Amy Dickinson is a general advice columnist.
DEAR AMY: My boyfriend of four years is married. He and his wife separated months before we got together, and I am sure he has had limited to no contact with her while he is with me. But as I get older and friends are becoming engaged and married, I find myself wanting those things, too. Confronting him with the topic of filing for divorce ends in World War III. He says the only reason he hasn't filed for a divorce is due to laziness, but I worry it is more than that. My dilemma is that I have a 41/2-year-old son (my boyfriend is not his biological father). They adore each other, and he has been an amazing bonus dad. I feel bad complaining about his refusing to get a divorce because he has helped me raise my son. But his unwillingness to settle down with me is unfair. I can't walk away from the relationship because a child is involved. How can I approach the situation and express my feelings without sounding controlling?
-- Upset Girlfriend
DEAR UPSET: Your judgment seems so compromised, it is hard to advise you about a specific course of action, other than for you to take a long look in the mirror and make a promise to yourself to act in your son's best interests from here on out.
Ponder your choices: Committing to a married man who gets attached to your son but will not legally commit to either of you? Not in your son's best interests.
Being in a relationship with someone who engages in "World War III" when you try to talk about his choices and your future? Not in your son's best interests.
If you truly feel that "I haven't filed for a divorce because I'm too lazy" is anywhere near an acceptable answer, then you two might just deserve each other. Bringing this up is not controlling; it is raising a topic of importance to everyone.
Know this, however: Locking this guy down with marriage is no guarantee he will stay.
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