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AUDIO: Dr. Marty Klein - How Can I Convince My Husband To Have A Second Child?

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No sex or marriage question is too embarrassing because it’s time to ask EmpowHer’s sexuality expert Dr. Marty Klein, anything.

Now, here is an interesting question - “Dear Dr. Klein, I want a second child and my husband doesn’t. What’s wrong with him? Is it possibly his childhood, and how do I convince him that a second kid would be great?”

Dr. Marty Klein:
Well, that’s an interesting attitude--that if your husband doesn’t want a second kid there must be something wrong with him. This is not an approach that’s going to work. I don’t think that there’s necessarily anything wrong with him and I wouldn’t assume that he has a problem from his childhood or any sort of trauma or anything else. The important thing that you need to understand is why he doesn’t want to have a second child and not pathologize that reason, but consider that reason as legitimate.

Now if you don’t believe his reason, if you think there’s something else going on, than just tell him that. If he says, “We can’t have a second kid because of the money,” and you don’t think it’s the money, ask him what else it might be. If you think it’s because he wants to leave you or because he hates the first kid, just talk to him about it. Talk to him about it. There are lots of reasons to not have a second child. I don’t know what your husband’s reason is, but you need to honor that reason and find out exactly what he has in mind.

Now how do you convince him to have a second child? I have to tell you, as a marriage and family therapist, I am very hesitant to persuade anybody to do anything as serious as having a second child. You want to be very slow about this.

You might want to ask your husband under what circumstances he’d be willing to have a second child. So the question is, is it out of the question for him for the rest of your lives or is he waiting for something else? Is he waiting for more income? Is he waiting for the first child to be older? Is he waiting for you to be physically healthier? Is he waiting for your sex life to come back? I don’t know.

There’s a difference between, “I don’t ever want a second kid” and “I don’t want a second kid now.” So if he says he doesn’t want a second kid now, find out what he wants as conditions for having the next kid, and more money is not a good, not a good enough benchmark. It needs to be how much more money because everybody always wants more money, right?

So if he says, “Well, we need an income of such and such,” that’s different than more money, or if he says, “I want you to be healthier,” that’s different than “I want you to be able to do household chores” and, you know, so on.

So, find out first of all, is it never a second child or under what condition. And if it is what conditions, find out what those conditions are, and if you don’t believe your husband, ask him and then negotiate. And, if he says he never ever, ever, ever wants to have another child, then the two of you may need professional help to negotiate this very serious difference, but I would not try and talk anybody into having a child or a second child because that’s way too serious a thing to take responsibility for like that.

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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