I’ve known my boyfriend’s warped view of this topic since the beginning, but the more I try to see it from his point of view, the more baffling it is to me.
It has a lot to do with his upbringing. My boyfriend grew up in a world totally divorced from my own childhood. Almost all of his childhood friends have ended up dealing with unplanned pregnancies, making it very normal to him. Those friends then waited until the kids were old enough to participate in the wedding before eventually tying the knot, and some of them still haven’t done it yet. His own mom and dad didn’t get married until he was 12! That’s relatively unheard of where I grew up.
Actually, I think it’s a nice idea to have our kids in our wedding. The photos would be super cute and I guess it would feel like more of a family event, sure. But for me, it just messes with the natural order of things. You don’t run before you can walk. It’s just good common sense.
If you’re ready to procreate with someone you, should already be committed. Just my opinion, but I don’t think anyone should bring a child into the world willingly when they’re with a partner they aren’t sure is in it for the long haul. To quote Eat Pray Love, having a child is like getting a tattoo on your face—you want to be fully committed!
I don’t want to marry someone who doesn’t really want to get married to me. For me, it’s important to build that loving foundation before bringing kids into the mix. I need to know that his love is strong enough by itself to want to spend eternity with me and not be laced with emotion from already being tied with children. Once our kids have grown and flown the nest, it’ll just be us again and if I’m not enough without the kids, the relationship will fall apart.
You can never divorce your kids. While I don’t really believe in divorce and if I say “I do,” I’ll only do it once, technically, you can always get a divorce and never see that person again in your entire life if that’s what you want. But if you have kids with someone in or out of wedlock, you’ll always be tied to that person even if you break up. So will any other new partner you bring on the scene! It’s hard enough for some people, myself included, to date someone who’s still friends with their ex, never mind having to see her on a daily or weekly basis because they have kids together. I honestly don’t think I could do it.
He doesn’t understand why he has to sign a contract. This is a hard one to argue with even for me, the marriage advocate. My boyfriend always says that he doesn’t understand why he has to sign a contract when marriage is about love. He feels his word and his open declaration of his love for me should be enough but because it isn’t, he sees marriage as a trap. See how hard it is to argue that one?! I get it, but I also get that the majority of us have had serious relationships in the past, said “I love you” before, and even said we’d spend the rest of our lives with someone else. Look how that turned out! It’s so easy when things get tough in a relationship to say, “Screw it, I’m not going to work on this. It’s too hard or I can’t be bothered.” When you decide to marry someone, you have to take all of that into account, knowing that no matter how bad things get, you will find the motivation to work on it and not give up. It’s sad but true that a contract might make you think twice about walking away from something really great.
There’s now a biological clock issue. Since my boyfriend is very aware that I want to be married before having kids, he feels a lot of pressure to do it sooner than maybe he’s ready for. I definitely don’t want that, but equally, I’m not getting any younger and I don’t want to be barren by the time he is. Selfishly, I also don’t want to be a 40-year-old bride!
On the other hand, I feel like he should know by now. This is the truly worrying one. We’ve been together for five years, lived together for four, and seen our fair share of heartache, stomach flu, horrendous arguments, and inner turmoil. We’ve faced all of those issues together and if he’s still not sure if I’m “The One,” then maybe I’m not.
He’s ready for kids but not marriage and I just can’t get past that. Perhaps it’s simply beyond my comprehension but no matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to understand that logic. Or maybe I can because I’m not certain he really understands what having kids would really be like and all the things we’d have to sacrifice in order to have them. I’m certain he’d miss his regular boys’ night, booking holidays at the spur of a moment, and especially his lie-ins every weekend! I know I would so I’m not convinced he’s thought this through!
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