Author Topic: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$  (Read 22284 times)

JLee

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #50 on: June 02, 2015, 07:56:06 AM »
I think I understand the thoughts behind people saying that he should marry her or she should leave him (to paraphrase from several posts). However, I'm not sure why people (in this day and age) use marriage as a catch all for "taking responsibility" and expressing commitment. Why not just say explicitly what is wrong with the situation?

Which to me is:
Your friend and her boyfriend should be equal partners in their life. If you forget all the religious and governmental aspects of marriage, they are in essence already married (living in a house and sharing their life). Except that the bf is not quite sharing. He is letting his gf make sacrifices in her career for him and he is not compensating by sharing his benefits (money from the career he is allowed to pursue). For me, this is where the separate finances model (discussed in other threads) has some problems. If they are going to keep their finances separate, then she shouldn't be sacrificing her career for him. That's what you do when you're a full partnership (could be marriage, but doesn't have to be).

In the end, I'm probably at the same conclusion as many others. I just think that marriage (especially pressure to get married) can be an emotional subject that clouds the issue. Either they work together for their (joint) future or it becomes everybody for themselves.

I agree. "Get married, it'll solve your problems" is BS.

CestMoi

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #51 on: June 02, 2015, 09:26:49 AM »
RE: move to BC, get a job, save money, pay off her loans, take care of her own career and future.

-I second this advice!

Cookie78

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #52 on: June 02, 2015, 09:33:58 AM »
RE: move to BC, get a job, save money, pay off her loans, take care of her own career and future.

-I second this advice!

Exactly. Whether she wants to keep the relationship (long distance) or not is a separate issue.
Convincing the bf to get married would not fix any of these problems. It would only cause resentment on both sides and create a situation that was harder to leave.

lifejoy

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #53 on: June 02, 2015, 09:36:45 AM »
RE: move to BC, get a job, save money, pay off her loans, take care of her own career and future.

-I second this advice!

Exactly. Whether she wants to keep the relationship (long distance) or not is a separate issue.
Convincing the bf to get married would not fix any of these problems. It would only cause resentment on both sides and create a situation that was harder to leave.

Woah. Sound advice.

CommonCents

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #54 on: June 02, 2015, 09:44:14 AM »
Can you suggest to your friend that she starts looking at what jobs are available in BC?  If she can find an opening for her "dream job" back in BC then that would give her a starting point to talk to her boyfriend - something along the lines of "you know I've been struggling to find a job here that matches my training, I was looking at what's happening back home in BC and I've found this advert for my dream job, I'm thinking of going for it, what do you think?

It would smoke out a bit more of the boyfriend's real views, [snip]

This.  I agree that the issue is that he's not supporting her like a true partner, in that he's asked her to sacrifice her career for his, without making any allowances for her sacrifice and helping her.

And she ought to ask him a lot of questions about "what ifs" to understand his perspective - and then make a decision.  What if she never finds a good (forget dream) job in her field?  Would he offer to move back with her?  Or would he think that she ought to switch fields?  What if she can't pay her student loans?  What if his job sends him elsewhere?  What if she moves back - would they continue a long distance relationship or is it over?

Show her this thread btw.

backyardfeast

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #55 on: June 02, 2015, 01:09:32 PM »
Just wanted to add that BC may feel very far away from Mtl, (because it is!) and may not be the only province desperate for French teachers.  Unless (as nwedible suggested) her community and family are in BC and therefore it is the logical place to return to, the Maritimes or Manitoba might also have great opportunities without being quite so far. (I'm assuming Ontario will not be desperate, given it's proximity to Quebec, but I don't know that for sure)

TrulyStashin

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #56 on: June 02, 2015, 03:16:59 PM »
RE: move to BC, get a job, save money, pay off her loans, take care of her own career and future.

-I second this advice!

+1

The first rule of holes is .... stop digging.  She's already in default.  Where will she be in another 6 months?  A year?  Yeesh.

Edited to add:  Has he bothered to look for another "dream" job for him in BC?  I bet they're out there.  If he isn't even willing to look then she needs to see that for what it is.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2015, 03:19:10 PM by TrulyStashin »

mm1970

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #57 on: June 02, 2015, 04:28:19 PM »
RE: move to BC, get a job, save money, pay off her loans, take care of her own career and future.

-I second this advice!

Exactly. Whether she wants to keep the relationship (long distance) or not is a separate issue.
Convincing the bf to get married would not fix any of these problems. It would only cause resentment on both sides and create a situation that was harder to leave.
Right, which is why when she does it, she shouldn't make it an ultimatum, "marry me or else".  It's like doing job interviews JUST to get a counter offer (maybe you aren't wanted?)

On a similar note, when my boyfriend got out of the Navy and moved from the East Coast to the West Coast - I couldn't go, because I was still in the Navy.  We'd been together for 2.5 years at that point, and I just said "I'm willing to give the long distance thing a try, but...too long without an actual commitment?  Not sure if it will last a couple more years."

I wasn't giving him an ultimatum, I was just being honest that I was unlikely to want to fly back and forth for 2 years and THEN move to the other coast and look for a NEW job with no commitment.

Anyway.  Our 19th wedding anniversary is next month, so it worked out.

Fuzz

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #58 on: June 02, 2015, 05:50:43 PM »
It's really easy to advise someone we don't know to dump her SO and try for someone better. That's really hard. Hope it works out for her.

lifejoy

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #59 on: June 02, 2015, 05:59:46 PM »
It's really easy to advise someone we don't know to dump her SO and try for someone better. That's really hard. Hope it works out for her.

Lol it's really hard even if it's someone you know!

