By Lost guy, The Star/ANNSunday, 10 July 2016
Dear Thelma" is a relationship advice column that appears in The Star, a publication that is part of the Asia News Network.
I am 28 years old. I have a girlfriend who is 31 years old. We have been together for 11 years now. Things were fine until a couple of years ago, when I began to feel the pressure to get married.
Her father and my father did not pressure us to get married, but after being together for more than a decade, I feel the pressure to marry her.
Picture posted by RSI Radiotelevisione svizzera on Thursday, 16 June 2016 at 22:15 - the suspense
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I don't have much savings and I am worried how we are going to cope with unexpected situations in the event of an illness or accident or traffic summons.
Because of all these pressures, I wonder if I should just let her go. She is the perfect girl for me; she is always there for me and stands by me through thick and thin. She understands my situation very well, and she knows that I have nothing to offer her materially. She is truly a wonderful person and I love her so much.
Our anniversary is coming up, and I am thinking of telling her that she deserves someone better. I don't mean to break her heart, but I do not want to destroy her future. I want her to have a good life with someone who can provide for her better than me.I feel I am useless, not well educated, and can't take good care of her. Life has been hard on me, and I have had my share of bad luck.
Picture posted by CharmaineZoe, (Painted Ladies)
Should I let her go, or should I stay and fight fate? I have thought of killing myself after telling her that I want to let her go. Have I lost my mind?
Dear Lost guy,
It is very noble of you to think about the well-being of your partner. Perhaps you are overthinking and this is causing you to become anxious. This anxiety may be turning into panic. This panic is making you think about drastic measures.
There is no reason to kill yourself. If you can just take a couple of steps back from where you are at the moment, you will see that there are solutions to your problem. There are things you can do now to make life better for yourself and your girlfriend.
One of the biggest reasons people become anxious is that they are over-focused on thoughts about the future.
The anxiety comes from the fact that there is very little one knows about the future - what will happen, how people will behave or react. The other thing is, one has very little control over the future. This makes worrying about the future a futile effort.
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The irony is that people know it is futile and this increases their anxiety. Because of this, you start catastrophising - thinking that the worst things will happen to you. When you think like this, it is as if you know it is going to happen. In actual fact, this may be far from the truth.
One of the best ways to deal with anxiety is to reduce the amount of unknown. In your case, this is what you should do now - try and focus on ways to help yourself. It can be done very easily.
You are worrying about the future of your relationship when you don't even know for sure what it is your girlfriend wants. You say there is no pressure on you to get married. Yet, you think it is important that you settle down soon.
Why don't you ask your girlfriend what she wants? Don't focus on what your father, or hers, want. What is most important is what the two of you want.
Picture posted by Kitty Bucholtz (pronounced boohôltz) on 15 February 2016
People often assume that just because they have reached a certain stage in their relationship, it is expected that they get married. Many people make this assumption without first discussing with their partner, their goals for the future. Some don't even discuss if they see a future together!
You don't have to make the leap without knowing what you are jumping into. Talk to your girlfriend. Ask her what her expectations are of you. You seem to have taken it upon yourself to be the giver of everything in your relationship. Is this what she expects of you, or what you expect of yourself?
You seem to have this overly high expectation of yourself to be the provider and protector of your girlfriend. This is a hard task for anyone, irrespective of their income or wealth. We are all only human. The best we can be is ourselves. We have to have expectations of ourselves that are realistic and fair.
Picture posted by Jornal de Jundiai on 10 October 2014 at 20:11
No one can do everything. Neither can they be everything. No one else expects this from you. Only you have this view of yourself. Perhaps it is time to put things in perspective and change these expectations.
You and your girlfriend have been together for a long time - 11 years! Your girlfriend knows very well what your situation is. Don't you think if she wanted something else - someone who can give her all the things you think you cannot - she would have moved on already?
Yet, you seem to be uncertain about her commitment to you and the relationship. For your upcoming anniversary,
instead of initiating a break-up, why don't you start a conversation about where you want your life to head?
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Be honest with her about your fears. Let her know how you really feel. Let her know what you want, for yourself and your relationship. Also, let her know that you are thinking about her and her future. That is the most important thing.
If you love and respect her, you must know that she can make decisions for herself. Instead of assuming what she wants, why don't you ask what she wants? Let her decide what she needs to do with her life. It is her decision if she wants to continue this relationship with you. She can tell you if being with you is going to destroy her future. You decide for yourself, and she will decide for herself.
The other thing about anxiety is that it can overwhelm someone to the extent that they lose focus of what they can do to help reduce their uncertainty of the future. Your concerns are mainly financial. The current economic situation is not ideal but one can still start to save for the future.
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If you are worried about your finances, you have to sit down and take a good hard look at your expenditure and decide on what you can give up and where you can save. It may be laborious, but it can be done.
Here is where you can ask for help from your partner. There is no point in being shy about this. You have to be honest with her if she is going to make an informed decision about your life together.
Work with her. Start looking at your future together as partners. Being partners means you share everything together - the good and the bad. It means you never have to do things alone.
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When you are overwhelmed by thoughts of the future, it is easy to feel hopeless and even useless. Instead of asking what you can do to solve your problem, you were focusing on all the things you can't do. And you did not realise that the solutions are right there all along.
Love does not have to mean sacrifice. Love means fighting together for a shared vision of the future. It means sharing the load. All it takes is for you to drop your ego, and the self-imposed unrealistic expectations of yourself.
There are always solutions to a problem. Suicide is not an option. Giving up isn't either. If you don't give up on yourself, others will not do so either. Trust yourself, trust the love your girlfriend has for you, trust your relationship.
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By Lost guy, The Star/ANNSunday, 10 July 2016
Picture posted by Boris Todorov on Wednesday, 30 April 2014 at 20:30 - Edouard Debat-Ponsan
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