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Thread: What about kids?

  1. #1
    emmiegirl Guest

    What about kids?

    Sorry if this has been covered, but I am new. I have been in a relationship with (and totally in love with) a man 24 years my senior since I was 20, 7 years ago. It has been a roller coaster ride...mutual loathing between him and my parents, lack of support from friends, ex-wife issues, etc. We have managed to make it through all of these things with joy, love and humor. We got engaged in 2001, but I broke it off because now, at 27, I want to have a child with him. He doesn't want kids, ever. I love him so much, but am at a total loss. I do not think this would be as much of an issue if we were the same age. I just don't want to be a 50 year old widow, totally isolated from my family and alone. He doesn't want kids because he wants my undivided attention. He says he loves me and wants me to be happy, so I should leave and find what I want in life. Well, I want him, but I also want a family. Am I being unreasonable? Is he? Should I give up children for love? Should I give up the love of my life for the possibility of finding love again?
    Please help.

  2. #2
    Patricia Guest
    Children are a very serious relationship issue which should never be overlooked when choosing a life partner. It sounds like your guy wants to be your child himself. He seems to be too self-interested to fulfill a relationship with you, which would be fine if you felt the same way. A child is a bonding product of the love of two people. It is obvious that you really want that fulfillment in order to complete your love circle. He doesn't and has told you to leave because he is not interested in having a child with you. I think you should follow your heart and search for a man as caring as you are who will give you a family.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
    MerAlove23 Guest
    If child bearing means that much to you and I know that it does I can feel it as I read.... No you shouldn't settle for what HE wants....... You may want to talk to him and tell him that if things work out like normal and he passes on first that you want to have a child to live through him... maybe that means having one child instead of two or three as a compromise but if you also want more that's not bad either....... I Honeslty t hink if you want children you should because if you don't because of him now then you will regret it for the rest of your life....do NOT make a harsh decsision because remember you need to live by it

  4. #4
    emmiegirl Guest
    Thank you so much for your thoughtful responses.

    I just wrote a long reply, but it didn't post, so I will sum up by saying that I have tried everything on this topic, and am even willing to compromise on having my own biological child (adopting instead because one of his issues is zero population growth). Still nothing though. Since we have been through so much, probably all of the issues that you are all bringing up...parental disapproval, friend disapproval, long distance for 2 years, etc...I thought that we could make it through anything. I guess I was wrong. He and I love each other so much, and are so profoundly connected, so I cannot even imagine walking away from him and from love. I guess I was looking for just one person to tell me that love is the most important thing and to not let it go now that I have found it, even if it means giving certain things up. I don't think I am going to hear that. I have never sought advice on any topis before this, but this is the first time I have been absolutely torn apart and had no idea what to so. Even the decision to start the relationship was an easy one. There really wasn't any other choice. It was like magic, or some universal force pushing us together, contrary to all reason. The thing that hurts the most about all of this is that I am willing to give him everything...financial support through his retirement, care in his latter years, love and companionship, everything...if he would just give me this one thing. It hurts knowing that he would rather give me up completely than share my attention with our child. I guess this means I will no longer be a part of an "ageless" couple.

    For those of you starting out, I wish you all the happiness in the world. I know from experience what it is like to love someone with your whole heart, even if it looks ridiculous to the rest of the world. My situation has been especially difficult for my family and friends to understand...I am ivy league educated, earn a 6 figure salary, and am in love with a man old enough to be my father who earns 1/2 my income. Everyone who I talk to thinks there must be something wrong with me..."Is he like your dad?" No. He is not. I have a great dad who I get along with and love very much. Thanks for trying. Don't let people change your mind. If the love is right, then you will know it with 100% of your heart and nothing else matters. Even though no one could understand it, our love worked until this child issue came up. If he would have a child with me, I would be the happiest person on earth, and would be by his side for the rest of his life.

    For the men, don't let fear destroy your relationship. Fear really hurt us. He was always afraid that I would leave him for someone younger, more collegiate, with an inheritance. I don't really want anything but a life and a family with him. You have to trust in your love and realize that there are no guarantees regardless of age. If she loves you, she will not leave. Fear caused him to hold back for a long time, and caused him to push me away too. Don't let that happen to you.

