Advice: Still No Talk of Marriage

It’s been 10 years and still no ring.

By Hara Estroff Marano, published on March 1, 2004 - last reviewed on January 23, 2015

I have been in a 10-year relationship with my on/off fiance.
I’m 56 and long divorced; he’s 59 and a widower. He drinks
a lot, he’s depressed and there’s always a crisis with his
adult sons. I left him a couple of years ago but couldn’t get him
out of my heart. I know he loves me, but he won’t talk about
marriage. I don’t think this is fair to me. I need security, and
I’m not getting any younger. Why can’t I let him
go?

Because it’s always more comfortable to slip into old shoes
than to try on new ones. It’s not his failure to talk that’s
unfair to you; it’s your willingness to put up with the little he
offers. You can either keep running back to him and whine about him, or
you can make an active demand that he get help for himself and the
relationship. Your need for security feeds his sloth. Get over the idea
that everything one needs to do must feel good and comfortable. Even fab
shoes don’t always feel good at first. But they can take you to
some interesting new places.