The decision to have kids, and how many kids to have, is one of the most important that any couple will make in their relationship. Unfortunately, some couples aren’t on the same page when it comes to having a baby. What do you do when your husband is pressuring you for a baby you don’t want?
My husband is pressuring me to have a baby. What do I do? First, communicate clearly to your husband your reservations toward having a baby. If your husband is still pressuring you, then you have two options: come up with a compromise together, such as waiting a few more years to discuss having kids, or reevaluate your relationship.
It can be hard when a person you love is trying to force you into a situation you don’t want, and any conflict between you and your partner about having a baby will require excellent communication skills to navigate successfully. Keep reading for some tips and compromises that can help alleviate some of the pressure you’re feeling from your husband.
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What do I do when my husband starts pressuring me to have a baby?
If you’re receiving pressure from your husband to have a baby, the first thing you should do is sit down together and discuss the idea. Initiate the conversation when you have time and space to really let him know your thoughts and opinions. Try to be clear about any reservations you have toward having a baby, and what your plans and thoughts are for the future.
Explain to your husband that you’ve been feeling pressured and that it’s making the decision more difficult for you. Remember, the decision to have children is deeply personal, and no one should be coerced into it.
After discussing your reservations, try to make a plan with your husband that is a compromise between both of your feelings. If you don’t want kids right now and he does, then discuss waiting for a certain amount of time and reevaluating things then. If you’re worried about biological concerns, then you can discuss any applicable medical procedures that might make a compromise possible: freezing your eggs, artificial insemination, looking into adoption or foster care at a later date, etc.
If you’re absolutely certain you don’t ever want kids, you’ll need to clearly tell your husband about your feelings. Don’t give him any false hope about changing your mind if you’re positive that kids just aren’t in your future. If you can’t find a compromise, then you’ll need to have a hard conversation about your relationship and whether it should continue. Couples therapy can be a good way to discuss such personal and pressing concerns in a safe, guided environment.
My husband is pressuring me to have another baby
Choosing to try for a baby is a big decision, even if you’ve already had a child before.
If your husband is pressuring you for another baby, you should sit down together and thoroughly discuss the decision. Your reasons for not wanting another baby will likely be very different than they were for your first child, so it’s important your husband understands where you’re coming from.
It’s also important you understand why your husband wants more children. Did he grow up in a large family? Does he want a sibling for the child you already have? Understanding will help the two of you form a better compromise.
I don’t want a baby, but my husband does
There are numerous valid reasons for a woman to not want a baby. Here are a few that you might be experiencing:
Having a baby can be scary!
First, you have to deal with pregnancy, where your own body changes in all sorts of weird ways.
Then you have to go through childbirth, which hasn’t exactly received stellar reviews.
And after all of that, your entire life changes to make space for your child. It’s completely normal to be scared of having a baby. If you want to be more confident about having a baby, talking to other women (mothers, grandmothers, and even single friends) can help give you some comfort. Fear feeds on loneliness, so surround yourself with friends and family that support you and your wellbeing, no matter your decision regarding childbirth.
I don’t want to give up my life/job
This is a big issue for many women today. Ask any mother, and she’ll tell you that having kids changed her life and career.
Women with children are substantially less likely to work, and those that do face discrimination and lower pay than their childless peers. While it is possible to make a career work with children, it can be difficult. Planning in advance for a child can help you maintain some control over your life and job if you do choose to have a baby. And even though society doesn’t always agree, there’s nothing wrong with choosing to prioritize your career rather than sacrificing it to have kids.
I’m too young
Many women are choosing to put off having kids until they’re older and feel more ready for the added responsibility. You may also have different priorities during your younger years, such as traveling the world, spending time with your husband, and focusing on your career.
I’m just not ready
There’s nothing wrong with just not being ready for a baby right now. Life is full of different seasons; maybe you’ll be ready for a new baby in a few years, or maybe you won’t ever be ready. Having a baby is a decision that requires you to listen to and trust yourself. If you aren’t ready, then respect yourself and your own wishes and wait.
How do I tell my husband I don’t want a baby?
Telling your husband you don’t want a baby is going to be a difficult conversation. A little bit of preparation and planning can help make the discussion go more smoothly and leave you feeling more empowered about your future. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Timing – Make sure you set aside time where both of you can talk freely. Don’t squeeze this conversation in during a twenty-minute lunch, and don’t start discussing it at midnight when you’re both exhausted.
- Setting – This isn’t a conversation that should be held at your in-law’s house or in the middle of the weekly grocery shopping run. Try bringing the topic up at home or over a calm dinner date.
- Tone – It’s important you express your reluctance to have a baby clearly and calmly. Even if your husband gets upset, don’t respond with anger or blame. The calmer you are, the easier it will be for your husband to understand that you’re serious.
- Honesty – If you don’t ever want kids, don’t tell your husband that you should ‘wait and see.’ Being upfront about your future plans will help both of you plan more effectively.
How do I tell my husband I don’t want another baby?
It can be difficult to tell your husband you’re done having kids, especially when there are other siblings and their feelings to consider. Take some time away from your little ones so that you and your husband can discuss your plans for the future without interruption. Be clear about the reasons you don’t want another baby, and try to find a solution that works for the entire family.
My husbands wants a baby, but I don’t
If your husband wants a baby and you don’t, it can be helpful for you to see the situation from his point of view.
Here are a few reasons he might want a baby right now:
When it comes to kids, men can worry about their biological clock too. Men older than 40 have a more difficult time having kids, and older men might worry that they won’t get to see their grandchildren if they wait too long to have kids. This is a legitimate concern, so discuss it with your husband in your plans. You can also consider freezing your husband’s sperm if he’s worried about his fertility.
He wants to keep me at home
Sadly, there are still some men that want their wives to stay at home, and having kids makes that scenario more likely. If you don’t want to be a stay-at-home mom and housewife, you should never feel forced to sacrifice your career to satisfy an antiquated view of femininity.
He comes from a large family
It’s natural for people to try to recreate the family they had as a child. If your husband comes from a large family, he might want several kids of his own. Discuss your own family size plans with him, and try to compromise on a number you’re both comfortable with.
My husband is forcing me to have a baby
Sometimes, the pressure to have a baby becomes more serious than just a bit of nagging.
If your husband is trying to force you to have a baby through physical abuse, coercion, emotional manipulation, or any other form of negative control, it is known as pregnancy or reproductive control/coercion and it is a serious problem that you shouldn’t allow to continue.
Reproductive control/coercion occurs when someone uses threats, violence, manipulation, or sabotage to control their partner’s sexual activity and/or pregnancy status.
Reproductive control/coercion can take many forms, including:
- Sabotage of contraceptive methods – Hiding or destroying oral contraceptives, breaking condoms, removing a condom during sex without permission, not withdrawing, etc.
- Pregnancy pressure and coercion – Threats or acts of violence if the partner doesn’t want to terminate or continue a pregnancy, hurting a partner who doesn’t want to become pregnant, marital rape, etc.
Any type of reproductive control or coercion in a relationship is a sign of toxic behavior and can be very dangerous. In a study conducted on pregnancy-associated homicides, the majority of homicides of pregnant women were committed by the victim’s intimate partner.
What to do
If your husband or intimate partner is acting physically or emotionally abusive or forcing you into a pregnancy, it’s crucial you get professional help.
Reproductive coercion is a form of domestic violence, and usually signals other types of abuse within a relationship. If you believe that you’ve been reproductively coerced, you should contact your healthcare physician or call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-4673. If you are in immediate physical danger, call 911.