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…
Hi Dr. Sherry,
I have been with my boyfriend for almost 6 years. He said that on the day he met me he knew he wanted to spend his life with me and after 6 years I have still yet to get a commitment. He claims being with me and being there for me is a commitment and he is committed to this relationship and often questions me as to why I don’t think that is enough. Obviously it’s not just about the piece of paper to me anymore even though he thinks that’s all I want. What I really want from him is to be a man and back up his words with actions. He has a daughter who I treat like my own and I feel as if that old saying about “why buy the cow when you get the milk for free” is kind of biting me in ass now. I do everything for him, but that’s because I love him and I just am that type of person.
I clearly do not want to start over, we have a home together which I have invested a lot in and because my name is not on the mortgage if I leave, I leave with nothing. I just don’t know what to do anymore? Is there hope for us? Or is he dragging this out and telling me he wants to get married to keep me happy but yet never really plans on proposing? He claims that the only reason he hasn’t asked me to marry him is because of financial reasons but I didn’t realize it took 6 years to save for a ring, especially when I have made it clear the size and price tag doesn’t matter. I want to plan for my future with him, because I love him and I want to spend forever with him but am I just wasting my time?
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It is hard when the old saying of why buy the cow when you get the milk for free is indeed biting you in the “ass now.” There is truth to the saying. Why should you boyfriend marry you when you have accepted and played the role of wifey for almost 6 years? He is happy and is probably wondering why you are not. Your boyfriend has been very honest with you from day one with his intentions but you did not listen carefully or refused to believe him. He told you that he knew he wanted to spend his life with you and that is what he has been doing for the last 6 years. He said absolutely nothing about wanting to marry you then or in the future. Neither did he plan for you to be his wife or secure you in his future. This is apparent by the fact that your name is not on the house mortgage. While you may have invested a lot in the home, do not get it twisted. You have a place to live but you do not own or have a house. You question his commitment because he has not proposed but you never stopped to question his definition of commitment or more so what he really meant by spending his life with you. You assumed that meant marriage because that was your definition. Now that you have lived with his definition you are hurt and angry and want more. It is not because he is backing down on his word to you but rather it you misinterpreted his word. You must now decide on how you want to continue to deal with this issue. You could push and continue the yell and scream until he marries you. But keep in mind that you may be reminded that he never wanted to marry you when issues emerge in the future. As emotionally painful as this may seem, you could also count this as a lesson learned and cut your loses and move on. Before doing anything, I recommend that you seek individual therapy to process your feelings and get clarity on what you want and how far are you willing to go to have it. I would also recommend couples therapy for your boyfriend to understand why you are hurt and upset. If you want more, why settle for less. —Dr. Sherry
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