Is She Really So Perfect?
Q: Seven months ago I found the love of my life at work. Although I recently got fired, and it seems we don't talk or see each other as much, she says her feelings haven't changed and she wants to marry me. We are a perfect match! But the only thing is, its hard to find a decent job. She's upset I can't spoil her anymore. I know I will find a good paying job, just what do I do in the meantime? I really don't want to lose her. -- Mark, 24
Dr. Susan: A woman who can be "lost" when you can no longer afford to spoil her, even temporarily because you've lost your job, is not the perfect match you like to believe she is. Imagine you find the money to entice her into sticking with you. Ten years go by, you have kids and a mortgage. Then you lose your job through no fault of your own. Does she stick with you then? Or will she always be the type of person who must have goodies and more goodies showered upon her? I've seen it happen: This guy was laid off and went back to school to get a better job eventually, and his wife started running around with more "exciting" guys rather than see it through while her husband spent his time studying. Very sad. I have a bias against anyone who needs to be spoiled by gifts in order to feel loved. She should be content with inexpensive romantic picnics, evenings sharing a DVD, and your genuine consideration for her. If she stays upset and can't wait out this lean time, you have to think about what life with her would mean. I suspect she's simply too immature to know what's important.
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Advice for Her
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.