I’m a 26-year-old gay male. I’ve been with my current (and only) partner for eight years now. We met while we were both in high school and are so far each others’ first and only relationship and sexual partner. He’s 27, we’re both very out to family and friends and everyone is very supportive and accepting. We get along well and the sex is great. We’re mutually supportive of one another, financially and emotionally, and we have successfully navigated the standard bumps in the road where our relationship is concerned. To our gay friends, we’re kind of the fairy tale couple. First loves, totally monogamous (not that I’m down on non-monogamy, it’s just not for us), long-term, etc., etc.

My problem, though…. Is kind of a huge one for me (obviously, or I wouldn’t be writing). I want a family. I want to get married, have kids, settle down, the whole nine yards. We’re relatively domestic right now. House in the suburbs, small four-legged mammal to make the house noisy, dinner parties with friends, etc. I’ve asked him to marry me, but he said no. His logic: he doesn’t feel the expense of a wedding is worth the benefit. Emotionally, it’s bullshit. However, a wedding isn’t a dealbreaker for me so I’ve come to terms with it and decided common-law is good enough for me. The sticking point, and why I’m writing, is kids. I’ve made it very clear to him for years now that I want kids, though I’m flexible on the how (adoption, surrogate, etc.).

Over the years I’ve obviously reminded him of this point. The problem is he’s never given me a straight answer. He’s always given very noncommittal answers like, “It’s a bit early to talk about that,” “We’re not ready for kids right now,” or basically any response that translates to, “Ask me again later.” I’m 27, not getting any younger, and I’d really like to get the ball rolling on this before I’m 30. I don’t want to be 70 years old when my kids are graduating high school.

Short version: How long do I wait for a straight answer before I sit him down and demand a yes or no out of him? I don’t really need a timeline from him, just a definite yes or no.

Also, if he doesn’t want kids, that will definitely end the relationship for me. I’ve thought about it quite a bit and decided that while I may be willing to give up a wedding for the sake of being with him, I’m not even willing to entertain the idea of giving up kids. How do I communicate to him how important this issue is to me without making him feel held hostage by it? I don’t want him to say yes to kids just because the relationship is over if he doesn’t want what I want.

Sorry for the lengthy word-count,

Would Rather Be A Parent Than A Husband

My response after the jump...

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How do you communicate just how important this issue is? You send him a link to this post, WRBAPTAH. And you have to accept that he may ultimately agree to have kids because that's the only way to keep you in his life—and he won't be the first person who agreed to have kids under duress, and most of those parents—under-duress parents—wind up being pretty decent parents. You also have to accept that this could signal the end of your relationship.

Good luck.

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