Childless by Choice

25 Mar

Dear LetterBalm: My boyfriend and I have been together for eight months, and we’re very much in love and compatible. Everything is great except for one big thing I haven’t told him. I really don’t want children. I don’t want to be a mom. I’ve been afraid to tell him because he might think I’m selfish and weird – every woman should want kids, right? Well, he and I are growing closer and in fairness to him, I need to say something, even if it causes him to break up with me. How can I broach the subject?

–No Kids 

You don’t have to defend your choice to Ms. L.B. She understands that there are as many variations on families as there are human beings. She also believes a family can be two spouses or partners without children. You need to make it clear to your man that you are firm about your decision and that you are willing to take responsibility for your life choice, even if, in being fair to him, you lose him. It’s imperative he know this now because your decision is part of who you are. It might be better to have your talk in a restful, neutral place where both of you are comfortable – outdoors in a park, for instance. Stay calm and centered:

Tyrese, there’s something I have to tell you, and it’s better you hear it before too much time passes. These months together have been wonderful. I’ve never met someone as kind and manly as you. I think you agree that we are very good together. But I need to say something before we move forward to the next level, and I’m afraid you’re going to take it badly. I don’t want you to think I’m jumping the gun, but I need to be fair and honest with you. In simple terms, I don’t want kids. From the time I was young, I realized that motherhood and children never have interested me. I decided early on that I didn’t want to be a mom, and I won’t change my mind about this. It’s nonnegotiable. You need to decide whether this makes a difference to you. This is such a big shock, that I understand it could be a dealbreaker for us. You need time to think about this – I want to hear what you have to say.

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