Patience is Overrated
Q: I am a very patient person. My boyfriend and I have been seeing each other for more than 6 years. He's been divorced for over 10 years. Knowing the messy details of his divorce, I'm now wondering if he'll ever get over the fear of re-marrying. I haven't pressured him at all about it. We just came back from a nice vacation on the beach and he said that he was going to ask me, but then he came up with some little reasons not to. It's happened more than once. Should I do anything? -- Kim, 39
Dr. Susan: Yes, you should do something. You should decide if you want to spend an unknown number of additional years with him, without the legal protections and emotional comforts of marriage. He has spent long enough with you to know that you are not the same woman as his ex-wife. If he won't make the commitment, then the decision to stay unwed is being made by you, by default. If he says it's fear that's stopping him, then he needs to talk to someone about how to get over it. He's not being fair to either of you. Just imagine how you will feel a decade from now if you continue to wait for something that isn't happening. If both of you don't believe in legal marriage, that would be one thing. But there are benefits to that piece of paper, as is obvious by how hard a lot of people are fighting for the right to marry.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.