MrsPete

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #60 on: June 02, 2015, 08:03:02 PM »
I could go on a long rant and probably offend most folks here, but this is why I wouldn't move in with someone without getting married.   He is getting all the benefits of marriage and not having to make any commitments to her.   She needs to pack up and move.    If she doesn't want to move, then she can continue the current arrangement, but don't expect anything to change.
Totally agree.  This moving in together thing isn't a great idea.  Either combine your lives, or don't -- but this half-way approach seems to go bad so frequently. 

unfortunately it seems like your friend already has her answer in regards to her relationship's future - he doesn't view them as a team even though they are already living together. there is nothing to suggest that a ring and a piece of paper would magically change his personal philosophy regarding their relationship. i don't think "he doesn't get it" - i think he probably does get it but doesn't view their relationship as serious enough to sacrifice for her. it sounds like he is just happy to look after himself and she can tag along for the ride if she likes...definitely not solid marriage material.
Agree.  Sounds like he has everything he wants:  He lives where he wants, in a place where his career is taking off, and he isn't moving towards marriage.  She, on the other hand, is getting essentially nothing she wants. 

JLee

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #61 on: June 03, 2015, 08:14:01 AM »
I could go on a long rant and probably offend most folks here, but this is why I wouldn't move in with someone without getting married.   He is getting all the benefits of marriage and not having to make any commitments to her.   She needs to pack up and move.    If she doesn't want to move, then she can continue the current arrangement, but don't expect anything to change.
Totally agree.  This moving in together thing isn't a great idea.  Either combine your lives, or don't -- but this half-way approach seems to go bad so frequently. 

unfortunately it seems like your friend already has her answer in regards to her relationship's future - he doesn't view them as a team even though they are already living together. there is nothing to suggest that a ring and a piece of paper would magically change his personal philosophy regarding their relationship. i don't think "he doesn't get it" - i think he probably does get it but doesn't view their relationship as serious enough to sacrifice for her. it sounds like he is just happy to look after himself and she can tag along for the ride if she likes...definitely not solid marriage material.
Agree.  Sounds like he has everything he wants:  He lives where he wants, in a place where his career is taking off, and he isn't moving towards marriage.  She, on the other hand, is getting essentially nothing she wants.

Marriage is a piece of paper. It would solve nothing in this situation.

mrmiyagi

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #62 on: June 03, 2015, 08:40:01 AM »
Right after my wife and I got married, we made a long-distance move for my job. My wife had trouble finding work here and now makes significantly less than she did in our old city. It's OK, because I make enough and all of our finances are combined. HOWEVER - in a million years I never would have expected her to make that move without a ring on her finger. (Or, for the anti-marriage folks, a mutually agreed longterm committment with an understanding I'd support her financially.)

Without marriage (officially or common-law), she's putting herself in precarious financial position. What happens if he leaves her in five years? She's on her own with no savings and a work history full of part-time jobs and unemployment spells.

JLee

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #63 on: June 03, 2015, 08:44:00 AM »
Right after my wife and I got married, we made a long-distance move for my job. My wife had trouble finding work here and now makes significantly less than she did in our old city. It's OK, because I make enough and all of our finances are combined. HOWEVER - in a million years I never would have expected her to make that move without a ring on her finger. (Or, for the anti-marriage folks, a mutually agreed longterm committment with an understanding I'd support her financially.)

Without marriage (officially or common-law), she's putting herself in precarious financial position. What happens if he leaves her in five years? She's on her own with no savings and a work history full of part-time jobs and unemployment spells.

With marriage, what happens if he leaves her in five years?

I'm not "anti-marriage" overall, but I fail to see how "showing commitment" on paper would actually change anything for this situation.

Retire-Canada

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #64 on: June 03, 2015, 08:46:41 AM »

Any words of wisdom? I wish I had some advice for my friend. I was in a similar situation (followed my now-husband's career) and it is tough.

She needs to evaluate the situation herself and take action she feels is appropriate. You can't proxy for her. If she wants advice she needs to seek it out herself.

Getting info from you 2nd hand and then going back and forth on it here is next to useless. If you want to help her and you think this forum would be helpful to her what you can do as her friend is point her here and see if she wants our help.

If not this is just a lot of keyboard masturbation.

CommonCents

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #65 on: June 03, 2015, 08:50:11 AM »
Right after my wife and I got married, we made a long-distance move for my job. My wife had trouble finding work here and now makes significantly less than she did in our old city. It's OK, because I make enough and all of our finances are combined. HOWEVER - in a million years I never would have expected her to make that move without a ring on her finger. (Or, for the anti-marriage folks, a mutually agreed longterm committment with an understanding I'd support her financially.)

Without marriage (officially or common-law), she's putting herself in precarious financial position. What happens if he leaves her in five years? She's on her own with no savings and a work history full of part-time jobs and unemployment spells.

With marriage, what happens if he leaves her in five years?

I'm not "anti-marriage" overall, but I fail to see how "showing commitment" on paper would actually change anything for this situation.

Still a part-time work history, but shared savings for the past year.  Obviously they can't full share the impacts of this decision on their career progress, but it's ameliorated to a degree by sharing at least the financial impact.  The financial benefit of moving to further his career is partially shared with the corresponding burden and negative impact on her career, rather than one person shouldering the full negative impact should the relationship fail.

mrmiyagi

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #66 on: June 03, 2015, 09:01:54 AM »
Right after my wife and I got married, we made a long-distance move for my job. My wife had trouble finding work here and now makes significantly less than she did in our old city. It's OK, because I make enough and all of our finances are combined. HOWEVER - in a million years I never would have expected her to make that move without a ring on her finger. (Or, for the anti-marriage folks, a mutually agreed longterm committment with an understanding I'd support her financially.)

