Your Call: 38 and Want a Baby But He’s Not Ready

infertility_statuephoto by Daquella_manera

Dear Em & Lo,
I’m 38 and have been with my boyfriend a little over two years. He recently told me he is not and will not be ready for a family and marriage for at least two more years because he is having financial issues. I am ready now, or at least within the next year, and I want a future with him. I am scared to stay with him another two years just for him to again tell me he is not ready or maybe by then I’ll be too old to have kids. He has a lot of financial baggage and debt, I don’t. Should I move on or stick it out?
— Lady in Waiting

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  1. Wow im in the same floating boat. I know my partner loves me very much but i think he might be scared of being a parent. I have also discovered the older one gets the more difficult it becomes to get pregant. My sister jus had a bay a the age of 43..seven years of unprotected making. I have even thought of sperm banks but i know that would turn my love away. I did share with my partner if we didnt try i would have resentment. Wish you all the best. Try praying about it..it cant hurt.

  2. What is the reason why the guy has “so many financial issues and debt?” That would be a big concern for me regardless of the ticking biological clock. Is he financially irresponsible (or was there a good reason for the debt)? Is it possible for him to file bankruptcy so that the couple can start with a clean slate? If he’s financially irresponsible that is a major dealbreaker in my book.

  3. Dear Lady in waiting,

    I am in exactly the same position, same age also… by chance if you are still following up on the responses… what did you finally decide to do?
    My partner suggested we have couple therapy. He already has 3 children prom previous marriages.
    I agreed to this, but by the 3rd session got fed up with the whole scene… asking myself why am I here. I broke it off. we see each other sometimes.
    2 months have passed and I miss our relationship terribly. I feel I made a hasty decision and perhaps should have continued the couples therapy a little while longer.
    anyway just wondering what did you decide.

  4. sasha, 75% of the women you know who have kids and husbands TRICKED the man into it?

    That’s a horrible thing to do. I think I know about one women who did it.

    Wow, if I were you I’d get myself some less manipulative friends……

  5. I would have asked a man if he could be a sperm donor. I know many guys that have kids already would have said yes.

  6. Do what all other women in this position due….tell him youre on the pill but just not take it……..or put holes in the condoms. Why not?! It’s how 75 percent of the women I know landed their kids and got the man to commit.

  7. Rico, I have to be honest. That was the WORST suggestion I have ever seen.

    Sex should NEVER, I mean NEVER be used as a weapon or a tool. It is the most manipulative a person can do, and I wouldnt’ trust a woman OR a man who uses sex for ANYTHING other than to please their partner.

    Intentionally NOT using birth control is a recipe for disaster. This woman, should she be stupid enough to follow this advice (which I doubt she would) could easily end up pregnant and ALONE with a child to raise and a dead beat for the child’s absent father.

    I have seen some BAD advice, but using sex, and the THREAT of an unwanted pregnancy as a TOOL is the worst. If you think a simple BLOW JOB is the secret to getting a man to marry and have children with you, you have a LOT to learn about relationships. Really, blow jobs are a dime a dozen. Any well seasoned, sexually active man, who doesn’t have any trouble getting tail will NOT be swayed by such HIGH SCHOOL antics. And I know SO many High School girls who became single mothers and ruined their lives by doing just such a manipulative action.

    Sorry, but your info was the worst thing she could do.

    The man DOES NOT want kids or a commitment. End the relationship and move on.

  8. I recently took back my ex and it only lasted for the same time that we were together the first time (3 months). This time, he said that he had changed, was different, had his priorities in order, was more mature, wanted commitment and was ready for marriage with me. He was 23 and I was 30. He said he wanted to marry me, have my children, live with me and be with me forever. He said a lot of things to me, making so many promises but never actually fulfilling them. It was more common than not for him to ‘say one thing’ and ‘do another’. When I finally pulled the pin on him, I also found out I was pregnant. I told him to pull his socks up re: his behaviour and attitude towards me. He was inconsiderate, selfish, childish, immature and irresponsible. I told him to either shape up or ship out. Sadly and unfortunately, it was an ‘ultimatum’ but I had no intention of making it one. It only came in light of the circumstances. He was full of b.s. and I fell pregnant at a time when I came to the realisation that things weren’t working out. When I told him of the pregnancy, he then gave me an ‘ultimatum’ – terminate the pregnancy before marriage OR ELSE!! He said he was ready for marriage, ready for anything but JUST NOT CHILDREN. It is unfortunate, that I found this out at the time I fell pregnant to him, but at least I found out sooner rather than later. What if I married him and found out later he wasn’t ready for children until 5 or 10 years later??? Of course our biological clocks are ticking and can stop at any moment. Can we really expect to put all our precious eggs in one basket?? Can we really be relying on ‘false hope’?? We can really trust a man who may not live up to his word?? Can we expect anything more from a man who wants us to put our plan/lives on hold for them?? How long should we wait for that right moment to arrive or slowly pass us by?? You need to be 100% honest with him as to what you expect from your relationship and what your head and heart desires. If your ideas and goals do not match with his right now, will they ever match in the future?? Perhaps, you are both on different pages of the book and you need to be with someone is on your page – commitment, marriage, children etc. Keep an open mind – you will find your Mr Right.

