My partner of six years is 26, and I'm 27. We’ve lived together for three years and dealt with long distance before that.
Mostly, I feel supported, cared for, and intellectually stimulated. I enjoy spending time with him and his witty charms and thoughts.
I feel like I love him. Most of our decisions suggest commitment.
However, I’m hoping for marriage and children. I've made this very clear, but he’s unsure about his feelings towards creating that lifestyle.
I don't want to push anyone into anything they don't want.
He’s started seeing a therapist, and she’s said that some of his self-deprecating tendencies will destroy him.
I wasn’t clueless to this side of him. It tears at me that someone I love can't seem to love himself.
I even have a sneaking suspicion that he disrespects me for loving him (because he can't understand why he merits love). Sometimes, I feel like he’s ashamed to love me.
I want to be loyal and patient with him, but I'm afraid that if I wait I might miss out on building the family I want.
In your 20s together, the relationship’s been mutually supportive.
But there are definitely problems ahead for your 30s if your desire to have children and family life becomes more pressing.
And, if his self-doubts and uncertainty about family life persist.
Seeing a therapist shows his willingness to probe his own issues.
Leave the analysis to the professional, rather than guess at hidden meanings.
You can ask to attend a session with him in order to explain your concerns, but they may not agree.
Otherwise, see how he responds to the process and periodically raise the possibility of family.
You’re correct not to push him in this direction. Common goals and values trump loyalty when it comes to raising a family together.
You’re not currently “missing” your chance for children. But you both need to be prepared to make that decision in time.
People assume that I'm much younger than my husband of 35 years, though I'm one year older.
My husband has become seriously overweight, to the point where he now has type 2 diabetes.
He does nothing to take care of himself. When not working, he drinks, eats, sits and sleeps.
He wants me to get him Viagra. I’m interested in sex, but not with him.
I love my husband, he's smart and funny, but I don't want to spend my retirement as a caregiver.
I’m seriously considering leaving now so I won't look like a cow dumping him when he's in a wheelchair.
Or, perhaps it’d be a wake up call for him. Nothing I've said or done to date has had any impact.
Talk to a diabetes specialist. Find out the logical progress of his disease, given his current habits.
Tell your husband what you’ve discovered. Be honest and upfront – you do love him, but have no desire to have sex with him. You resent the idea of becoming his caregiver due to his personal negligence.
Then ask him how he’d like to handle this situation as a couple:
Set aside finances for a paid caregiver when needed? Agree that he enters a nursing home when needed? Or accept that you might leave him if he does nothing to help himself?
If those options aren’t a wake-up call, then perhaps nothing is.
In that case, talk to family members to see if there are other workable options and seek some counselling for yourself before making a personal decision.
FEEDBACK Regarding the young woman whose boyfriends left her because she refused anal sex (Feb. 13):
Reader – “Since this young woman has had three boyfriends in six months, it’s unlikely these men have developed a deeply committed relationship with her.
“Many young men will ask for whatever they think they can get sexually. Submitting to their wants will not ensure commitment.
“Also people don't realize how to have safe and satisfying anal sex.
“It requires lengthy warm-up, lots of lubrication, and sometimes a muscle relaxant. (Ellie – plus consent!).
“What a shame that porn creates such unrealistic expectations about sex and that so many women feel pressured into sexual activities they fear or dislike.
“When a woman’s faced with requests that make her uncomfortable, she should act confident in her sexuality and say it's just not for her.
“Any man who acts like SHE has the problem is not worth her time.”
Tip of the day:
Common goals and values are essential when raising a family.