When He Doesn't Want Kids (and You Do)

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When He Doesn't Want Kids (and You Do)
Advice for a woman who is madly in love with but very different from her man.

Over the past two years, my boyfriend and I have fallen passionately in love. We are best friends. Our physical chemistry is great. We have interests, hobbies, and friends in common. I have always been faithful, as has he. The problem is that we don't agree on what the future looks like.

He's a 35-year-old divorced father of two girls, with visitation rights. He has communicated from the day we met that there are several constants in his life: He will never move from the town where we live now; he will never leave his job as a commercial airline pilot, which includes 12-20 days of travel each month; and he will not have any more children.

 

I am a 29-year-old professional. The only constants in my life are that I thrive on change--I tend to move every two years or so--and that I want a husband, and children of my own. I do not love my work and am constantly searching for my "calling." My ideal partner would explore with me.

We know that these are big differences in what we want for our future, and because of that, we've tried to end the relationship four times. But we always reunite within weeks, and neither of us can envision being happy without the other person. He recently asked me to marry him. At this point, I honestly don't know if I'm meant to stay or go.

-A.S.,

Lincoln, Neb.I applaud that you both have been very clear and truthful with each other. When you're in love--as you two clearly are--separating is awful and heartbreaking. But unless one or both of you truly overhauls how you view yourself, the other person, and the world, separating is the right choice. Your passion, friendship, and mutual respect go a long way, but when life goals and dreams are so different, it's very difficult to remain satisfied as the months, then years, pass. Inevitably, what started as a win-win situation will become lose-lose.Your previous attempts to separate tell me that you both know it is very unlikely that you can evolve into successful lifelong mates.