She wants to have kids, but is afraid to have them

Posted: April 19, 2013

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I are contemplating starting a family. I work in the field of social services. Every day I am confronted with families who struggle with more children than they can care for and with behavioral and emotional problems. Frankly, it has turned me off. I am terrified of all the "what ifs." My in-laws can't understand why we don't have children yet.

My husband keeps insisting "everything will be fine." I love him deeply and he would make an amazing father. I can't picture our future without children, but the fear of actually having them brings me to tears. Can you help me?

- Scared to Take the Next Step

DEAR SCARED: Children don't come with 100 percent, money-back guarantees. What they need in order to thrive is parents who love each other and them. Please do not allow the dysfunction you have seen in your work to influence your decision. Having a child because of pressure from your in-laws would be a poor reason to embark upon parenthood.

DEAR ABBY: I have been married for 15 years and have two children. I love my wife, but for years I have felt like something was missing. I recently met a man who is in the same situation. One day he confided that he is gay and has known it for more than 10 years. As our friendship has developed I have come to realize that I'm gay as well. My friend and I have been exploring our sexuality together.

Both of us love our wives and children; however, we desperately need to fulfill our own needs as well. Do you have any advice on the best way to move forward that will have minimal impact on everyone involved?

- In a Difficult Situation

DEAR IN: You say you have known for years that something was missing. Well, it is possible that your wives have felt the same way, and may have blamed themselves for it. That's why it is important for you and your friend to explain everything to them honestly.

It would be helpful for everyone who will be affected to seek counseling and receive the emotional support they will need through this life-changing transition.

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