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Friday, December 30, 2016

Commitment Issues: Part 3 of 3

[Dear Readers,

Sister Jo and I have been discussing what we see as a sad trend among young people in the Church:  Young Single Adults, men and women, giving up on wonderful relationships with wonderful people, sometimes not even giving these relationships much of a chance to start at all.

It happens for several different reasons.  

We know that modern media has clouded and confused the definitions of love and infatuation; that the prevalence of Social Media and Electronic Communication is crushing meaningful connections and real conversations; and that Satan is working very hard to lead our young people away from eternal relationships with one of his greatest tools:  fear.

Rather than take the risk and do the hard work that a Good Eternal Marriage requires (and reaping the blessings that come from all of that) excuses are made, worldly distractions and ambitions take over, and . . . well . . . like I said . . . opportunities are lost.  Or, rather, thrown away.

Enjoy this week's series!

- Bro Jo]

Dear Bro Jo,

I do it because it feels good to be in shape.

I know when the race is over I'll be proud of myself.

It's something I enjoy.

- NW

Dear NW,

So even though it hurts the end result is worth the pain and frustration and hard work?

- Bro Jo

Dear Bro Jo,

It is!

- NW

Dear NW,

You see where I'm going with this, right?

Look, I have the worst breakup stories . . . and lots of them.  I may have been dumped by more people than you've dated.

My junior year of high school I caught my girlfriend making out with her ex parked in a truck in front of my house.  I had gone to her house to give her flowers.  When she wasn't there I went home.

There was the girl that broke up with me on our 1 month anniversary and said she'd have dumped me sooner but she knew I'd never dated anyone for a month before and she wanted to set the record.  Which, by the way she said, she thought would stand for quite a while (and it did).

There was the girl who worked where I did. We saw each other at work and set a date for that night.  She even kissed me when we parted.  Not only did she no-call no-show, she quit work and I've never seen her since, despite going to her house and writing her letters.  (Actual ones, not the email kind.)

There was the girl who broke up with me . . . TWICE . . . in 12 HOURS!  At the end of a date she broke it off.  (This one actually broke the 1 month record.  I thought I'd marry her.)  I cried all the way home.  When I got home I called her.  She apologized, said she was just scared, and she wanted to keep our date plans that we had for the next morning.  I picked her up.  Good date.  Lot's of kissing.  At the end she said "no, I think I was right, this just isn't going to work out".

There are more, but you get my point.

Every relationship you get into ends, often horribly for at least one of you, except for your Eternal Companion.  And yeah, sure, not ever Temple Marriage works out . . .but it's worth the risk.

Sister Jo and I split up once.  Well, I say once, she insists that she tried to get rid of me several times.  We're passionate opinionated people, so there were more than a few "disagreements".

I can't promise you that you'll never get hurt.  In fact, I CAN promise you that you will.  Maybe a lot.  Heck, even Sister Jo and I have hurt each other from time to time.  Happens.

But, as I said, and as you've said with your training:  all of the pain and frustration and hard work is worth it.

It's okay to be afraid.

Just don’t give up, don't give in to the fear.

- Bro Jo

Dear Bro Jo,

Well thanks.

I can see where you're going now!

Alright, I won't give up and I'll try to be brave!

Thanks for sharing your insight. I really needed it!

- NW

Dear NW,

Good luck and God bless,

- Bro Jo

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Commitment Issues - Part 2 of 3

[Dear Readers,

Sister Jo and I have been discussing what we see as a sad trend among young people in the Church:  Young Single Adults, men and women, giving up on wonderful relationships with wonderful people, sometimes not even giving these relationships much of a chance to start at all.

It happens for several different reasons.  

We know that modern media has clouded and confused the definitions of love and infatuation; that the prevalence of Social Media and Electronic Communication is crushing meaningful connections and real conversations; and that Satan is working very hard to lead our young people away from eternal relationships with one of his greatest tools:  fear.

Rather than take the risk and do the hard work that a Good Eternal Marriage requires (and reaping the blessings that come from all of that) excuses are made, worldly distractions and ambitions take over, and . . . well . . . like I said . . . opportunities are lost.  Or, rather, thrown away.

Enjoy this week's series!

- Bro Jo]

Dear Bro Jo,

Sure thing. And sorry it was at 12:30. I have insomnia and forget people don't go to sleep as late as I do.

The young man I've been starting to see lately, I've never dated before. I met him a couple of months ago, and he seems to be a great guy. We get along really well, he honors his priesthood, and he's great fun to be around.

