What to Do When Your Partner Doesn't Want to Have More Children

You want a larger family but your partner doesn't want to have more children. What can you do? Here are some good tips.
What to Do When Your Partner Doesn't Want to Have More Children

Last update: 09 April, 2022

One of the strongest differences that a couple may have to face is when one of them doesn’t want to have more children and the other one does. As this is a decision that must be made by both, it can be difficult to reach an agreement, as one will have to give in.

If you’re going through a situation like this, we want to help you overcome it. Therefore, we’ll address this situation from different perspectives below.

Possible causes of differences of opinion

During courtship, both partners fantasize about the house they’ll live in and the number of children they’ll raise together. But the truth is that once married, expectations can change and perhaps one of the two no longer wants to have more children.

This basically happens because it’s no longer just a matter of imagining, but of facing reality, with all the responsibilities and expenses that children entail. So, if before you dreamed of having four children, you may now think that you won’t have the capacity to support such a large family and your plans must change.

Despite the economic variable, there are women and men who resist the idea of not having all the children they dreamed of when they were young. One may accept reality, but the other may persist in trying to have a big family, even though they know that they don’t have the best financial situation.

When the first child is welcomed, the differences of opinion aren’t yet perceived. But when one of the two begins to consider that it’s time to look for a second child, the other may not be ready and difficulties begin to arise in the marriage.

When you want a baby, but your husband doesn’t want to have more children

Parents smiliing at their baby.

Family psychologist Viviana Briceño warns that, on many occasions, after having their first child, many mothers want the family to continue growing. Meanwhile, the father is likely to pause in order to assess whether the economic situation is suitable and prefer to postpone the decision.

“Problems arise from the moment a woman wants to get pregnant but her husband expresses his disagreement. The vision of one partner wants to impose itself on the other to show who’s right. Both forget that conceiving a child requires something more than desire: The essential condition is a stable and harmonious family,” clarifies the family planning specialist.

In these cases, the woman can try to conceive another child, disregarding the opinion of her partner, believing that the new baby will bring the happiness that the house needs. But the effect of pregnancy may be just the opposite: It may cause disagreements to become even more frequent and even lead to a family breakup.

On the other hand, perhaps it’s the mom who’s not ready for another child and she feels pressured by her husband to conceive again. The consequences of this would be negative and could trigger a woman’s rejection of motherhood.

When your husband wants a child, but you don’t

If you’re going through a situation similar to the one described, it’s best to maintain open and honest communication and come to make a joint decision that’s best for both of you. One that doesn’t force anyone to do something they don’t want to or give up something they long for.

Many investigations refer to the silent revolution of women, which speaks of changes in expectations and social position. The family model in which the male provided for the family has changed in recent years and many women don’t identify with the pre-established role of “housewife”.

Today, women are in better academic and professional conditions and the trend is to gain greater economic independence. Among other factors, this has caused the average global fertility rate in Europe in 2020 to reach 1.19 children per woman.

The truth is that the decision not to have children reveals a distancing from the traditional vision that defined and framed women as mothers and motherhood as the most desired desire.

What’s changing is the value system and having or not having children is a rational decision, subject to economic and professional imperatives. Personal fulfillment, which was previously visualized in having a child, is being directed to other objectives and responding to other interests.

In sociological terms, what’s feminine and what’s masculine are being denatured. And, at the same time, it’s considered irrational for women to be subjected to normative spaces. Today autonomy and independence are central issues in the construction of identities.

Having a child is a shared decision

Having a child is no longer just a natural, romantic, or spiritual act, but the concrete expression of a set of decisions in which elements well capable of defining and transforming the assumed future are weighed.

Indeed, “having a child is part of the vital project of most young people, but it’s surrounded by multiple conditioning factors that make contradictions emerge between desires and realities.”

Today, couples tend towards democratization, and fathers have a greater responsibility when it comes to raising their children. The family is changing and the number of children is reduced as the level of commitment grows.

How to overcome disagreement over children

What to do when one of the two does not want to have more children 2

The reasons for conceiving children and for not having them are immense and personal. The key is that you and your husband do everything in your power so that a matter as special as being parents doesn’t become a problem.

Listen to your partner and try to understand their perspective. Discuss the circumstances that should surround the birth of a baby and agree on a date to conceive again. If, when the time comes, the conditions aren’t right, be understanding. And meanwhile, enjoy the child or children you already have and your relationship.

Keep in mind that being parents can’t be an obligation. It’s a very big responsibility that must be assumed and desired by both.

The decision to bring children into the world is exclusive to each family, so we can’t tell you what to do. However, we do what to tell you that it’s always better to plan to have children when the couple is at its best. So, cultivate your relationship and you’ll see that it’ll be easier to make decisions together.

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.

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