Thursday, March 05, 2009

Dating for Two Years, She Doesn't Know if She Should Marry Him

Hi Terry,

I would like to talk to someone about my relationship with my boyfriend of two years.

I need to decide if I should marry him or break up. He had some issues, and he admitted his faults to me last week and promised to listen more to me, speak more from the heart instead of meanly, and a couple more things. I have been intimate with him. I was going to wait, but at 39 I guess I got tired of waiting and thought that he was going to be the one. We are bonded because of the intimacy and the time that has been invested.

However, this man has been stolen from by 6 different people, beaten up when younger, sick with Lyme disease and high mercury poisoning. He and I have different poltical beliefs. He says he just doesn't have the energy to care. I understand he is in survival mode because they almost foreclosed on his house. We also have different religous views, but mine have been changing lately.

Should I break up with him and wait for my ideal mate? He is telling me that he loves me and really wants to marry me and have children. I am not sure what to do. He says he never felt such a great chemistry with any woman before. I need someone who has wisdom and cares about me to hear me listen and give me their thoughts on this. What I should do?

-Not Sure

Dear Not Sure-

Okay, you know I can't make this decision for you, but to help you make it, I will highlight a couple of things that popped out for me from your letter:

- he promises to listen to you more and to stop talking meanly
- promises to listen to you more
- he "doesn't have the energy to care," is in survival mode
- you have different political and religious beliefs
- his financial situation is shaky.

So those are the negatives. These, I'm think, are what you believe are good reasons to stay in this relationship:

- You're over 39
- You had sex with the guy.

Neither of which is a big deal. Just because you had sex with the guy doesn't mean you have to marry him. Sure, I understand this marked a big step for you, but it doesn't mean you have to bond yourself for life to a man you are clearly not sure about. His financial situation may be a concern, as well. If you have the children he wants, will he be able to support them, or will you be lying awake at night wondering how you're going to pay the mortgage?

As for your age, remember this: Only the lucky get older. You may live another 60 years, and wouldn't you be better off single and captain of your own ship than married to a guy who doesn't make you happy?

(Oh, and here's a question: What would make you happy? A man who speaks to you with love and respect? A healthy man who meets life's challenges to the best of his ability? A man who makes you laugh?)

I recommend that you take your time with this man. You don't have to decide whether or not to marry him this afternoon. See if he keeps his promises to listen to you and stop talking meanly (tip: people's behavior generally doesn't improve after they marry; it gets worse). See if he moves beyond survival mode. See what steps he takes to change his financial situation.

After all, this is your life we're talking about.