Marriage is a delicate dance full of decisions, negotiations, and compromise. Don’t believe us? Just look at a few episodes of House Hunters on HGTV and see how many couples argue over hardwood floors and garages.
While some compromises are easy, others are more complicated…like whether to have a vasectomy or not.
Sure, you may say you’re done with having kids. But when your husband schedules the appointment with the urologist, you may be the one starting to get cold feet, not him.
These are common issues among couples. Sometimes couples don’t agree on how many children to have, other times one spouse may worry about regretting the decision of sterilization.
Whatever the case may be, the decision for sterilization isn’t a one-sided choice. He may be the one getting snipped, but that choice impacts the future of your marriage. So how do you tackle such a big issue without it blowing up into a devastating argument? Here are some ways to reach a compromise.
YOU’RE ON THE SAME TEAM
Though the two of you may have different opinions, your husband isn’t an enemy keeping you from procreating. He has some valid reasons for wanting a vasectomy, and you have good points for wanting to put off sterilization.
The objective of a discussion isn’t to win the argument, but to come to a compromise that’s best for your family and future as a unit. Let that be your ultimate goal.
UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER’S PERSPECTIVE
Find out the motivation for your husband wanting to have a vasectomy. Obviously he doesn’t want any more children, but why? How did he come to that decision? Maybe he feels adding to the family will be a financial strain. Maybe he grew up in a big family and felt like kids don’t get enough attention in those situations.
Find out the deeper motive behind his choice and examine the reason you aren’t willing to give up childbearing. Doing this will give each of you a greater sense of empathy and help you make a mutual decision.
CONSIDER THE OUTCOME
Consider how your life would be without any more children. Is it something you can live with? Would you resent your husband or is it something you’d get over?
Studies show that only 6 percent of women regretted their husband’s vasectomy five years after the procedure. Think beyond the short-term and picture your life in five years with each option.
If he does want to go through with a vasectomy, would adoption be a choice down the road if you really wanted another child? Be open to discuss your long-term future as a family.
UNDERSTAND THE PROCEDURE
Whether you’re pro-vasectomy or not, it’s important to understand the procedure. It’s considered a permanent form of birth control (though it is reversible with a surgical procedure). It’s a simple and safe procedure with minor side-effects, and it doesn’t affect sex drive.
If you and your husband agree on getting snipped, it’s important to avoid the post-vasectomy pregnancy by using another form of birth control for a few months and having a follow-up sperm test, which can be done at home with SpermCheck, an over-the-counter male fertility test.
If the test says he’s sterile, then you both can move forward with your life without any more kids.
Choosing to have a vasectomy isn’t an easy decision, that’s why it should be a mutual one, not individual. Discuss each other’s feelings and figure out what it takes for both of you to have peace. It may not be the same as choosing a floor plan on House Hunters, but just like other decisions in your marriage, you’ll come to a compromise.