By Rheyanne Weaver
If you’re in a serious relationship, eventually you will have the baby talk. Or you might revisit it if you’ve already had one or two kids, or if you’ve been child-free for a few years. Experts share a few tips for how to talk successfully to your significant other about family planning and the completeness of your family.
Maryellen Dabal, a licensed marriage and family therapist, said in an email that the setting of this important conversation can have an impact.
“When you have a sensitive subject to discuss, first make sure you are in an environment that is appropriate for the discussion, like your home or a private place,” Dabal said. “Next, be sure that neither of you is hungry or tired or preoccupied by some other important matter. You want the undivided attention of your partner. Set up a successful environment before you even discuss the topic.”
Giving your partner warning about the intentions of the conversation will also help prepare them so they are not caught too off guard. Here is an example suggested by Dabal as to how you can start out the conversation about family planning:
“John, I would like to discuss a matter that is important to both of us, and while we may not come up with a conclusion, could we at least be able to each express our views and be sure we understand where each other stands on the issue?"
Allana Pratt, an intimacy expert, said in an email that to start out the conversation, you can tell your partner how lucky you are to have such a “supportive, generous and sexy man” in your life.
Then you can continue with the following: “What would make me really happy is to get clear on what would contribute to both our futures regarding children."
If you want more kids, you can tell your significant other a variation of the following: "For me, I get all light and happy inside when I think of having one more babooshka."
If you think your current family is complete, you can say the following instead: "For me, I get all light and happy inside when I think of having no more kids and spending more time nourishing our intimate relationship."
Then move forward in both cases with the following request: "Tell me what you think would contribute to our life?”
Don’t interrupt their response. Let your partner express their opinion fully. Whatever the outcome, let your partner know that you are grateful to have such deep and amazing conversations. Allow yourself and your partner time to process the information. Let them know you adore them, and show it.
Reviewed on April 15, 2013
by Maryann Gromisch, RN
Edited by Jody Smith
Dabal, Maryellen. Email interview. April 10, 2013.
Pratt, Allana. Email interview. April 11, 2013.