Three misconceptions about childfree men Read More
I'm in my mid forties and have never had kids by choice. Never been married by choice also. Of all the decisions I've made in my life, (and many have backfired on me), the no kids, no wife choice has been the best choice I've ever made. A lot of my friends are paying alimony and child support now. I don't have to deal with that thankfully. I date pretty often also. I have no idea what is said behind my back, but a number of my friends who are divorced and paying through the nose for it have told me they envy me. This is not to say I don't have problems. I've had a lot of problems in the last year or two in other areas of my life that were really just the result of terrible luck basically, and if I had been married and had kids these problems would have been 10 times worst actually. So I say to each his/her own, but for me the choice to avoid the whole marriage and kids thing has been a good one.
I'm in my late 30's and never wanted kids, either. A long-term relationship seems much easier than marriage, especially when living together doesn't enter the picture.
You have your stuff, I have mine.
Indepedence is my #1 concern.
My mother had a bicycle. Everyone in the family had a bicycle, they were all lined up in the garage. My dad taught us kids how to maintain our bicycles, and he was always careful to maintain my mother's bicycle, keeping the tires inflated and the chain lubricated.
My mother never once rode her bicycle. Never ever.
She told us she was a mother and had better things to do, the house needed cleaning. My mother did not play, she did not have fun. Fun, she told us, was not something mothers did. Mother had no problem telling us all what to do and what we were doing wrong, and how to do better but she never smiled. She was a mom.
I remember my mother as a sour bitter woman. If this is what parenting is about then I am very glad to have nothing to do with it. Consider me a selfish and irresponsible(although my house is paid for, my credit is perfect and I have money in the bank).
Where do these attitudes come from? I've lived my life in Dallas, TX and no one ever, and I mean never has said a word or make me feel less than others or selfish because we never had children. Our choices (my husband and I) have always been respected by family, friends, everybody. Are we so lucky that all of our contacts are people who don't stick their noses in our private business? I don't think so. I really think authors like this make up or distort subjects like this just to have something to write about and get published sometimes.
I really wish I didn't have to write this, but there is a grain of truth in each of these statements when you apply them to most men who don't want/never wanted children -- this does not apply to childless men who missed out on fatherhood. I am a CF woman who's dated extensive and even been married to two CF men, both abusive. My first fiance and last significant other, products of a really rotten childhood, were also abusive (passive-aggressive), dispassionate, and paranoid about women taking their "stuff" in a divorce.
If I had ever met one CF man who was capable of truly loving one other person than himself, maybe I would agree with this article. Not to say they don't exist -- just that I have yet to meet one. The level of self-absorption is beyond the pale. I stopped getting involved with CF men (even though I'm CF myself), and my personal life is so much better -- normal. In my current relationship (single dad to one), I feel genuinely loved. There's equal give and take. Is it an ideal situation? Absolutely not, but it beats dealing with dysfunction after dysfunction.
I am 51 and never had kids. When I was in my 20s I figured I was too young to have kids. Then I married in my thirties and wasn't ready for the intense responsibility of children. Now that I am in my fifties, I date women with kids or grandkids and I love them. I kind of regret not having kids but I understand that the stress is something I didn't have to endure. If I found the right woman that wanted a baby, I'd consider it. My current on again off again girlfriend has grand kids and I love them. Debbie and I take them to the park or on road trips and I love it! Debbie even says I'm a natural!
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Ellen Walker, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and the author of Complete Without Kids: An Insider's Guide to Childfree Living By Choice Or By Chance.
When and how should we open up to loved ones?