Joanne’s Story: I married a man with children despite the fact that I am childless by choice

Childfree stepmumsThey say that love does funny things to people and it could not have been more accurate in my case, because I married someone with children, even though I myself am childless by choice. I could never have anticipated that my life would be what it is today. Yet here I am, madly in love and stepmother to 2 teenagers.

I have to admit that on a few occasions, I thought I was mad, and my friends and family agreed. It is no secret to those around me that children were never on the agenda for me. Everyone got used to the idea and accepted it without judgment. And so it was more than a bombshell for some of them to hear of me getting involved with someone with children.

The children don’t live with us, however, they are very much a part of our life. We spend the holidays together and they stay with us a few days each month. Whenever I question my choice of marrying my husband despite the fact that we hold different views on such a fundamental issue, I have to remind myself of how much love I have for him. I just cannot imagine being with anyone else. Fate does work in funny ways.

One thing I have learnt since getting together with my husband is that life has a way of humbling us when we expect it the least. No matter how strong we think we are, ultimately there are some events we cannot control. Of course it was my choice to be with my husband, but at the same time, the strength of the bond we share made it simply impossible for me to reject him.

I have gradually got used to being a stepmother. It can be a challenge at times, particularly when the children misbehave. As their father, my husband is the one who deals with anything to do with discipline, at least officially. He does ask me for my opinion when we are alone, and even though I do give it to him straight, I try to stay out of it as much as possible. I may love him very much and cannot imagine my life without him, but equally, I don’t want my life to be completely dominated by his children. Yes I know, it was my choice to be with someone with children, but equally, that does not mean that I have completely lost my own identity.

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Childfree stepmums


  1. Hi Joanne, thanks for sharing your story. I know exactly what you mean by life having the habit of humbling us when we expect it the least. I have come across a fair number of women who just like you, are married to men with children, even though they are advocates of the childfree life. At least you seem to be taking the whole experience in your stride, which will hopefully inspire other people in a similar situation.

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