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Marriage of convenience works, in theory

Updated: July 19, 2013 3:26PM



Jerome was 53 when he married Lacey. She was 33. They met just after he’d gotten divorced after 20 years of marriage. He had a diner in a college town. She was a student and a waitress.

The word was Lacey was sleeping with a couple of busboys, which made Jerome think that he might have a shot. He didn’t waste time on flowery sentiments.

“I asked her if she wanted to fool around,” he said.

And so began the relationship. Not the most romantic of beginnings, but a pretty good indication of what was to come. After a year of fooling around, Lacey moved in with Jerome.

“I paid all the bills, and she did as she pleased. During this time, I began to realize that she didn’t have anything that anyone would ever want in a wife, and she didn’t love me. She didn’t even like me. But, I loved her.”

Lacey became pregnant. Jerome wasn’t sure it was his.

“She didn’t really want to have the baby. She thought it would ruin her figure, and she didn’t want to be tied down with me. She was still very young.

“I wasn’t sure I wanted the child either because I knew she didn’t love me, and I didn’t think she would make a very good wife or mother. And I didn’t want to raise another man’s child. We decided she would have an abortion.”

The abortion was the death knell of the relationship. Lacey graduated from college and moved to another state. But they kept in touch.

Years went by.

“I started feeling guilty. She was getting older and if she ever wanted a child, it was close to being now or never. She was past 30. I wanted to give her another chance at motherhood. But, I wanted to make sure it was her decision. I told her I would marry her.

“She said she would. I kidded myself into thinking that she might actually have come to care for me, even though she really didn’t give me any reason to think so. I talked myself into it.”

It turned out that Lacey wasn’t really interested in having a baby. What she really wanted was someone to take care of her. She was tired of working and supporting herself.

“Marrying me was her way out,” he said.

The marriage, as you can imagine, was a disaster. Lacey acted as though she was doing Jerome a favor when she had sex with him. She had no interest in starting a family. He caught her fooling around.

They’re still married. They still living together. Jerome pays all the bills. Lacey does the bare minimum to keep the house going. She ignores him as much as possible.

“She has two dogs who receive considerably more attention and affection than I do. I wish she would leave, but I don’t see that happening. She said if I tried to get a divorce, she’d take me for everything I have. But why should I get a divorce? I have no interest in another woman. At least I still get to have occasional sex, even if it’s unsatisfactory.”

Are you in a May-December relationship? How’s that working for you? Send your tale, along with your questions, problems and rants, to cheryllavinrapp@gmail.com. And check out my website, askcheryl.net.



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