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Ask The Good Enough Guy: I Want A Baby, He Doesn’t!


Ask The Good Enough Guy:
I Want A Baby, He Doesn’t!

Hi Will:

I do hope you’ll take a stab at this question because I really need answers. I have been dating Martin for about a year and a half and everything is just about perfect. Just about.

Ever since I was a little girl, I have dreamed of becoming a mother. Every time a new doll hit the market, I was first in line. When I was old enough I started my own babysitting business because I loved to be around kids so much and in college I majored in Early Childhood Education because, you guessed it, I love being around kids. So here’s the problem.

Martin has one child from a previous relationship and is adamant about not having any more. In fact, he maintains his relationship with his ex went downhill after their son was born.

So my question to you Will is, can this relationship work? Will I be able to convince Martin to have another child or will I just have to forego my dream of motherhood?


Aching for a kid….

Hey Aching,

If you’ve read my answers before, you know that I’m a guy who snatches the Band-aid off in one quick motion so you may want to grit your teeth and brace yourself. These questions are hard for me to answer because even being right, feels wrong. I’m sorry to be the one to break it to you but, even if there was a way to make this relationship work, there’s no way to make it work well. Here’s why:

WHY MARTIN’S THE WRONG MAN FOR YOU: Our dreams are just that: OUR dreams. Your dream of being a mom, my wife’s dream of opening a bakery, my dream of ten minutes of peace and quiet, these dreams belong to us to do with as we please. Now, it’s completely OK if we decide to put them on hold for something more important, but Lord help anyone who makes us put them off. Having a baby is something you’ve wanted since you were one. If you pick this relationship over your dream, you’ll eventually blame Martin. Maybe not this year or the next but “Til death do us part” is a mighty long time.

WHY YOU’RE THE WRONG WOMAN FOR MARTIN: You want to be a mom, or at least you think you do. You don’t know it yet, but being a parent is tough. Things will come up that no amount of planning or schooling can prepare you for. But you’ll fight your way through because, in the end, it’s what you’ve always wanted. On the other hand, Martin has been there, done that and doesn’t want any part of doing it again; there’s nothing wrong with that. Being a dad to more than one child isn’t for everyone. It doesn’t make him a bad person or any less of a man. It’s just not who he is and I think he’s trying to tell you that. Now if you beg and cry and back Martin into a corner, he may eventually give in and go halves on a baby with you, but when being a parent gets tough (and it will) Martin will probably:

* Resent you for forcing him to have another child

* Blame your child for messing up his relationship (which he did with his other child)

Leave you to raise a child alone (which he did to his ex)

All of the above.

If/when any of these things happen, you’ll have no one to blame but yourself, because asking Martin to be something that he’s not is just as wrong as Martin asking you not to be who you are (if you didn’t catch that last sentence, keep re-reading it until you get it because it’s my whole answer in a nutshell).

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO NOW: That depends on whether you are woman who snatches off the Band-aid in one quick motion. Either way, it’s going to hurt but why make the pain last any longer than it needs to? If you end it on good terms and you both act like grown-ups about the whole thing, you can still be good friends. If that hurts too much or if it keeps you from healing, then it’s better for both of you to get out of each others’ way, at least for a while.

This is a hard one to answer because either way, you lose something. Martin’s probably a great guy; he’s just not the RIGHT great guy. But I have to believe that there’s a soon-to-be dad out there, looking for a really great, soon-to-be mom, like you. I hope you believe that too.


William Jones is originally from the tiny town of Alton, Illinois, and now lives in the tinier town of Reisterstown, Maryland. He is a happy husband and a proud father of three, and writes as a hobby, in those few moments he finds between husbanding and daddy-ing.


  1. Jacki Marie

    October 1, 2011 at 7:42 am

    Wow… that was definitely ripping the band-aid off but soooo right! My comment is from the perspective of experience. I’m the one who married a man that wasn’t right for me and 25 years of trying to live with and deal with this has brought me clarity.
    Aching, you are brave enough and see enough to write for advice <— I wish I had done that. I settled. How dare I limit myself?
    Don't settle for less that the "right great guy" or you'll get to a point later in your life when you'll look back at all the wasted years of misery and regret. Will is so right. It's a tough decision now, but think about this… We only get one life to live. This man has shown you, and told you that he isn't right for you. Make the change now, or you'll eventually make it later in a messy divorce.

  2. Jennifer

    October 1, 2011 at 9:24 am

    Bingo! You hit the nail on the head Will. As hard as it is to move on now, believe me, it’s better for all involved.

    I would like to mention though that even though I ‘settled’, the silver lining of it all is that I had my three wonderful children and I can’t imagine my life without them. They were the reason why I was supposed to ‘settle’ with their father. It was a part of my life blueprint – to marry their father and be their mother. The kids and I were meant for each other, their father and I werent. After 12 years, we divorced and the man that I married and thought I could change? STILL resents me and we’ve been divorced for 5 years!

