During the first few years of their relationship, Katie’s desire to remain child-free came up occasionally, but Max says he “never took it as a fundamental precept of her life philosophy, an unyielding commitment that she had.” And as she grew closer to Max and his large, happy family, her stance gradually softened.
“Never” became “if,” which eventually became “when.” Max and Katie have now been together for six years and plan to start a family together at some point in the not-too-distant future.
While Max has always known that he wanted to be a father, he was only 25 at the time and still in business school—it’s not like he wanted to be a father now.
Many people today still consider having children to be the norm, and when dating, they assume that the person sitting across from them in the coffee shop also plans to become a parent.
Instead, the issue is often ignored until a couple is settled into marriage, and in many, many cases, not discussed until an unplanned pregnancy occurs.
Many people are uncomfortable bringing up the topic of potential parenting, and others may not have even thought it through themselves.
Pamela frequently brought up their conflicting feelings about parenthood as evidence of their incompatibility as a couple.
Thomas felt like she was using it as a “wedge issue” to obscure the fact that she simply wasn’t ready to live with someone, as if his “future unborn children had become a bargaining chip.” Eventually they broke up and Thomas moved out.