When a relationship gets to where you want it to be, it makes the whole struggle of getting there worth it

By Nina Steele 

Childfree couplesMy husband and I have been together since the year 2000, and boy have we come a long way since! I look back at our life and marvel at how much we have both grown. Growth is everything, because it goes hand in hand with happiness. If you are still giving in to the same destructive behaviours in your 40s or above, then, unless you find a way of growing out of them at some stage, you will go to your grave never really having experienced the true meaning of a peaceful life. As a childfree couple, I believe that the absence of children has been instrumental in where we are today.

There is no doubt in my mind that as a couple, we wouldn’t be where we are today, had we been parents. Raising children was always difficult, and that challenge has reached new heights in the social media age. How can you focus on your personal growth, when you have to deal with a child whose confidence is being shattered because they are being bullied? You cannot suddenly decide to make yourself the priority. So inevitably, you have to put your own growth on the back burner, at least until that time when your child leaves home. But of course even that is no longer a guarantee, since the cost of living is forcing many young people to stay home longer.

Of course raising children is in itself an experience that is conducive to personal growth. But I still believe that personal growth, of the kind we as a childfree couple have achieved, at this stage in our life, would not have been possible.

I still remember a former colleague then in her 40s, mentioning how she hated school gate politics. She hated the overt competition between mothers. She had a perfectly good life and was grateful for it. Yet, whenever she took her child to school, she came away feeling less confident. She resented it so much that in the end, instead of walking the child all the way to the school gate, she would let him walk the last small distance on his own, while she watched him. I still remember feeling complete relief that I would never have to experience this type of pressure.

As a couple, our luck has been that we see eye to eye on major issues. Once the decision was made to live our life childfree, we moved on swiftly and put the focus squarely on ourselves. I carried on reading books and materials on personal development and the human condition, while my husband too focused on activities that brought him joy. As I have said many times before, not having children has been a blessing for us as a couple.

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