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by Abigail Van Buren

Timing Is an Issue for Couple Wanting to Start Their Family

DEAR ABBY: My fiance, "Bradley," is the man of my dreams. We have been together three years, live together and have a dog. Brad is in his early 30s, and I'm turning 30 this year.

We decided on a long engagement so we could enjoy the planning process. Our wedding is scheduled for next year. We both work hard and live comfortably. But we struggle now and then to make ends meet, especially around the holidays, although it's nothing we can't resolve by cutting back a bit.

The issue: I am ready for a child. He wants to wait until we have been married for at least two years. He feels it would require a lot of financial and lifestyle sacrifice that he doesn't want to make right now.

I understand where he's coming from because I felt the same way for a while. But lately, I have this overpowering sense of readiness and yearning to become a mother. No matter what I do to suppress this instinct, I am more and more heartbroken every day knowing this reality is so far away.

How should I cope with this? I am becoming more and more depressed. Should I confront my fiance? Maybe do couples counseling? Brad is always willing to listen, but I don't think he understands how it feels. -- FUTURE MOMMY IN RHODE ISLAND

DEAR FUTURE MOMMY: Because you and your fiance are not on the same page regarding this issue, couples counseling could be helpful. However, because you are becoming increasingly frustrated and depressed, also discuss these feelings with your physician. If you are worried about your biological clock, women have options today that weren't available in years past, and you and Brad may want to explore them.