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Arguing about more children


Contraceptive pill blister packWhat happens when one of you wants another baby and the other doesn't?

Generally, raging resentment and corrosive rows. In the pantheon of things which might break an otherwise good relationship, arguing about whether or not to have more children is high up the list.

And it's another one from the Academy of No Easy Answer. There's no obvious compromise position. You can't have half a child. 

Strategies for coping if you are arguing about more children

  • Make sure your partner knows exactly how important the issue is to you and why. How you are driven to distraction by your broodiness. And listen to what he's got to say. How he feels too old and wants to retire and play golf.

As one Mumsnetter puts it: "Have you communicated to your partner exactly why this is so important to you? I thought I was going to lose my mind as I felt so strongly that I wanted and needed another child. I did finally convince him how desperately I wanted another baby. He agrees now that having our second son was one of the best things we ever did, even though having a second one is a lot more work."

  • On the other hand, if the partner who wants more babies isn't the person who will be pregnant, then the person who will have to endure 40 weeks of pregnancy needs to explain exactly what the experience is like and why they don't want to repeat it. 

But there's no point getting exercised about the justice of the situation. As expatinscotland sagely says: "Really, there's no right or wrong, or hers are more important than his feelings, etc."

  • Sometimes waiting is the answer, one way or the other.

The FallenMadonna explains: "It is certainly possible to really think you do want something, and then in putting it off for a while realise it's not what you want any more. I always wanted three children. We put it off after having our second, and then several years later, when it became a bit now or never, it dawned on me that we were done."

  • Don't get into a prolonged waiting and secretly hoping thing if your eggs are about to reshelved with the nearly expired salads and dented tins of soup.

Sometimes the desire of one person to have another child and the desire of the other person not to be paying university fees when they're 83 are irreconcilable. Probably not that often, when there are other children already. But sometimes.

  • Professional advice can help.

As this Mumsnetter explains: "I second, third etc everyone who has recommended couples counselling. It is just talking, but it can lead conversations which usually go round in circles into new areas and uncover hidden issues. A good counsellor will also pick at answers he/she feels are not entirely accurate, and give stonewalling or changing the subject quite short shrift."

And if you need strategies or simply a space to vent about this - or any other - thorny issue, do avail yourself of the wisdom and empathy on the Relationships Talk board.

Last updated: over 3 years ago