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Dear Moneyist: After paying off massive debt, wife wants kids and husband wants to be child-free

Posted by freya 
Husband and wife paid off just under $193K in assorted debt in around 6 years. It sounds like when they married neither was concerned about kids. Wife is now unhappy that they are nearly 40 and have "no life" and wants to spend money and have brats. Husband wants to live frugally, save, work and have no kids.

It looks like the massive debt affected them in opposite ways: he has decided he wants to live below his means, avoid debt (which is practically synonymous with children) and is now child-free (?) and she has decided it is time to catch up by spending money and having children (and likely winding up in debt again). She also wants to make investments which may help her have her own business.

Advice seems good on this one. Make up your minds, decide your shared lifestyle or go separate ways. It is kind of sad because they both seem dedicated and responsible but are no longer on the same page.

The funny thing is, if they divorce, she might still not ever get her kid. At forty-something, dating and eventual marriage is sometimes hard to come by, unless you meet someone as desperate as yourself. She could always opt to be a single parent, and tough it out for her love of children. But he better wear a condom to avoid an oops and have to pay child support for her sudden moohood whim. If she wants her kid, she can foot the bill herself.
I"m glad the money guy told them to make up their minds.

I know a few wanna-moos who got a divorce becuz they wanted kids and the hubs didn't. We're 15+ yrs from our 30s now, they don't have their kids becuz they never met the next Mr. Right, they don't ever date much, they struggle to pay their household bills on their own, and sure they have a few friends, but spend most of their time alone, and can't afford to go out anyway. I would never ask, but I want to ...if they regret not sticking w/ their marriage vows, considering there was nothing else wrong w/ the marriages, other than the kid question. They say it's a non-negotiable, but when you look at your life as a whole, maybe they shoulda weighed all aspects/possibilities of their lives.

(And, this is not to say....if people like to be unmarried and alone, that's bad. Of course that's a valid preferrence as any. But these wannamoos wanted marriage obviously, and left otherwise perfectly good marriages for kids that didn't exist and actualy never will.)
all she wants is the wallet. hope he sticks to the 'no kids'

two cents ΒΆΒΆ


people (especially women) do not give ONE DAMN about what they inflict on children and I defy anyone to prove me wrong

Dysfunctional relationships almost always have a child. The more dysfunctional, the more children.

The selfish wants of adults outweigh the needs of the child.

Some mistakes cannot be fixed, but some mistakes can be 'fixed'.

People who say they sleep like a baby usually don't have one. Leo J. Burke

Adoption agencies have strict criteria (usually). Breeders, whose combined IQ's would barely hit triple digits, have none.
It seems like they are not on the same page.

It seems to me that his path is to work and save as much as possible and possibly retire early as a CFer. He says he wants to "work forever" but speaking from my own experience, that changed when I hit 50 just because: 1. working for someone else means you work to THEIR vision, their bullshit and their politics and you develop less of a tolerance for it. 2. one's body may not be cooperating as it once did. I'm just glad I stockpiled $ and I can see the end is in sight. Knowing I can leave makes a big difference. If I had a kid and knew I HAD TO KEEP WORKING until 65 I would put a gun to my head.

Her path seems all over the place: I want to be a Moo; I want to travel and have fantastic vacations; I want to flip houses. < eyeroll> Does she actually know anything about flipping houses? IT sounds like they work other jobs.

Everyone and their brother wants to flip houses and unless they start small and get some experience and financial backing, they are likely to fail. A friend of mine's husband has been in real estate development 35+ years and they wanted to flip houses together and they lost their shirts in Florida. Every real estate market is different.

Anyway, does she not realize that people who are successful in real estate put 150% into it and it takes years? One shitty market downturn wipes most people out. And how does she proposes to do this with a day job AND while she's a Moo? Seems pretty unrealistic.
Well of course they don't have much of a life right now - they've been busting their asses paying off their debt. It's incredibly hard to travel, be social and experience new things that cost money when you're living frugally in order to give large debts a one-two punch. Does the woman not get that they can now travel, go out and do shit since their debt is paid off?

The guy doesn't want to go into debt again after paying off that monster amount they had before, and he knows that breeding is going to mean more debt that is most likely going to be lifelong. And I wonder what exactly she does for a living if he's telling her to get a second job. If she works some piddly bullshit four hours a week, then I can understand that, but if she's working full time or nearly full time and he's still barking at her to get another job, that just sounds to me like he's being a money-grubbing prick.

What is house flipping? Is it buying shitholes that are just this side of condemned, fixing them up and selling them for a large profit? Sounds like a form of gambling to me because you can sink a bunch of money into a house and make it gorgeous, but you're only getting that profit if you can find someone willing to buy it. A lot fewer people are buying houses now and by the time they inevitably lower a house price to something affordable, they might break even at best.

Where in all this working is our quality of life? Where in all this saving are fun memories made? Where in all this working do children fit into the equation?

Sounds like the husband might just be a workaholic or just really likes having money to spare after years of paying off tons of debt, and why does money need to be spent to have fun memories? I have plenty of fun memories that didn't cost me a fucking dime. And her husband already said he doesn't want kids, so it's pretty obvious that children don't fit into the equation at all. She seems to have a listening problem.

I know she won't leave the guy because then she'd have to invest time and effort (and money) into finding another partner, forming a meaningful relationship with them, and possibly getting married, by which time she may not be able to breed. Sooooo my guess is she's gonna oops the guy because fuck what he wants, as long as the woman gets her babby.
Yes, Cambion, that's house flipping. You are right--a HUGE gamble. Made MUCH worse by unscrupulous people who have entire shows on TV raving about it's benefits and "get rich quick" potential. I haven't actually watched one, but I assume they are also profiting from some aspect--like selling instructions or a book, class, etc.
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