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POLL RESULTS: Stork contrast: (14 comments)

POLL: Stork contrast

Friday, October 02, 2009 - 12:00 AM

A reader writes... Q: I have been with this lovely girl for over two years. We have often talked about our hopes and dreams and everything seemed in alignment until a few days ago. She confessed that the dreams I thought we shared were not what she really wanted. I had hoped we would get married and have kids some day. It turns out she doesn't ever want kids and was only going along with it so I would stay with her. She doesn't think it would be fair to keep me from my dreams by stringing me along nor does she think it is fair of me to ask her to have kids. We love a lot of the same things and I imagined things going smoothly for a long time to come. I've tried talking to her and trying to compromise but there doesn't seem to be a way to make both of us happy. Beyond this one important issue there isn't anything else wrong with us and I love her dearly. We are both graduating college soon and we could head in different directions but realistically neither of us have a plan and I am not ready to say goodbye and I don't think she is either. So my question is now what?

POLL: What should this guy do?
 
11% (125) Stick it out. Maybe she'll change.
 
18% (201) Keep trying to find compromise.
 
56% (611) Break up. There's no future here.
 
1% (21) Try to convince her how fun kids can be.
 
11% (121) Give up on your hopes of having kids. You'll get used to it.
1079 people have voted in this poll. (This poll is not active.)
Murgatroyd
Lover

Posts: 300

Registered:
Jan 2008
Re: Stork contrast (Score: 1)
posted Friday, October 02, 2009 - 12:58 AM (#49534)

I've tried talking to her and trying to compromise but there doesn't seem to be a way to make both of us happy.

By Jove, he's got it!

We are both graduating college soon and we could head in different directions ...

So you're both about 21? And you've been together for two entire years? Trust me, this is a bad time to make irrevocable decisions.

... but realistically neither of us have a plan and I am not ready to say goodbye and I don't think she is either.

But if you don't leave yourselves open to meeting other people, then ... you probably won't meet other people, will you? Other people who might also love you (or her!) and be more aligned with your objectives in life. Think about it.

Count yourself lucky. My ex-wife waited until we had been married for nine years before she told me what your girlfriend told you; at any given point in the marriage we supposedly were about two years away from having kids.


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Stevarooni
Lover

From: KCMO

Posts: 64

Registered:
Jun 2008
Re: Stork contrast (Score: 1)
posted Friday, October 02, 2009 - 06:38 AM (#49537)
In Response to Murgatroyd (#49534):

Pretty good summary of the situation. Until you're committed to a relationship, you should be trying to find someone who fits your criteria, not hoping to change someone to suit your needs. Finding this out is precisely what dating is all about. You shouldn't be rigid about everything you want in a loving relationship but you should be rigid about some things. If you want/don't want your partner to enjoy pottery...that's kind of silly (unless she does pottery 24/7 and you want to do something else). Wanting or not wanting kids should be worth breaking up, though.

And I'm sorry for your situation, Murgatroyd. Nine years is a long time for your ex-wife to lie. :(


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Caffeine
Lover

Posts: 46

Registered:
Feb 2009
Re: Stork contrast (Score: 1)
posted Friday, October 02, 2009 - 07:21 AM (#49538)

If you think she's the one you want to spend the rest of your life with (and why shouldn't he find his *really significant other* this early in life?) you just have to find out what is more important to you - the family-and-kids-and-a-white-picket-fence picture or being with your girlfriend? No matter with whom you end up (if your ideas about how your future should look like are too important for you, you'll find another woman), you will always have to compromise. And I'd rather have a not-the-life-I-thought-I-would-have life with someone I really love than a But-I-thought-it-was-my-dream life with someone who happens to have the same dreams.

(But of course you have to be certain. Saying, "Okay, we'll do it your way" and afterwards hating her for it doesn't make much sense.)


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TheOriginalJes
Lover

Posts: 205

Registered:
Jan 2008
Re: Stork contrast (Score: 1)
posted Friday, October 02, 2009 - 12:21 PM (#49540)

I'm afraid that you were just the college boyfriend when you first got together. This may be her way of telling you that she's ready to get on with her real life now (as she imagined it before you two met). Otherwise, why confess now?

I've seen people love their partners, but feel differently about having kids, depending upon which significant other they were with. It is (strangely) natural.

The really important thing is, if you definitely want kids, and she definitely doesn't; then it's best to part now, while you can still be friends. You need to allow yourself to grieve and move on to finding the woman who can share with you what you want.

Your entire life is about to change with graduation. Like Murgatroyd says, it's better that you find out now, before you've spent the best years of your life building something to lose.

[Sorry for you loss, Murgatroyd.]


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akkhima
Lover

Posts: 11

Registered:
Apr 2009
Re: Stork contrast (Score: 1)
posted Friday, October 02, 2009 - 07:33 PM (#49542)

That's a pretty huge issue, and if I were you, I'd let her go. Now is the best time to do it, too, when you'll have so many other life changes going on, also.


