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Can I end my marriage because I want children?

Dear Michael,
My husband and I have been married for over five years, and one of the things we truly agreed on was that neither of us wanted kids.

Over the past few years though, most of my friends, family, and co-workers have had children and exposed me to the joys of having them. I’ve found that my thoughts are turning more toward desiring a child.

I have talked to my husband often, and each time he reminds me about our agreement.

I don’t know where my thoughts and feelings are going on this issue; I’m wondering, is it ok to end a marriage if I choose to have a child, even though it was based, in part, on a mutual understanding that nobody wanted kids?

Dear Mary,

Marriage consists of plenty more than just having kids. Children are critical to the union – some marriages have ended because kids were conceived that were not ‘part of the plan’ and more so, because there was no conception of the desired children.

Yet, marriages have also gone through grave difficulties because of money, sex, relatives, career and friends.

You and your husband have been together for more than five years. Many aspects of a relationship change with time. In your case, you have shifted from not wanting kids to wanting them.

This change, as you have noted, came from exposure to positive experiences of motherhood.

You and your husband previously probably had only experiences that would make each of you view raising children as a bad idea.

It is okay to change your mind about having a baby; but depending on the vows and other commitments you made when getting married, there might have been a ‘for better or for worse’ and this seems to be a season of grappling with the ‘worse’ … at least until your husband also changes his mind.

Do you have a pressing personal problem? Seek advice from Michael Oyier at