Should He Marry Again?
Q: I was married to a wonderful woman for more than 30 years. We were soul mates, high school sweethearts, had a couple kids, bought a home, built a future, and then, bam, she had cancer. It's been 4 1/2 years since she died.
I met a woman in church, and when we were making out, she said we could go further if I committed to a relationship. The next thing you know, she's moving in. We have been together a couple years, and after a big fight last summer, I asked her to marry me. Friends said it wouldn't change anything and it really hasn't. If I had known her then as I do now, I wouldn't be interested. We fight a lot, she never has been married or had kids and has lived by herself for 30 years. She's not a nurturer. I tried to talk to her about it, but she says we have to do the proper Christian thing and get married. What to do? -- Mike, 57
Dr. Susan: You're gotten yourself into a complicated situation here, but you are still the boss of your own life. Sounds like this woman moved in before you were really ready, and now you're not even sure you want to be with her. When you say you "tried to talk to her about it," what do you mean exactly? About the fact that she's not nurturing, and you need more nurturing? Or the fact that you fight a lot and aren't sure you love her anymore (if you ever did)? A bit of counseling might not be a bad idea. You're coming off a long happy marriage, and she's coming off a lifetime alone. Plenty of adjusting needs to be done on both your parts, and if she isn't willing to compromise and talk to you about your needs as well as hers, then I see no happy future for either of you. Getting married because she pulls out the "proper Christian" card isn't necessarily proper for you. It's hard to stop a train that's been gathering steam and moving down the tracks for a couple of years already, but you owe it to both of you to put the brakes on and talk about what's really going on in everyone's minds. You're still too young to settle for permanent misery. Good luck!
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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.