Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Updates: “House Arrest” Responds

It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing today. After the jump, we hear from “House Arrest,” the 19-year-old college student who was upset that her parents wanted to buy her a house to live in while finishing her degree. “I wouldn’t mind it so much if they were less pushy with me and would listen to my concerns,” she wrote. “I’m not sure I want to do yard work or remodeling (they want a “fixer-upper”); I DON’T WANT A FEMALE ROOMMATE; I want to live with my boyfriend! The more I try to get them to see the practical side of it or consider what I want, the more rushed and pushy they are about me finding a house for them to buy!” Keep reading to see whether her parents are still pushing her to find a house.

First of all, thank you for the honest advice about my parents. Surprisingly, events took a pretty sharp turn. My parents, after several months of me dropping the subject of my “boyfriend roommate” and then casually bringing it up again, changed their minds. They met him over Christmas break (I asked long after this) and I never really figured out how they felt about him. My mom let me know what was really going through my dad’s head (my dad was the one with the problem) and she told me he was afraid I was growing up too fast … It probably would have been helpful to mention I live in a small, old-fashioned Bible Belt town (which also happens to be a college town, go figure) where kids here marry YOUNG and teen pregnancy is high. They let me know they thought my boyfriend was a great guy, but they needed me to reassure them I was still serious about school and not settling down (I’m hoping to go to medical school and so far, I still have the grades for it). It definitely helped that my boyfriend is equally ambitious and a great student as well. Overall, I think they had reservations because I am still “daddy’s little girl” in my father’s eyes and they are the type to worry. A lot.

My parents have actually already bought a house and it should be liveable some time over the summer. I also WILL be paying rent and utilities, so my parents made it clear this is a business relationship and if I ever decide to move out of the house, they will understand and proceed to fill it with renters. They are now comfortable talking about the possibility that my boyfriend may be living there as well.
As for the boyfriend, he had second thoughts about moving in together after we got into a bad rut of routine arguing. We went on like this for months and some other issues surfaced — I realized I was depressed and we were having trust issues with each other. I got counseling for myself and he promised we could begin couple’s counseling after our semester finals.

Our relationship has gotten a lot better, but I think progressing forward and essentially “playing house” before the trust and security were there was a mistake. … For all the readers who bashed me, saying “basically living together” is not living together, I agree. But none of you knew our situation and the letter was not about my boyfriend. He has been on his own entirely since he was 15 (he’s almost 22) and we were already splitting a lot of costs. We were sharing my car that gets better mileage, splitting gas, splitting groceries, cooking and cleaning together, etc. I do understand moving in together is a big step, but I do have my own life and my own friends (thanks for assuming I have none of those, guys) who also tried to get me to think a little harder about the situation. We still hope to move into together this summer but it is a no-pressure situation as of right now: if we can mend some of our communication and trust issues and stay like that consistently, we plan to. As of right now, it may just be me and my dog and quite a few bills. Thank you for the advice, Wendy. Cheers.

 
Thanks for the update, and best of luck to you!

If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at wendy@dearwendy.com with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.

113 comments… add one
  • iwannatalktosampson

    Iwannatalktosampson April 26, 2012, 1:42 pm

    Is it weird that I’m kind of bummer for you that you will have to be paying rent? I remember my advice on this letter was – who the fuck cares who lives with you – you’re getting a free ride! Or something along those lines.

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    • iwannatalktosampson

      Iwannatalktosampson April 26, 2012, 2:16 pm

      I realize my comment had no point – so I’ll explain what I was getting at. It seems like your parents are the only ones benefitting from this arrangement. You are fixing up the house and paying rent for their investment. You have to live by their rules. Where is the benefit to you? This doesn’t seem like a strictly business relationship to me because if it was why would you agree to move into a house you had no part in picking out?

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        Iwannatalktosampson April 26, 2012, 2:17 pm

        Oh and I agree – why the fuck would you go to couples counseling when you’re 19. Just break up! Can you think of no better way to spend your money? How about on rent – or tuition – or food – or booze – like normal college students.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        Iwannatalktosampson April 26, 2012, 2:18 pm

        Oh! Or slip and slides. Or water balloons. Or super soakers. (Is anyone else ready for summer?) (I feel like AP right now – talking to myself – someone humor me and respond).