  9. Unfortunately when a man says he is not ready for marriage/relationship/kids whatever, what he is actually saying is

    I am not ready for marriage or a family with YOU!

    Do yourself a favour and leave him.

    So sorry

  10. Oh please. Quit scaring the woman. If you want to know about your reproductive years “how much time you have left”, there are tests your MD can do. Some 25 year olds that are ‘perfectly healthy’ and young can not conceive.

    As far as the bf? It’s an excuse. There will -always- be an excuse. I have been with my boyfriend, exclusively, for 13 years, since I was 26 years old. I did not want children until my 30’s. I was not thinking “mr Right” I was thinking “Mr Right Now”

    Unfortunately, I grew up. He didn’t. It went from me hinting, to asking, to begging, to horrid horrid fights. We broke up over it when I was 34. I went to a dating service, looking for a man whose goals were more on tune with mine.

    He called me over and over for 3 months, promising we would get married as soon as child support wasn’t such a huge issue (I make much more than him) The woman at the dating agency told me “It will ALWAYS be an excuse with him. Don’t be in this same situation 2, 3, 4 years in the future.

    Well…lemme tell you. 6 years later, thats exactly where I am. Still not married, still no kids. Now that I have finally told him “Having AND raising a child is more important to me than being with you, and I am ending things, please move out” (he knows I won’t have a child with him without the ring)

    Not in an ultimatum kind of way…just straight facts, no emotions (after 13 years, his family is like my family. One weekend and an ocean of beer later, he brings his birth certificate and says “Lets go get a marriage license”. No ring, no proposal, just that.

    He is finally on the same page with me, of sorts. But after 8-9 years of begging, pleading, frustration and resentment…I’m not so sure I want that with him anymore. So, with time ticking, I’m trying to make this huge decision. I could do worse, I could do better, I could go it alone. If I stay with him, it will be settling, because I want a child. He is a very good father, but doesn’t do responsibility well.

    The -only- thing I know is that if I do not have a child, I will resent…maybe even despise him for it. I will regret it my entire life. (yes, financially I can go it alone, it’s my house, I pay all the bills)

    And…btw…my MD had her first at 42 and second at 44 with no medical intervention. I guess if she wasn’t afraid to be a ‘geriatric mother’, with all her medical knowledge (she is a general practitioner with emphasis on womens health) …I’m not either. She didn’t find “Mr Right” until she was 38. It wasn’t by choice.

    PS. Adoption is wonderful, but some of us -really- want the experience of pregnancy. PPS, both of my Doc’s sons are 100% healthy and normal, full term boys.

    All I can tell you is, follow your heart. Decide if you want him more, or a baby more, because there will -always- be an excuse. Been there, done that, nothanks. But no matter the advice anyone gives you, you won’t leave till you’re ready…and then you’ll wonder what took you so long.

  11. I think Erika Awakening is right on.
    I’m assuming said “he” is about the same age. I think finances are a scapegoat here. If you are really in love, you don’t have to wait for the money or the dream wedding. Don’t get me wrong, financial stability is an awesome thing. It just isn’t the be all end all. Its really a lot easier to blame your parents for being broke rather than being bad parents.
    “I’m not ready to settle down” is completely understandable in your twenties. In your almost forties? not so much.

  12. You are 38. You are female ( which indicates your window of opportunity for childbearing is about to close.)

    If he does not want to have kids yet, then you have the choice of leaving this man and look for a willing man, or else stay in and regret that decision for the rest of our life.

    It is either him or children. You are not creating this situation, it is him whom is forcing you to chose.

