Post # 1
My friend R has been in a relationship with her BF for almost 4 years. at around 2 years in, he took her shopping for her birthday gift. She started looking at jewelry during this shopping trip and ended up liking a ring. She asked him if it would be ok to make that her gift and he said of course it was fine. She has worn that ring ever since on her engagement ring finger and called it a promise ring. Although from the way she tells it, it never sounded to me like there was any promise made. According to her, he does talk about marriage and a future with her. This is where any talk of marriage ends though. There was never a promise of an engagement, never a proposal, and it only comes up when she brings it up.
So recently after being unemployed for 2 years, her BF got a job that has offices in baltimore and philly. They sent him over there for 2 weeks to do a job and there has been talk of them possibly offering him a position at one of those offices. The pay wouldn’t change and right now he only makes 14 dollars an hour with no benefits. So this isn’t some wonderful job we are talking about. The topic of moving came up and she said she would only move if they were married, she wasn’t going to move without some kind of security. So his response was “well yea, if we were gonna move then sure I would marry you”. So of course she gets all excited… at first. Then she realized how it sounded and basically it sounded to her like if they were to move then he would marry her but if they don’t end up moving then it’s gonna be the same thing it’s always been. Not to mention they have never lived on their own at all. Not even seperately. She has never had her own place, and neither has he. They have always lived with family. she’s 30 and he’s 38 So it’s just all very unrealistic given how they both are. either way, my question for you bees is this, how would you take his response? R knows I am posting here and has the same concerns for herself as I have for her as her friend.
Personally, i wouldn’t want someone to marry me because they want me to move with them. They should marry me simply because they want to marry me, it shouldn’t take a move and me giving that kind of ultimatum for them to make that kind of a step with me. R feels the same now after we have talked about it but we thought maybe we would get some outside opinions. Is it possible too much is being taken from one comment? Do actions speak louder than words (that’s what I think)? should she push the marriage talk further and find out more about what his thoughts are at this point? I am having a hard time giving her advice on this because we are very different people. I would have left already given the kind of person he is but she still has high hopes that she will be able to marry this man, be a stay at home wife, and have the life she wants with him. Im at a loss bees…. Any helpful advice on how to approach this situation is welcome.
Post # 3
- Wedding: September 2013 - B&B
Well first I think more of a talk should definitely be had between the two of them… maybe she could bring it up in a gentle manner like “hey you know how you said you’d marry me if we move? well it just got me thinking about the future and what we both might want out of it… where do you see us going in a year, two years, three?” see how he responds to that. If he’s noncommittal, there may be problems. If he lines out a clearer plan, perhaps there’s hope. And if he is noncommittal, she needs to find a gentle way to express to him that it is important for HER to have some kind of idea… that its making her worried and she needs some kind of reassurance that he’s serious about their future. She doesn’t have to ask for a play by play timeline, but she needs some kind of verbal reassurance from him that their future is with each other, in a way that they both agree with.
But my concern would be if she wants marriage and kids, this man is 38… I’m not saying that people can’t start families in their 40’s, it happens often enough, but it’s not like they are both in their mid-20’s and have “all” the time in the world… if he’s still being noncommittal at 38…. I would begin to be worried he will NEVER want to settle down?
Post # 4
- Wedding: April 2013 - Rhode Island
My best friend did the exact same thing right out of high school. Her BF was moving across the country for a job, and she said she’d only go with him if they got married. They went to the courthouse that summer and several years later ended up getting a divorce because he became a very different person once they were actually married. Is that what would happen to your friend? No, not necessarily.
But I strongly believe that you should get married for the right reasons. Moving is not one of those reasons, in my opinion. Marriage is a huge decision that has more than just emotional consequences. It should not be entered into lightly.
In the end, you can’t tell her how to live her life. All you can do is be there for her and support her in whatever decisions she makes.
Post # 5
@stardustintheeyes: “We accept the love we think we deserve” – she puts up with it. I would never tolerate it but then again, I know what I’m worth and what I deserve.
Post # 6
@Sunnyday278: see I don’t think it’s that he doesn’t want to settle down. I just think his idea of settling down isn’t the same as hers. Kids is an issue anyway since he had a daughter at a very young age and the mother moved to tennessee with the little girl and he barely saw her growing up, he did pay child support though. My thinking is that by 38 he should have already started building a life a long time ago. She’s 30 and really wants to start a family already but knows it’s not realistic given that they have never even had their own place, or anything. I think the talk is a good idea though because no matter what, after 4 years they need to figure out what is going on. that was about where my advice to R ended. Im kind of useless in this situation though because in my opinion, this guy isnt’ the guy who’s going to be able to and who may not even be willing to give her the kind of life she wants for herself. I feel like she’s playing house with this guy but the reality of it is, it’s never going to move past that. I have told her this directly. So given how I feel, I don’t really know what else to say. I know the bees are always helpful (especially when im not! lol) so I thought I would see what people have to say that aren’t so close to the situation.
Post # 7
@stardustintheeyes: Honestly, it just sounds like we’ve got an individual with a very different approache to life’s milestones….a lot of people are motivated and have a strong drive to achieve and complete these milestones, and others, who I consider to be late bloomers, are quite content to mosey down life’s path and take their time when the decision is literally on top of them….and until then, its just not relevant.
