Post # 1
I feel like my heart is being torn into pieces since having a conversation with my boyrfriend about marriage. He doesn’t want to get married until I am financially independant/secure and have established a career for myself. My mind understands the rationale behind this but my heart does not, hence being torn into pieces. My heart feels like he should love me regardless and just want to be with me, especially since he knows marriage would mean I would not have to deal with the financial hardships I do currently do to medical issues. I don’t want to get married for the wrong reasons, but to me, if we love each other and know we want to get married and doing so earlier than perhaps desired could drastically improve the quality of one’s life, then why not? He sees it as a financial risk. He was married before and she took him for all he had. He says he does not want to be stuck paying alimony (which he doesn’t and never has for his ex) for someone who is too lazy to work, which is why he wants me to have an established career first. He’s also scared to death to have to give away half his stuff that he has spent his life acquiring. I told him I would sign a pre-nup, but he says he doesn’t really trust those. Again, my head understands and even agrees with all this, but it hurts my heart that he has such little faith in me as a person. I don’t want his stuff and feel like I have gone out of my way to prove that to him. I have been 100% faithful to him, even through long deployments (unlike his ex), and manage his business when he is gone. So I feel like I have no sense of when I could even expect to be married to him, since he wants me to be financially secure which is a very subjective term. I asked him what that meant and even he couldn’t give me a straight definition. It could be 2, 5, even 10 years from now! I think I could wait 2 more years, but 5 or 10? Absolutely not! What do you all think about this situation? Should I listen to my mind and just be understanding and let everything unfold when he is ready, or my heart and be hurt and think about moving on?
Post # 3
He definitely needs time to heal. How long as it been since he got divorced from his ex? He sounds like he needs time, trust and maybe even some counseling…because whatever you do with your career still may not be enough for him if he isnt fully himself again.
Also you said “but to me, if we love each other and know we want to get married and doing so earlier than perhaps desired could drastically improve the quality of one’s life, then why not?”
Just HOW would it drastically improve the quality of your life? I would DEFINITELY NOT bet on marriage doing that at all.
I think you should listen to him….get your life on track, a good career path together and then discuss marriage. In the mean time, he can heal and have more time to move on from his divorce, something that is still deeply affecting him.
Post # 4
I’m going to have to agree with your guy on this one. You should have a job before you get married, and a fairly good one (ie stable, and somewhat of interest to you) that’s just being a responsible grown up. He shouldn’t have to marry you for you to know that he loves you. And your point about drastically imporving your life… well his life is not drastically improved by taking on your debt. A few of your sentances seem like you want to get married so you can share your debt… and I’m sure if I picked up on that, he probably feels it too. And while I’m sure he loves you regardless it’s pretty hard to want to get married to someone who wants to share such signifcant debt.
Do I get you’re hurt? Yes, that’ll sting no matter what. So what should you do about it? Work your little ass off to pat down your debt as hard, and and fast as you possibly can. Prove it with actions your taking steps to get to the position you need to be. Goodluck…
Post # 5
I understand where you are coming from, but I’m going to have to agree with your boyfriend as well. I think that it is so important for a woman to learn how to financially support and take care of herself before getting married/becoming reliant or partially reliant on a bf. It is so important to know that you can be independent and that you don’t need to rely on somebody else. This will do wonders for your confidence, self-esteem, and general happiness. I have too many friends who rushed into relationships with their bfs and never had the chance to stand on their own two feet (live alone, work, pay bills, cook, clean, etc). It was really hard to watch my friends in bad relationships (not that yours is bad or will be bad) struggle with the desire to break up with their bfs and fear of not being able to support themselves on their own. A lot of my friends ended up just getting married because they didn’t know how to get out of the relationship because they didn’t think they could manage on their own. I stayed in a relationship with a guy for four years who became mentally and verbally abusive after he started using drugs the last year and a half of our relationship and I HATED myself (and him). I was absolutely miserable, but I stayed with him because he and his family had helped me so much over the years and he made me think that I couldn’t stand on my own two feet and that I needed him. After I got my first real job (teaching), my own apartment, and started taking care of myself (he was still in college), I realized that everything he was saying to me was bs and that I didn’t need him. But if I hadn’t gotten the chance to live on my own and take care of myself, I would have probably stayed in that toxic relationship.
I’m not saying that your relationship is like that or ever will be like that. I just believe 100 percent that it is so critical for every woman to have a chance to know that she can take care of herself if she needs to without anyone else’s help. Doesn’t need to be for long, but I think it needs to happen. And then when you are committed to somebody, and you live together and share financial burdens, you know that it is for all the right reasons…not because you need them (financially).