    You can always chose to become a single mother. That is a choice you have to make. But if you want to have a child within a couple, then you have to leave this guy and look for a man that shares your view.

    No way around it.

  13. I think he is old school. I mean you don’t need him to be the hero in your life, do you? If you have $ and the means to have a baby & get married, why does he have to have $. I mean women can take care of men. He doesn’t want to, all the other stuff sounds like excuses.

  14. Since you’re 38, and that is considered maternal old age, you don’t have two years, and two years likley won’t change the finances since it hasn’t already. I also presume you’re using birth control.
    Here’s the solution, (I will be very frank and hope my answer doesn’t get deleted for it.)
    Ask him to hear you out at a bedtime when he can agree not to interupt and listen quietly while you tell him your needs and longings. After telling him, ask him to contemplate your request quietly without speaking and reserve any decision for a few weeks or when he’s ready to make one. Then, (this is the part not meant to offend, and I hope will not), offer, proactively initiate, and perform long patient fellatio while asking him to contemplate your needs, (if you don’t know how, or you’re not good at it, ask him to teach you, and be an A plus student). This will lead to sex: Advise him before sex, that due to your deep natural yearnings, you can no longer in good conscience use birth control, so only engage if he can love and accept the natural outcome of uniting. Else stay diligently with the aforementioned so as not to infer a penalty.
    Repeat enthusiastically nightly, (don’t get lazy), until the stars align you two. Initiating unrequested long, patient fellatio fifteen minutes after sex will earn you deep admiration and respect within the relationship. Indecision will evaporate and chasing finances will become secondary.
    That is a win / win solution, offered seriously, to resolve a heatbreaking and difficult problem , and is not intended in any way to be flippant or offensive.
    By the way, he doesn’t realize how incredibly lucky and what a fool he is. (Girls always seem to be magnetically attracted to the jerks).
    If that doesn’t work after a few months, preserve what little window of opportuniy you have left quickly, and snag the guy in your circle of aquaintances who you always knew instinctively all along wanted you more than anyone but maybe couldn’t speak it. You maybe shunned him because of his looks or shyness or geekiness or whatever. He may be younger, or maybe older. He maybe doesn’t pass the girlfriend test; decent though he may be, the girlfriends just don’t like him. He’s the one who would love you, and for a lifetime, more than he could ever say, or you would ever know, if only given a chance. He’s the one who longs for you, dreams of children with you, would humbly thank God for the daddy badge, patiently waits, is always happy to see you, prays for the possibility of even talking to you, whose eyes light up when he sees you, and who would shed tears of joy in his heart if you but smiled on him. Perhaps to your disgust.. you may even be repulsed that he dares to be interested in you. You know the guy. That fellow will never let you down at crunch time, which is now.

  15. I’m of the view that we are always projecting our own fears onto the people in our lives … so if he’s not ready, it actually means I’m not ready. And that means I need to look at my own beliefs and fears and release whatever blocks are in the way of me manifesting what I want into my life. I personally am a huge fan of Emotional Freedom Techniques (an acupressure-based form of healing also known as “tapping”) to resolve this sort of inner conflict.

  16. NO one is ever ready for children you just never know how things will go , I just realized that whatever the reason you either want children to have to love or you just simply dont because you dont have love for them !! IF YOU REALLY REALLY WANT SOMETHING YOU CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN REGARDLESS THE SITUATION !

  17. I waited like you , but 4 years, now I am doing it on my own, but it is a little late, my amh is low, and my fsh is high. I will exhaust all possibilities usuing my own eggs but they look like in the single digits. Plan c is donor egg but not with BF sperm. I wasted my time… They will never be ready, they want to go around and mess around and be boys. I trusted mine. I truly did ! DO not waste time

  18. First, decide on which is the biggest priority: a baby or the boyfriend. It’s hard to say with any certainty what the b/f’s hestitation is – is it really financial difficulties or, is he just buying time? You mentioned he DOES have ‘a lot of financial baggage and debt’ – baby or no, THAT is a warning sign. Consideration needs to go to HOW he is addressing his financial difficulties – is he being proactive in reducing his debt or just cruising along with minimum payments? The point is – assuming he’s your age, if he hasn’t devised a plan to clean up his financial act at this point, then I wouldn’t be too convinced that he would clean it up in the next two years to take on another 18 years of the financial responsibility a child would require. Additionally, if he’s been irresponsible in the financial department – how would he handle the emotional challenges of raising a child?? Forget the credit score – how does he score emotionally in the relationship with YOU? Are you willing to add a child to that emotional plate?

