Should Seniors Remarry? Reader Lloyd proposes a senior pre-marriage litmus test that will make women angry or disagree with him.
By Tom P Blake - Finding Love after 50
In response to last week's column, in which Trent's wife--without informing him-- took her kids and moved to another state to be with another man, Champ Lloyd advanced his theory on testing second and third marriages before tying the knot so this type of behavior won't happen.
Lloyd said, "You have to take the time to go through stages of dating, relationship, and then, at long last, marriage. Marriage under these circumstances should never be done after one year. Three to five is more like it."
I agree about the stages, although I don't think you need to wait three to five years to remarry. I feel living together first is a must for a couple, for a year or so, which should be enough time to know each other well enough to make the marriage decision, if that's what both people want.
But it's Lloyd's pre-marriage, litmus-test suggestions--described below-that I think are way off base. But you can be the judge of that.
He said, "In the beginning, you also have to test her to see how likely she is to do something like what happened to Trent. Testing her is not an enjoyable thing for me, but you have to, in a subtle, nonintentional manner, do things that will lightly irritate her (though don't be crude), and then see how she responds."
For the record, Lloyd is suggesting you intentionally irritate your mate to see how she will handle it, although he says it's not intentional.
He continues: "Teasing is a light example of this. I call them 'bitch tests'; but I didn't make this up--women have been doing this to men (i.e. 'asshole tests') for years to see how they respond to frustration or to being lightly crossed. Among other things, It helps them weed out men with anger-management problems as well as to identify men who are milquetoasts and can be taken advantage of.
"When you do this, if she calls you on it in a diplomatic way, that is fine. If she responds with anger or vociferousness--then you'd best get her out of your life immediately. If she seems to just take it, that isn't so good either, because resentment may be building in her and one day she will respond drastically in a reactionary way, such as doing something like that mentioned here. Women who don't seem to have opinions or preferences about anything are especially susceptible to this.
"Even in marriage, you have to keep your eyes open at all times. Many times warning signs come up that are indicative of future behavior or of something going on under the surface, and you have to get to the bottom of it--immediately. I would not hesitate to look at my partner's cell phone and/or computer or even hire a private detective or tail her myself if I thought something was up.
"There is no such thing as individual privacy in a marriage--or even in a true relationship. Any partner who thinks there is, likely is hiding something, and you'd best find out what it is and take appropriate steps after you find out.
"Trent did not successfully screen his first wife for mental problems, he should have been alerted to problems by his second wife's refusal to take a part-time job to help with finances, and he should never have turned around and gone back to the most recent woman after she broke off their date suddenly after some time of getting to know each other. This was probably a test on her part to see how easily he can be manipulated.
"At the very least it indicates a lot of indecisiveness and lack of centering on her part, which would be acceptable in teenage or 20-something years, but should be long since resolved by now. He will likely have eventual trouble with this one too.
"Interesting-'she has driven to see him twice and he flies to see her often?' Sounds like she has the upper hand in this relationship, not him. That will soon lead to trouble. As a man, you can't let love or even sex rule your life. You have to stand on your own, first and foremost. Most men learn this by the time they are in their thirties (sometimes earlier), but Trent, unfortunately, has not."
I'm afraid I wouldn't pass Lloyd's litmus test. If I felt a woman was intentionally irritating me to see how I would re-act, I'd be, as the Eagles sang, "Already Gone."
My guess is our women Champs might have something to say about Lloyd's theory.