Is It Time for a Marriage Ultimatum?
Dear Annie: I have been with my boyfriend for 10 years, and we have one child together. We love each other, but we are not married.
I keep asking, "Why is he taking so long to propose marriage?" I've been waiting, but I don't want to wait forever.
We have had many conversations about marriage, and he always says we are married in his mind. Should I just keep taking that, or is it time to move on? I say that because I really want to be married. There is an age difference between us. I'm 31, and he is 41.
What should I do? Leave after I give him a time limit, or just say we are married in each of our minds, despite the fact that I crave a real marriage? -- 10 Years and Counting
Dear Counting: If your boyfriend tells you that he is already married in his mind -- and marriage is something you really want out of the relationship, not only for your sake but for your child's sake -- then why can't he just take the action and get married? If it is really that important to you, it should be that important to him.
After 10 years, giving him a deadline is more than reasonable. Good luck!
Dear Annie: I was completely enchanted with your response to "Going With the Flow," the reader who had a wonderful conversation with a woman who had Alzheimer's, and I completely agree with you. As a hospice nurse for the past 10 years, I have had many patients with dementia, and I tell my families to do exactly what "Going With the Flow" did. The patient's "here and now" is NOT the same as our "here and now," and they usually are in a place where they are or were happy. You will NEVER bring them back to your time and place, so just go with it!
It is difficult because we want to "fix" our loved ones (or keep them from going away from us), but just going with their flow will save a lot of aggravation for everybody involved. When I get a new dementia patient, I always picture a sign on their door as I'm entering their home: "Reality doesn't live here anymore."
"Going With the Flow," thank you so much for not feeling sorry for this lady and for just giving her some happy moments. You are a special person! -- Hospice Nurse in Vegas
Dear Hospice Nurse: Thank you so much for your very kind words. I always love to hear from professionals who have firsthand experience.
"How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?" is out now! Annie Lane's second anthology -- featuring favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation -- is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to email@example.com.