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Ask Dr. Sherry: ‘He Promised To Marry Me Before the Baby Came!’

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Dr Sherry Profile Two

You've seen celebrity clinical psychologist Dr. Sherry Blake, author of The Single Married Woman: True Stories of Why Women Feel All Alone in Their Marriages, keep the Braxton sisters calm on the hit show Braxton Family Values. Now it's your turn to sit in her chair...

I have been with my boyfriend for a little over three years. We have had our ups and downs, like most couples, but possibly even more. We now have a 9-month old baby. When I found out I was pregnant he promised me we would be a happy family and get married before our son was born. Well, instead he left about three weeks before I gave birth to our baby. He came back about a week before our son arrived (six and a half weeks early.)

Our goal to get married was put off. He bought the rings right after finding out that I was pregnant, but we're still not even engaged yet. It hurts so much. I feel like he thinks I'm not worthy of being his wife, but he says he just doesn't want to jump into marriage or to get married right now. It really breaks my heart after all I've been through because of him and how much I love him. He says he loves me too. We are pretty much already married, just without paperwork or rings.

We've been living together for two and a half years now. What am I supposed to do? Sit and wait years for him to decide? I really don’t want anyone else, and it is hard to 'just leave' since I do have an 8-year-old from a previous relationship, a new baby and I'm unemployed. Please give me advice. I am so torn and I've been depressed just thinking that everything, I'm not good enough to be his misses.

Signed,

Anonymous

Dear Sis,

Given that you and your boyfriend have been dating for over three years, living together for over two years and have a child together, he would not be "jumping " into marriage if the two of you tied the knot. The reality is that he just does not want to be married. But why should he? I am sure you have heard the saying, "Why buy the cow if you can get the milk free?" He has had free milk for many years now. As long as you continue to "play house" with him, nothing is going to change and he will continue to string you along.

Please do not fool yourself. There is a difference between being legally married and being "pretty much already married". Right now, you have all the headaches with the ups and downs of a marriage without any of the legal benefits of a marriage. If you really want to be married, do not settle for less. If you accept the title of being his long term live-in girlfriend or his "baby mama,” that is all you will be. Your boyfriend is fine with you being in that role. You seem to feel helpless and trapped in this relationship. You do not have to feel helpless or trapped.

I would suggest that you and your boyfriend seek couples therapy. This would give both of you a chance to see where your relationship is going and work through your issues. If the relationship is not going to lead to marriage, you have to make a tough decision. Do you stay there and hope he changes his mind and marries you or do you move on? That will be the choice. If he decides not to go to therapy to address these issues, your choice should be easier to make.

It is time to focus on you and your children. You may have to find a job and join the ranks of countless single working mothers. It is not easy but it is definitely workable. Women do it every single day. Once you let go of the fear of being alone or being a single parent, you free yourself to be happy. Once you let go and take control of your life, you may meet someone who will love you and become the husband you want and desire.  – Dr. Sherry

Email us your questions for Dr. Sherry now and be sure to include "Ask Dr. Sherry" in the subject line.

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