What if you just don’t want to have kids with your husband?

On Mondays I like to post a reader question and take a stab at answering it, and lately I’ve started doing that through video, with links for even more posts that you can read on the same subject!

This one I thought I’d tackle with Rebecca, since she was home while we were getting ready for my in-laws’ 50th anniversary party.

It’s a long question (and we read it all in the video), but here’s the gist of it:

I’ve never wanted to be a mother. I was clear about this with my husband while we were dating, and he accepted it. Three years later, he now has a strong desire to have a child, but God still hasn’t placed that desire in me. We tried to conceive, but I stopped it when I saw he was continuing unhealthy behaviors like being really controlling and saying that he would kill himself if he didn’t have a child. He has shown no desire or initiative to work through either his issues with God or his suicidal thoughts. I told him I’m willing to try to have a child if he goes to counselling. He is offended by any implication that he’s unfit to be a father. Am I being unreasonable to ask sacrifices of my husband in return for my own? Am I just trying to justify a divorce in order to get out of becoming a mom?

That’s a big question! And I think there are two big issues here: Dealing with the fact that he is controlling and emotionally unfit to parent; and finding agreement on whether or not to have a child.

Rebecca and I tackle both of those here, in a really great discussion!

Okay, a few thoughts for those of you who don’t want to watch the whole video:

Don’t marry someone who isn’t emotionally able to raise a child.

No birth control method is 100% effective (we’ll be talking about that in the Wednesdays in October!), and even if you’d prefer to not have kids, you shouldn’t assume that you won’t. Sex causes pregnancy. If you’re going to have sex, you need to be mature enough and responsible enough to raise a child.

Marrying someone who doesn’t feel that they want kids yet or are ready for kids yet is different–someone may be emotionally healthy, but prefer to wait, and 9 months is enough time to get someone emotionally ready. But if they’re not emotionally able because of emotional trauma or other issues, that’s not a good situation. And someone who is controlling or abusive? Definitely not okay!

More posts that can help:

I don’t think refusing to have any children at all is fair to your spouse

Honestly, having kids is probably the biggest part of my identity, other than my walk with Christ. It’s so much a part of who I am. I think our culture needs to bring back more of an appreciation for children!

I say some (potentially) controversial things in the video about this, but it does make me sad when a spouse’s instincts is to say, “no kids!” even if a spouse wants kids. That’s asking a lot. And kids should not be seen as a huge sacrifice.

More posts that can help:

I know this is a controversial topic, but let’s talk about it: Why do you think so many are reluctant to have kids today? Is this a good thing or a bad thing?

If you don't think he'd be a good dad--then don't marry him. Why we should choose better when we marry.

SheilaSidebarAboutMe - Ask Sheila: I Don't Want to Have Kids with My Husband! Sheila Wray Gregoire has been married for 26 years and happily married for 21! She loves traveling around North America with her hubby in their RV, giving her signature "Girl Talk" about sex and marriage. And she's written 8 books. About sex and marriage. See a theme here? Plus she knits. Even in line at the grocery store.
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Rebecca Head Shot 200 175 - Ask Sheila: I Don't Want to Have Kids with My Husband!Rebecca Gregoire Lindenbach is a 23-year-old Canadian blogger/author and the daughter of Sheila Wray Gregoire. Married since 2015, she is passionate about helping others challenge the status quo and live for more, whether in their relationships, their educational or occupational goals, or their walks with God. And yes, like her mother, she also knits.
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