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You Asked: Do I Have the Seven Year Itch?

Dear Sugar,
I have been in a relationship for seven years. Before we started dating, we were high-school buds and decided after college to get together. After the first six months we moved in together — I knew it was early but I just went with it. At the time, I had all the confidence in us — I was finishing school and working two jobs and he was building a business as a glassblower. Seven years have gone by and I'm in a developed career and he is working out of a shed in the backyard of our (my) house that is in my name because he's still not doing anything with his life. I am still in love with him, but am quickly getting increasingly fat and depressed. I really think that I might wake up someday and find that at 40 years old, I've sacrificed having a family so that he can blow glass for just enough money to pay his bills and go fishing. It's going to be really hard to just break up because my self-esteem is at an all time low and I love him, so do I work on myself first? Do I get counseling? I'm so torn.
— Sick of It Sally

To see Dear Sugar's answer

Dear Sick of It Sally,

This is a really tough call because Sally, you can't change people so if your boyfriend's work ethic isn't up to your standards, there's nothing you can do to change it. You say that you still love him, but if you're feeling more and more depressed, you need to do whatever is going to make you happy even if that means breaking up with him.

Choosing between love and money is an age-old question and while some would say love is the obvious choice, we all know it's more complicated than that. If you're bringing home most of the money and feel as though he's still doing "nothing with his life," then you're going to feel nothing but resentment towards him, which will destroy your relationship. It sounds like glassblowing is his true passion, despite the lack of money it brings in, so if you can't accept what he's doing with his life, I think you know what you have to do.

Seven years is a long time to be with someone so before you call it quits, I think seeing a couples counselor is a good idea. It sounds as though you're harboring a lot of ill will so getting all your emotions out on the table is bound to help, and who knows, your boyfriend could have a mouth full to say, too. If at the end of the day you two want different things out of your future, severing your ties now might be the best decision for both of you. I hope this helps, and good luck to you.


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