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      • LadyinPurpleNotRed

        LadyinPurpleNotRed April 26, 2012, 2:20 pm

        I like all of your suggestions for things to spend her money on….particularly the slip and slide. and I’m SO ready for summer!!

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray April 26, 2012, 3:03 pm

        Finally, I’m not alone! I encourage this behavior.

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      • honeybeenicki

        honeybeenicki April 26, 2012, 3:45 pm

        I think a slip and slide, water balloons AND super soakers would be awesome. No “or” about it. And its ok to talk to yourself. I do it regularly.

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      • avatar

        applescruff April 26, 2012, 3:00 pm

        If her school offers free couples counseling for students it might be worth it. Two of the universities I’ve worked at have offered it, as long as both members of the couple are students.

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      • avatar

        Zepp April 26, 2012, 3:51 pm

        agreed x10000 couples counseling at 19 and 22? ridic. work on yourself, you’ll both be different people in 3 years anyway

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    • iwannatalktosampson

      Iwannatalktosampson April 26, 2012, 6:53 pm

      Sorry actually had to work for a while.

      For those of you arguing that couples counseling could help them learn how to effectively communicate while in relationships – I still say they should break up and just get individual counseling.

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  • IDreamofElectricSheep

    IDreamofElectricSheep April 26, 2012, 1:46 pm

    Just something to think about: continue individual counseling to improve your own mental health and happiness, not just to keep this relationship going or to leverage it so your boyfriend agrees to go to couples’ counseling with you. Also…a relationship that needs couples’ counseling to survive when you are 19 and he is 22 sounds like a relationship that you may want to reconsider. Yes, we all need to actively work on our relationships, but if a relationship is experiencing difficulties, sometimes it simply means that there may be someone out there that is a better fit for you. There is a line, I think, between working on a relationship and being in a relationship that requires too much work. Just something to ponder…good luck!

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  • avatar

    lets_be_honest April 26, 2012, 1:47 pm

    Couples therapy for a 19 y/o?
    Comparing sharing a car to sharing a home?

    I think your parents are a little off in their thinking you are growing up too fast. No offense.

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    • avatar

      bethany April 26, 2012, 1:57 pm

      I thought couples therapy at 19 and 22 was a little weird, too… I mean, you have so much time to find someone you love, who you’re also compatible with… Why settle so soon?

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      • avatar

        ktfran April 26, 2012, 2:06 pm

        Me too! I’m glad someone else called this out. Thanks l_b_h!

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      • mandalee

        mandalee April 26, 2012, 2:18 pm

        Yeah, I couldn’t imagine going to couple’s therapy with my high school/early college boyfriend at that age. If you’re having problems now and there’s no shared living place, children or marriage involved, I don’t understand the need to invest time in therapy. You’re 19, go kiss some boys! Find someone you don’t have all these issues with-already!

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    • avatar

      ReginaRey April 26, 2012, 2:40 pm

      I agree, LBH. I think if you have trust issues and communication issues that send you to couples therapy at 19…you don’t need therapy, you need to just break up. I mean, I’m obviously all for therapy, but it seems silly to try to go to therapy for issues that are VERY likely caused be sheer lack of compatibility…which is the NORM at 19.

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  • avatar

    mf April 26, 2012, 1:53 pm

    Sounds like you’re dealing with this in a very mature way. I’ve never regretted taking things slow – I’ve only ever had regrets when I rushed into things.

    That being said, I agree with lets_be_honest and IDreamofElectricSheep. 19 seems awfully young for a relationship that needs counseling.

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  • dabbler

    dabbler April 26, 2012, 2:02 pm

    Seriously? I commend the fact that, even though they’re young, they’re learning to do the work on their relationship when things get rough and not just throwing in the towel. Yes, 19 is young, and this may not be a forever thing, but I think it’s great that they’re both striving to work on themselves, and on their communication with each other. It can only serve them both well in the future.

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    • Skyblossom

      Skyblossom April 26, 2012, 4:01 pm

      I agree. There is nothing wrong in learning to communicate with a partner. Whatever is learned can be carried over to any relationship that follows.

