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...
Dear Dr. Sherry,
How long should you wait before you decide to move on with your life? I've been in a relationship with a man for 11 years. He has not proposed yet. We are on the rebound from a five-year period within 11 years. He cheated and married the woman he cheated on me with, and it didn't work. So, we're friends again now. He brings up any excuse, like money, his children, his stressors, or whatever, to avoid planning for our potential future together. We have clearly defined that we are dating and exclusive again. What do I as a young single woman with no children who has a career do? I'm not perfect, but I just wanted to have a life experience with someone I call my dear friend. But, it's not working as quick as I'd like it to. He goes back and forth on this emotional roller coaster about me. Sometimes he delays, the sometimes he says he’s ready. Should I just say goodbye for good?
After being on an "emotional roller coaster" for 11 years, I am sure you are exhausted from being jerked around on an endless ride. It is time to stop the ride, get off, and shut it down for good! He has not proposed to you because he likely never had any intent of marrying you. It is not like he has not had time to get to know you and ask. He has been, and continues to be, totally disrespectful and emotionally abusive to you. He dated you, cheated on you, broke up with you, married the other person he cheated on you with, broke up with her and now is back with you. Really!?
Why are you wasting your time? It is obvious that he does not have any respect for you, but my question is, do you have any respect for yourself? You have been strung along and emotionally used and abused for the past 11 years because you have allowed him to do so. He cannot do anymore than you allow him to do. If you continue to stay there and be a doormat, he is going to continue to walk on you. Wake up and get a life! It is time for you to discover your owe value and develop self respect. Right now, it seems as if you believe that you truly do not deserve more or cannot have more than what you are dealing with now. Eleven years is a long time to wait on some man without any show of commitment. I recommend that you seek individual therapy to help understand and process what is going on with you that has kept you holding on to this relationship. If you want something different, you must do something different! -- Dr. Sherry
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