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DrJackiePhD
DrJackiePhD, Doctor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 154
Experience:  I have been doing research in relational/interpersonal communication since 1998. My Ph.D. is in interpersonal communication.
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My boyfriend and I have been in a relationship for 4.5 yrs,

Customer Question

My boyfriend and I have been in a relationship for 4.5 yrs, he is 55yrs, never been married.
Our relationship is the longest he has ever been in other than 3 months with someone yrs ago. I am a widow and was married for 25yrs, and have 3 grown children and 5 grand children. My friend is the most lovong , kind thoughtful person I have ever met, and we have a wonderful relationship. However we have talked about marriage, I would like to marry, and he loves me but feels like he is not open to marriage because he has lived alone all his life, and he feels having someone around 24/7 would be too much, and coslterphobic. He is very commited to me in every way. I just feel like being in a relationship and then to live alone is crazy. However I don't want to push the issue. He offered for me to leave the relationship with his blessings to find someone else if I thought I wanted to marry. We both love each other , and I don't want to loose him, but would like to be married....What do you think my next move should be?? Stay or go?? H
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  DrJackiePhD replied 2 years ago.

DrJackiePhD :

Hi, I'm Dr. Jackie. I am here to help you if no one else is helping you.

Customer:
Customer:

Hi There


Did you recieve my question? Did not recieve your answer??

Customer:
DrJackiePhD :

Hi. Yes, I just read your question through several times

Customer:

Where do I find your reply?


 

Customer:
Customer:

What is your response to my question?


 

DrJackiePhD :

I am trying to articulate one now :-).

Customer:

Sorry ...I'm new at this:)


 

DrJackiePhD :

Would you rather type in a dialog format here or would you prefer I try to articulate a thought-out response in an email type fashion (the Q&A format)?

Customer:

Maybe try and dialog??


 

Customer:

Are you there??


 

DrJackiePhD :

that is a long time.

DrJackiePhD :

Yes, did you not see what I have written? You mentioned you have been involved for 4.5 years. By today's standards

Customer:

No I didn't see what you wrote...


 

DrJackiePhD :

Please let me know if you are receiving my responses. It seems like you are not.

Customer:

He is very happy the way our relationship is now


 

DrJackiePhD :

Great! I do have some questions--your answers will help me formulate a better response.

Customer:

only what you wrote just now


 

DrJackiePhD :

I wrote that now twice.

Customer:

anyway do you have any advice with my ?


 

DrJackiePhD :

You say you have already talked and shared feelings. Yes?

DrJackiePhD :

But have you had this talk before where you want to marry but he wants things status quo?

DrJackiePhD :

It is important for me to ask these questions first before giving advice. I would never think of just giving advice without trying to understand the situation as best as I can.

Customer:

Oh yes...he knows what I want, but said he could not sit and prmise me he would preprose to me this time next hyr!!


 

DrJackiePhD :

OK. And this is not the first time he has offered to leave so that you could find someone who would be willing to marry?

Customer:

Yes that was the 1st time he said that...but he said he would feel really terrible, if I couldn't live with the idea of no marrage bec he couldn't give me what I wanted....


 

DrJackiePhD :

Because just reading his responses and what you just wrote about not being able to promise a proposal even in a year...unless a major life event occurs, I don't see him changing his mind. By major life event, I mean, God forbid, a health crisis or death of a loved on, etc. Sometimes when a major life event, especially negative happens, we make major changes in our life. So what I am sensing is that without some tragedy occurring in his life, he is going to keep on the way he has been the last 4.5 years.

DrJackiePhD :

You say you want to be married but do not want to lose him. Loving him is very important, correct?

Customer:

I said that it was too painful to leave , so I would try and accept what he can give me...


 

DrJackiePhD :

He is not seeing anyone else, he is not focused on work or anything else that takes away from you. You say he is committed to you in every way.

DrJackiePhD :

So I guess I would ask you why you are so focused on "marriage." I know you have been married before, but he has not. He has not experienced living with someone else. I can only imagine at 55 how frightening that must be for him. I am sure he is afraid he will no longer have any space.

