Dear Doctor Love,
We have lived together for sixteen years. When we first started sharing a house it was understood that it was temporary. We would get married when he was settled into his job and things were better for us. The years have just gone by so fast. Every once in a while I would bring up the subject but soon he would be talking of something else. Each time it would be longer and longer between discussions about getting married.
We have two children together and he has two others by a previous marriage. He is fifteen years older than I am and now he is starting to have health problems. So far they have been little problems. At his age things are only going to get worse instead of better. I started talking about marriage again but he avoids it completely. The problem with this is that I have no idea where I stand. The house is in his name and I have never seen his will. When I mention the word ‘will’ to him he won’t discuss it, saying it is bad luck to talk about things like that. He is not stupid so I know he is using this as an excuse. I know that this is a country where the property is community property and if something happened to me I have rights that I can rely on. But I can only get those rights through lawyers and the court and I would like to avoid that situation.
Thirteen years ago I sold my business and the house that went with it. I have been using this money to contribute to the household expenses. If I am careful it will last me at least that much longer. Now, he is looking to retire soon because he is already fifty-nine and he wants me to go back to work.
Should I leave him or try to work things out?
It is time to stand tall. If he is not going to show you his will or marry you then it is time to move on with your life. You are forty-four if he is fifty-nine. That means you are still young enough to attract someone. Tell him you want marriage or nothing else to do with him. At his age and with his health issues he is not going to want to go out chasing down women to put up with him.
If he really cares about you he will share your point of view. If not, just consider it sixteen wasted years and go on from there.