Q: My boyfriend wants to move across the country, but I don’t. My boyfriend is itching to move across the country because he thinks the West Coast suits him better. I don’t love my job, but I love my friends and the fact that my family is nearby in Philadelphia. And I know that if we move, it will basically be deciding to settle there. Marriage is not imminent, but we’ve been together for two years and we both want it to happen. Is it wrong that I’m not willing to consider this?
A: No, it’d be wrong for me to tell you what’s acceptable for your relationship. But are you truly not willing to consider it – as in, you would choose the East Coast over being with him? If your mind is made up that way, then I wonder if there’s enough love for you to be even thinking about marriage at all (it’s not like he’s asking you to relocate to a yurt in Turkmenistan). Now if you’d, um, consider considering a move, then here are things to think about: You don’t love your job and you can’t possibly “know” a move would be permanent. Maybe you can negotiate a probational move with a plan to re-evaluate in two years.
Q: My husband is a marriage counselor who thinks we should separate. I wish I were kidding. We have been having problems for years, but he has never given legitimate counseling a try. For what it’s worth, we don’t have children, but how can I get him to practice what he preaches?
A: I never like hearing about therapists who don’t seem to believe in therapy, but I don’t know much backstory here. Perhaps he believes (rightly or wrongly) that marriage counseling is no match for a fundamental incompatibility. One thing your husband sees on an hourly basis is that counseling can’t force the desire to stay together if it’s missing. It won’t come as a surprise that I think that individual therapy could benefit you. It’s time to work on maximizing your own fulfillment, even if it means breaking away from something you think you want.