We disagree about what happens next

UPDATE: Hi everyone, Nicole here. Glenn's on vacation so it's my turn to jump in with a quick update from your Love Letters guru. Meredith has picked "Becky Shaw" winners for the weekend. But don't fret -- she says there will be more to win next week and that she'll consider all of today's entries again. She also says all the entries were great. Isn't she nice? --Nicole A last-minute contest: I've got two pairs of tickets to this Sunday's 2 p.m. performance of "Becky Shaw." Why should you want these tickets? Because it's a play about a blind date gone wrong and because I'll be speaking after this Sunday’s performance with Robin Abrahams, our own Miss Conduct. Fun, right? Just send me an email (meregoldstein at gmail dot com) by 1 p.m. telling me why you want a pair of tickets. You can keep it short and simple. I'll pick two e-mails and that will be that. Sorry it's so last minute. But spontaneity helps maintain the spice in our relationship, I think. As for today's letter, it's a tough one for a Friday. But we can handle it, of course.
I'm hoping to get advice on a "happily ever after" question. I know I've been very lucky in love. I've been married for over 10 years to a wonderful man. We've been through lots together but have managed to laugh and muddle through it all... I could write all the corny stuff here, he's my best friend, makes me a better person, he's my rock, I admire him more and more as the years go by, yadda yadda. BUT (there is always a but, right?), we disagree on something major and I don't know how to resolve it without one of us being left feeling resentful. We have two children. I'd dearly love to have another. He is dead set against. It seems like we've talked and talked around it (for over a year!) and aren't getting anywhere. Some days I think, OK, I love him and want him to be happy with our family so I'll drop it. But then I get to thinking why do I have to be the one to make the sacrifice? Will I always be a bit mad at him because of it? Of course, if we go the other way, he has those exact same questions. Unfortunately, it's not an option to wait a few years and see how we feel since time is really running out on the ol' bio-clock. So I am hoping the Love Letters gang can help me see more clearly. Thanks! I think it would help if I give the reasons we are struggling. I love being a mom, loved growing up with two siblings myself, and love the hubbub of a bigger family. My husband is worried about time, money and energy. He thinks we should move on to the next phase of our lives and enjoy the two great kids that we already have.

– Someone Has to Lose, Reading

SHTL, in this situation, you both lose. If you get what you want, you have to live with an unhappy partner -- and vice versa. My gut tells me that it's going to be easier for you to cope with the status quo than for your husband to rally to raise a child he doesn't want. That might be a controversial opinion (and I'm quite curious to hear what our readers have to say), but children are a lifetime commitment, as you know. Do you want to start that commitment with someone who would rather be moving on to the next phase of his life? My suggestion is to get crazy with communication. Share your individual visions of your marital future -- with details. Many exciting details. I want you to give each other so many specifics about your future plans that it becomes easy to picture each other's fantasies. Let your husband explain this next life phase of life. How has he imagined it? Travel? A new home? I just wonder if you really understand what his post-kid vision looks like. And does he understand your dream? It's one thing to say, "I like big families." It's another, more useful thing to explain what you think that big family will look like in five or ten years. My other suggestion is therapy. No shocker there. Because you both need to figure out how to continue to love each other no matter what you decide. I wish I could give you a confident here's-what-you-should-do answer. Obviously, I can't. But I will say that it's worth detailing all of the options. Do it as a team. It might shed some light on a few shared goals. And it might help you better understand each other's perspectives. Readers? Is it better to compromise and have a child you'd rather not have -- or compromise by not having a child that you very much want? How can the letter writer avoid resenting her partner if she doesn’t get to have a third child? Is there a compromise? Discuss.

– Meredith