So You’re at Odds with Your Partner about Having More Kids. Now What?
[Try] to put yourself in your partner's shoes. This will give you a greater understanding of your partner's feelings and perspective about having (or not having) more children.
The Importance of Open Communication
You can't work through the issues without open and honest communication.This involves having an ongoing dialogue and actively listening to each other with the goal of genuinely understanding each other's feelings and perspective.
Having an ongoing dialogue simply means that you continue to talk about the issue. It rarely bodes well for a relationship if a hot topic like this is discussed only once or twice before one partner abruptly decides it's finished and done. That almost always leaves the other partner feeling dismissed rather than heard and actually having a say in the matter. Some couples use that approach, but not without consequences.
Instead, agree to have multiple conversations over a period of time before coming to a decision. Discussions should include weighing the pros and cons, expressing feelings openly, and each partner sharing his or her perspective on the matter. Accept that there will be times when one of you doesn’t feel like talking; don’t push when this occurs. Don’t attempt to rush a decision, but don’t drag it on for years to avoid making one either, as the latter often ends up being a decision in and of itself.
Active listening involves much more than just keeping your mouth shut while your partner talks (although that's definitely an important part of it). It requires paying attention, listening closely, and taking in what he or she is saying. It also involves listening with empathy. In other words, try to put yourself in your partner's shoes. This will give you a greater understanding of your partner's feelings and perspective about having (or not having) more children.
Just a note about feelings: Remember, people are like onions, so sometimes you have to patiently peel the layers. This is why ongoing dialogue is so important. It may take some time (and many conversations) to get to the real underlying emotions and issues.
Hopefully, after working through the issues, you'll come to a decision that you both can feel good about. But if you can't, then you’ll need to …