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dating coach for smart, strong, successful women Evan Marc Katz
I’ve got a very unique question, but the dilemma is not so unique to many today. I am seriously dating a wonderful woman for 14 months (I’m 49, she’s 46, she’s never been married). I am very amicably separated from ex wife of 10 years. We had no kids. We get along fine, keep in touch once in while.We did not file for divorce for a very practical reason: I am on her medical insurance policy from her company which costs me less than my monthly cable bill (very cheap), and is an extremely great policy. I am self-employed. I have some pre-existing conditions (nothing serious) that would disqualify me from getting a policy on my own. Even if I could, it would be cost prohibitive. My ex is not dating. Until one of us gets married and a divorce filing is required, I can stay on the policy. Just an example, last year I had a routine outpatient test examine and the bill to the insurance company was an eye-popping low five figures for 90 minutes. I only paid $50 for the co-pay. I went for a dental cleaning: $7.00. So this speaks for itself.

A Romeo and Juliet story for the 2000’s… Isn’t it remarkable that something like COBRA can keep two people from tying the knot?

My girlfriend who is very understanding but torn over this, as she doesn’t want me walking around without insurance (she doesn’t have a spousal plan), but understandably wants me to file for divorce, commit to her (I know I already am; I love her dearly) and wants to marry me. We don’t plan to have kids upon marriage. This whole thing has been a sore subject between us. I don’t like it anymore than she does but it’s MY reality. We live in complicated and tough times and getting sick or having an accident can bankrupt you. It’s in the news all the time. There are people out there who stay legally married for kids and money, even taxes but live under different roofs and different lives.

My question is: Should we not focus on the piece of paper of marriage (I’m not belittling marriage) and focus on our own commitment to each other, and go live our lives OR serve her fears and file divorce? I know she REALLY wants to get married and I don’t want to disappoint. But… So until my ex gets married, if ever she does someday, I have amazing insurance (and an amazing lady). I know how she feels but sometimes you’ve got to be practical and real. I wonder what your readers think about this, and what would they do.

Thanks! Steven

A Romeo and Juliet story for the 2000’s…Isn’t it remarkable that something like COBRA can keep two people from tying the knot? Harrumph! If you don’t think that health care needed reforming, tell it to Steven here….But I don’t want to get into a political rant today (I do so enough with my wife). Your question, Steven, is a good one, because it’s not really about health insurance at all. As I see it, it’s about trust. It’s about reality. It’s about compromise. In short, it’s about the very things that make a relationship successful or unsuccessful. I think we can all agree that trust is the underpinning of every relationship, and that there are perfectly valid reasons why we might not be trusting of a partner. Sometimes it has to actually do with the partner’s behavior … extreme flirtatiousness, emotional distance, unwillingness to discuss a future. And sometimes it has NOTHING to do with the partner at all … the mistrust is placed in the failures of past relationships. So if one person cheated on you, you’re wary of your new partner doing the same. If one person disappeared after six months, you’ll do everything in your power to protect yourself from it happening again. The problem is that trying to ‘protect yourself’ is the ANTITHESIS of what a good, solid, stable relationship is about. True love allows you to let go and be weak and know that your partner will support you, through thick and thin. Your girlfriend, Steven, doesn’t actually believe that you will support her unconditionally without a wedding to lock you in for life. And, without more information, I’m inclined to think it has more to do with her past than with anything that you’ve actually done to make her insecure.

…if she’s putting her need for a ring and a marriage license above your need for affordable health insurance, I think you might have a bigger issue on your hands than an unhappy girlfriend…

I can validate her fears … no woman wants to risk a man leaving – but if she’s putting her need for a ring and a marriage license above your need for affordable health insurance, I think you might have a bigger issue on your hands than an unhappy girlfriend: you have a selfish girlfriend who thinks that her needs are more important than your needs. Successful relationships are about making compromises based on what’s most important and what’s possible. It’s impossible for you to get your own affordable health care with your pre-existing condition. Unless Obamacare takes care of you, or your girlfriend is willing to subsidize your medical costs, it seems that everything else stems from that unfortunate reality. All you can do is give your girlfriend the reassurance that you’re in it for the long haul, and if she doesn’t let up, assess whether you truly want someone who isn’t sensitive to your needs.