posted at 8/30/2011 11:32 AM EDT
Is the thread still alive? :)
I have a good example for you all.
My cousin (female) was married very young, and had two children immediately following a tight timeframe. By the time she was 30, her husband had an early mid-life crisis (felt trapped by an early marriage, etc.) and they divorced. He remarried within a few years.
She, on the other hand, went on to date for many years. Her main non-negotiable issue was that she did not want to bear any more children. She was fine dating someone with kids, but was clear that she was not willing to give birth to any more kids. She loved the two she had, and that was enough for her.
She had a few serious boyfriends when she was in her thirties, all of whom thought they could change her mind. She told them (one in particular who stuck around for 3 years) her mind was made up, but she would love to keep seeing him if that's what he wanted, but with the caveat that she would not change. And she didn't. The 3-year guy ultimately broke up with her.
I do not consider the way she felt or expressed herself an ultimatum, I really don't. It wasn't "If you want kids, then don't bother dating me" -- it was more like, "I love children and if you have children of your own, that's fine with me. But I do not want to get pregnant again, so if you're okay with that, I'd love to go out / continue going out with you."
When the serious boyfriend(s) kept testing her resolve, she just said that she made her feelings clear and upfront from the beginning. If they continued to see her, she did not feel responsible.
Good example, anyhow, that women aren't the only party who are trying to get a partner to change about a major relationship issue. :D
NOTE: My cousin has never remarried (to date) and her former husband divorced his second wife a while back (she had children from a previous marriage, but they never had more kids). My cousin and her former husband have remained friends.