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Publication: Fifty & Furthermore
Final Comment On Pre-nups

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FIFTY & FURTHERMORE - Monday, August 21, 2006

"I'm Dr. Dorree Lynn. Growing older can be a time for 
creative and passionate living, and I will apply my years 
as a psychologist to help you with the challenges and 
wonders that come with this new life stage."
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Hello and welcome to FIFTY & FURTHERMORE! 

Today I will share a final comment on pre-nups and give 
advice to other readers. If you would like to make a 
comment or ask me a question, please email me at the 
address below and as always, I will do all I can to 
provide you with the advice you seek.

As I always say, "life is too hard to do alone - reach 
out!"

Dr. Dorree Lynn, Psychologist


Please send questions and comments to: 

email Dr. Lynn

Question:
 
When we married, houses - 2, children, 2-3, I sold my 
house and he signed a quit claim deed to his house, 
which made me co-owner.  We then got new wills made, 
dividing the estate proportionally between me or him 
and our children, considering what each had brought 
to the marriage.  After we had been married for 10 
years we moved to another state and had new wills 
written.  This time we just made it simple and left 
all to each other.       Yes, it is a matter of trust, 
and when you have been through things in a prior life, 
it is better to reassure your soon-to-be-mate than to 
worry whether or not you are trusted.  After 10 years 
we knew that all our children would get their portion 
of whatever each of us left.  We are now in our 19th 
year, and he is in a wheelchair, which was quite 
unexpected.  But I keep busy and get out when I can.   
Church, art group, women's club, red hats, girls card 
day....  keeps things interesting.  God has been good 
to us.  Thanks for your weekly shared wisdom.

Answer:

I like what you said about pre-nups being a sign of 
reassurance for soon-to-be-mates rather than a 
reflection of a lack of trust. After living half of 
life, most of us have baggage we'd prefer didn't get 
lost (as well as some we wish would!) and for second 
or third marriages, it seems the general consensus is 
that pre-nups are a good idea all around. Thanks for 
weighing in.

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Question:

I am 54, divorced for 2 years.  I was married a total of 
32 yrs but we lived together only 21 of those years.  I 
have grown 3 children and an amicable relationship with 
my ex.  The problem is my significant other.  We have 
been together for 6 yrs, lived together for 4 yrs.  I was 
his total support and even now when we are together I pay 
for everything.  I find at this stage of my life that I 
enjoy being alone, enjoy my own company very much, enjoy 
my house and yard and hobbies, enjoy being with friends 
much more than spending time with my SO.  He wants to 
spend as much time together as possible and I want to 
spend a few days a month.  He says I am being selfish, 
only considering myself and what I want.  I say that's my 
right!  We're at an impasse and the weekend is coming up 
and another argument about why he can't sleep over.  What 
do I say to him?  I've had enough therapy to know that I
am co-dependent given the chance and I don't want to go 
there again.  Do I end this relationship and the good 
things I enjoy with this man in small doses, or do I cave 
to his needs?  I've suggested maybe he needs to move on,
find someone else to smother and he suggests that I stop 
being so selfish...what do you suggest?

Answer:

You've given him the green light to move on, but clearly 
after 6 years, this man isn't so ready to give up on the 
relationship. You, however, appear to be rather apathetic 
as to what happens. I'm sure your SO senses this apathy 
and as people often do, reacts by pushing to see you even 
more. After 6 years, however, only wishing to see someone 
a few times a month doesn't make for most people's defini-
tion of a serious relationship. Either way, if you value 
the time spent alone and feel that budging would be chang-
ing something core to you, then there is no reason you 
need to conform to the norm of spending lots of time with 
a SO. Your SO, however, seems to have a more traditional 
view of companionship and if you do care about this man 
as you say you do, you need to set him free so he can find 
someone whose values are more in line with his. You ARE 
putting yourself first, but there is nothing wrong with 
that as long as you recognize that others may be affected 
by that as your SO has been. My only concern is that you 
are so afraid of becoming co-dependent that you are going 
to the other extreme and shutting people out of your life 
who could offer you something. I encourage you to continue 
to explore this with a therapist and to explain what you 
have explained to me to your SO. He deserves to be able to 
know what his choices are - either being with you on your 
terms or finding someone who shares his desire for frequent 
company. I hope you will allow him to make this choice.

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Question:

I haven't seen this in your column so I decided to ask. Why 
are men so afraid of being alone? I am not against a re-
lationship, but I am not anxious to get married either. It 
just seems that once you are involved they either begin to 
smother you with always wanting to be there or they begin 
to push for marriage. Everyone seems to think it is women 
who push for a relationship, but I have found it is men.
Even very young men. Can you shed any light on this?

Answer:

As I explained in the answer above, often times when one 
person in a relationship (however formal or informal it 
may be) is resistant, the other may compensate by pushing 
a little harder than normal. It's the same philosophy 
people who play "hard to get" employ. The less available 
you are, often the more you are pursued. As you seem to 
be very confident in not being ready for marriage, I 
imagine you may exude a vibe of independence often mistaken 
for unavailability. Most likely the men you are meeting to 
base your observations on are attracted to those qualities 
in you - so much so that they want to be around you more 
and push for you to reciprocate. If you are not currently 
in a relationship, I urge you to try meeting men who have 
other passions in life - be it their job, a hobby, etc - 
so they will have less idle time to "smother" you. You may 
even find yourself doting on them for a change! 

------------------------------------------------------------
     For more insight and advice from Dr. Lynn visit:              
fiftyandfurthermore.com

------------------------------------------------------------

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