    Thanks again. I am not sure what to do now. But I have a feeling it will involve breaking 2 hearts.

  5. #5
    Happy4Me Guest

    Emmie, I am sorry

    about what is going on with you. But there are some things that need to be made clear, here. What I am about to say isn't the most popular statement in the world and it is highly likely that it will get taken the wrong way, however, I personally believe it to be true. Now, keep in mind that saying this is certainly easier than putting it into practice.

    Do whatever you have to do in life to make yourself happy. Do NOT "sacrifice" anything for anyone else unless you have the ability to forget about taking score. One should never, EVER say "Well, I sacrifice this for YOU, so you need to sacrifice something for ME." That is not compromise. That is one giving into another's demands as payment for "sacrifice." True sacrifice does not look toward what they are going to get back in the end.

    Another thing about sacrifice is that people seem to believe that it will bring them good karma. You know, the whole "one good turn deserves another..." kind of thing. "Scratch my back, I'll scratch yours.." That sentiment isn't pure. If you sacrifice things solely because you expect (conciously or sub-conciously) something in return, it's not a "good" thing for you.

    I've come to realize that the best thing a person can do for themselves and others around them is to do what makes YOU happy. Look toward goals for yourSELF, reach them and be happy with yourself. A person who fulfills their own needs is a much better partner than someone who sits around thinking that their needs are going to be met by someone else's sacrifice. That doesn't mean that you should be careful about other's feelings or wants or needs, but just that you should be strong in the area of being self-focused without being selfish.

    That being said, don't take that as "If you want a baby, go have one..." What that means is, take your desire to have a child; remove everyone else (your parents, your boyfriend, the rest of the world) from the equation and how strong your desire is.

    If it's your biological clock or even your heart that is driving you to have a child; and it's so loud that you can't ignore it; then you have some choices to make. If you want a child for the sake of having a child, then you need to take some time to think about what you want and need. Just because you love this man very much doesn't mean that you are destined to be together. Even if the world turned itself on its ear to get you two together, that doesn't mean you will be staying together. It might mean that he was what you needed at the time, to grow, love and learn. If you want a child that badly, then you need to free yourself up to find someone who is not only good to you and loves you, but that has similar goals as well.

    Now, if you think about all of that with all outside parties removed from the equation, and you're "not sure" or if you see that you don't just want a child for the sake of having a child, but that you want a child with HIM and him only, then the both of you need to talk some more about this issue. If he is solid about his decision, then thank him. At least he knows what he wants. You can't force fatherhood on a man - especially a man who seems to want all of your attention. It is completely unfair to the CHILD (who will have no say in this, whatsoever) to risk him/her having a father that doesn't want them or will resent thier presence.

    I wish you lots of luck and love. I'll be praying that things work out for you.

    Love,
    Happy

  6. #6
    emmiegirl Guest

    Thanks

    Danika, and everyone else.
    I know you are all 100% right, but unfortunately, that doesn't relieve much of the pain right now. This is hurting both of us so much, and while he is outwardly trying to be a gentleman by allowing me to go, I can see that inside he is just as torn apart as I am.
    It really doesn't seem fair.

    As I said before, Danika, if you or any of the other 20-somethings need/want any advice from me, I am happy to give it. I was in your shoes only a few years ago, and I understand many of the issues you are facing.

    As a matter of background, I starting dating my OM when I was 20, and living on the east coast going to college. He was on the west coast. After college, I returned to the west coast for graduate school, and while we were not in the same immediate area, we were still close enough to see each other more frequently. He was married before he met me, but split from his wife about 1 year before we started dating (although I am still not exactly sure on the timing here...he was always a bit vague). His divorce was not final until we had been dating a full 4 years. This was a sore point for us. He claimed that he couldn't get it finalized because of various financial reasons. I was angry with this because he remained friendly with his ex, and kept her moderately in the dark about me.

