Childless/Child free?

First of all I dislike the terms I just used but they are what is said about what I would like to talk about. I am in my early 40's and have a wonderful partner but we are not actively trying to have children. He had cancer and is diabetic & 45 which combined with my age lessens our chance to conceive. We don't use any protection against pregnancy and we have agreed we are in a committed relationship for keeps. He said if we do get pregnant he would definately be responsible to me and his baby. Saying that- I still don't believe this will ever happen after being together for years and it never happened.

I just started thinking about how I never will be a mother. And I am not upset or not happy- just really letting it sink in now. My boyfriend says we have each other and our 'pets' so we will be okay. I actually was pregnant when I was a teenager from a man who violently assaulted me and fractured my skull, dislocated my jaw and shoulder. I still need to drink with a straw even now - over 22 years later. I just say this because I know hat it was like to be pregnant. I miscarried at 3 months after a lot of doctor's concerns to begin with. Apparently from the ultra sounds they could tell it was not growing. That ordeal is best safed for another post- but I think it is relivant to this one in the sense of I had the experience of carrying a child decades ago. So I don't have a romanized dreamy ideal of what it would be like.

However it is an important realization when you know you never will be a mother. Does anyone else relate? I read there is a new stat of as many as 1 in 5 women now will never have biological children. It does set the tone for the rest of my life. I just have to accept the choice is not even mine to make anymore. And I think I am okay with that most of the time now.

33 Replies

  • Hi, I agree that not having a child is sometimes a choice and in my view a valid one. From what you are saying that is not what is happening here. Correct me if I'm wrong but your attitude is; if we get pregnant then Ok, but if not and you seam to feel it is unlikely then that is OK too. The thing that you appear to be dealing with is the realisation that getting pregnant may not happen and you may never have a biological child. This is a really big thing. To not have a child through choice is one thing to have the choice taken away is another. You seem to have a good understanding of your situatio, there will of course be feelings around that. I guess the next step is working out what those feelings are. Is this a relief? Is this a loss? Is it a mixture? Are there other feelings? It would be understandable to fear a pregnancy given its associations for you. It is understandable to fear pregnancy anyway, with the changes that brings to your body. There is are advantages to not having children and some people are very happy in the role of Aunt or godmother. There are possibilities of fostering or adoption or surrogacy if you want to take that emotionally charged route. I wonder if it is this maybe place that is a challenge. Help is out there in working out how you feel and where you want to go. People can and do live very happy and full lives without children. You have what sounds like a lovely person to share your life with. I really wish you well in discovering your future.

  • Thank-you for your reply! You really hit all the points I was trying to make to how I was contemplating the sides of this topic. It is a mixture for sure. But it is sort of like swimming - either I am in the pool or not. I would have to be so dedicated and sure what we wanted before I could even begin the adoption or foster care applications. My boyfriend is an only child and I am timezones away from my siblings. We don't even keep in touch on holidays and I never met their children. So neither of us can be an Aunt or Uncle actively. We are also older and the next 20 years might be more about my partner preparing for retirement than him truly wanting to starting the most important responsibility of our lives. Also he did have cancer and had a kidney removed last year- and he is a life-time long diabetic. So we may not be the best choice for any child just because we know his cancer may come back. I really appeciate the depth of your reply. It is so hard to explain this issue with many people. Because many people say they felt maternal/paternal urges so strong they would be devastated to hear they could not have kids. I heard of women breaking up with men and vs because of one partner changing their mind. One of my boyfriend's best friends ended his own marriage after 7 months because his new wife changed her mind totally and said she did not want kids. That man is 46 now and divorced for maybe 10 years. And since that time he never had a serious relationship with anyone else. I wonder if deep down he now regrets it because he is childless now which would of happened if he stayed with his wife or not. I wonder about those ladies who breakup with partners they already wanted to start a family with- and he says no to kids- so he breaks up with him hoping to find someone who does. I don't know anyone personally that is female that did that. There is no doubt in my mind I want to be with my partner no matter what his stance is on this issue. But it must be very very difficult for men like his best friend to end a marriage over this. She married another man and still chooses not to have kids. So her decision must of been the right choice for her. And her ex husband who wanted to have kids stayed single for 10 years and still had no kids. Such a complicated issue with so many variables. No one knows the future for sure!