I think considering his stance on marriage and this move, or lack thereof should not be taken in a bad light, because maybe for him….loving her and wanting to be with her is not in any way relevant to being married…but from the sound of his life choices and approach from the very limited information, he only makes those decisions when its absolutely necessary.
My advice to her would be to make that decision and action necessary, it doesn’t have to be confrontational, or an ultimatum or a request for a timeline on his part, but a shift in focus on her part to taking this relationship to the next phase, or being ready to find one that is going to go there.
Post # 8
@Nona99: this is a very good way to look at it. Except there is one big problem… she is the same way. She is 30 years old and has never had a driver’s license. She has never had her own apartment. She has never made a big purchase on her own, she has never even held herself accountable for paying off her student loans, or any debt she had for that matter. the one thing she has is her dog, and she only got a dog because her ex got the dog and she ended up keeping it. She is very much a person who doesn’t make moves on her own and expects things to just happen. Even getting her own place with BF, instead of looking for a new place, they are trying to convince the aunt to move out of th ehouse she has been paying for and found for herself so that they can take over. Rather than going and finding somewhere for themselves like normal adults would do. At 30 and 38 this kind of stuff just shouldn’t be happening. As her friend, knowing what a good heart she has and the good intentions she always seems to have, im quite frustrated and this last situation just has me stumped. So then what? I would never tell her what to do but I have been pushing her for years to start to get her own footing and she never did. then she met her BF and all she wants to do is cook for him, do laundry and make believe that she’s a stay at home wife. When in reality, she stays home and doesn’t work (on purpose) her aunt is the one paying all the bills and her BF works becuse he needs to pay his car note since his parents told him they werent doing it anymore. It’s a very bad situation and I’m trying really hard to be a good friend and be supportive but there isn’t much to be supportive of here and at this point im just trying to be as positive as I can and be there for her. She knows my feelings on all of this so none of this would be news to her. We have been friends since we were 18 years old. The comment I asked about is what has brought up all of this stuff even though it’s been there for a long time. So I think the only thing that realistically can happen is for them to sit down and try and talk about where they both see things going. I think it’s as simple as that.
Post # 9
@stardustintheeyes: Ok, what I think is more concerning is that this guy is almost 40 and still living at home. That doesn’t really sound like someone who is ready for marriage.
Post # 11
@Nona99: This. I very much like Nona’s reply.
Post # 12
If he has been unemployed for 2 years it’s no surprise he’s been living with family and there hasn’t been a promise of an engagement or a proposal yet. Sounds like he’s just getting back on his feet. I think he does want to marry her. If he didn’t, no move and no ultimatum would force him to (unless he is a doormat). I think this is more about practicality and finances than anything else. At least he has a job now, even if it isn’t a high paying one, and he thinks they can finally give marriage a shot?
Post # 13
@Cyanfire: I think that’s what should come out of all of this. A conversation about why things have gone the way they have, what he sees for them in the future. She already acts engaged and to anyone who asks like when we are out or something, she will basically imply she’s engaged. Like someone will say “do you have a boyfriend?” and she will just flash her ring finger. to me thats like saying “yep, im actually engaged”. So her mind is already made up, but it’s almost like she’s living in a dream world because nothing has ever come from him in this regard. So bottom line is that a talk needs to happen. I read her this thread and hearing it out loud is helping her to clear up some of her own made up ideas. The reality of the situation is a hard one to face, those are her words. So as of now I think the plan is to sit down this weekend and have that talk.
I was told to give her thanks to the bees for their ability to be honest, yet gentle.
(I suck at being gentle lol)
Post # 14
@stardustintheeyes: …well, if they can’t get their lives on a track that works for them without relying financially on others, they have no business getting married, becuase its a lifetime commitment and should not be taken lightly.
With what you’ve told me, the BF is merely a distraction and rather amusing tool for her to live out a fantasy that just isn’t real…and will never be.
I had a friend like this too….and what it took for her to get things together was literally every resource she had been using completely drying up…and sooner or later, the folks that are paying their way will tire of it, and they’ll either sink or swim…likely it will also destroy the relationship in the process, and they’ll move on, hopefully wiser, and make a life they can enjoy.
As for your relationship with her, whenever she talks about her foibles with this man, tell yourself its more like she’s regailing you with the plot of some TV show, because it isn’t real, and not worth investing your time and energy in, what you CAN focus on, and support her in, are any and all things that enrich and fullfill her, ecourage her taking on more challenges and assuming independence and reminding her that life is too short to wait too long for something to happen, when you can make it happen for yourself.
Post # 15
@Nona99: +1 That second post was solid.
Post # 16
@stardustintheeyes: I’m with you, actions speak louder than words. Moving is not a reason to get married. It’s a big jump to go from living at home to be a married SAHM. I don’t see how $14/hr. is going to support a family in either Philly or Baltimore. Seems a bit unrealistic IMO. (I live 25 mi. outside of Philly and even here the cost of living is pretty high) Have they been saving while living at home? Anyway, regardless, he should want to marry her without the move. If he’s willing to do it with the move, then obviously he’s not against or afraid of marriage. Maybe he is already thinking about marriage and that was just an off-handed comment he made. I really think the best option is for her to sit down and talk to him about where this relationship is headed.