I need your opinion on how to make a relationship work. I was married at 19 and had my third child at the age of 22. Although this man was a pathological liar and incapable of fidelity, I married him twice. During our second marriage we adopted a child, and I divorced him again for the same reasons.

Two years later I married a man six years younger than myself. We were happy for six years until his employment change did not allow us time together. We grew apart, separated and eventually divorced.

I am now 32, married three times. I envy those who can stay with the same person, regardless of the situation, and wonder why I am not capable of doing that. I don’t want to spend my life alone. I also don’t want to compromise happiness in order to maintain a relationship.

Is this normal? I have been seeing a man for a year now. He is hard-working, loving and attentive. Everything I want. I am scared to death this will change once he thinks the “challenge” is over. Do all men take their partner for granted after a commitment is made?

I have no plans to ever remarry. Neither does he. However, I committed to moving into his house. Now that the time has come, I am really scared. The children love him and are all for the move.

What do I do? Am I expecting too much out of relationships? After a long day at work, I want my partner to be as excited to see me as I am to see him. Does this feeling ever last between two people?

~ Chelsea

Chelsea, at first blush, it appears you want new car smell and the sensation of winning the lottery every day.You’ve been married three times. You have four children. Those children have been through three divorces. That’s a lot of drama. Your first husband thought life was a sexual buffet. That’s even more drama. Not the skyrockets of love, but the cannons of chaos.

Your second man had employment problems. It must not have been love as you two did not rally around each other. And we have no idea how many boyfriends there have been.

We wonder if you have ever been loved or in love. Love is not a carnival ride. It is a happiness, a peace and a security. Love is a comfort. It is a knowing.

You want a man to revolve around you like the sun. Perhaps you link an excess of emotion to love because of your family of origin. Perhaps you married too young, with self-esteem issues, and without knowing what love feels like.

We think you are on a search for what you’ve never had. We also think you are a bit of a drama addict, always wanting to be in the thick of things.

In your current relationship, there is no hoopla. In the past, with the wrong men, you’ve had the proposal, the wedding ring, the bridal and baby showers. If this man is right, where is the fanfare. That’s what you are asking yourself.

Without the fanfare, it feels to you like simply moving from one place to another. It’s not that you expect too much from a relationship. You are struggling to decide, without all the extras, is this love?

You say this man is everything you ever wanted. Would you be balking if there was a marriage proposal, a bridal shower and a wedding?

~  Wayne & Tamara

Column for November 1, 2018

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