Author Topic: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$  (Read 22631 times)

lifejoy

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Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« on: June 01, 2015, 10:24:00 AM »
A close friend of mine is living with her boyfriend in Quebec, Canada. She is trained to be a bilingual elementary teacher. She has student loans and has found it incredibly difficult (impossible?) to find a job as a teacher in Quebec. I think the combination of her Anglophone/English heritage and her new graduate inexperience is making it tough. Schools in QC are closing. What pains her is the fact that if she moved to her home province, BC, she would get snapped up immediately because French-speaking teachers are in high demand there.

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.

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.

TL;DR - my friend is broke because her boyfriend's city has no good jobs for her. He's not ready for marriage or moving. She feels no financial security. What to tell her??
« Last Edit: June 01, 2015, 10:27:01 AM by lifejoy »

TimmyTightWad

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2015, 10:51:29 AM »
My advice to her would be to move.

The BF understands the importance of financial security in his case but not in hers? That combined with the fact he plans to date her for a decade before dropping the question makes me lean towards him just not being that in to her.

She should ask him to subsidize her living there since she's sacrificing career growth for his convenience. If he refuses then she needs to make the situation more convenient for her self and look into her best interest. 

charis

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2015, 11:01:00 AM »
She needs to sit him down and say that they have a choice between A) he helps her pay her student loans until she finds a job and she can stay in their current city, or B) she moves because she can't afford to stay. 

But I think she should do C) just get the heck out of there - he is blind to the fact that she is struggling financially and has arbitrarily decided that they can't get married for another 5 years?  If he truly wants to be with her, he will find a way to make it work.

willkp23

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2015, 11:01:32 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.

CheapskateWife

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2015, 11:03:44 AM »
Ouch, that is a tough situation.  I'm with most of the other posters on this though, it seems from our limited perspective that he has what he wants, but it comes at a huge cost to her.  Its up to her to decide if he is worth the sacrifice or not.  Would he be willing to help her get her loans out of default (assuming of course that she is a brilliant mustachian in all her spending habits)?

Following a husband is different than following a boyfriend's career, and if she is feeling insecure, the ball is in her court to make the necessary changes or move on.  She has allowed this situation to go on, put her financial stability at risk by allowing her loans to go into default, and the solution is totally in her control.  Painful?  Probably yes, but she makes the call.

Cathy

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2015, 11:03:55 AM »
If this were in a common law province (i.e. any province other than Quebec), she might have a claim of unjust enrichment against the boyfriend. These facts pretty much cry out for such a claim, assuming the boyfriend is deriving any material benefit from the relationship (such as homemaking services, thereby allowing the boyfriend to focus on his job at her expense -- a very clear type of unjust enrichment). If he is not deriving any benefit from the relationship, there would probably not be a claim.

However, Quebec civil law is different from the common law in effect in other provinces and I don't know what kind of remedies Quebec civil law offers on this topic. She might want to retain a civil law lawyer to find out.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2015, 11:18:25 AM by Cathy »

Bob W

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2015, 11:12:48 AM »
Surely there are other jobs?

Besides that,  she needs to make her own decisions independent of her boyfriend.  She isn't an insecure 15 year olds girl.   

Life goes on and she should consider moving on.

4alpacas

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2015, 11:16:48 AM »
She needs to get a job to support herself.  If she has to move, then she should move. 

TrMama

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2015, 11:29:23 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.

^^ This. I wouldn't be "chums" with someone like this.

If this were in a common law province (i.e. any province other than Quebec), she might have a claim of unjust enrichment against the boyfriend. These facts pretty much cry out for such a claim, assuming the boyfriend is deriving any material benefit from the relationship (such as homemaking services, thereby allowing the boyfriend to focus on his job at her expense -- a very clear type of unjust enrichment). If he is not deriving any benefit from the relationship, there would probably not be a claim.

However, Quebec civil law is different from the common law in effect in other provinces and I don't know what kind of remedies Quebec civil law offers on this topic. She might want to retain a civil law lawyer to find out.

^^^ And also this. The laws surrounding common law living arrangements are different in Quebec. In light of this, I find it completely mind blowing so few young couples get married in Quebec.

MayDay

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2015, 11:36:17 AM »
She needs to sit him down and say that they have a choice between A) he helps her pay her student loans until she finds a job and she can stay in their current city, or B) she moves because she can't afford to stay. 

But I think she should do C) just get the heck out of there - he is blind to the fact that she is struggling financially and has arbitrarily decided that they can't get married for another 5 years?  If he truly wants to be with her, he will find a way to make it work.

Yup yup.

She should tell him that QC isn't working for her, so she's moving back to BC.  Give him a chance to offer to support her.  If he isn't into that, time to move on.  After 5 years of dating, he should be able to make up his mind. 

lifejoy

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2015, 11:47:25 AM »
Surely there are other jobs?

Besides that,  she needs to make her own decisions independent of her boyfriend.  She isn't an insecure 15 year olds girl.   

Life goes on and she should consider moving on.

Definitely there are other jobs, and she's been doing them. She used to work at a health club.

I think there are decisions we make with our head, and decisions we make with our heart. It can be hard to reconcile the two, I think!

Gyosho

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2015, 11:48:19 AM »
I vote move also. If she can't afford to be with this guy, that is a clear sign from the Universe to move on. She also needs to consider the cost of wasting her opportunities.

lifejoy

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2015, 11:49:01 AM »
Sub-question:

Do I show this thread to my friend? How do I be a good friend to her? I want to be supportive but I also want to be like, "Tell him to sh*t or get off the pot. This isn't fair to you."

O.o Eeps!

charis

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2015, 11:51:06 AM »
Did she ask for your advice on this topic?  If she did, show her this thread.  If not, stay out of it or be a little more subtle.

lifejoy

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2015, 11:58:05 AM »
Did she ask for your advice on this topic?  If she did, show her this thread.  If not, stay out of it or be a little more subtle.

