Real Talk With Your Partner: Starting A Family

In an interview with associate marriage and family therapist, Benu, you'll discover why and how to discuss family planning with your partner. Benu earned her Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy from the Wright Institute in Berkeley, and her bachelor’s degree from Bryn Mawr College.

A version of this article was first published by our friends at

Why do you think it’s important for couples to talk about their values?

We all have our own expectations for our relationships and how they should be. We often start relationships by fixating on how our partners fit into our individual lifestyles, which is appropriate! As our relationships grow and we evolve individually, it’s harder to focus on the priorities of the relationship itself. It takes a lot of intention to consider “how does X impact my partner and the relationship?” This is why it’s important to understand our values and how they drive us. It’s about learning to adopt a more collectivist mindset rather than an individualistic mindset. Ongoing discussions with your partner around a shared vision for your relationship are essential so that you’re on the same page. By creating a larger context of meaning in your relationship, it can help couples avoid focusing on smaller annoyances and be focused on the big picture.

How have you seen failures to discuss these things manifest in relationships?

As I mentioned above, we have individual wants, needs, and fantasies for our relationships. When things don’t go according to plan, it can create friction in a relationship. Over time, friction can lead to negative interaction cycles that start to chip away at the trust couples have built into their relationships. Many couples start to feel that they’re not on the same page- leading them to fight about trivial things. When I see couples (in therapy), usually the crux of their problems aren’t usually what they present in therapy. It’s much deeper, and much more vulnerable. What is happening is that people protest and fight because they are feeling disconnected and not understood by their partners. And, that can feel scary.

What are ways in which we can individually understand our values and personal goals?

We can start by having an honest conversation with ourselves. Your goals in life will change. Think hard about what’s important to you and why you feel that way. Many of the things that used to feel important or were modeled by parents or caretakers as being important might not resonate with you as an adult - yet we can carry some of these expectations with us and project them onto our relationships by habit. Figuring out what matters and why it matters to you individually can really help shape how you can start having these conversations in your relationship.

What are some tools to help discuss and integrate these goals and values with a partner?

It can be helpful to start acknowledging your own emotions and the complexities around aligning your individual values to your partner and your relationship. It’s a vulnerable step to lay out all of your hopes and dreams for your future to your partner! Be open to the ways you’re both evolving together and individually. Does your relationship allow space to explore both yours and your partners goals? Being intentional about when to have these types of conversations is also crucial - especially now while we’re in a pandemic. Currently, there is no separation between work time and idle time or weekdays and weekends. Now, more than ever, it’s important to carve out the time and space to create a ritual around understanding what shared values mean to you and your partner.

You’ve mentioned the risk of “losing our identities” when we become parents. Are there ways that we can preemptively and deliberately make decisions to help prevent this, both individually and as partners?

The emotions around becoming a parent are so complex! It’s not so much as “losing our identities” as much as it is being open to our evolving identities. The nature of humans is to resist change, and yet, we are constantly experiencing change. Embarking on the parenthood journey feels chaotic and messy and we are bound to experience struggle and feeling a loss of control. Creating open and honest dialogue to discuss the uncertainties and fears around how our identities are constantly shifting can help create space for acceptance and embrace change.

Learn more at

We're Catherine and Brittany, the co-founders of ELANZA Wellness and authors of the book, Everything Egg FreezingWe both froze our eggs and spent years researching the impact of lifestyle choices on fertility. We look forward to sharing our insights with you!

Well, hello!


Direct to Your Inbox

We'll share the best evidence-based ways to get Fertility Fit so you can enhance and maintain your egg quality and your overall reproductive health.

 Together, we got this!

Let's Socialize!

  • Amazon - White Circle
  • Instagram - White Circle
  • Facebook - White Circle
  • Pinterest - White Circle

Get the Book

Imagine a dozen of the best fertility doctors and scientists from around the world all here to give you their advice about fertility, plus frank insights from women who’ve experienced egg freezing firsthand.

Want to Get Fertility Fit™

Before Freezing?

Are you (or a friend) planning to freeze your eggs in the next few months? If so, join us on the first-ever Fertility Fitness program designed to prepare you physically and emotionally for treatment. The program is free for a limited time.

Book a free virtual coffee to learn more about

how we work.

Subscribe to the ELANZA newsletter

San Francisco | London




Privacy policy



Get the book!


  • Facebook - White Circle
  • Twitter - White Circle
  • Instagram - White Circle
  • Pinterest - White Circle

24 Inman Rd, London, UK. Registered in England: 11505821

ELANZA Wellness Ltd have taken all reasonable steps to ensure that the information provided on this communication is accurate at the time of writing. However, it may vary at the time of further enquiry due to supplier variations and is subject to change.  This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It does not create a doctor-patient relationship, nor is it a solicitation to offer medical advice. Always seek the advice of a qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. 

  • White Pinterest Icon
  • White Instagram Icon
  • White Facebook Icon