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The Family Feud – When you are ready to start a family and he is not

So you want to have a baby?

If you are reading this, you probably are thinking of having a baby. There are a lot of reasons why women want to have children. Some want children to fill a void in their life or solve a marital problem but most want children for more sincere reasons. Wanting a baby is a natural desire.

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We are biologically designed to have children so it is not unreasonable to want a baby. Wanting a baby and being ready for a baby are not quite the same. There is no perfect formula for this. Adding a baby to a relationship involves many factors; finances, maturity, relationship stability, etc. But what do you do if you are ready to have a baby and he is not.

A few questions you should ask yourself before you set into panic mode.

 

Did you discuss having children before you were married?
Ideally this should be something discussed before committing to marriage. What were his thoughts on the subject? Did he let you know before you were married that he was not interested in having children ever? Or was he more ambivalent. Maybe this was a subject you avoided or you thought that you could resolve later. If he has already made it clear that he is not interested in having children, expecting him to change his feelings about this may not be realistic or possible. However, all hope is not lost. As people age and life circumstances change, people often change their feelings about fatherhood.

How old are you and your partner?
If you are a younger couple, you still have time to think about this. Maybe your partner is not ready now but will be more agreeable to having children in the future. Take your time and move into this area of your relationship slowly. Give your partner time to think about this and grow into the idea.

How important is having children to you?
For some women the thought of never having children is unbearable. If having children is something that is necessary for you to feel fulfilled and happy with your life and your relationship, this is something that will need to be eventually resolved. Does this mean you need to end your relationship if your partner does not want to have kids? Of course not. But avoiding the subject or simply hoping he will change his mind, may not be the best approach.

What should I do if he does not want to have a baby and I do?

This is not an easy question to answer. A lot of this will depend on your relationship and how willing the two of you are to compromise on the subject. Sometimes this is not something that can be solved and one of the partners will have to make a sacrifice. Here are some ideas for discussing having a baby with your partner.

 

Talk about this before you commit to marriage or a serious relationship.
If you are not married this is the time to work out these issues. It is much easier to resolve the matter of having children before you are married than after.

Expose your husband to other families. Sometimes children are a foreign idea for couples. If you have friends that have children, attending social events together with them would be a great way to get used to the idea of having kids. Moreover, being around other “family men” may help ease the transition from childfree living to fatherhood.

Discuss your own family lives. Rather than diving into a discussion about having a family of your own. Talk about your own families. Discussing his childhood may help to open up a dialog about having a family of your own. Or if your husband had a troubled home life, maybe discussing these issues will help get to the root of the reason why he does not want to have children.

Establish if he is not interested in having children right now or not interested in having children ever? Many times men are actually interested in having kids but are just not ready to settle down yet. Sometimes it’s just a matter of being patient. Bringing children into a relationship doesn’t need to be a rush. If your partner is open to the idea of having children but just not quite ready, try giving things a little time and approaching the subject again later. If he is not ever interested in having children, then the situation is a little tougher. Even if he says he is never going to be interested in having kids, you still may find he is more open to the idea if given time.

The battle of “the whys”. If you have had a discussion with your partner about having children you have most likely encountered the battle of “the whys”. You say, “Why don’t you want to have a child?” He says, “Why should we have a child?” Invariably, you will not be able to come up with a valid reason why he should have a child and he will be able to come up with many reasons why he should not. This strategy generally doesn’t work. Having children is not a simple decision based on logic and reasoning, but rather, a choice that is made from the heart and soul. It is hard to logically sway someone into having feelings they don’t have.

Not trying, not preventing. Some couples find the not trying but not preventing method is a fair compromise. If your partner is not ready to “try” to have a baby he may be open to the idea of not trying but not preventing. Make sure that you communicate this with your partner first. He may feel less anxiety if he does not feel that he is obligated to commit to trying to conceive. Many couples choose to casually try to conceive rather than actively try to get pregnant.

Focus on your relationship first. The baby battle can put tremendous strain on a relationship. Constant fighting is never good for a relationship. Obsessing over this or trying to force your partner to change his feelings is not only ineffective but it may damage your relationship. If you find that you are constantly fighting about this, take a break. Try focusing on the positives of your relationship. Work on strengthening your friendship and communication. Put the subject on the back burner for a while.

Talk to a counselor or minister. If having a child is causing a marital crisis, consider talking to a counselor. Counseling can help couples work through difficult issues. It is not a cure all and it may not make your partner change his mind, but it is a good place to talk things out.


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