Life Advice


Health & Spirit

Should I tell my fiancé I don't want a baby -- as soon as he does?

Carolyn Hax on

Dear Carolyn:

I'm getting married this summer to the man of my dreams and things have been great. We've got a new house, I'm graduating college next May and we're really happy.

He wants a baby really bad. We agreed to wait until I graduate to start our family, but he confessed to me he really wants to have one sooner. I'm not even sure I want one in a year though. If it were completely up to me, I would wait at least a couple of years, but we both compromised. I just don't want to tell him how I really feel because I know it would break his heart since he wants one so bad.

-- Confused Fiancee

Telling him how you really feel isn't what will break his heart. Your wanting something different from what he wants so badly is the heartbreaker, and you're already there, so the best thing you can do is be honest about that as soon as possible.

That at least maximizes the time he has to deal with this reality, which is the one he already inhabits without even knowing it.

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There is nothing wrong with wanting what you want and feeling what you feel. There isn't even anything wrong with breaking someone's heart. It feels awful but sometimes it's unavoidable and in this case it's clearly not intentional. It just is. A natural byproduct of two people openly being themselves.

What is avoidable -- and what would soon become intentional if you keep holding this in instead of sharing it with your fiance -- is the extra heartbreak of withholding the truth until after you're married. Even if it disrupts everything, even the night before, that's better than allowing him to marry you under the false pretense of your being 10 months away from starting a family. Own your stuff.

And: Please don't ever "compromise" on children unless you're ready to be 100% there for whatever children you compromise on having. I can't think of anything more heartbreaking than being the child one parent (or, egad, both parents) didn't really want.

Hi, Carolyn:


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