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Ask Dr. Sherry: 'He Proposed, But He's Already Married'

Find out how Dr. Sherry responds to this woman's shocking situation.

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…

Dr. Sherry,

My boyfriend and I have been together since 2007 and living in my house for most of that time. There is no doubt in my mind that he loves me and I do love him. We’ve kinda talked about marriage, but I get the distinct impression it’s not something he really wants but he will do it if it’s necessary for us to stay together. He mentions that he does not have much to bring to the table and needs to finish getting his finances together.

Oh, and there’s one other thing: He’s never been totally truthful about being married to his youngest child’s mother. He’s adamant that they never got married and only got a license, and he sticks to that story even after he received divorce papers from her. He filed for custody totally ignoring the divorce filing. I saw the papers (which he did not even try to hide) and questioned him about it and he just blew it off as if she was up to some crazy antics. He says she told people they were married and he just let folks think what they wanted. He even went so far as to take me to the courthouse and have the clerk look up the records, expecting that there would be none. But of course they were there. To make my point, I had the clerk pull the record book and we looked at the signatures. It was shocking because it really does not appear to be his signature on the documents and the date on the divorce papers is not the same date in the record book. He has stuck to this story and even went as far as to as to seek advice from an attorney about this alleged “fraud.”

Anyway, that’s another story all together. This isn’t an issue where he’s trying to hold on to her, because there is absolutely no love between them. He and his friends have a tendency to address me as his wife, but I am quick to correct them. I don’t like to be introduced as such because I do not have a husband. Although we’ve been together far longer than most of the other couples in his circle, and we live together, it doesn’t look like marriage is ever going to happen. As I get older, I’m not sure if I even want to be married anymore. I’ve been divorced for over 10 years and I was married for 16. Maybe I just want to know that someone loves me enough to ask. This may sound weird but it’s how I feel.

Last Christmas, he came into a large sum of money, straightened up the last of his financial issues and bought a pick up truck. He put the truck in my name, which is something I’m really not comfortable with, and then he took me to the store to buy a ring. A few months afterward, I told him I was thinking about getting another band to go with the ring. (It would look nicer because my hands are so large.) What I didn’t know until later was that he went back to our friend at the jewelry store and told her I didn’t like the ring and wanted to return it. I said nothing of the sort! Even after I found out he did this I made it clear that I love the ring and I’m just not quite satisfied with how it looks on my hand. 

He keeps telling our family and friends that no matter what he does it’s not good enough. Now my bridal set has been sitting on the dresser for over eight months. I’m done taking to him about it because he’s just not listening to me and I think it’s because he really doesn’t want to get married. I’m almost 48 and I will not be getting married to anyone after I’m 50. I’m in n love and perplexed. Would love to know what you think of this craziness.


Dear Reader,

After being in a 6-year relationship with your boyfriend, I am sure you know when he is full of B.S. and when he’s not. With the marriage, it seems like this is one of those issues that falls into the “B.S.” column. You say that he does not seem like he wants to get married and I agree. This may be related to the fact that he’s already married, which he clearly failed to mention. If he has not been open and honest about this issue, what else has he failed to be honest with you about? It’s interesting that there was a legal record of him being married although he denied this to you. It is more interesting that he would play off receiving divorce papers and accuse the women as being up to “crazy antics.” Really? Why would some woman go to the trouble of having divorce papers sent to him if they were not ever married? You have to ask yourself, why would he buy his truck in your name? He’s probably afraid of his wife getting it in the divorce.

Unfortunately, he is really playing you. Even if he was clear and free to marry you, he does not seem like he wants to and that’s the truth. He has repeatedly made excuses about getting married – it was his finances until he received money. Then, he changed his excuse from finances to you not ever being satisfied. These are games that he is playing!  As long as you continue to play them too, these games will continue. It is your move and you must decide how long you are willing to play along. You deserve more but you have to want it first. – Dr. Sherry

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