DrJackiePhD :

I am by no means downplaying your feelings at all. Please understand I am trying to understand as best as I can (virtually :-) ) both of your feelings.

Customer:

No we both are committed to realtionship..not dating anyone else...he is very committed to me, in time, finacially, family get togethers, I get along very well with his family, and my kids really like him


 

DrJackiePhD :

I guess then my question is--which is more important to you--the title of Mrs./marriage or being with someone who seems fantastic?

Customer:

yes he is a lawyer, and gives so much publically...Do you think I'm being selfish, and need to learn to accept and enjoy what we have??


 

Customer:
DrJackiePhD :

If you are saying such great things about someone after being together nearly 5 years, I am unsure I would be willing to leave and try to find someone else just because your man doesn't want to marry.

Customer:

He is a lawyer and gives very much and active publicly, ..I get on with his family very well and he mine....


 

DrJackiePhD :

First, I am not here to judge, but no, I do not think you are being selfish. I do think women and even men who have been married before would be prone to feel the same as you. I think people, on the other hand, who have never been married, might be inclined to feel like he does.

Customer:

HE is a lawyer and very active in public eye...I get on well with family and he mine...do you think I need to learn to be more accpeting and not worry about the marriage thing?


 

DrJackiePhD :

This gives me more information--he's a lawyer. I imagine he works very hard at his job. He also spends considerable time with you. I can see how you would love to be with him living together. I do think you make a lot of sense. I also can see how someone who puts in long hours at work would need time to himself. This is a very hard question of "who is right" because I think both of you are. Unfortunately you both can't be have what you want because the two are not the same...

Customer:

He is a lawyer andvery active public eye, we both get along with our families, ..do you think I need to accept what we have and enjoy our relationship...


 

Customer:
DrJackiePhD :

However, I don't see them as being opposite.

Customer:
Customer:

He is a lawyer and very active in public life


 

Customer:
Customer:

are you there/


 

Customer:
DrJackiePhD :

Would you be happier or more satisfied if the two of you could have more alone time--perhaps more vacations together with the two of you only--so that you have more COUPLE TIME and yet he still has his own residence to retreat to when he needs to escape from work and public pressures, etc.?

Customer:

are you there


 

Customer:
DrJackiePhD :

Yes, I have written quite a lot

Customer:
DrJackiePhD :

Are you not receiving my long answers?

DrJackiePhD :

My internet has been consistent..are you having internet connection problems?

DrJackiePhD :

How about a compromise? Or better yet--trying to make both of you get what you want. What I mean is, when I talk to couples or even individuals coming out of relationships, I try to brainstorm with them of ways to get the best of both worlds.

Customer:

Yes I did find your response


 

DrJackiePhD :

Oh, ok.

Customer:

no sorry ,,about that


 

Customer:

so I shouldn't take it as a rejection?


 

DrJackiePhD :

Should we switch to Q&A format? I am unsure you are scrolling up to read everything I have posted.

Customer:

he said he has come along way in relationships,


 

Customer:

no I'm ok...now I know how this works:))


 

Customer:

I just don't want to make a terrible mistake, through away soemthing amazing, in hopes of trying to find Mr. right who would marry me...


 

Customer:

we go on trips together and he spoils me rotten...


 

DrJackiePhD :

And I agree with you. Your heart is telling you to stay with this man. I think you need affirmation. I hope I am giving that. Like I said, do you think he would be willing to stay over more often/go away with you more on weekends, etc.? Would that help?

DrJackiePhD :

Oh, I see! See you do go away. I sense he is very committed to you, just like you said. I am not sure I would want to throw away something where both of you are committed. What do you think?

DrJackiePhD :

I don't think he is rejecting you. From what you have said, he is a great relationship person. You wish you could live with him. But could you compromise by having him maybe stay over more often and perhaps take more weekend trips or vacations with you but then still be "allowed" to have his own home when he needs to retreat?

Customer:

yes we do sleep overs usually on week-ends, I love being with him on vacations and week-ends, but I find it difficult to come back home again to an empty apt....Then I think here I am in a relaionship, and live alone?? What's with that??


