CHILD-FREE BY CHOICE
REBECCA STEPHENS, 41, AND JIM STEPHENS, 38 RALEIGH, NC
Rebecca, a pharmaceutical sales representative, and Jim, a psychotherapist, have
been married for 12 years and have always known they didn't want children.
Child-free and proud to be
"When someone asks me if I have kids, I often feel almost apologetic when I say no, like I have to provide a 'good enough' reason or they'll take pity on me and assume I can't have children,"
says Rebecca. "But I just don't have the gene for wanting a child, and I don't think having a child would improve our relationship. I usually tell people that we've chosen to go the dog-and-cat
route and leave it at that."
Just the two of us
"Being the only people in this relationship, we are each other's first priority, emotionally and otherwise. We are more communicative and can lavish attention on each other — something
we might not be able to do if we were always focused on baths and homework. We also like that we get to live a bit more whimsically without children. We can take bigger career risks — I had
my own business for a while and Jim started his own practice two years ago. We travel a lot, and we go out even more than we did when we were single."
"We don't need to watch our children grow to measure how far we've come as a couple. On our anniversary, we always think back to what we were doing 'this time last year,' and inevitably there
was something we were struggling with, whether it was new jobs, a new move, or something trivial, like when our AC died in August. It helps remind us that we can get through things together and
eventually look back and laugh."