I am 24 years old and I am dating a 64 year old man. He wanted to get married, but I found out that he had never been divorced. Have I been ripped off?

I am 24 years old and have been in a relationship for five years with a 64 year old man. He’s financially secure, he’s taking us on vacation, and he wanted to get married when we first met. He was in the US Army and has been married for over 30 years with two grown children.

He and I took a trip to a lake and we had an amazing time. I found out later that we were there so he could finalize his divorce. It never happened, and I was never informed. I didn’t ask any questions either. I trusted him. I really don’t know how to move our relationship forward. I confronted him with not being divorced, and his excuse was that he didn’t have enough time.

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I often feel guilty for being in this situation – the pain I feel for being in love with someone that I may never be for myself. When the relationship started he wanted to get married, but now things have changed and it has come as a shock to me. I didn’t want to get married at first because I wasn’t sure that was what I wanted from this relationship.

But now marriage is no longer an option and, it seems, a preference for him. The day will never come for us to get married. It breaks my heart. Have I been ripped off? He’s everything I’ve ever wanted in a person: he’s smart, funny, smart, caring, and good looking.

Sorry

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Dear broken heart,

Add unavailable to this list.

People sometimes say what they think the other person wants to hear, especially if they want something from that person: company, love, sex. The same goes for businesses: I know what problem you want to solve and I can provide the solution for you. Of course, the courts are full of claims that a business partner or an entrepreneur or a former romantic partner was not who they claimed to be.

Divorce is a huge emotional and financial upheaval. He can be happy with his life as it is. He doesn’t have to pay an ex-wife alimony, split his property 50/50, pay outrageous attorney fees, get married and start over at 65, assuming that’s the age he will be when he finally has a single man. I guess the last thing he wants to do is remarry so soon after his divorce – if he ever decides to divorce, what I’m saying is unlikely. Plus, you’re dating now, and he knows you love him, and you’ve both invested time and created memories.

The world and the dating sites are full of married men; men do not mention their marital status or the fact that they are still living with their ex-partner until days or weeks after the start of the relationship. At that point, you will like the person and, I guess, trust them. As such, you are more likely to buy what they are selling and ignore the lie of omission. That’s why they call it a trust trick.

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Charlie Munger, vice president of Berkshire Hathaway, spoke about the psychology of human error in judgment in a famous 1995 lecture to a class at Harvard University. Munger has never taken a course in psychology or economics, but he gives a fascinating point-by-point look at all the ways we lie to each other and To allow others to lie to us. Here is a very brief rundown of the top five:

No. 1. Psychological denial. We believe what we want to be true. It is considered to be one of the most basic defense mechanisms we carry into adulthood, as it has its roots in early childhood development, but it often influences our decisions related to finances and romance.

N ° 2. Incentive cause bias. The reward outweighs the risk and / or doubts you may have. “Take sales presentations from commercial real estate business brokers,” Munger said. “I’ve never seen one that I thought was even at the distance of objective truth.”

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N ° 3. Tendency to commitment. It is a “superpower in the psychological tendency to error,” said Munger. You’ve been waiting for that diamond engagement ring or that bus or the return of that stock you bought in 1999, so it’s more likely to happen, right? Wrong.

No. 4. Self-confirmation bias. We are looking for evidence that supports our wishes and / or beliefs. Nowhere is this more powerful, perhaps, than social media and the “echo chambers” that exist on Facebook and Twitter, as social media companies tailor algorithms to our tastes and preferences. dislikes.

N ° 5. Agency fees. It comes into play when we over-trust paid financial advisers, doctors, lawyers, religious leaders, politicians, business leaders, or in your case, a romantic partner with more life experience than you. you.

“The cash register was a great moral instrument,” said Munger. This helps employers know that their staff are not neglecting them. Cash registers produce receipts. You too must have at least one receipt: a divorce decree. And, let’s not forget, all of these judgment errors can be true for your boyfriend as well. He probably couldn’t believe his luck, and he might have lied to himself as well.

You can email The Moneyist with any financial and ethical questions related to the coronavirus at qfottrell@marketwatch.com

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