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    • theattack

      theattack April 26, 2012, 7:22 pm

      I agree. No one’s ever too young to learn how to be in a relationship. Of course, they shouldn’t fight tooth and nail for every single thing in a relationship at that age, but couple’s counseling provides you with tools that are applicable to every relationship you get in. They’ll be better off in the future for it, even if they’re single!

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    • avatar

      d2 April 26, 2012, 11:14 pm

      Yes! Yes! I would have made so many less mistakes when I was older had I had couple’s counseling when I was younger.

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    • avatar

      MsBorgia April 27, 2012, 8:21 am

      I agree— if they’re truly just incompatible, that will come out in therapy! Therapy isn’t about forcing two incompatible people to stay together, it’s about finding the best solution for everyone. If the best solution is breaking up, that will come out.

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark April 26, 2012, 2:04 pm

    In my opinion nobody in a college relationship EVER needs couples therapy. What they need instead would be a much more cost effective couples’ BREAK UP.

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    • dabbler

      dabbler April 26, 2012, 2:16 pm

      Why not? I agree that 99.99% of college relationships aren’t in it for the long haul, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be. My cousin met her husband in high school, they’ve since graduated college, are now happily married and expecting their first kid, and they’re like 23-ish now? It’s definitely not the norm, but it can happen. Whether or not they stay together, they’re learning valuable coping and communication skills. With that kind of mentality at such a young age, maybe this LW won’t end up being just another divorce rate statistic.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        Iwannatalktosampson April 26, 2012, 2:22 pm

        I think the point is the couples that you knew that made it were probably actually perfect for each other and never had to go to couples counseling. In my opinion the only reason you should go to couples counseling is if you’re married – because those are the only relationships that are worth such drastic efforts to save.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 26, 2012, 2:26 pm

        They are also only 23, I know this is harsh, but they’ve still go a TON of time to become a divorce statistic.
        There’s always going to be exceptions to the rule. I wish people would point those out a little less, feel like it gives LWs hope when there shouldn’t be any.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        Iwannatalktosampson April 26, 2012, 2:31 pm

        Agreed. Everyone wants to think they’re the exception. YOU’RE NOT. Or they think one small little minute detail changes everything. IT DOESN’T. It’s still the exact same thing.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 26, 2012, 2:34 pm

        I’m so in love with you it hurts.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        Iwannatalktosampson April 26, 2012, 2:49 pm

        The feeling is mutual. We should drink beer and talk shit about dumb people and be cynical together.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 26, 2012, 2:52 pm

        My two favorite things!
        Where are you again?

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray April 26, 2012, 3:06 pm

        Hey now – what about moi?! I wanna be cynical and drink with you too.

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      • avatar

        ReginaRey April 26, 2012, 3:18 pm

        They’re forever leaving us out, AP! I’m cynical and love to talk about dumb people, too!

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      • avatar

        rachel April 26, 2012, 3:21 pm

        Addie, weren’t you planning on coming to Colorado at some point?

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 26, 2012, 3:22 pm

        OK kids, sounds like we need a DWCT&DNFWJ (dear wendy cynical talk and drink night filled with judgments). Why don’t we all live in a 10 mile radius? Life is not fair.

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      • honeybeenicki

        honeybeenicki April 26, 2012, 3:48 pm

        I’m feeling a little left out over here too. I don’t drink, but I’m a good drunk-babysitter (babysitting those who are drunk, not babysitting while drunk) and I really like cynical discussions about dumb people.

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      • katie

        katie April 26, 2012, 4:08 pm

        ahem, i would like to invite myself to this party as well. thank you.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray April 26, 2012, 4:16 pm

        You missy (Katie) need to RSVP on the Chicago meetup thread!

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      • Jess

        Jess April 26, 2012, 4:16 pm

        Thank you.

        This is a happy reminder for me that I will be leaving the office in 45 minutes, followed by a 7 mile bike ride home, followed by a large happy glass of wine when I get home (calories negated by bike ride) AND I have the day off tomorrow AND the BF (who I love more than sunshine and puppies) will be away this weekend leaving me to watch whichever TV shows I want (Jersey Shore: don’t judge), eat chips and salsa for dinner, and play with my sewing projects. Wheeeee!!!! PARTY FOR ONE –about to begin!!!

