Relationship Advice from Dr. TRuth
Dear Doctor TRuth,
I am 42 and in love with my boyfriend of 1-1/2 years, Ben, who is 48. We
have a wonderful relationship built on love, mutual respect and friendship.
He has three daughters all leaving for college this summer and I have a seven
year old son who also loves Ben very much.
We both know I want to spend
the rest of my life with him but he's not so sure, he wants to go on seeing
each other and just see what happens.
We both had very unhappy first
marriages and he's told me several times he is afraid if we get married and/or
live together that sooner or later I will leave him and he doesn't want that
We both know we would have a wonderful life together, he even
admits it, but he has this fear and I don't know what to do.
A couple of
weeks ago we went on a trip and we were walking just enjoying the scenery. I
guess I was walking too fast and he grabbed me and told me he was afraid I
was going to leave him. He did it again this weekend.
Both times I have told
him that I wouldn't leave him, and I mean that I would never leave him.
insecurities bring out my insecurities and sometimes I beat myself into the
ground, blaming myself and thinking I'm not good enough, that if I was worth
it he'd make a commitment, but I also know that it's not all me.
He tells me
he loves me and he thinks I'm wonderful and he can't believe how lucky he is
that I love him, but he's so scared and I don't know what to do to reassure
him enough to tear down the fences and give us a chance.
He's the best person
I have ever known and I can't imagine my life without him, but my faith is
starting to run out.
This is a tough situation but it is solvable and will
work out if you take my advice.
Your boyfriend has
been traumatized by this first marriage and has
serious abandonment issues. Please know that this has
nothing to do with you. He is just afraid of being
Similarly, I doubt he will recover from
his wounds without professional help. With this kind
of trauma, all the reassurances in the world will just
roll off his back because he has been too hurt to
listen to reason.
Tell him it would mean the world if he would go to
counseling to try to work through the pain of whatever
has happened to him. If he won't, perhaps he will go
with you but I think he needs to work it out on his
If he refuses, you need to decide what your bottom
If he won't budge on this, are you willing
to stay with him?
This is your call. If you can
tolerate his ambivalence, stay. If not, you may have
to give him some kind of ultimatum.
I don't envy you,
but I do believe he loves you.
Believe me, counseling
with the right therapist can work wonders.
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