    I was 100% into the relationship from the beginning. When we first got together, it was so amazing, almost love at 1st sight. We both tried to talk ourselves out of it, but realized that was futile fairly quickly. My feelings for him (being totally, head-over-heels madly in love) have never faded. Still when I see him, I just melt, when I'm in the same room with him, I have to be touching him, when I'm away from him for any length of time, I feel like I'm missing an arm or something. I never thought it was possible to feel this way about someone.
    He was always afraid I would leave him. It took him about 5 years to realize that I want no man other than him.
    But, then this child issue came up. I want a family. He says a family can be 2 people, which I agree with, but I can't help wanting more than that. As was said in an earlier post, I want to complete my circle of love.
    Throughout all of this, I got huge opposition from my family. My father kept mentioning killing him (he never would do it, but that's how he felt). When he and I became engaged, and I was so excited and brimming with happiness, my mother looked at me and told me that I was making the biggest mistake of my life.
    Thanks for the support guys.

    My point is, I know what you all are going through. I have been there. Good luck to all of you. There are some unique issues in age gap relationships, and I hope that you can overcome them. Love is such a beautiful thing, regardless of its package, and the world is a better place because of it.

    Emmiegirl

  7. #7
    Meg Guest
    Patricia, we are all different people who want different things in life. I think you were a bit harsh.

    Not wanting kids does not make someone “too self-interested to fulfill a relationship.” It seems to me if your reasons for having a child are to have a “bonding product” or “complete your love circle,” or even to "fufill a relationship," something isn't quite right. The desire (or lack there of) is not a measure of ones ability to “care” as you implied.

    Emmiegirl-
    This man was honest from the get go. He said he doesn't want kids, and if this is something important to you, you need to make other plans. He has obviously thought through is position and now you need to do the same. I know this is hard, but as an attorney earning six figures you are very good at looking at the facts of a situation and dealing with them appropriately. What do you want more? It sounds like the answer is kids. So now you know what you need to do, as painful as it might be.

    I know I have just been very blunt, but those are the facts. The philosophy of “all we need is love” is bunk. Reality needs to play a huge part in things when we choose out partners. Turning on our hearts does not mean we turn off our brains. Love isn’t a trap we fall into, it is a decision we make.

    For the record, I am one of those people who are childless by choice. I have not regretted that decision once in my 37 years. We will see what the next 37 years will bring, but for now I am quite content and don’t see that changing. This is the right decision FOR ME.

    Danika was right. Being a 50-year-old isolated widow is something to consider. Again, that reality thing. But having children does not guarantee you won’t die alone.

    To be clear Emmie, I do not think you are wrong to want children. That is a sincere desire of your heart, and this is a difficult situation. I feel for you. I was always afraid of falling in love with someone who wanted children as much as you do. While not privy to the plans of the universe, I don’t think we get only one chance at love. Good luck with your decision.

    Meg

  8. #8
    MerAlove23 Guest
    I don't think Patricia was harsh at all... She is just saying that it is a serious issue which needs to be heard and corrected by which ever method she chooses..... She should NOT settle for no if she wants kids.... she should honestly look into her heart and figure out what she needs to do...If my fiance tells me he doesn't want kids then I am OUT the door..... They are extremely important to me... there is NOTHING wrong with being childless either... it's all descisions we make in life doesn't mean it's wrong or right but what is GOOD for you.... So I think we are all giving valid points and this site is for support and thoughts..doesn't mean anyone here should take our words as we are GOD and that our words are set in stone we just help the process.....

    If you want kids and it is that important you shouldnt settle at alll.... YOu don't want to regret it later on in life you can NOT turn back the clocks.....

  9. #9
    emmiegirl Guest
    I agree with what everyone is saying. This is a very hard decision, primarily because neither decision is right or wrong in an of itself. Yes, there are intellectual decisions and decisions of the heart, and here I have a combination of the two. Intellectually, I know that I should move on and find someone who wants the same things I do. But my heart tells me that I am supposed to be with him and have a child with him. Essentially, I want something that does not exist. I realize that. And while I am all about standing up for myself and what I need, this is still the hardest decision I have ever had to make.

