Don't Go From Your Parent's Home Right into Your Married Home. Be Yourself First! - Relationship Advice
Me and my girlfriend have been together for 2 years (I am 28 and she is 27). We are both living with our parents but see each other every day. When we are together we are very happy, and have lots of fun. We talk about marriage time to time but whenever we talk about it I feel that she wants to get married more than she wants me. Marriage conversations are very rarely about what we would like to do when we are married but about the wedding, the presents, and the diamond ring. I understand that she has been planning these for a long time and try to understand.
I have been trying to set up my firm for the past 20 months. I have been working on our product day and night for a very long time. I do not earn much money at the moment (I am in debt and get support from my family) and dont feel like I can support us if we get married. She wants to get engaged but I do not feel ready, mostly because I cannot even support myself. I will be earning more money by summer (hopefully!), but it is not certain due to the nature of our product.
She does not want to wait, wants to get engaged now. When I asked why she wants to get engaged she said that her family and friends were asking weather or not we were getting married and she wants to be more than my "girlfriend" to their eyes. She said she was not even sure she wanted to marry me. She does not want to wait for the outcome of my product, because she thinks that it is uncertain (it is somehow). She said that if our marriage does not occur until a set date (she did not tell the date) she would break up with me. She also said that even if we get engaged and the outcome of my product remains uncertain for a long time she would break up the engagement.
I do not want my financial status to be uncertain, but it is. When I tell her I need a more stable income, she says it is uncertain that I will ever get one in the next year. I feel like she cares more about marrying me than the result my two years of work, my carrer and what I need right now.
I am already under serious work related pressure and pressure from my family to get married. I feel pressured when we talk about marriage and get uncomfortable and that annoys her even more. I do not want to lose her but do not want to get engaged right now.
Do I have to look at this from a different point of view? Thanks for the article and the replies to the comments, they helped a lot.
The ultimatums and threats to break it off if she doesn't get her way are clear indicators that she doesn't respect you, doesn't care about your needs, isn't ready to be a decent girlfriend or committed partner, and certainly isn't ready to be married. It is all a sign of what life with her would be like: your feelings would not matter, your concerns would not matter, your goals and your career will not matter. You're nothing but a dick and a dollar sign to her.
But Cosmos, you know that already. Well, either you know that, or you wrote it in your note to me that way because that's the way you want ME to see her.
What you described is a no-brainer. Lines like - she's not even sure if she wants to marry you, or that she will leave you if you aren't successful with your career product - are ridiculous. No man should ever consider marrying such a self involved fruitcake. And maybe you knew that, and that's why you presented her to me in a certain light. Maybe she said those two things, in heated arguments, and has apologized or proven otherwise. It almost feels impossible that a girl that horrid would have a bf at all... it almost feels like it can't really be the truth.
My advice is the same whether you're being perfectly or partially honest about her - you should not get married.
Not now, anyway.
You live with your parents. You can't support yourself. You work 24 - 7 on a career/work project. You are in a certain place in your life. And that place is no where even close to marriage.
You will not have this moment, this place in your life, ever again. This is a rare and unique time. You are somewhere within your Saturn Return right now. You are just barely starting out. You are only now just beginning to see life with the eyes of an adult. You are only now just beginning to understand who you really are, and what you really want. It's just coming into focus. The world is in front of you and you can't possibly know enough about it or yourself to make life-long commitments like marriage.
I'm curious about your work project. It seems that if you're pursuing something that may fail and isn't making money right now, that you must have a real passion. Where is that passion rooted? Is your project in a field you feel strongly about? Or maybe in doing this project you've for the first time discovered that you have the potential to be extremely good at something. Or maybe the project is just something that you really enjoy. Maybe the thought of working for someone else for the rest of your life is just not your path so you submerged yourself into something that would keep you from getting one of those 9 to 5 jobs that you know will lead to misery for you. Or... maybe you have no idea what it is. That's part of the beauty of being 28: you're just now discovering yourself.
