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QUESTIONS & ANSWERS:
Relationships Department

Please remember, this column is designed to help the consumer seeking behavioral-health information, and not intended to be any form of psychotherapy or a replacement for professional, individualized services. Opinions expressed in the column are those of the columnist and do not represent the position of other SelfhelpMagazine.com staff.

Question

I broke up my relationship with my live in lover after a 6 year committed relationship. I am 40 year old male and she is 36 years old. I wanted to begin a family and marry. She always had an excuse; first, she wanted to secure her career; second, her mother was dying of cancer; third, she was unsure about being a mother; and fourth, she felt once people married, the relationships changed for the worst.

Answer

Well, it looks like you have given you lover every opportunity to work thru her problems which interfered with her committing to marry and have a family. Six years is more than ample time. A good question to ask yourself is why you hung in so long? Is this a problem of yours that you get attracted to people who can't commit. Does this give you an excuse so you don't have to face going to the next level of commitment of having a family? Take some time now to heal, surround yourself with place and people that enable you to be calm and feel nurtured. Expect to feel sad, depressed and lonely. Eventually, as you work thru your feelings, you might become angry and enraged. Also thru this process you might realize your part in the continuation of the non-marriage relationship and how you pick and stay with such a person who disappoints and frustrates you. Thru this process you can make necessary changes within yourself that will enable you to let go of your lover and make room within your heart for a new life and relationship.

3/5/98

Dr. Patricia Pitta is a clinical psychologist practicing in Manhasset, New York, for more than 20 years. She is a Diplomat in Family Psychology of the American Psychological Association and an Approved Supervisor of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy. Dr. Pitta is also the President of the Long Island Association of Marriage and Family Therapy.

She has created a treatment modality that enables the partners to accept responsibility for their parts in relationship problems leading to resolution of issues without getting stuck in blame. She encourages self growth which enhances couple growth and family development.

 

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