Boyfriend won’t decide whether to marry

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Q: My boyfriend is 56,has been divorced 15 yrs,has had 1 relationship 3yrs she lived 2 hrs away. She left one weekend, and never spoke to him again. When his wife left,he said he didn’t know why. His next relationship,3yrs ago,they knew each other 6mos.,he wanted to marry her,stopped the wedding 1 week before. Then he tried to get back with her for 3yrs. 2nd woman also lived 2 hrs away. He asks me out, we’ve been together 13 mos.,no sex first 3 mos.(out of choice) H says he loves me, does not want me to leave him, and did go to a therapist every week for 2 mos. self pay.(I live 15 mins away) We are very happy when we are together. He said he is 90% on his way to marriage. When we met he said he wants a close relationship and wants to get married. Do I continue to give this man more time or do I leave? I had told him men can marry anytime, but women have an expiration date. I realize he has intimacy issues. Am I just not getting the breakup message?

A: The best predictor of what someone will do is what he has already done. Intimacy issues? I guess! Somehow this man remains clueless about why he repeatedly fails at sustaining a relationship. From what you’ve said, it looks to me that he does like to be in a loving relationship but he can only tolerate it over the long haul if he carefully calibrates the closeness through distance and ambivalence. If you can be satisfied with the status quo, you probably won’t scare him off. But if you want a committed relationship, you are probably looking at the wrong guy.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 10 May 2008

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2008). Boyfriend won’t decide whether to marry. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 24, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/05/10/boyfriend-wont-decide-whether-to-marry/