Psychological-Case-Studies is a regular feature. Please give your opinion of this case.

Tristen and David

David and Tristen have been engaged for eight years. They have lived together for 4 years. Tristen is 31 and David is 29. They met in a bar while out with friends and it was love at first sight. David was dating somebody pretty seriously when they met, but broke off the relationship in order to start dating Tristen.

Tristen has wanted to get married from the first year they were together. They struggled a bit at first because David continued to have contact with his previous girlfriend (not sexually, but socially). At one point, Tristen found out that David had been talking to his ex-girlfriend often on his cell phone and had met with her a couple of times for lunch. This was a serious threat to their relationship, but David agreed not to see his ex, and he stopped doing so.

On and off throughout the relationship, David and Tristen have had some pretty painful discussions about marriage. Tristen expresses her desire to get married and David agrees, but says he is not ready. Four years into their relationship, David lost his job. He couldn’t find work right away, so Tristen suggested he move in with her to help with his expenses. He moved in and later found a new job. They both work in middle management positions and earn about the same salary. David pays “rent” that is equal to half the mortgage, and he also pays the utilities. Other than that, the couple keeps their finances separate.

Recently Tristen gave David an ultimatum. Either they set a date and start planning a wedding, or she will have to break off the relationship. David is stunned and hurt. He loves Tristen very much and would like to continue with the relationship the way it is. He says he is committed and doesn’t see why a piece of paper is so important. He thinks he might want to have children some day, but until he is ready for that, he doesn’t really see the benefit of marriage. He wants to wait until they are ready to start a family, but feels that is a long way off. Tristen feels that David couldn’t really love her if he won’t agree to marriage which she wants so much. She feels rejected and powerless. Every day she gets more and more angry and resentful toward David for not giving her what she wants. Her anger is creating a wedge in the relationship and both David and Tristen feel they are growing apart.

Can This Relationship Be Saved?


Please note that all fields followed by an asterisk must be filled in.

See More Case Studies in the Archives

Share this page:
Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.