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Why it does not reflect badly on a childfree woman when her ex goes on to have children with a new partner

By Nina Steele 

Couple going their separate waysWhen the news broke that Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux have decided to go their separate ways, one recurring comment I kept reading online was that it wouldn’t be long before he hooks up with a younger woman and starts a family. The people who made those comments made no attempts to hide their delight at what they saw as a man choosing the traditional option to a life without children. And once again, Jennifer Aniston was pitied for being single and childless. Adding to their feelings of self-righteousness is the fact that she is nearing 50, which to them diminishes her chances of finding a life partner. What they conveniently chose to forget of course, is that Jennifer Aniston is a wealthy woman, with a successful career and a life many of her critics would happily swap their own lives with, if given a chance.

When Ashely Judd’s former husband, Dario Franchitti went on to have a child with his new wife, 2 years after parting company with Ashley, it was the same self-righteous reaction from some traditionalists. To them, it was yet another proof that a relationship can never be truly happy without children. And as is always the case in these situations, we are made to believe that it reflects more badly on the childfree woman.

I beg to differ of course. To me, if a man becomes a father after having previously been one half of a childfree relationship, instead of it showing his childfree ex in a bad light, it instead shows her to be strong . We may never know the real reason behind those breakups, but if as some of those critics suggest, it is because in the end, the men wanted children and the women didn’t, then it says a lot about the women for sticking to their principles come what may.

Indeed, it takes a strong person to put their principles above all else. At a time when we are made to believe that we are all meant to live our lives a certain way, that these women have the courage to choose differently should be applauded.

As I have written many times before, often, the opprobrium childfree people get from those with a traditional take on life, is born out of jealousy among other things. Anyone who spends time on online platforms would most certainly have come across comments by unhappy mothers lamenting about parenthood. They take comfort in hearing other similar stories from fellow parents. It gives them the reassurance some of them need to justify their choices. Which is why some of them cannot hide their contempt for those, particularly women, who choose the childfree life. It forces them to question their own choices and naturally, they are afraid of what that introspection might reveal.

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