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Oof. I've never written in to an advice columnist before, but Google is not answering my relationship questions, so here I am. I'm not in a huge drama situation; I'm just trying to figure out if it's time move on. We have been together for more than four years. I was married briefly before him, and he has also been married. After years with a drug addict who hid the remote control outside so the "hackers" couldn't find her, I was a happy breath of fresh air for my partner.
Moving on together, despite some hiccups, has been great. I have gained weight from being a stepmom and sacrificed parts of my life that made me sane. Because when you have kids, that’s just how it works. 2018 was the year of head lice, etc. Again, it has now been four years. I am 44, he's 47. I want to be married. I want advance-directive-type security. I had him on my life I insurance until I realized I wasn't on his.
He knows this is important. What do I do? Are there statistics about this? Am I destined to be a spinster with 12 cats? I am tired of being the girlfriend. If something bad happens, it'll be "sorry, ma'am. You're his girlfriend." His ex-wife is on these documents now. Maybe if I was 20 years younger with a trust fund this would be easier. Anyway, thanks for listening. I'm feeling like I just need to cut and run.
– Cut and run?
Are you happy in this relationship? Do you enjoy this man's company and being there for his children, lice aside? Because I can't really tell. You don't say much about what he brings to your life. I guess my first question is, what do you love about being with him? It's something to ask yourself when you have a moment of peace.
Perhaps the answer will make it easier to talk to your significant other about your needs. If you're planning the rest of your life with him in mind, you'd like to be able to tell him why, and to know that he reciprocates. If he's not feeling secure about his commitment yet, you do need to step back – or away. I mean, I don't know how much time he's had to process his very complicated and painful last relationship. That could be part of the greater problem, but if that's the case, he needs to do the work.
You say he understands that all of this money stuff is important (and it is). Perhaps it's simply overwhelming, and he could benefit from some professional guidance. Ask him whether he's open to meeting with a financial counselor who can help the two of you talk about how other couples tie themselves together when there are kids and exes in the picture. Having a third party in the room, even virtually, will normalize money talk. It becomes a safer place for him to say hey, "I want to make sure a lot of this money goes to my kids." That could be a part of this – him not knowing how to rethink this kind of paperwork.
If he is unwilling to seek help with you, that is a red flag. You have to be able to talk about this stuff for this to work.
Readers, after four years, how do you talk about money and the future?