9 Reasons A Guy Wants Kids But Not Marriage

Kids and marriage often go hand in hand, but not always. It’s more common now than ever for couples to have kids without tying the knot. And in many cases, men actually refuse to marry, even though they want kids and crave fatherhood. We’ve outlined the main reasons why below. Check them out!

  1. He thinks marriage will cost him too much money. Marriage doesn’t have to be expensive, but it often is. That’s especially true for the male in a hetero relationship, who is traditionally expected to buy an engagement ring. From the ring to the wedding to the honeymoon and all the parties in between, just the process of getting married is often a costly affair. Then there’s the actual marriage, which many men might associate with unprecedented and ongoing bills. It’s possible that a guy wants to have kids, but doesn’t want to marry, because he thinks the latter will cost him too much money (even though we know that kids cost a lot on their own!).
  2. He’s not religious. Not everyone who gets married is religious. And these days, even for those who do marry in a church, marriage no longer has the same religious significance in our modern lives. But still, a guy might not want to marry because he sees it as a religious thing and he doesn’t identify with that at all. He might even oppose the concept of marriage because he views it as a religious-only idea.
  3. He doesn’t want to legally tie himself down. Along with being a religious thing, marriage is also a legal thing. To wed is to literally sign a contract binding you to someone else. The sound of that can be pretty overwhelming to a guy who’s not happy about long-term commitment. Even though kids are a life-long commitment as well, he might view marriage as more of a commitment and view child-raising as a job primarily for his partner.
  4. He’s been married before. Sometimes, a guy has an aversion to the idea of marriage because he’s been married before. That won’t necessarily affect his dream of being a dad. A previous marriage might have scarred him and put him right off the idea of tying the knot again, but his desire for children might remain the same.
  5. He has seen negative examples of marriage throughout his life. Certain people don’t like the idea of marriage because they’ve only ever seen negative examples of it. Maybe their parents had a bad divorce. Or maybe their sibling suffered an abusive marriage. Or their friends have felt miserable since marrying. If that’s the case, it makes sense that he doesn’t want to follow the same path.
  6. He fears divorce. The concept of divorce scares a lot of people. It’s possible that it’s not marriage he fears, but the possibility of getting a divorce. With a divorce comes a lot of pain and sometimes a tainted reputation. Plus, divorces tend to cost a lot of money. So he might want to avoid marriage to avoid the possibility of divorce, even though he still wants children.
  7. He feels drawn to fatherhood but not marriage. Some guys feel drawn to fatherhood. He might feel an innate want to carry on his genes and have kids. But that doesn’t have anything to do with marriage. While having kids for many people is a biological need, marriage is not always the same because it’s an invented (though very old) concept.
  8. He feels marriage will take away his freedom. A lot of men associate marriage with losing their freedom. They might hear other men talking about a nagging wife or about a lot more responsibility since they tied the knot. And they might feel tempted to avoid all of that by simply choosing not to marry. While parenting almost certainly takes away more of your freedom than marriage does, he might not see it that way and still be keen to have kids.
  9. There’s no social pressure for marriage anymore. Once upon a time, people mostly married because they had no other option. For women, it was a means of financial support. And for men, marriage meant that they looked better to potential employers and others in society. There’s not the same societal pressure around marriage today (although there is still some!). This weeds out all the guys who would have only wed because they thought they had to before having kids.
Vanessa Locampo is an Aussie writer who’s equally obsessed with YA fiction and pasta. Her time is divided between writing all the things, reading all the things, listening to Queen, and bopping her cat on the nose. She has a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing and has written for sites including Hotsprings.co and Discovering Montana, and currently works as an editor at Glam. You can keep up with her on Instagram @vanessaellewrites.