Without marriage (officially or common-law), she's putting herself in precarious financial position. What happens if he leaves her in five years? She's on her own with no savings and a work history full of part-time jobs and unemployment spells.

With marriage, what happens if he leaves her in five years?

I'm not "anti-marriage" overall, but I fail to see how "showing commitment" on paper would actually change anything for this situation.

She'd get something like half of their assets, right? I'm not a lawyer, and I've never been divorced, so I am certainly no expert. But in that situation I believe she'd at least get some money to help land on her feet.

JLee

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #67 on: June 03, 2015, 09:07:21 AM »
Right after my wife and I got married, we made a long-distance move for my job. My wife had trouble finding work here and now makes significantly less than she did in our old city. It's OK, because I make enough and all of our finances are combined. HOWEVER - in a million years I never would have expected her to make that move without a ring on her finger. (Or, for the anti-marriage folks, a mutually agreed longterm committment with an understanding I'd support her financially.)

Without marriage (officially or common-law), she's putting herself in precarious financial position. What happens if he leaves her in five years? She's on her own with no savings and a work history full of part-time jobs and unemployment spells.

With marriage, what happens if he leaves her in five years?

I'm not "anti-marriage" overall, but I fail to see how "showing commitment" on paper would actually change anything for this situation.

She'd get something like half of their assets, right? I'm not a lawyer, and I've never been divorced, so I am certainly no expert. But in that situation I believe she'd at least get some money to help land on her feet.

If there's no prenup, then sure that would be a possibility. It'd basically be adding a safety net through coercion / threat of legal action, which is IMO incredibly unhealthy for a relationship.

iris lily

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #68 on: June 03, 2015, 09:07:50 AM »
Right after my wife and I got married, we made a long-distance move for my job. My wife had trouble finding work here and now makes significantly less than she did in our old city. It's OK, because I make enough and all of our finances are combined. HOWEVER - in a million years I never would have expected her to make that move without a ring on her finger. (Or, for the anti-marriage folks, a mutually agreed longterm committment with an understanding I'd support her financially.)

Without marriage (officially or common-law), she's putting herself in precarious financial position. What happens if he leaves her in five years? She's on her own with no savings and a work history full of part-time jobs and unemployment spells.

With marriage, what happens if he leaves her in five years?

I'm not "anti-marriage" overall, but I fail to see how "showing commitment" on paper would actually change anything for this situation.

I can't see that this boyfriend has made signs of commitment at all. Has he? Whether it is recorded or not is a detail.

My guess is that she moved in with him in the hopes that it would lead to marriage. They both likely viewed moving in together as a step toward permanent commitment. That committment has not happened. He would be paying toward her student loans, for one thing, if it had happened.

« Last Edit: June 03, 2015, 09:09:39 AM by iris lily »

mrmiyagi

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #69 on: June 03, 2015, 09:52:07 AM »
Right after my wife and I got married, we made a long-distance move for my job. My wife had trouble finding work here and now makes significantly less than she did in our old city. It's OK, because I make enough and all of our finances are combined. HOWEVER - in a million years I never would have expected her to make that move without a ring on her finger. (Or, for the anti-marriage folks, a mutually agreed longterm committment with an understanding I'd support her financially.)

Without marriage (officially or common-law), she's putting herself in precarious financial position. What happens if he leaves her in five years? She's on her own with no savings and a work history full of part-time jobs and unemployment spells.

With marriage, what happens if he leaves her in five years?

I'm not "anti-marriage" overall, but I fail to see how "showing commitment" on paper would actually change anything for this situation.

She'd get something like half of their assets, right? I'm not a lawyer, and I've never been divorced, so I am certainly no expert. But in that situation I believe she'd at least get some money to help land on her feet.

If there's no prenup, then sure that would be a possibility. It'd basically be adding a safety net through coercion / threat of legal action, which is IMO incredibly unhealthy for a relationship.

Coercion? I'm not suggesting the guy be forced to marry a girl he doesn't want to. If they want to spend their lives together, they should get married. If they don't, they shouldn't. The point is that if this relationship is not a long-term commitment, the girl shouldn't be making major life/career sacrifices for him.

Marriage is just one way to show commitment (certainly not the only one). I don't begrudge people who choose to go other routes. But maybe I should have asked my wife when I proposed - "will you accept this ring as a threat of future legal action against you?"

CommonCents

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #70 on: June 03, 2015, 11:51:16 AM »
Right after my wife and I got married, we made a long-distance move for my job. My wife had trouble finding work here and now makes significantly less than she did in our old city. It's OK, because I make enough and all of our finances are combined. HOWEVER - in a million years I never would have expected her to make that move without a ring on her finger. (Or, for the anti-marriage folks, a mutually agreed longterm committment with an understanding I'd support her financially.)

Without marriage (officially or common-law), she's putting herself in precarious financial position. What happens if he leaves her in five years? She's on her own with no savings and a work history full of part-time jobs and unemployment spells.

With marriage, what happens if he leaves her in five years?

I'm not "anti-marriage" overall, but I fail to see how "showing commitment" on paper would actually change anything for this situation.

She'd get something like half of their assets, right? I'm not a lawyer, and I've never been divorced, so I am certainly no expert. But in that situation I believe she'd at least get some money to help land on her feet.

If there's no prenup, then sure that would be a possibility. It'd basically be adding a safety net through coercion / threat of legal action, which is IMO incredibly unhealthy for a relationship.

Coercion? I'm not suggesting the guy be forced to marry a girl he doesn't want to. If they want to spend their lives together, they should get married. If they don't, they shouldn't. The point is that if this relationship is not a long-term commitment, the girl shouldn't be making major life/career sacrifices for him.

