Stay together or stay away?


Stay together or stay away?


your avatar   Varshini, 20-year-old woman

My boyfriend and I were in love for six years. He is 7 years older than me and he is a chauffeur. He didn't study beyond primary school but that's okay with me as I love him. I strongly believed that I would marry him when I turned 21.

After recently having an abortion, I'm starting to have mixed feelings. Part of me says to listen to my parents and the other part of me says to listen to him. Both my mother and my boyfriend treat me like a princess. I am confused and guilty because I feel like If I choose him I'll suffer a great deal, and if I don't I'll still suffer because he is my first love and he didn't do anything wrong other than loving me with all his heart. I am also pursuing my Master's degree. I don't know whether to be with him or stay away from him.

I love my mom as much as I love him. I want to find a way in which both my boyfriend and my mom can be happy. I'm still not ready for marriage as I am currently doing my masters. If I left with him, I would have to discontinue my studies. I have told him to wait but I feel like I am hurting him by making him wait. I don't want to betray him - I wouldn't be able to forgive myself if I did. But I don't want to betray my mom either. What should I do now?


    Bob Rich, Ph.D.

Dear Varshini,

You haven't actually said so, but I assume your mother doesn't approve of this man, perhaps because of differences in education, money earning ability, and maybe also caste.

At 27, he is still a young man. I don't know what opportunities there are for adult education where you live. If it is possible, he could in effect complete high school with your help, and that may make your mother respect him more, and accept him.

Since you are doing a master's course, you must be intelligent. If he is able to hold your love, then he is probably intelligent too. That means that, with or without further education, he should be able to advance occupationally, until he can support you in your current lifestyle. If the two of you do get married, you'll probably have children, so you do need to think of how to live for the time while you can't work, so this is important. If he can do such things, there is a good chance that he can "earn" your mom's approval, which is what you want. It will also take him time, which will allow you to finish your education, and get a job to put it to use.

Let me know what you think, and what his reaction is to my suggestions.


This question was answered by Dr. Bob Rich. Dr. Rich has 30+ years of experience as a psychotherapist. Dr. Rich is also a writer and a "mudsmith". Bob is now retired from psychological practice, but still works with people as a counselor.For more information visit:


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