    And, while it’s true two years is alot of time to invest in a relationship – and it could be (realistically) another two years before you would meet, and become pregnant with another boyfriend/husband – I would think its better to move on without the current guy. If having a child is the priority of your life – I’d consider moving on without the current boyfriend and having the child on your own. Speaking from experience & commenting on the experience of several of my friends – children will not change the behaviors of immature men. In fact, they seem to magnify the childish and irresponsible behaviors that already exist. Raising a child(ren) on your own is a tough job, but it can be done — I found it better in my own experience w/o the childish husband. I can’t make that judgment on your current b/f – but you can. Search your heart and be honest with your authentic self — then, and only then, will you find your answer….and your bliss. Good luck to you & many happy blessings!

    PS – my 21 yr old son and a ‘casual’ girlfriend had a baby together (unexpectedly) almost a year ago. They are not together but raise the child jointly. Neither wanted to be a parent at this stage of the game, but they were both willing to take on the responsibility (financially and emotionally) of being parents to my granddaughter, even if they couldn’t be together romantically. Sometimes, there is no clear-cut formula for successful parenting. But, one common denominator is the WANT to be a responsible parent. Again, best of luck to you and many happy blessings!

  19. Not to rain on anyone’s parade but, I have a question for; Madaliso M. Mwale. I have been with a man for 8 years, exclusively. We are not married. Does that mean we are just dating and don’t have a commitment like a married couple? Anybody may feel free to comment.

  20. Move on or have a baby on your own. Chances are that he will never be ready to have a family with you or anyone else. More than likely he will find another excuse not to have children when his financial situation is no longer an issue. There are other ways to have children. Many women out there are single moms and perfectly at ease with themselves. I am one of them. I was 30 when I had my twins and then I had another at 39. I wouldn’t wait too long though. As you start to get older your chances of getting pregnant lessen. So do your chances of going full term. I also found that its not always fair to the child. As they get older, unfortunately, so do you. It can tend to cause embarressment to your child because all of their friends’ mom’s are 10+ years younger. That does fade after they get older though. So, if I were you, I’d move on.

  21. look and listen carefully: If the guy does not want a kid by now he is never going to want a kid. If you make him have a kid with you and he does not want a family, you are asking for trouble. It is that simple. Look there are thousands of men out there who really would like to have a family with you. go find one>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    enjoy life and your children will love you and he forever, even when they are teens. lol

  22. Dear Lady in waiting.

    My humble advice to you is as follows:

    Both of you are not married to each other and as such not commited to each as married couples are.You are both simply dating hoping that one of the fine days to come ,you would tie the note.But unfortunately ,the man appears to be unstable even after two years has elapsed to settle down now due to the alleged fiancial reasons.You have dated for two yeasr now and this is quite handy a period and by now a seriuos,responsible,goal getting,action oriented and visionary man should have made up his mind to either marry you off or leave you alone to move on and find some else to get married to.That man does not seem to know what he wants in this life because two years has now passed and is still undecided wthether to marry you or not and still wants to be given another two years to settle down finanically.This is very dangerous and unhealthy route to go by for you and the earlier you make up your mind to move on the better.

    The issue of having a child with him should not at all arise because having a Child with him even when he is not ready to marry you is not the solution.Please always remember that it is the responsibility of a man to take care of both the woman and the child while the woman should only supplement the man as and when applicable.Even if you are more financially sound than him,do not have a child with him because he is not ready to look after you and the child and this may have seriuos finaiall implications on.Since the man is not ready,it could mean that the chances of him leaving you after having a child with him may even be higher.It is not your responsibility alone that you should take full resonsibility for the child.This is not the best way to go.At 38,is not bad as you may seem to think .You are still very young and highly marketable and iam sure that there is a seriuos man out there ready to marry you and have a happy family.

    What iam saying? For two years that you have dated this man,you must know him by now and asking for another two years grace period to sort out his financial challenges seems to be a clear indication that the man is not and may still not be ready for you even after the next two years.And so,LadY in waiting,leave that man alone and MOVE ON.You are not under any obligations to remian glued to him.MOVE ON my Sister and beleive God for your future partner.(Mathews 6 v 33).Your happyness in this life is not dependent on man,but rather on the decsisions that you PERSONALLY make which may yield either positive or negative results.

