My boyfriend and I have been dating for over six months. I am 27 and have no children. He is 43 and was married for several years. He has three children from his previous marriage. I get along really well with his kids. He and his ex-wife have equal joint custody. I have never dated someone with kids, and feel like I have been very open and understanding in regards to supporting him in his relationship with them. We do things with the kids, go to their sporting events, and spend as much time with them as possible. I have always assumed that I would have children, even though babies make me VERY nervous. I think mostly because of how fragile they seem and I am just now beginning to interact with them since the majority of my friends are getting married and having children. I have asked my bf if he was open to remarriage (which he said yes) and children came up. He is unsure if he wants to have any more kids. I cannot decide how I feel about this. I always assumed I would have children, and am afraid I would end up regretting the decision if I decided not to. The longer I am with him, the more involved I become in the situation. It now goes beyond him and I, the kids are attached. I don’t know if I should force the issue. He is also deploying next month (only for 6 months) and this is a difficult time for all of us. I feel a lot of anxiety towards the entire situation. I love him and am very happy being with him, but I don’t know if I want to make that type of sacrifice. I don’t know how to confront him about it or if I even should.

A: Thank you for taking the time to write us. It does seem like you will have some time to think about the situation. The first thing I would do is set up for some counseling while your boyfriend is deployed. There are many good reasons for this, not the least of which is the fact that this is a big shift in your relationship. This should give you a chance for deep reflection on the issue in his absence.

The military has wonderful counseling facilities that may be available to you. If they are not, you may want to use the “find help” tab at the top of the page to locate a therapist in your area. Sorting through your needs at this point in your relationship will give you some clarity.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral