Ask Ellie: I’m frustrated that my boyfriend is refusing to move in with me. What should I do?
Q I am 58 years old, previously married 25 years and have three adult children who live elsewhere. My boyfriend of five is 51, never married, has no children.
I wanted him to move in permanently last year. This discussion is getting heated because I feel like I’m asking too much. He gets defensive, withdraws and I feel unworthy. Otherwise we see each other as best friends.
He lives in a town 30 minutes away. He keeps his clothes, bike and everything he needs here. He spends all his time at my house. He only goes to his rented townhouse when he’s on a shift.
It would be better for both of us financially if he lived here. He calls his townhouse and his belongings his “storage unit”.
Eventually I would like to retire and I’m sick of the financial burden of two people living here 90 percent of the time while I don’t get the financial relief. He says he will if an “organic seizure” occurs, at an unknown time.
He had an unstable childhood, many moves and divorces, and says it’s part of his ambivalence about moving in. He’s worried that we might fight and I might kick him out (it happened to him with a previous girlfriend).
I sympathize, but when is the line drawn? I want to share the time I have with someone who wants me.
A The border has already been drawn. His ambivalence about where he lives (mostly yours) is a convenience and a money saver he clings to.
He may be a “best friend,” but he’s not a committed partner. He may enjoy your company, but none of you talk about “love.”
The result of this situation dragging on without determination is a negative impact on you. At 58, with healthy years ahead of you and the opportunity to meet new positive-minded people, no one should make you feel “unworthy”!
What not “good enough” for? Do you wear his part of the relationship? He delayed five years for “an organic seizure” with no explanation. They want a real partner, not a freeloader.
Reinforce your self-confidence. Go out with friends, get involved in your community. And set the date he pays or leaves.
Q Can you name a female marriage therapist or two that I could check with?
A There are many excellent marriage therapists available for an initial consultation, in person or online. My opinion and personal experience has shown that a therapist’s gender does not matter.
It’s the connection a therapy seeker feels or doesn’t feel as she listens to the therapist’s responses to her situation, say, a cheating husband.
One of the best therapists of this nature I have ever heard of was a man whose wisdom and empathy facilitated the client’s journey from heartbreak to a happier, more confident life, without the man who had betrayed her for years.
Finding a therapist who “understands” you begins with who you are at your core, not your own gender or current role in the marriage. It’s up to you to “open up” and listen to the answer. Falsifying facts about yourself will only confuse the exchange between a client and a therapist.
Marriage therapy is a conversation and an exploration of the relationship you are in right now. Something inside makes you wonder where you are in your life and with whom.
In most cases, a professional marriage therapist will “get” you and can be very helpful. If instead you are certain that it isn’t, you have every right to try someone else.
Dear readers: Some feedback from people with experience and expertise on a physical issue that can help many people:
For example, regarding the man whose wife’s chronic nighttime itch keeps them both awake:
“You could consult a traditional medicine doctor who will probably prescribe Chinese herbs and use acupuncture needles; a herbalist who prescribed western herbs; a homeopath who prescribes homeopathic remedies; a holistic nutritionist who assesses whether changes in her diet and supplements might help. Or an osteopath or chiropractor to make sure your spine is aligned.
“Irritated skin can indicate internal problems – liver, kidney, lungs, spine, diet and/or stress. These professionals will study them both in the context of their whole lives.
“Online they can find licensed and registered practitioners in their own space. Some homeopaths, herbalists and nutritionists also work online. Interested readers should check out their websites.”
By a Registered Professional Homeopath
Ellie’s tip of the day: Someone who doesn’t share the cost of living together is not your partner.
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