        Thank you for letting me spew this excitement.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 26, 2012, 4:23 pm

        Jess! Please can I come, minus the bike ride, plus cheese dip?

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      • Jess

        Jess April 26, 2012, 4:27 pm

        Cheese dip = totally welcome. I’m thinking ranch dip is in order too. Lately I’ve been making it by mixing the ranch powder into 2% greek yogurt instead of sour cream. You see, that way it’s healthy and I can gorge myself on it. Right?

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        Iwannatalktosampson April 27, 2012, 11:17 am

        Everyone calm down. There is unlimited booze and cynicism in this world – enough for all of us. But I’m really jealous we all don’t live near by. I think we would have a blast and a half. We could even invite Budj so that him and Addie could bang it out already.

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      • dabbler

        dabbler April 26, 2012, 2:46 pm

        That’s a cheery world view.
        Those people that think they’re going to be the exception simply because their love is so intense it’s going to carry them away on gilded wings to the land of lollipops and rainbows, sure. Those people that MAKE themselves the exception through work and communication? They deserve a liittle hope.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 26, 2012, 2:50 pm

        I’m just trying to be realistic. Your example of how it can work with someone you meet in highschool because it worked for a couple you know who are only 23 seemed like a stretch of an example to me.
        My parents were high school sweethearts, had 4 children together, and divorced after 15 or so years of marriage. I guess my point was I wouldn’t say your friends have beat the odds because they are 23 and still together.

        But yes, hope mixed with hard work and communication is much more than blind hope.

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      • avatar

        evanscr05 April 26, 2012, 3:11 pm

        I 100% agree with you. My parents went to high school together, went to separate colleges, ended up getting married at 20, had me at 24 and my brother at 26, then got divorced after 14 years of marriage. If they had stayed married, this month would have been 33 years (you know, I have never once in my life, that I recall, ever celebrated their anniversary with them – I only recently even learned when it was). Couples who marry later in life have a MUCH better chance of longevity.

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      • kare

        kare April 26, 2012, 7:18 pm

        My parents got married young (18 and 22) and will be married 34 years this summer. And they act like a couple still in the honeymoon phase. However, they always tell me “it should be easy when you’re young. You shouldn’t be fighting more than you’re enjoying each others company”.

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      • avatar

        evanscr05 April 26, 2012, 8:13 pm

        You’re parents are definitely the exception, not the rule, though. But, you’re example certainly holds more weight than two 23 year old high school sweet hearts. I only know one couple that were high school sweet hearts whose marriage actually lasted, but they split up for many years to pursue their own dreams and ended up back together. I don’t think it’s very common for two people to marry young and stay married, or at the least, have a happy one. That is truly wonderful for your folks, though. I’m so incredibly jealous of people who have parents still married to each other, and are still happy.

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      • Lili

        Lili April 26, 2012, 2:54 pm

        There’s also such a thing as compromising too much of yourself far too early before you’ve had time to even figure out who you are. I think that idea is what scares people about couples counseling and a ‘we must make it at all no costs no matter what happens because we have an intense love’ ideology. Not trying to downplay what your cousin has, its amazing and rare for sure. But I think this same story repeated when they’re 40 might carry a teeny bit more weight, but I’d still wonder what each party gave up in terms of self development to keep the relationship going.

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      • Lili

        Lili April 26, 2012, 2:57 pm

        Oops, meant ‘about couples counseling FOR this young of a couple’

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      • avatar

        iseeshiny April 26, 2012, 3:52 pm

        That was very well-put.

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      • theattack

        theattack April 26, 2012, 7:35 pm

        I don’t think couples counseling is about compromising yourself. It’s about tools and skills that you can use to work better together.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson April 26, 2012, 8:38 pm

        Okay Lili I have something to add to this thought. I think it might stem from the idea that any relationship that ends with a break up is a “failure”. People don’t like to be failures. But I really don’t believe that most (healthy) relationships that end are failures. People can have a great time with another person while it lasts and then part ways. It’s not a failure and that time wasn’t “wasted”. I hate that general idea.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow April 26, 2012, 9:40 pm

        I agree with this as well. As long as I enjoyed the time I spent with the person (or at least the majority of it), then it’s not a failure. Plus it’s practice. My most disastrous relationship actually helped me learn a lot about myself and gave me a TON of perspective going forward about what I actually want from a partner and from a relationship.

