I Want Another Baby But My Husband’s Not So Sure.

Dear Mamas,

We have a 3 year old and she’s a doll but I want another one and I don’t want them too far apart. I am at home now but want to go back to work at some point. My husband says he’s not ready, he’s still getting used to the first one. I am tempted to toss my diaphragm and let nature take it’s course. Suggestions?

Mary Anne

Whoa! Mary Anne! Step away from that diaphragm before someone gets hurt!

Seriously, I totally get that it’s hard sometimes to wait for what you want, and your concerns about this particular thing are understandable and I sympathize. BUT …. you are talking about messing around with the most important element in a good marriage, namely, trust. Once it’s gone, it’s very tough to get back.

And if you did the deed — got yourself “accidentally” pregnant — and later he found out (which is usually what happens), then what? It’s not like you can undo it. Maybe it will work out and he’ll forgive you or maybe it will be the beginning of the end of your marriage. And who will suffer the most? Your kids.

So, no. I would urge you not to do that. Instead, let him know that having another baby is a priority for you and that you need for him to take it seriously.

Explain that it’s a time-sensitive matter and that you’re getting anxious about the spacing issue and your desire to get back to work. And then listen carefully to his concerns. After all, you don’t want that beautiful baby to come into the world and be greeted by a daddy who resents him, do you? How sad would that be?

If you can have this conversation on your own, great. Go for it. But give yourselves more than an hour or two to work it out. Take turns explaining what’s most important to you, listen carefully and then let it sit for a day or two. Once you’ve had a chance to think about it all, come back to it again.

But if it’s too hard to tackle on your own, find a good couples therapist who can help you work out your differences and come up with a plan. It should only take a few sessions and will be well worth the time, money and nervousness that may go along with it. It might even be fun.

This is a very common issue with couples who have young children. Your husband may not be too talkative about what’s going on with him at first, but he could be worried about financing another child. Dads often feel that pressure more so than moms, even when both are working. It has a lot to do with how we socialize our boys. On the other hand, he may be afraid of losing more time with you. Who knows?

But regardless of the reasons, this is something the two grownups in the family must work out the hard way — through talking and listening and coming up with a solution that works for you both. Introducing deceit will only weaken your marriage, and your family along with it.

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Ellen W. Schrier, LCSW, is a family therapist and the mother of three adolescent/young adult kids.

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