Marriage is just one way to show commitment (certainly not the only one).

+1
The issue is he isn't showing any commitment - it's entirely one-sided.  I'm not pushing marriage on them, I was just answering your question above.

Allie

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #71 on: June 03, 2015, 12:06:43 PM »
Right after my wife and I got married, we made a long-distance move for my job. My wife had trouble finding work here and now makes significantly less than she did in our old city. It's OK, because I make enough and all of our finances are combined. HOWEVER - in a million years I never would have expected her to make that move without a ring on her finger. (Or, for the anti-marriage folks, a mutually agreed longterm committment with an understanding I'd support her financially.)

Without marriage (officially or common-law), she's putting herself in precarious financial position. What happens if he leaves her in five years? She's on her own with no savings and a work history full of part-time jobs and unemployment spells.

With marriage, what happens if he leaves her in five years?

I'm not "anti-marriage" overall, but I fail to see how "showing commitment" on paper would actually change anything for this situation.
This will sound completely unromantic, but marriage provides a strong safety net for the trailing spouse in a way that a really heartfelt commitment can not.  I moved thousands of miles away from my friends, family, and career to support my soon to be husband.  Being able to show that could have increased the financial support available to me from him if the relationship doesn't last. 

We happily cohabitated for years before getting married.  It was my attorney husband who explained all of this to me as we discussed our future.  Offering marriage was one of his ways of saying that he believed in our relationship, our team, and our future.  You shouldn't force anyone to get married, it will just make things messier in the future.  But, there are some really good reasons for (or against) marriage as a legal contract depending on your situation. 

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #72 on: June 03, 2015, 12:13:31 PM »
 The whole "wait five years to get married" thing sends up a red flag for me.   She should dump this  self absorbed bozo and get somebody in the location where she can earn her own way. 

tlars699

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #73 on: June 03, 2015, 12:15:28 PM »
There is a book called Dump That Chump-

It really helped me work through the end of my relationship where I did the sacrificing for the dude, and he two timed me, and left me behind with our babies for someone who did everything for him, instead of hold him to the expectation of being a partner, like I did.

If her relationship ends because of all of this blow-up: get it for her, please. It really did save me from myself/harsh judgement about being fooled by a jerk.

Cpa Cat

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #74 on: June 03, 2015, 12:38:50 PM »
Regarding the marriage issue:

I moved from Canada to the United States to be with my husband. It was conceivable for me to have done this without getting married immediately, but it would have been more expensive (for me). The move was costly for me - I sacrificed a lot, including scholarships, a job, and family support. I was not able to work immediately, nor could I resume school right away. When I did go back to school, I had to take out student loans (in my name) - which would not have happened if I had stayed in Canada and finished school.

What marriage did for me:
1. Our prenup protected his premarital assets and I agreed that alimony was not appropriate, but it provided a sum of money to ensure that in the event that our relationship failed, I was not stranded, penniless and jobless in a foreign country. It also compensated me for the costs associated with my moving to the States.
2. Since my legal and financial status was tenuous, it ensured that I couldn't simply be abandoned without repercussions.
3. I was entitled to half of our assets that were accrued post-maritally. I ended up doing a lot of unpaid work building his company, which we ultimately sold.

I think it should send up alarm signals to anyone that their partner is willing to have them sacrifice financially and emotionally in order to be in their preferred location, but unwilling to offer up legal protections in case things go awry. While I am sure that the pleasure of his company is great and all, I'm not sure why he expects her to "pay" for it, while he gets her company for free.

And maybe this is just me... but if I was with someone for 5 years and he told me he wanted to wait 5 more years before getting married, I'd probably say, "Oh, that's cool. I'm moving on with my life. Call me in 5 years and I'll let you know if I'm available."
« Last Edit: June 03, 2015, 12:40:29 PM by Cpa Cat »

tlars699

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #75 on: June 03, 2015, 01:37:25 PM »
I did want to say upon reflection- for those of you asking, "She's so smart and independent, why is she still with him?!"
...as I've come from a similar situation, I feel that it's because she's normally a with-it, intelligent and independent person.
What do I mean?
I mean, she can't bring herself to face the fact that she has fallen for someone who has taken advantage of her good nature, because she thinks she would see someone like that from a mile away.

She saw something in this person that made her feel good and happy, even if only for a little while, and it's really very painful to think that it was only a mirage, put in place by a Chump to lure her and keep her for his own benefit.

It is especially why most of us, when confronted with a conflicting opinion about someone-whom-we-love's behavior, even when we suspect it to be true, want to wholly reject that idea. "No, I couldn't be that blind, or stupid, or foolish about him. There was SOMETHING THERE, I tell you!"

But then you're too close to see it to be true, you're in the middle of the mirage going, "Where did it go? That sand dune is really shiny, TOO shiny! It HAS to be water!*starts digging*"

So, a thing that would really help her assess the relationship for what it truly is, is distance- both physically (MOVE! NOW!), and mentally(reconnect with the area instead of the BF).

Also: BEWARE the Boyfriend's behavior after she leaves.
If he is a Chump, he'll probably try manipulate her into either feeling HORRIBLE, or to try and get her to move back with him.

If he truly wants to be with her, he'll either wait for her, or be willing to ACT on his feelings(not give wonderful promises, and then end up same old, same mold).



galliver

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #76 on: June 03, 2015, 02:13:24 PM »
I think one thing you could take back to your friend from this whole thread: it is normal/expected for a better earning partner to support their partner who somehow sacrificed for the earner to follow their career. Whether that means marriage or not, some sort of agreement that works for both of them needs to be reached. It may not be a legal entitlement outside of marriage, but it is an aspect of being treated well...same way you expect to spend time together with your partner, address each other respectfully, etc. That her boyfriend is NOT doing this means he is NOT treating her well...same as if he was cussing her out and putting her down. She should not put up with it.

