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Couple's Future Is Clouded by Question of Having Kids

DEAR ABBY: I'm a 19-year-old girl who's been with my boyfriend for two years. We are a wonderful match and love each other very much. There's just one flaw in our relationship that I hold lots of guilt over. From the beginning, we have both known he would like to have kids, and I have always known that I do not. I don't want biological children, and I have no desire to adopt. I'm not maternal.

My boyfriend and I had a deep conversation about it a while back when we realized there could actually be a future between us. He said he is willing to put aside his desire for kids so he can have a future with me. I feel guilty that I'm not the ideal woman for him. Should I break it off so he can find someone who wants children, or should I trust in his statement that his life really will be fulfilled with only me and no children? -- GUILTY IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR GUILTY: Not wanting children is nothing to feel guilty about. Many women feel as you do about the lifetime responsibilities of becoming a mother. I do think you would be wise to have several more "deep" conversations with your boyfriend to make sure he fully understands how serious you are on this subject and what marriage to you will mean. In addition, premarital counseling could be helpful to ensure you both are on the same page about other issues that might crop up.

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