In a feature I call “Your Turn,” in which you, the readers, get to answer the question, I’m presenting the following letter without commentary from me:
I am a 27 year old female and have been dating a 30 year old man for 1 1/2 years. He is kind, thoughtful, attractive, smart, treats me well and I am in love with him. But…(isn’t there always a but?) he is unable to say he loves me or sees a future, not just for me, but for himself. He is not sure if he ever wants to get married or have children, which was once upon a time his “childhood dream.” This could be in part due to his very bad and long divorce process that finalized just a month after we started dating. It took 2 1/2 years because his ex became pregnant by her ex-boyfriend and they had to establish paternity for the courts.
He tells me he is emotionally screwed up. He also seems to have low self-esteem but when I bring it up he denies it and changes the subject. When I thank him for the wonderful things he does for me he will either not respond or will say “whatever,” as if what he does has no value. When anyone tries to do him a favor, give him a gift or even return his help in kind he refuses point blank. Still, the only negative thing I can think of in our day-to-day interactions is that he plays a LOT of video games, but he didn’t start this until he was laid off from his job, so the video games seem to be an escape from his life. To say that he is depressed is an understatement.
He is a wonderful man and even if we don’t work out I will not regret being with him, but should I stay in a romantic relationship with him? I want to have a family some day and due to some issues I have biologically, getting pregnant could be a challenge, so I can’t put it off much longer. I would take him at his word concerning marriage and family, but his word is “unsure.” — Unsure, Myself