Dear Lucia,

My boyfriend and I have been dating/living together for three years and eight months. We are both 34. He is an absolute wonderful, passionate, sincere boyfriend, but he just can’t take the next step to become a husband.

We have so much in common. We love the same things and we have so much fun with each other. I have been nagging him about getting married for a very long time.

There have been some breakups in the past because of this. And we have both gone to counseling, separate and together, to figure out his commitment problem.

This past year I set a deadline for myself, which came and went — and no engagement. I finally got tired of the lies and being led on about him telling me he has gone to a jeweler a couple of times to “talk” about buying the ring and getting prices.

I got tired of asking him, “Are you going to take care of this soon?” and hearing, “Don’t worry, it’s taken care of, it’s coming soon.” So I backed off a little and still nothing – just excuses of why he hasn’t actually bought the ring: work, he lost his check card and is waiting for the new one to come in, his mother is sick so he’s trying to take care of her.

A few weeks ago, I told him for the 100th time that I had enough of waiting. I told him I loved him, but I was mentally and physically tired of hearing the excuses, being lied to and led on.

I left him at home and went drinking/thinking for a couple of hours, thought long and hard and came back to suggest to him that maybe it would just be best for him to move out. I said that if and when he was ready to marry me and if I was available, to come find me – thanks to Dr. Phil.

This was sooo hard to do. This really hurts. I don’t know how I will be able to find someone else, and I really don’t want to right now.

Did I do the right thing? This is so hard to deal with. I hate the pain. I want him to call me up and tell me he’s changed his mind. —Kris

Dear Kris,

You say he’s 34? He sounds more like 13. So he’s lying to you, giving excuses a 10 year old could see through – lost his check card, his mom is sick – and you want to marry him?

May I ask why? Are you planning to not have children, so you figured you’d marry an adult that acted like one? Even you agree that he has been stringing you along.

The foundation of any relationship is trust and respect. How can you trust and respect someone that behaves this way?

You need to look at your willingness to tolerate being lied to repeatedly. Your tolerance level is way too high.

And what’s with all the nagging? Do you really want to be with someone that isn’t dying to marry you? Or did you think he was the best you can do, so you figured you’d nag him to death in the hopes that he’d eventually cave in? That’s really attractive.

It’s not that he “can’t” take the next step to become a husband, he doesn’t “want” to. However, I understand it’s easier on the ego to think that the poor boy just, oh, just can’t take the next step, so let’s go to counseling.

OK, now that I’ve finished verbally beating you up, I have to commend you for finally doing the right thing, even if it took Dr. Phil for you to decide to finally take control of your life. Now don’t go messing it up by wishing he would change his mind.

For your sake, I hope he doesn’t. If you hate the pain now, wait until you’re married to him.

It’s not just about getting married. It’s about getting married to the right person. The right person doesn’t lie and string you along; he behaves like a man and tells you the truth.

By the way, the next time you need to go thinking, you might want to cut out the drinking; very bad for the skin, darling.

Remember: Love inspires, empowers, uplifts and enlightens.

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