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If not a baby now, then when?

By Andrea Bonior
Andrea Bonior
Andrea Bonior (that's BONN-yer!) is a licensed clinical psychologist, professor, and writer. She completed her M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology focusing on individual and group psychotherapy for young adults and specializing in the treatment of anxiety disorders and depression.

Q: My husband and I had said that we would start trying to conceive around now, but I’m feeling like it isn’t the right time for children. There is instability in my job, and there are some health problems in my in-laws’ family. My husband says these shouldn’t be reasons for us not to start trying, and that it might take a while to conceive anyway. I just don’t feel ready, but he is accusing me of backing out of our deal.

A: You have to ask yourself: If you woke up with a totally secure job and good news about your in-laws’ health problems, would you latch on to a different excuse? Are your deepest doubts about having kids specifically tied to these two issues, or would they apply anytime?

If you’re truly on board with children, a delay in the game plan can be understandable. Life happens. But it’s only workable if you can set some specific parameters about exactly what needs to change and by when. If you’re delaying having kids in the way that the “gentleman” in the other letter on this page is delaying leaving his wife, then that’s a conversation that shouldn’t be delayed at all.

Q: I’ve been involved with a married man on and off for six years. Yes, it’s a cliche. He originally told me he was separating from his wife, but that never happened. He now says he’s waiting for his kids to be “on their own.” (It used to be when they left for college.) I feel like if I just hang on a little longer we can be together, but I know that is unrealistic to others. I am tired of being the other woman, but I can’t seem to shake him and move on.

A: Is it unrealistic that he'll leave his wife? Of course. (Count us in with the “others.”) So how should you get over him? First, by starting the process of actually being separated. Yes, it will hurt at first – probably badly, and possibly hideously. But until you really bring yourself to cut off contact, you can’t move on.

This is especially true in your situation, where the nuts and bolts of your daily life’s structure won’t look that different after you’re broken up. And then you need friends, new interests, laughter, changes of scenery and, most of all, an exploration into how he came to get such a hold on you, despite what was best for you.

Andrea Bonior is a psychologist and author of “The Friendship Fix.” www.drandreabonior.com
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