Marriage after children, getting a boyfriend to open up

Viewer’s questions this week reflect the concerns of a happily married couple that are ready to have a child, but want to remain happily married. What should be considered first? Also, how do you get your partner to open up to you and share more of their life?

Dear Mary Jo,
I’ve been married five years and it’s fantastic. Now we’re thinking of having kids, and I want to know how do we keep our marriage hot and have kids?

Dear Andrea,
Your situation is ideal for having a child. You sound as though you’ve had time for yourselves and are solid. There are changes you can expect especially with fatigue (especially the first year of baby’s life), feeling resentful at times, and being more irritable with one another due to the lack of sleep. Sex usually diminishes the first year due to hormones, lack of sleep, and feeling stressed. Even though there will be ups and downs, there’s something so incredible with the bond of creating a new life together that makes you more committed to being a team. You’re a family now, and you’ll feel that in a whole new way. I suggest you prepare yourself by thinking of babyhood as being a lot like boot camp. Making it through this, you’ll be prepared for what comes next. A baby is a gift a couple gives themselves.

Dear Mary Jo,
How do I get my boyfriend to open up and talk to me?

Dear Maisha,
Everyone is different in the amount of information they’re comfortable sharing. It’s not about you. It’s about what he’s comfortable with. So the last thing I would do is to make him feel pressured. I think these are good things to remember when you’re with him.

- When you’re asking your guy to open up emotionally, you’re asking him to do something that he has been culturally programmed to learn isn’t safe. So, what you should do is watch your own reactions when he tells you something, and help him feel understood rather than attacked.

- The other thing to consider is opening up emotionally for some guys makes them feel incompetent or needy. Guys are wired differently than women in terms of their ability to talk or think about their emotions. Guys may see sharing their feelings as a weakness or failing on their part, and the last person they want to fail is someone they love. The best thing you can do to help is to not harp on it, nag or question him. When he does tell you something make sure he knows you feel closer to him because he shared, and encourage him to open up more by not repeating what he tells you or mentioning it in front of others.