Part of healthy, normal growth is to become independent. I believe everyone should live on their own at some point, at least for a little while in their lives. I don't care if you do your own laundry and never eat dinner with your parents. Living at home is still living at home. Before you ever consider building a home with someone else, you need to continue to take healthy steps toward being independent. You can't be a good partner until you can be a good individual.
I get so many emails and comments from unhappily marrieds that all boil down to the same issue: at least one of them had no idea what it was like to be out there on their own.
You are wonderfully lucky to have parents that are supportive of your career project, and you're even more lucky that they have the ability to financially support you while you get your career together. But once you can stand on your own two feet, you really need to do it.
There is a whole cycle of realizations and experiences that you need to have, that will only come from independence. They are critical to your Manhood. They are crucial to your ability to ever be a husband or partner. They are even enhancing to your skills at running your own company.
Jungian Symbolism - to understand the bigger picture, sometimes we just have to understand a smaller picture.
When you live at home, no matter how pro-active you are with helping out, you just do not have the burden of responsibility of living. When you live on your own, you do. If you want to eat, you have to grocery shop. If you want to see, you have to remember to buy light bulbs. You have to put the garbage out, and clean up after yourself. You have to call cable if there's a problem, and hire someone to mow the lawn, or make the decision, commitment, and purchase of a mower, to do it yourself. You have to take care of things, because there's no one else there that will.
And it's more than that. You have to be able to spend some time alone. You have to be able to like yourself, and have enough of a life that being on your own isn't emotionally painful. There is nothing attractive about a person that is clingy or dependent.
Leap ahead in your mind and have a look at what you'll be like after you've had your own place, either with roommates or totally on your own. After the experience, imagine moving in with your life partner. When you come in and find the bathroom's been cleaned and the dinner is prepared, you will have a profound appreciation of it. When you look around and know that you can take care of the furnace or the leaking roof you will feel like a worthy provider. If she was also smart enough to have lived independently she too will have a true appreciation for the partnership. You can't really know how you feel about coming home to someone every night, until you've come home to an empty apartment every night.
From a woman's perspective, let me promise you that there is a world of difference between a an independent man, and a boy that's never been on his own.
Here's a secret not many people will let you in on: in life, you're going to fail at some things your first time out. It's part of being human. Some things just go wrong. Set backs, money issues, jobs, emotions, for many reason your first time out of your parent's house might not work out.
It will be a ton easier if that happens and you've only accepted the responsibility of yourself. It will be hard enough to support yourself. Trying to support a wife too is just way too much way too soon. By support I don't necessarily mean paying all the bills. I mean paying your share, but I also mean emotional support. Being a partner. Being independent and out there in the world like an adult. Don't roll your eyes at that, you don't understand until you've had those moments in your own place in the middle of the night alone when you realize you're a grown up, and this is life. This is you, out there making your way.
Cosmos, I realize you asked about advice on this girl, and instead I gave you overall life-advice. I read between the lines and gave you what I believe you needed. This girl (and notice I've not referred to her as a woman) is not for you. Whether you've portrayed her accurately, or the way you wanted me to see her, it makes no difference. End that relationship.
Be 28. concentrate on your career, and your project and on who you want to be. Then, be yourself out there on your own. Don't think about marriage until you are actually 2 things: really in love, and really ready.
Meanwhile, enjoy dating. Don't get into a relationship with someone who thinks she can bully a man into marrying her. Be with someone who listens to you and respects your journey. Be with a woman that loves you.
Namaste, and best to you on your project.
More by this Author
WHAT IS AN AFFAIR? I actually got this concept from a very old episode of Oprah. Basically what she said, is that it is cheating if you would behave differently if your partner were watching. That is an excellent...
- 227For Unhappily Married Men - Having Children Changes Everything, Kids Change Your Relationship with Your Husband
I posted a HUB not long ago called Affairs with Married Men, where I addressed an email I received from a married man's mistress who called herself "Lonely". I was pretty firm, pointing out all the reasons why...
Veronica, I'm having an affair with a married man. I am a 33 year old professional woman with a full life and solid career. When we first got involved 4 years ago it was fun. After time I have realized my love for...