"I Don't Want More Kids But My Husband Does"
Q. My husband wants another baby, but I'm happy with the two kids we have. How can we stop fighting?
I'm sure you both don't plan on fighting before it happens, but if you want to get a handle on such a sensitive subject, you're going to have to plan on not fighting. Trading in your defensive tactics for a more gentle approach is key because while the issue seems straightforward enough -- he wants another baby, you don't -- understanding the feelings behind it is anything but. Once you've both agreed to these ground rules, schedule a time to talk. Before you sit down together, you should each think about these questions: Ask yourself "Why don't I want another child?" and "What's making me uneasy with the idea?" Your husband can consider: "What's driving my need for more kids?" and "How would I feel if we didn't have any more?" When it's time to talk, take turns speaking without interruption and be completely honest -- lying to avoid hurt feelings will only end up harming your marriage. If it turns out something like finances is your hesitation, then you can work on finding solutions together. But if it's clear that neither of you is willing to compromise, then it's time to seek marriage counseling. There's no question that this is a tough situation, but hang in there -- it is possible to find an answer that works for your marriage, one you can both live with.
Laura Berman, Ph.D., runs The Berman Center, a sex therapy clinic for women and couples, in Chicago. Send her your questions at Parenting.com/momsquad.