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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Why Won't You Marry Me?

Upon Closer Examination

I have a problem plenty of people would love to have, but I simply don’t know what to do. I met a man who is truly my soul mate, and he truly believes I am his. He is a professional guy in his 40s, I am a professional girl in my 30s.

When we met six months ago, we talked constantly about the miracle of finding each other. We were grateful we never married anyone else, and we felt no one in the world could have experienced such great love. It was a fairy tale come true.

He said things like, “Thanks to you, I can die knowing I was fortunate enough to experience true love once in my lifetime.” We have each lived with other people before and decided not to go that route. We decided to wait until we get married. Because of our work schedules and distance, we only see each other from Saturday night to Sunday night.

Our love is like a fairy tale, but the ending is not turning out as I hoped. At the very beginning of our relationship we went on vacation for 10 days. It was heaven. We went away for another 10 days recently, and to be honest, I was expecting a marriage proposal. I didn’t get one.

Six months may seem soon to you, but we are older and have been around the block. He still gushes about how much he loves me. I feel like, okay, we found each other, let’s get on with it. He is encouraging me to buy furniture for my own place, as if we will not soon be combining things.

My dad always preferred that his kids never grow up and get married, but even dad says he needs to put up or shut up. I feel bitterness coming on. How do I keep from getting so bitter it ruins our relationship? He tells me to have faith, and I do, but I don’t want to run out of it.


Haley, your bitterness has already burst the bubble that contained your dream. Each day on vacation you wondered, is today the day? Will the waiter bring the ring on a silver platter tonight? Will I find it wrapped in my beach towel tomorrow morning? During an afternoon walk, will he reach in his pocket and surprise me?

Not only was he not thinking engagement, he didn’t even know you were! Our need for love is so strong, we often call perfect, what is not. Time reveals the difference between infatuation and love.

It’s time to talk to this man from your heart, as people who genuinely belong together can talk. If you can’t talk to him, you must admit you got ahead of yourself. While you wondered how to tell your dad, he was wondering, what’s for dinner.

Wayne & Tamara
(From the column for the week of August 21, 2001)

Minimum Requirements

Every time a holiday rolls around I get a knot in my stomach. Once again I’m going to be face to face with all my aunts, uncles, married sisters, and everyone wondering why I’m not married yet. I know I shouldn’t care what other people think but… I’ve been living with my boyfriend for almost four years just like any married couple, and he won’t marry me.

We share a house and have pretty good jobs. Adam mows the grass and does other husband stuff. I’ve wallpapered and decorated the house so it looks real nice. Adam can turn a room into a pigsty in 10 minutes or less, but that doesn’t bother me. We have no real disagreements.

But he’s got my life on hold. I love him and want to start a family. Sometimes I think about leaving him, but I’ve been with him this long and keep hoping time will change his mind. I’m afraid to start all over again.

When I talked to my Dad, he said, “Why would a guy want to buy the cow when he’s getting the milk for free?” That hurt my feelings, but maybe Dad’s right.

I just can’t let go. I want to get married. I brought it up again yesterday, and this time Adam got really mad. He said getting married would just mess things up. He says once a couple ties the knot they start acting like old married people and turn into roommates.

I don’t think it’s that big a deal. If he loved me, he would marry me.


Eve, I can understand your frustration. Dad’s frustrated, too. He has no way to help you. You want to marry and start a family, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But at a minimum you need a man who wants to be your husband and is ready to be a father. You are living with a man you want to marry. He is living with a woman he doesn’t want to marry.

Neither of you has a right to impose your decision on the other. Neither of you has a right to deprive the other of what they want.

Time won’t cure what ails this relationship. Allowing more time to pass will only frustrate you and make you feel used.

Hard as it is to face, bad as it feels, each day that goes by proves to Adam this relationship can continue without marriage. Time won’t turn you into this Adam’s Eve.


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