I believe we can learn a lot from each other’s difficulties and accomplishments. I created the Ask Dr. Michelle column to share my advice with many people at the same time, who although they don’t know it, are often facing some of the same challenges. I hope that my comments provide you with some insight into situations that you are facing in your life. If you have a question that you want me to answer, submit it below. I wish you all the best. (I try to answer as many questions as possible, but please understand that due to the number of questions that I receive I am not able to answer every question.)
I have been dating this woman for just about three years. We had a good relationship and I love her a lot. She wanted to marry me and gave me an ultimatum that if I didn’t marry her she was going to the west coast to work for her family. I told her that I loved her but the marriage thing scares me. She has been out there for six months now. I want her back so bad now and told her about a month ago that I want to marry her, but she says that the things she wanted in life have changed and she needs to further her self in life. I told her I made a huge mistake and I will do anything. I have a good job and have been with the same company for 20 years but I don’t know if living out west has made her see bigger and better things. I am not a cheater. I work hard but was just scared to get married again after a failed marriage seven years ago. I have never felt this way before about a woman. I told her how I feel about her and even called her mother. Do I now give her, her space? We use to talk almost every day. I don’t know what I should do. She tells me I’m too late. She struggled here with jobs and maybe I should have helped her with that more. She said to me that everyone thought she would fail out there but she is still there. What can I do? It’s hard not to cry when I talk to her. She said she doesn’t need to start a relationship. I have never seen her act this way before and be so cold.
It sounds like your ex-girlfriend is focusing on getting herself together and doesn’t want to rush back into a relationship with you based on the POSSIBILITY that you are ready now. You said that it was hard for her to find good work back at home and that nobody thought she would make it out west. Now she has found good work and is making it on her own, you want to come back into the picture. Even though she has moved on with her life, you want her to move back home to be with you because you are NOW ready to get married. That’s a hard decision for her to make. There is nothing wrong with being hesitant to remarry after a failed marriage, but from her perspective, you weren’t ready and since nothing great was keeping her at home, she moved away and started a new life. Now that she is happy and successful where she is, you are asking her to give all of that up on the CHANCE that you are now ready to marry her. You want her to give up her new life and career and she is thinking that you should have said all of this before she left town. If she was struggling living at home before, she may fear that she will struggle again if she moves back.
If you are serious about her being “the one,” maybe you should consider moving out west and joining her. Can you get a transfer at your job? Interested in making a change after all these years? In your mind it makes the most sense for you to stay at your job because you’ve been there for so long and for her to come home because that is where you both started. But in her mind she may feel that if you want her: 1)you have to prove it; 2) you have to win back her trust and confidence in you and your relationship; and 3) you have to accept her desire to have her own life, goals and aspirations. You keep asking her to get on YOUR program: to get married when YOU want and to move to where YOU live. There are no guarantees, but if you want to show her that you are really serious, you may have to make some moves toward getting on HER program. And I have to be real with you, six months away from you coupled with the fact that she doesn’t act too excited about you anymore could mean that she isn’t just upset about what happened, it could mean that she is in fact over you. So you have a big risk to take, figuring out how far to go to try to win her back, realizing that she may already be gone and no sacrifice, no matter how big, will change her mind.
Give it some more time. She needs time to see that you are serious and that this isn’t just a good mood you are in right now. And you need time to see if she is interesting in getting back together with you, before you go and do something drastic to prove your love to her.
I wish you all the best!