In the couple’s relationship, it is not uncommon for men to contain their emotions and focus on “fixing” the situation; and for women to feel overwhelmed by their emotions and be compelled to communicate feelings. These differences often cause men to believe their partner is “overreacting” with feelings of hopelessness, jealousy, rage, and anxiety; and for women to believe their partner doesn’t really care that much about having children because of his lack or scarcity of emotional expression.
Seeking understanding through mindful listening enables men to understand that their partner is not “over-reacting” and women to understand that their partner really is upset: he is just not expressing how upset he really is! Men and women also realize they are not the only one feeling helpless and inadequate. When each discuss the cultural, familial, religious, and selfimposed pressures to produce children, they have a clearer understanding of their emotions and no longer feel so alone.