Dear Annie: My boyfriend and I have been together for seven years. We have lived together for nearly five years and been engaged for the past three years.
We are both in our late 50s. He has never been married and had no children. He has been very successful in his business. I have been married twice and have three children.
We get along great. We go to movies, eat out, go on vacation together, and we laugh all the time. He treats me like a queen and my children as if they were his own.
So here’s the problem: Everything we have is in his name only – house, cars and motorcycles. If anything happens to him, I’m in trouble. His family would kick me out and take everything before his body was even cold! Every time I bring up setting a wedding date, he freaks out, telling me that we can’t get married because I will lose my good insurance, and he can’t afford to put me on his. He says that’s the only reason for not getting married.
Am I just kidding myself and waiting for something that my never happen? I can’t keep going on like this. – Hanging On By a Thread
Dear Hanging On By a Thread: The real question to ask yourself is, “What are my expectations in a relationship?” For many people, being in a relationship where you get along great, laugh all the time and he treats you like a queen and your children like his own would be the gold standard.
He is probably a bit scared because he has never been married before. This will be your third time, so you have a bit more practice. Focus less on the potential loss of material items and more on your love and commitment.
Coming from that world of commitment, you can figure out a way to both have insurance if you marry. And once you are married, it’s reasonable to ensure the house is in both of your names.
If he balks at this, then you have to decide if you want a great relationship without long-term prospects or if you want to start all over looking for Mr. Right.
Dear Annie: The days of preparing for and staying on a career track are over. It’s not even a choice as jobs are morphing at a hectic pace. Today’s workers will change not only their employers but also their career paths multiple times over their working lives. Some project as many as five to six times. The “job” you retire from probably doesn’t even exist yet.
It’s never too late to change tracks, to grow and evolve. It requires a little sacrifice, though. You need to look at the changes happening in your desired field and start getting the training and experience you need to make the change to a better position. Whether you want to get “ahead” in your current field or change to a path that fulfills your dreams, it won’t come to you; you have to take the initiative and leap into the future rather than staying in a rut! – Call me Waiter-Teacher-Nurse-Purchaser-IT specialist-Retired
Dear Retired: No wonder your last job is “Retired.” I’d retire early, too, if the workplace were as crazy as you make it sound. Yes, technology is making tremendous changes in our lives, and it is true that the more we adapt, the more successful we will be, but living in a state of chronic anticipation of losing a position is no way to live. We gain great self-esteem from mastering a certain skill and sticking to it. Of course, you are right that workplace change is inevitable, and training for new areas of development is always advisable. But make sure you don’t become a jack of all trades, master of none.
Send your questions for Annie Lane to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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