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Theresa
Theresa, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 877
Experience:  PhD. Clinical Psychology
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I am in a difficult situation. I met my boyfriend two ...

Customer Question

I am in a difficult situation. I met my boyfriend two and a half years ago when he was waiting tables at a local restaurant. He was 49 at the time and explained that he was going through a difficult time, as his wife had basically bankrupted them and he ended up losing a successful business. He has no education beyond high school and has had a difficult time finding employment that pays well enough to support himself and his 17 year old son. I agreed to let them move in with me temporarily a few months after we met, as I felt bad for him and genuinely cared about him. In fact, I thought he would be someone I might eventually marry. My family thinks I''m crazy, and they shun him. One big difference between us is education and profession- I am a physician and he is currently selling cars. I still love him and feel he has wonderful qualities (he''s been there for me when I had 3 surgeries last year, he''s easy to talk to, etc) but since he recently proposed to me, I am having doubts.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Ms Chase replied 6 years ago.

Hello Lady,

What are your doubts?

Do you doubt that he loves you?

Do you doubt that he will be responsible? that he will be there for you?

Chase

 

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Reply to Ms Chase's Post: I worry that my family will never accept him. I worry that he will feel inadequate or insecure when at social gatherings where everyone else has more education or more "professional" background. I also worry that we will not have a normal sex life, as he has demonstrated that he has some impotence issues. I was willing to accept having a sex-less relationship, since he is extremely affectionate and I enjoy other things about him, like his sense of humor. When he moved in to my house with his son, it was with the understanding that he would eventually get his own place, once he had paid off some debts, etc. However, he and his son are quite content to stay forever, and he recently proposed marriage. I guess I am concerned that he is taking advantage of the situation, as I have never charged any rent. He has not had a great job record since I've known him, having switched jobs several times. It is embarrassing when people ask what he does for a living, as that tends to change every year. He has been with the current car dealership for about 9 months, some months barely scraping by. He is generous to a fault in terms of buying things for his son, and he has bought me a very beautiful engagement ring. However, I worry since his credit was basically ruined by his ex-wife charging items on a joint credit card they shared, and I don't want to compromise my good credit in the future if we do get married. I worry that he is a poor manager of money, as he basically has minimal savings and can't seem to make much progress. We get along great in terms of basic compatibility, but I feel like we've been married 40 years already, with no prospect of the sexual part of our relationship ever developing.
Expert:  Ms Chase replied 6 years ago.

Hi Lady,

Let me ask you a few more questions, ok?

Have you talked about your fears to him?

Has he said that he would feel inadequate in any of these arenas?

Are you sure that you would be willing to settle for a sexless marriage for the rest of your life?

If he is a poor manager of money, would you be the one to handle the money?

You said he doesn't pay rent, what does he do with his money?

Chase

Expert:  Theresa replied 6 years ago.

Hello Lady Doc:

I want to share a few things with you regarding your present situation. I was married to a man for many years that had a high school education and like you, I am a doctor. These marriages can be successful! With this, I would like to suggest that you consider a few of the following comments and thoughts that I am going to post.

It is my sincere hope that in doing this, you will have the opportunity to think clearly with regard to your decision. The post that you have given identifies that you many different agenda's that are currently effecting your ability to reach your decision. With this, doubt has entered your thought process.

Get a pen and notepad, and a steaming hot cup of your favorite herbal tea.

Sit down, take a few deep breaths, and relax. There is nothing to rush this process.

Make notes for yourself as you go along!

Item #1. When I entered medical school I was a female and a human being with intense emotions and a desire to help others. I had a compassion for enriching the lives of others regardless of race, background, education or societal status.

Who am I now that I am practicing and have a diploma?

Do I view others differently?

Do I look down on people that are less educated than I am?

Do I find it embarrassing when attending functions with my boyfriend that I am embarrassed because he doesn't have a history of a solid education and work background?

Has he ever informed me that he feels inadequate or insecure when engaging in events with my peers and I?

If he hasn't, is it possible that I am the one that is having the feelings?

Item #2: I have always had the desire to please my family because when I do I am filled with a deeper sense of pride.

If my family does not accept the person that I love into our family is this their way of telling me that they are more concerned with their own happiness than mine?

Have I taken the moment to talk to my family about my feelings in this?

