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Marriage/two lives one decision


I am currently and university and my boyfriend is in the army. we have been through so much together and always survived, many have called us the perfect couple and to me we are amazing together, but as i get closer to my final year of university i have a hard decision to make and i need advice.
my boyfriend has asked me to marry him when i finish university and nothing would make me happier then to say yes and be with him however due to his career it will mean travelling every year or so, therefore i shall be unable to carry out my own career choice. me and my boyfriend have discussed it and he says that we can be married and i don't have to live with him, but i already hurt not seeing him and i believe and am scared that if we are to get married and i live somewhere completely different in order to carry out my own wishes for a career that its going to hurt even more. i would do anything to be with him but at the same time i feel like the career part of my life would be over before it even began. i would really appreciate your advice. i want to be with him but i also want my own career.
thank you for your time

Hi Samantha - a very tough decision. One option is to not decide now, and see what happens after you graduate and seek to put your education to work. Another option is for your partner to leave the Army some time after you graduate, and consider a civilian occupation where you both could be together and then marry. A third option is to have a dialog with your wise "Future Self" to see what she advises you:

It sounds like your commitment to each other is solid, and doesn't depend on marriage per se. My best advice is wait until you graduate and find work before you decide if and when to marry.

Respectfully, Pete  


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Peter Gerlach, MSW


I can answer questions about choosing a mate wisely, marital communications and problem solving, affairs, same-gender relationships, trust, respect, bonding and intimicy, values differences, boundary problems, grieving, dealing with ex mates, parents, and in-laws, remarriage, separation, divorce, abuse, feeling unloved, codependence, psychological wounds, money disputes, balancing kids, careers, and marital primacy, etc. I cannot answer legal or medical questions


I've been a professional family-systems therapist in private practice for 33 years. I have specialized in helping people avoid and adapt to divorce, and manage remarriage ans stepfamilies, since 1979. I've studied and taught classes in interpersonal communication for over 40 years, and have presented over 200 seminars on a wide range of human-relationswhip topics to Chicago-area churches, schools, menyal-health agencies, and businesses, and have been featured on Chicago and national radio and TV. I have been married and divorced. I now believe all marital and family problems are caused by five little-known factors - see This forms the basis of my work as therapist and educator.

I now answer "" questions on stepparenting, communication, and counseling. I belong to ", "Death with Dignity," "Compassion and Choices," and to the online Adverse Childhood Experience Study (ACES) at

I've published over 200 free Internet articles on childhood-trauma recovery and wholistic health, communication skills, healthy grieving, human relationships (including marriage and divorce), family health, effective parenting, and managing a stepfamily). These articles are in the form of seven free self-improvement lessons ( These articles are augmented by 168 YouTube videos ("gercacn" channel); I've published a book on childhood-trauma recovery ("Who's *REALLY Running Your Life?"), and other books on interpersonal communicactioin skills ("Satisfactions"), remarriage ("The Remarriage Book"), "Stepfamily Courtship", and "Stepfamily Co-parenting" All published by

Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering (BSME) from Stanford University (1959); Masters degree in Social Work (MSW) from George Williams college (1981); hundreds of hours of post-grad trainng from Northwestern U. the University of Chicago, et. al. in a wide range of human-relationship topics.

Awards and Honors
The state of Illinois licensed me to practice clinical social work in 1981. I was selected twice to serve on the board of the Stepfamily Association of America (SAA), and am currently on the Stepfamily-expert panel at Auburn University; I was the Board chairman at a major public mental-health agency in suburban chicago, and was the chairman of the Parent Relations Council for a major suburban High School. I currently have over 500 subscibers on YouTube since I began uploading educational videos in May, 2011.

Past/Present Clients
I've worked with over 1,000 men; women; dating, merried, remarried, divorcing, and redivorcing couples; and whole families. I'm currently 74, semi-retired, and disabled, and I do therapy with people and couples by phone and Internet (Skype).

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