Girlfriend offers an ultimatum

Girlfriend offers an ultimatum

QUESTION:

your avatar   Jay, 43-year-old man

Hello. I'm in my 40s and have been with several ladies over the years, but I'm at the point in my life when I want to be with "the one" and have a life partner. I am currently in a 4-month relationship with my girlfriend who is also in her 40s, is ready for a strong commitment, and wants to make plans for marriage. I feel like I love her very much but we have our issues, mainly because she is so strong and determined to move forward, which backs me into a corner. I feel like it's either get committed to marriage or move on.

I've had a Bahama trip planned with a buddy since the beginning of the year. We have done similar buddy trips for the past 10+ years and agreed this will be the last one - or at least next time we'll have lady friends with us. My girlfriend indicated that I shouldn't go on the trip and if I do, we will break up. Should I go or not? I don't want to abandon my buddy and not go at the last minute because he wouldn't be able to find anyone else with such short notice...but I also don't want to lose my girlfriend.

ANSWER:

    Bob Rich, Ph.D.

Dear Jay,

I can see the lady's point. She wants commitment, and is willing to give it in return. She is probably of the opinion that if you put your buddy ahead of her now, you will continue to put her second in the future too. Typically, people are more willing to make changes and sacrifices in the courting or honeymoon phase of a relationship, so if you put your buddy before her now, you'll certainly do so in five years time. So, why should she buy into a relationship in which she is guaranteed to be second best?

You have clearly stated a set of values; the kind of life you'd like to construct for yourself. It's one of long-term mutual commitment. Either you are ready for this, or you are not. You can't have it both ways. The choice is yours, and the criteria you choose are yours too.

Bob

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: http://anxietyanddepression-help.com

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