Dear MTN,

I am engaged to a beautiful, smart, and funny woman. However, since the engagement I have been bothered by things that I did not realize before. I cannot stand the way she treats her dog like it is a child. Her dog has to sleep in the bed with us.

Also we can’t come to an agreement about where we will live. I want our own place in order to start our life together  fresh. She wants me to move into her childhood house where she now lives and also where there are still a lot of painful memories for her. I cannot understand why she wants to continue to live there when all she has ever told me is how awful it was being there. The more I think about these issues the more I am thinking it is not going to work.

Do you think there is any hope for my relationship? She is a wonderful person, but she may not be right for me. 

- Jim

Dear Jim,

Of course there is hope. My belief is as long as there is no cheating in a relationship, anything broken, can be fixed.

This sounds to me like it can certainly be fixed. The issue of the dog is a minor one. There has to be compromise in any relationship. It sounds like you have already one foot out the door before even trying to fix these issues. I hope that is not the case.

Nowadays too many people look for the easy answer to any relationship problems, which is just to quit. Our parents and grandparents didn't run. They fixed what was broken. I think we can all benefit from learning how our ancestors handled and fixed their problems. They talked it out. I am sure if your fiance knows how much the dog sleeping in your bed is bothering you, she will make certain adjustments to make you happy. Come up with some ideas for her that would be a compromise for both of you.

As for the more important issue of where to live...This is something that you both need to sit down and talk about.  Mention to her how important it is to you to begin a fresh, healthy new life together. Does she have children that she wants to remain in school before moving? In that case, you can buy a new home once the children are done with high school. If not, then you have more leverage in your favor. I think you should show her some pictures of homes that you have looked at and maybe that will entice her to be excited about this change. I am assuming that her hesitance in moving is just emotional ties. If you talk with her about his and work with her I am sure she will come around. Best of  luck in this situation.

Please keep me posted.