If your reaction to having children is akin to that of the heroine in bestselling author Emily Giffin's Baby Proof — that is to say, you love the man and loathe the idea of having his spawn to the point of separation — don't let your real-life love story end in divorce. Instead, talk to your significant other about your maternal instincts, or lack thereof, before your big day.
"If you are vehemently opposed to having kids and you marry someone without either telling them or finding out that they must have kids to feel fulfilled, you've just made a terrible, very expensive — not to mention heartbreaking — mistake," says relationship expert Dana Corey.
With the exception of scheduling this sit-down before saying "I do," there's no perfect time to let this secret slip. Choose a time when you're both in good moods, and in a place where you can hear, discuss and understand the other person's desires. "Have a conversation the same way you talk about where you want to live, what your goals and dreams are for the future, what you're looking forward to about being married," suggests Corey.
If you find your fiancé wants children, that's not necessarily a deal breaker. But you'll still have a serious decision to make. "You have to determine whether or not you can live with what he wants or not," says Corey. "You can't marry him and hope that down the road he's going to come around. You have to choose for yourself — could I live with that choice? If not, he's not the right partner for you, even if you love him."
Living with the choice to marry despite your differing views on family won't be easy, if you do decide to go that route. After all, there's not much gray area between having children and not having children. And the compromise can't be to become an uninvolved parent. "Someone can't say, 'You can have the kids, but I'm not going to participate,'" says Corey. But if you can come to an agreement or compromise, and you both own it and are fully committed to that compromise, then it can work."
What do you think? Could you ever marry someone who wanted kids when you didn't? Tweet us your thoughts at @BRIDES.