He really has two choices: create acceptable conditions (financially, etc) for her to create a life in Quebec (whatever that means for her: a transfer of funds, him covering some bills like rent&utilities entirely, marriage, etc). If he can't/won't provide this, he has to accept that she will make decisions based on her own self-interest and that will probably mean a long-distance relationship. Unlike others, I don't think this is a universal, objective test of relationships (I think that some people are just better at long-distance), but it's simply what has to happen for her to meet her financial obligations, if he is unwilling to help/make that tradeoff.

My bf moved across the country for me last year; fortunately, his job let him transfer quite easily (because as a grad student I don't make enough to comfortably support both of us). But he made personal sacrifices: social life, having to get up at 5AM to have work calls with the East Coast, the hassle of actually moving. He barely hesitated. But if he had chosen not to, I would have been faced with a similar choice, and frankly I was ready for any inconvenience or even dropping out of grad school in order to stay in the same state. To make such a decision unilaterally and then expect your partner to live up to your arbitrary expectations that didn't account for their challenges...well that's just a douche move.


Chranstronaut

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #77 on: June 03, 2015, 02:28:49 PM »
I think one thing you could take back to your friend from this whole thread: it is normal/expected for a better earning partner to support their partner who somehow sacrificed for the earner to follow their career ... it is an aspect of being treated well...same way you expect to spend time together with your partner, address each other respectfully, etc.

*slow clap*

mc6

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #78 on: June 05, 2015, 04:59:03 PM »
DTFMA.  My favorite acronym!

MrsPete

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #79 on: June 05, 2015, 06:16:17 PM »
Marriage is a piece of paper.
Wrong.  Marriage is a commitment, a promise that your relationship is based upon more than emotions, which ebb and flow.  It's a promise that you have a future together, that you're building a life together, that you'll not leave when circumstances change or when you experience a stretch of bad times.  It's about security. 

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #80 on: June 05, 2015, 06:39:11 PM »
Marriage is a piece of paper.
Wrong.  Marriage is a commitment, a promise that your relationship is based upon more than emotions, which ebb and flow.  It's a promise that you have a future together, that you're building a life together, that you'll not leave when circumstances change or when you experience a stretch of bad times.  It's about security.

+1

Marriage is a piece of paper if two people are engaged in a partnership of equals and when marriage comes up, they mutually agree that it's not an important part of their future and has no benefit for them.

Marriage is NOT a piece of paper when one or both partners are interested in marriage, but there is something getting in their way (either the law, circumstances, or unwillingness from one partner). When - such as in this case - one partner wishes to get married but the other partner is not willing (yet), then it signals that they are not equally committed and the unwilling partner is uncertain of the future.

"Maybe in five years" means: Yes, I want to get married, but I'm totally sure I want to marry you. If we're still together in 5 years, then maybe this really is as good as it gets and I'll be willing to settle.

No one should be sacrificing their future and finances for a "Maybe in five years."

That guy has every right not to want to marry her. But he did not say, "Marriage is just a piece a paper." He said "Maybe in five years."

Drew664

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #81 on: June 06, 2015, 12:23:34 PM »
They really should seek out a couples councilor.

Not really seeing anyone sticking up for they guy in this situation. How does his financial situation change if they move where it works best for her and not him? It's the same argument, just that the sides are flip flopped. They need to air this tension in both their financial and emotional lives to an individual that can truly help and is trained to do so.

Good luck!

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #82 on: June 06, 2015, 01:52:56 PM »
It's true that we're too far removed from the situation to really fully see and assess what is going on.  But you're not, being her friend and confidant.

The one piece of advice I can offer is that if you are truly her friend (not just a buddy to hang out with or an acquaintance), give her your true thoughts and opinions. Tactfully, but honestly and completely.  Even if it's awkward and uncomfortable. Even if she ultimately ignores your advice. Even if it harms your friendship or ends it.  Be willing to make that sacrifice because you care about her.

I say this being a decade older than you, with a friend who spent 10 years in a dead-end relationship. Her friends could see that there was fundamental incompatibility between her stated goals (building a stable life, career, wealth, family) and what was in the relationship (from both sides: selfishness, apathy, lack of commitment, mistrust, unfaithfulness.) Due to shared assets, a marriage ceremony shortly before the break up, and her ex's feelings of entitlement to her family's wealth they are now enduring a painful, protracted, and costly legal process.  On top of lost wealth and lost time she could have spent searching for and building a life with a more compatible partner, she is also facing a closing window of opportunity for biological children (which she wants), as age-related infertility approaches.

It's been terrible to watch and sad to see her hurt and disappointment.  The only non-regret is that her friends and family (myself and others) gave her our honest thoughts and fears multiple times when asked for advice. She went through all this with her eyes open to the possible outcomes.  While only she could choose to save herself from this situation, we at least gave her the knowledge and support to do so if she wanted to.

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #83 on: June 06, 2015, 02:38:25 PM »
I agree with a lot of the other advice here, especially that suggesting a long-term relationship is just as much for her psychological benefit as for the actual relationship.

I agree with the point that marriage isn't necessary for commitment, but I would say that marriage obviously means something symbolically to the boyfriend or he wouldn't be putting it off.

