My Boyfriend Wants To Be A Dad But I Can’t Have Kids & He Doesn’t Know

For so many women, hearing a guy mention wanting to be a dad is a turn on. For me, it’s a cause for concern. When I was 23-years-old, my doctor told me it’s highly unlikely I’ll ever have a child. That news was devastating and I can’t say I’m entirely over it, but I also can’t bring myself to break my boyfriend’s heart by telling him I’m infertile.

  1. I’m not ready for this conversation. I only found out about my infertility a couple of years ago. You’d think it’s the kind of thing a person would get over relatively quickly but it’s not. Every time a friend complains about having to take birth control, I want to tell them how lucky they are to worry about getting pregnant. Every time I see a pregnant woman, I remind myself that will never be me. My infertility is still a very touchy subject. I’m just not ready to talk about it.
  2. Our relationship isn’t ready for this conversation. My boyfriend and I have been together for six months. That’s a substantial amount of time, but I don’t think we’re at the place where this kind of sensitive information can be shared. People always say honesty is best, but I think that you need to be sensitive to the current situation. My boyfriend and I just moved in together. We haven’t even spoken about marriage. I don’t want to jump the gun and ruin a good thing.
  3. I want him to decide whether he sees a future with me first. Ever since I got the news, I’ve always worried that a guy might leave me because of it. I’m not foolish—I know that a lot of men want families. I don’t want to be written off because of something I can’t control. I want my boyfriend to decide he sees a future with me first before I dump this bomb on him. What’s the point of bringing this kind of information up when neither one of us is sure of how long we’ll be together? The last thing I need is another person walking around knowing my secret. That’s something I’ve kept close to my chest.
  4. I want us to work through this issue together. If things go well and my boyfriend commits to a future with me, I’d like to think that he’d want to work through this issue with me. All my friends who’ve gotten engaged or married told me that once you make a lifetime commitment or are thinking about that, you start to see things through a different lens. In committed relationships, burdens are shared. That’s what I want to happen. When I tell my boyfriend about my infertility, I want him to be a support. Right now, I don’t see him wanting to take on that role, not because he’s a bad guy but because it’s too early in our relationship.
  5. There’s a chance that science could find a cure. I still hold on to this truth deep down. Medicine has come a long way. Things that sentenced a person to death decades ago can be fixed with a small pill. Who’s to say what medicine will do for fertility five years from now? Besides, plenty of women have beaten their infertility diagnoses. I’m not ready to give up. I still hope that I’ll be able to experience the joys of motherhood I’ve heard my friends gush about with a great guy. Who knows? That might be my boyfriend, but not if I tell him right now.
  6. I don’t want to feel like less of a woman. My boyfriend is a great guy and I know he’d never say anything horrible to my face. However, I know he won’t be able to hide his true thoughts from me. I’m scared I’ll hear about something he said to a friend through the grapevine or that I’ll see the love begin to fade in his eyes, slowly replaced by pity. There are many sides to me, and I’m not ready to expose that side. I believe I have a right to chose when I do that and to whom. The last thing I want is for him or our friends to treat me differently.
  7. I don’t want his family to look at me the wrong way. I have a great relationship with my boyfriend’s family and so does he. I know how close he is to them, so if I told him about my infertility, he’d share with them. My boyfriend is the type of guy that will think things through long and hard before coming to a decision. I don’t want to be miserable or uncomfortable when visiting his family until that day comes. I also don’t want to forbid him from sharing certain things with them. Right now, it makes sense to take the hot topic off the table.
  8. I don’t want to relieve the pain I felt when I first got the news. As I said, my fertility is a sensitive topic. I still feel sad about what I might not be able to have. As of now, no one but my doctor, my mother and I know about it. When I shared the news with my mother, we both broke down. It was like I was receiving the news again for the first time. Thankfully, my mom is incredible and she got me through those tough initial days. The next time I share that news, I want it to be the last. I don’t want to keep going through the same hurt every time. Until I know in my heart that my boyfriend is my future husband, I won’t be sharing this news with him.
  9. I’m not ready to deal with the possible outcome. What if I told my boyfriend my secret and he left me? That would do more than leave me with a broken heart. It would shatter my dreams of a future. My boyfriend is a great guy. If he can leave me, then what hope would I have? Right now, I’d rather live in a happy bubble. I’m 25. Marriage is still a long way off for me. Kids, or an inability to have them, is also a long way off. Why worry about it now?
Hannah is a twenty-something-year-old freelance writer, obsessed with reality TV, and all things sweet.