Ask AF: Encouraging A Reluctant Spouse

Is your husband or wife suddenly getting cold feet about your impending adoption? Here, tips for reassuring a reluctant spouse.

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.



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Adoption Agencies

Children’s Home Society & Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota
Saint Paul, MN
U.S. Newborn, U.S. Foster, International, Special Needs/Waiting Child
WACAP (World Association for Children and Parents)
Seattle, WA
U.S. Foster, International, Special Needs/Waiting Child
Holt International Children’s Services
Eugene, OR
U.S. Foster, International, Special Needs/Waiting Child
Gladney Center for Adoption
Fort Worth, TX
U.S. Newborn, U.S. Foster, International, Special Needs/Waiting Child
Children’s Connections, Inc.
Lubbock, TX
U.S. Newborn
TX
Abrazo Adoption Associates
San Antonio, TX
U.S. Newborn, Special Needs/Waiting Child
Children’s Home & Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota
St. Paul, MN
U.S. Newborn, U.S. Foster, International, Special Needs/Waiting Child
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