When One Partner Isn't Ready

Finding Solutions

When a couple with one ambivalent partner comes to Galvin, he asks them to talk about the feelings and incidents that led to their current dilemma. "Even if they agreed in the past to have a child, either partner can change the rules, he says. But he recommends that it's important to understand what's at stake, and really make them responsible for their decision and its consequences.

Galvin says that he asks each of them, "How important is this? Are you willing to give up this man or woman over this issue?" Unless the relationship is in serious trouble, they always say no, he says, and once they've strengthened their commitment to being together, they're able to negotiate a solution.

According to Galvin, in many cases, the best solution is to keep working through the ambivalence -- which can be a lengthy process -- while at the same time trying to conceive. He also points out that the most resistant spouses often become doting parents. He's had clients who felt extreme anxiety throughout the nine months of pregnancy. But he says he's never had anyone hold their baby in their arms and then come back and tell him it was a mistake.

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