  • Hi You described a situation that happened to a friend of mine. She ended a relationship because she wanted children and he didn't. She is married to a man who has grown up children and is enjoying being a Grandmother. It is always there though but she has found a way to live with it. I agree that with children you are either in or out. It is such a good attitude to have. It sounds as if you and your partner have a lot going on due to his health. There are other ways to be involved with children, such as volunteering at schools or sure start centers. It can be rewarding in itself but also allow you to consider which path you choose to take. It is acceptable in society to want children to the point where it engages sympathy or disdain if you choose not to. This can make it difficult. I feel that it is better for a child to be loved. Cared for and wanted, rather than giving in to pressure. I wish you well in the decisions you have.

  • Thank-you🌷

  • Hi,

    I am unsure from what you write whether you do actively want to have children, but if you do you might consider short term fostering of babies before they are adopted as that would not involve the very long term commitment which might be difficult for your partner. It's just another thought to consider.


  • Yes you are right on that - thank-you.💐

  • Have you conisdered adoption there are lots of kids out there who need parents and will bring the joy you desire to your life. Youll give them a chance at a good life and get them out of the cycle of fostering and being in childrens homes.

  • Thank-you for your reply Phoenix. I agree adoption and fostering are wonderful ideas for anyone to consider if they are able to provide them with a loving home. I have thought for foreign exchange student as well. But my partner and I would really want to give our all to any of these options if we decided to explore them. At this time my partner has no priority to actively see our a parental role.

  • I can understand that and I wish you both all the luck in the world getting the child you desire.

  • Thank- you for your kind thoughts.🌷

  • Sorry just seen your adoption comment, didn't mean to pour cold water, of course adoption is a valid and kind, selfless option.


  • I understand what you meant. Sometimes people being helpful offer advice you know they themselves would ever take. :)

  • Hi

    I cant have kids :-) The little bleeders (sorry if you're not a Brit its a term of indearment, sort of).

    My story like you is I was pregnant at 18 lost the baby, Im a bit older than you and spent the last 2 and half years with a d*ck who thought it was funny to waste my time. He was infertile. But heres the rub, if he had not wasted my time I could have been artificially inseminated with someone else's sperm and eggs (apparently mine are too and conceived that way. I may be too old for that now, so just wanted to let you know you have odd options with artificial insemination bizarrely.

    With or without kids my life is never going to boring and that's more important to me, even if I have hard times, I can bare boredom :-) brings out the absolute worst in me and I only get into trouble :-)

    I suppose it depends what you want from children, I don't think a child 'would complete me' or my life, might be fun? I don't know but I do know once you have them its for life and what I see is parents constantly worrying and I have enough worry.

    Now really I don't wish to upset anyone and I would like to say this is the exception rather than the rule, but rarely, but sometimes a parent will lose a child through no fault of their own, so maybe a toddler, young child, teenager or maybe even an adult and I dont think Id like to go through that.

    So lets look at what we gain, less worry, less financial worry, more freedom to move around as you wish, you are ONLY responsible for you (which is a big deal).

    As my sisters kindly said " could always adopt", like they would even consider the idea if there were no men on the earth and all that was left was adoption... ha ha.

    Im fine either way, I think in life there are few absolutes and if you don't get a sprog it doesn't make you a lesser person. We live in an age where not only is it acceptable but in large cities loads of people don't have kids.

    Choose to per sue it with gusto or shelve it would be my advice. Either way your life is your life and well it will unfold in it's own way I suppose. My advice would be just persue happiness, hunt it down and experience it whenever and however you can :-)


  • Thank-you so much for your detailed and personal reply. It is very dishonest for someone not to reveal they are infertile if they know it and they know their partner wants a baby. There was options there for you if he only let you know. I think about my boyfriend's friend who divorced his wife after she did a complete turn around on wanting kids 7 months into their marriage. If she could not have kids I think they would still be together even if they never adopted or explored other options. It is the dishonesty that hurts the most. They have a North American term calls DINK- double income no kids-. And I have met one couple who I hardly knew but proudly told me what they were for some reason. It is good we live an age where things are more acceptable. Back in my grandmother's age people like me would be classified as an Old Maid. And also it would be scandalous I am having relations with my boyfriend and not being married. I heard of things like women/girls being in the family way and having to get married in the porch of the church because of it. So sad and so wrong.

