Dear Michele: Confused About When To Marry

Dear Michele,I began dating someone whom I had dated for two years when I was in my early twenties. Many years later when his wife died, he called me a month after her death and we began dating. We dated for five years, and he wanted to get married but I told him that I would never live in the home where he had lived with his first wife. He would always want to go and look at rings but I finally said to him “why do you always want to look at rings when we don’t even know were we are going to live?” He literally blew up at me and called me a horrible name. What do you think of that? Selfishness?
Confused About When To Marry

Dear Confused,
It sounds like there is a lot going on. I know it can be exciting to consider marrying the person you love, but at the same time you are getting some red flags that are triggering your concerns.
It sounds like you may have some feelings towards his wife. Was she involved in any way in the original breakup? What were the reasons for that breakup? I know you were much younger, but did you have any view into his character at that time? I’m wondering if you have some unspoken concerns (even to yourself) that he may be trying to replace her with you. One month seems like a very short time to be calling an ex-girlfriend after your wife dies. Of course, I don’t know the history of their marriage or how long she was in poor health. But I do wonder if he had enough time to process the loss and to grieve. It is possible that a lot of comparisons came up in your relationship with him?
Yes, I agree, it doesn’t make sense to look for rings when there is an important issue that remains unresolved. I don’t think the issue is so much of where you live, but rather is his deceased wife somehow still affecting your relationship with him? You said that you told him that you didn’t want to live in the home, have the two of you had an open, honest discussion about it? Is he capable of a discussion? Are you able to be vulnerable about your feelings on why you don’t want to live there?
I would suggest that both of you seek some wise counsel. This can come from a priest, mentor, or licensed counselor. The goal would be for the two of you to figure out the underlying emotions that are behind this decision on where to live, and to make sure your relationship has the communication skills necessary to make a marriage last.
As in all major decisions (and minor ones too!), be sure to bring this to prayer. The bible calls for us to be equally yoked, and our faith teaches that partners must be free of any barrier that would prevent either one of them from freely offering the marriage vow. If he has not mourned his wife, and if he wants to marry simply to avoid being alone, then he may not be emotionally “free” to enter into a new marriage covenant.

God Bless,

Michele Fleming, M.A.