One of the most sensitive issues to navigate in marriage is family planning. It’s wonderful when you and your husband are in perfect agreement about when to start your family and how many children to have. It’s even more amazing when your bodies cooperate with the plans you’ve decided on. In reality, most couples experience a glitch along the way. For example:
He wants to wait a few years until they’ve saved for a down payment on the house, but she hears the biological clock ticking.
After three kids, she wants to even it out with another, but he just wants his wife back.
Four years of “trying” and no baby. Everyone is giving opinions about adoption, in vitro, and fertility medication (especially the in-laws!). The husband and wife are so confused, they feel too paralyzed to do anything.
Situations like these are volatile for a number of reasons.
Family decisions involve deeply held spiritual and ethical convictions about when life begins, what makes a “complete” family, and trusting God for his direction. When couples argue about birth control or having another child, they are tapping into a stream of emotions and beliefs that can be extremely difficult to navigate. Let’s not forget the added stress of overbearing family pressure!
These decisions also have a profound impact on a couple’s future. Having another child, adopting, or extensive fertility treatment will inevitably influence a family’s schedule, interpersonal dynamic, and bank account. There are a lot of lives to take into account.1