Advice: I Want a Baby, He Doesn't

I Want a Baby; He Doesn't

Before we got married my husband and I decided we wanted kids after three years. We've now been happily married for three years, and he is dragging his feet. He wants me to wait another year, and says it's because he recently started a new job. I'm ready and don't understand his argument; we can afford to have a child (we both work and I will continue working).

Don't even try to understand his logic. This isn't about reason; it's about fear. He may be scared of the responsibilities, or he may think that somehow having a baby means the end of a close relationship with you. Maybe he's afraid he doesn't really know the first thing about being a father. Then, too, men often feel they have to have everything lined up—a job with a future, a good salary, a suitable house for a family—before having a child. You'd do better to back off from the adversarial position you're creating and start a loving discussion in which you make it comfortable for him to voice his concerns and his anxieties. You need to put aside your own disappointment to know what's on his mind. Set aside time for a warm, dreamy conversation, but approach him positively and not accusingly or hyperemotionally. Get him to talk about his childhood and his own father, because that's the experience from which he likely has formed his own ideas of what parenting is like. Use the difference between you as an opportunity to learn more about what he thinks and why—that is, make it an opportunity to grow closer, not an opportunity to remind him he's breaking a promise, which will only drive you apart.

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