I don't know if this would necessarily help as advice, but what I'm thinking is that 27 is a great age to be looking for a long-term relationship, but 32 isn't. Say you want kids by 35, say you want to be with someone for 3 years before having kids, you'd have to be ready and lucky enough to jump into the perfect relationship right off the bat. I mean, I'm sorry it sounds a little calculating, but that's the way it is when you're sitting on a depreciating asset (even setting aside whether she wants kids or not).   And desirable guys who will date 32 year old women, guys who have their shit together, tend to also want women who have their shit together, which she won't if she fritters away a lot more time. Obviously there are plenty of 32 year old women who are doing quite well finding mates, but why take worse odds than you need to, particularly when your friend has already shown herself, through her education and the fact that she's asking you about this issue, to be good at long-term planning that puts the odds in her favor. If having a relationship is so important to her that she's willing to make sacrifices for it (like going into default, etc.), then that's all the more reason to do what's needed to get herself one. A real one.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2015, 02:40:57 PM by sheepstache »

sheepstache

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #84 on: June 06, 2015, 03:05:27 PM »
Not really seeing anyone sticking up for they guy in this situation. How does his financial situation change if they move where it works best for her and not him? It's the same argument, just that the sides are flip flopped.

I don't think anyone blames the guy for his career decisions, just for not having the necessary discussions and arrangements to make the situation work for him and the person he's willingly in a relationship with. The "shit or get off the pot" issue. Of course, we don't know exactly what he's said to the friend; he may have made it clear he's not super committed but she's not open to the message.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #85 on: June 07, 2015, 12:31:01 PM »
So much good commentary.
A few more thoughts, from someone who grew up in Montreal and has a 26 year old DD.

Montreal/Quebec aspects: 1.Jewish Montreal boy (sorry it sounds so stereotypical) - how involved is the BF with his family?  Is he unwilling to move elsewhere because of close family ties?  OP said that part of the not getting married was that BF was worried about religious issues?  Jewish/non-Jewish marriages often have issues because of differing family expectations, not the actual religious differences (including one in my family, expectations have to be super clear beforehand or there is disaster).
  2.  Montreal is low cost of living because incomes are also low.  If the friend does end up there her equity will not grow as fast as it will elsewhere, especially as a teacher.  Ontario high school teachers make more than Quebec CEGEP (College) teachers.  BC teacher salaries (well, any other province but Newfoundland, and it is improving) are better.  Better pensions down the road, too. Just as good health care.

Age/relationship aspects:  1. DD and her friends are seeing a lot of couples falling into the comfortable living together situation, and a lot of the women (not the guys) are becoming very unhappy with these situations as time goes on - the guys are getting the benefits and the girls are paying more of the price. 
2.  DD is now in a medium-distance relationship, they take turns going back and forth to each other's city.  She uses the travel hacks we all know and love.  They both figure that they both need to put in equal effort here. And yes, they do track it, if one is at the other's two weeks in a row because of whatever,  the other reciprocates.  And both have agreed that they are not moving in together until the relationship is older and stronger, they have seen too many friends move in together too soon.

So I agree OP's friend would do well to job-hunt in BC.  Better financial situation, no need to break up, but the long-distance relationship will both give her and her BF some distance to see the relationship more clearly, and the back and forth will test commitment.   After all, if he won't get an RBC WestJet card and use the miles to go see her, well that shows how much he values her.  And if he does, that also shows how much he values her.

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #86 on: June 07, 2015, 07:49:29 PM »

So much good commentary.
A few more thoughts, from someone who grew up in Montreal and has a 26 year old DD.

Montreal/Quebec aspects: 1.Jewish Montreal boy (sorry it sounds so stereotypical) - how involved is the BF with his family?  Is he unwilling to move elsewhere because of close family ties?  OP said that part of the not getting married was that BF was worried about religious issues?  Jewish/non-Jewish marriages often have issues because of differing family expectations, not the actual religious differences (including one in my family, expectations have to be super clear beforehand or there is disaster).
  2.  Montreal is low cost of living because incomes are also low.  If the friend does end up there her equity will not grow as fast as it will elsewhere, especially as a teacher.  Ontario high school teachers make more than Quebec CEGEP (College) teachers.  BC teacher salaries (well, any other province but Newfoundland, and it is improving) are better.  Better pensions down the road, too. Just as good health care.

Age/relationship aspects:  1. DD and her friends are seeing a lot of couples falling into the comfortable living together situation, and a lot of the women (not the guys) are becoming very unhappy with these situations as time goes on - the guys are getting the benefits and the girls are paying more of the price. 
2.  DD is now in a medium-distance relationship, they take turns going back and forth to each other's city.  She uses the travel hacks we all know and love.  They both figure that they both need to put in equal effort here. And yes, they do track it, if one is at the other's two weeks in a row because of whatever,  the other reciprocates.  And both have agreed that they are not moving in together until the relationship is older and stronger, they have seen too many friends move in together too soon.

So I agree OP's friend would do well to job-hunt in BC.  Better financial situation, no need to break up, but the long-distance relationship will both give her and her BF some distance to see the relationship more clearly, and the back and forth will test commitment.   After all, if he won't get an RBC WestJet card and use the miles to go see her, well that shows how much he values her.  And if he does, that also shows how much he values her.

Good synopsis here. As a shiksa who married a lovely Montreal Jewish boy, I know that families can have their reservations but it all depends on specifics. I don't know if my friend's bf has family pressure or if he's using it as an excuse - but dating for five years, they must figure she's here to stay. Hopefully.

My dad has often told me, "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?" I think we may see a lot of unhappy women in my generation! Tough situation. I wonder why it's never the guy jonesing to get married? Or do I just not have the inside scoop on guys?

