Divorced, early 40s, male, no kids. Should I continue to wish for them? - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-31-2011, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
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Divorced, early 40s, male, no kids. Should I continue to wish for them?

Basically I am recently divorced. I have no children, and am somewhat exhausted by the demands of building relationships. After a period of real happiness, my marriage ended rather suddenly and badly with betrayal (hers, married OM), lies and recriminations. I have had a number of long term relationships, though the longest two were 5 and 8 years respectively. I am feeling at a crossroads. I have fantastic relations with my nieces and nephews, but am not sure about having my own children. Why? Negatives first:

1. The world does not seem to need any more. This week, today in fact, the world topped 7 billion people. This is set to rise, perhaps a lot. It is creating a lot of problems. Why should I contribute to this?

2. Over 40 the chances of having a child, even as a male, who is disabled or has mental health issues begins to climb fairly sharply.

3. I am very fit now, but how will I be in 20 years time? Does an older father mean a less fulfilling father?

4. The huge effort, energy, expense and risk. I am battered by betrayal and to some degree exhausted with the very idea of committed relationships. I have options, but am not inclined to take any of them on just now. I just feel... tired of it all and needing to just be quiet for awhile. I fear, to a degree, the massive disruption and demand that children will place upon myself and my resources. I would not be interested in being a father unless I could give 100% the best stability, security, effort and love.

5. The world is in a desperate mess and I have, in common with many others, great fears for its future. I am wondering whether it is right to introduce new persons to this mess.


1. Not having children is rather sad. It misses out, I feel on one of the core experiences of life.

2. A person who is not brought into being has no case against me from the point of view of their non-existence, philosophically. (A subtle point, about which I have thought a great deal, on account of my realisation that giving life, also gives death: it basically means that one who is brought into being has no case to make that they should not have been brought into being, because if they had not, there would be no being on which the claim could fix...)

3. I absolutely love children and always have great relationships with them. I am highly educated, and would have a lot to offer a child of mine. I am not so keen on babies, but that phase does not last long, and if it were mine...

4. There are a lot of women out there who would love to have children, and I could offer a stable home and a good fathership, in partnership, I believe...

I would be very interested to hear from either people who have chosen not to have children, people who would like them but can't have them, people who are unsure, as well as parents, particularly if they are as honest as possible about their experiences, both good and bad.

Thanks in advance!

Last edited by dddivorceee; 10-31-2011 at 02:19 PM.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-31-2011, 02:26 PM
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Re: Divorced, early 40s, male, no kids. Should I continue to wish for them?

Having children is a leap of faith, just like getting married is. As a parent, you will go through many stages as they develop. Some, like a sleepless baby, and the terrible twos and fourteens, will try your soul. Some stages, like the smile of a 6 month old and the joy of watching them get married, will swell your heart with pride. You will learn things about yourself that you could never learn any other way.

It is an incredible journey that will stretch your heart in ways that you cannot imagine. Do not decide this question now, but wait until you find another woman that you want to marry. This decision must be made jointly. With the right attitude, you are not too old to be a father.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-31-2011, 08:12 PM
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Re: Divorced, early 40s, male, no kids. Should I continue to wish for them?

Positive #2 has me both in awe of your wisdom and aware that you think too much.

My husband and I are a childfree couple. He is having a vasectomy on January 20th. I am 29 and he is 37-we are lucky to have found each other-childfree people are rare. Most people want at least one child.

I have worked extensively with children since I was thirteen, as a childminder or a worker for disabled kids. I also worked as a nanny when I first moved to this big city. Losing one child I bonded with at 17, as well as a colicky baby that had me crying and shaking scared me away from becoming a mother. I know it sounds silly, but that is truth. Even though J was not my child, his passing plunged me into a depression that lasted a year. The grief nearly killed me.

I also had an abusive childhood. I am concerned about treating my children with the same brutality as my mother; most parents that I have seen copy their parents' style-good or bad. My mother hated being a parent, so I am sure that had something to do with how I feel about having children. She just seemed so stuck and unhappy with her life.

Physically, I have an illness that would be worsened by pregnancy and the first year of motherhood. I would require special supervision as a high risk pregnancy. Why would I want to put myself through all of that?

My husband and I value our freedom, our time and our romantic relationship. Being a parent seriously curtails a lot of the aforementioned aspects of life. Look around this forum at all the husbands complaining that their sex lives have suffered, since their wives became mothers.

I am a wonderful aunt to four little girls. They love me to death; I'm the "cool auntie" who brings them gifts and takes them to fun places. I love my little cupcakes-they can go back!

Last edited by FirstYearDown; 10-31-2011 at 08:43 PM.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-31-2011, 10:15 PM
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Re: Divorced, early 40s, male, no kids. Should I continue to wish for them?

I have 5 children. All mine and all his biologically (I know right).

3 are special needs (2 autistic spectrum, one ADHD-inattentive), 1 has a physical needs (PDA - cardiac condition). The other, diva girl, is fine so is the physical needs tyke (youngest) his cardiac condition doesn't slow him down at all. Heck, mama's cardiac condition and MS doesn't slow her down.

What's my point in the above? Children are both a blessing (don't hate me for the next part) and a bane. They are a lot of work on a normal day (of which my household never sees), they are expensive but they are a treasure. They are exhausting but exhilarating, they are tough on you but gentle.

They are the epitome of the philosophical saying of being everything and nothing and all that is in between.

Believe me there are days where I want to yank my hair out and wonder about if I had chosen differently but for the most part, at the end of the day and exhausted, I am truly blessed and happy to have them in my life to share with, love, be loved by and cherish.

They have taught me patience, perseverance, unconditional love and so much more.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-01-2011, 09:58 AM
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Re: Divorced, early 40s, male, no kids. Should I continue to wish for them?

I have two young kids and I wouldn't trade them for anything.

I like your negative point 5. Its true in fact. when I hear of new diseases, increasing violence, terrorism, natural disasters...I used to wonder if its a good idea to bring a life into this world.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-01-2011, 12:18 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Divorced, early 40s, male, no kids. Should I continue to wish for them?

Thanks very much for your comments. I value them all. Especially those which address the specific points I made, so thanks! No time now, but will reply in more detail soon. Please keep them coming!
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-05-2011, 10:37 AM
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Re: Divorced, early 40s, male, no kids. Should I continue to wish for them?

A friend of mine was single again and re-married at age 48. His wife was 26 years old and two boys came very fast. Now he is divorced and has custudy of his two sons. The ex has mental issues and is not part of the boys life. Only supervised visits.

You are still young. Just find some younger women in their early 30's or something.

I love my daughted to death. Many times I doubt my abilities to be a great Dad and role model. It's my job to give her the best environment to be a successful adult. I've lost count of all the mistakes that I've made. She watches EVERYTHING that we do... EVERYTHING!
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-06-2011, 08:07 AM
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Re: Divorced, early 40s, male, no kids. Should I continue to wish for them?

I have two children. I will soon be an empty nester. I have loved the whole experience. Most of my daughter's friends have parents that were in their late 30's or early forties when they were born. As a man you have more time to make this happen.

I feel that over-population is a major concern, just like you. When I had my children this issue wasn't even on my radar. You could always adopt so you wouldn't feel like you were contributing to the problem, if you decide you need to be a parent.

If babies aren't exactly the stage you enjoy, you could even adopt an older child.
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