 

DrJackiePhD :

I ask because I'm wondering if career-wise you and he are very different and "need" different things because of your work schedules?

DrJackiePhD :

Do you work and/or have hobbies or volunteer work and/or projects?

Customer:

Yes I just finished a BA degree in counselling myself..took me 7yrs of full time work and studies part time..... have been off my feet due to medical , but now better...looking for work ?? any ideas. He has been very supportive through the whole ordeal....


 

Customer:

I was in health care ,but now would like to be in the field I have been interested in. Funny I'm reaching out for help, and I'm in counselling meyself, but this has got me good....can't see the forest for the trees


 

Customer:

Doc don't want me on my feet....all the time!!


 

DrJackiePhD :

Maybe that is where you and he have different needs right now. He works long hours and sometimes needs to unwind alone, especially in his career where it can be very long hours...I am guessing that if you were working more hours outside the home, you might relate more. Again, everything I have read from you has been very positive about him. Perhaps your current situation is dictating how you are viewing the relationship. And by the way, a big congratulations! Counseling, huh? Soon you will be an Expert helping others. That is marvelous!!!

Customer:

Sorry for my typo's...


 

DrJackiePhD :

No problem! :-) I am sure I have made my share!!!

Customer:

Guess the fact that I am an extervert and he is intervert , but does very well with people....


 

Customer:

we have different needs and we have taked about that fact...


 

DrJackiePhD :

Yes--and I am sure you know that as a mother, your children had different needs. We all are different. The fact that you too have made it 4.5 years, which statistically is against the odds once there has been at least once divorce by one of the parties, you are doing well so far...

Customer:

I nor he was ever divorced, I have been a widow for 8.5 yrs...


 

DrJackiePhD :

Oh, I am so sorry. I re-read that several times. But even so, statistically, you are beating the odds.

Customer:

we are doing well bec people our age do not do well dating??


 

Customer:

WE met on line ..e harmony..he met like 200+ woman for coffee , and he finally choose me....:))


 

DrJackiePhD :

No, that is not what I was trying to say. I apologize. Let me try again--he is 55 and has never been married. People who are over 50 who have never been married USUALLY do not have long-term relationships. He is an exception to this very general statistic. And I am sure you are glad! :-). I was thinking you were divorced. Please forgive me. Divorced people are something like 5 times more likely to divorce again...they seem generally less satisfied with second and third serious relationships, etc. From everything you have said, you have shown that stats might reflect a general population but definitely not everybody, happily not everybody! :-) It is a positive, not a negative! :-)

DrJackiePhD :

And...do not understate this please, you CHOSE him too!!!!!

Customer:

Yes I met many men, but nobody measured up to him and his standards and ways!


 

DrJackiePhD :

:-) Please read what you just wrote. Do you really want to give that up?

DrJackiePhD :

Let me ask you this--in your schooling and online dating as you have said and just in your travels and social circles--do you know any man with whom you could see yourself?

DrJackiePhD :

If the answer is, "No," then it seems to me if you did break it off to see if you could find someone who was willing to marry that he would not measure up and you would live with regret every day. Do you think my assessment is fair?

Customer:

After going out for 8 months we split up for 4 mths and it was the worst time I've put in, I wrote him and we got back together again that was 3.5 yr ago...we have been very happy..except we I asked him where our future was headed , and if marrage was in the future, and thats when he said he couldn't promise me that?


 

DrJackiePhD :

Keep in mind that he adores you. Should one of those awful life events happen like losing someone, I am guessing he could change his perspective. They all them "life altering events" because they do just that. If we lose someone like you have, I am sure the grieving process caused you to see life differently and I am guessing it made you think about your children and grandchildren more. Does that make sense? Anything could happen in a year, in six months, in six weeks.

DrJackiePhD :

oops they "CALL" them -- see a big typo!!!

Customer:

Yes I don't know anyone in my circle that I could be as compatible as he is...you could be on to something...regret.. that is what I am struggling with...I was thinking of saying to him if you don't love me enough to marry me than what is our future??


 

Customer:

Guess I was taught that if a man didn't love you enough to commit to you in marriage then he really didn't love you...does that make sense? Think that is one of the biggies I'm dealing with...but I know he loves me??