  • We have been together now since 1978 and due to my condition been possibly genetic and medically retired from work we decided then not too have children, although it would have possibly been nice.

    We travelled a great deal all over the world and had many hair raising adventures throughout the Middle and Far East so our lives have been full in different ways to having a family

    Sometimes it just is not to be and we deal the cards given too us.


  • So true Bob. Thank-you. I have a feeling my boyfriend would be very content to have a relaxing retirement with no financial commitments like a child would bring us. Had we been together in our late 20's things may have been different. Life gives you lemons you make lemonade, right?😀

  • So true we have Pax now and before Pip the latter was a Pat Dog in Mental Health.

    Dogs seem to fill in that gap although Pax is to independent to make a good Pat Dog


  • I understand what you are saying as I am 61 and never had kids. Nearly all my female friends do and many have grandkids now. I find I can't offer any opinion on kids as I get jumped on with - 'How do you know? You have never had kids'. Or 'It's different when you have one'. So I shut up now and don't say anything which leaves me shut out of many of their discussions and plans.

    At least you have a long term partner - I never even had that. x

  • Thank-you for your reply and sharing how you feel. The comments on how others make of us about how we don't know anything because we don't have kids ourselves is not a nice thing to hear. It is like we don't belong to their secret club of knowledge or something! The only thing I am grateful for about being pregnant when I was a teenager - which is a secret about me hardly anyone knows- is that I know myself what it was like even for 3 months to be pregnant. It demystifies some of the Hallmark card sentiments I have heard about it. I am very lucky at have a partner right now. Took me almost 40 years to meet someone acts like they care about me. Honestly this is the first boyfriend I had that never called me names or hit me. He doesn't even yell at me. Sounds pathetic to many people I should feel so lucky to have someone who doesn't hurt me- but really before that is all I have known.

  • Very funnily I have a child and parents with more than one tells me the same thing how would you know you only have one and how hard it is for them and I answer back that if you couldn't handle more than one you shouldn't have more than one it was your choice so don't complain

  • Yes that is true!

  • Hi I've gone through my life never wanting children, the maternal instinct or biological clock never started ticking with me. I always enjoyed other people's children e.g. Nieces and nephews but also enjoyed giving them back again. I have enjoyed a good life my ex husband was like me and didn't want children. My new partner is younger than me and has never wanted children either. However on a few occasions lately we have both said if it happens it happens. I think we probably have a romantic notion and in reality it would probably turn our life upside down. I'm thinking at my age it's highly unlikely as now 50. My attitude is probably selfish as I may just be fearful the chance of motherhood has passed me bye. I think it's the same for him also as having lived a batchelor lifestyle and now 45 he's thinking about it. I think there comes a point in some of our lives we get fearful and think this is it! I've thought about this very hard recently and realised if I really wanted children I would have done something about it a long time ago and same for my partner. I hope this helps, I just thought I would share my experience with you. Wish you all the best whatever you decide to do. It's a very personal decision. Only you know if you can cope and if that is what you really want. For me personally my partner is enough, I never thought I would find love again, and I'm so grateful we have each other :). Some people do not even have that xx

  • Goodness thank-you for your reply. You sound like you had the same experience as me down to the tee. Also congratulations on finding your true love! I share that too finding him later in life. I never thought I would meet someone at all. Being in our age bracket does come with certain bonuses of wisdom and experience in life. All the little things that bothered me when I was younger just don't seem to happen anymore. It is nice to hear from another- if it happens it happens- couple. Thank-you so much for sharing, kind wishes and advice. 💐