The thing is, I get really nervous when I start to get close to someone. I did have a pretty bad experience a while back with someone else, and I feel like I can't trust anyone anymore.

This bad experience was that I began seeing a young man when I was 18.

I knew him from school, he was LDS, I knew who his friends were, and he seemed like an excellent fellow. BUT as it turned out, he had a girlfriend.

He had started calling me his girlfriend, but there was someone he was seeing before me, and nobody told me. I was so angry and hurt. I felt like a fool.

The girl was mad at me, I had no clue she even existed, the guy tried to make up a couple of dumb reasons why we should keep seeing each other, and I left him. I didn't want to be "the other woman". It was horrible.

I don't know why this experience was such a trial for me. It's really ruined my dating expectations. I get nervous when I get closer to other young men out of fear they'll do the same thing (if not something similar) to me. I get scared that by getting close to someone again, I'll be making a wrong choice, or making myself more vulnerable to being tricked and hurt again.

There are young men that I've WANTED to date who have wanted to date me, but I get scared. I get so nervous, I quit contacting them. I make myself busy doing other things so that it all comes to a swift end. It's terrible. It's so hard for me to trust. I don't want to invest so much time into a relationship and then get stabbed in the back. I worry that if I get into another relationship, I'll get stuck in it. Or that it'll go completely bad and I'll be played as a fool again.

I feel lonely. I want to get close to people. I want to be able to be in a loving relationship, but I get so nervous and afraid that whoever I'm dating might turn into someone I never wanted to be with.

I don't know if any of this makes sense, but it's really hindering my social life. I feel so distant and unhappy, but every time I try to go on a date, every time I put some effort into trying to date like a normal person I get so scared. I freeze up and cut myself off. I don't know what to do.


- NW

Dear NW,

Do you play sports or a musical instrument?

Are you in school or do you have a job?

- Bro Jo

Dear Bro Jo,

I have a job and I'm doing school at the same time.

I'm pretty athletic and am training to do a triathlon. I play piano.

- NW

Dear NW,

I know that training for a triathlon requires you to push yourself physically.  Sometimes it hurts.  Your muscles ache.  Your body is sore.  You're tired.  You work out even though you don't want to, even when you know today's workout is going to cause you pain.  Right?

So . . . why do you do it?

- Bro Jo

Monday, December 26, 2016

Commitment Issues - Part 1 of 3

[Dear Readers,

Sister Jo and I have been discussing what we see as a sad trend among young people in the Church:  Young Single Adults, men and women, giving up on wonderful relationships with wonderful people, sometimes not even giving these relationships much of a chance to start at all.

It happens for several different reasons.  

We know that modern media has clouded and confused the definitions of love and infatuation; that the prevalence of Social Media and Electronic Communication is crushing meaningful connections and real conversations; and that Satan is working very hard to lead our young people away from eternal relationships with one of his greatest tools:  fear.

Rather than take the risk and do the hard work that a Good Eternal Marriage requires (and reaping the blessings that come from all of that) excuses are made, worldly distractions and ambitions take over, and . . . well . . . like I said . . . opportunities are lost.  Or, rather, thrown away.

Enjoy this week's series!

- Bro Jo]

Dear Bro Jo,


I love your blog and all of the insight on dating!

Anyways: I need help. I have no clue how to fix this. Trust me: I've tried so hard before!

I am a 20 year old female and I will admit that I have some HORRENDOUS commitment issues!

I have no problem getting dates, I have no problem finding wonderful young men to go on dates with. BUT a guy could be wonderful, respectable, fun, brilliant... You name it but as soon I as I getting even an inkling that he likes me I distance myself. I get nervous.

I unintentionally mess things up. It's really hard because I could really like the guy back but I have this strange fear that if I settle down too fast I'm going to miss out on something or I'll be unhappy with whichever choice I make.

I don't know what to do! I have such issues that I try to avoid dating altogether because I really don't want to crush anyone's feelings.

It's not that I don't want to get married or anything, because I really do! I'm having a really hard time with this and I'm at a complete loss. How do I get over this overwhelming commitment issue?

Thank you!

- Name Withheld

Dear NW,

I struggle with those psycho-babble phrases that are so common today . . . like "commitment issues".
I don't know . . . maybe it's because the word "issues" drives me crazy . . . it's as if we use the phrase to keep from saying what our problem really is . . .

Are you telling me that there are guys you dated in the past that you really liked and WANTED to be in a committed relationship with but you dumped them anyway?

