“In my opinion you must want a child 110 percent.”

Bettina, 56, Germany

Being divorced by the age of 40 wasn’t something I wanted when I got married in 2010 at the grand young age of 29, but I always knew at the back of mind that I didn’t want children.

Friends had told me that they too didn’t want children, but woke up one morning and had a “lightbulb” moment that indeed they did want reproduce, usually at around 35. I assumed I would too, but thankfully I haven’t had that “moment” and I still don’t feel an urge.

My ex-husband comes from a very traditional family background and he too assumed I would change my mind once my biological clock started ticking, or my brothers and sisters started to have babies then I would follow too.

It wasn’t until I was 37 that he started to get frustrated and my marriage suffered. We bickered over the silliest things and I knew the undertone of our arguments was the elephant in the room that he wanted children and I didn’t. In the end we split up, sold the house and I was utterly devastated.

Surely if I did my “duty” as a wife and had a baby then we would’ve stayed together? I had to stick to my gut instinct and do what I truly wanted to do. It was my body and mind after all.

Now 4 years on I have a new partner and he too has no desire to have children and I feel completely relieved. There is so much peace and calmness in being on the same page as someone who you are in a relationship with, not only in terms of values but someone who “gets” you. I like to think he wants to be with me for who I am and not because I’m a walking uterus. My ex is in a new relationship too and although we’re no longer in touch I imagine he has a child now and I hope he’s happy.

All in all, I’m excited for my 40th decade and my childfree future. My partner and I ran a half marathon last year and I hope to run a marathon one day, plus many other adventures.