    All the very best as you make that importtant DECISION for your life now and the future.

  23. If youve been in a relationship for 2 years and he hasn’t changed his mind about babies, I say move on. Finances may just be his plausible “excuse” on this subject. Don’t give up on finding the right person. Another thing to be concerned about is your own fertility. Are you pretty sure you can even conceive and carry a baby to term? My own rather sad experience, I wanted a baby and my husband (now ex-husband) at first was willing to have a child. After a year of trying, I learned I had a fertility issue. After going through treatments, my ex changed his mind and said he was “too old” to have another child.
    Adoption is another option, keep in mind that single-parenting is a tougher way to go and while friends and family may appear supportive of that option, they aren’t always available to help when you need them and ultimately the burden falls on you. (I have a friend who adopted as a single parent and she has struggled as the support she anticipated from her family hasn’t really materialized. She recently married for the first time to a man who is a supportive partner).

    Good luck!

  24. A long time ago Ann Landers (the Queen of Advice) said a couple have to both be on the same page about kids or one of them will resent the other for the rest of their lives; either for an unwanted burden or a missed parental opportunity.
    By your late 30’s both of you know what you want/don’t want.

    MOVE ON.

  25. hi dear woman think twice because at the next two years you will reach 40 ….and according to biological ways .it said pregnant after 40 is always diffecult, pains and at times very hard to get prenant.

  26. there is never a right time to have kids.
    the reason the ultimatum got the most votes is simple–too many women have stuck it out with guys that will never be ready to have kids, and some have lost the opportunity to have kids because of that. i think every option above is viable, depending on personal choice.
    if i didnt have kids at age 38, thats what i would do, because i have heard of too many women who lost that chance. guys come and go, but children are forever-if you are ready for that step, then he needs to GET ready or move on without you.

  27. Dump him.

    1.If he is a lot of debt, there is posibbility that after marriage life would be suck. Imigaine you life being surrounded by debt.We all need to wipe our own arse.

    2. The reason he dont want kid is probaly bcoz he already in a lot of debt.He will never be serious until he settle down within himself. If me , I wont wait for him. As the world wont wait for us either.

  28. No one knows your situation but you. However, money does play a large roll in having a baby and making a life for that baby. A baby is not a toy. Make sure you can give that baby an education and a clean and healthy environment to grow up in. Be sure you are surrounded by friends and family who support you if you do this ‘on your own’. You may be smart and independant but dont kid yourself there will come a time you will need that family or friend in a pinch. You are at the age where you dont have too many years and mother nature will make that decision for you. Take it from someone who has been where you are now. Keep thinking that “perfect time” will come. The years take care of things not to mention “life” issues such as cancer or other health related issues. I know love and how it takes hold on a person. Once you have made your decision there’s no turning back. Good luck.

  29. don’t be fooled if a person are not ready for something. please don’t force them in to it. this can be verry verry bad for you and them. take good care and think wisley.

  30. Your boyfriend should run, not walk, as fast as he can for the nearest exit.
    If he doesn’t, you should.

    He has explicitly said that he doesn’t want children. Your biological urge deafens you to simple clear language.

    If things are so disjointed at this early stage the three of you are headed for a serious uphill journey fraught with trouble.

  31. look baby. you already 39 you’er reaching the stages in age that most men will stop looking at you stright. unless you can be his meal ticket . that is be like me own your own home have a little chi-chic- change tuck away. and he munch off you. even old men wants babbies but. there are some one out there for you. but. who in the hake is he. and where to found him. i suggest you pray and pray hard too

  32. never push a man in marring. or. making a serious commitment /relationship. you both will really regret it. and soon. i know this i have experance just about every thingin marriage and relationships. but. i ‘ll leave this up to you. but remember. queen told you so.

  33. hell!do like i did. have your baby by another man. don’t rob your self of a preouise child. because if he don’t want to have a baby with you . he don’t love you . trust me and god. the man don’t love you and he are afraid of somethme in the future of paying child support. he is a real as% hole. but. the truth is he’s good he is trying to tell you that he don’t love you. but. he putting it in the from of claimming not wanting a baby

  34. Wow..I’m 39 and am in the same situation!! Five months ago, I decided on the sperm bank and am scheduled for insemination in Nov…My boyfriend has finally figured that my decision wasn’t about controlling him but is a deep desire that I am having as a “life giver”. He is now on board and WE will be trying in Nov. and will marry on New Years Eve!! I’m sending positive thoughts out to “Lady in Waiting”!!

