Q: Hi Meredith,
I have been dating a man for just about two years now. He's sensitive and funny, great with kids, and absolutely stunning socially. He treats me right, he runs his own company, we communicate well, laugh a lot, and value each other's opinion. His family is stellar and they love me back. I'd like to know, though, other than cheating and substance abuse, what are the biggest breakups of marriages? Because my man and I are obviously on that path, and I worry that our issues are big ones.
For one, he can't leave a city that I can't stand. I came to the city we're in now for work, years ago, and as soon as we met we knew we had something really special so I've stayed, but the city is depressing to me and I miss the green and gratitude of the West Coast. I also love traveling. He can't move because his family is here and everyone is very close. His company is also here, and he can't leave it for more than a few weeks at a time.
Also, because of his work, hobbies, and family, I don't get the type of attention I crave. I grew up as a lone wolf, whereas he sees friends he's known since he was 8 every week. I'm used to being the center of a man's world, and although I don't *need* it, I do need to know I'm his priority.
And finally, there are financial issues. I grew up relatively well-off, traveling at least once a year. His profession isn't very lucrative.
Right now we are on a collision course for family -- we both want children, we love each other, and we're in our late-20s to early-30s. But with location, attention, and financial stress, will adding kids just push us over the edge? It's kinda the perfect time, but is this really just the perfect set up for disaster??
– Worried about marriage, Philadelphia
A: I can't predict the future, WAM, but this does sound like trouble.
The money stuff is big. His wonderful circle of friends bothers me less (I think you'd come to appreciate the community, especially if you had kids with this guy). But the biggest issue is location. You don't want to live on the East Coast anymore. The East Coast makes you sad. Meanwhile, he plans to live here forever. Isn't that the answer to your question? Would it be enough to visit the West Coast twice a year?
I know you love him, but this isn't the life you want. He deserves to be with someone who appreciates his beautiful East Coast life. And you deserve the right scenery.
Sit down and talk to him about how you'd like to spend the next decade. Don't hold back about your hopes and dreams. Then let him tell you his plan. If there isn't a compromise, give each other a break and seek out the lives you really want. Let go because you love each other.
Readers? Any ideas for compromise? Is love enough to keep them together? Should she walk away from someone this great? Is that easier said than done? Discuss.
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Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.