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Ask TherapistMaryAnn Your Own Question
TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1695
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
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When your mate say our relationship needs to be on hold,until

Customer Question

When your mate say our relationship needs to be on hold,until he gets his finances straight you ask how long is the hold hopefully not long let nature take its course
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 1 year ago.
The attitudes related to your concern are a combination of feelings (anxious, frustrated are yours)--But what about empathy for his feelings: anxiety about his work and financial situation, and likely also embarrassment when he doesn't feel solid and stable enough to give his attention to your needs and feelings. He's probably feeling something like an emergency situation, which is what you might be feeling if your mother or father were sick and really needed you. (Wouldn't you put your relationship on hold if you needed to attend to important concerns about your parents?This situation you're talking about feels different if you've been partners for a long time--when you might be both equally dedicated to an emergency, whether it were his financial well being or your parent's well-being. So I imagine your request for an expert to agree with you that he shouldn't put your relationship on hold for long at all must be occurring in the first half year of your relationship--or you're in a long-distance relationship where most of your contact is Internet and/or telephone.You're writing suggests that you want him to put just as much time and effort into the relationship as you do As Soon As Possible. And that expectation suggests to me that your relationship has not yet reached a stable state where you're both convinced of equal commitment to the long-term future.So how long have you been doing a relationship together? And are you in the same area, or relating from separate dwellings at a considerable distance?I'd like to know more about the history of your relationship, including its duration, your ages, and your present goals and uppermost values in your lives, before going any further. I do know that most men don't feel ready to present themselves as romantic lovers and/or aspiring to partnership, until they feel confident in their ability to take care of themselves and another person financially.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We've known each other for 2 years and we've dated for a year he lives in Houston and I'm in Louisiana
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He says I'm pushing him awayall we have are phone calls and text messages and he says that he's tired of me helping him when he falls short but yet he still ask so this is when I will come vexed so what do I do do I wait 3 months to see if he can get his self together or what do I do... he's also helping his sister pay her bills in my house I help my mom too but every time he gets paid he is always something that needs to be paid in that house
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I need to also tell you that we broke up on a Monday he drove down on a Friday and says I'm not his ex love the relationship definitely needs to be on hold so I asked can we see other people he exploded and said this is not about a woman I need to get straight but I was only asking a question
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am 44 he is 49 I am Baptist he is Jehovah Witness already have a ring on my finger its a preengagement ring though.
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. This clarifies a lot. You are each taking care of family members, so you're not free to just focus on each other. You're both religious in ways that expect very strict moral standards of you--where an outsider who gives less priority to his or her religious community might observe that romantic love appears to not have the motivating power that it's assumed to have in the secular American society. His religious community may give less priority to romantic love than yours--yet everyone living in American society can be aware of an inner struggle between individual(istic) romantic love -- with its direct influence on our emotions -- and both 1. family loyalties and 2, religious convictions.It sounds like his family loyalties have tied him up far longer (his age) than yours have. One year of dating is very appropriate for you to face this crisis together: How are you going to shift your competing loyalties, IF AT ALL? The financial restrictions your families have are due to economic powers greater than your own, and only major political movement can change that. But if you shifted your "rules of engagement" so you're making more financial decisions by mutual agreement, your hope in the future could improve.HE HAS ASSURED YOU THAT HE WANTS YOUR FUTURE TO BE TOGETHER. But it's not clear to me whether he realizes what changes he needs to make in his other 2 priorities or how he can make them. Many Jehovah's Witnesses are known for making no compromises with anyone outside of their community and for ostracizing those who do make compromises. Have you discussed this issue with him? Do you have to convert to JW to marry him? Seems to me that this could be a make-or-break-it issue for your relationship. Do you know what the outcome might be if you insist on a thorough discussion of all aspects of that? Since you are willing to break up, it's a good time to face every aspect of both types of competing loyalties, and both yours and his. What do you think about that?
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 1 year ago.
I can't say "I know how you should re-allocate your time, energy and money between your relationship, your family members and your churches." Because I am retired, taking medical care of both my wife and my daughter with time, energy and financial resources, and always adjusting my own priorities to "make ends meet" between my own needs and goals and theirs.But I suggest that you ask for a full discussion of how you will each manage your 4 types of priorities--partnership, families, religious convictions&communities, and yourself -- because your experiences of how that happens may help you decide if you want this dating relationship to lead to marriage or not. You might have to ask repeatedly for this discussion, and even push for it to continue beyond the limits that his religious and/or personal convictions allow. And you might both be unpracticed for such a difficult-to- agree-on subject matter. You might find yourselves unable to "carry the discussion to a successful conclusion the first or second time--or more. You might find out that your religious convictions about the proper roles and behavior of man and woman don't match as well as you'd like them to. But it will do you a lot of good to move this discussion as far as you can, now and for your future wishes in this or any other relationship. (For once you have overcome your own caution once about exploring such a sensitive topic, you'll find it easier to do it again when you need to.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Since the last time I've text you on my situation as of today as of right now I found comfort with praying more and just keeping myself busy while he decides on what's going to happen for as his finances
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Wow he's getting his self together I plan on staying busy and focusing on my plans and my goals and hopefully he can see whatever it is that's holding us up and I'll let him make that decision
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I must tell you this that even though he is this one parent is not so I don't believe that I have to convert he has never said that I had to he only told me to see what it was about I think that he is allowing me to decide on that
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't try to bother him as much I give him his space because that is what he asks of me I only call to briefly speak to him on certain matters but I don't mention our relationship and where it's going because of what he has already said I don't want to put any more strain on him .
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 1 year ago.
Then I understand that your conclusion for now is that you'll give him more time, and not try to begin discussion of the guidelines of your relationship (as a thing in the future). Perhaps the concerns I've brought up will help you take care of your own personality if and when you feel the need to define what you want and don't want. There are many areas of human life where individual and relationship psychology and religious doctrines may advise different actions or attitudes. I'm assuming neither you nor he has been married before, so working out your relating guidelines could continue to be difficult for you--with family loyalties as an additional category of relating guidelines.The famous Christian psychiatrist M. Scott Peck (author of The Road Less Traveled, the biggest bestselling self-help psychology book of the 1980s) asserted that marriage has two main purposes: to raise children; and to provide "intimate friction" between partners in love, so that each will need to allow relationship to grind down the rough edges of their (otherwise more self-centered) personalities. Most adults start this process 10-25 years younger (at least as it occurs in relationship, tho there are other ways that life can give us challenges to grind off our edges). But it's never too late to change, despite the emotional challenges that accompany it.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I've been married twice military he's been married once neither one of us has children the reason we're having problems it's not just he's helping his family for a year when he needed help also intervene and help him
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 1 year ago.
I had a very naive&different view of your history until this addition. With that history, I imagine neither of your religions have as much priority as your families do. Is he not military? (The military's priorities are also very powerful, and its culture can be very destructive of romantic relations and the ability to keep to personal commitments (with alcohol in the mix for self-medicating the demanding lifestyle (deployments etc.). It's surprising that neither of you have children to complicate matters. At least that part is simpler for the potential of starting a new phase of life together.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My boyfriend is still saying the same thing so I reminded him of everything that he did tell me this time and his request is still let me get myself together and I did tell him again get yourself together and I've already said that while he's doing that I will get myself together for his finances because I have helped him in the past I don't know if I told you that but I have so one day at a time
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I can do is I figured time absence does make the heart grow fonder I think we'll be ok

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