Hippo Manchester
September 15, 2005

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Dear Sherry,

When my husband and I bought our first home, he wanted me to be an equal partner in everything ó and I agreed. We split the costs and made decisions together regarding carpeting, furniture and renovations. Iím pregnant now and my husband refuses to give up his office to make room for our child. He says we can just put the baby in a room downstairs. Our bedroom is on the second floor, and being a first time mother, I really donít want the baby to be down the hall and down a flight of stairs from us. He feels that his office (on the second floor) is exactly the way he wants it and he doesnít want to change its location. He keeps on saying that since we both have to agree to all changes, I canít create a nursery in that room unless he agrees.

This issue is becoming contentious Ė and itís strange because we rarely argue. I really am starting to wonder if our marriage isnít as strong as it once was.

Should I just give in and put the nursery downstairs?

- Preggers

Dear Preggers,

It sounds like your husband has some insecurity about sharing you and his space with this new baby. You can dig your heels in all you want, but it might not get you anywhere Ö but upset and stressed, which you donít really need right now. Also, you will probably want to have the baby in your bedroom for the first few months ó I think thatís what most people do. During those months, he might come to see how important it is to have the baby close by.

Hopefully, if he doesnít change his mind, youíll feel comfortable with the baby on the first floor with a monitor in your room.

Eventually, youíll need to have a talk with your husband about give and take in a relationship. Even though you agreed to share all decision-making power, compromise is integral to any relationship, as is negotiation.

Sherry Hughes welcomes letters from readers. Reach her via e-mail at sah103@hotmail.com.