Boyfriend still dragging feet on getting married

Published 4:11 pm Monday, October 16, 2023

  DEAR ABBY: I have been with my man for seven years and I keep asking him when we’re getting married. He said we would — “someday.” Then COVID came along. Now he says after the pandemic is completely over. He has admitted he’s scared to get married again because he doesn’t want to be hurt like he was when his ex cheated on him. I told him I’m not like her. He says he knows that, and I’m the kindest, sweetest woman he’s ever met. 

 I love this man with all my heart. We get along fine. I have my wedding dress and shoes. I’m tired of his excuses. I’m almost ready to say the heck with it and sell my dress and shoes. Should I? Please give me some advice. — NEVER A BRIDE IN NEW ENGLAND

DEAR NEVER A BRIDE: The COVID problem, with the many variants that keep cropping up, is likely to be with us for the foreseeable future. Tell your reluctant bridegroom you love him, but seven years is enough time for him to decide whether he wants to be married to you. You don’t need a special dress and shoes to accomplish that, just a heart full of love and a willing partner. A visit to the courthouse is all that’s required. If he still isn’t willing to set a date, and being married is what you need, then it’s time to move on.

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DEAR ABBY: I am a divorced woman. My fiance, “Keith,” is a widower. My two younger children have accepted and love him. My oldest daughter is slowly coming around. However, Keith’s adult adopted sons and daughter are making it hard. One son has refused to have any contact with his father since his mom’s death three years ago. The other son and daughter have been causing A LOT of pain because of their hatred toward Keith and me. 

  Keith and I argue more now, and I’m so overwhelmed and stressed that I’m often in tears. What can I do to get his son and daughter off our case? We have known each other more than 20 years and have been a couple for a year and a half. — UNACCEPTED IN MISSOURI

DEAR UNACCEPTED: There is nothing you can do to change the attitudes of your fiance’s adult children. You can, however, stay out of the line of fire. I wish you had mentioned what caused the hard feelings from Keith’s children. Could they think you and Keith were romantically involved before his wife’s death? 

  Because this is causing the two of you so much stress and pain that it’s affecting your relationship, ask your physician to refer you to a licensed marriage and family therapist to help you both through this very unpleasant patch.

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  DEAR ABBY: What should I do when another married woman hugs my husband every time she sees him? — BOTHERED IN FLORIDA

DEAR BOTHERED: If you complain to the woman, you risk being perceived as possessive and insecure. Ideally, your husband should tell her (privately) that he would appreciate it if she was less effusive when she sees him because it makes HIM uncomfortable.

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 Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in “What Every Teen Should Know.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)