Love advice needed. I hope this story doesn’t sound too cold and calculating…Just as a disclaimer, my S.O. and I have talked this over at length. I’m not plotting behind his back; he knows I’m considering my options right now. I just can’t make a sound decision. I thought I’d cast my dilemma to the Dopers and see what your collective wisdom might produce.
My S.O. (We’ve lived together a year and a half) has made it blatantly clear that he will not marry me (ideas of marriage at the first part of living together, but he firmed up within six months into “no”), nor does he want more children. I, on the other hand, want to be married and produce more babies. Alternatively, I have considered artificial insemination (my S.O. has had a vasectomy) to have my own children in the context of this relationship. My S.O. has said he will help me raise any children I might have, but I’m not sure if this is fair to him, as he has stated he really doesn’t want that situation. Despite not wanting marriage (he states not to me or to anyone else, at least for now) he is comfortable with the situation the way it is and likes and loves me.
(I’m probably going to figure this out as I’m writing. But I still want to know what you think.)
As you can imagine, this situation is breaking my heart in a lot of ways. I love him dearly, and am very attached to him and to the living situation, but part of me does not want to give up my dream of traditional marriage and family. However, I’m 36 years old and not getting younger. I’m not sure if I would have a chance at meeting and marrying someone (in adequate time for more babies, especially) . I have a high IQ, at least average looks, and am in good shape (5’4" and 125-130 lbs), along with other good qualities. I love children and have a 12 year old daughter of my own. I would welcome being a step-parent (in fact part of the heartbreaking_ness of this situation is how attached I have become to my S.O.'s children - another complication is that my daughter is quite attached to him, though their relationship has been contentious at times.). I’m a licensed social worker and can earn my keep. I work hard, have a good sense of humor, and am sexually adventurous. I’m well read and I think I can carry on a decent conversation. However, there are some drawbacks. I have obsessive-compulsive disorder, which is usually not obvious but I have to take medicine. Even with the medicine I am a little bit of a worrywart. My daughter also has special needs and requires a high level of structure. I’m a little messy, but the house is always sanitary. Despite my age, I think I might be a good wife for someone and mother for their kids. I just don’t know if it’s worth it to leave a decent situation like I have now, for the unknown of the dating world and possibly being alone for the rest of my life. On the flip side, I don’t know if it’s worth it to stay with someone whose goals are fundamentally different, even though we love each other and get along very well.
Oh, and if you’d suggest I try being alone… I’m not afraid of being alone, just don’t want it to be a permanent situation. Like being seventy and having no one, you know what I mean? My ex and I got divorced when my daughter was 2, and I didn’t date anyone seriously for five years after that. I was fairly comfortable although horny.
Also, anybody that has a Dr. Laura-style response of “well that’s what you get for living together” - please don’t bother. It’s a little too late for that and I am all too aware of the messiness my decisions have caused. Just please, Dr. Laura people-please stay away. That’s all I ask.
I hope this makes sense to everyone. If you need more information to understand the problem, please ask. I guess if you need to flame me for whatever reason, just do it. I feel pretty bad and mixed-up at the moment and feel like flaming myself, although I can’t pinpoint precisely why. Anyway, I know Dopers tend to be pretty brutally honest, and maybe that’s what I need right now to understand myself from another’s perspective. Anything you might share, opinions, your own experiences, shreds of hope, anything would be welcome. Thanks in advance.