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Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2017 2:00 pm 
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Hello happy childfree people!

I have been reading through the forum for a while, mostly looking for validation that I do not want kids and should not have them.

As far as I can remember, I have always said I did not want kids (picking names for future kids at 10 years old does not count :p). When I was a young adult, my primary reason for not wanting children was because I suffer from General Anxiety Disorder and always thought that 1) I would be a terribly anxious mother, 2) this wouldn't help my condition at all and 3) there would be a fair chance that I could pass it on to my child.

I have gotten a lot better over time, thanks to medication/therapy, but still have episodes of acute anxiety and obssessive thoughts. As I move into my thirties, my current obssession is focused on having children. I am going through episodes of anxiety fearing that I am making the wrong choice and that I will regret not having kids one day. And then I get caught in the "obssession" that if I really didn't want kids, I would know for sure. I wouldn't need to question it so much or feel anxious about it.

I have to mention two things: 1) I am a woman married to another woman so it's not like having kids would be an easy thing anyway. I don't think I would be emotionally (and even physically) strong enough to put up with artifical insemination (and I have zero desire to be pregnant, let alone from a stranger's semen) or lengthy adoption processes

2) My wife doesn't want kids. Of course, we have talked about that subject several times and agreed that we would most probably not have any. During one episode of anxiety last year, I told her about my fear that maybe one day I would want kids, and she replied that if one day I really wanted a child, we could have one, that she wasn't completely reluctant to the idea. But I know she'd rather not have them. And of course, I would never want to impose that choice on her.

When I think reasonably and practically, there are many more cons than pros. My situation as an "infertile" couple adds up to the many cons of having children. So it feels a little bit like I am playing my own devil's advocate trying to convince myself that I want kids, like a little voice in my head that tells me that I DO want kids when I have all the practical reasons in the world not to want/have them in reality.

I am generally concerned with other people's and society's opinion on what is considered normal or not. Even after seven years with my wife, I still struggle with people's views on homosexuality and how they view me. So I guess it's the same thing with my "unconventional" point of view on having children. When people ask me "when are you gonna have kids?", I feel abnormal and anxious to answer "I don't want children". But I try to keep a cool head and simply answer: "I don't think having kids would make me a happier person."
The paradox is that when I hear another woman say they don't want kids, I think it's strange and wonder why they don't. It's like I'm being judgemental of my own lifestyle choice. :?

Basically, the questions that keep popping into my head and make me crazy are : If I were so okay with my choice and so sure of it, why would I need to question it so much ? Am I lying to myself? Am I in denial that I actually do want kids but am too scared to admit it for fear of endangering my marriage ? What if I resent myself and my wife one day for making that choice?

Sorry for the long post, there are so many more things I'd like to say but I don't want to bore you all. I don't even know what I'm looking for, a bit of support I suppose.

Thanks for your time! :)


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Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2017 5:38 pm 
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Hi there, welcome!

I have a bit of anxiety myself, but not so bad. I can relate a bit on the incessant doubting, though not on this subject.

Some of us on this forum have known we were childfree since we were children ourselves. Others came to this conclusion after a more or less "bumpy road". It sounds like you're more the latter.

I think it's perfectly normal and beneficial to reconsider our decisions from time to time. In your case however, your anxiety is making you question everything and exacerbating your feelings of uncertainty. As you've said, it's become an obsessive thought.

It's okay to have these thoughts, it becomes a problem when they're taking over your life. For example, I'm not sure if I would like to go bungee-jumping, but just because I don't hate the thought doesn't mean I'm going to go do it right this second. It might be a life-changing experience for some, but I'm just not curious, so I don't think about it.

Nobody can promise you you'll never regret it. But that goes for everything you do or don't do in life. (I'm not trying to give you more things to worry about, I swear! :lol: ) And besides, isn't it better to regret not having children than regret having them?

Personally, I believe children should be 100% wanted. Not "because I might regret it if I don't", or "because I don't want to risk being alone in my old age" (hint: they can and likely will dump you in an old folks' home anyway).

I say enjoy all your free time and extra money with your lovely wife. If you still find yourself yearning for a kid after a few years, look into fostering, adoption or mentoring. Or just a relative's kid to spoil (and teach them "teh gay agenda!1!" ;) )

Edit: If therapy works for you, and you know an open-minded therapist, perhaps it wouldn't hurt to talk to them.

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"Change is coming to the world. Many fear change and will fight it with every fiber of their being. But sometimes, change is what they need the most. Sometimes, change is what sets them free." - Morrigan, Dragon Age


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Unread postPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 9:38 am 
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I can't help but wonder how many of those "but what if you regret it!" thoughts are entirely sure to society conditioning you to believe that children are mandatory and one of the most important things in the world.

Not to say that the situations are equivalent, but did you ever have periods of time in your life where you felt like you had to be straight? That whatever attraction you felt to women was a mistake or wrong? That if you didn't be "normal" and have a relationship with a man, your life would be lacking or worse than it could have been? Because there's a hell of a lot of expectation that everyone should be straight in our society, too. Did those anxieties about not being straight (if you had them) feel similar to the anxieties you're feeling now about not having children?

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“First they came for the Socialists, and I said nothing—Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I said nothing—Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.” -Martin Niemöller


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Unread postPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 8:38 am 
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Sorry for the late reply and thank you both for your answers.

Arte, I definitely agree that children should be 100% wanted, not 60 or even 90% I guess. Although there are people out there who were not ready for kids at all, had them anyway and are happy now. But the fact that I'm not even sure should be enough for me not to consider having them. And you're also right that if I did have kids, I would probably also wonder if I'd regret that one day. Because I guess my main problem is projection. I anticipate negatively way too many things in life. I can hardly even picture myself as a happier person in the future, as if I had reached my ultimate happiness.
Making decision is a very hard process for me, especially when I can't see things through clear eyes. Unfortunately, I did therapy for many years and it has now reached its limits with me.

