When One Partner Isn't Ready

Identifying the Problem

According to Galvin, concerns like finances and whether the house is big enough are usually not the core issues. Lack of time, lack of money, and other external barriers are almost always fabricated resistances, he says. Galvin suggests that the person voicing the concerns needs to break through to an understanding of the real, internal resistance.

While he recommends talking things through as the best way to identify the problem, Galvin doesn't necessarily think couples should approach every issue together. He recommends that the resistant partner needs his or her own, safe, objective sounding board, whether a therapist or a nonjudgmental friend. Sometimes one or two productive sessions are enough to get to the root of the problem and start clearing the ground to move forward, he says.

In addition to historical issues, the ambivalent partner may be questioning his or her own ability to remain in the relationship, and/or to parent a child. A baby makes things real for people in a way that can be very overwhelming, Galvin notes. More than any other decision in life, a child -- and the person you have that child with -- is forever, he continues.

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