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(**Even though this is a long question and answer, we are posting it because of it's importance. Many men have asked the same question.)

Having second thoughts about my girlfriend. Please help?
Been with my girlfriend for two years. She's a lot of fun, very smart, family-oriented, genuine and sexy. She's chilled out unlike those high-maintenance girls and I felt like I could open up to her and be completely myself. For a few months now though, I find myself being attracted to other girls -- physically. It seems shallow, but I'm just being honest. Around the same time, her parents started pushing her to move things forward and get married. I figured the physical attraction issue was just a temporary feeling and would pass. The truth is, it comes and goes -- sometimes I find her attractive, sometimes I don't. But lately, after talking to her parents, my mind has wandered to past crushes (even though there are not realistic prospects) and any time I see a really pretty girl, I get into this almost depressive mood that I will no longer have a shot at anyone like that (especially now that the girlfriend has put on a little weight). Although she is great and will make a loving/supportive wife, I'm concerned that I'm getting these second thoughts. 

Is this what they call "cold feet"? I'm also worried that if I throw this away, I will likely not find someone, ever. But I don't get super excited to see her like I used to ... not sure what I should do. Anyone been in a similar situation? Married guys -- if you felt this way before getting engaged/married, did things improve? Please help me out and give me some advice about how to think about this. I will be very grateful.

Dear Second Thought Guy,

We have always found that you have to trust your glitches.  If you really do have glitches about your girlfriend, you need to seriously consider why you have those thoughts to see if they are real or if they are just due to the fear of commitment.  What we have found after studying successful couples for more than 35 years, is that they love each other more than anything else in the world throughout their lives.  They never felt as if they had to settle for anything less than what they wanted, because they wanted to be with only that person for the rest of their lives.  While they may be attracted to someone they notice from the opposite sex, they do not act on those thoughts and it doesn't go any further than a passing thought.  These truly successful couples are in love with and committed to the one they love from the time they were married until their death.  They tell us that when they found the one they truly loved, they knew it.  They report that they always knew it and they still have that same tingle 30 or more years later.

From your description below, you talk about your girlfriend being terrific, but you mention the weight gain and the attraction to other women.  Take a good hard look at your relationship with your girlfriend and talk to her about what is bothering you.  Don't go into a marriage with those kind of doubts thinking you don't want to lose a good thing, so you are going to settle in spite of the doubts.  Work through them openly before you commit to marriage.  The consequences for not resolving your concerns before marriage can lead to an early divorce and a life of disappointment for both of you.  It would be a good idea to  find a trusted advisor - religious, professional or a family member - who you can talk through your issues with before committing to marriage.  When the issues are resolved and you commit to saying "I Do" you will mean it.

We don't usually promote our book when we answer, but in this case, you might grab a copy of Golden Anniversaries to see what successful couples look and act like.  You can see if that is what the two of you have together and want for the rest of your lives.

We wish you the best of luck and a lifetime of love in the future.


Dear Marriage Doctors,

I have just met my boyfreind and we love each other. I love him and he loves me. But he is over weight and he feels insecure. I just want to make him feel special and secure because I love him so much, but I don't know how. We have not yet made love because he is working from far and he will be coming soon to visit me.


Dear Debby,

First, while you need to help him feel more secure, the only way he will do that if he is concerned about his weight is to move toward slow and steady weight loss. You can help him the most by exercising with him, eating a good low fat diet with him and just plain encouraging him to lose the weight so he feels more secure about himself. Making him just feel good for the moment is not a long term solution to his self-concept issues. If they really stem solely from his weight, losing the weight will do marvelous things for his positive attitudes and how he feels about himself. To have a sustained and rock solid relationship, both individuals need to feel good about themselves. Keep loving him, but help him love himself.

Best wishes for a successful relationship with you loved one.
Love well!
"the marriage doctors"

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