  35. Do you want to have a baby, or do you want to have a baby with him? If you love him and want to have a child with him (adopted or natural) as the fullest expression of your love for each other, then stay. If you just want to have a baby, then leave.

    I’d say the type of debt also matters. If he is simply a spendthrift who can never live within his means, that’s a red flag. IF he got into debt because he lived off credit while laid off or went to law school, that’s more livable.

  36. Forget the ultimatum if you want a successful relationship, let alone a dad who doesn’t resent the hell out of his own kid.

    Her clock is ticking and with good reason. Complication rates and infertility go up dramatically after your 30’s despite the claim that “Science does wonderful things…” This couple is not on the same wave length. Even if you remove the child from the equation, who wants to be with a man who 1) does not want to commit after 2 years, and may never, and 2) is so in debt at that age, that he cannot forge his own way as a partner? He’s not a good catch for someone looking to make a future with, let alone a family.

    Doesn’t make him “evil”, or “wrong”, but it does make the two of them a bad match. Add to that her desire for a child, and you have a situation that needs to end. And soon. (Oh, and what if she’d like 2 children? Not going to happen with this guy.) You think he’s going to get his financial act together only to then say, “okay now let’s start a family b/c I finally have no debt”?

    Who knows? Maybe he’ll regret losing her enough to get his act together. But they’ve been “dating” for 2 years. How long does it take to decide at that age? Good grief. Enough already.

    Choosing the right partner is not all there is to staying happily married. Having similar life goals is another chunk and he does not have the same life goals as she does, and he’s a poor financial manager on top of that. Sorry, he gets the boot for now. See what happens later. But no ultimatum. That’s manipulative, and will NOT work in the long run.

  37. I agree with Bill. Never give him an ultimatum. If you truely love him then you make peace with your decision to stay with him and weight out to see what happens. If having a baby is something that is weighing on you to do within the next year, then he’s not the one. But don’t go behind his back, get pregnant and force him into something he already told you he wasn’t ready for because you may become a single parent. I don’t believe in 2 yrs he’ll be ready either. As a parent to 2 kids, your never financially ready for a child. Ever!! Its something you decide whether you want or not and go for it. Saving for kids is something you should of done from the day you were born. But whatever decision you make, you’ve gotta live with it. Don’t break up with him thinking its gonna force him to give you what you want to get you back, that’s not fair!

  38. IF those are his legit reasons then that makes sense. Why would anyone want a baby if they can not afford it? That will only cause strain between you two and in the end the baby will get hurt. Women have babies around the age of 40 now more than ever. All that means is you will have gotten to experience all of the “single life” things when you do have one. If by then he’s still not ready, leave him because he probably won’t ever be.

  39. Firstly, I’d like to say it always grates on me when people say they want a “baby”. It’s a “baby” for all of 40 minutes. Before you know it, (5 years here) you’ll be having to search for schools, uniforms, and everything that entails, then 5 years after that you’ll have to be thinking about secondary schools and how they’re going to settle in, then a few years later, all the issues that being a teenager in a school full of big kids can bring, and then hopefully a few years after that (by which i mean, not at age 13), trying to deal with what will most likely be a hormonal soon to be sexually actively teenager. It’s not a cute baby, it’s a person that will alternately look up to you and tell you it hates you through the course of your life, and take your life as the basics of what being human is all about. Like I said, the “baby” stage is over in about 40 minutes.

    Secondly, what happens if something happens to you? Do you have a support system so that your kid won’t have to end up in care if you die, or become unable to support it – families, friends you can trust to raise it – and what about childcare? Is the life you want to give it compatible with the hours you work – and if you cut down, will you be able to give it the life you want? (I’m talking about contact time here, not just money).

    I agree with the “don’t give him an ultimatum” answer. You can’t force him to be a dad, you’re just going to have to work out what’s more important to you; this relationship, or creating a child to raise. And maybe, if you go for IVF, you need to think about what’s more important; creating a child to raise, or a relationship at all. Because although I am in no way implying that being single and childless means you’re going to be forever alone, when you go for IVF by yourself, you’re committing to the child, not to any future relationships, you’re saying “despite being single, that is not a barrier, this is what I want”. You are not saying “this is what I want, I assume I’ll find someone to help me raise it”. You need to plan to be single, or you’ll end up out of your depth. Which again comes back to the support system. Do you have a family and friends support system that you can depend on to help you raise this human that will be dependent on your for the next 18 years minimum (assuming nothing horrendous happens)?