Are you using "commitment issues" to explain why you sometimes act goofy around guys you like?

Is there one guy in particular?

Can you be more specific about what you've done?  Perhaps describing a situation or two?

What prompted you to write at 12:30 in the morning?  Did a date just go badly?  Are you lonely?

When you say that you mess things up what do you mean?  How?  Why?

And, perhaps most importantly, what is it that you're afraid of???

And why?

Is it intimacy?  Affection?  Being vulnerable?  Trust?

Why do you think that you are this way?

And, if it really bothers you, why haven't you changed it?

Is it possible that, as great as these guys may or may not be, you're looking for a quality that they don't have?

- Bro Jo

Monday, December 19, 2016

Dealing with Angry People

Dear Bro Jo,

Hi Bro Jo,

My dad is having some anger issues and he gets angry with me and my mom and I don't know why he gets angry over little things that don't matter.

I do know when he was growing up his father who has been dead for a few years now had angry issues because my dad told me.

What can I do to make him not angry and he says unkind things to my mom in front of me and he hurts her so bad and he makes her cry in front of me.

I think he needs help and he is very active in the church and I don't know if I should tell my bishop about this issue with my dad or not .

Please tell me what you think I should do.


- C

Dear C,

There are some factors to consider:

- how old you are (if you're an adult, you should give strong consideration to moving out)

- your relationship with your mother (have you talked about it?  what's her reaction?  how does she feel?)

- your relationship with your father (is it the kind of relationship where, in a non-angry moment, you can tell him how all of this makes you feel without him getting angry?  those kinds of conversations go best, btw, if you can avoid using the word "you"

- and what you mean by "anger issues" (if the behavior is violent, unjustified - some yelling is just communication, and the issue can be us being too sensitive, constant, unprovoked . . .)

You may want to consider that when one interviewed for a temple recommend one is asked if there's anything in their behavior that's not the right way to treat one's family.  If your father's behavior is harmful, it could certainly be appropriate to talk to your Bishop.

Most importantly, any abusive behavior needs to be communicated to a trusted adult.

I invite you to give this some prayerful reflection.  Is this a harmless expression of anger and frustration that is better expressed than bottled?  Or is verbal abuse that is unbecoming a follow of Christ?  That crosses the line of how we all deserve to be treated with respect.

And, if you're at all not sure, it's better to have a conversation (mom, dad, Bishop, whomever) than to not.

You can't change your dad; that will have to come from inside, and the love and help that the Savior can provide will go a long way.

To that end, the more prayer, scripture study, living the Gospel and following Christ that your family does the easier all of this will be to tackle.

- Bro Jo

Friday, December 16, 2016

What If the Guy She Likes has Kissed Other Girls?

Dear Bro Jo,

I have a problem, and it might be kinda confusing to write, but hopefully it will make sense.

There is this guy that I really like! He is in my ward, he is a worthy priesthood holder, SUPER nice, and pleasing to the eye.

We have become really good friends over the last couple of years, and my family teases me about him all the time. The only problem is he is totally dating a different girl, before his mission (he leaves in July) I know for a fact that he has kissed several girls, and made out with his current girlfriend.

I on the other had have never kissed or held anyone's hand because I think it really should be saved for someone special.

I really think he is fantastic and would love to date him in the future, but feel like some of his standards are not the same as mine.

Since we are such good friends, should I confront him about it, or leave it alone since it is none of my business?

Should I wait for him and get over the fact that he has done that? Am I being to much of a stickler on standards?

-Confused and currently alone

Dear Currently,

Very rarely is it a good idea to confess feelings you have for someone you're not in any kind of a relationship with to them, and never when they're in a serious relationship with someone else (even though I agree he shouldn't be), or dating everyone else but you, and never when he's about to leave on a mission.

As for him kissing other girls (and not you, which let's be honest, standards shmandards, is really your issue) . . . NO . . . you absolutely should not confront him about it.  Frankly, as you said, it is none of your business.

And, NO, you should not "wait for him".

There's nothing wrong with you sticking to your standards.


But it's time you realize that this guy, great guy that he may be, is not smart enough to be interested in you romantically.  You should be spending your years from now until the time you're old enough to Serious Single Date (that's after high school, Little Sister) going on all the Casual Group Dates you can.

Have Fun!

- Bro Jo

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

What Should She Do About the Mixed Signals?

Dear Bro Jo,

Alright sorry if this gets a bit scattered.

