Dear Thelma: She irritates me but maybe I should marry her


  • Family
  • Sunday, 23 Dec 2018

I have a girlfriend of three years, and we’re already talking about moving to the next step (getting married). Well, mostly she’s the one talking about it. Me? I just nod my head.

Just a little background: She’s the oldest in the family, she has very strict parents, we can’t go on a date unless she sneaks out. I feel bad about it. For me, I think we went a little bit too fast at the start. I didn’t get to know her family well enough, but surprisingly her grandparents loved me so much.

It was all lovey-dovey between us at first, but for a while now, I’ve felt like I’ve been having second thoughts. Do I really want to spend my whole life with her? Knowing that her parents have hated me all this while.

My girlfriend is also a hot-tempered person. I don’t know if all women are like this too, but she always gets mad over the smallest things. At first I was okay, because I love her, but now it is getting irritating. And sometimes when I have the chance to call her (I live about 30 minutes away), I don’t, because I don’t feel like talking to her. I don’t know, I just don’t feel the excitement I once did.

But now, leaving her after being together for three years has got me thinking. What if she is the one? Is there anyone better? What are her parents/grandparents going to think of me? What are my parents going to say (because they approved of her)?

I really don’t know what to do. Do I still love her? Will that feeling ever come back? Or will it get better after we are married? She really loves me, I have no doubt about that, but I have been lying about my feelings. Please help Thelma!

Irritated and confused


Dear Irritated

What both your families think of you and her matters a little, because if you were to marry, you’d all have to learn to get along. However, you are not marrying her relatives and she’s not marrying yours: you are marrying each other.

If you are irritated by her now, when you are only dating each other and seeing each other here and there, can you imagine what it will be like living together full-time for 30 or 40 years?

Getting married to someone you know you are not compatible with, is beyond foolish. Not only will you not be happy, but marriage does not gloss over minor differences, it tends to magnify them.

For you, when you are married, you can’t walk out on her because she’s mad and hope she’ll get over it. You’ll be stuck with the situation.

And although people can make effective change, it is very hard and often enough, they try a bit and then “reset” into old habits. Your girlfriend will likely always be a cili padi.

Thankfully, this is what dating is for. You see someone you like, dip a toe into a relationship to get to know them better, and if it works, you go for it and make a permanent commitment. If it doesn’t work, it’s a bit sad, but at least you both walk away to try again with someone else.

So, be honest and upfront and say to the girl, “You’re a good person with a tonne of good qualities, but I don’t see us being happy in a forever marriage.” Then break it off.

Do not worry about her family or yours. It’s much better to cut off a relationship that doesn’t work early on; they would not want you to marry this girl and break her heart with an unhappy marriage.

Your fears about “is she the best option I have” are unfounded. Terrible, huh, to say that when I don’t know you? But there are thousands of single women out there looking for love and the odds are good that many of them will be a good match for you.

To make the best of this situation, you have learned one thing about yourself: you cannot date a cili padi.

Some people love a hot-tempered passionate girl but that’s not for you. So when you look around for a partner, pick one who is laid-back.

Also, work on being honest and open about your feelings. It will save you and the people you love a lot of heartache.


Have a problem? Email star2.thelma@thestar.com.my or write to Dear Thelma, c/o Star2, Menara Star, 15, Jalan 16/11, 46350 Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Please include your full name and address, and a pseudonym. No private correspondence will be entertained. The Star does not give any warranty on accuracy, completeness, usefulness, fitness for any particular purpose or other assurances as to the opinions and views expressed in this column. The Star disclaims all responsibility for any losses suffered directly or indirectly arising from reliance on such opinions and views.


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