To Marry or Not

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Anonymous writes, “I’ve been a single mom for over 20 years, I gladly devoted my energy in raising my two kids the best I could. For a few years, I provided home care to my grandma during nights and weekends after work…

Once my kids became adults and didn’t need me as much and my grandma passed away, I learned to enjoy my own company. I formed and joined different social groups, such as a cooking club, a dinner club, I joined dancing and art classes too. I loved my single life.

I work full time, I’m financially independent, I live frugally but enjoy yearly vacations and feel fulfilled. I accepted going out on a few dates, however, most men called me back just for “booty calls.” I don’t remember hinting I would be accepting of such “invitations.” I stopped dating, since the disrespect got too annoying too fast. I was at peace with the idea of growing old without a loving, decent and self-sufficient man.

Then he came, a sweet, caring, generous, hard-working widower wanting to share his life with me. He’s debt free, but only owns a car. He has a huge salary and is a world traveler, but there’s no retirement plan in place. He faces a few health challenges some as a result of not being diligent with his diabetes care, he’s making improvements.

We’ve dated for eight months. Long distance relationship. He wants to marry me and promises to let me manage his paycheck and to live frugally so he can build some retirement savings.

He’s in his early sixties, I just turned 50. I deeply care for him and appreciate his recent efforts to improve his overall health. As he recovers from several surgeries, I’ve had a taste of what my life would be if I marry him.

In a couple of weeks, he will move over a thousand miles to be closer to me, he sold his house, got rid of his long-time companion… his cat, and he found a better paying job in my city. He can work from home. He cannot assist in simple chores around the house due to his lack of mobility/dexterity, but he promises to hire a housekeeper to assist. At times I’m discouraged and hesitant to take charge of monitoring his health and finances to build a retirement account.

We are engaged. I don’t know what to do, sometimes I miss my independence and simple but active life, and other times I don’t want to let go of a potentially amazing husband who seems to love me tremendously. What am I not seeing? What else should I consider before I enter this marriage? Why am I so anxious?”

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81 thoughts on “To Marry or Not”

  1. He does not want a wife he wants a caretaker. I was in a long distance relationship that I thought was perfect. The lies he told, and & personality changes were scary when I change jobs to be near him. Live apart for a year get to know each other strengths & weakness. If he moves in & things go bad the law has to get involved to evict him from your home. Pray for guidance.

  2. I cannot agree more with the others. I have been single for 11 years and also focused on raising my kids so I understand where you are coming from. It’s clear you love people and you love being helpful and you are ready to share your life. I get how you feel too, I would love to meet someone who is kind and loving and people come with baggage but I feel you are signing up for a whole lot of hurt in the long run. I don’t believe he is being completely honest with you.

    No money but a good job? Has a house and will sell it but only has a car? What did he spend it all on?

    Health issues? Who will pay for his care on top of you working to look after him? Marriage is for life and if you split, you will lose half of what you have spent your life building on top of dealing with a broken heart.

    If you are really wanting to follow through, have him checked out by someone reputable who can give you a background check on health and finances. Doesn’t sound romantic but seeing things in ink sometimes helps us decide.

  3. We cannot know what his intentions are. We do not know your gut feelings. Only you can answer this question – Marriage or Not – because you are the one who must live with the consequences, good or bad. So don’t bind yourself to him until you know for sure. Don’t let others sway you, because they don’t walk in your shoes. Make your own decision. If you cannot communicate your hesitations to this man, that certainly tells you you are not ready for marriage. Sometimes if you make a decision, your feelings over time will tell you if it was a good decision or not. So make a decision, just don’t tell anyone until your brain tells you what it thinks about the decision. Keep your options open until you know for sure. Ask God for wisdom. He delights in answering your cry for wisdom.

  4. I am curious as to why you said yes. You obviously had some feelings for this man, or you shouldn’t have. Tell him not to move, tell him you want your freedom, and you never wanted this. Tell him before the rest of his life is full of sadness, because he made a mistake in loving someone who can’t love him back. If he is willing to move for you, to continue working, to love you as he appears to, and you are still questioning it, he may not be the only problem in the relationship. Also, did you ask him to get rid of the cat, or tell him you don’t like them (thinking it would be a deal breaker)?

    1. You also said he only owns a car, but sold his house (I am guessing to move closer to you) – did you not want him to sell it, in case things didn’t work out and he could move away?

