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Q: Hi Meredith,
I am in a world of confusion and not quite sure where to go from here. My girlfriend and I met in college. We hit it off immediately and had a great, loving, and passionate relationship. She is from another state and I'm from Massachusetts. At the time of graduation, I offered to look for jobs in her home state so that she could return to her family's farm. It was my No. 1 priority to stay with the woman I love. She expressed no interest in returning down there, saying that she wanted to stay in Massachusetts. All of her friends were here and staying together was important to us. She also said that she wanted to get married. I agreed; we loved each other so much it was the best plan for us. I was thrilled and was lucky enough to find a great job in Boston. I bought us a house and eventually proposed to her about a year after graduation. This is when the problems started.
After the initial excitement of getting engaged and we started to settle down and make wedding plans, I noticed some problems. She was burning through jobs. It ended up being nearly 4 in a 5 month stretch. She's also become very paranoid. I constantly find her going through my phone, email, and bills. When I catch her, she usually makes a joke. She stopped making wedding plans and her attitude changed to "we will figure it out as we go."
Then things came to a head. Two days after she asked a family member of mine to be a bridesmaid, she said she was leaving and moving home for a while to help with the farm. After being gone for six years, I was a little taken aback but I understood and I ended up visiting her just about every weekend. She promised that she would eventually come home but didn't. My visits started to turn worse, she began to ignore me and make plans with other people. After a recent visit, I got a text message saying we should postpone the wedding. I was devastated and horribly confused.
I have tried talking with her, her response is usually, "I don't want to talk about this," then she either hangs up or changes the subject. I've been advised by some not to force discussion. I really don't know where to go from here. I love this woman, but I am very hurt. I planned my life around her and she just turns on me in such a short time. All of my friends and family said that she was constantly discussing wedding plans with them. Where did this come from? Is this worth fighting for or should I accept this is the end of the road and cut ties? I am really hoping for some advice on this!
– Where to go, Brookline
A: Sometimes relationships that work in college just don't seem as rosy a year or two after graduation, WTG. Your girlfriend/fiancee obviously didn't know what kind of life she wanted when she signed up for this big commitment. And as we all know, planning a wedding isn't the same thing as planning a marriage. She's been capable of choosing bridesmaids because that's part of the fun, but has she been capable of discussing what she'll want from your relationship in five years?
I understand that you've been advised not to nag her about all of this, but how can you not?
My advice is to tell her how you perceive the situation and what you need right now to keep yourself sane. You can say, "Based on what's happening in our lives, I assume that this wedding is off and that we're both taking some time to reevaluate what we want. I'd like to stop talking about the wedding and start thinking about whether we should stay together at all, and if so, how we should proceed.”
She's given you time for yourself so use it, please. Consider what you want from her. She was one thing in college but has become something else. Do you want to be with her now? Should you be pushing her to return?
Her move home is a gift. You were already having doubts. Right now, the idea of a party is distracting everyone. You need to focus on the basics. Take the wedding off the table and see how everybody feels.
Readers? Should he just cut ties now abruptly, or should he follow my advice by calling off the wedding and then reevaluating the relationship? What happened here? 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.