My boyfriend and I have been together for five years and we’ve been through a lot already. Lately though, I’ve been contemplating whether or not we should keep this relationship going or if we have come to the end and are just denying it to ourselves. Love is not the problem because we really do love each other, but sometimes I feel that it's the only reason I want to stay with him. First of all, he has a job, but it is not stable so I fear that I won’t I have a financially stable future with him. Secondly, we fight three out of the five times we see each other. Usually it’s just about the small things, but sometimes I end up questioning our compatibility.
With our relationship, the saying “when it’s good, it’s good but when it’s bad, it’s bad” applies. We have broken up many times in the past few months but we keep getting back together because we love each other so much. While I don’t want to lose him, I don't want to continue on this path of doubt. Do you have any advice? — Cautious Caroline
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Dear Cautious Caroline,
Many people feel that love conquers all, but that's not always the case. Compatibility is a major factor in maintaining a long lasting relationship, but so is respect, compassion, and trust, so if you're doubting all those characteristics in your relationship, something must change. While financial stability is surely comforting, relying on someone else for that is a little dangerous in my opinion. Many people are struggling with job security right now, so I'd make sure you can rely on yourself before anyone else.
As we all know, some fighting in a relationship is perfectly normal, but it sounds like you're not fighting more than you're getting along. You say it's usually over the small stuff so if you want this to work, you're both going to have to make an effort to break the cycle.
Only you will know if this relationship has ran its course, but since you clearly love each other, I wouldn't give up without giving it a fighting chance. If breaking the pattern isn't happening on your own, you might want to consider couples counseling so you can communicate with an unbiased mediator who might be able to see something neither of you can. Hopefully this is something that can be worked out, but if not, at least you'll know you tried. Good luck.