Dear Abby: Marriage is a sticking point for old friends who reconnect

DEAR ABBY: I’ve been dating a guy for five years. We were classmates in high school and became close friends soon after. Abby is the man of my dreams. I’ve been in love with him since we were 16. We have married other people, but we are divorced now and we are together.

We are both 46 years old. I want to get married and he knows it. We’ve discussed it – but every time I talk about it (and I always talk about it, he never does) he has an excuse. He says it’s just a piece of paper, we’re both already married, I’m in debt, etc.

I have a 19 year old daughter and he has two children aged 13 and 11. We all get along, even our exes. I’m sick of being just “the girlfriend”. This is not how I want to live the rest of my life. I always wanted to be his wife.

He’s a good man. He treats me well, is respectful, considerate and I love him so much. Should I suck and live and die like his girlfriend or leave because he doesn’t want to marry? If I am leaving, I am not planning on dating or trying to marry someone else. I’m fine alone. Please help. – WANTS THE PIECE OF PAPER

DEAR WANTS: As you have defined, your boyfriend – whom you love a lot – doesn’t want to formalize the relationship, and if you break up, you don’t intend to get involved with anyone else. If you ask me for magic words that will convince your phobic marriage-phobic boyfriend to definitely commit, you are asking for something that is not possible. If he has as much affection for you as you do, he might come back one day, but there is no guarantee. And yes, you will have to ‘suck it’ if you’re not ready to go, and while you do, make the most of it.

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DEAR ABBY: I have been dating a beautiful woman for a year now. We fell deeply in love. We have the kind of relationship we can only dream of, and we couldn’t be happier.

I bought her jewelry, including rings, to show her my love. She wears them, but she also wears jewelry, including rings, from past relationships. I told him that bothered me. She said these items had no sentimental value, she just loved them. I have no doubt that she thinks so.

Should I ignore this and not let it bother me, or should I be more persistent? – EXPRESSION OF LOVE

DEAR EXPRESSION: Your feelings are your feelings. It bothers you to see your friend enjoying the jewelry she has received from other men. You told him. While at one time, objects were symbols of the affection that her ex (ex?) Had for her, for her, they are no more than jewels. If you want to continue the relationship with her, give less importance to the trinkets. They have nothing to do with you or the relationship the two of you enjoy now.

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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 PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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