    Danika, he and I talk about this everyday. We have both basically begged each other to change our minds. He wants me to be happy with just him, and I want him to see things my way. Yes, he has been very clear from the beginning that he never wants children. When we first got started, I was only 20, and I wasn't really sure, so I almost "grew up" convincing myself that I didn't want children either. But now I do, and no matter how hard I have tried to convince myself that a child-free life with him would be fulfilling and would bring me happiness, my desire resurfaces. So, here I am.

    I am doing ok under the circumstances. I am very sad, and I think it will get worse before it gets better, but I will survive.

    Also, everyone go ahead and post whatever you think needs to be said. Do not worry about sounding harsh. I think this forum is great, and sometimes I really do need and appreciate the reality check.

    I hope none of you ever have to go through this. It sucks!

  10. #10
    dmbdmo Guest
    Stating "Happy4Me"'s response a little differently "love should never be a bargaining chip." In any relationship, be it work, family or love, you have to have two people wanting the same thing or else it will not work.

  11. #11
    morag_phin Guest
    Hi Emmie,

    I've been following your thread. I'm so sorry you are facing such a difficult decision. I think I am probably one of the older (younger) women on the board. I always wanted children and I am blessed because I had children before I met my OM. I think that a future without him would be very difficult if I didn't have my love for my kids.

    I think we all must follow our hearts when it comes to issues like having/not having children. Really... only you can arrive at the right decision for you... I just wanted to throw in my 2 cents of support. You seem to be a very thoughtful young woman... I'm sure you will do what is best.

  12. #12
    Spunkasaurus Guest

    Princes that turn into frogs and vice versa

    Emmiegirl, you have posted such astoundingly good replies to other peoples' problems that I just had to come searching for your original post - because I thought, "whatever problem she's got, surely she can answer it very adequately herself."

    But once again, wise people like you can only be knocked askew when under the mercurial spell of "the love state."

    Because that "love state" has little objectivity, rationality and cool clear-headedness. The "love state" is a creature all its own and when mixed with logic and reason can promote madness, intense emotions, confusion... can beguile and inspire and even delude and consume, all at the same time.

    I think the very heart of your problem is this statement:

    He and I love each other so much, and are so profoundly connected...
    Nope.

    There should be a warning label on all relationships.

    BEWARE: Project intense desires and expectations onto the other person at your own peril.

    I would bet that quite a bit of your supposed total synchronicity with your guy is projection.

    I am fighting a losing battle convincing you of that because the "love state" has you in a grip far stronger than anything I can provide. But I'll bumble on, just the same.

    What if I told you he was NOT in the same place that you are?

    You want him to be, I know. You want very hard. But he's not.
    To you, you are connected in exactly 999,999 ways bar ONE. And if you had that extra one, you would be the perfect total organism of love.

    What if I told you that the missing link actually has a ripple effect right back through those other 999,999 supposed connections and changes them on such a profoundly sub-atomic level that if you studied them under an electron microscope you would be VERY SURPRISED at how different your total connection actually was?

    Let's imagine that we are DNA. We can't see each other, all we are are sequences of CODE.

    My CODE appears just about identical to you in every possible way. There's just one tiny sequence different. It's INCREDIBLE! We are SO MATCHED, so CONNECTED, bar this one, seemingly insignificant thing.

    You say, if only that one sequence was the same, and we could manifest ourselves physically, we would be EVERYTHING TOGETHER!

    Yes, that may be true. But let's manifest ourselves physically NOW - with this tiny hiccup difference that doesn't seem too much.

    *Poof*

    You are a six foot tall gorgeous amazon woman and I am a squealing mouse scurrying around on the floor.

    Emmiegirl, your DNA of *LOVE* is a beautiful relationship which produces a child as a manifestation of that love.

    His DNA of *LOVE* is a beautiful relationship which does not.

    AT YOUR PERIL think that you were so close it was heart-breakingly near to perfection, because away from the "love state" - in the cold hard light of the laboratory, it appears quite clearly that YOUR idea of perfect love is as different to his as a six foot amazon to a mouse.

