These ways to be happy as a childless couple may help you cope with infertility and childlessness. A childless life doesn’t mean unhappiness for all childless couples, even if they’re desperate to get pregnant.
A reader recently emailed me and said:
“We recently found out that we can’t have kids and have decided against fertility treatments. It hurts, but I am trying to learn to accept this. I want to be that happy, loving, cheerful wife I was before we became a “childless couple.” I’m thinking I need to read a book, but where do I start?”
One of the best ways to be happy as a childless couple is to connect with other couples who can’t have kids. My husband and I haven’t done a good job of doing this, but I always feel better when I spend time with people who are happy despite not having children!
5 Ways to Be Happy as a Childless Couple
“I need to find my happiness,” says T. “I love my husband with my whole heart, but I just cry and cry every time I think about being a childless couple. I don’t want to see a counsellor but it may come to that. I just don’t know where to begin to accept it.”
I think seeing a counsellor is a great idea. A therapist – especially one who is experienced in infertility issues and finding ways to be happy for childless couples – will give you an objective, healthy perspective on your life.
Here’s a comment from a parent who says the grass is always greener on the other side:
Here’s a whole different perspective on having kids – a reader just wrote this a few hours ago:
“The grass is always greener,” says B. on A Childfree Life After Infertility – 7 Ways to be Happy. “I love my kids but having kids makes your life suck. Enjoy your freedom. Kids have a way of zapping all the meaning out of life. You have to clean up poop all the time, your back hurts all the time, you can’t go anywhere, you lose intimacy, you go broke, they do stupid things, your house gets destroyed, they get you sick all the time, vacations are more stressful than your job…
One way to be happy as a childless couple is to focus on the positive! If it feels like something is missing in your marriage, take time to examine it. Kids won’t fill that void, only complete honesty can do that. Kids only make it worse. Parenting is different than people think it is before they have kids. Yes you love your children forever, but everything else in life ends up sucking. I’m not a jerk, I’m just honest. Hope this helps.”
My childless friends, be careful what you wish for!
Why I’m OK With Being Childless
We can’t have kids naturally, unless God decides to miraculously create sperm in my husband’s body (he has azoospermia, which means he doesn’t produce swimmers). While I’d prefer to have kids and would love to get pregnant, I’m still okay with being a childless couple. I’m not thrilled or happy with it, but…who says life is always thrilling and happy?
Here’s how I live with both childlessness and happiness…
1. I accept I’ll always be sad that we’re a childless couple. The sadness of childlessness never, ever goes away for many women – including me. It’s like mourning my grandmother’s death or my sister’s choice to cut me out of her life – I’ll always be sad about the losses I’ve suffered. To be happy as a childless couple, you need to accept that you’ll always feel pangs of heartache, pain, sorrow, and even regret. Everyone has burdens to bear, crosses to carry. For some of us, childlessness is our biggest, heaviest burden.
“Growing up, I always dreamed of having them; being able to watch them grow and going to sport/school events,” says T.
Being a childless woman isn’t easy for anyone – and it’s especially difficult for women who yearn for kids! But, happiness in life isn’t about getting what you want; it’s about figuring out what you can give others and how you can brighten their lives.
2. I stay emotionally and physically healthy. If you’re prone to the blues or depression, you’ll have a hard time with finding ways to be happy as a childless couple. I’m one of those lucky people who is naturally happy, positive, and optimistic. But I work at it – I do yoga, pilates, strength training, and cardio almost every day. I eat healthy foods, and avoid sugar, fat, and anything that makes me feel heavy and sluggish. And, I try to get eight hours of sleep a night. You’d be amazed at how your health affects your mindset! And one benefit of childlessness is that I’m free to get as much sleep, exercise, and free time that I need.
I also focus on finding meaningful things in life to be passionate about! Read How Did You Find Your Passion?
3. I focus on the benefits of a childless couple (and there are lots!). T. says, “I’m trying to see the positives of being a childless couple, yet I break down when I do. Maybe it’s because I spend so much time around family/friends who do have kids and I wish I could experience what they talk about.”
Yes, it would be awesome to experience the joys and pains of having kids! I would love it – I am not childless by choice. But, for some reason, I can easily and happily focus on how lucky and fortunate I am to experience aspects of life that I wouldn’t get with kids. I’m free to pursue whatever goals and activities I want, I love my job, and I love my freedom. That’s the biggest way to be happy as a childless couple: keep focusing on what brings you joy.
4. I stay connected with my husband – and we have fun together. Here’s what Deneice Arthurton said in Childless Couples – Living Happily Without Children: “One of the main reasons our childless state has turned out so successfully for us has been our strong relationship. Whenever something has come up we have talked about it no matter how uncomfortable this may have been for one or other of us. We still do this from time concerning not having kids, knowing that the demons of resentment get killed off if you bring them out into the open….What counts however is whether you can move on and build from these times. We did.”
One way to be happy as a childless couple is to reconnect with your spouse. Bruce and I travel, go boating, go on hikes with our dogs, and volunteer with the Big Sisters/Big Brothers organization.
5. I accept God’s will for my life – and sometimes I think He’s protecting me. Here’s where T. and I see eye-to-eye. She says, “I need to remember that God does things for a reason. Maybe we aren’t meant to have kids; what if we did and they had medical problems, then it wouldn’t be like I dreamed it would either.”
