Senior Marriage from the male point of view
By Tom P Blake - Finding Love after 50
Senior Marriage from the male point of view
A recent newsletter was titled, "Don't Settle," which was about Liz, who had dated a man for six months who repeatedly told her he didn't love her and would never marry her. He had lived in the same apartment for 45 years and was a "mamma's boy," according to Liz.
Women responded pretty much with a chorus of "Dump him." But one man's response shed important light on the male point-of-view regarding why some older men have no interest in remarrying later in life. Randy said, "Since you didn't have any 'male' inputs on Liz's settling problem--and it struck just a little too close to home--thought I'd share my thoughts."
Randy explained, "Although I certainly would have grave concerns about an unmarried man that lived with his mother in the situation Liz described, Liz's later description of him and their relationship was both positive and strangely familiar.
"I was married to the one-and-only love of my life for 34 years and I lost her after she battled cancer for six years. Although I am grateful for every year she was in my life, I DO NOT want to go through that experience again.
"Since my wife's death, I have had four long-term (of more than two years) relationships that ALL ended because these wonderful ladies could not accept what I could give.
"I treated them as a significant part of my life, which they were, with respect, generosity and kindness. We did things big and small together on a regular basis and they were all totally monogamous relationships.
"Maybe because of this they invariably fell in love with me and demanded the same from me; something I could not give. During the latter stages of each of these relationships, I had almost a daily declaration of their love and the question: 'Do you love me?'
"Not cruelly, but with some conviction, I said that I did not. Not to hurt them, not to discourage them or belittle their feelings but to make sure they recognized that I could not give beyond what they were getting.
"I was afraid that even a little acknowledgement, a crumb of 'yes, I love you too,' would be a reinforcement of what their idea of the future was. NEVER was this done lightly or without thought of the pain I was giving but still, I have always believed that total honestly was and is the best policy.
"My question: If there are so many women out there that value their independence and 'don't need a man to complete them,' why is Liz's relationship such a problem? Obviously there is no 'bad' person in some of these relationships. Just two people with different goals of what they want in life. Both struggling to achieve them.
"Although again I am uncomfortable with Liz's friend's past life and situation, based on those latter comments, I would suggest that he is at least trying to be as honest as he can. Liz just has to make a decision whether to accept what seems to be a relatively good relationship or move on to someone whose goals match hers with the recognition that at this point in life, finding a caring and compatible relationship is a rare jewel indeed."
Randy's comments explain why he doesn't want to remarry, and they point out the need for couples to clearly communicate each other's goals on what they want out of a relationship. His male point-of-view may help other women understand why the men they are dating do not want to marry.
Part 2. More on marriage: a woman's obsession to tie the knot
This is related somewhat to Part One above. You may recall "the bolt of lightning" column where Dawn met a man at church and they have a wonderful relationship--both own their own homes, both have jobs and automobiles, and neither are in debt.
And then Dawn said, "But there's a part of me that feels like I should get married, like he needs to be willing to marry me, or 'it's not real.' It bothers me he hasn't asked me to marry him....I guess I'm just afraid to be alone. Without a man. Without a husband."
I told her not to let her insecurities screw up an otherwise wonderful relationship, and suggested in the column that they try living together for awhile.
Dawn recently responded: "I took your advice and my beau and I spent the last three weeks living at my house together. We really enjoyed the day-to-day of being together and I have even more respect for him than before. I have let go of my need for him to ask me to marry him."
The lesson from today's newsletter: If you have an obsession to marry later in life, re-evaluate it. Maybe the man you're dating is a jewel, even if he doesn't want to marry.