2617. When Shack-up Ain’t Enough — I

Situation: Thirtysomething couple shacked up for decade or so. She still doesn’t know if she is keeper or booty. The record seems to show the latter by his lack of interest in the former. She senses pressure to marry or get out, but she loves him dearly.

Problem: Her father seldom sees her. But he gets angrier, and keeps himself and her mother in a dither. He keeps fussing that he should apply pressure on her to move out or her partner to marry her.

Problem: She has started having anxiety attacks. Perhaps sensing father’s or other pressures, something pushes against her reluctance to put demands on her partner. They’ve been too good together, and she can’t stand the thought of doing without him.

Fact: Her partner is respected and well liked by all the family. Except he seems to have little interest in doing what’s right for daughter, as others determine what’s right.

Assumption: All parties hope to see the couple marry and hope that it lasts forever. Although partner’s hopes are unknown, he seems to favor remaining together.

Options: There are five options designed to encourage the couple to wed but the first four lack glue to hold them together for life. 1) Father initiates discussion/expectation with daughter, or 2) with her partner. 3) Daughter initiates discussion/expectation with partner. Or, 4) no one initiates discussion and they continue as they are living together now.

With option 5), however, daughter decides to act on her own initiative, without regard or discussion with others, and without regard for the outcome. She wants to be a better woman for herself. Although chanciest for the present, out of this option grows the greatest chance for lifetime marriage. Only her partner can figure out what’s best for him and make it last.

Option 1 and 2. Father initiates discussion/expectation with daughter or partner. His third party interference almost guarantees lack of marital success, either soon or lifetime. He immediately becomes a competitor of her partner, or pushes daughter into that role. Men don’t easily succumb to an outsider’s pressure into their territory. Partner also blames her and competition arises between the partners. Men don’t lose such battles and retain their self-respect. Even if he agrees and marries her, he’s likely bound up in regret, internal resistance, or even some bitterness. She will likely pay a big price someday, someway.

Option 3. Daughter tries to talk partner into marriage with sweetness and psychic need. Failing to get her way, she likely and eventually feels desperate and turns to threats—probably to depart their living arrangement. Unless he is so devoted to her and marriage that he wants to immediately make her feel better and assuage her negatives without regard for the price he pays, he will probably fight back. She has initiated competition to directly tell him how to live rather than use the indirect technique by which women successfully get their man to fulfill womanly wishes.

Men are highly unwilling to compete with their woman. They can fear losing to her more than actually losing her. Men so adroitly and clearly avoid competition with a woman; fear of losing exists in the male nature.

If he takes her pressure as competition, she will probably lose in the end. Most likely, he will resist while awaiting arguments to put against hers, resent her as she more assertively pushes forward on her agenda, and retaliate against any threats she puts in his face. Or, perhaps he might propose, marry her, and then hold it against her for however long they remain together. It’s another way that men avoid losing. If apparently forced to give in today, men plan to recover or retaliate later if not sooner.

Option 4. The couple continues with their present shack up arrangement and agreements. She spends her days in disappointment both to herself and her father. If anxiety attacks are caused by super disappointments already in her heart, they will probably worsen. Depression will likely set in if not already existing. Action cures depression, but by making no changes in their arrangement, she takes no action and opens the door for depression.

Option 5. Daughter changes her life by adopting a new set of values, standards, and expectations. She needs no one’s permission, only her determination to do what’s right for her.

Not married, she lives in sin, and it’s no longer acceptable. She goes celibate. She withdraws from sexual relations. She does not move out but practices virtual virginity while still living with him, and her reasons are multiple.

She revises her lifestyle to live up to higher quality expectations for herself. She seeks to feel better about herself, to respect herself more, to amplify her life with values that earn greater self-respect, self-admiration, self-importance, and self-gratitude for who she is and can become as a wife. She expects to also satisfy the less earthy and more respectable expectations of herself, parents, God, morality, and biblical teachings. IOW, she makes herself a better woman according to the proclamations and expectations of herself amid those she respects as more wonderful than herself. Good wifeing requires a stronger mind and heart.

Nothing against her partner, it’s all about her. If he finds fault, it is hers. If he condemns her—he has the shack up privilege if not the marital right—but it’s her life. If he considers her unqualified for his life, so be it. If he can live without her in his life, then they are not compatible enough anyway.

She releases him. The choice is his to do with his life whatever appeals to him. She decides that she would rather be true to herself as a good wifely prospect, than live in sin with an old friend such as he and even amid all the blessings she inherits living with him.

He’s a very good man for her, but she has to become a better woman. If she can’t live with herself, she can’t do what she expects to do with whatever husband with whom she ends up.

If he wishes to start over and win her for himself, she’s not against it. However, she’s smart if she doesn’t tell him, but lets him figure out by himself just exactly how he should proceed.

If he proposes, she wins. If he doesn’t, he was never good enough, and she wins by wasting no more time trying to morph him into Mr. Right.


