I Am Who I Am
I am a woman, twice divorced, with adult children. My first husband and I divorced after six horrible years. My second husband left me for another woman. I spent three years struggling to come to grips with the situation and began dating again.
A year and a half ago I met a 60-year-old man who had never been married, but had lived a life I can only describe as that of a professional Lothario.
He told me quite honestly he was initially interested in me because of my body (I have large breasts), but soon found himself enamored of me as a person. We began living together in his house.
He makes a great deal of money. I am less well situated. We get along wonderfully for the most part and he has often remarked he cannot believe being with me has satiated his interest in playing the field.
He told me he will “probably” marry me someday and has no interest in starting over again with a new partner.
Last night he told me he wants to give me a diamond ring for Christmas and wants me to help him pick it out. I assumed he meant an engagement ring, but when I asked him, he clarified that it was a “promise ring.”
“That’s what teenagers give each other!” I told him. He replied to him a promise ring simply means he is going in the right direction.
I don’t want to seem petulant or greedy, but I have assumed care-taking duties of the household and invested hours working with his teenage son who has Asperger’s. I am not saying I’ve done that to get a marriage proposal, but…a promise ring? Seriously?
Can you perceive even the slightest sliver of hope in this situation?
Maude, let’s try rewriting your letter as a love story. We have two characters. A man and a
woman. He’s a confirmed bachelor, never married, a womanizer. The first quality he looks for in a woman is something deeply meaningful, like her cleavage.
The woman in our story always ends up with the wrong man. She probably attracts the wrong men because of her physical build. Perhaps we are being unfair to the woman, but we are definitely not being unfair to the man.
When he told her about himself and she stayed, he defined their relationship. He didn’t say he would change. He told her so she would know what she was signing up for. When someone tells you they love rock and roll and smoking weed, it means they love rock and roll and smoking weed.
If this is going to be a love story, we’d expect to see a scene with two lovers walking on a beach. If the woman wrote us, we’d expect to see mutual “I love yous” in her letter. If the man wrote us about a diamond, we’d expect to hear something about a bended knee.
But there’s no bended knee here. If the offer to buy the diamond is not said with a proposal, it is simply an offer to buy a diamond. The proposal would come first even if he didn’t have a ring.
The ring in this case is like payment on a lease. At the end of a mortgage you own the house. At the end of a lease you don’t own anything.
Something is even more out of place in the story. The woman thought the man was talking about an engagement ring. That really jumps the shark.
The storyboards in your letter don’t add up to a love story. “He’s here for something. I’m here for something.” That’s what this relationships sounds like.
If you are in search of someone who loves you and wants to marry you, start the New Year off right. Move on. We think your happy ending lies elsewhere.
Wayne & Tamara
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Direct Answers from Wayne and Tamara – Column for the week of January 2, 2017