Dear Amy: My boyfriend and I have been together for over two years. I was previously married for 14 years to an abusive man.
My boyfriend knows my history.
Last night, I brought up the prospect of us getting married.
In response, he stated that he doesn’t believe in marriage.
He previously was engaged to his ex for two years.
In the past, he has brought up many aspects of what our bachelor/bachelorette party would look like, what song he would sing as I walked down the aisle, and what type of engagement ring I might like.
When I brought that up to him last night, he said those were hypothetical conversations, and that this didn’t mean he wanted to get married.
He said the fact I was married for 14 years left a sour taste in his mouth.
I didn’t get the good marriage experience before, and I’ve dreamed of getting my happy ever after.
He asked if this was a deal breaker for me, and I said I didn’t know.
Should I sacrifice my wants to appease him since suddenly he doesn’t believe in marriage — or am I justified in requiring more than shacking up in order to move forward?
— No Wedding Bells for Me?
Dear No Bells: I wish we could retire the phrase “shacking up.” It is a pejorative and dismissive phrase used to belittle people who choose to live together.
But since you’ve introduced it, I would counsel you to take full responsibility for your own choice to cohabit with someone without knowing him very well.
If you don’t want to live with someone without being married, then you should conduct your next relationship differently.
The good news is that — after more than two years — you and your guy are finally communicating in a very real way about your values.
In your own narrative, you supply ample justification for you to leave the relationship.
Your guy’s choice to use your own past against you is passive aggressive and disrespectful. Your marriage and subsequent divorce left a bad taste in his mouth? Yuck.
And … he’s dangling the possibility of marriage by telling you what song he’s going to sing as you walk down the aisle?
Researching your question, I have watched a number of videos of grooms singing their brides down the aisle. (Homework, people!)
I now feel completely confident in declaring that you should never marry a guy who wants to sing you down the aisle. (The same no-singing rule applies to brides, by the way.)
Leave the solos for the reception.
You should consider the probability that your well-deserved happy-ever-after will begin the day after you leave this relationship.
Maybe your guy can sing you out.
Dear Amy: The daughter of a long-time friend of mine was supposed to get married last year. My partner and I were invited, even though we don’t know the bride — or any of the other guests.
We had planned to go, but COVID took care of that.
They have rescheduled for this year.
We were notified of the date change, but all the other details were the same. We were not “re-invited,” and thus didn’t have the opportunity to decline.
The problem is that I just don’t want to go.
It involves airfare, hotel expenses, fancy winter clothes, etc.
It’s not an issue of money, just disinclination.
I wish we’d said no last year. How can we politely decline for this year and keep my friendship?
Dear Don’t Want to Attend: Even though you haven’t been formally re-invited to this wedding, you can easily and politely decline this date-changed wedding. Just make sure you give the family plenty of advance notice to adjust their guest list.
You can write to your friend: “We’re so happy that ‘Adele’s’ wedding has been rescheduled, but unfortunately, we won’t be able to attend. This last year has taken a lot out of us, and we just can’t make the trip, I’m afraid. We’re so sorry, and hope you have a wonderful celebration.”
Send the couple a nice gift, along with a personal note sharing your regrets.
Dear Amy: I loved your pithy advice to “Heartbroken,” whose no-account, two-timing guy continued to jerk her around: “Block his number, and then raise your standards.”
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Wow! I wonder if she will follow this excellent and simple advice.
Dear Fan: Sometimes, the responses just write themselves.
“Heartbroken” might not follow my advice, but the light might go on for another reader.