My Partner Doesn't Want to Have Children: What Should I Do?

It's surprisingly common for people to realize that their partner doesn't want children, but they do. Learn how to handle this complicated situation here.
My Partner Doesn't Want to Have Children: What Should I Do?
Isbelia Esther Farías López

Written and verified by the philosopher Isbelia Esther Farías López.

Last update: 04 May, 2023

“My partner doesn’t want to have children. What should I do?” This is one of the most frequently asked questions today, either in consultations or among friends. Having children is one of the most important decisions in life, especially because it goes beyond procreation. It’s a process of social and even cultural commitment.

When a love relationship begins, the phase of falling in love is one of the most beautiful; however, when it passes and things settle down, the time comes for difficult decisions and challenges are not long in coming.

Thus, we find couples who have conflicts when one of the spouses does not want to have children and the other one does. What to do in this scenario? In this article, we want to share with you some reflections that will allow you to take perspective.

My partner does not want to have children, but I do!

Si mi pareja no quiere hijos es necesario reflexionar sobre las condiciones de la relación.
A child represents a drastic change in the life of any couple.

Nowadays the decision to become parents is usually more complicated and delayed than a few decades ago.

The incorporation of women into the working world, economic instability, and the search for progress at an academic or business level can slow down or prevent any attempt to start a family.

In the same way, there are also many people who, regardless of the above, don’t feel that it is their destiny to become someone’s father or mother because they have other priorities.

The problem arises, then, when one partner dreams of having children, and the other in turn believes that he or she is not ready (and even that he or she will never be ready).

Why doesn’t my partner want to have children?

There are many reasons why a person does not want to have children. Some of them may be, for example:

  • Financial reasons
  • Professional reasons
  • Health reasons
  • Reasons rlated to the lifestyle they want to lead
  • Personal reasons (among others)

Making the decision to have children is a transcendental matter that will completely change the life of whoever decides to have them. Therefore, it’s very important to evaluate all the options.

We think you may be interested in reading this, too: What Are Parenting Classes and What Do You Learn There?

What can I do if my partner does not want children?

When a relationship starts you do not think about these issues. However, if you find yourself in this situation, don’t procrastinate any longer. Follow these recommendations:

  • Address the issue: if it’s important to you, postponing this conversation won’t do any good. Look for the best time.
  • Know what you want and keep it clear: if you already know what you want in your life and that is to have children, don’t be afraid to express your point of view or hesitate to do so. You should not give in just to please your partner. Remember: this is a crucial decision.
  • Don’t wait for your partner to change his or her mind: this will only make time go by and the issue will remain up in the air. It’s likely that if your partner has already made a firm decision, it will be up to you to take further steps to ensure that you can fulfill your desire.
  • Look to your future: ask yourself frankly if you want to live a life without children or with them.
  • Talk to your circle: the support network of family and friends is important. They can help you listen to yourself and decide more confidently.
  • Don’t make a decision under pressure: don’t make a decision because you want to please your partner. Think calmly about the steps you are going to take and what they imply.

These recommendations will be of great help to you. However, sometimes they are not enough. It’s likely that you have already tried all this and do not know what decision to make or how to face reality.

What is the option I have?

"Mi pareja no quiere hijos" es una frase común.
Once you know the opinions and desires of each partner, it’s necessary to talk clearly to reach an agreement.

Like this article? You may also like to read: Attachment Parenting: What Is It and What Are The Benefits?

Remember that you cannot force a person to have children just to feel happy because, besides making them feel unhappy, in the end, it would be a disaster.

It is necessary to decide if you could live with the reality of not having children, attend family gatherings, and see other couples with children, among others. This issue is important because the environment can be very influential on a person.

If you can not reach an agreement you can go to couples counseling, as this is a complex situation, especially if you love each other. Likewise, there is also the possibility that the relationship must come to an end, especially if you both see the future in a different way and without common goals.

Having children is a mutual decision

Having children is a decision that must be taken firmly and this does not happen overnight. That is, do not expect your partner to wake up one day and tell you that, suddenly, he/she has a paternal or maternal instinct.

It’s also worth analyzing if the other only feels fear before the uncertainty of assuming paternity or maternity, but not a total rejection of the idea itself. In the case of feeling only fear of the unknown, this could be remedied with psychological support and learning to overcome fears.

In any case, it should be a decision that you both agree with. Think about it calmly, talk honestly, and see if you can reach a middle ground. It will be difficult, but it isn’t impossible.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Annesley, T. M. (2011). Pasar la Prueba de Paternidad. Química Clínica.
  • Dra, P., Estremero, J., & Gacia, X. (2008). Familia y ciclo vital familiar. Generalidades.
  • Familia, socialización y nueva paternidad. (2003). Revista Latinoamericana En Ciencias Sociales, Niñez y Juventud.
  • Häring, B. (2010). Paternidad responsable. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Escuela Nacional de Trabajo Social.
  • Marcela Lagos, L., Helena Poggi, M., & Cecilia Mellado, S. (2011). Conceptos básicos sobre el estudio de paternidad. Revista Medica de Chile.
  • Mestre Escrivá, M., Samper García, P., Tur, A., & Díez, I. (2001). Estilos de crianza y desarrollo prosocial de los hijos. Revista de Psicología General y Aplicada: Revista de La Federación Española de Asociaciones de Psicología.
  • Miller, D., & Arvizu, V. (2016). Ser madre y estudiante. Una exploración de las características de las universitarias con hijos y breves notas para su estudio. Revista de La Educacion Superior.
  • Garín, P. M. (2015). La familia. Estudios de Deusto.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.