By DR. FRED HALL, LPC
QUESTION: My husband and I agreed to start our family after three years of marriage. It’s been three years, I’m ready, but he says he’s not. I’m so upset. What do I do?
Thanks for the question, and let me say that I can understand how frustrating and unnerving this must be. What seems like a joyous and hope-filled occasion to produce life together as a couple, now feels like deception and hope deferred.
I would first want you to pray through your own emotional wellbeing during this time of uncertainty and waiting. Ask God to give you peace and patience as you await His perfect timing in family planning.
Talk with your husband about his change in attitude and his readiness for starting a family. Children and all that comes with them mean lots of things to lots of people. Spend some time sharing both of your feelings, ideas, and dreams for children.
My suspicion is that his change of heart regarding starting the family may have something to do with nerves, fear, finances, perceived disruption of his and/or your plans, the current state of the world, or a shift in priorities. Even so, it’s worth discussing and coming to an agreement again.
Share what children mean to you and what his change of plan conveys to you about your family. Share that this is more than just family planning but also trust and acceptance of each other’s intentions. To change that is a breach of trust, security and intimacy. That breach will need to be repaired in order to move forward in a healthy way.
Talk to other couples in the same age or relationship stage as you are. See what things are important to them and how they deal or navigate around it. Seek out godly counsel from others in your church regarding support, resources, or medical, financial or emotional aid.
Be honest and open with your husband. Don’t acquiesce simply for the sake of honoring your husband’s wishes to the detriment of your own. Be genuine and authentic even during this time. Pray with and for your husband and your relationship to be strengthened during this time. Pray that no root of bitterness will be established. And have fun and enjoy each other. Children are only one part of a healthy and thriving marriage relationship.
Dr. Fred Hall is a licensed professional counselor (LPC), supervisor, life and leadership coach and consultant. He works with individuals, couples, families and organizations in training, speaking, consulting and clinical practice. He does clinical work at Cornerstone Counseling in Jackson.