Q. My husband and I have been together for six years and we have two young children under four. Other than the normal everyday squabbles, my hubby and I agree on most things, except one; I am desperate to have another baby, and he wants us to get a bigger house and become more financially stable before we consider it.
I feel like there is something missing in my life, and I really think it is having this next baby. So many of my friends and family members are pregnant or planning on conceiving soon, and seeing them go through it only makes me feel like time is running out … and that in the end, he'll never agree to a third.
This issue is really driving a wedge between us. It seems like every time I bring it up, he just clams up or gets completely frustrated. How do we get through this?
A. Let your husband catch his breath and while you're at it, catch yours too. It sounds like you've already got your hands full, seeing as you already have two young children. Arm-wrestling your husband into parenting a third is not the way you go about building a happy, healthy family.
It's not surprising that this situation is creating so much strife in your relationship, but the problem resides not with your husband's reluctance to go along with your plan, but rather that the plan was ‘conceived’ without his input. Your “desperation” is no doubt showing through and unsettling him to the point of not being able to discuss it with you. His wishes and his concerns are just as valid as your own, and to disregard them in any way is not only selfish, it is acting in a way that falls completely outside the principles of what a marriage should be based on: trust, communication, and compromise.
Having children is not a competitive sport. As much as you long for the days of new-born baby bliss, it is not fair to dismiss your husband for not jumping on the baby making train yet again. The experience of having babies may be new to your friends and family members, so perhaps instead of feeling pressured to do it right alongside them, try being someone they can look up to … a person they can go to for support, and tried and true advice. In the past, you may have longed for someone close to you to share in the experience, but you can certainly still revel in it without having another child yourself.
You know, your husband has a point in wanting to wait. He's not trying to sabotage your plan for more children, he's just being practical. Having another child comes with extra financial responsibility. You'll need to consider getting a larger home to accommodate everyone, as well as possibly a bigger vehicle, a third college fund - and possibly another few years of you not being able to work to help support the fiscal needs of your growing family. It's simply more prudent to prepare yourselves now so that no one suffers financially in the future.
Before you lose anymore sleep about this issue, maybe it's time for you to get real. Stop focusing so much on what you don't have and realize what wonderful gifts you do have: a reasonable and financially responsible husband and two wonderful children. You say you feel that "something is missing in your life" ... maybe it's not a baby, maybe it's something else that you are not facing? If that is possible, be honest with yourself and consider what that might be! If this issue is something you don't feel like you can compromise on, please consider seeking the advice of a marriage counselor.