You've seen celebrity clinical psychologist Dr. Sherry Blake, author of The Single Married Woman: True Stories of Why Women Feel 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,
I have been with my partner for 20 years and it was love at first sight or so I thought. About one month into us dating, I noticed him being so clingy and that was almost instantly an unattractive red flag for me. But I wanted to give the relationship a chance so we continued dating because our other romantic interests were definitely aligned. Early on, I expressed that I wanted marriage and so did he but he never actually proposed to me. After about five years into the relationship, he avoided anything that had to do us talking about getting married.
Now, we have 2 kids together and when I brought up the conversation the older our children got, he would just say, “of course we'll get married, just not right now.”
He is a great guy and he shows me love and care but at what cost? One big issue we had over the course of our relationship is that his family doesn't like me and I don't know why. I feel like they never game me a chance. I’ve lost friends and family because he doesn't like them and I have become antisocial with insecurities and depression.
I guess I feel guilty if I was to leave him because we’ve been together for so long but it’s almost like in 20 years, he still hasn't grown up.
Has this relationship run it's course?
Lost myself in the process
Hello there sis,
Unfortunately, red flags were flying from the very start of your relationship 20 years ago. While some people say it was love at first sight, I tend to think it was lust at first sight that may later become love. Your boyfriend becoming "clingy" after a month of knowing you is another red flag. You may have been uncomfortable with his behavior but you accepted it in hopes of him marrying you. Another red flag is being in the relationship for five years and no proposal of marriage. It is likely that marriage has never been in his plans. It definitely does not take five years to know if you want to marry someone. The most glaring red flag is his family not liking you for no apparent reason and you losing family and friends as a result of your relationship. Without family and friends, you have no support system of your own. This leaves you emotionally dependent on your boyfriend and vulnerable to being abused by him. As long as you have insecurities and feel antisocial, your boyfriend is in control and doesn't have to worry about you leaving. After 20 years, it is time to be honest with yourself about this relationship. I recommend that you seek individual therapy to process why you have remained in the relationship. If you want more in a relationship, do not settle for less. --Dr. Sherry
Email us your questions for Dr. Sherry now and be sure to include "Ask Dr. Sherry" in the subject line.