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      • dabbler

        dabbler April 26, 2012, 2:33 pm

        I understand that, I just think it’s unfair to jump to “break up” just because of their age. College is stressful. Learning how to be an adult is stressful. No couple is actually “perfect” for each other, they just choose to work things out together. Which is what these two are doing. I see nothing wrong in asking for help.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark April 26, 2012, 2:53 pm

        It has less to do with college or their age than the length of the relationship. Look, if anyone has only been together ( What? A few months? Maybe a year…) and you already need couples therapy, you should just call it quits…

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      • dabbler

        dabbler April 26, 2012, 3:05 pm

        Gotcha. I wasn’t thinking in terms of only being together for a few months and needing couples therapy. That’s different from what I had in mind, and I agree with you there.

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      • avatar

        iseeshiny April 26, 2012, 3:06 pm

        Man I took too long composing my reply. You made the point with far fewer words.

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      • avatar

        iseeshiny April 26, 2012, 3:05 pm

        I think it’s because of their age they should break up, personally. Couples counseling is for people who have actual reasons they shouldn’t break up – children, a mortgage, to avoid expensive divorce. Not for financial reasons, really, but because there is something there that can benefit from a salvage. If they’ve been together for less than… oh, two years, to throw out a number and one of them is not yet old enough to legally drink? And they have trust and communication issues already? Why bother? Break up and find someone you can trust and with whom you can communicate.

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      • theattack

        theattack April 26, 2012, 7:24 pm

        Is it really a drastic effort to just learn some relationship skills that might improve your relationship? Honestly, I think couples counseling is a fantastic thing for everyone. There’s a reason people go to pre-marital counseling. There are valuable conversation topics and skills to be learned.

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      • avatar

        d2 April 26, 2012, 11:49 pm

        In my opinion, couples counseling is not some last-ditch drastic effort that should be reserved only for failing marriages. It is about two people learning to communicate effectively within a relationship. Those communications skills are valuable tools to learn long before a marriage begins. Gaining that skillset by having counseling prior to marriage will help you choose a compatible SO and maximizes the chances that your marriage will thrive and survive. Waiting until your marriage has problems before getting counseling seems to me to be shortsighted.

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    • avatar

      ele4phant April 26, 2012, 2:50 pm

      If a relationship is so dysfunctional at that young of an age, then a break-up is probably more warranted than therapy.

      I guess one fringe benefit is that of therapy is that if one or both of them have bad relationship habits contributing to the problem (and could be a recurring issue for future relationships), better to get them identified and fixed at 19 then 29, no?

      I guess my point is, if they have the money and the desire to go to couples therapy, why not? Even if it doesn’t save *this* relationship, it may help make them better partners for future relationships.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark April 26, 2012, 2:53 pm

        THIS!!!

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      • dabbler

        dabbler April 26, 2012, 3:10 pm

        Yes, the last 2 paragraphs is kinda what I was going for, but you said it much better than I did.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow April 26, 2012, 3:20 pm

        Yeah, that’s what I was thinking. Even if they end up breaking up anyway, it never hurts to learn valuable skills at a young age that they can take with them into their future relationships.

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    • avatar

      Addie Pray April 26, 2012, 3:09 pm

      Couples therapy for 19 year olds where there aren’t kids involved or something is sillier than putty.

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        lets_be_honest April 26, 2012, 3:10 pm

        Speaking of silly putty, don’t put silly putty covered duvet covers in the washing machine. Learning that this morning.

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      • avatar

        anonymous April 26, 2012, 3:27 pm

        Or chewing gum.

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      • honeybeenicki

        honeybeenicki April 26, 2012, 3:51 pm

        Or chapstick

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      • JK

        JK April 26, 2012, 9:18 pm

        Or anything that still has a pack of tissues in the pocket. I do that EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. ANd then wast ages getting all the white specks off the clothes.

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      • SweetsAndBeats

        SweetsAndBeats April 26, 2012, 5:08 pm

        I couldn’t agree more. Couples counselling is akin to trying to force a relationship to work… You should only have to “force” a relationship when you’ve signed a lifelong contract with a person, not when you’re not even a college graduate yet, with the world as your oyster! There are literally billions upon billions of potential romantic partners in this world… LW, you’re really selling yourself short, and causing yourself undue stress and complication, by doing all this for a relationship so early on in your life.