You're so right - my friend's earning potential in other provinces is just plain better. She's bilingual and would be scooped up immediately. But the heart wants what it wants, and they did long distance in the past... I don't see her moving. When they were long distance before, she ended up moving back to BC. He will never move due to strong family ties, and having a dream job he could have difficulty finding elsewhere. Siiiiigh.

Sounds like your daughter has a great relationship :) Hopefulky they can be in the same city one day soon!

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #87 on: June 07, 2015, 09:19:12 PM »
Reading with interest, per my own life journey.

I can say this:
Several guys asked me to relocate with them.
In all but one case I acted from my wisdom and said no. I never regretted that.
In one case, I second-guessed my usual approach, wondered if life would go better if I did otherwise, and said yes. I regretted it.
I regretted it because he thought and behaved like the guy in this question seems to (and worse).
He wanted all the benefit, and to leave me with a vastly increased burden which he didn't need to concern himself with. Yuck.

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #88 on: June 08, 2015, 12:57:17 AM »
Neither BC or QC

Move to Nunavut and knock out those student loans in a year, two tops.

markbrynn

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #89 on: June 08, 2015, 04:53:48 AM »
Quote
My dad has often told me, "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?" I think we may see a lot of unhappy women in my generation! Tough situation. I wonder why it's never the guy jonesing to get married? Or do I just not have the inside scoop on guys?

I can't speak for all men, but here are my thoughts. Depending on where you live in the world, and your own particular family and friends, marriage has some different meanings/functions. There's religious marriage (in a church/other building, before god, etc.). There's a civil wedding which is a lot of legal stuff to make responsibilities and protections for each person (and tax issues, etc.). And as a third one, there's saying to the world (but primarily family and friends) that you love this person and plan to spend your life together.

I don't know if marriage was ever a solution to the buying the cow situation. Perhaps with stronger societal pressure against the man if he is married there used to be some value. However, in the world today it is completely possible to be married to one woman and have sex with others. If the wife is unhappy she can leave the marriage, but if the couple doesn't have a lot of money, she doesn't benefit in any way. It's possible if the man has had a better job that the wife will get some alimony, but I wouldn't count on it covering the loss of income for an under-developed career. Especially in a situation with no kids involved, I don't see the power of marriage to protect either the man or the woman. And any feeling of responsibility/guilt/shame/etc. is less likely to exist if one partner felt pressured into getting married.

Regarding whether men are "jonesing" to get married or not. My belief is that it's not that common, but perhaps for different reasons than you're thinking. I know a lot of people who intellectually do not see a lot of need for marriage. They aren't religious and the legal part may or may not be helpful in their situation. For most people, including ones who are against/indifferent towards marriage, I think they see marriage as something emotional. A wedding day with lots of love and fun, a lifelong commitment, etc. The whole emotional picture is something that is sold to woman from a young age. It's their day. Princess for a day. Put a ring on his finger. Ball and chain. They get what they want, the man puts up with it, etc.

So, when it came time for me to contemplate marriage, this is what I thought: It is not important to me religiously. It is not important to me legally. I love this woman and I'm already committed to her (live together, share expenses, look after each other). So what is this marriage about? Why are we getting married? Is it for the wedding? An excuse for a big party? Or is it to satisfy more conservative family and friends that we are "doing the right thing." In the end, I got married because my wife wanted it and there was no reason for me not to. But I did ask her to wait a while until I was really comfortable that we had a solid foundation to (hopefully) see it all the way through. As I mentioned in my previous post, I think the problem with the guy in the original post is that it doesn't sound like he's committed, rather than his comment about marriage.

iris lily

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #90 on: June 08, 2015, 06:22:04 AM »
The milk analogy is old, tired, and insulting.

That said, I think it is generally not a good idea to move in together until an agreement for permanent commitment (whether that is marriage or something else) is made. But most people cannot communicate their thoughts and goals clearly to one another, and often even to themselves. Too many young women also seem to me to be muddled in their thinking about romance and actions which lead to commitment.

There are far too many people who move in together and then find out the relationship is not "progressing" in the direction they want. A huge detriment in these situations is the stasis of a living situation. It's hard to pick up your stuff and move out, it's hard to take big actions. It's easier to break up if you don't have to move out, if you don't have to gather your stuff, find a way to move it, and find another place to live.

Too many people are living together because it's easier than not. And then someone gets pregnant. And then children are brought into the lackluster relationship where parents are then tied together forever. It's all too bad.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2015, 06:26:27 AM by iris lily »

RetiredAt63

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #91 on: June 08, 2015, 07:02:20 AM »
IrisLily

This is what my DD told me - and even before the kids, the guys want them to buy a car jointly, or a house, and boom, they are in a long-term financial arrangement without a major relationship commitment.  Doesn't have to be marriage, but there should be some formal agreement as to rights and responsibilities - cohabitation agreements exist for a reason.  These are capable women, carrying their share of the finances, but they seem to be willing to settle.  Once there are children in mind, I think marriage or a really tight pre-nup are needed, because it not only protects both spouses, it protects the children.

People do learn from experience, older people who remarry do tend to sign contracts.  Usually they do it to protect their children's rights to family assets, but it protects them too.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #92 on: June 08, 2015, 07:24:38 AM »
This a good idea, IF her living costs are covered - prices are stratospheric there because it is so hard to transport goods.  Plus it gives her a good resume.

Neither BC or QC.  Move to Nunavut and knock out those student loans in a year, two tops.

As someone who taught in Quebec for >30 years, my basic advice to her would be - do not look for a job in teaching in Quebec.  Salaries are low, job security is getting worse, and your experience becomes less transferable the longer you work there.  Her bilingualism is expected there, it is an asset anyplace else (my DD gets a salary bonus every year because she passed all the bilingual exams at her job).  If she truly wants to stay in Montreal (you said Quebec but I am guessing Montreal, Quebec) she should be looking at all her skills and reassessing her career.

