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Love Letters

She wants to convince him to have kids

Q. I’ve been with my boyfriend for almost 4 years. I can’t imagine life without him. He is everything I could ask for — except for the fact he does not want any more kids.

He has two children from a previous marriage (11 and 13), and I have none. There is a 15-year age gap between us and he thinks he is too old to have any more children. (He is 45, I am 30.) When we started dating I did mention I never wanted kids. Since then my outlook has changed. I’m so in love with him and his kids now that I want to start our own family. He is an amazing father and I adore his kids to pieces. They have expressed interest in having a baby sibling. We have had many discussions about this and although he has never come out directly and said he doesn’t want more kids, I just have this feeling he is stalling so he doesn’t have to say it. I know deep down he would love one but is so concerned about our age difference and him being too old to raise another child.

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How do I convince him that he would be an amazing father to another child and to not worry about our age difference?

A. He’s either scared of having another kid or he just doesn’t want one. Ask him if it’s A or B, because if it’s B, the conversation is pretty much over.

You can’t convince a 45-year-old with two kids that he should have more kids. If he doesn’t want to start over, it’s legit. He certainly understands the process. Keep in mind that he fell for you believing that you shared his plan for the future. We’re allowed to change our minds in relationships, but that’s often why we break up.

You need to ask the very specific question — “Do you want to have more children?” — and then decide what to do if he says no. It’s time for some clarity. No more guessing and talking around the issue.

No matter what he says, please don’t lobby him by telling him that his kids want another sibling. They’re 11 and 13. They probably also want One Direction tickets and new TVs in their bedrooms. It’s nice that they’re open to change, but at the end of the day, they just want happy parents.

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Go get a definitive answer. He has one for you. You just have to hear it and accept it, whatever it is.

READERS RESPOND

Oh, goodness. Stop involving his kids in this discussion. Just stop. And have an honest, open conversation and accept his response if he says no. Then decide if you can live with that.

“I know deep down he would love one.” Full stop. He already loves two. He’s been clear. You need to find another guy if you want kids, or else he may well resent you AND the child.

I agree with Meredith. You need to have a straight forward conversation about kids. If he truly is done and does not want more, I think you have your answer.

I’m confused. You start off by saying right up front that your boyfriend doesn’t want kids. Then you say, “We have had many discussions about this and although he has never come out directly and said he doesn’t want more kids,” did you really skip over that whole “direct conversation” thing and jump right to writing an advice column?

Be honest here. Do you want to get married? Are you wanting to have a baby together to seal the deal on the relationship? Is this just an end run around the issue of a lifelong commitment?

I’m this guy’s age and have children roughly his kids’ age. I do not want more children. I can’t blame this guy if he feels he is done. Having children is great. It is also a long road. Tell him how you feel. Listen when he tell you how he feels. Again, good luck.

Yeah, this is a conversation between the two of you. . . . Kids shouldn’t be involved. If he says he truly does not want any more children, then please don’t try to push, or manipulate the situation. That would be very disruptive to the family you already have. You didn’t say anything about marriage. Is that on the table, or not? Think about it: You’re pregnant, by a man who you have reason to suspect did not want any more children, and you’re not married. Please have The Talk with him. If he says no, and you still want to be with him, could you foster? Help out some of the many child-focused orgnizations that could *really* use your help as a volunteer? One of the other posters recommended a dog. Don’t dismiss that idea too quickly!

Quit trying to second-guess him. ASK him flat out, yes-no, whether he is willing to have another child. And ACCEPT his answer — if it’s no, then do not try to badger/beg him to reconsider. I’ll bet that back when you two were first dating, if you had insisted you wanted to have a baby some day, he wouldn’t have stayed with you.

Listen, you can try to talk your mate into a lot of stuff: cruises to Mexico, buying a sports car, joining a bowling league, eating oysters, buying a Vitamix. But you can’t talk your mate into having a child, because a child you can’t quit it or put away or sell on AutoTrader. . . . last I checked.

I’d say it’s pretty clear — time for you to move on and find someone who does want kids — maybe closer to your age? You aren’t going to be happy until you have your own and hopefully someone who can share the feelings.

I am 30. I have a kid. My ex wanted kids sooooo badly. He told me from the get-go. I was adamant that no, I have one and I am done. As we were discussing the future prior to breaking up he was like “noooo I swear I’d be OK with no kids”. . . . um no you wouldn’t and I wouldn’t do that to you. That was a dealbreaker on MY end.

Edited and reprinted from www.boston.com/loveletters. Meredith Goldstein can be reached at mgoldstein@globe
.com
. She chats online Wednesday at 1 p.m.

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