My boyfriend of two years just broke up with me because I was unsure if I wanted children. He is very sure he wants a family, and he wants it soon. I want to do, learn and be so much more before I am saddled with children. I want this both for myself and to be a better mother. My boyfriend contends that, at 27 and as a financially secure professional, I should -- and deep down do -- know whether I want to be a mom. He contends that my continued indecision is a sign that I don't want children.

I feel I have been rejected unfairly, for a choice I have not been given the chance to make. Part of me thinks I do want children, but am too scared of the burden to admit it. I don't think I could tell him this because I don't think I can forgive him for this seemingly very personal rejection/dumping, which I feel was based on the person that I am and the values that I hold. I am at a loss for what to do: Should I try to get him to be more patient with me (which would require some concession about children on my part); should I try to pull myself out of the pool of bitterness in which I am drowning, and move on; or is there a better option?


Almost always, when you're this angry. But I'm more interested at the moment in a different perspective.

Your story reads to me as one of the more impersonal dumpings I've come across. It's not about your intellect or sense of humor, your warmth, your sensitivity, your worthiness as a person, your goofy laugh/ snoring issues/ complete ineptitude with chopsticks. It's a lifestyle thing. He's ready for one that you're not.

If I were reading the same tea leaves, I don't think I'd see the same message your boyfriend did, that you don't want kids or even "should" know anything yet. Wrong and presumptuous. You are undecided, I believe you, and that means you could want kids in a year, or five, or 10. Or never, of course.

However, I applaud his decision not only to read those tea leaves, but also to act on what he perceived. He had to. The alternative was to doubt and wait and see and doubt and wait and see and wonder what he was supposed to tell you in the meantime. He tells you he's thinking of leaving over the kid issue, and he risks getting a gunpoint-mom for his kids; he doesn't tell you, and he unfairly keeps secrets from you.

That's the long explanation. The short version is: "saddled." Boom. A one-word case for the guy.

There's simply no insult in wanting different things out of life. You seem hellbent on finding one -- that's an impressive lather you've worked up, by any standards -- but if anything, he's showing more respect for all those things you "want to do, learn and be" than you are.

He's treating them as ideals you won't concede to be with him. If they're really indicative of "the person that I am and the values that I hold," shouldn't you treat those ideals the same way?

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