I’m 57 years old and have been divorced twice, both times were hell. I’ve met a new woman that I really like and things have been moving along nicely. We have been dating for about a year and I can tell she is ready for things to move forward. However, I do not want to get married, ever again. I am happy to move in together and have this be a long-term, committed relationship. Everything would be the same as marriage, just without vows and legalities. I feel like once you marry a woman she quits trying and I don’t want to go through that again. Any suggestions on how to broach this sensitive issue?
The remarried man’s famous last words were, “I’ll never get married again!”
I totally get it. I’m sympathetic to both sides in this situation. You’re not wrong and neither is she.
This is the second most common issue I encounter as a matchmaker. You’ve been hurt, cheated, and broken. She took a ton of the money she never spent a moment earning or supporting. You thought you knew her. You thought she was different. I have heard it all before. You are not alone.
First, it is unfair to compare or judge your new gal based on previous experiences. We all do this, but it’s best to leave the past in the past, so that it doesn’t control your future. If you’re worried this gal will become the same bad memory as your ex’s, ponder if you’re picking up on similar traits, or simply letting fear rule your perspective.
I have always loved the tradition of marriage, but as I get older, it’s clear to me that good relationships come in all forms. You don’t need a piece of paper to be in love. You don’t need a piece of paper to have a life partner. You can even call each other husband and wife, as there’s no law against this.
Try and share with your partner that you’re in this all the way. Explain that there isn’t another person on this planet that you would rather be with and you hope this lasts forever… you just aren’t interested in signing a contract that says so.
Over the past decade people have begun to utilize legally binding contracts termed, “relationship agreements.”
While The Big Bang Theory popularized the term in its own particular way, real people use these agreements as a form of commitment that doesn’t reach the level of marriage.
Consider drafting your own relationship agreement and presenting it to her as a sign of your commitment level. While you feel not getting married is a security to you, she is experiencing the exact opposite. A relationship agreement could be the compromise you need.
Now, the “big-ass elephant” I have yet to address.
Your question mentions both wife one and two gave up after marriage. You don’t mention in what ways, and there can be many. The obvious thought of every woman reading this is, “What about men after marriage? Men give up, too!”
Effort levels dipping in various areas of the relationship happens with virtually every couple, on both sides. I preach honesty and effort constantly as a foundation for successful relationships.
Sometimes you push, sometimes you pull. There is a literal give and take a happy couple must comply with.
I know this is hard, but you know this must be worked out to move forward together in life. Have this chat soon. Honestly, I find it a bit odd this took a year to become an issue. Do both of you a favor and let her know where you stand. She can decide if this is a path she is willing to try.