Dear Cheryl: My boyfriend is 35. I'm 28. We've been dating steadily for over two years. Neither of us has been married. The only time marriage ever came up was after we'd been dating for six months and he asked me to move in with him. I declined, saying I'd only live with someone I was married to. Since that time, I have no idea what he's thinking.
He says things like, "It feels like home when I'm with you," and "Someday, when we have a house and a dog." But everything is vague. When I press for more information after these comments, he just shrugs and says he likes things the way they are, but he's "planning for the future."
I want to know if he plans to marry me, but the only ways I can think of to start this conversation are awful. I'm terrified of sounding like I'm pressuring him.
I really need to know if he's serious or just stringing me along. It's very important to me to get married and have a family and, unfortunately, time is running out. As much as I love him, I'd end this relationship if he doesn't want to marry me. — I'm Ready Already
Dear I'm Ready Already: What are you so scared of? You're talking about a man you want to spend your life with. If you can't be honest and open with him, something's wrong.
So, take a deep breath and tell him you love him and want to marry him. It's not going to come as a total shock. In fact, it's the most natural thing in the world.
Dear Cheryl: My wife and I got divorced last year after she had an affair with her supervisor. Our children were 3 and 1 when this happened. I went on a mission to make life a living hell for her and this guy. I got him fired, and he's lucky I didn't do more.
My wife came running back to me after she found out who he really was. I was there to comfort her, but shortly after that, she wanted nothing to do with me. This happened at least three times. Then, two weeks after the divorce, she moved back in with me.
She said she wanted to fall back in love and spend the rest her life with me. Recently, she said she doesn't recall saying this. We've been back together now for five months.
I bend over backward to please her. I'm warm and affectionate. She, on the other hand, shows no affection and rarely any intimacy. When I ask her what's going on, she says, "What do you want me to say?" or "Shut up."
We recently moved into a house together that's in her name. That's fine with me because I can leave and have no liability. I'm running out of hope even though I love her. — Am I Being Used?
Dear Am I Being Used: Move out. You and your ex-wife need distance. She needs to decide what she wants, and she can do that more easily if you're not around. If she decides she wants to marry you again, insist that you go to counseling together before you take that step.
In the meantime, continue to see your children, but keep a cool distance from your ex-wife.
Got a problem? Send it, along with your questions and rants to [email protected] And check out my new ebook, "Dear Cheryl: Advice from Tales from the Front."
Photo credit: Jack