Dear Dr. Michelle,
I was reading your website and it inspired me to write to you about my relationship. We met through friends in October 2006 and it was perfect except for the fact he was here visiting. He lives overseas so our first year (2006), we spent a total of one month together. When he went home, we continued talking over the phone. In 2007 he came back and stayed with me for 7 months. Now, 2008, he’s returned and again with an open ticket which entitles him to stay for 6 months. I feel ready to get married, to go to the next level, but he is a little more torn than me because if we marry it will mean he has to come and live here. It’s a hard decision for him to make. He’s torn between his homeland and me. I offered to move to his country but since his parents have both passed on and mine are still alive he wants to stay close to my family. I know what we share is special but I can’t help but feel insecure because I know if a decision is not made by the time his trip is through our relationship will end. He and I always promised to be honest and up front with one another. To date I believe we have done just that. Upon his return this year he very openly told me that if this year goes by and he still can’t decide if we are ready for marriage (he feels we still don’t completely know each other, because we haven’t spent enough time together) then this will be his last trip and our relationship will end.
You see it’s very expensive to come here and stay for that amount of time, but besides that it’s almost for him like living 2 lives, 1/2 a year here and 1/2 a year there and it’s very hard for him not being able to put down roots and he really wants to. It’s just he’s not sure where….. I am some what devastated by this because I never pictured an end to our love and I am so ready to spend the rest of my life with him, but I also understand he has some difficult choices to make and I guess I’m just asking for guidance and advice.
What to Do
Dear What to Do,
Perhaps the first question to ask him is what does he feel that you two need in order to really get to know each other. Then start putting that in to play. Premarital therapy may help you figure out what questions need to be asked to confirm that you are a good pair. However, only he can decide if he is ready or able to leave his homeland and come to a new country, leaving behind all that is familiar. Relax and enjoy the time together. Allow yourself to worry about the future only when it gets here.