Post # 1
Hi I’m Robine, I’m from Germany, so excuse my English. Hope to keep it short.
I’m 27 years old and three years with my boyfriend who is from Afghanistan. He came as a refugee at age 21 to my country. He’s very modern in his views, respect for woman and he doesn’t practise Islam. He drinks, eats pig meat etc. But still we have had our ups and downs with cultural problems. Our relationship is kinda unbalanced. He’s still studying and I provide for everything. I work over 50 hours a week and am exhausted. He doesn’t help a lot in the house, cooking and cleaning (not because of cultural differents, he’s just a bit lazy).
When I come home, he has often Afghan company … I don’t understand the conversations. I’m tired after work but it’s very rude in their culture to ask for them to leave. Often they need my help, translate something, a ride to somewhere, borrow some money. I understand these are his friends and family. He hasn’t much but through the years I lost a lot of my friends because I’ve been always busy taking care of my bf, his friends and family. I feel lonely and it feels like I carry the world alone on my shoulders. He doesn’t realy mix with German people… he did try but it’s difficult. A lot of his Afghan friends are not so modern like my bf. I know and feel they don’t respect me because I’m a western woman. That hurts.
I’m not sure how future will be. He does study but he doesn’t realy have the drive to finish it and find a job.
This all makes me wonder now if we should continue our weddingplans. I love him so much and I was a long time head over heels in love. But now by time I don’t know if this is enough… And then … if I end the relationship I ruin his life… he has no home, no money, can’t afford his study any longer.
Anyone advice for me?
Post # 3
If you’re having doubts now, they will only get worse as time goes on. I think you should sit down and have a talk with him about his plans for how he intends to pull his own weight in the near future, and see what comes of that.
Post # 4
I’m sorry you are going through this.
I will say that you are NOT responsible for his well-being. He is a grown man who should be able to take care of himself. If you do not want to live the rest of your life taking care of him, then you need to set some boundaries now. I think you should talk to him and let him know that you are having these thoughts and perhaps while you two work on issues, you postpone any marriage plans.
Post # 5
I wouldn’t stay with him only for the reason that he depends in you. Your relationship sounds pretty one sided to me. What do you get out of this relationship?
Post # 6
I’m sorry to hear your situtation :/ I think you need to make him help you more. He is studying, yes but he can work too. Plenty of people go to school and work and he needs to take some of the responsibility. You are not his mother, you can’t take care of him constantly and you deserve to have happiness and friends in your life. I’m not saying leave him, but talk to him and see if he is willing to help and make you feel less stressed. If not, then you need to decide if you want to live this way forever, because once you get married he will probably just get more lazy and you dont need someone like that dragging you down! Best of luck!!
Post # 7
It’s a marriage, which to me means a partnership, not you taking over as his mother. I am glad that he is forward thinking, but it must be hard to feel judged by some of his friends and family members. You don’t want to feel used, or that you’re doing all the work in a relationship – no one does! If you aren’t happy now, like a PP said, it will only get worse with time as more resentment grows.
Trust your gut! It’s the rest of your life we are taking about here.
Post # 8
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@missrobots: Good advice. You are not responsible for his well-being. It seems that he has put himself in a bad situation and expects you to take care of him. It sounds like he is more of a child rather than another adult partner for you to rely on to help around the house and finish his studies so he can get a real job and contribute to the household.
Definitely put wedding plans on hold and have a serious conversation with him about his role and responsibility as a member of the partnership and household. Let him know you expect him to finish his studies by X date and start looking for a job. Let him know that it is not acceptable for people to be over every night until late; give him some restrictions on days and times when it is and is not appropriate. I am sure every culture has a polite way to ask people to leave your home.
Encourage him to mingle in the German community more. Does he speak the language well? If not, get him some lessons and take him out to practice.
I will say that love is not enough. You need someone who is an equal partner in life. It sounds like he is not an equal partner currently and unless he can work on that and fix it, then there will be more and bigger problems in the future.
Post # 9
I dont know the immigration laws in Germany, but is he using you to get permanent status? In the US it’s very hard to become a citizen. One of the ways is for an immigrant to marry a citizen. If that is the case for Germany, I would be worried.
Also, I have found that many times as people age and/or have children, they revert back to the way things were back home. I would hate for you to be married 10 years and have him slowly expect you to be more like an Afghanie woman. Especially since he is sticking to other Afghanie’s and not mixing with German culture.
I have a cousin that married someone who was also an immigrant in school. And like your boyfriend, not a hard worker. They love each other, but life is very, very hard. He still cant find steady work and they have a child to take care of. She also has an illness that makes everything very, very painful. If he could keep a job, she could stay at home and take care of the kid, but since she is the main breadwinner, she has to work even though she is in lots of pain all the time.
There is more to marriage than love. This guy does not look like marriage material. Sorry…
Post # 10
@KoiKove: he got a German passport a few years ago. So that’s something I don’t worry about.
Talk, I’ve had already so many talks with him about this … I know now nothing will change.
Thank you so much all for advice!! I’ve been so isolated the last years, I don’t see clear anymore. Have no friends to fall back on who can give me advice. I don’t even know what is a normal relationship anymore.
Post # 11
If you feel like it is your primary responsibility to take care of your fiance, there is something seriously wrong in the relationship. Does this mean that he is taking advantage of you? Not necessarily. It could mean that you desperately need to set boundaries for yourself. For example: it is perfectly reasonable to talk to your fiance about certain days and times that it is off-limits to have company over. You deserve to be able to relax in your own home.
If you have tried to set boundaries with him and he ignores your wishes, then you have a different problem on your hands. It definitely sounds like you are not happy and if you think that maybe all that’s holding you two together is the fact that you take care of him, then you should consider ending things (or at least postponing the wedding).
Post # 12
@Robine: if you’ve talked to him about it then leave. He doesnt care enough to change and you should not have to take care of him! Go live your life for you! You will be so much happier when you can focus on what you want in life.
Post # 13
@Robine: “I’ve been so isolated the last years, I don’t see clear anymore. Have no friends to fall back on who can give me advice. I don’t even know what is a normal relationship anymore.” There’s your answer. A good relationship would not make you feel this way. At the very least, I would postpone the wedding. From what you described though, your best option might be to move on & find someone who is your partner in life, not your dependant. So sorry you’re going through this : (
Post # 14
@Robine: Sorry, I posted my comment before seeing your update. If you’ve already expressed your wishes and he’s ignored him, then yes, I do think that you should leave. You clearly are not happy with the way things are, and there’s no reason to sign up for a life of unhappiness.
Post # 15
If anything, I would think that his friends and family would be judging HIM. I have a lot of middle eastern friends/family who would find living off of a woman to be the ultimate embarrassment. Even the more liberal ones who do eat pork and drink get absolute *joy* out of providing for their families and would be heartbroken if they couldn’t make their wives/children happy. Islam is not an ugly thing, neither is middle eastern culture. Selfishness and greed are ugly things,
Post # 16
@Robine: You sound miserable, and I am sorry about your situation. I am glad your fiance isn’t hardcore cultural and is happy to adapt to western life, but frankly if he is living off you and has a flood of friends in your house hurting your feelings by disrespecting you on account of being a western woman and taking money and favours off you then does he really respect you as an equal? The opposite of patriarchy is not matriarchy it is equality – meaning you shouldn’t be doing all the work and worrying about him and his friends. You should be comfortable and happy too. Also, frankly, as hard as it is for him to adapt and make friends in Germany YOU are the person who sounds culturally displaced to me, in your own home too.
@KoiKove: +1 there is far more to marriage than love. I wouldn’t want to marry this guy either.