I am in my late forties, single and resigned to the fact that I will never have children

The issue: I have a good job, a house of my own and earn a good salary. I am the youngest of 3 children and my 2 siblings are married with children of their own. I always imagined myself to follow in their footsteps, however it never happened. I dated a few men and my last relationship lasted 2 years, however my then partner was not ready to commit and ever since I have been single. I suffer from depression and had counselling a few times. I am quite bitter about the way my life has unfolded and do not know what else to do.

Nina’s answer: Seeking professional help was the right thing to do, even though those issues persist. I can only assume that what makes it difficult for you is the fact that by the sound of it, you could have had children had you been married or in a relationship with a partner who also wanted children. But again, these are just assumptions. I assumed that I would marry and have children and although I did get married, I ended up not having children.

Having children is not as straightforward as people think. There are so many factors at play. For example your chances of getting pregnant are greater in your late teens and early twenties and start falling after that, and so unless you tried to conceive around that time in your life, becoming pregnant may not have been that straightforward. I am of the belief that whatever is ours is ours and that no one can take it away from us. We all have different paths and some paths include children while some others do not. Whatever path you are on, it is up to you to make the most of it, learn the lessons that you are meant to learn in order for you to evolve into the person that you are meant to evolve into. Yes it would have been easier for you, had your path followed a more conventional route, but it hasn’t and it will be a mistake for you to give up on life because of that. Unlike the many people living in abject poverty around the world, you have a roof above your head and earn a good living. You are blessed to have the life that you have, even though it is not exactly what you had anticipated.

Look around you and you will find that there are a lot of women and men just like you, getting on with their lives. Often our situation is not the problem, the story we tell ourselves is. How about focusing more on the things that are going well in your life, as opposed to what you believe should have been yours? Start being grateful for what you already have and create a new positive story for yourself. You can do it. You are far stronger and more powerful than you give yourself credit for.

Nina Steele is agony aunt. Send any dilemma you may have to: [email protected]


  1. RachaelLondon says

    This is good advice. Finding myself in a similar position at 42 I sometimes really struggle with feelings of inadequacy and loneliness. But we have to make the best of what life throws us and I know plenty of people with children and husbands who are less content.

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