So background on me, I currently attend a University and am going to be a sophomore. I didn't date…at all this past year(my freshman year) Although I did do the whole obnoxious hanging out thing. I’ve also always only been friends with guys, I mean I socialize with girls but I normally end up being the "little sis"-like best friend type person and since I’m not looking to date super seriously/get married anytime soon I’ve been okay with this so far. But all that aside  I think there is a slight possibility something has been developing with this guy I met through the institute.

First of all he's 5 years older than me and every time were hanging out and age comes up, he remembers that were fairly far apart and it kind of freaks him out, but he is only a semester ahead of me in school because of late major changes and a mish. In my mind the place you are in your life is more important than your age (within reason)

But he is honestly the King of mixed signals. I’ve been talking with him since March which makes me think that if he was seriously interested he would have acted on this by now! He does things like come to my performances and walked me to class a couple times. But he hasn't asked me out on an official date. We have hung out one on one (like after my performances and around the institute) and in group settings. And he has mentioned before like "oh we should see that movie or go to that restaurant" And I’m always open being like "Oh yeah for sure!" But I didn't want to seem like too eager or anything so I never pushed things. I consider myself good at flirting and they're is definite witty banter going on. But at the same time he is always the one to stop responding first via text and just so confusing. He sits by me at church activities (sacrament and firesides) but then we don't talk as much as I think we should after those events…like when there’s refreshments and stuff. Every sign for the building of a relationship is quickly followed by a step toward the friend zone.

I’ve been recently looking through your blog and seen your "men can’t be just friends with women rule" which I can see being accurate but if that is so, why the heck hasn't he asked me out after all this time? Is it time for me to just stop talking to him and let it go or should I steal his thunder and just ask him why he isn't asking me out? Or am I just totally reading too far into things and is he just being a nice guy?

At this point I’m just at a total loss.
What do you think?

- Name Withheld

Dear NW,

You're what ... 20?  And he's 25?

Yeah.  I think you should ask him whether or not he intends to ask you out on a date anytime soon.

It's a yes or no question, and anything other than a yes is a no.

For you it's a win-win.  Either this guy finally asks you out or you'll know it's time to move on.
In which case I wouldn’t burn the bridge, but I'd shift your time to someone who's at least a little more ready.

- Bro Jo

Monday, December 12, 2016

What Makes a Better Relationship: Attraction and Fun or Stability and Tenderness?

Dear Bro Jo,

Hi Bro. Jo,

I've been dating a lot since I've last emailed you, and it's been great! I've been dating a lot of very different guys and it's helping me learn more about myself and how I need to improve in order to progress towards marriage. It's also helping me become more aware of the type of man that I am most compatible with.

This brings me to my current situation. . . .

There are two men that I am currently involved with. By involved I just mean dating, but neither is exclusive. I like them both for different reasons. The first guy is so fun and outgoing, super funny, hardworking, committed to living the gospel and following Christ, and I feel very comfortable around him. We talk about anything and everything. We have SO much fun! We're both the youngest children of huge families, and as a result, are incredibly similar (in good ways, and not so good ways).

The second guy is also very hardworking, committed to the gospel, and so kind. He is a little less outgoing and funny, but has such a kind, tender heart. I feel at ease around him because he is so calm and easygoing. I feel like he mellows me out a bit, which is good for me. We aren't as similar, but I feel our personalities and lifelong goals complement each other well.

So, I ask you: when looking for an eternal partner (as I could easily see myself marrying either down the road), are opposites really best? Or should I look for someone more similar to myself, personality wise? Neither is perfect, they both have their flaws (as do I. . .times a million). I've been reading about "Birth order marriages" and it says two last born children do not a stable marriage make, and I could definitely see that happening if I chose the first guy (we're both very free-spirited). I could also see us having the funnest life ever together. But, with the second guy, I could see us having a very stable, tender relationship.

What do you think? I have never been married and don't quite have your expertise. ;)

Thanks in advance for your help!

- Just Wondering

Dear JW,

Finding a Good Eternal Companion is less about attraction and more about finding someone you can love and serve and whom you can trust will love and serve you.

Sister Jo and I are opposite about somethings, but not very many.

I am very grateful that I married someone I like to hang out with; someone I can trust; someone I can talk to.

Yes, I find her very attractive and we have a ton of fun together, but that doesn't mean we don't fight and argue!

It does mean that when the dust settles I know she's there for me.

I love talking to her more than anything else.