 

DrJackiePhD :

Here is something else to think about. Your view is "If you love me, you will marry me." But that is your perspective, how you see things. He is someone who has never been married and has no idea what it is to wake up to the same person every day. Since he has never experienced that, he could be traumatized at the finality of that. So when he guesses you thinking that (he is a lawyer and very sharp, no doubt so I am sure he has read your mind), he is beyond frightened. So just try to keep in mind that just because you see the sky as blue and bright--he might see the sky as gray and rainy...

DrJackiePhD :

AND YOU BOTH ARE RIGHT!!!!!!!!

DrJackiePhD :

I hope I have given you some things to think about tonight. :-)

Customer:

I know, the friends I;ve shared this info with say I have the best of 2 worlds...


 

DrJackiePhD :

They sound like good--and wise--friends! :-)

Customer:

You have been awesome...you are right he reads my mind like a book, and doesn't want to hurt me....thank -youy for all your wise counsel....


Now do I have the week to ask you more ??

DrJackiePhD :

Absolutely. You can request me on chat and/or by Q&A if I'm not online. I am very hopeful that this can work!

Customer:

So I paid the $15...does that enable me to ask ?? for a week? Not sure how that all works


 

Customer:

If you have any suggestions for job leads please let me know!!


 

DrJackiePhD :

Well that is between you and the Expert you are working with. I am willing to work to help. I am new to this website myself but I have talked to some Experts who have been on here longer and it just varies. I think generally speaking if you have a chat session that kind of counts as a session but if you are going back and forth Q&A it really depends on how much time you believe the Expert has invested in responding.

DrJackiePhD :

I hope that helps! :-)

Customer:

I was thinking of studying for my MA in Counselling , but that maynot give me a job either??


 

DrJackiePhD :

I don't know Canadian laws regarding that. I'm sure your sweetheart could tell you or investigate for you! ;)

Customer:

Thank -you for the imput....:)


 

DrJackiePhD :

Just FYI, I think you authorized the $15 but you put this question at $7.50

DrJackiePhD :

So when you hit the ACCEPT when we are finished, you should still have $6.50 in your balance to use for another session. I am pretty sure that is how that works.

Customer:

Not sure what you mean?


 

DrJackiePhD :

I know it's a bit confusing.

DrJackiePhD :

You can deposit whatever you want to in your JA account.

Customer:

Will that be enough $$


 

DrJackiePhD :

And you can list a question like you did and tell any Expert online what you are willing to pay for it, like you did.

Customer:

Then how do I get you again??


 

DrJackiePhD :

And if no one else has ever helped you before, then anyone can offer to help. Once you have worked with an Expert and you want to work with him/her again, you can request them next time you post a question or an addition to this question.

DrJackiePhD :

The Expert doesn't get paid until you hit the ACCEPT button after you close out of chat.

Customer:

ok...


 

Customer:

you have really helped me..think what you said confirmed with my heart....and how I feel and think about this man....


 

DrJackiePhD :

I am so glad to hear that. :-) And thank you for your kind words!

DrJackiePhD :

Please DO keep me posted and feel free to get on throughout the week if you think of additional thoughts!

Customer:

He is the best...and has the biggest heart like outdoors...I can never out give him as hard as I try....


 

Customer:

not material stuff, that counts, but he does give me that as well


 

DrJackiePhD :

Awesome!

DrJackiePhD :

I really wish you well and I hope to hear positive things or any thing you think I might be able to talk you through!

DrJackiePhD :

I must get off here soon as I have an early morning meeting. Thank you again for your kind words and I hope our talk helped! :)

Customer:

I would usually talk this trhough with my 2 best friends other than my sweetheart...but both dear friends passed away in the last 16 months


 

Customer:
DrJackiePhD, Doctor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 154
Experience: I have been doing research in relational/interpersonal communication since 1998. My Ph.D. is in interpersonal communication.
DrJackiePhD and 3 other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank-you for checking in...everything is going quite well at the moment. Thank-you for your good advise...Honora
Expert:  DrJackiePhD replied 2 years ago.
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