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Saying goodbye to the desire for children - A life without children

Letting go of the desire to have a child is a difficult decision and the idea of a life without a child is hardly imaginable for involuntarily childless people. Until the time comes to say goodbye, people have usually tried for many years to fulfil their desire to have a child. A rollercoaster of emotions has been experienced, a monthly emotional balancing act between hope and disappointment. It may be, for example, that the possibilities of reproductive medicine have been exhausted and this has led to exhaustion on an emotional and physical level. The reasons for the decision to say goodbye are manifold and individual:

  • Psychological and physical resources are exhausted
  • Financial possibilities are exhausted
  • Rejection of fertility treatment
  • Childbearing alternatives (adoption, fostering, co-parenting and surrogacy) are out of the question, etc.
  • When is the right time to say goodbye?

There is no "right time". Every person has personal limits and when these have been reached or even exceeded, it is time to go new ways. If there is a tangible reason (e.g. poor sperm quality or blocked fallopian tubes) for childlessness, it is easier to say goodbye in some cases. However, there is also involuntary childlessness without a tangible reason. The cause of the involuntary childlessness remains unclear for those affected and leads to an additional emotional burden. The hope that it might still work out with the realisation of the desire to have children remains.

Letting go

In many cases, those affected have experienced a miscarriage that still needs to be processed. Dealing with the departure from the desire to have children is completely different for men and women. The childbearing crisis can have an enormous impact on the relationship and can be experienced as more brought together or stressful over many years. Open communication and expressing needs are highly important during the process of letting go. The first step of letting go is the acceptance of not being able to realise the desire to have a child as hoped. The process of letting go needs time, patience and understanding.

Dealing with an unfulfilled desire to have children

The social pressure is high and will only slowly decrease even after the desire to have children has passed. Therefore, it is all the more important to play through a way of dealing with insensitive comments for yourself or as a couple and thus be better prepared. It is important to clearly communicate your own boundaries and needs when dealing with family, friends and acquaintances.

Conversations with like-minded people

People who have not had the experience of involuntary childlessness can rarely empathise with the feelings of those affected. Comprehending certain actions and reactions can increase misunderstandings and the feeling of lack of understanding. Therefore, it is useful to talk to like-minded people and discuss these issues. There are, for example, self-help groups and internet forums for this purpose.

New perspectives

A desire to have children does not simply disappear, but one learns to deal with the pain. Saying goodbye to the desire to have children can serve as a reorientation and focus attention on other areas in life. An important aspect is to focus on the positive sides of life. For example, the relationship can become more important again or new perspectives (new job, etc.) can arise. Help and support offered should be accepted. The use of psychological support or counselling can also have a supporting effect. We will go into the individual points on our page and give you a comprehensive overview of saying goodbye to the desire to have children.

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