Will He Ever Marry Her?
Q: I have lived with my boyfriend for 5 years. I am tired of just living together, and I want to get married, but he always has a reason why we can't. Like my son's car being in my name which could ruin him if something were to happen. ( He owns his own business.) Part of me feels like he is just looking for reasons. How long should I wait? -- Teresa, 44
Dr. Susan: The only logical answer to "how long should you wait," is how long are you willing to wait? Five years is plenty of time for your boyfriend to have decided if you're the one he wants to spend his life with. If he's serious about his financial concerns due to owning his own business, surely there are legal ways to deal with those concerns. For example, maybe it's time for your son's car to be in his own name. I would listen to that part of you that suspects your boyfriend's honesty about his reasons. Apparently you feel you will benefit by legalizing your relationship, for whatever reasons, even if only psychological ones. But does he see any change for the better accruing to him if he makes that serious commitment? Seems not. So I'd recommend this: Think about what you mean by being tired of just living together. Do you see marriage as a way to shake things up and make them more exciting? It often doesn't really change much after five years of living together, except for the legal protections it offers you. And second, sit that man down and tell him you've made up your mind and you're going to have to insist on that piece of paper and those legal protections, as well as the peace of mind that comes with a wedding ceremony, however simple. If you love one another, you'll find ways to work out any minor inconveniences. If you simply wait and wait, nothing will change except that you'll both keep getting older.
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Advice for Her
Advice for Him
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.