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Ryan LCSW, Relationships
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Experience:  Professional therapist
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Ive been in a relationship with a gentlemen for the last 15

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I've been in a relationship with a gentlemen for the last 15 months. We ar both 60 years old; I'm divorced for over ten years and he has been widowed for 6 years.
We have been living together for 11 months and became engaged 10 months ago.
He just confessed to me that he has been lately comparing me to his late wife. He wants us to seek counseling; however I don't feel I'm the one who needs counseling.
I feel betrayed. He talked with his late wife's uncle, who happens to be a minister, and he suggested that maybe we entered into this relationship to quickly. I'm ready to call it quits.
I've always been a very independent working women, and I dont' need this disappointment so late in my life.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Ryan LCSW replied 5 years ago.
Hey there,

I'm sorry to hear about what you're going through with your fiance, and can certainly understand why you'd be at the point where you want to call it quits. I do think it says something positive about your relationship that he was honest enough to tell you about these comparisons he's been making with you and his ex wife, and it does show some dedication on his behalf that he wants to work these problems out with you through counseling. You may be entirely correct that he is the one who has the problems that would necessitate counseling. At the same time, if this relationship is going to work out, these problems do affect both of you, so it would still be beneficial for you to go to counseling with him, even if it is just to support him and the relationship while helping him to work through his problems.

If you're at the point where you feel like this is more trouble than it is worth, I think it's important to listen to your instincts. The fact that this relationship already needs counseling may be enough of a red flag for you to end this now before you get even more involved. That's not to say that he can't work through these problems, or that this can't work. His own level of dedication to the relationship is a big part of making it work. Perhaps there is a middle ground between staying and leaving, and a separation would be appropriate while he works on himself and you decide whether or not this is worth it to you. Either way you have a right to protect yourself, and while you may care about him a lot, if this is going to be too much of a struggle or will risk too much disappointment, you may be right to consider moving forward on your own.

I certainly wish you the best and hope that I've been able to help you out. If there's anything else I can do to help just let me know.

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