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Should I Leave a Boyfriend Who Doesn’t Want Kids?

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From Mexico: I am engaged to my boyfriend since last year. We’ve been living together for 3 years now and we are most of the time very happy.

The problem is that I think he’s not really sure about getting married and I am worried it is because he had an awful experience with marriage with his ex wife.

He had a 9 years old daughter from his previous marriage but he doesn’t see her right now. She’s been alienatied from her dad since she was a baby and he spend like 3 years fighting in court for his right to visit her, but 5 years ago he decided to step aside because the girl showed very dramatic mood swings.

Last year her daughter ask him to be with him, the agreement was every wednesday and every other weekend. I encouraged him to do it but it turned up really bad. Her mother was always in the middle, telling them what to do in our own house, telling her daughter to insult his father, the girl telling lies about how her father treated her and he paying all his attention to his daughter and I guess I was jealaous.

At the end of the year the girl decided not to come to our house and we are really happy since then. I know he would like to see his daughter but he told me he knew it was the best way to all of us, including her.

The thing is I want to have kids of my own but he doesn’t want to. He says it’s a lot of work to be a parent and that’s not for him. Do you think if this actitude is because of his awful experience?

I love him, but I don’t want to give up to my dream to be a mother nor he does something he doesn’t really want to, specially if there is a child we are talking about.

Should I leave him?

Should I Leave a Boyfriend Who Doesn’t Want Kids?

Answered by on -

A.

I would never tell someone what to do. It is up to you to decide. What I will suggest is this: Your boyfriend has been through a terrible experience as a parent. His heart has been broken by the distance put between him and his daughter. I do understand why he doesn’t want to risk it again.

But there are other ways to handle this besides depriving himself and you of a positive parenting experience. I’m surprised and sad that he and his ex didn’t get some family therapy during their conflicts. It would be better for the child — and for the adults — if the two of them learned to be supportive coparents even though they couldn’t be good partners for each other.

It isn’t too late. For the sake of their daughter’s long term mental health and for her ability to make a positive love relationship in her future, I hope they will consider seeing a therapist now.

If his ex won’t cooperate, he can still go himself. Or the two of you can work with a therapist to help him come to terms with his grief and regain his courage to bring a child into the world with you.

You will be in a better position to make your decision once you see what happens in therapy.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Should I Leave a Boyfriend Who Doesn’t Want Kids?

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). Should I Leave a Boyfriend Who Doesn’t Want Kids?. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 20, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2017/07/29/should-i-leave-a-boyfriend-who-doesnt-want-kids/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.