Couples who face this dilemma mostly have other issues which are simply not being addressed. Couples therapy can help identify what each partner really wants:
The way you arrived at this conclusion
How did you two arrive at the conclusion that one wants children and the other doesn't? In situations like this, most partners chose a position and defend it against the other. But a relationship has to be about compromises, communication and commitment - and about being a team. Refusal or selfishness is not helpful when it comes to starting a family.
Disagreement about having children can be a projection
The actual issue that most couples are facing is the fact that the partner who says he wants children is (subconsciously) not so sure about this himself and is projecting this insecurity onto their partner by blaming the other for not wanting kids. Couples therapy can help with identifying such a projection and therefore enable you to make a free choice about whether to stay in the relationship or not.
Understanding psychological projection
Psychological projection is an attempt to cope with anxiety about unwanted thoughts, feelings or impulses. You will need to identify, accept (and even love) your true thoughts about having children. If you like the idea of having a baby, but fear the responsibility and the lack of freedom, you will need to love yourself for this. Once you stop focusing on your partner and instead, focus on how you really feel about having a baby right now, you will be able to know if you want to continue the relationship or not.
Continue reading: What happens in couples counselling?
I'm Natalie Marby, an English speaking therapist in Hamburg, Germany. I offer psychotherapy and couples counselling in English, especially for expats living in Hamburg. To contact me, you can send me an email or call me: +49 40 40 46090233. (Please don't forget to send me your phone number and the times I can reach you). I look forward to hearing from you!
Read more about my therapy method: Healing the inner child.