Q: I am engaged to a wonderful divorced woman, who has a 4-year-old son. When we got together I wasn't sure I even wanted kids, but seeing her with her son has convinced me I would actually love a child . . . of my own. Her son is a great kid, but he has a very involved father already. I want to have a say in raising my child, to take them hiking, share my interests with them, share their interests with them.
Thing is, my fiancee doesn't want another child. She's promised to think about changing her mind after the wedding next year, but I worry that is just begging for trouble.
I'm thinking of breaking off the engagement now, but she argues it isn't fair to give her an ultimatum and not let her have time to make up her mind. And that I might change my mind again.
I do love her, and it's going to break my heart if I leave. However, staying doesn't seem like a good idea with the wedding moving closer.
A Firm Maybe
A: Oh my goodness, "She's promised to think about changing her mind after the wedding next year"? This is horrible.
Okay, so it isn't "fair" of you to expect her to make this decision on short notice — and if you phrased it as an ultimatum, then it's more than unfair, it's extortion.
So postpone the wedding. Give her the time she wants, give yourself room to think — about kids, about step-parenting, about what that horrible "maybe" says about your fiancee — without the pressure of a wedding bearing down on you.
One thing to consider is that, as long as he actually lives with you half the time, more or less, you can have all the things you mention with your stepson. It'll take time to develop that relationship with him, but having an involved father doesn't preclude the involvement of a stepfather.
If you struggle to make sense of and/or talk about these issues, please also postpone so you can work with a skilled family therapist.