        I did something similar, with a man who seemed great and all but we had serious issues, and also some small discrepancies in personality/behavior, so we went to couples counselling, but of course we were too young and not even close to having our “lives” in order (career, etc) to be in such a serious relationship with such big problems. I seriously regret spending my time, money, and energy on that relationship when I should have just walked away.

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  • avatar

    cporoski April 26, 2012, 2:04 pm

    LW, I didn’t comment on the last post but this one I have to say is avoid growing up too fast. You have your whole life to grow up. We had those posts about missing college not too long ago. College is a small window where you get to live with your girlfriends and have fun and be carefree. I love my husband so much but I miss just being silly girls. you have the rest of your life to live with your boyfriend and eventually husband. Enjoy this window of time now.

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      ele4phant April 26, 2012, 2:17 pm

      I agree. Living with the boyfriend is great. But the year that I lived with three other girls? One of the most fun of my life. And I had a boyfriend that whole time, so its not like we’re telling you to dump him and go live the single life.

      If he’s the one, he’ll still be there in a few years.

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      • avatar

        cporoski April 27, 2012, 6:55 am

        Right, I think college is so special. And my roommates were there for the silly times and the sad times. I loved it and I had boyfriends. My favorite quote is, “You don’t go to college to meet your husband, you go to meet your bridesmaids.”

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    • theattack

      theattack April 26, 2012, 7:39 pm

      Not everyone likes living with their girlfriends. I know I certainly don’t, because I actually want to keep my friends and not end up hating them. Also, you’re missing the part where the LW says she does have friends and isn’t just cooped up with her bf.

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      • avatar

        cporoski April 27, 2012, 6:51 am

        I am saying she should rethink livinging with her friends. If you don’t do this in college you never will. Assuming she will hate a situation before she does it might have her miss some really wonderful things.

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    • Emily

      Emily April 26, 2012, 9:15 pm

      I have to second this. I grew up in a “Bible Belt” area that encouraged people to marry young too. My parents told me how they met in college and I had this fantasy of meeting the man I would eventually marry on campus (I don’t know if this is you.) You both will change so much between the ages of 18 and 25 you will not believe it. If he truly is a great guy and you think that he has some qualities worth holding on to, then by all means, give couples therapy a shot. Hopefully the counselor can teach you some relationship skills and coping methods that you will be able to use for a lifetime. If you two break up after couples counseling, learn what you can from the relationship and move on–sometimes it is much better to know for certain than to wonder what if.

      Are you getting some sort of counseling for your depression too? Regardless of what happens in your relationship, you need to take care of yourself first. The best part about being a young, single woman is that you get to make your life all about you, you can be selfish, and eat whatever you want for dinner, who is around to know or judge? You have the rest of your life to get married, and have children whose needs you will have to consider. Having a better sense of you and your needs also makes you a much better partner, friend, and daughter. Allow yourself some free spirited adventures, the chance to make some mistakes, and the chance to be spontaneous just because you can.

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  • Brad

    Brad April 26, 2012, 2:11 pm

    “he was afraid I was growing up too fast”

    So his solution to that was to buy his 19 year old a house…? What?

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    • MandaNoA

      MandaNoA April 26, 2012, 2:25 pm

      It’s a control thing. My parents did very nearly the same thing. They offered to sell me my Grandma’s house after she passed (I was 22) and I said no. I knew that if I “bought” it from them they would be my landlords until I paid it all off, which means they would believe they had the right to tell me who could live there, what I could do to the house and they would watch my other spending a lot more more closely. They also would have used it as an excuse to stop by whenever they wanted (it was only 2 blocks from their house). It’s allowing your child to have some freedom while still being able to have some control over them.

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    • avatar

      rachel April 26, 2012, 2:44 pm

      Seriously, I’m 27 and it sounds like too much work to maintain a house.

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    • bittergaymark

      bittergaymark April 26, 2012, 7:56 pm

      Hah! So true, Mr. Rad Brad. HILARIOUS!!!!!