    I won’t be having anymore children – although if I could, I would have many, many more in a hot second. At this point I don’t think marriage is something I want to experience again either and I’m happy with that. It was difficult at first but being married now isn’t the holy grail it once was for me. But that’s just me. You need to go out and find out what makes you happy – but with someone else. Not saying it will be easy at first, but you will do fine if you believe that you deserve something wonderful. And when this happens, you’ll also realize that if you never moved on, you never would have found what’s most important first, and that’s YOU. When you find that, everything else will fall into place as it should. When you want to ultimately be with someone for the long haul, you don’t want them to consider you and your dreams, you want them to be absolutely certain. Imagine how awful it is being with someone who isn’t sure or who honestly doesn’t hold you in the highest regard. That makes for pretty crappy emotional solvent even on a good day.

    I wish you all the best and hope what I’ve said helps you.

  3. Lamar @

    October 1, 2011 at 10:31 am

    Never, ever, ever go into a marriage thinking that you’re going to change someone because it sure doesn’t work like that. Will did a good job of outlining what will happen as the end result.

    This issue in particular is one of the most important things that a couple needs to talk about and if you are serious about having children and he’s just as serious about not having them then you need to part ways. I’m sure that this decision will hurt now but believe me the alternative may hurt a whole lot more down the line.

  4. Elizabeth Betrand

    October 1, 2011 at 10:53 am

    Based on the information given, I think Will gave you sound advice. As painfully it is to leave someone that you care about, the decision to walk away from the relationship on good terms is better than to stick it out and to eventually feel resentment toward that person. I don’t want you to regret not at least striving to fulfill your dreams to become a parent. I know you love Martin, but you must trust yourself that you will find someone who shares the same goal as you, as it relates to a having a child of your own. Now, with that being stated, a thought came to mind while I was responding to your dilemma. You raised a couple of questions, “Will I be able to convince Martin to have another child or will I just have to forego my dream of motherhood?”

    I have a couple of questions, how old is Martin’s child? Does he have joint custody? What are the reasons behind Martin not wanting to have any more children? Financial reasons? Lacking the mental fortitude? Etc. Has marriage ever been discussed between you too? I need to know more about Martin and the relationship before I tell you to throw in the towel.

    My immediate reaction to this dilemma was to wish you well and tell you to trust yourself enough to end the relationship; hopefully amicably, and that you’ll find someone to build a family with, and, of course, sending well wishes to Martin as well.

    The questions I raised above I don’t have the answers to. So assuming the child is young; Martin has/or will have joint custody; and he wants to marry you, which means you won’t be motherless. You’ll be raising a child, just not your biological child. Is that a deal breaker? I don’t know Martin’s financial situation. Of course one’s financial status changes periodically. Maybe if or when he has more money, he’ll consider having another child; hopefully with you.

    If he simply doesn’t want to have any more children regardless of who he’s with and the amount of money he has, then I say leave the relationship and try to establish a relationship with someone who wants to create a family with you.

    I wish you all the best. Whatever the outcome is, be strong and know that you’re here for a purpose and trust it will be used and appreciated.

  5. Smarty P. Jones

    October 1, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    This answer is right on point. I went through something similar with my high school sweetheart. We started seeing each other when we were 15. We ended it for good last year when we decided we both deserved what we want. He doesn’t want to get married or have kids. I’m the direct opposite.

    He is my first love, my best friend and so many other things I can’t articulate. But, we were starting to almost hate each other. We spent a lot of time trying to convince ourselves that the other would come around. Then, one night, we just decided that it wasn’t going to work and we went our seperate ways. It hurts like hell but it would hurt more to have the love I feel grow into resentment.

    You deserve to be happy and if becoming a mom will make you happy, do it. Children and marriage are things you can’t compromise on. Good luck with it all.

  6. m.e. johnson

    October 1, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    Once again you’re fanned and faved, Will. Only in the movies will ‘Mom’ go ahead and have the baby and after one look at that wrinkled blob – shazam! – Pops is smitten. (I suppose in this wide world there are some exceptions.)

    Women still want to believe they can change men, but note, Ladies: A friend said, “He told me he was a dog when I met him. I should have believed him, but I thought if I just loved him more… I should have believed him.”

  7. Nikki

    October 3, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    All of the above comments are great. Will hit the nail on the head. Unlike “Aching”, I never dreamed of being a parent & never thought much of it until I became 1. Now I am the mother of 3 & I wouldn’t change that for anything. I love it my 3 kids more than I could have ever imagined. I think If i wanted kids & liked them as much as you say you do, I’d consider other options: a sperm donor, foster care, adoption. Just to name a few, because if it’s kids you really want, & not necessarily a relationship, you can have that. Either way, part ways with Martin, & remain distant friends, cry for a while, have your pity party, then dust yourself off & work towards fulfiling your dream of becoming a “Mom”. You deserve that.

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