Dear Amy: I am 34 and in a relationship. We've been together for about a year. He has two children from a previous relationship.
The other day I brought up the subject of having a child with him, because I would love to be a mother soon. He flat-out told me he did not want to have any more children.
I'm not sure what to do. I am in love with him and he says he loves me.
What should I do?
Dear Worried: This may be the single most challenging issue that couples face as they contemplate their future.
When someone gives you the benefit of his unvarnished view, and when he expresses this with frank honesty, you should believe him and then make your own choice based on the information provided.
It's not as though your guy is inexperienced or ambivalent. He has children and is certain he doesn't want to have any more.
I have heard from many women who have faced this. If they compromised or buried their desire to have children for the sake of the relationship, almost to a person they have reported regretting this choice.
You need to determine if your desire to be a mother can be satisfied by any role you might play in your guy's kids' lives. If not, you should reconsider your future with him.
Dear Amy: My husband and I are in our mid-40s with two young children. We work, save for our retirement and are saving for our children's educations. We are not wealthy and do not live above our means. I paid for my own education and have been on my own since college.
My parents are in their late 60s. My dad has never been able to manage money and never seemed to keep a stable income.
My brother is 40 and has lived with them his adult life. He works and makes modest wages but contributes only to pay the cable bill.
Over the years I have given them more than $35,000 to help them out.
I sent them $2,500 earlier this year to make sure they had a roof over their heads (I had to put this on a credit card) and today I found out that they are now six months behind in rent and need another $2,500.
Am I wrong to stop helping them financially?
At Her Wits' End
Dear End: Your first duty is to your own immediate household. You have already gone into debt to support these other family members; please don't let them drag you down further.
Your family will have to find other housing and either learn to live on their current income, or figure out how to increase their income -- without hitting you up for money.
Tell them you're done. Point them toward any subsidies or housing programs you think they would qualify for. A social worker would be more helpful.
If they are able bodied and mentally fit, these three adults should be able to keep a roof over their own heads.
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