Item #3: I am so very aware of the problems that the man I love and care about has regarding sexual dysfunction. One part of me says that I could accept this while the other part of me continues to wonder if it will ever be resolved.

Have I taken the opportunity to discuss this with him?

And, have I taken the time to let him know that this is something that I want and to talk with him about fulfilling my sexual desires with alternatives to actual intercourse?

Have I ever attempted to engage him in sexual activities?

Item #4: Prior to meeting this man, my financial prosperity has grown to be quite good and stable. I am aware of the financial difficulties that he has experienced in the past.

Do I fear that marriage to him may prove to show me in the same predicament that he was in when we met?

Have I talked with him about a pre-nuptial agreement?

Have I talked with him about my fears?

After you have completed this self help journey, you will want to continue to explore further. Take the answers that you have provided and follow up on each of them providing an answer to the what if, what has, what will, how can, how does, how will, etc.

Do not use any thing in your follow up that includes a why question. This type of question is elusive and can also be blaming.

I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX the best. I'm confident that this will free your thoughts and take you right back to the independent woman you are!

If this information has been helpful to you then please do ACCEPT by clicking on the green button on your screen for this is how we are compensated for our work. Positive feedback is always appreciated too!

If I can be of assistance to you in the future, you may request my help by typing:

ATTN: Terri60 before typing your question on the header or subject line and submitting it!

Terri

Theresa, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 877
Experience: PhD. Clinical Psychology
Theresa and 2 other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Reply to Ms Chase's Post: I guess that's another concern I have-not really feeling comfortable bringing up difficult questions. I don't want to hurt his feelings. He already feels bad because I've not had the courage to tell anyone in my family about our potential engagement. My family feels that he is a "freeloader" and not worthy of my love-my mother, stepfather and sister have each expressed that type of sentiment. My family's negative opinions are starting to make me wonder if I'm not seeing things clearly. I am not content to go forever without sex, and I have brought up the subject a couple of times. He states that one big inhibitor of his sexual drive is his belief that pre-marital sex is morally wrong, due to his being a Christian. I am of the same background and faith and actually respect his dedication to trying to follow Christ, but I get the feeling that he also would prefer to avoid the whole issue and that maybe he has low self esteem from not being able to perform. He states that his ex-wife was a "sex-aholic" and that she had a number of affairs outside their marriage, so I am not sure if that is what turns him off about the idea of sex, or if he simply has no sex drive. I was patient in the beginning, but without the "spark" of even a hope that things will be different in the future, the relationship and prospect of marriage feels dead to me. I think if he and his son moved out and had their own place, it would feel more like it did in the beginning. Currently it feels like we are just comfortable companions, co-existing. As far as money goes, he has been saving for a while to pay cash for a car (since his credit is poor, he would have had to pay too high an interest rate to borrow money). He also spends a lot on his son, and a while back I found out he was actually sending some money to his mother every other week. He pays for a lot of our meals out and helps with buying groceries. He does not pay any other bills (such as gas/electir, phone or cable). My bills have significantly increased since he and his son moved in, and they wash several loads of clothes on an almost daily basis. I've noticed I have started feeling resentful of little things,and I worry that if things don't change, I'm going to eventually lose my temper and lash out at either of them. I look forward to any time I get alone in the house, as I used to live alone and had obviously more freedom in terms of just relaxing in my home without worrying about anyone else. I work long hours and used to enjoy playing piano, sometimes in the wee hours of the night. Since they've been here, I don't feel free to play piano or turn on the stereo or exercise videos, etc. I feel like I always have to be "presentable" in terms of being fully clothed and not walking around in a T-shirt with no make-up on or my hair not looking good. I just miss having time alone, to myself. I have to deal with patients' problems all day at work, and by the end of the day I'm pretty burned out. I sometimes feel like it's more work putting up with this situation at home, and there isn't enough "fun" or other reward currently to balance it.
As far as him feeling inadequate, he has never overtly stated that-it's just my guess at how he might feel. He tends to not venture too far from me at social events, and he doesn't talk a lot with my fellow doctor friends. He is very well-spoken and articulate, as far as interacting with the public at work, but when it comes to interacting at office parties or church, he is fairly quiet and reserved.
Expert:  Ms Chase replied 6 years ago.
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Theresa
Theresa
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PhD. Clinical Psychology