Adapted from a recent online discussion.
Honesty above all in discussion about trying to have kids
Atlanta: My side — Having a baby is something we both agreed we wanted to do before too much longer. We're both gainfully employed, have good health insurance and are living in a city where we have several friends and family members on hand to help out. Who knows if that'll be true even a year from now. We should go ahead and ditch the birth control now.
His side — Yeah, things are great now, but let's wait awhile and see if things get even better.
Carolyn: What exactly is he hoping will "get even better"?
Atlanta again: For instance, he might get promoted and start making more money, his mom might be moving back into the city, and (this sounds morbid) our very sick dog may pass away soon and we'd have less to worry about. As I see it, though, things could always get better, and I'm so ready for a baby that it's starting to hurt not to have one.
Carolyn: Since his getting promoted/his mother's arrival would be swell for your little family whether it was still in utero or graduating from diapers, and you're fine without both developments, I don't think either stands as an argument for waiting.
If he were waiting for something that would affect a baby's well-being — health information, for example, or a round of layoffs, or a deployment — then he might have an argument for waiting.
The purpose of poking holes in his argument isn't to corner him into having a baby, since that's unfair to the baby, to him and to you, in descending order. The point is to let him know that it's time to tell the truth about his real reasons. Until you know what they are, you and he won't be able to explore whether they're surmountable — and he owes you that exploration, since you're yearning and counting on him to keep his word.
Anonymous: He said he wants to wait. I don't even see why we are trying to figure out ways for her to push harder. He's already giving nonsense reasons to wait. These are more commonly referred to as "excuses." Maybe I'm being harsh, but this guy does not appear to want a baby and she needs to stop. It's clear he's already in a place where he doesn't feel he can be honest so he's avoiding.
Carolyn: I totally disagree. My advice is not for her to push for a baby, but to push for honesty, which they both deserve. Backing off because he's making excuses is the seed of a lot of resentment, no matter what they're discussing.
Plus, you imply that "avoiding" is okay because he doesn't "feel" he can be honest — but that's antithetical to healthy marriage. Certainly there are times when it's wise to allow someone room to process complex thoughts or emotions, but they've discussed this and made promises to each other.
If he isn't mature enough to discuss his doubts or fears, then the person on the receiving end of his (empty) promises has standing to object. He, too, has standing to say he doesn't feel he can be honest with her without fear of punishment, if indeed that's how he feels.