He’s 41. She’s 38 and thinks he’s “wonderful” and treats her “magnificently.” After 7 months together, she believes they have “similar values and interests and are very much in love.”. So, what’s the matter? Can you guess?
Her problem is a biggie. Big enough that she contacted ‘Dear Abby’, desperate for guidance. She writes:
“Although I have always wanted children, he does not. At my age, I have dated enough men to know that I have found someone special. I realize my choice is either to stay in a relationship with a fabulous partner, knowing we won’t have children, or end it, hoping I’ll find someone just as wonderful who wants kids.”
How might you advise her?
If your response is, ‘Heck, I don’t know what to tell her,” that’s how I felt, too. That’s why they pay Abby the big bucks. Here’s how Abby handled it:
“Many women in their late 30s find that conceiving a child is complicated, and it can also take longer than they thought. It has taken you 38 years to find this exceptional man, and it could take quite a bit of time to find another one who is so compatible.
Look at it this way: If you married ‘Mr. Wonderful’ and learned afterward that he couldn’t father a child, would you leave him? Insist on adopting? Or would you count the many blessings you do have with him and stay?
Many women are happily childless. However, if you’re not one of them, you should take your chances and move on — remembering that there are no guarantees.”
The only thing I might have added is that if she chooses children, knowing that a “fabulous partner” is damned hard to find, it’s not too early to discern whether she would ever consider single motherhood, through adoption or other means.
I’d give anything to know the outcome of this particular story, but we’ll probably never learn what it is. What I know for sure is that it’s a story that isn’t uncommon, and neither choice provides an automatic happy ending.