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  • avatar

    kerrycontrary April 26, 2012, 2:13 pm

    I agree, the couples counseling reminds me of Catelynn and Tyler from teen mom and he’s like “wtf, we are 17 and going to couples counseling!?”

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    • iwannatalktosampson

      Iwannatalktosampson April 26, 2012, 2:15 pm

      Thumbs up on the teen mom reference. Love that trainwreck.

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    • MandaNoA

      MandaNoA April 26, 2012, 2:28 pm

      Yeah but they’re still together and getting married next summer.

      Yes I follow them on twitter….DON’T JUDGE ME! =)

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    • avatar

      GatorGirl April 26, 2012, 3:56 pm

      Difference is they had a child (yes it was adopted but it’s an open adoption) and are engaged. They also both clearly have no role models for positive adult relationships so…maybe counseling is the only way they would learn what a healthy adult relationship is supposed to be?

      (Didn’t their parents get married to each other or something crazy??)

      (Also I love that show)

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      • avatar

        ele4phant April 26, 2012, 8:36 pm

        Agreed. Even if it was ridiculous for two 17 year olds to get couples counseling to stay together, its not like they were getting good relationships skill at home. Some things you need to be taught, either by observation or through counseling. And if you don’t have a decent model at home, better to get into counseling young so you don’t waste your youth in awful awful relationships.

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    • avatar

      *HmC* April 26, 2012, 4:38 pm

      Call me crazy (and maybe this is just bc they are surrounded by such insanity, but they actually seem smart and reasonably well suited for eachother. The episodes where their readjustment family was trying to guilt them into keeping a baby that they wisely knew they were not prepared to keep were heart-wrenching.

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      • avatar

        *HmC* April 26, 2012, 4:40 pm

        Readjustment? That was supposed to say trashy. Weird phone.

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  • avatar

    ReginaRey April 26, 2012, 2:47 pm

    Yeah, I’ve got to jump in and re-affirm that at 19 and 22, you shouldn’t need to go to couples therapy. As I said above, I’m obviously a huge proponent of therapy. But at 19, any issues you’re having that could lead to couples therapy (barring some big issues in your past that are contributing to relationship problems — like abuse, etc.) are issues rooted in a lack of compatibility.

    At 19, you are FAR from the person you’re going to be one day. Our brains don’t stop developing until we’re roughly 24! You haven’t even turned 20 yet! Your 20’s are all about growth and change and personal evolution. It’s rare for two people so young to grow in the same direction. It’s natural for you to become less compatible over time, as you each evolve. So couples therapy at 19? Probably just a sign that you’re trying to hard to make something fit that just doesn’t fit anymore.

    I honestly think the “grown up” thing to do in this situation isn’t to go to couples therapy…it’s to do the difficult thing and consider that you and your boyfriend might just not be right for each other anymore, and move on.

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    • avatar

      applescruff April 26, 2012, 3:05 pm

      I respectfully disagree. I’ve seen my share of couples at colleges, and yes, some of them break up between the intake and first session. But the things they will learn in couples therapy, as far as healthy communication, etc, are things they can carry forward in other relationships, if this one doesn’t work out. Plus, her school probably offers it free through the counseling center if both members of the couple are students (and even sometimes if they aren’t). Sure, she should be having fun in college, etc, but I dont think couples therapy is going to prevent that, and if it’s something she wants to do I don’t see it as a negative.

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      • avatar

        ReginaRey April 26, 2012, 3:22 pm

        I don’t see it as a negative, and I agree that it could certainly help with future relationships. But I suppose what worries me is the mindset behind WANTING to go to couples therapy at 19…like, “we HAVE to make this relationship work!” You’re not 40 with 2 children. You’re 19…you don’t HAVE to stick with someone with whom you have trust and communication issues already.

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      • avatar

        applescruff April 26, 2012, 3:31 pm

        Hopefully, if there’s no relationship there they’ll figure that out in therapy (or before). But if they want to give it a shot, I’m all for letting the kids give it a shot.

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      • theattack

        theattack April 26, 2012, 7:42 pm

        Exactly! This is one of the aspects of couples counseling. Deciding if you’re compatible.