Post # 6
Even though some of your boyfriend’s words might’ve come across as harsh, and led to hurt feelings, I think you should look into what he’s saying. I agree with the PP’s that you should try to financially stabilize yourself first and become somewhat financially independent. Having his support could even be a big help as you do this. I think you’ll probably find that you start growing in personal ways and then you and your boyfriend will both be happier together. Financially secure might be a subjective term, but I wouldn’t worry about how long it will take. Even if it does take five years, if your boyfriend sees that you’re working hard and getting on your feet, it may not take the full five years. I think you’ll probably so much happier if you decide to start becoming more financially independent.
Post # 7
Do your medical issues prevent you from working? I’m assuming that you mean your life would drastically improve because you’d be on his health insurance? Is that taking into account pre-existing condition rules with the insurance companies? If you’re not insured now, and haven’t been for a while, you might have trouble getting coverage for your condition even after you get married. Have you talked about whether or not you want to have kids? Whether you would work or stay at home with them? Think about these aspects and sit down for a heart to heart with him. Suggest that he pick a lawyer to draw up the prenup so that he can feel confident in it. And I agree with the PPs that finding a career or other outlet for yourself would be beneficial to more than just your bank account. Even look into starting your own business from home if your health prevents you from taking on a 9-5 job.
Post # 8
I also agree with PP and your bf. Unless your medical condition prevents you from working, I think you should be independent and know how to take care of yourself first. Its all a part of growing up. I’m sure he’d like to know if he’s struggling in someway (whether it’s financial or otherwise), he knows he has you to fall back on for support (and vice versa).
Post # 9
Thanks everyone! My family and the few friends with whom I discuss these things all seemed appauled by his stance and I thought perhaps I was being too understanding or a doormat or something, which I’ve been told all too often that I am. I’m glad to have the opinion of sensible people outside the situation. Overall I also agree with him. Yes, my medical issues do make it difficult to keep a job because I have to call in often and miss work for appointments, and yes, having medical insurance through his employer would help out a lot, but I don’t want that to be the reason we marry, and I understand all his concerns and agree I should be financially independent with a stable career. I have definitel been working on getting my ducks in a row and my student loans paid off and this just further motivates me!
Post # 10
Glad we could all help you! Good luck! You’ll be really proud of yourself in the end.
Post # 11
He says he does not want to be stuck paying alimony (which he doesn’t and never has for his ex) for someone who is too lazy to work, which is why he wants me to have an established career first. He’s also scared to death to have to give away half his stuff that he has spent his life acquiring.
I think this is kind of awful. I do agree, that being your own amazing, powerful, independent person at some point prior to marriage is important… but if he really said that stuff, like that, I’d punch him in the mouth. If he’s that worried about you breaking up, to the point that he’d worry about losing his stuff, then he’s not ready for marriage… and if that was the only real concern he had, then wouldn’t a prenup cover that, if it’s really that big a deal to him?
Sorry, I do think it’s great advice to get independent first, and even when you do join up it affects the dynamic of the relationship positively… but man, I’d be pissed if he said those things. Too lazy to work?! Does this describe you?!
Post # 12
I am sorry you’re feeling upset. However, I have to agree with your boyfriend on this one. He is being intelligent and practical. Marriage is a partnership. I would never in a million years, regardless how much I loved someone, marry someone who was completely financially unstable, unemployed and with no future career prospects. That is a recipe for disaster.
What are your plans for contributing to a marriage? Your boyfriend is not wrong and not alone in his desire for an equal partner. Almost all men want a woman who can enhance and improve their lives and not be a financial drain. He may love you but it also sounds as though he has a lot of common sense. It takes a lot more than just being in love to make a marriage work.
I wish you all the best, but try to see this from his side. And, may I please ask, what is stopping you from doing as he asks – to be financially stable and have an established career? Seems like a valid requirement of a marriage partner to me. He may be concerned that you would be taking advantage of him, in a financial sense. Honestly, if it were me that thought would enter my mind as well.
Post # 13
@koveline: Yes, he said those things to me. That’s part of the problem. I am definitely not lazy. I grew up on a farm and was taught to work hard and not quit until the job is done. He definitely said some things in a very hurtful manner, though I don’t think that was his intention. Communicating feelings is not his strong point.
@Sunfire: What is keeping me from doing what he asks? My medical conditions. It’s a catch 22. My medical conditions make it difficult for me to work full-time and recieve benefits and, without benefits it’s impossible for me to get the treatments I need to live a normal and healthy life and have a stable job. I work though. When I’m feeling well I work as much as I can and save every penny to compensate for the times I am unable to do so. However, most of that saved money gets spent on medical bills. This is why the situation is so frustrating. I also do a lot of work for him to help him out with his business but doesn’t pay me. He thinks taking me on vacations should be payment enough. I have told him vacations don’t pay my bills and put me in a financially stable situation, which is his condition for marrying me. He expects a lot out of people and I am no exception. He thinks I can go to school to further my education (I already have a bachelor’s) while working full time and work for him as needed, and tough out my medical conditions until I receive decent benefits. He joined the military when he was 19 and his ex wife was in the military as well. Sometimes I don’t think he understands what it’s actually like in the real (civilian) world.