And, perhaps most importantly, I trust her.

Don't put too much stock in things like "birth order","opposites attract" and other random internet quizzes and compatibility studies and stuff.

What we've heard in conference is true:  a couple that makes the Gospel the center of their lives and relationship will do extremely well.

There's lots of possible great companions out there for each person.

As far as these two guys go (they both sound like great guys), trust your instincts; you'll figure out which is the better choice for you.

- Bro Jo

Friday, December 9, 2016

How Best to Handle Friends with Health Issues

Dear Bro Jo,

Hi Bro Jo,

I have a girlfriend that really wants me to go and see a movie with just her and she has health problems and I don't want to go because I don't feel comfortable being with her because if she would start feeling bad I won't know what to do.

So how can I tell her nicely that I can't go with just her to see a movie.

Please help me.


- Name Withheld

Dear NW,

I say this with love . . .

Grow up and be a better friend.

Look, if you're afraid that something might happen and you won't know what to do, ask her beforehand.  Simply say "I'd love to go; is there anything I need to know, you know, should something happen?"

You'll get some education.  She'll be glad that you care enough to ask.  And you'll both enjoy a lovely time.

- Bro Jo

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

It's Tough Being Older and Single

Dear Bro Jo,

Good day to you.

I am writing you this mail because I’m beginning to lose it!

I joined this church a little over 7 years ago and I’m over 32 years old now. I’m still very much single.

I’ve had offers from non-members but because I’m hell bent on temple marriage, I did not give them a chance.

Now I hardly have offers again. I’m being passed across as a married woman because now I actually look like one.

What do I do? I have a date that is eight years younger than me but I must confess that that is not what I want.

I’m not sure he would even marry someone like me because I’m just too old for him.
I need your advice ASAP because this matter is beginning to make me have a low self-esteem. All my mates are married.

I’m really scared. Even if it is for someone to match make me and someone I would be glad. I hardly get that offer too.

Please help me.

Kind Regards,

- Name Withheld

Dear NW,

The first thing that may help is realizing that your value comes because you're a daughter of our Heavenly Father, not because you're in a relationship.

Secondly, I think you need to be a little more open.  While I agree that it's pointless to Serious Single Date guys who have no intention of marrying you in the Temple, it may be possible that falling in love with you may just inspire one of these non-member guys to embrace the Gospel.

And I think if ta 24-year old man wants to ask you out, you should absolutely go.  I can't think of anything more flattering for a woman's self-esteem than going out with guys who want to date her.

Lastly, be proactive  If something is wrong in your life, and it's bothering you, fix it.  Don't just sit back and hope that something happens.  If you want to date certain single guys, get to know them better, let them see what a great person you are, and if you need to, tell them they need to ask you out.

- Bro Jo

Monday, December 5, 2016

Too Worldly? - Part 2

Dear Bro Jo,

Thanks Bro Jo, I agree completely we do need to talk. And we do talk often and I have told him most of these concerns...

I definitely do not want to be controlled, I want a happy marriage partnership and I will make sure that is what it is going to be before I make any decisions.

Much of the problem is that this a long distance relationship so we are only able to see each other on the weekends, we talk on the phone throughout the week, but obviously the big stuff I want to talk about it person.

One thing that I have loved about our relationship from the beginning has been our ability to talk about everything, we communicate very well, and I really like that.

I will see him this weekend and definitely be talking to him about these concerns and I think it will help me to better understand where things are and where they should be going.

Thanks for your insight, it sometimes just helps to have an objective opinion on things...

- NW

Dear NW,

How did it go?

- Bro Jo

Dear Bro Jo,

It actually went very well.. We talked a lot this weekend and the awesome thing was most of my concerns were addressed in our conversations without me bringing them up, the conversation just went in that direction.

I talked to him about who I am and made it very clear that I will not be controlled. A lot of the things he has said that made me feel that way were jokes and I think he realized that he needs to be more careful about things he is joking about. His attitude seemed different this weekend as he talked much more about our future life and family and less about his future wealth.

We discussed his concerns as well as mine and the reasons that we are still making the decisions. He talked about his fears... One of which is that he wants to make sure that this is the best decision, he knows it would be a good decision but he wants to make sure it will be the best.

I actually had kind of some weird feelings this weekend, and spent a lot of my time trying to figure out what they mean. I felt less excited I guess about our relationship and I was trying to figure out if that is because I feel like it is not right or something else... The feeling that I have gotten about it is that our relationship is making the transition from excited early twitterpation to a comfortable normal mature relationship.