  13. #13
    emmiegirl Guest

    Spunk,

    Thank you so much for your reply. I think you are right, that I am definitely in a haze when it comes to my relationship. In fact, I tell myself, often multiple times daily, that if I would just take my own advice, my life would be a breeze. You are also right in your assessment that I am normally very rational, level-headed, with two feet planted firmly on the ground. When it comes to him though, I am a mess. I knew that from the beginning, when I (willingly) threw all logic aside and started a relationship that made no sense whatsoever, because it was the undeniable desire of my heart. I have been rational in ALL of the decisions in my life except for this one, I always do my best to do the right thing. This is just too hard for me.

    About the projection part, I think you are partially right. I am sure I project some of my feelings to an exent, but I think that everyone does. With regard to my point that were do love each other very much and are profoundly connected, I don't think that is projection. That actually came out of his mouth. Still, your analogy of the amazon woman vs the mouse is certainly compelling. But a woman and a mouse are still pretty different than a woman who wants a child and a man who doesn't. And you are right that my idea of perfect love is him with a child, and his is just the two of us; but I am still trying to come to a solution that will make us both happy, together.

    Not surprisingly, we have been talking about this issue a lot lately. His point is that he wants me, just me, and that is all he has ever wanted. He has a lot of fear about bringing a child into the relationship (because of his subideal relationship with his own father, but mainly fear of changing the dynamics of our relationship, i.e., that I would love the child more than I love him). He wants me to find other ways of having children in my life, like through volunteerism or other similar options. He is trying very hard to get me to change my mind, and I still am not sure.

    I really do not know what I am trying to say. As I said above, I am much better about giving advice than taking it. On paper, this is an easy decision, but my heart is involved, and so is his, and every time I think about leaving, I get this huge knot in my throat and I can't even breathe. I have tried everything, (even flipping a coin!) and still nothing seems 100% right to me. Because I am usually so good at making decisions, this one has really thrown me.

    Anyway, I guess I have met my match. Life is about learning and growth afterall. And the saying does say that "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger." Maybe after all is said and done, I'll look something like that amazon woman you described in your post...

  14. #14
    emmiegirl Guest
    Jocelyne,

    I am so sorry to hear about your fiance. It sounds like he was a a very loving, wonderful person.

    Puts things in perspective for the rest of us, I think. Life is fragile, love is precious. I hope that knowing how much he loved you brings you joy and hope.

    Emmie

  15. #15
    Spunkasaurus Guest

    Spring Chickens

    On the plus side too, Emmie, I think from memory you are only 27.

    27 to you might seem like the end of the world - or your social environment, the people around you might have you feeling pressure at 27 - but you have a year or two or EIGHT or even twelve up your sleeve.

    Actually, a very good friend of mine had a child post 40 and she's ecstatic, the boy's great (he's over two now) and things couldn't be happier for her.

    Your situation would be a lot different if you were going through this in your late 30's, so at least whilst you're tossing and turning, take some of the pressure off yourself, relax a bit - see what transpires, because even if it doesn't feel like it, one of your great GIFTS right now is that you DO have time on your side, even though part of you is probably telling you that you don't.

    I'm sure there's many women from the other side of the board who have had the pressure-cooker and perhaps agonizing experience of "letting go" the fact that they would NEVER now have a baby - so to you, spring chicken - don't unreasonably place too much added pressure on yourself.

    You are in the wonderful Shangri-la place of *YOUTH* and *CHOICE*.

    Relax!

    If the worry is because of HIS age, then you are wanting him to do something NOW that he has no interest in - and that as a consequence defines the state of your love together.

    You know it, I know you know it - I think the hardest thing for people who know it is to act on their own advice.

    Also Emmie, your seemingly innocuous little post, hidden away on this ageless love website, with the title "What about kids?" is in fact the BIG ISSUE, the BIGGEST ISSUE, the BIG JUGGERNAUT in these types of relationships. You can talk about all the other stuff, seek advice on this and that till we're all blue in the face, there is no bigger DEAL-BREAKER than this.

    You are right at the FULCRUM. You are at the epicenter of an issue that defines the nature of why men and women fundamentally get together. No wonder you're confused.

    That title "What about kids?" should be in BOLD and have it's very own section.

    What about kids? It does not get any bigger than that.

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