Three years of roller coasters, how do we get better?

Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Male
My girlfriend and I have been together for almost 3 yrs. We started dating in high school when I was a senior, she was a freshman. I am now 21 and she will be 18 in November. I know it sounds like I am robbing the cradle, but she is very mature for a 17 yr old. We have had some serious ups and downs for about the past year and a half.

The biggest problem of all is my attitude. I will admit, I do have a bad attitude towards a lot of things I can be very jealous. She used to complain that I would always give her dirty looks and sigh whenever something did not go my way. The looks have stopped along with sighing. I love her more than anything in the world and I have given up so much that I refuse to let her go. I don't think that she wants to break up with me because I am the most stable thin in her life, but whenever we have any type of agruement, breaking up is the first thing to come out her mouth. I ask her why she always brings that up, and she says that it isnt. She ask me to try to help her with things that she needs to improve on or ways to make things easier, and when I try, gets gets pissed off at me.

When I went to college I had a lot of friends that were girls and she hated that. She started her Senior year about a month ago I she has made new friends which are mostly girls, but these girls hang out with some dudes that I do not trust. Not because I am jealous, but I do not trust them. When I confront her about this, she says that I just feel sorry for myself and that I am too jealous. I have done a lot of little things over the years to piss her off but I have improved on what she thought was wrong but she is still not happy. I love her family and most importanly I love her more than anything. I spend every waking moment I have with her but she wants more and I do not know what to do. I try my hardest to work things out. We can have a long talk one night and everything can be fine, but the next day she is pissed off again about something in the past.

One of my biggest downfalls is that I have a hard time letting things go so I bring up old stuff that turns into another argument then she tells me that I am feeling sorry for myself.

I know that both of us love each other more than anything, but it is very difficult to get things through to her without her thinking that I am feeling sorry for myself. I do not want to break up, to me, that is not really an option. We want to spend the rest of our lives together but at this point, spending next week together is up in the air.

What do I do? Advice
It sounds like you guys had a lot of problems in your past and are trying to resolve them. However, part of resolving them is to let them go and focus on a new, better future together. If all you keep doing is bringing up the past issues and making things worse, she is not going to want to stay with you. It's one thing to work on issues to fix them. It's another thing to have to keep dealing with them again and again and to have your life full of grief. Nobody chooses to stay with a stressful relationship for long. There is enough else in life to bring in stress - a relationship is supposed to be a way to find a RELEASE from stress, not to add even more.

You have to make some serious efforts to really LOVE her as you say you do. Love is NOT about jealousy, it is not about fighting, it is not about adding to each other's stress levels. Love is about being a PARTNER and a BEST FRIEND for the person you are with. You should be supporting her in her dreams, happy that she has friends, enjoying the time you can spend with her. If you guys disagree about something, you should be talking it through, not fighting.

The fact that she talks about breaking up whenever there's an issue points to her not being long-term happy with how things are going. She sees a happy life without you - without the stress involved. So if you want to make this relationship last, start working on the relationship. They don't just happen. They are constantly cared for.

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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