    Because if you don’t have the support network, maybe you should consider why it is you so desperately want to make a person yourself. To be perfectly honest, it almost sounds like you want to move on, but are scared to leave, and think that having a child with him could fix it. Children are not relationship glue. It sounds like a manifestation of your need for him to make a significant commitment to your relationship, something he hasn’t done yet. Because rightly, if there’s no future in the relationship, there’s no much point in hanging around. But children won’t give a relationship a future, it just means you’ll have something binding you, no matter how far apart you go.

    And if anyone thinks I’m trying to put the writer off, please let me say;

    If a random commenter on the internet can put you off having a child, then maybe having a child isn’t the best decision for you right now.

  40. I chose the browsing the sperm bank in front of him option because, as much as I agree with going ahead with your baby plan yourself, an ultimatum will push him away. Browsing the catalogue might show him you’re serious and under the pressure of time, without forcing him to make a choice about being a part of it. The only change I would make to that option is actually following the plan through. A possible win-win scenario is that he’ll be the donor (and therefore be involved without financial obligations).

  41. I think you should move on. You want very different things and he may never be “ready”. It is highly possible that you have already weighted to long to have a child of your own. Women see stars having babies later and later but for most of us that is just not realistic. I wish you well and that you have the family you dream of. Be it thru birth or adoption.

  42. Sorry Spes, but that’s definitely what it sounded like you were saying. This letter said nothing about a “poverty stricken” situation. One can have financial problems (debt) that makes it rather difficult to support a child, and not be “poverty stricken”. I’m sorry you thought I was being “holier than thou”… It really wasn’t my intention… I was merely offering my personal example of how having a lot of money doesn’t mean much when it comes to raising kids.

    I would address your comment on social welfare programs – but in that case, I would be being holier than thou. Suffice it to say that I personally believe they should exist. And while I think that if someone is aware that they WILL have to go on these programs to survive with a child – I think they should wait, I also believe there is no shame in having to. I feel there is nothing wrong with my taxes helping those who have less than I do.

  43. Once upon a time I would have thought having a baby on your own was a great idea. Now that I have kids, I don’t. I can imagine being desperate enough to do it, but raising kids really requires more than one person. If you have to do it alone, you will, but don’t choose it if you can avoid it.

    I have also found that it is better if you are in a position where one of you can stay home or cut back on their career/job. This is not always a choice, but it’s something you should consider in your plans.

    I would also vote for moving on because this guy could marry her now even if he couldn’t afford kids yet.

  44. I had to break my heart when it came to this. Life is too short and there is never a perfect situation in finances to start a family. You will find someone that is close to the same page that you are. They will love you and your new family.

  45. Just be patience and keep on praying because he may be testing your faith or to know the kind of girl you are. He may also be the right man for you so don,t rush yourself into another relationship if that’s what you have in mind because it may be worst.

  46. Firstly, I didn’t say, nor even imply, that one needs to be in a ‘perfect financial’ situation in order to have a child (especially since I don’t think such a thing really exists). What I did say was that bringing a child into a poverty stricken life is abusive and selfish, and I stand by that. I’ll not apologize for believing that if a family needs government support in order to have a child then they don’t need to have any children. It’s not my job to provide taxes for people who have irresponsible sex. If a person can support their own, well then, I guess if they really want to do such a thing, they should go ahead and have a kid. But NOT on my dime. And if that means 80% of Americans won’t have children, I don’t see a problem with that. I’ll take quality over quantity any day.

    And as a qualifier, that doesn’t mean only the rich get to have children. My mother wasn’t on welfare, and there were times when there were 7 people living in our one bedroom apartment because our entire family was poor. Hell, my grandmother was a bag lady. Until I was 13 I had to share a room–and sometimes even a bed–with my mother and brother. I know what it’s like to be hungry on a daily basis. So don’t presume to tell me how one can come from ‘low income’ and be well adjusted. There’s no point in bothering to get holier than thou with me, thank you very much.