Filed under courtship, Dear daughter, feminine, Her glory, How she wins, marriage, sex differences

7 responses to “2617. When Shack-up Ain’t Enough — I

  1. My Husband's Wife

    I wish this 30-year-old gal all the strength and courage she needs to get through this tough spot and commend her for wanting more for herself. Having a well-thought-out plan as outlined in this post is essential.

    Option #5 seems like a win-win for all:
    1. A win for her as she upgrades her expectations for long-term happiness—with or without him.
    2. For her family as they gain a mature daughter who quietly handles her relationship issues on her own without fighting with them.
    3. For him as he will either figure out how to step up to her expectations or be freed to not take advantage of a virtuous woman any longer.

    Your Highness My Husband’s Wife,

    Clear thinking with your win-win items. Thanks.

    I purposely did not address the issue of her moving out or staying, because I too strongly favor moving out ASAP. I hoped to get feedback from you ladies before I disclosed. More explained at MeowMeow and Kay nearby and a new article to be posted perhaps on Saturday.


  2. Meow Meow

    A very topical, typical example! I have several girlfriends in this situation. Too comfortable to rock the boat, but too uncomfortable to be really happy shacking up but unmarried. They tend to be younger/never married. (My older divorced/widowed lady friends seem to care less about (or actively do not want) marriage whether living together or not.)

    Another question. If our girl chooses to move out, again not placing the blame on anyone but herself for maybe acting too quickly or not thinking things through and withdraws to her own space again, could that have the same effect as going celibate while living together? It might cause less stress to not have to sleep together while not “sleeping together” and affords both couples a chance to re-evaluate what they want in their relationship without pressure, allowing both to save face. I hope that isn’t “nuking the relationship” from the male perspective.

    Your Highness Meow Meow,

    The effects differ greatly if she stays or moves out. More later in a new article probably posted on Saturday.

    Clear thinking, my dear. Thanks. I saved my thoughts for later, and you’ll see them in an article soon. Actually, I favor ‘nuking the relationship’ by her taking full charge of her life and challenging him to start over if he wants her bad enough.


  3. Kay

    I think she should move out. If she is ” nuking the relationship” by doing so that pretty much says it all right there. They both need to get clarity on their feelings and they aren’t going to get it living together.

    Your Highness Kay,
    I agree whole heartedly with you. New article will expand on it, probably post it on Saturday.

  4. Mia

    wow, this is really accurate. A relative is in a similar situation – and the father is not happy about it. But with all the options listed so neatly, it sounds like a lose-lose situation. Moving out without much drama seems like the best option.

  5. Josie

    Well to me moving in a with a bf your are giving him all the power to drive the relationship at his pace. He is winning and you are losing…you are giving him everything only a husband deserves. I always remember this saying “why buy the cow if you can get milk for free” I didn’t understand this saying when I was younger but now It makes perfect sense and it’s so true. I had an ex bf a NOT Mr. Good enough try to brainwash me into moving in because this the new trend, this what “young couples” are doing now. I was just listening on what he had to say I smiled and replied “the only man I’m moving in with would be the day I marry my HUSBAND!!” Let’s just say that was the last time I ever heard him mentioned “us” moving in together. He talk about having children, but not always clear about the future (very vague, indecisive, and was taking me for granted) and asked “do you want children” my reply “of course I do, but with my husband”. I always mention husband but I never once mention I wanted to marry him… I guess he found it strange that I never mention him I wanted to marry him or looked eager lol. It didn’t take long for him start talking about marriage and children and me being his wife. But with him it was all talk the talk, but not walk the walk which meant more to me.

    Your Highness Josie,
    Welcome aboard. I love it when pretty women join us on this cruise on WhatWomenNeverHear.

  6. If she’s chosen #5, and he’s smart, he’ll do everything to keep her. She’s a real keeper! As a parent, it would be so hard to keep quiet. Somewhere, the daughter learned to be a better woman. That is what we as parents should focus on even though it’s so hard to keep advice to ourselves. Another good lesson, Sir Guy.

  7. Paris

    I saw your new article, so I know that you favor moving out and so do I! I’ve never shacked up, but I’ve talked to enough single guys (two who were acting interested in *me* no less) tell me things weren’t serious with the woman living with her house. ALL (but one) said something along the lines of “oh, she knows it’s not going anywhere…if she wanted to get married she would have required that before moving in! The one who did not had already proposed to the woman who was moving in and he was deploying a few weeks later. They were married when his deployment is over, and I no longer keep in touch to know the quality of the relationship. But *EVERY* other guy I knew in my 30s with a live in girlfriend basically looked at her as cook, maid, help with his errands and kids if any were in the picture until *the real thing* came along. I used to pretty bluntly ask men things like this because I was shocked to find myself divorced in my 30s and realized I didn’t understand men at all! I wish I’d have had this blog back then – Sir Guy thanks for your labor of love!

    Your Highness Paris,

    Welcome aboard. I love it when pretty women join us on this cruise on WhatWomenNeverHear.

    You confirmed it. Women don’t know jack about men and so little about the female nature that they ignore their hearts.


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