“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#1 Feb 1, 2014
DEAR AMY: I am 22 years old, and I have known my boyfriend for almost nine years. We've been dating for almost two years. Lately I have really been wanting to move forward in the relationship. I want to be married and have a family in the next few years.

My boyfriend does not see eye to eye with me when it comes to our beliefs. I told him that I want to be married (or at least engaged) before we think about having kids. He completely disagrees. He tells me he doesn't want to get married, although he does want kids (and soon). I am very against having children before marriage.

It's all I can think about every day. I have even been looking at places to elope (since I don't want a big wedding) and at engagement rings. Am I wrong for wanting to be married before having kids? Am I crazy for wanting him to propose?-- Eager

DEAR EAGER: I wish I could offer you 20/20 clarity about what pushing someone into marriage tends to lead to, or point you toward a crystal ball that would show you the reality of joining lives when two partners don't have the same goals or values.

The one thing I know for sure is that you cannot form a solid future with someone when you don't respect his clearly stated choice not to get married.

Looking at rings and wedding venues will not make a marriage happen. Having children is challenging (wonderful too) when you have every single thing going for you -- having babies before then makes this lifelong choice so much harder.

I hope you have pursued your education and have a job and outside interests. Talk with peers and family members who are married with kids -- or unmarried with kids -- to see what their lives are like. Enter this phase of life with your guy by your side, not pushing him from behind. Premarital couples counseling could help you two to frame this important conversation.

DEAR AMY: I have a story similar to the one from "Dogged Out," about the couple who bring their uninvited dog along to other people's homes.

When I was a child, I was attacked and seriously injured by a neighbor's dog, and my mother was hospitalized from the injuries she received when she tried to rescue me. As a result, I have always been terrified of big dogs, and my sister is well aware of it.

She and her husband recently came to visit us from out of state. When they arrived, their very large dog was with them.

Over the next few days she would laugh every time I'd back away as the dog ran toward me. She took great joy in watching me fear the dog. I "sucked it up" and tried not to let her see how much it all bothered me, and I asked my husband to keep quiet about it.

After they returned home, I told her I was glad they came but thought it was very inconsiderate of them to bring "Rover" without asking me first. Her response? "I knew if I told you, you'd say no!"

I told her if she ever does it again, they will have to stay somewhere else. Believe me -- a fear of dogs is not funny.-- No Dogs Allowed

DEAR NO: Your sister was extremely disrespectful. Now that you know what she is capable of, I hope you will stand your ground.

DEAR AMY: Thank you for encouraging people to put "A Book on Every Bed" this past holiday season.

We read your column just in time to get some books for Santa to deliver to our multigenerational household. On Christmas morning, family members ages 3 to 63 sat engrossed in their books, while stockings bulged undisturbed and the many gifts under the tree awaited opening for a little longer.

This moment was magic. I hope this tradition will continue to grow and other families will enjoy it as much as we do.-- Betsy

DEAR BETSY: I am thrilled this giving tradition is spreading. I love hearing stories about how families are sharing literacy.


“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#2 Feb 1, 2014
L1: You sound immature. What's the rush with getting married and having kids? These decisions aren't like purchasing jeans that you can take back to the store if you change your mind. You should be having carefree fun right now. Travel. Get to know yourself and the world.

L2: Sound like the sister is still acting like she's 9, teasing her sister and not taking her feelings into consideration. Follow through on not having her stay.

L3: Great.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#3 Feb 1, 2014
. He wants kids but not marriage. You want marriage first and maybe kids.
You are 22 and have been dating him for 2 years.

This is not going to work long term. Make sure you keep control of the birth control and as Amy says, finish school before you have a kid so you have a better chance of supporting yourself when --not of-- the commitment-phobe takes a hike.

LW2 What your sister did was malicious and aggressive and she knew it in advance. and what is worse, you put up with it.

Me? I would see her at weddings and funerals and no place else. Does she do this to your mom who was hospitalized, too?

That said, my own mother has driven me crazy for years and years. She is afraid of cats. As soon as I had my own apartment I got a cat. Actually that occurred precisely 44 years ago today. When she is invited to my house I put the cat in the other room as a courtesy.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#4 Feb 1, 2014
PEllen wrote:
. He wants kids but not marriage. You want marriage first and maybe kids.
You are 22 and have been dating him for 2 years.
This is not going to work long term. Make sure you keep control of the birth control and as Amy says, finish school before you have a kid so you have a better chance of supporting yourself when --not of-- the commitment-phobe takes a hike.
Me's not thinking LW is college-bound
boundary painter

San Antonio, TX

#5 Feb 1, 2014
LW1 needs to date a different man.

LW2 has a mean sister and got good advice.

It's nice that Betsy wrote a cute thank you note.

Chicago, IL

#6 Feb 1, 2014
LW1: Your boyfriend DOES NOT WANT TO MARRY YOU. Geez, you need to get hit in the head with the clue bat.

Chicago, IL

#7 Feb 1, 2014
LW1: Here's my prediction, you nitwit: You'll get pregnant without marriage to please him, hoping that will force him to marry you. 5 months later he'll dump you (and the baby) and *marry* someone else. I'd put money on it.

Claremont, CA

#8 Feb 2, 2014
LW1 - He wants kids soon, but not marriage? Nope. I see nothing wrong with not getting married, but living together as a family and having kids, but BOTH partners need to want the same. Sorry to break it to you, but he sounds like he is going to walk away from you and the kid(s) when the spirit (not a divine one, I'm afraid) strikes him. Having kids together is a much greater commitment than a marriage certificate, and he is reluctant to commit on the lesser level before he commits on the greater one? Nope. Whatever you do, don't get pregnant.

LW2 - Your sister is a douche. Next time she is coming, ask her point blank NOT to bring the dog, and if she shows up with the dog in tow, don't let the dog (or the sister and the dog) in.

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