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Dr. Tom
Dr. Tom, Tom Smith, Ph.D.
Category: Relationship
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Experience:  Dr. Smith has been offering counseling for over 37 years.
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3 weeks ago, my girlfriend left me to move to California to

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3 weeks ago, my girlfriend left me to move to California to go to school, and she left me with nothing a note. We've since been talking, and she told me my relationship issues are also a reason she left. I've vowed to change these things, I've started therapy already, and we've decided to try to work it out. She's going to be gone for 3 months for her program, and then possibly return if we work it out.

I'm leaving tomorrow to go visit her for a few days. We've had a lot of positive conversations, and were both looking forward to it. I was even planning on proposing, which is something I should have done a long time ago.

We loosely talked about our future last night, and the prospect of marriage and a family. She's told me she's always wanted me to seek her father's blessing before proposing, and reaffirmed that last night. So I told her she needed to tell her father of my impending visit, and our intention to work it out.

She did so this morning, and he flipped out, telling her it was a terrible idea, and she should leave there and not see me. And he then proceeded to keep calling her, each time becoming more vocal of his disapproval. I barely know him, and his main judgement of me is the result of her expressing her issues with me recently leading up to her leaving. So obviously, there is zero chance of me getting his blessing now, maybe not ever. What should I do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dr. Tom replied 1 year ago.
It depends upon her. What does she want more ... her father's blessing or you? If it is you, you can elope but do not count on seeing her father anytime soon. If it is her father, this relationship may not be for you. Moreover, have you discussed things like how you will deal with money issues, living together, division of labor and other important things that need to be worked out before you get yourself into a relationship that is supposed to last forever? Getting married is very serious. Have you considered a prenuptial agreement in case things do not work out? Remember, marriage is a contract with many legal ramifications. Dr. Tom
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

We've talked about the financials, and I fully support her going to school. We've been together over 2 years, we've lived together for 1. Her family, including her father, really pushed her to move back home to do this. They hate that she has been living in Wisconsin.


 


When we were together, she thought I would be proposing much sooner, as I definitely led her to believe that. And I never acted. She said part of her leaving was she didn't know where our relationship was going. She's also told me in the past, several times, that the ring doesn't matter, I could give her a piece of gravel and she would say yes to a proposal.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hello? Are you still there?

Expert:  Dr. Tom replied 1 year ago.
I am not sure I understand what you mean when you say, "Her family, including her father, really pushed her to move back home to do this". To do what? If you really love her and she loves you, both of you need to arrive at a decision about marriage. You are both adults and can make your own decisions regardless of what her father thinks. Everything I said before still stands. What do you and her want to do? This is a mutual decision only the two of you can make.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I mean they wanted her to leave me and move back home to go to school. We both want to work things out, get married, start a family. But she also really wants her fathers blessing.

Expert:  Dr. Tom replied 1 year ago.
It does not appear that she is going to get her father's blessing considering what you have said about him. Is she willing to marry and start a family without her father's approval? When a woman marries, her husband comes before her father and for a man his wife before his mother; that is how families get started with two responsible adults who are taking 100% responsibility for the relationship. Again, you both need to sit down alone and come to a decision about your future.
Dr. Tom, Tom Smith, Ph.D.
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 23
Experience: Dr. Smith has been offering counseling for over 37 years.
Dr. Tom and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Tom replied 1 year ago.

It is tempting to tell you what to do, but that is not within the scope of my ethical responsibilities. I am however, interested in hearing how you resolved your issue. My hope is that you marry if you both truly love one another. I recall counseling a young couple to do just that in the face of their entire family being against it. They have now been married for 5 years and have two beautiful children. Needless to say, the grandparents are now also happy. Not to say this will occur in your case. Sooner or later we must do what we must do without our parents approval; then, we are grown up.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I understand the ethics, bit I'm not looking to be told what to do. I'm simply looking for the perspective of someone with the ability to put themselves in my shoes and tell me what they would do. I may very well not even heed the advice, I'm more looking for someone else's take.

Expert:  Dr. Tom replied 1 year ago.
I applaud your independent thinking and spirit! You are correct, getting another perspective helps bring things into focus. Good luck!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

And that perspective would be...

Expert:  Dr. Tom replied 1 year ago.
I guess my overall perspective is that you must make some serious decisions on your own with your beloved about whether you want to spend the rest of your life together. If you love one another, you do not need anybody's permission or blessing to get married. You are both adults who can do what you want no matter what anybody else thinks about it. That's the botXXXXX XXXXXne.
Expert:  Dr. Tom replied 1 year ago.
I am interested in hearing how you resolved your issue. My hope is that you marry if you both truly love one another. All the best!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for the interest. We talked a lot and worked out a lot of issues. We even had a joint counseling session. I proposed to her and she said yes. She's going to finish out her 3 month commitment to her program, in hopes of securing a letter of recommendation and possibly publishing a paper in pursuit of her PHD. So she will be moving here for good in October.


 


We have not told either of her parents yet, as they are both clearly not on board. Our plan is to wait a bit, visit each other a few times, and hopefully let her family see the improvement in our relationship before telling them of our engagement and her plan to move back. Our hope is that in time, they will see we have thought this out, are doing the work, and eventually they will accept this. Time will tell how they feel, but at least we know we will be happy together, with or without their blessing. Thanks again.

Expert:  Dr. Tom replied 1 year ago.
Congratulations! I believe you have made the right decision and plan. You and your betrothed are to be commended on taking on this responsibility. Good luck to your beloved on finishing out her work and perhaps going for that doctorate degree. Yes, you both will be happy and that is what really, really matters. You are wise in giving it time regarding her parents. You have done very well!
All the best to you and if I can be of any help in the future do not hesitate to seek me out. Very truly yours,XXXXX
Dr. Tom, Tom Smith, Ph.D.
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 23
Experience: Dr. Smith has been offering counseling for over 37 years.
Dr. Tom and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the words, and the support. It's definitely reassuring to hear from someone outside looking in who thinks we handled this the right way.

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