DEAR ANNIE: My boyfriend is 48, and I am 39, and we have been together since May 2015. We haven’t made too many public appearances since being together. I have two children, a 12-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl. They love him dearly. He has one child, a 14-year-old girl, who barely communicates with my children and me.
When we met, he was six months out of a two-year relationship, and I was eight months out of a 12-year marriage. We met on a dating site. Neither of us was looking for a relationship at the time. My children met him in June 2015, and I met his daughter the next month. My kids and I are adventurous and like the outdoors. He and his daughter, not so much. He works in engineering, and I’m a nurse. We are similar and opposite at the same time. I love action, comedy and dramas, and he likes zombie movies and action.
His daughter’s mom and I have had an altercation. The cause of the disagreement was that she wanted to ruin our relationship, and he did nothing about it. I then had to step in after being frustrated. We bumped heads quite a bit, due to his daughter’s mom. She ended up living across the street from us after we moved in together.
My concern is that we are not talking about marriage or even an engagement. More than a year after buying a home and we’re still playing house, without moving forward. I have brought this to his attention because I want to know what’s next. Each time I bring it up, I feel as if he blows me off and does not want to talk about it. He always says, “When I marry someone, I want to make sure they’re the one.”
I have mentioned marriage at least five times, and now I’m ready to give up on this relationship. He always wants me to tell people that we have three children, but he’s not changing the status legally. I don’t think that I should wait on him to make up his mind to decide our future, as it’s been over five years.
I think it has a lot to do with his money; maybe he thinks I’m after it or something. That isn’t the case. The proof is that I would have stayed with my ex-husband. I feel as if I’m wasting my time and living a lie. The lie is that he’ll probably never marry me and eventually I’ll move on. I have asked him to see a therapist with me over and over, but it hasn’t happened yet. I was going to pick a therapist, but he said that he would, but again, nothing. — Tired of Waiting
DEAR TIRED: Divorce can be traumatic. It sounds like your boyfriend might need time before he is ready to tie the knot. His comment about marrying “the one” is hurtful. You might be correct that it’s time to move on. However, before making a decision, you need to tell him all that you’re feeling. People are not mind readers, and so much of a healthy relationship is communication. Rather than waiting for him to decide what he wants, decide what you want and then tell him exactly what that is.
Therapy is doubly important because the lives of three children are at stake. His ex-wife living across the street is something that a professional should be able to help you and your boyfriend sort out.