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If you’re a woman who wants children, you’ve probably been made all too aware of your ‘biological clock’.

Though many women are now having children in their late thirties and early forties, we know the chance of becoming pregnant decreases with age, while the risk of complications goes up.

And if you’re in a relationship with a partner who doesn’t ‘get it’, tensions can build.

This is the problem facing this week’s reader, Sara, who wrote in to say: “My husband says he’s not ready to have children but we’re in our mid thirties. I’m scared he’ll force me to leave it too late. What can I do?”

Psychotherapist and Counselling Directory member Beverley Blackman says this conundrum is “more common than people imagine”. She tells Sara there are many reasons why one person may feel ‘ready’ for children while the other doesn’t, and these are worth considering.

“For some, the decision to start a family comes easily and naturally; for others, it really doesn’t,” she says. “When you reach your mid-thirties, it’s possible that your career is stable and settled – perhaps you are very career-driven and focused, and you don’t want anything to prevent you from moving forward with that.

“Perhaps you are settled in your relationship and you are happy with the dynamic, and don’t want that to change. Perhaps you are focused on other things, like paying the mortgage, taking the holidays you’ve always dreamed of, enjoying time with friends and family, and a baby would inhibit your lifestyle. Perhaps you already have children from a previous relationship and don’t want more.”

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