When entering a new relationship, it’s wise to take things slowly and not rush into anything.
As things start to get more serious, however, it is best to make sure that you are on the same page about certain long-term goals
Specifically, marriage and children.
Redditor Hungryrefridgerator7, a divorced father of one, recently started a new relationship.
Initially, it seemed that the original poster (OP) and his new girlfriend were mostly on the same page regarding where their relationship was headed.
A few years in, however, the OP’s girlfriend changed her mind about one major future plan.
When the OP revealed he couldn’t accommodate this, his girlfriend did not take the news well.
Wondering if he needed to be more upfront earlier on, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for not telling my GF that I can’t have kids?”
The OP explained why his girlfriend was furious about a certain piece of information he’d been withholding from her.
“I, 30 M[ale] have one kid (11 F[emale]) from a previous relationship, we were young and she was not planned.”
“We decided to get married and tried to have another kid 5 years later, but no luck – we both went to the doctor and I found out that my sperm count was very low, I am lucky to have had one kid in the first place!”
“I tried the treatment and it did not help – the count stayed low.”
“I know someone will ask – yes the kid is definitely mine.”
“A few years went by, and my (ex-)wife was suddenly bored of the relationship and left us.”
“Of course I found out she already had someone else and things got ugly as she suddenly decided she wanted full custody of the kid I had been raising alone for a few months.”
“Basically 2 years in court and we have shared custody.”
“On to the story – I met my current girlfriend (29 F) 2 years ago at a party and we hit off and started to chat a lot, had a lot in common and she was great with my kid.”
“Right at the start she told me that she would never want any kids of her own, nothing against kids but never would like to have one herself, so I should take that into consideration and I told her that it’s not like I want to have any more kids, I don’t want to relive that nightmare that was 2 years of fighting to not lose my rights.”
“Not even joking, at least in my country for men you are a winner if you manage to get shared custody.”
“Now 2 years later we already live together and she suddenly realized that she wants to have a kid and it sure was a surprise for me and I told her that there are 2 problems.”
“I don’t want more kids and I can’t have kids!”
“She was surprised and told me ‘It’s not like I am going to do something like your ex did’ and sure, fair enough, but there is still the medical problem.”
“She called me an a**hole for not telling her that I can’t have kids! I was confused as I did not think that it was something important as she did not want any in the first place.”
“I like my life as it is today; 11 years old is big enough that we can plan road trips and vacations together, my kid loves to spend time with us, and having a baby would mean starting it all over, and we would have two kids with totally different needs.”
“I honestly did not think that it is important information for a person who doesn’t want any kids in the first place.”
“AITA for not telling her before, that I can’t have kids?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation, by declaring:
NTA – Not The A**hole
YTA – You’re The A**hole
NAH – No A**holes Here
ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
The Reddit community generally agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for not telling his girlfriend that he can’t have children.
Most people agreed with the OP that since his girlfriend told him she didn’t want children of her own, his inability to conceive children was a moot point. Some felt he still should have probably said something earlier, with others pointing out that “low sperm count” doesn’t always mean conceiving more children isn’t possible.
“She said very clearly she didn’t want kids, so I understand why you didn’t feel the need to tell her.”
“If she has changed her mind, it doesn’t change the fact that you haven’t, and you don’t want more children.”
“If she very deeply wants a child and she is sure about that, then it’s probably not going to work out, unfortunately, but not because you can’t have children, because you don’t want them.”
“I understand her being upset that this has happened, and in the future, it might be a good idea for you to let potential partners know up front when you have that conversation that, if they change their minds, it’s never going to be an option or a possibility.”- Disastrous_Egg_2251
“NTA because it’s not relevant if she expressed she doesn’t want kids, and you expressed you don’t want more kids.”
“If she had ever before expressed that she was unsure about if she wanted kids, that’d be different.”
“She actively told you at the start she didn’t.”
“I almost wonder if she heard that she should tell guys she doesn’t want kids and then ‘change her mind’ once the guy feels committed.”
“What type of birth control have you guys been using?”
“Did it never come up in that discussion?”- Usrname52
“NTA, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t feel for her.”
“She told you she didn’t want kids, so you likely didn’t feel like you needed to share that information.”
“She changed her mind (which isn’t uncommon), and now she finds it relevant and probably a little heartbreaking.”
“You did nothing wrong because the information wasn’t necessary to share at the time (you both didn’t want kids) – but now she probably feels torn between wanting to fill a maternal need and being two years into a relationship with you and seeing you as the father she wants her future children to have.”
“I’m sorry she’s making you feel bad.”
“There’s no need.”- Additional_Jaguar_76
“It doesn’t matter if he can or can’t have kids.”
“He doesn’t WANT YO BE A FATHER AGAIN.”
“SHE CHANGED her mind, and she was banking on the fact that you would as well.”
“And even if you did tell her?”
“She would probably still have changed her mind and tried to convince you to adopt.”
“Having a kid is one thing.”
“Being a parent is another. I’m more than capable of giving birth.”
“I don’t have kids because I don’t want to BE A PARENT.”
“OP said he did not want to raise another child.”
“And as far as birth control?”
“SHE can’t use pills but didn’t bother finding a method outside of condoms, which were in him to be responsible for using.”
“So she was aware she didn’t want kids but took no methods on her own to prevent it?”
“I’m iron-clad as I can be with my method bc I don’t want to have to make a choice ever.”
“She was hoping she would get preggo or you’d change your mind.”
“NTA all the way.”- LatterPhilosopher355
“When someone tells you they don’t want kids, that rules out the conversation.”
“Besides, it’s not really like OP most assuredly can’t have kids, as evidenced by the fact that he does.”- Petefriend86
“NTA she changed her mind, you didn’t.
“Sure you could have told her but you were both very clear early on that neither of you wanted any/anymore children, your medical condition is irrelevant.”- _hangry_forever_
“Your medical issue is entirely secondary to your choice of not wanting another kid.”
“You told her that when she didn’t want a child, and the fact that she’s now changed her mind doesn’t mean you’re required to change yours.”
“Just stick to your convictions here: you don’t want a child, not with her or anyone else.”
“If that’s a dealbreaker for her, so be it.”- HoldFastO2
There were a few, however, who also felt the OP’s girlfriend had a right to be angry, even if they still agreed that her initially saying that she didn’t want children made it unnecessary for the OP to tell her about his sperm count.
“She said she didn’t want children previously.”
“I can’t blame her for being a little shocked at this, though, and I can’t help but think you really should have mentioned it back then, but I don’t think it makes either of you an AH.”- jrm1102
It’s easy to understand why the OP didn’t feel obligated to tell his girlfriend about his difficulties having children, as they didn’t seem to be part of her long-term plans.
However, people are still entitled to change their minds about how they live their lives, making his girlfriend’s disappointment understandable as well.
Needless to say, it seems both the OP and his girlfriend have a lot to talk about and some major decisions to make.