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by Abigail Van Buren

War Zone Romance Will Be Put to the Test at Home

DEAR ABBY: I met a man here in Afghanistan. (We are both deployed.) Since that day we have been together. "Ben" knows that I love him very much. He is scheduled to leave in two months. I am scheduled to leave two months after that.

Ben lives in Georgia, and I come from Texas. We want to make it work when we leave here. I'll continue with my job, but because he's a contractor, Ben will be unemployed. I'm not worried about it because I know he's a go-getter.

Abby, I have had difficulty when it comes to relationships. I am scared to let my guard down and let this good man provide a life for my children and me. I trusted my kids' father and he walked out of our lives. Ben is everything I have prayed for. He took the step of giving me a promise ring and told me he'd always be here for me. Please give me some good advice on how I should handle this. -- IN LOVE IN AFGHANISTAN

DEAR IN LOVE: Being under life-and-death pressure sharpens all of the senses. When people are in a strange or dangerous environment, their emotions can be heightened. This is not to say that people in a war zone can't fall legitimately in love -- it does happen. And it may have happened for you and Ben. However, the test of the strength of your relationship will come after you are both back home in the USA.

You two have a ways to go before you step up to the altar. Your children need to meet Ben, get to know him and accept him. And he needs to prove to you that he can be not only a life partner to you, but a father to your children.

So my heartfelt advice is to take this one step at a time. Don't rush into anything. If this was meant to be, it will happen in its own time.