DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend has proposed. I love him very much, but I'm worried about my kids. I look at his children -- his son is 23 and barely made it out of high school. He got a girl pregnant at 17, has been in jail a few times and is an alcoholic. His 15-year-old daughter is immature for her age and constantly getting into trouble at school. Their mother is an alcoholic and a drug user. Are my concerns for my children valid? -- WORRIED IN WEST VIRGINIA
DEAR WORRIED: Yes, they are, because your children will be exposed to all of the negative influences that his children will bring with them into your blended family. Be smart and hold off marrying your boyfriend until your children are old enough not to be influenced by his children. Your first concern must be for your children's well-being.