  5. I was on my own for 10 years, and dated my now husband
    For 10 years. I loved my life as I’m an introvert and feel uncomfortable in larger gatherings. I suggest you NOT marry until you are absolutely positive that you are ready to care for your guy through “thick and thin.”
    You have you circle of friends and activities that you enjoy. That is your “known.” Are you 100% on board with probable loss of all that?
    Along with diabetes comes heart and kidney diseases that can make him totally dependent on you.
    Perhaps just remain friends for the time being?

  6. That was my thought. Getting rid of along time companion, his cat. Sad. Deal breaker for me. Having an animal is a lifetime commitment. That cat will never understand.

  7. Hey got rid of this longtime companion?! Was that his cat, or was it something/one else? I have concerns that he would get rid of a pet that quickly. A dear friend gave me some really good advice a while back. You don’t want to be a nurse or a purse. Please think long and hard on this one.

  8. I understand wanting a loving companion – I also understand loving being on your own and loving that feeling of peace… I have been there. If you are lucky enough to have fallen in love with yourself and your life – you are comfortable, need for nothing and finally have time for you….. my humble opinion would be – ‘no’ to marriage. Let him move closer, enjoy what you already have but don’t give away what you have finally achieved. I see some red flags there from finances to health and they are ALL important. You have done your time, and done it well – not love you. I think it’s a new time now, we don’t have to jump into the marriage pool – not any more – we can have it all.. we’ve earned it. Good luck with everything xo

  9. I understand wanting a loving companion – I also understand loving being on your own and loving that feeling of peace… I have been there. If you are lucky enough to have fallen in love with yourself and your life – you are comfortable, need for nothing and finally have time for you….. my humble opinion would be – ‘no’ to marriage. Let him move closer, enjoy what you already have but don’t give away what you have finally achieved. I see some red flags there from finances to health and they are ALL important. You have done your time, and done it well – not love you. I think it’s a new time now, we don’t have to jump into the marriage pool – not any more – we can have it all.. we’ve earned it. Good luck with everything xo

  10. Run 🏃‍♀️ the other direction and don’t look back! He has nothing to offer, jobs can be iffy at best, and he already changed one. Nope 👎

    1. I don’t think this is a good choice,you will be tied down to a man with potentially disabling factors and that he never took care of himself until he is basically bad off.Plus to get rid of his cat ,that he had a long time seems to be selfish.He seems like he wants a paid caretaker, housekeeper and cook sure wouldn’t want any ties of this kind.I say run very hard and don’t stop!

  11. Totally agree….purse or nurse????…don’t marry, you’ve never even dated him….and they lie…sorry is as as sorry does…just be close friends at this point 😬

    1. I think you would just end up being his nurse. Couldn’t you just stay engaged ,him in his home you in yours. I would be very cautious as you haven’t really dated tidy and the fact you have to ask other people if you are doing the right thing speaks volumes. Maybe tell him you are happy to continue the relationship as it is now and see how things work out.

    1. No. No. No. You do not have to marry him to have him as a companion. Let him keep his own place and his independence so you can keep yours. I’ve been divorced and can empty nester for almost 8 years. I dated a man who wanted to get married right away. Which meant, as his wife, I would be obligated to put him and his needs/wants before my kids, mother, and other family obligations/desires. I say no way. If he can’t agree to what you are willing to give/share….put him on the road!

    2. Wow!!! I don’t think you want to get married. Don’t. Enjoy getting together for trips, dinners, etc. Explain it to him. Good luck…..and prayers.

  12. If you had a dear friend in this position asking for advice, what do you think you’d tell them? I think you know what you should do. I will pray that you make the right decision.

    1. You have lived a life talking care of others! Don’t you think it’s high time doing that for yourself? You have reached a point in time and in life most people would die for. I do not doubt this man loves you, but It seemed to me he is looking for a nurse. Besides that, leaving his cat behind tells me a lot about him: his needs and interests come first!

    2. I would definitely recommend that you not proceed with this relationship. Too many red flags.His health would become a major concern for you. Enjoy your single life. keep your female friends and just go out with them. So many wonderful things to do. See plays, Go to concerts, have dinners. Etc.Do yourself a huge favor Stay single!!

  13. No!! You will most certainly regret it!
    There are red flags. Long distance dating….No retirement plan…Irresponsible with his health…..Got rid of his cat?
    If you are seeking advice, here’s mine.
    Don’t marry him and be very careful dating him because he has an agenda of some sort! Be sure you haven’t found yourself a narcissist because they manipulate and brainwash to hook you, all while appearing innocent and well meaning.
    Prayers and best wishes to you.