Maura, I definitely had times when I thought homosexuality was wrong, when I was still in denial of my sexuality. I still do have periods of thinking about what my life would be as a straight woman with a man and kids or what if I were straight or even bi and could be with a man? Which is why I feel awful, because I wish I didn't have these thoughts. I experience it as some sort of betrayal to my wife who I'm pretty sure doesn't have these thoughts. The same way I feel like I'm betraying her for even thinking of wanting kids. I wish thoughts were just that, thoughts, not obsessions.

The worst part is, I know this is most probably society conditioning so why am I falling for it? I struggle so much being in the "minority" in so many aspects of life... :(


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Unread postPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 10:50 am 
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TeamTeal, I think that it's pretty common for LGBT+ folks to have wistful thoughts about being "normal", considering how hostile our culture is towards non-cis, non-het identities. You shouldn't beat yourself up for having them. It would be nicer for you if you didn't have the little bastard thoughts running through your head, but they don't define you. Your wife might have similar concerns or she might be lucky enough to have avoided that bit of social conditioning. Either way, it is not your intrusive thoughts that define your relationship with your wife; it's what you decide to do with them. Don't beat yourself up for something you can't help.

That said, as much as you might wish/have wished to be "normal", you don't actually want to be in a relationship with a man, do you? There's a large difference between wanting something because it will make people around you view you favorably, and wanting something because you actually desire it.

Considering children, do you want to have a child because it will make you "normal" in the eyes of society and give you some common ground with others, or do you want a child because you actually desire to nurture another human being into adulthood?

If it's the former, well, you've dealt with anxieties about regret and ostracization for unconventional life choices before. It sucks, I know it sucks, but you're not alone in it. Surely it's better to be true to yourself than to sacrifice your entire life just to be "normal".

If it's the latter, you have a big decision to make and I'm afraid I have little in the way of advice for you. It's up to you and your wife to talk about it, and for you to decide what your priorities in your life are. A child is a huge change, and something that involves a great deal of sacrifice, and having a childfree or childfree-leaning partner makes it all the more complicated. Maybe for you there is something about raising a child that is worth all that (I can't imagine what that would be, but that is my own bias). Or maybe that longing is not enough for you to consider overturning your and your wife's entire life. I would advise trying to approach this as realistically as possible and determining what you desire most. You will almost certainly not be able to "have it all".

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“First they came for the Socialists, and I said nothing—Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I said nothing—Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.” -Martin Niemöller


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Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2017 4:24 am 
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Maura, I definitely don't want to be with a man. The few "relationships" I had with boys/men as a teenager/very young adult were always so short-lived (I always put an end to it after a few weeks) or attempted failures to do like everyone else. I can appreciate a man's handsomeness and get along very well with them as friends or even have some curiosity about sex with a man (never had actual intercourse with one), but I never had male crushes, never felt romantically towards them. But even as I type this, I always have those "what ifs" or "maybes" in the back of my mind so I guess it IS the bastard thoughts.

Same goes for children, my very first reaction to reading "desire to nurture another human being into adulthood" was NO! And like you said, there could be a part of me that has that longing (probably not even for the "right" reasons though), but is it enough to actually overturn our life? I don't think so. I just wish I could be 100% certain of that and 100% confident about it when I have to tell people we're not having children. But I guess the problem here is I need to accept uncertainty and the fact that not everything is black or white. That it's ok to doubt and doesn't mean I should act on every single doubt that I have in life. I basically need to stop wanting to be in control so much. I still have a lot of work to do towards that but that's a different subject.

Anyways, thank you so much for your wise words, I really appreciate that!


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Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2017 12:53 pm 
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It would be nice if we could know with 100% certainty what the correct decision is all the time. Unfortunately, that kind of certainty is damn near impossible to get. And sometimes there is just no way to proceed that will make you completely content with your decision. There is almost always some kind of trade-off that must be made.

Sometimes all you can do is pick the option that seems to provide the most rewards and the fewest hassles. Easier said than done, I know.

I wish you luck in grappling with your anxieties. It's a shitty thing to have to deal with.

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“First they came for the Socialists, and I said nothing—Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I said nothing—Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.” -Martin Niemöller


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Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 7:39 am 
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As someone who landed on the other side of the fence, it does not sound like you really want kids. Rather, you really want to feel 100% sure. But not everyone ever does get to the point of feeling 100% sure, and that's ok. I conceived via artificial insemination and was a bit ambivalent (because I would have preferred to adopt, but that didn't work out), and the entire trying to conceive process was immensely stressful. So, if you think you're anxious now, moving forward with TTC when you're ambivalent will only ramp up your anxiety even more.

I think the better option is to work on understanding the extent to which it is societal pressure (rather than an innate desire for motherhood) that is triggering your anxiety. I don't know about your social circle, but there are plenty of lesbian couples having babies, so you may even be feeling some "everyone else is doing it" pressure as a lesbian in a relationship, in addition to the wider society's assumption that all women want babies.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 9:46 am 
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I can relate to this so much, not so much that I will change my mind but more so I have a very irrational and constant obsession my partner will. I also suffer from generalised anxiety disorder and can spend all day thinking about it (its very bad at the minute.) Feel free to PM me to talk if you want, I don't really feel comfortable mentioning the level of my obsessing on a public board.


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Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:59 pm 
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It's easy to feel anxious. We are so pressured by society and our surroundings. Every commercial on TV, every bus/train ride, every trip to the grocery store, you name it. If you are thinking about it, there are kids/families everywhere to exacerbate it. I also constantly need to reassure myself that this is what I want.


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