If you believe God is watching our for you, you’ve found the most important way to be happy as a childless couple. Sometimes I think Bruce and I are a childless couple because God is saving us from something. Schizophrenia and mental illness runs in my family, so maybe we’re being protected from that? Or, maybe it’s not about God holding something back from us. Infertility has reared its ugly head in my husband’s siblings as well…so maybe childlessness isn’t something God has “given” to us.
Maybe the best way to be happy as a childless couple is to accept that our infertility is just part of living in a fallen world, and all God’s children all got their messes. What do you think?
Here’s the article I mentioned earlier – I interviewed Lesley Pyne about her way to be happy as half of a childless couple: Starting Over After Infertility – A New Beginning.
Books on Coping With Childlessness
Childfree After Infertility: Moving From Childlessness to a Joyous Life
Unsung Lullabies: Understanding and Coping with Infertility
Never to Be a Mother: A Guide for All Women Who Didn’t – Or Couldn’t – Have Children
If you have any thoughts on being happy as a childless couple, please comment below…
7 comments On 5 Ways to Be Happy as a Childless Couple
Amber, thank you for your kind words. I’m sorry you’re feeling such grief about being childless. It’s devastating. Sometimes life can be bitter…but it can also be very sweet. I think we have to focus on the sweet, if we want to be happy.
I believe the society been changed and women life too. As women I hate to be single mother most kids not have both parents on the same roof .So we need to looks after our children all their life with out paternal guidance. Kids suffer
like a hell , been rebellious , in drugs ,violent etc. So if we not provide a
proper shelter why to bring then here to follow the rat race. I feel blessed in differents ways to avoid then that type of life. We can care the elders who died alone because their kids throw then like
a baggage trash. Help others who need
love and hope. Is not selfish action is love! Be happy and love.
Dear No Kids for Us,
Thank you for your beautiful comments! I know they’ll help other childless couples – I love how accepting and graceful you are in the face of your disappointment.
I also love that you love God, and that you trust Him. I was just reading about Joseph today, in Genesis, about his brothers being so jealous and wanting to kill him. But Joseph was faithful to God! He believed God had a plan, and he forgive both his brothers and God for the pain he went through.
Joseph didn’t blame God, wallow in his pain, or focus on what he didn’t get out of life. Joseph took it one step at a time, and was grateful for everything God put in his life. And God blessed him for that.
Thank you for helping me see the connection between being happy as a childless couple, and trusting God to direct our lives! I am so glad you commented here.
We have been childless in our 17 year marriage, for whatever reason(s) we don’t know. We did do some fertility stuff, no luck. Thought about Foster care and adoption. Not a fit for us, but we do recommend it.
We have been okay with this and feel that God has a different purpose for our lives and gets to use us in so many different ways that reach so many different age ranges of people. We let him direct our path and enjoy each and everyone person that crosses it.
I believe that if we had children, we would not have been used in so many ways that have touched other people’s lives. Our time is not our own, we are laid back, business owners and Christian. I do know that lots of people share their opinions and comments to us about kids and are always surprised at our viewpoint.
We are a family, we have animals, friends, family and God in our lives. I guess that is fulfilling enough for us, so we have Peace and contentment in accepting our lives as they are.
I hope this can help someone else have Peace in their life knowing they are okay and can still be used in many different ways, each and every day. Blessings to those that read this.
Lima, thank you for your thoughts on being a childless couple. I agree – part of what makes it difficult to be happy without kids is society’s expectation that couples have children. People constantly ask me if I have kids, and I always say no, we can’t because of infertility issues. Sometimes they’re sad for me, other times they say that there’s more to life than children!
I think the most important way to be happy as a childless couple is to grieve your loss, cope with your depression, and try to strengthen your relationship with your partner.
And, it’s crucial to remember that there may never come a day when you’ll totally be ok with being childless. Maybe you’ll always struggle with the pain and sadness childlessness brings. If you accept that, you’re better prepared to move forward. You won’t be surprised by unexpected waves of grief at unexpected times.
Here’s what a friend on Facebook said about being happy as a childless couple:
As a childless woman by choice and at the risk of opening a can of worms on a very touchy subject, and i start this conversation with sincere respect – WHY do people want children so badly? It is something I truly do not understand. I think the burden outweighs the joy and i don’t know that people really understand how difficult and challenging and life altering it is to raise a child.
And we live in such an overpopulated society and are swiftly destroying our planet in the process. Why not adopt a child who is already here on earth and desperate for a home? Why the need to be pregnant? And why is the idea of not being able to have children such a blow to overall happiness?
This life is so incredible with so many opportunities and ways to find joy – why is it all about kids?
A lovely article,
I absolutely agree that finding a community of childless couples is essential, we would have realy struggled without ours.
i didn’t have any ‘therapy’ & it wasn’t until I learned NLp that the sadness finally stopped, so I would certainly recommend finding professional help.
we are closer as a couple now, we have been to places/done things that we couldn’t with children, we have different careers and so much more flexibility in our lives.
So yes, I agree that there are many positives to being childless, & it takes time & help to be able to find them.