    1. Amen Michelle. I can attest to that. So sweet dating and then after marriage it’s all about him.. think long and hard with this guy,. I say separate houses and separate security, see how it goes for like 3,4 years.

    2. I agree completely,
      He definitely has a reason for being pushy, packing up, moving in, marriage
      He 10 years older, in bad shape, he will certainly change your life!( not good)
      But the narcissist traits>> BEWARE!
      After your married it’s difficult to get out and still have your health! (Mentally)

  14. You have not mentioned if he has children. I would not marry him. Too many unknowns and uncertainties. Date but keep your lives and living arrangements and especially your finances separate. He wants someone to take care of him . Do not go there.

    1. I agree especially any time soon. Give it a couple years. Was he planning on moving right in? Did you spend any significant amount of time together as you say it is long distance? I would be careful and take this real slow. And I would also continue all your other activities and get a prenuptial agreement if you do marry. Also what are your children’s opinion?

  15. I can’t help comparing your description of the happy contented life you had before and the description of your life w/your “intended.” The first part sounds lovely; what’s coming, not so much. There’s a joke that goes round the table with my older, single girlfriends, “Most men our age either want a purse or a nurse…” There’s a lot of truth there. Be as honest as you can w/what’s ahead. You know the life of a caregiver. 24/7 is a huge commitment. I wish you all the best.

  16. If he’s diabetic and already having mobility issues, it’s not going to get better. It’s going to get progressively worse even if he starts to take care of himself now. The damage has already been done. Do you want to spend your fifties (and possibly your sixties) being a caregiver?

  17. Yep, sounds like he is looking for a nursemaid. Run, don’t walk but seems as if he already made way too many plans to cut him off now. Good luck. Something is definitely amiss and I wouldn’t believe all he says about finances, etc.

    1. He wants to ensure that he has a nurse in place. While this will make his life better it will probably make yours worse. The freedom, the lightheartedness of your life, will disappear. Your retirement will be spent caring for him. Money will probably also be an issue. Think long and hard before you marry him.

  18. Sounds like you are taking on one helluva project in terms of becoming his caregiver and life coach.
    Be afraid, be very afraid.
    Predicting a lifetime of regret if you marry, him, or let him move in with you.

      1. Don’t JUST don’t!! I made the mistake of moving with a man 8 years older than me. He is a narcissist, has money and this condo paid for. Didn’t tell me of ALL his health problems for 8 months. Has had 6 different heart surgeries, 2 heart attacks and just had gallbladder removed and yet another heart attack. He doesn’t have the strength to help with ANYTHING!! I DO IT ALL. Cooking, cleaning, caregiver plus he has OCD. I should have left years ago. When and if he recovers he came home from the hospital yesterday I’m planning on a long discussion that will probably lead to me starting over. NO MORE men for me!!😡 Oh, forgot to mention I pay him $450 a month to live here and take care of his needs. What a fool I’ve been!! Thank God we never had any sexual relationship, just widowed companions. Lots of false promises made in the beginning NONE kept. DON’T DO IT!!

      2. Run away from this marriage. Do not let him move in with you . Keep separate residences until at least a year of dating him. You never really know someone until at least a year of dating. He obviously is very keen, you, not so much. What’s your hurry ? Slow down and smell the roses. 🌺

    1. So true…..I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt with my husband…I was 45 years younger….but she didn’t mention that she loved him….

  19. Stay single sweetheart. When he moves closer to you he needs to rent or buy his own place. You can have a close relationship without marriage or sharing a home; keep your independence, he may be looking for a care keeper and money! Don’t believe everything he tells you.

    1. Ma’am…listen to your gut. There is something giving you doubts about this. Listen to your intuition carefully. So much doesn’t make sense. Don’t give up your wonderful life as you know it to be a potential caregiver. I smell a rat…

    2. Don’t marry him. In the big picture he is looking for someone to take care of him. Marriage is like war, a lot easier to get into than to get out of.

  20. I’m a bit confused…you stated he was debt free but only owned a car…then, he sold his house to move near you!
    Which is it? I’m 66, single for nearly 11 yrs. Yes, I get lonely and it would be wonderful to have a partner to do things with but, it would have to be love and only love that would make me consider a relationship! I don’t expect anyone to look after me just yet so I’m pretty sure I don’t want to be a carer. Stop….think of how your life will change…do you love this person! If not…don’t do it!

    1. It’s lovely that he wants to move closer to you but do not let him move in with you right away. He needs to be independent and so do you. If he moves in and it doesn’t work out, you are screwed.

