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Husband Needs Wife To Be Pregnant

Silhouette_or_a_pregnant_woman_and_her_partner-14Aug2011

You’re married and your husband is pressuring you to get pregnant. The pressure is making you uncomfortable but you haven’t said anything about it yet. It raises questions in your mind about your relationship.

Why is it so important for my husband to have a baby? Let’s say you’re OK with having a child or two, or you are considering having a baby only because your husband wants a kid. Either way, you’re willing to try, only you don’t understand why he is so single-minded and intense about it.

Let’s talk about some of the more common reasons for this kind of pressure. Some people think of having a baby as one of the essential building blocks to forming the ‘perfect family.’ I’ve heard this described as the ‘2.5 kids’ required to complete the picture of the home in the suburbs with a white picket fence.

If having a baby will make you feel like you’re keeping up with the Jones, doing what is expected, or more specifically, doing what will give you status in the community, you can fall prey to an ‘impersonal’ experience of pregnancy. What I mean is, you’ll want your wife to get pregnant more for the prestige it provides and less as a natural expression of the love you feel in your marriage.

Some people make up for a loss they’ve experienced by having a baby. They even go a step further and name the baby after the person who was lost. When this happens your baby doesn’t get a chance to have an unique identity. The imposition of the lost person’s personality is secretly meant to cut back on the grief and loss that is only partially resolved. This kind of motivation can easily translate into an urgent need to get pregnant.

Another possibility is, it’s easier for some people to be in a ‘threesome’ than a ‘twosome.’ Twosomes are a bit more concentrated and intimate. This kind of discomfort with intimacy is rarely conscious and the easiest solution is to add numbers to the family. For some people having a baby (or babies) takes the ‘heat’ off of the relationship and adds parenting roles that lessen the emotional intensity in the marital relationship.

The most destructive side-effect of this kind of pressure to get pregnant, occurs when your wife starts to worry about whether or not you love her for herself or for her ability to create a baby for you. The big question on her mind will be: Will you love me if I don’t get pregnant?

Another related worry is whether you will bond more closely to your son or daughter than to her once the baby arrives. This kind of worry in a family becomes an emotional burden that can create destructive distance and/or conflict in family relationships.

The obvious cure for this problem is for husband and wife to take the risk to talk openly about the ‘pressure to conceive’ that is occurring and affecting the relationship. Communicating fears, unhappiness, and worry in words without fighting will give the two of you a chance to reduce tensions and make reassurances about the love you feel for each other , no matter what, in the relationship. This means we stay in love and stay married whether or not we have a baby.

As a bonus, consider the possibility that getting rid of this pressure and reassuring love in the marriage would increase the receptivity to pregnancy. Can the mind, or heart in this case, have this kind of influence on the body? What do you think?

Comments? Welcome. Dr. Tom Jordan

 

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Dr. Jordan

Dr. Thomas Jordan is a clinical psychologist, certified interpersonal psychoanalyst, author, professor, and love life researcher.

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