  47. This is difficult in many ways, and I didn’t choose any of the options above.

    I wonder if she’d rather have “a” child no matter what, his child with him as the father, or a childless relationship with this man. Also, I don’t quite understand if his plan is to get his finances in order in two years, and is then definitely ready to have children. If that is the case, then I would say 38 vs. 40 is not such a big difference (then again, I am 29 and I don’t know what it feels like). Additionally, I agree with the commenters who said pressuring is not a good idea. It never is. I also think that having his baby but telling him he doesn’t have to be involved (financially or otherwise) is forcing fatherhood on him. The adoption suggestion might be worth thinking about too, and if you are going to have a child, just make sure you have a great doctor and it’ll be fine.

    I think they just need a serious talk in which they make their priorities clear to the other one, and make a plan. Good luck!

  48. I think what’s really telling here is that 91% of people came out in favor of *not* waiting out this guy’s proposed two-year savings plan (or whatever it is).

    everything else is just etiquette and semantics.

  49. Spes – so you are saying that if one isn’t 100% financially stable they shouldn’t have children? You realize this would basically mean then end of civilization – right – considering 99% of the world can’t “afford” a child. Honestly… I read somewhere that with the actual cost of a child, something like 80% of AMERICANS can’t afford a child.

    I’m not saying finances aren’t important when considering when to have a child… Just that it is a HUGE stretch to say that someone who doesn’t have perfect finances (You know – most of us) would be committing abuse by having a child. I grew up low income and I am just fine. Most of us are, thank you very much.

    Other than that – I agree. I like number 3 because of the whole “Well if you want a baby, YOU have a baby” aspect… I dont think it should matter whether or not he is involved, but I also dislike it sounding like an ultimatum. I guess I would re-word it to something like “If you think you can support a child and want one, tell him so. And if that doesn’t change his mind – the do it yourself!”

  50. I have to agree with Bill. Ultimatums can go very, very wrong, either because he’ll agree and resent you for it later, or he’ll be stubborn and dig his feet in just because he doesn’t like feeling like he’s being controlled.
    I do feel the need to point out that when it comes to having children, money is NOT trivial. Bringing a child into a poverty stricken life is not only selfish but abusive. However, if you can comfortably afford to care for the child financially, mentally, and emotionally, then having a marriage isn’t really needed. Many of us have been raised without fathers or mothers and have become well adjusted adults. In your case I would think long and hard about whether you really want to have a child of your body. Having a child after 35 puts you and the child at much greater risks for complications and disorders. But, again, many have made it work, perhaps you might be one of them. Perhaps not. My vote is adoption, and if the guy wants to stay and help you raise it, so be it.

  51. I am disappointed that the ultimatum got the most votes, because that is the *worst* choice. The last thing you want is for the guy to agree to a baby just because he feels pressured. Clearly he does not want a baby now. So you need to decide whether you want him or a baby (I wouldn’t bet much on him being ready for a baby in two years either). If you decide you want him, you have to make peace with your decision. If you decide you want the baby, you have to break up with him and get on with your life. Maybe he’ll change his mind after you break up with him, but don’t present it as an ultimatum.

  52. I like the third option of saying that you want a baby and can do it with your own money/resources, but it comes across very much like an ultimatum which I feel is bullshit. Obviously the guy is not all that eager to be married and start procreating, and while there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, it is not what she wants. This sounds like a classic case of two people not having the same thoughts for their future. What do they always say – it costs something like $250k to raise one child until they are 18 and in economic times like today, no one is in a position to fork out that kind of dough so I think his whole money/debt is a bullshit excuse because there are a lot of folks out there that a dying to be parents and would never let something as trivial as money stand in their way. I say that she pay attention to the situation and if marriage and children is really the most important thing on her agenda, then she needs to get out and do what’s good for her.

  53. Since when is our ability to parent inextricably tied to our ability to maintain a romantic relationship? Sure, in an *ideal* world every baby would be wanted and have two financially sound parents with a whole host of extended family and supportive social network, it takes a village blah blah fishcakes. In reality? You want a baby. So look at your savings account, and then decide if YOU can have a baby. You want a boyfriend? Look in your sex toy drawer (I know you have one too!) and then decide if YOU need a boyfriend. Or girlfriend. Or FWB. Whatever. I just don’t think my ability to get along with potential mother in laws and neurotic sociopathic-wannabe potheads (oh, maybe thats just my own personal dating pool these days, YMMV) should decry whether I can nurture and make sure a small human gets enough food, attention and daylight till I ship it off to kindergarden in Switzerland. Or something.

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