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by Abigail Van Buren

Couple's Future Hinges on Woman's Ability to Resolve Past Anger

DEAR ABBY: My girlfriend and I are getting ready to move to a new city in six months (each of us for our own careers) and plan to move in together. Some issues still need to be ironed out before we make that commitment, and my biggest concern is the anger and resentment she carries toward her semi-estranged father.

I understand where it comes from and why, but it worries me to see how quickly and completely it can overwhelm her personality. I lack comparable experience, so I struggle to have constructive conversations with her about it. But I can't accept this poisonous volatility as a feature of our life together. I believe that speaking to someone would help her deal with these feelings in a healthier, more constructive way, but she rejects that idea.

I don't want to bully her into counseling, but I feel like I have to do something before we take this next step, for both our sakes. Would it be wrong to tell her she has to start seeing someone before I commit to moving in together? -- HESITATING IN FLORIDA

DEAR HESITATING: No, it would not be wrong. If your girlfriend's problems with her father bleed over into her relationship with you -- and it appears they have -- it would be a mistake for you to move in together because it won't last.

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