I’m 56, living with my boyfriend, 61, for ten years in his house. Initially, his mother and younger brother also lived with us.
The brother was home six months of the year, the rest in the hospital, with ongoing issues.
The mother died seven years ago. I’m the only person who cleans, cooks, and does outside maintenance.
My boyfriend and I keep all our (money) affairs separate. He has a full-time job. When I wanted to pay towards the home, he refused.
He still has his mother listed as a beneficiary. He only told the bank she’d died last year.
I now have Type 2 diabetes. I wanted to leave but the pandemic happened.
My boyfriend cheated on me by meeting people online. We don't have sex anymore; I don't feel like it.
He asked me to marry him but didn't want anyone to know. He wants to retire when I turn 65 so he can have both our incomes. I don't think that’s fair/right.
I can't leave as I’m out of work and have no car. Should I count on marrying him? I don't have family and only one close friend.
Should I Marry Him?
It’s time to take care of yourself: Health, financial, relationship, your future. If you deal with things one step at a time, you’ll find your way.
Health is essential through self-care and proper diet for your condition. It’ll bring confidence regarding other choices.
Where you live matters: Check a website about common-law unions for the laws that apply where you live. Entitlement to a share of the house, for example, varies between Canada and the United States.
Make sure at your bank that you’re listed as having lived in that house for ten years so far.
Marriage to your boyfriend may appeal but his wanting secrecy and your pension money is worrisome. Since he’s never paid you for your housework or maintenance, trust is a concern.
You’d benefit from some mental-health counselling. Search online for an accessible free counselling service available during this pandemic.
Readers’ Commentary Regarding the “second wife” pushed to invite wife number one when she and her husband entertained her husband’s children (January 23):
“I’m wife number one, married to my previous husband for over 20 years, with three daughters now grown with their own families.
“There are many happy memories and great stories, all about their father, the children when young, and me.
“What’s the appropriate way for us to enjoy those stories? And the best way to tell them to grandchildren?
“I think one answer is to look at the “now.” We’re family. Awkward and injured, but still a family. There’s no one who cares more about our daughters and their childhood memories than my former husband and me.
“No one who cares more today about their well-being or that of their husbands and children.
“Family” now includes wife number two and my present husband. How do we acknowledge our new reality and cherish/enjoy all that’s been?”
The Past in the Now
It takes generous-hearted partnership with your second husband to maintain links between the great times that were and today’s life that you share.
If he’d been married previously and has children, you must be as welcoming and loving toward them.
Don’t overplay the “good times” beyond reality. If painted too perfectly, it can become tiresome. Allow some sociable time for creating/relating new “extended family” stories. Allot “memory lane” to periodic occasions.
FEEDBACK Regarding the school moms’ small group ZOOM chat (February 6):
Reader – “I don't understand why they should apologize to the angry mom whose daughter’s in the same class as the chat-group’s daughters.
“There’s no indication they talked about school business. They’re adults and can chat about whatever they like with whomever they like. It's a group familiar to each other having a call. Why would the other mother care?”
Ellie - Once all the moms on the chat had daughters in the same class and with just under a third of all the classroom moms having daughters who were close friends, it left the upset mom and her daughter out of a discussion that has a link to the school.
Also, the mom was described judgmentally as needing lifts for her child, and not volunteering at school.
An apology is decent kindness, especially for the child’s sake.
Tip of the day:
When important decisions need considering, build up your confidence and ability to handle them one by one.