She is in deep financial trouble (like true hair-on-fire-debt trouble) and her BF lets her pay less rent? How nice of him (yes that was sarcasm, he may be a nice guy but I am not impressed with him). Her being there is why she is in deep financial trouble, so he is not showing much concern for her future.  And down the road, if the deeper commitment never materializes, she has killed her career.

Actually I am not sure about teaching at all - fewer students, fewer jobs - I just looked online at my local public board and they have almost nothing posted. Why doesn't she try for something with the Federal (or Provincial) government?

Also, it just struck me, if he is making such good money, is their housing in line with HIS salary?  In that case her housing costs are too high for her income, there is lots of inexpensive housing in Montreal. 

Her boyfriend has his dream job in Quebec and is unwilling to relocate. He is making excellent money, and she is barely scraping by. Recently he agreed that she could pay rent proportionally instead of 50/50. He figures they could get married five years from now, but not any time soon. They've been together five years. She is 26, working part-time at a high-end pre-school, and her student loans went into default and she's freaking out. She feels like she's making a lot of financial sacrifices, and he just doesn't get it. He's a great guy, I like him, but it seems like he doesn't empathize with what she's dealing with.


lifejoy

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #93 on: June 08, 2015, 09:22:36 AM »
All I can say is that if my friend looks to me for more advice, I've got some more useful things to say. Before, it felt like she just wanted someone to comfort her and help her look on the bright side, so I did. But now I think I would give a little tough love, and present some options she maybe hasn't seriously considered.

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #94 on: June 08, 2015, 03:19:31 PM »
Right after my wife and I got married, we made a long-distance move for my job. My wife had trouble finding work here and now makes significantly less than she did in our old city. It's OK, because I make enough and all of our finances are combined. HOWEVER - in a million years I never would have expected her to make that move without a ring on her finger. (Or, for the anti-marriage folks, a mutually agreed longterm committment with an understanding I'd support her financially.)

Without marriage (officially or common-law), she's putting herself in precarious financial position. What happens if he leaves her in five years? She's on her own with no savings and a work history full of part-time jobs and unemployment spells.

With marriage, what happens if he leaves her in five years?

I'm not "anti-marriage" overall, but I fail to see how "showing commitment" on paper would actually change anything for this situation.
Well, depending on her state, she gets half of their assets and alimony.  In my state, it would be alimony for 1/2 the number of years that they were married.

sheepstache

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #95 on: June 08, 2015, 09:27:25 PM »
I mean, this is kind of a boring explanation, but I think the reason we don't see as many men "jonesing" to get married is because men do want to get married, but at an older age. Both genders want to lock down the best mate they can get when their assets are at their highest. For men, relying on career/financial/social status, that usually happens later, whereas for women, relying on some status combined with looks, it averages out to earlier. This was all fine until there started being pressure on both men and women to date people the same age as themselves.  Now you have all these couples who have, not necessarily different goals, but different time tables for them.

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #96 on: June 09, 2015, 05:21:47 PM »
I could go on a long rant and probably offend most folks here, but this is why I wouldn't move in with someone without getting married.   He is getting all the benefits of marriage and not having to make any commitments to her.   She needs to pack up and move.

+1

This is an easy one.  Your friend should grow up and move to B.C.  In time she may meet a guy that actually appreciates her and can commit to her.

+2

I have a couple of friends who did move cross-country to be with their significant other, but in each case the one who didn't do the moving provided financial support for the S.O. who gave up a career. They were either engaged or actively discussing marriage before the relocation. These couples got married within a year and are still happily married over a decade later.

irishbear99

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #97 on: June 09, 2015, 05:29:38 PM »
This.  I agree that the issue is that he's not supporting her like a true partner, in that he's asked her to sacrifice her career for his, without making any allowances for her sacrifice and helping her.

The biggest red flag I see is that not only is he not supporting her like a true partner, but he seems perfectly okay with watching her struggle from a position of comfort and plenty. That seems to indicate a level of callous disregard that I cannot even fathom.

Have you asked your friend how she feels about this? Maybe talking about it from that standpoint ("How do you feel when he...?") will help her sort it out in her own mind.

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #98 on: June 09, 2015, 06:46:27 PM »

I mean, this is kind of a boring explanation, but I think the reason we don't see as many men "jonesing" to get married is because men do want to get married, but at an older age. Both genders want to lock down the best mate they can get when their assets are at their highest. For men, relying on career/financial/social status, that usually happens later, whereas for women, relying on some status combined with looks, it averages out to earlier. This was all fine until there started being pressure on both men and women to date people the same age as themselves.  Now you have all these couples who have, not necessarily different goals, but different time tables for them.

Interesting!! Sounds logical to me. Wow. Kind of a downer for young women daring young men, lol!

I really enjoy this theory for its probability.

lifejoy

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #99 on: June 09, 2015, 06:47:30 PM »

This.  I agree that the issue is that he's not supporting her like a true partner, in that he's asked her to sacrifice her career for his, without making any allowances for her sacrifice and helping her.

The biggest red flag I see is that not only is he not supporting her like a true partner, but he seems perfectly okay with watching her struggle from a position of comfort and plenty. That seems to indicate a level of callous disregard that I cannot even fathom.

Have you asked your friend how she feels about this? Maybe talking about it from that standpoint ("How do you feel when he...?") will help her sort it out in her own mind.

Good idea.

I am utterly amazed that he sat back and did nothing while her loans went into default!