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Murgatroyd
Lover

Posts: 300

Registered:
Jan 2008
Re: Stork contrast (Score: 1)
posted Saturday, October 03, 2009 - 03:49 AM (#49543)

Jes nails it:

This may be her way of telling you that she's ready to get on with her real life now (as she imagined it before you two met). Otherwise, why confess now?

Mr. Stork wrote:

We are both graduating college soon and we could head in different directions but realistically neither of us have a plan and I am not ready to say goodbye and I don't think she is either.

Yes she is.

What you had was good, but it's time to end it. Otherwise one of you will resent the other, and this resentment will fester and grow and eventually poison the relationship.


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EdLuva
Lover

Posts: 1

Registered:
Oct 2009
Re: Stork contrast (Score: 1)
posted Monday, October 05, 2009 - 02:37 PM (#49555)

This is rough. I've been in this exact situation. You do have to ask yourself what is more important to you: Your love and partnership with this girl or having children.

I agree with earlier posts: You're 21 - there's no rush to make irrevocable decisions in either direction. Talk it out. You could both completely reverse your positions in a couple years.

Purely on a practical level, let me pose this: Do we really need to have children these days? Is it a vain desire now?


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Veldan
Lover

Posts: 12

Registered:
Mar 2009
Re: Stork contrast (Score: 1)
posted Monday, October 05, 2009 - 07:15 PM (#49556)

This is an issue that I'm in the middle of right now as well. I've been out of university for two years now (so has the girlfriend) so i know exactly where you are coming from.

Even if you're not planning to have kids for another 3-5 years, it is definitely worth talking about and coming to a conclusion. If you're like me, having kids someday (5 years or so myself) is INCREDIBLY important yet the woman is very against it. I suppose if one of you could come around to seeing the others point of view it would help.

Though being young (as i am myself) perhaps the womans view will change with a few years.
However, are you really willing to gamble 4-5 years on that chance?


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Caffeine
Lover

Posts: 46

Registered:
Feb 2009
Re: Stork contrast (Score: 1)
posted Tuesday, October 06, 2009 - 06:35 AM (#49560)

Hmm... I have been trying to figure out *why* the woman (or women) in question would be against having children...

(My boyfriend changes his mind on the subject every few days, but it doesn't matter... )


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lwj2
Lover

Posts: 33

Registered:
Feb 2008
Re: Stork contrast (Score: 1)
posted Tuesday, October 06, 2009 - 08:12 AM (#49561)

Now would be the time to change your relationship to "friends" or possibly "friends with benefits."

You two have, from what you've written, a lot in common, but the issue of children is a huge barrier to a continued relationship.

She may change her attitude toward children later on. I wouldn't put a lot of money on it being changed. I certainly wouldn't put the costs of a divorce on it.


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Caffeine
Lover

Posts: 46

Registered:
Feb 2009
Re: Stork contrast (Score: 1)
posted Wednesday, October 07, 2009 - 02:15 AM (#49568)

My point is (I think it wasn't clear yesterday) that the women I know who are opposed to the idea of having children usually are opposed to it because they fear they will have to stay home with the kids instead of pursuing a fullfilling life and career (like barefoot and pregnant, you know the picture). I don't know if that is the case here, but...


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Murgatroyd
Lover

Posts: 300

Registered:
Jan 2008
Re: Stork contrast (Score: 1)
posted Wednesday, October 07, 2009 - 03:08 AM (#49570)

She may change her attitude toward children later on. I wouldn't put a lot of money on it being changed. I certainly wouldn't put the costs of a divorce on it.

Time for another anecdote. I had two friends in college that I'll call "Eric" and "Sandra" who had been dating since high school; they got married several months after college graduation. A couple of years later, Sandra abruptly walked out of the marriage, saying that she couldn't take any more pressure from Eric to have children -- that she had decided she didn't want children and this was the only solution.

Within a year Eric had met another woman named Sandra who did want children, and they promptly started breeding. Last I heard, they were happy, and they both had careers.

A friend told me a few years later that eventually the first Sandra met another guy, married him ... and had a kid. Go figure.

I do have to wonder how Mr. Stork's girlfriend can be so sure at age 21 that she will never want to have children.


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TheOriginalJes
Lover

Posts: 205

Registered:
Jan 2008
Re: Stork contrast (Score: 1)
posted Thursday, October 08, 2009 - 09:23 AM (#49589)
In Response to Murgatroyd (#49570):

That's the perfect illustration to my point. It's not that she didn't want kids. She just didn't want them with him.


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Murgatroyd
Lover

Posts: 300

Registered:
Jan 2008
Re: Stork contrast (Score: 1)
posted Thursday, October 08, 2009 - 04:48 PM (#49594)

That's the perfect illustration to my point. It's not that she didn't want kids. She just didn't want them with him.

True enough, although to be fair I don't think Sandra wanted kids with anybody at the time she divorced Eric. But people change.

On the other hand, I don't think Sandra would ever have wanted kids if she had stayed married to Eric -- I don't think their interpersonal dynamics would have allowed her to change her mind.

Either way, I think you're right that Mr. Stork's girlfriend is sending him a not-too-subtle message that she is ready to say goodbye. She may even want to break up with him for other reasons, but this is a handy -- and valid -- excuse.


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