Q: My husband is getting anxious about becoming a father. His fears range from not being a good father to finances to losing freedoms. Is there anything I can say or do to ease his worry?
A: Boy, can I ever empathize. When my husband, Joe, and I were preparing to adopt, he ran so hot and cold on adoption that I wondered if he’d stick around after we returned from China. Here are three suggestions that might help out in your reluctant spouse situation:
- Acknowledge your husbands fears, and try to listen without judging. His concerns are not unreasonable: He will lose certain freedoms. What he does not yet see are the many joys that will offset those losses.
- Don’t expect your husbands excitement to keep pace with yours. For that, talking to other waiting couples — sharing both their reservations and excitement — can be useful to both of you.
- If your husbands anxieties escalate, try marriage counseling. Your husband may respond better to advice from a neutral observer.
And what became of Joe? Long story short: He stuck around, and he’s a terrific, involved dad who saw all his concerns fail to materialize.