DEAR ABBY: I am a man in my 40s. All my life I wanted nothing more than to get married and have a beautiful child. I have been in two relationships -- one for nine years and the other for 11 years.
I suppose it's unusual for a man to long for a child. My baby days are about over, yet I still long for one. I have adult stepchildren and grandchildren. We even fostered four children for two years. I love them all, yet I still feel so empty.
On top of it, my mother constantly says, "I wish you would make me a grandmother." I tell her my stepkids are her grandchildren, but she insists on grieving that I don't have a biological child. I am not able to, and I have explained it to her.
My wife tries to understand my pain but just can't. It causes distance between us, and she shuts down. How can I forget about these desires and move on with life? -- DADDY ISSUES IN INDIANA
DEAR DADDY ISSUES: I'm glad you reached out for guidance. Wanting biological children is a normal human desire, and it isn't limited to just one gender.
Some sessions with a mental health professional may not be able to make you forget your lifelong wish to be a biological father, but therapy could help you to move on with your life and past the pain you are feeling. With the help of your therapist, perhaps you can help your mother understand that venting her frustration over your inability to produce the grandchild of her dreams has been excruciating, and you need her to stop once and for all.