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Jen Helant
Jen Helant, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1386
Experience:  I have a degree in psychology and worked with many couples. I am happily married and have been for 10 years.
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Me and my girlfriend have been dating for 15 months, though

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Me and my girlfriend have been dating for 15 months, though she has been living abroad for half of that time and we have been doing long distance. My plan is to relocate to be with her. But there are a couple of road blocks...

She has an ex-boyfriend; a childhood friend who cheated on her for 6 months and tried to get back together with her last new years when she was dating me and he had his own girlfriend. I don't feel comfortable moving abroad to be with her if her ex is keeping in contact and I am paranoid he will try and take her away. I fully trust my girlfriend and love her and I know she would not leave me for him (I am 100% sure of that), but I hated hearing from her about he tried to kiss her after I had warned her it would happen, and I don't want that feeling to come up every time she hears from him. I don't want to be thinking all the time that this guy is trying to take her away. If she can forget her past, which would have been hard for her, I should be able to move on as well but I just can't seem to shake my feelings.

On top of this, her family including herself are mormon, which I am not. She has kind of strayed from her religion a bit but most of her family are very religious. Our plan is to move in together when I move, but this is highly against her religion as moving in before marriage is against mormon rules. She also would not be able to be married in the mormon temple if we get married one day, which her parents really want for her. Her parents, especially her mother, will be extremely negative towards me as well as her as a result of us moving in together. My girlfriend and I know that it will be very hard to be constantly told that we are doing wrong against her religion and that I will be her rock as her parents will try and force us apart, even more so then they have been already. I am not looking forward to having in-laws that hate me for the rest of my life. So not only will I be trying to reassure my girlfriend that we have nothing to worry about and all we need is each other, I will be under constant threat from her family as well as feelings of paranoia about her ex that I wish the feelings would just go away.

I am quite happy and everything is going well for me at the moment where I am living. However, we love each other so much and I really want to be with her, but we have just been talking about the road blocks mentioned above. I would rather relocate to be with her than stay here, but I will be leaving the good things I have where I live right now (life-long friends, family, job etc) to be with the love of my life, being constantly paranoid about her ex keeping in contact with her and her family not being accepting of the way we want to be. Thoughts???
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Jen Helant replied 3 years ago.
I am sorry about these roadblocks that are in front of you. I think you are very intelligent to consider these issues instead of jumping into things blindly even though you love her so much. This is very good.

About the ex boyfriend I think this is something easier to fix. It you trust your girlfriend and you are sure that she does not want to be with him then this is all that matters. If he continues to bother and harass then you and your girlfriend can let him know that you do not want him coming around anymore and if he continues you will contact authorities.

However, the religion is a bigger long term issue. If you know how her family feels then you need to think about if you would be able to handle this or not. Ask yourself how important is having your girlfriends family to you. Is it major or are you happy with just her even if they are negative.

If this is a big issue and you would like a good healthy family relationship for your future then you may want to think about how important she is to you and if she is enough for you to not have the family relationship in the future even if you have children.

I would also have a deep conversation with your girlfriend because religion plays a big part in a relationship. Some issues may not have come up between the two of you yet, but doesn't mean they won't. For example if you plan to have children one day how will the two of you raise them in which religion. Little minor disagreements I can certainly understand, but major differences that affect how people live is definitely something to consider.

You may also want to consider if you truly want to leave your family, friends, school and etc to move to a new land to be with her or is it better to just let her go. I would weigh all the pros and cons of the situation then go from there.

I wish you the best with this and hope it all works out.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks very much.


With the ex-bf thing, its just that I feel like he has ulterior motives in wanting to stay friends with her. She would tell me if he got out of line again, but the fact that he tried making a move on her the first time while we were dating and after he had already screwed things up with her makes me despise him, but she wants to still be friends him, which she knows upsets me. Want to shake the feelings I have and move on. I'm guessing I just swallow my paranoia and hope for the best?

And yeah we have had a talk about that sort of stuff, not too intensely though. Like I am happy with my kids being raised mormon if we have kids, but yeah its the having in-laws that don't approve of me thing that is the bad part. And I'm unsure if that will have a negative impact on the kids possibly seeing their dislike for me and possibly my reluctance to go and see them if they do disapprove of me. It could make the kids think that their dad doesn't want to see their grandparents and could give them a bias point of view. Any thoughts on that?


Its quite hard and don't know what to do. Your advice has been helpful.

Expert:  Jen Helant replied 3 years ago.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Was there a mistake? Your reply is 'I'
Expert:  Jen Helant replied 3 years ago.
I apologize for that. I had technical issues before.

I do agree with you about your future children seeing that type of relationship and thinking it is normal could be a problem. You have very good insight to this and agree with you. It can cause them some confusion and difficulties, but I wouldn't say as much as when two parents can not agree. For example if you were against mormon all together, but since you do not mind then that shouldn't be an issue. However, if you do not practice the religion they can question that as well as think they may not need to as well.

About the ex if she wants to remain friends with him then that is a whole other issue. If he is a negative influence on your relationship with her maybe you can try talking with her to see your point of view. Ultimately she would need to be the one to either keep or stop the friendship.

I would weigh these things out with the positive and see which is more important to you. Plus there is nothing wrong with taking some time to think. If you are not sure then there is no need to rush into moving until you are sure that you are ready.
Jen Helant, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1386
Experience: I have a degree in psychology and worked with many couples. I am happily married and have been for 10 years.
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