where to live, financial arrangements, family interactions, etc. He didn’t even credit your intelligence or rights to choose enough to put up a front when his family questioned him. Don’t let anyone try to put the blame for this on you, HE is the one at fault here, not you! © Hekatiko / Reddit
  • You were very clear you didn’t want children. That you are sterilized is irrelevant. If you changed your mind, you could still adopt. But you aren’t interested in changing your mind, so it doesn’t matter if you’re sterilized or not, it’s a no-child zone.
    He’s the one guilty here for telling you something and not meaning it. For planning a marriage based on a deception. For not even once thinking he needed to discuss this again. And for having the nerve to think you’re in the wrong on this for believing him all this time. Better to find that out now than after you’ve bound yourself to him legally. © Eve-3 / Reddit
  • Please be super careful about your fiancé just telling you what you want to hear at this point. It’s not your fault that he never took you seriously from the start. He should be angry at himself for wasting his own time, when you were openly decided about the kids topic from the very beginning, and he chose to continue the relationship based off the assumption you would change your mind. This is not your fault! © fuzzy_ladybug / Reddit
  • What I am hearing is he’s mad he won’t be able to convince you to have children now. He heard you say you never wanted kids but figured that was the start to a negotiation. You have no reason to feel guilty about it. You already told him you don’t want to have kids.
    Why would you need to go into detail as to how that can’t happen. It doesn’t matter. You should pack his stuff, and tell him it’s ready for pickup. Any person that wants to try and guilt trip you or try to gaslight you isn’t worth wasting any more time on. Just find someone that will accept your truth! © Fabulous-Shallot1413 / Reddit
  • You’re not guilty! You don’t want kids and were honest about it! You got sterilized, that’s how certain you are. You could have been ambiguous, and said you were infertile, you gave him 100% truth.
    If someone says they don’t want kids from the get go, listen to them. So many people «think» the other person will change, and want kids at some stage or when they come along... They never do. © SmurfetteIsAussie / Reddit

In many relationships, the dynamics between a spouse and their MIL can create tension and contribute to marital discord. Here’s yet another example where a mother-in-law indirectly influenced a couple, who were otherwise deeply in love, to split up.

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