ADVANCED psychotherapist and clinical hypnotherapist CLAIRE GASKIN sees clients in Essex and in London’s Harley Street. If you have a problem you’d like Claire’s advice with, email

For more details on Claire’s work, visit


Since I was a teenager I have known I do not want to have children.

I am now in my mid thirties and my stance on it has not changed at all. But I have now met the man of my dreams and he has asked me to marry him on more than one occasion.

Something is holding me back from saying yes to him though, and it is that I just don’t believe him when he says he is happy not to be a father.

He keeps saying he loves me and if that is what I want, then he is happy just to be an uncle or godfather to his friends’ children but part of me still thinks he may be hoping I will change my mind as I get closer to turning 40.

My entire family and all my friends constantly tell me they think this will happen but I know it won’t and I would rather we break it off now than face greater heartache a few years down the line. What do I do ?

CLAIRE SAYS: The only message you’re hearing are from those who believe it’s natural to want children and that, eventually, everyone does. No wonder you expect your beau aspires to the same view, deep down.

To the contrary, the Office for National Statistics reports that women are having fewer children than at any time in history.

Despite this, there is still a stigma attached when a woman chooses to be child free, usually because of old-fashioned ideas about womanhood.

Strip everything back and what you’re left with is the fundamental fear that marriage to the man of your dreams will not work out.

But, the truth is, none of us can predict the success of a relationship. What I can tell you is there are lots of studies which show the rate of decline in relationship satisfaction is higher for couples who have children, than those without.

Lots of men decide they do not want children and it may be that your partner really does mean what he says.

All the signs point to the chance of a happy future together.

Ask your friends and family to stop repeating the same old cliché, and then decide whether you’re going to take a leap of faith.

Sometimes, that’s all you need to do.