Hey Bestie: My husband and I have been talking about whether to have kids or not and we are on opposite sides of the fence. I’m keen but he’s not. How do we resolve our differences on this and if we can’t does that mean our relationship is doomed?
These are the questions that I love as it explores the importance of developing great communication in your relationship from the start, the very start.
My personal pipe dream would be for all couples to seek guidance from a relationship educator, sooner rather than later, to learn the skills and strategies to develop and strengthen relationships - skill that we currently don’t learn anywhere else and are essentially left to learn on our own through trial and error, which isn’t the best way to learn!
"It can often become a difficult conversation, even though it is an important one to have."
The good news is that it’s common for two people to have differing opinions on numerous things throughout the relationship.
Topics might include which country to live in, renting vs. buying, which type of house to live in, number of children, schooling options for children, interactions with family, discipline of children, holiday destinations, etc.
The good news is that you aren’t alone – couples around the globe regularly face these issues.
It’s completely normal to have differing opinions and views (you wouldn’t want to agree on everything, that might render the relationship a bit boring) however, how you communicate and genuinely hear what each other is saying is the most important aspect of this interaction.
One partner might want one kid and the other five – although this seems like a massive difference, taking the time to hear your partner and their reasons for why this number of kids is important for them as a first strategy, will go a long way.
Once you both feel heard as to why you differ on this topic, the next thing to do is attempt to find a common ground. Think collaboration. Not a ‘my-way-or-the-highway’ scenario, but truly an open conversation that will positively reflect on how you are both feeling and come to a mutually beneficial agreement.
If in doubt, or if you really feel that you aren’t being heard or even that you can’t agree on what this looks like for the both of you, seeking help sooner rather than later to avoid unnecessary disagreements is the way to go.
My advice might sound easy to implement but when you couple emotions and strongly held beliefs on top of the issue at hand, it can often become a difficult conversation, even though it is an important one to have.
Communication is the cornerstone of relationships and after all, everyone deserves to have a great relationship so happy communicating!