As I think about him I realize how well he treats me, he builds me up in so many ways and we really have a lot of fun together.

I have always been the kind of person who believes that there is not one right person for anyone, but you need to find someone who loves The Lord, is willing to keep the commandments, and work with you to create a happy fulfilled life together.

I think there is always part of you that wants some magical confirmation that your life will be wonderful and perfect with this person, but I think I am too old and too logical to believe that. I need to take my own advice and make sure that he is a good man and that we will work well together to progress for eternity.

When I think about things that way I feel so good about him and us. I am still seeking answers and trying to listen to the spirit as best I can. Knowing when something is truly coming from the spirit has always been a little difficult for me, and something that I have been working in trying to improve for years.

Hopefully this makes sense, and I would like your opinion about all of this.


- NW

Dear NW,

Not only does it all make sense, but it sounds to me like you have a very mature understanding of what's important and how this is all supposed to work.

You're on the right track!

- Bro Jo

Friday, December 2, 2016

Too Worldly? Part 1

Dear Bro Jo,

Thanks for your advice at random times when I have just needed someone else's opinion on something. This is another one of those times.

I am dating a wonderful man who makes me so very happy, I love him a lot. He is a strong member of the church, and attends the temple. There has been a lot of talk about marriage, and I feel very good about it most of the time. I have been to the temple a few times to help make my decision about if this is the man who I want to marry, and I really think he is.

However he is still deciding a little bit, we talk as if we are going to be married but at times he still mentions that he hasn't gotten his answers about it yet, and that scares me a little. He was married once before and has a son. I think that the problems he had in the previous marriage are what fuels his doubt now, he says he has no doubt about me, he just wants to make sure this is truly the right thing, and I want him to make sure.

I am writing you because I sometimes have doubts myself... He is a very driven individual (works full time+ and is taking 15 credits) and has very high aspirations of being rich someday. I am so glad he is a hard worker and wants to provide but it seems to be a very very large focus of his life... We have had multiple conversations where I have asked him if he could be happy with our life even of he wasn't rich. He says he could.

I guess I'm just concerned if he is too worldly and if it will make our lives unhappy? He talks a lot about money and physical beauty... I am a fairly thin girl which he loves, so he mentions a lot that he doesn't want his future wife to get fat. He wants me to be fit and healthy and I want that too, but he just dwells on it a little more than I do.

He is a wonderful man who treats me really great and he is a great father as well. There are so many things that I love so much about him. I am just wondering if these concerns are just Satan's way of trying to keep a good eternal marriage from happening or if I should be more worried about his focus on worldly things? How much of this is just a guy being a guy?

Thanks for any insight you can give me!

- Name Withheld

Dear NW,

I do think that much of what you both seem to be worrying about are indeed the things that Satan uses to try and keep two people from forming an eternal family.

I also think the cure is very simple:  you two need to talk.

You need to share the concerns you shared with me with him.  Everything you told me, you need to tell this man.

It's like the post from the other day:  more than attraction, even more than love, what makes a marriage successful is Trust.

And the key to trust is communication.

For example:  you need to trust that, for whatever reason, if you do "get fat" (whatever that happens to mean) that he won't belittle you or mock you or abandon you.

Marriage isn't about manipulating the other person to make them be what you want them to be, or keep them from changing.

I've quoted this many times before, but too many people go in to marriage this way:

"Men marry women hoping they'll never change, and women marry men hoping they will change; both are horribly wrong"  (or something like that).

I do have to say, there's an element here that is making me uncomfortable:  and that is his need to manipulate and control.  Now perhaps that's just the part that you've chosen to share with me . . . and I have no doubt that this is residual from his failed marriage, but I'm wondering how happy you're going to be with him controlling you . . . or how he may cast you aside when things seem out of his control . . .

Look, there are no guarantees, and I honestly believe that people delay (or avoid) good eternal marriages because they're looking for that non-existent guarantee.

Again, the bottom line is I think you two need to talk.


And I think you both need to decide if these are just nervous ponderings or if you're both clinging to a relationship that will never be more than 80% there?

Does that make sense?

I mean, is this really going somewhere?  Or is it just easier to keep on going down this dead-end road because it's familiar?

I'm not saying breakup.

I'm saying have a mature conversation about these concerns you're both having.

And yes, if these aren't things you both can get to a point that you feel comfortable with, then move on.

Good luck, and please let me know what you come up with.

- Bro Jo