  • Your welcome Aspen :) xx

  • I must confess I can never pretend to understand your situation and I ask your forgiveness if my story is nothing like yours or not as poignant as your situation. When I became pregnant at 25 ( already married) we were disappointed since we had just started our life and was not ready to have a child (also we had an arranged marriage and knew each other for 3 months) long story short I lost the baby when I was 37 weeks pregnant. Two years later we had a beautiful girl after a hectic pregnancy. After that my husband balked at the thought of going thru that again I begged fought but to no avail then I hit 30 had an eye surgery and then gradually my health headed South have ra my girl is 10 my husband does regret not having more kids and he knows how I feel esp since my daughter wants siblings now it will never happen and I have accepted that decision though my heart stops when I see babies I know my situation is different but the choice is taken from my hand coz I know I will not be able to look after the child. The decision I think should not be about you or your husband but about the child will you be able to look after him/ her ? As someone who lost both her parents before 15 death can come knocking even if you are as healthy as an ox. It is both of yours decision think of everything. My friends always tells me that it's a crime that I don't have more kids coz I am a mummy. I can have one more child the doctors will help but I can't be selfish by putting that child thru hell to fulfil my desire

    Wish you all the best in making your decision also you and your partner are a great team.

  • Thank-you Jinirules for sharing such a personal and truly sad story. Loosing your parents so young sounds extremely painful too. Someone like you sounds like such a lovely true mom putting the thought of your child as a priority. When my partner had cancer last year I felt that it also would b unfair to bring a child into our lives knowing he may have a lengthy illness and may even die. I hope there is someway you will regain your health enough to feel confident you personally are ready to have another child. People who think like you sound like they would be the best parents. I do not have the maternal instinct when I see children so I feel that their must be something wrong with me. I care for orphaned wildlife and do rescue work- but part of me always hesitated to make choices that may lead to have children. And now I am 41. It is very heartbreaking to think of someone like yourself not having a choice to have further children. Sincerely even if it takes some sort of miracle healing I hope you regain your health and do have another baby one day.❤️

  • Thank you very much. My mom died of cancer 25 years ago so I know hard it is going thru that horrible time, hope the cancer will never come back I know people who have successfully beaten it Keep faith and hope.

  • Hi I thank you for sharing your story, I bet you are a wonderful mother to the child you have. I'm so glad you did not give into pressure to have another and you should not feel guilty for that. Families and friends can sometimes be a source of pressure but only you and your husband know if you can cope. I see you are in an arranged marriage I hope it is a happy one. Xx

  • Thank you for your lovely comments. Yes I am in a happy marriage I chose to have an arranged marriage it was much easier than finding someone myself

  • Hi Aspen, I too am an animal lover. I have a gorgeous black and white fluffy cat called Maggie Mae.she is my baby and I luv her too bits. Lost my two boy cats a few years ago within 2 months of each other, one was 17 and the other. 18 and it nearly killed me . They were my kids, people who have kids and no animals probably won't understand that :(

  • I am very sorry for the sad loss of your boy cats. Maggie Mae sounds beautiful! My boyfrien also has a tuxedo cat he adores. My boyfriend said he has three important things in his life- his mom, his cat and me! I bet someone who did not love animals would think him bizarre for having his mom and girlfriend on the same line of importance in his life but I am sure you would understand like I do. I am extremely bonded to my pets - especially one I had raised since one day old. I also take in very old pets who need a home. I know they are going to passaway soon but I like making their last days comfortable and full as much fun as I can for them. I hope you and Maggie Mae have a lovely evening!😻

  • Aspen you sound like a girl after my own heart. Many years ago I used to take in stray cats and at one point had 13 and recognised that was enough. The vet bills were extortionate . I saw some of them being born and couldn't part with them, I even took one out of little bag. I loved them all but when they went vowed to never have so many again as I couldn't give them all the individual attention they needed. They all had very happy lives, my boys were last two remaining. Now just me and my girl, vowed no more but home was empty without a cat. Maggie Mae is a rescue cat xx

  • Meant to say its a very brave thing taking animals in on the last precious days of their lives, not many could deal with that. I know I couldnt,well done for doing such a wonderful thing x going to hit the sack now. Night hun xx

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