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More kids or no kids?

Oct 4th, 2008 by Dr. Elia | 0

Dear Dr. Elia,

I’ve enjoyed reading your advice, but haven’t come across one that
pertains to my situation. I love my husband so much. We have a strong
marriage. He treats me wonderfully. There’s just one pretty major
issue that seems unresolvable. Actually, to him it is resolved. To
him, we are absolutely done having children. My problem is that I would
love to have more. We have already been blessed with 3 children. But,
never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined being done with 3 (when
we got married I wanted 9, he wanted 6). If we must be done, I will be
grateful for what I have. I understand his point of view – that it’s
hard work and draining at times. He is putting in a lot of hours at
work right now and needs a break here and there. He doesn’t know if he
can handle it emotionally. one side of me is symathetic to how he feels
and not wanting, of course, to force (or beg) a responsiblity on him
that he doesn’t want. The other side of me feels like he doesn’t want
more because of selfishness. He talks of wanting more sponteinaity,
etc. I wonder if he just needs to take the plunge into his family and
start enjoying what he has and put the family first instead of his own
wants. Also, a part of me feels like this is my divine priviledge to
bare and raise children. Why is it o.k. for him to spend massive
amounts of time at work to feel fulfilled and not o.k. for me to have
more children? It’s very important to me that I feel like Heavenly
Father is pleased with our decision. However, I don’t even know how to
pray about it. Do I ask if we can be done? It seems strange to pray
for something I don’t want. However, It also seems strange to pray for
something that my husband does not want. Or do I even have a choice
anyway? He’s pretty adamant. He gets quite tense if I even gently
bring it up. Does the vote of the person that doesn’t want it over-ride
the vote of the person that does? In an un-eternal perspective, I
would say yes. My fear is that – what if we should have more and he is
so strongly against it that he wouldn’t even recognize a prompting if it
came? Anyway……hope you can see how I’m stuck on this one. My
ultimate dream would be for him to wake up one day and realize that this
(his family, including the children) really is the source of happiness.
Then he would sweep me off my feet, request more children and suddenly
find more joy in fatherhood. Is this way too much to hope for? I do
ultimately want what is best for our eternal family. Please respond.
Thank you!


Dear AS,

You are in quite a dilemma! There are needs on both sides, yours and
your husband’s which must be weighed equally. From his point of view,
he’s tired and unsure if he can even handle any more kids. Forcing,
begging or tricking him will only breed resentment. On the other hand
you have a desire to bare and raise more children and feel it’s your
divine privilege to do so.

The only possible solution is for both of you to fast and pray for God’s
will in regards to this matter. I am convinced you will both get the
same answer. It may be that having 3 children is enough for your family.
It may be that having more children is the way to go…but perhaps not
right now. The answer may be one which neither of you have contemplated.

So ask your husband if he would be willing to fast and pray and tell him
that you will do the same…without any preconditions. If he agrees,
then set a date and proceed. The only reason why he might say no, is his
fear of what the answer might be: like have more children.

This decision is SO important for your marriage and eternal family that
it must be a mutual one with the Lord’s blessing.

Have faith and courage…it will all work out.

God bless you both,

Elia Gourgouris Ph.D.

Mormon Mom

Sep 13th, 2008 by Dr. Gourgouris | 2
Dear Dr. Elia,

I have a large Mormon family. I come from a long line of large mormon families. I am a very good wife and mom. This past weekend we celebrated our third returned missionaries temple wedding and reception. ALL of my family came to join in on the joyful occasion. For the most part everything was wonderful, except inside myself I could feel the pressure building as the stressful, long days wore on. It seemed everyone needed something from me. By yesterday, after we all had attended Church, I was barely holding on to my nerves. Then, two of my daughter-in-laws burst my composure with a very complex issue at the lunch table. I blew off like a tea kettle! I really hurt their feelings and feel awful. What should I do to repair the damage and restore the love and trust we once shared?

Mormon Mom

Dear Mormon Mom,

First of all, congratulations on the wonderful achievements of your family! You truly have joy in your posterity…

It seems like the stress and pressures of this wonderful event, however, took their toll on you emotionally. You got overwhelmed and had a difficult time resolving your daughters’-in-law issue. It’s perfectly understandable and I’m sure if forgiveness is sought by you, then forgiveness will be extended by them…I say, the quicker the better and in person, if at all possible.

The more important issue to address however, is what can you do to find more balance and peace in your life? Especially during stressful times, how can you learn to take care of yourself, so this unfortunate situation does not repeat itself? You might want to take a little survey that will give you quite a few insights into this…If you go to and take the Life Satisfaction Survey, you’ll discover great strengths but also a few areas that might need some attention in your life. As you take care of those specific areas, life will become a little more balanced.

Let me know if you have any questions…

Elia Gourgouris Ph.D.

My family is driving me crazy!!!

Aug 15th, 2008 by Dr. Gourgouris | 0

Dear Dr. Elia,

I am having a difficult time trying to transition back to being a mom after spending a year at school, I don’t like cooking…my dh hardly compliments it at all…and the kids, well kids like to say “I don’t like it” …you know. I am a ver verbal person, and I seem to be “high maintance” as far as I need pats on the back and my requests honored. I have some health problems as well…PMS and the like…and so my intimacy button is broken as well…and dear husband doesn’t think I like him…or that I don’t like intimacy…so I PLAN times that I am intimate…so that he doesn’t think I hate him…but it is REALLY hard to get my motor going…

Well, I literally BLEW UP at my family today…after I requested for them to stop bitting (criticizing, and nitpicking…especially 17 yr old son and father) each other, first thing in the morning… ( they are like a den of grumpy bears in the morning, and my 4 yr old keeps that grumpiness all day long…and fights with 5 yr old sister!! ( I have 7 children.)

I don’t quite know what to do…now I feel guilty, and drained all at the same time…any suggestions?

Thank you for your time…

Dear Nicoll,

How often do we feel like our family is driving us crazy? It’s more often than most of us will admit!

A couple of thoughts come to mind as to your predicament. I’m not sure if you are truly high maintenance. It sounds like no one in your family is speaking your primary love language… which in your case sounds like “words of appreciation.” So after a considerable time of not feeling appreciated and with all the demands that are upon you, “your emotional bank account” runs empty. No wonder you feel drained…When the stress gets too much a blow up is not unexpected.

It’s very important to understand what makes you feel the most loved and the same for your husband. This is done by prioritizing the 5 love languages from what fills your bucket the most to least. The key to successful relationships is to express our love to our spouse (or children for that matter) in the way that it makes them feel the most loved… For more information on this topic, you can read my article on “Love Languages: It’s All Greek to Me!”

Imagine how different life would be at home if everyone felt loved in their particular language. The emotional bank accounts would be receiving daily deposits and everyone would be happier. Although this requires some work up front, especially on the communication side, in the end it will be worth it. If you need any assistance let me know… It’s not that hard to learn… It is a little harder to implement it and do so consistently. The good news is that once it becomes a habit the sky is the limit!

Elia Gourgouris Ph.D

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