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.
DEAR ABBY: I am a 69-year-old divorcee who was married for 48 years. The last 25 years were very lonely. There were no intimate relations, hugs or kisses, and we slept in separate bedrooms. After I retired, I learned my husband had been cheating on me for God knows how long, possibly 20 years.
After our divorce, I was finally persuaded to do some online dating, which has been quite an adventure, both positive and negative! I am currently happy in an exclusive year-long relationship, but because I have been out of the dating world for almost half a century, I am confused by the new rules.
My boyfriend sometimes expects me to share the cost of what we do, whether it be restaurant, movies, golf, airline tickets, etc. My mother taught me that the gentleman always pays, so please give me current advice about present-day dating etiquette, if you would be so kind. -- CURRENT IN TEXAS
DEAR CURRENT: What your mother taught you was true in her day. However, because women are now in the working world, have incomes of their own, and are on a more equal par with men, they now share some or all of those expenses. Much depends upon the financial disparity between the two. This is an important subject you should discuss with your gentleman friend to see if you can agree on an arrangement that's comfortable for both of you.
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