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      • Jess

        Jess April 26, 2012, 4:13 pm

        I agree strongly here. Whether the relationship lasts or not, why not have some guidance along the way? If I could do things over, I think I could have learned so much and more quickly. How to communicate, when it’s time to MOA, how to deal with a break-up, how to identify a good partner, which battles to pick and which to let be, etc, etc, etc. I learned a lot through experience but it took some time.

        I don’t think couples therapy has to be seen as salvage mission. If more people made regular use of it, perhaps more relationships would last (or at least make a healthier impact on your life). Why can’t it be considered routine maintenance?

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 26, 2012, 4:21 pm

        So you’re saying she should just read DW regularly?

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      • Jess

        Jess April 26, 2012, 4:25 pm

        haha! Maybe if they BOTH read it, that would count as therapy? It would be cheaper.

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      • Lili

        Lili April 26, 2012, 5:01 pm

        I count DW as therapy. Wendy should start taking insurance plans 😉

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      • avatar

        d2 April 26, 2012, 11:01 pm

        I agree with Applescruff that working with a therapist to learn/improve communication skills is good at any age. And that a couple’s therapist can help them figure out if they are a good fit to stay together.

        While my impression is that the LW is pretty young and inexperienced, and naïve to consider moving in with her boyfriend, I don’t see her having a desperate attitude. In her last paragraph she says that if things work out, she and her boyfriend will be together; and if not, they won’t. That seems to me to be a pretty healthy attitude. I don’t see that as some “we MUST make this relationship work” plea for which she is being criticized.

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  • Budj

    Budj April 26, 2012, 3:03 pm

    Sharing things out of convenience does not equal living together…really….there is a huge line to cross to actually be experiencing the act of living together and that is….having all of your shit in the same domicile, where you both eat, shit, and sleep, and you both have no where else to call home…

    I applaud your bf’s decision to balk due to your fighting. And I tend to side with the other cynical/bitter “old people” here that couple’s counseling is probably an effort in futility…for the relationship…but maybe helpful for your personal growth.

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest April 26, 2012, 3:09 pm

      Who the F you callin’ old, Budj?

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      • Budj

        Budj April 26, 2012, 3:19 pm

        Me, you, iwannatalktosampson, BGM….it was a jk quoted label because typically cynical and bitter opinions are associated with crotchety old people….which none of us technically are….unless you have all been lying about your identity.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow April 26, 2012, 3:23 pm

        I’m definitely crotchety. I’ll own that.

        What was that other word I liked? Oh, yeah. Malarky. Can you throw that in somehow?

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      • avatar

        ReginaRey April 26, 2012, 3:24 pm

        “Going to couples therapy at 19 is a load of malarky!” …..too soon?

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      • avatar

        anonymous April 26, 2012, 3:29 pm

        You were right on top of it RR — congrats for beating everyone else out.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow April 26, 2012, 3:27 pm

        And cod wallop.

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      • Jess

        Jess April 26, 2012, 4:19 pm

        Shenanigans.

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      • avatar

        Buzzelbee April 26, 2012, 5:38 pm

        I’ve taken to actually using Shenanigans in conversation. That and tom foolery.

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      • Jess

        Jess April 26, 2012, 4:20 pm

        Gentleman Friend (that’s how my grandma refers to any man I date)

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      • Firegirl32

        Firegirl32 April 26, 2012, 4:58 pm

        I love Gentleman Friend! I’m going to use that.

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      • Firegirl32

        Firegirl32 April 26, 2012, 4:58 pm

        How do you use cod wallop in a sentence?

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      • SweetsAndBeats

        SweetsAndBeats April 26, 2012, 5:10 pm

        Most philosophical stoners end up spewing out codswallop if you let them go on long enough.

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      • Amybelle

        Amybelle April 26, 2012, 5:19 pm

        In my day there was no couples counseling, we were too busy walking 5 miles uphill both ways to class.

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      • Amybelle

        Amybelle April 26, 2012, 5:21 pm

        in the snow, because it snowed every day in the old days..

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      • LadyinPurpleNotRed

        LadyinPurpleNotRed April 26, 2012, 5:25 pm

        don’t forget you did this in bare feet too! That’s a key aspect.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson April 26, 2012, 8:40 pm

        Take it back Budj….take it back. I am young balls. I am drinking beer right now! (forget the part that the beer will make me more sleepy than drunk – that’s not relevant right now).

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