DEAR ABBY: I have been romantically involved with my best friend, "Ray," for three years. We dated for a couple of years 14 years ago. He got a girl pregnant right before we started dating, and they ended up getting married and having four more children. We remained friends and began seeing each other after they divorced three years ago.
Ray says he has always been in love with me and should have married me. We're very close and spend as much time together as we can.
For the past year I have been asking when I'll meet his children. He keeps saying I need to be patient and when the time is right I can. We live in different cities.
Ray is a great dad -- very involved in his children's lives. He has them during the week, and on weekends, coaches basketball for his son, and takes them to their different activities. etc. I understand they are his first priority. I just wish he'd include me in that part of his life.
Ray says he wants to marry me. We discuss it often and plan on living together in the near future. I feel he doesn't want me to be a part of his life that involves the children. They range in age from 13 to 3 1/2. They know I exist because he has my picture by his bed, but he says they don't ask about me. Am I being "too" patient? -- REALITY CHECK IN KANSAS
DEAR REALITY: Are you absolutely certain that Ray is divorced? It seems strange to me that after three years you still haven't met his children. Or does he plan to have you move in and "surprise" them? That would be a big mistake.
If my suspicions are wrong and Ray is on the up and up, tell him you need him to set a definite timeline. You have been patient long enough.