  21. Live with him if you must. Someone in their 60’s with no retirement plan wants yours! You don’t have to get married to enjoy being together. PS Do you have a nursing background? You’ll need it! 💕

    1. I’m concerned anybody the comment that he has a huge salary but no retirement plan.
      No one with a “huge” salary is so irresponsible as to not have a retirement plan! Especially just a few years away from retirement! Something is amiss….

      1. If you have to ask others what you should do then don’t marry him, don’t even let him move in .it takes a real commitment to be a caregiver. If you are happy being single and independent stay that way. If you don’t you could hear some serious regrets. Stay friends but don’t let him move in or you will become his live in nurse.

      2. He gave up his cat. If he won’t be loyal to his cat, do you really think he will be loyal to you. Things just don’t add up. Run, do not walk in the opposite direction.

      3. I worked in hospice for many years and there were quite a few men who had huge salaries and they spent it and had nothing put aside.

      4. I agree, Kimmie. Something sounds “off” with him, and I think the writer senses it, way deep down. I would say to her that she should obey her instinct and not marry him. Our “gut feelings” are seldom wrong. This man may be who he presents himself to be, but something doesn’t seem exactly right. Enjoy your single life.

  22. I think it’s lovely that he wants to be nearer to you and is willing to move here. Not sure why he gave up his cat though – did the cat not want to move?? (or in my pessimistic view, was it just one more sacrifice that he’s made for you that you will hear about later) Let him come to your town and set up his household (with a housekeeper if he wants) and continue to enjoy his company with separate addresses. Do not let him guilt you into anything with the ‘I moved across the country for you’ story. He’s a grown man making his own life decisions and you did not make him do anything. You’ve already said that, after years of putting other people’s need first, you enjoy your independent life and have no need to change that. If that is the case, then don’t. Take your time. If, in a year or 2, you decide you want to live together, then do it. Right now there are too many unknowns.

    1. Any man who has a huge salary but not enough common sense to plan for his retirement is not a competent man in my opinion. You created the life of contentment while raising children! He sounds like a baby and a needy type. He can’t even care for his health or his pet properly. What makes you think at his age he will change for you? I smell a user.

  23. I read that he loves you. Nowhere do you say you love him. If you can imagine a happy life without him, I’d say don’t marry him.

  24. It sounds like your gut feeling is saying “don’t do this” and your head is saying “ignore that and go ahead”. Since it’s been a long distance relationship you really don’t know what a close relationship with him would be like. I learned a long time ago to listen to my gut feelings because my head tells me to do things that aren’t really the right thing to do but my gut never fails.

  25. Ever heard the term “Nurse with a purse”. That is what this guy is looking for, tell him not to move and send back the ring. You are happy and secure, stay that way….

    1. I wouldn’t marry him. Live together, if you want, but I’d suggest having separate residences and spending time together in each, as well as time apart.
      I’d also be concerned that he gave up his cat, but that’s just me! My husband (#3, 20 years now) and I moved 3300 miles last year and moved our 4 former feral cats with us – it can be done.
      If you do marry him, keep ALL your finances separate. This sounds like a ploy to tie you down in the worst way. Do you know he has a good job and makes a good salary? Do you want to take care of an invalid?

  26. Hmm. I’m there too. If I were in your shoes, happy with single life etc. , I might keep it that way. I am a retired nurse, and viewing it from that perspective, a diabetic who already has mobility issues, who has not controlled his diabetes, could be scared and wanting someone to care for him. I am not saying he doesnt love you. He well may. But think carefully.

  27. Don’t do it! Keep dating, but don’t live together and don’t get married! You have a wonderful life going for you! Why destroy it? Give this relationship a lot of time! Make sure this isn’t a con. Look up his background. And even if this isn’t a con, why marriage? There is no need if you aren’t planning a family!

  28. No- diabetes is the most devastating debilitating illness – he already has small vessel disease : loss of eye sight, cardiac and kidney failure and amputations are next – run

    1. I thought that as well…she never once mentioned she has met this person F2F….give it time…get to know him…do NOT rush into anything…that age difference might not matter now but in 10-20 years might make a HUGE difference in abilities…GEEZ…he is only in his early 60’s and can’t do stuff? Does he want a wife to take care of him when he gets real sick? BEWARE…

      1. I think everyone is supplying excellent advice. It appears the only person truly benefiting is him. There should not be such question marks if it was the right thing to do. Maybe you jumped the gun with marriage conversation…. people do. But it’s not too late to correct it . Do not let it go one step further until you are 100% certain this is the right thing for you to do. Praying for you! All that Glitters Is Not Gold.

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