This week, Scarlett addresses two letters on getting married.
I'm engaged (been together for six and a half years), and we have a decent life. My fiancé has been pushing back our wedding and making excuses for why he doesn't want to plan anything. He says we need more money and I need a better job. Meanwhile, I am in touch with my ex, whom I was madly in love with and have thought about for years. I don't know what to do, because I am not 100 percent happy.
My boyfriend and I have been in a committed relationship for three and a half years. We've both been married twice. We are in love, and this is a wonderful, committed relationship. Finances and real estate are commingled. We have learned a lot from past wreckages, and our communication is respectful. We talk about getting married, but he is anxious about it. But marriage does enable us to take care of one another in ways that domestic partnership does not. How can I make him feel safe and confident to make this next big step?
A Ring on It
Dear Confused and Ring on It,
The Supremes put it best when they sang: "You can't hurry love. No, you just have to wait." While talking is important, sometimes it's best to give the other person some time to figure things out. Marriage is a big step, even if it's not your first time around. You want to be sure that your partner — and you — are ready.
Confused: You and your fiancé have been together for a while, but you're young and still have plenty of time. He may be putting off the wedding, but you're having doubts, too. Time can help clarify whether he really wants to marry you and is just concerned about costs or whether his reservations run deeper. Sit back and consider whether he's Mr. Right and what marriage means to you.
Ring: It sounds like you are in it for the long haul, with or without "a ring on it." You are doing the right thing by communicating openly and patiently. Now may be a time to step back, however, and consider accepting the partnership as is. Take marriage off the table for now, and don't expect that things will change. Let him come to you.