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,
I’ve been with my boyfriend for three years now and he is much older than me. (Nineteen years older to be exact—I’m 41 and he will be 60.) We were both married before and now have grown-up children. We do love and care for each other, but I hear him often say that he went through a bad divorce and she took everything. Honestly, I don’t want his money or his cars; I just want him. He asks me to help him, and then when I do, sometimes he’ll say, “Makes sure you say you’re my wife.” Is he toying with me, or does he want to get married again and is afraid? I’m starting to feel doubt about our relationship. He is a good man and treats me very well, but I just don’t want to settle and five years from now it does not happen for us and I’m alone. Please help.
Your boyfriend’s “bad divorce” is his issue and has nothing to do with you. Why are you giving your boyfriend a free pass by allowing him to use that as an excuse to avoid marriage? At the age of 60 and after dating you for three years, he knows if he wants to be married or not. He is playing games with you. As long as you are willing to play his game of telling others that you are his wife, he has no reason to legally make you his wife. It takes two people to play the relationship game. So, why are you playing? If you are really concerned that he may think you want his material stuff, you may need to think long and hard about this relationship. Stuff may come and stuff may go but it is the love and commitment that keeps relationships together. How your boyfriend treats you and shares his material things may be a clear indication of how he may treat you in other areas. I recommend that you have an honest conversation with your boyfriend about your relationship. If you want to be married, you must be clear regarding your dreams and expectations. You must make some tough decisions if you and your boyfriend do not share the same goals and dreams. If you want to be his legal wife, stop playing repeated dress rehearsal for the role of “wife.”
Once you are clear and honest with him, you will know his intent quickly. At 60, it is time for him to poop or get off the pot regarding you and your relationship. If you want more, 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.