Hello, and thanks for this amazing site. I am a 17 year old guy in a relationship. My girlfriend (although the word comes with a certain stigma of immaturity, which I don't like) and I have been together for well over a year. We have had a very successful relationship, even though we've had our bumps and bruises. However, our relationship is now in turmoil. My girlfriend is trying to end the relationship - although we both still love each other very much, enjoy each other's company, and feel the same as day one. The reason is her commitment issues. They come from a very troubled past, but I will not betray her privacy and give further details. This has been an issue which she has avoided for a long time. Never could we have a productive discussion on the issue. In truth, she needs therapy. She admits this, she knows this. She discontinued therapy (for PTSD and other things) a couple years ago. The reason why she refuses to go to therapy, why she is driven to break apart our relationship rather then go to therapy, is because of her love for her family. She believes that her going to therapy would hurt her family. Her family went through a very difficult time when she previously went to therapy, and she believes this will happen again (however, her experience in actually brought them together and strengthened their bonds). Would her going to therapy hurt her family (i.e. they love her very much, and hurt too if she is hurting)? Could you please expand on the topic of family bonds (i.e., how they want to help her, even if it is an inconvenience to them, how her happiness makes them happy). I love her very much, and our relationship has the potential to last a very long time if she can just overcome her issues.

Thanks for this thoughtful question, and I'm sorry for what you're all going through!

However I'm not convinced this is, in the end, a 'philosophical' matter -- it sounds more like one that's for the professional psychologists and therapists .... and I wonder if it might be useful even for YOU to consult with one, to get some useful advice about how to deal with this complicated situation! (There are some philosophers with some psychology expertise, but I don't know if any of the panelists on this site are those!)

best of luck!

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