I received this letter from a reader of my blog and in the letter, he asked for my opinion on what he should do about a difficult situation he is going through. I sent him a reply and I also asked him if he would permit me to post his letter here, so that you can also offer your insights and thoughts about his problem. He gave me his permission, so here is his letter. I have changed his name to protect his privacy. Please feel free to post your reply. Thanks.
"Hello -I've just discovered your blog, and very much wish I had done so earlier. This morning, you see, I'm fresh off the thousandth conflict with my girlfriend, who has stated, extremely clearly, that she wants kids. I've always been on the fence about it -- at least I thought I was -- and have, for the past year, been thinking. And thinking. And thinking. Last month, I set a final deadline for myself, which is imminent, and I still find I'm 'undecided.'
In truth and honesty, I'm not undecided. I don't want kids, and every word I've read of your blog rings starkly true for me. But there's a problem -- a big one. I'm in love with the woman with whom I'm involved. She's wonderful, sweet, smart, creative, and would/will make a fantastic mother. She has all the patience I do not, and I could never deny the happiness she will find in being a parent. In addition, I've had a lot of trouble with relationships in the past, and there's no question this one is the very best I've had. I desperately do not want to let go of it, but this is a crossroads that can only go two directions. There's no in between.
Many people have told me I'd make a good parent. And I probably would. I do love kids. They're fun. Silly. Wacky. I just don't know if I can deal with the un-fun parts of parenthood. I'm pretty sure, actually, that they would drive me nuts. I no more want to clean up someone else's bodily functions than I want someone to clean up mine. Etc., etc., etc.
So. I've tried to present both sides of my problem briefly and equally. 1. I'm in love. 2. I don't want kids. There's no way these two things can happily coexist. So here's the question I'm hoping you can help me solve: I've written one letter to you, and I'll write more if you want clarification, but based on this single letter... should I dive into the relationship? Or let it go and hope to find another?Thanks for your blog. It's really quite excellent.