Staying married only for health insurance and survivor benefits
Part one: Cindi's email
"I have been married for 34 years to the man who can't commit and has never prioritized me in our relationship. He finally left me at 66. His true passion is airplanes. He also loves lots of gadgets and inanimate objects like cars, trains, electronics, etc.
"I've stuck it out hoping in his next phase of life, he would become more human and learn to love and value the people in his life. It never happened. Next month, he will be 70.
"We are remaining married because if he passes first, I am the beneficiary of his "Survivor Benefits" from his long-term job. That is the only reason I am staying married.
"I have struggled with chronic pain for 25 years and he never went to a doctor appointment with me. Of course, I needed his insurance benefits and a little bit of his help around the house (which used to be very large). The past 10 years, he has become more and more distant. His weekends have consisted of doing whatever he wants without any thought or consideration of me. I still have ties and many memories with him even though we never had a child together.
"My two children have both passed away. I see one of his daughters but both of us are disconnected from his second daughter. Occasionally, we meet to celebrate an event with one of his four grandchildren. He includes me in nothing social in his life, yet he wants to attend all events with my family such as weddings or holidays. My family graciously includes him, not understanding the situation, but neither do I. I must put an end to his intrusion into my family events.
"Over the past ten years, I have lost him and don't feel like I have a partner on any level. Life is getting shorter and even though it seems like a long shot to ever meet anyone again, I would love to have a companion. I am not available for marriage, but I would love the experience of caring for someone and having him care about me.
"Is it wrong to go on dating sites while still married? I realize other people lie, but I don't much want any relationship based on lies. I am a little overweight, but still keep myself up and my chronic pain is not visible to the naked eye.
"Do you have any suggestions for how I can help myself to be the happiest I can be for the rest of my days on this earth?"
Part two: Tom's reply
Staying married to get his health insurance and survivor benefits has carried quite a price tag with it. What if you die first? Will it have been worth it?
If you put an end to his intrusion into your family events, could he put an end to your survivor benefits? If so, be careful getting him mad. If he discovers you are dating, he might divorce you and then you would lose the benefits you have.
"I understand that you long to have a companion. But, is it wrong to go on dating sites while still married? Yes, and it's a bad idea. If you are honest about your situation, no man will want to date a married woman. If you lie about your situation, you are deceiving the men and
when they find out, they will drop you like a hot potato. Then, it's back to square one.
Also (I am not trying to be mean or critical when I say the following, just realistic), ask yourself, "What do I bring to the table? What can I, a married woman with lots of baggage, offer to a man that will benefit him?"
What does being a little overweight mean? Older singles want people who are fit and not overweight. I suggest implementing a health program to help you lose weight and get in shape. You will be happier with yourself.
I also suggest you get out and socialize and make new friends. By doing so, you might meet a man who seeks only a companion also.
A great way to meet new people is to check out www.Meetup.com. Find Meetups close to where you live that interest you, and attend some meetings and make new friends. Your happiness has to come from within yourself. You spent nearly 40 years tolerating an unhappy relationship. To reverse that trend now will be a huge challenge. But you can do it.
Part three: Cindi's reply
"You may share my story. Other's comments could not be more painful than my own realization of how I have compromised myself.
"I do have to say, on my behalf, that I was unable to work due to my physical condition which also contributed to my added weight. Plus, I needed to have money to live on and I needed the ability to seek medical assistance. Those two facts contributed to my staying with him.
"From age 34 to age 52, I went through the hell of having a child addicted to drugs on a major scale. I was quite distracted from my marriage during those years of watching my second and only living child destroy herself--while I tried everything humanly possible to help her--only to have her die in the end.
"Without any living children of my own, I only had my husband's children and grandchildren. I so wanted grandchildren! I was there when these step-grandchildren were born and they seemed like my own. I feared they would disappear, too, if I divorced my husband.
"I recently joined a gym and hired a trainer and am on a quest to eat healthier and exercise more like I used to before my foot pain became so overwhelming. I realize my pain is my problem. It is very fatiguing, however, and sometimes I so badly just want to give up.
"My husband wasn't interested in any of our five pets, which is mostly wonderful for me because even though they are work, they give me a lot in return and keep me going.
"I have fixed up my new backyard very nicely and yesterday, I had a neighborhood party to try to get to know my new neighbors better. The party was a huge success and I did bond with some other neighbors while three of my wonderful girlfriends came to help me by setting up, making margaritas and food, and contributing in general. They had a great time, too.
"Does Meetup.com have any men in it? From what I've seen, it looks like all women. Don't get me wrong; I love women and who couldn't use more female friends? I just need to be realistic about what it is."
Part four: Left blank for the Champs to comment on Cindi's situation.
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Have a good week-end.