She did ask for advice. And I was not wanting to tell her what to do with her life, so I instead posed a series of questions she could ask herself in hopes of clearing her mind. But I wish I could do more, hence this thread.

Tremeroy

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #15 on: June 01, 2015, 12:34:19 PM »
Think carefully before sharing anything so directódid she really want your advice, or was she just looking for your comfort / consolation? I guarantee that she already knows all the facts that we've cited in this thread.

If you do feel compelled to give straightforward advice, I think that you should use your own words. There's no reason to share this thread; it could feel like "piling on" from her perspective, plus she is interested in what you think.

justplucky

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #16 on: June 01, 2015, 01:02:56 PM »
Tell him to sh*t or get off the pot.

Haha, the first time I heard that phrase was when my college boyfriend used it when trying to get me to move halfway across the country to be with him. Needless to say, I didn't. My husband (not college boyfriend) and I have some pretty good laughs about how terribly unromantic the appeal was.

One of the main reasons I didn't was because I was taking all of the risk (financially, social support wise), without him even acknowledging it.

She needs to figure out her boundaries in this situation, and then be prepared to enforce them. She should to ask herself how she would feel in the worst-case scenario for either choice. If she stays with him, sacrificing her financial stability, and in five years he still refuses to marry her, how would she feel? I would be enraged, personally. On the other hand, if she leaves him, she may always wonder what could've been, especially if she never meets someone else. Only she can tell which type of regret would be worse for her.

lifejoy

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #17 on: June 01, 2015, 01:40:16 PM »
Think carefully before sharing anything so directódid she really want your advice, or was she just looking for your comfort / consolation? I guarantee that she already knows all the facts that we've cited in this thread.

If you do feel compelled to give straightforward advice, I think that you should use your own words. There's no reason to share this thread; it could feel like "piling on" from her perspective, plus she is interested in what you think.

Excellent points. It's just hard for me to watch her go through a situation so similar to what I experienced. Granted, my employment options weren't as dire, and I am now married to my partner-in-crime, but its pains me to know how she feels and have no way of helping. However, like you say, perhaps a friendly ear was all she needed :)

little_brown_dog

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #18 on: June 01, 2015, 01:43:11 PM »
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.

i wouldn't share this thread with your friend...she clearly thinks they have a future together if she hasn't left already. anything other than some well placed, thought provoking questions and a few very tactful words of advice might harm your friendship. remember, we all claim to want advice until it is the exact thing we wish we didn't hear...

lifejoy

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #19 on: June 01, 2015, 01:43:26 PM »
Tell him to sh*t or get off the pot.

[edited for size]

She needs to figure out her boundaries in this situation, and then be prepared to enforce them. She should to ask herself how she would feel in the worst-case scenario for either choice. If she stays with him, sacrificing her financial stability, and in five years he still refuses to marry her, how would she feel? I would be enraged, personally. On the other hand, if she leaves him, she may always wonder what could've been, especially if she never meets someone else. Only she can tell which type of regret would be worse for her.

Ahhh so helpful! Thank you!!! Actually, a dear friend of my own gave me very similar advice when I was deciding whether or not to move with my now-husband. I will pass this along to my friend. VERY USEFUL. How could I have forgotten?

lifejoy

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #20 on: June 01, 2015, 01:44:07 PM »
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.

i wouldn't share this thread with your friend...she clearly thinks they have a future together if she hasn't left already. anything other than some well placed, thought provoking questions and a few very tactful words of advice might harm your friendship. remember, we all claim to want advice until it is the exact thing we wish we didn't hear...


Sound logic. Thanks :) I have to agree with you.

AlwaysBeenASaver

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #21 on: June 01, 2015, 01:44:07 PM »
She should move. I have seen too many women give up their career opportunities to allow their husband/partner's career to thrive, then if/when the relationship ends, the woman is older and doesn't have a (good) career to support herself. I've seen it happen to men too, just not nearly as often.

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #22 on: June 01, 2015, 01:44:27 PM »
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.

Did she initially request the 50/50 arrangement or did he tell her that was how he felt like relationships should go? Was she also doing more than 50% of the cooking/cleaning/chores? And "he figures" on marriage 5 years down the road... how does she feel about that? Has she made her feelings on the subjects clear?

Based on a tiny snippet, it seems like she's making a lot of sacrifices for someone not willing to commit permanently to her. She's in default on her loans. She can't afford the life they're living. What happens if he changes his mind about marriage in 5 years because she's so far underwater?

As for how to approach it, it depends on how ready she truly is and how much of a shock defaulting on her loans was. It comes across like your friend is a bit conflict averse. It's good that she recognizes it enough to ask you for advice, but she may not be ready for the really pragmatic opinion of standing up for herself and going to the greener pastures in BC.

At a minimum, she needs to have a frank discussion with this guy on where they are and where they're going. If he's not aware of what his decisions are doing to her and her finances, she needs to tell him. He needs to know how she feels. If he's truly committed to the relationship but not to marriage yet, then he needs to show it by building a realistic budget and timeline that suits both of their needs (especially if he's living a more expensive lifestyle than she would without him).

NoraLenderbee

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #23 on: June 01, 2015, 01:50:43 PM »
The boyfriend is showing her how strong his commitment to her is. It doesn't seem strong enough for him to consider compromises that would improve her career prospects or her financial well-being. He is also showing her the way he will treat her for the rest of their lives together. I would ask her to think about the following questions:
--Does she want to be treated like this forever? Is she satisfied with the priority she is getting in his life?
--I'm sure she loves him. Is she really getting the same kind of love in return?

IMO, there isn't one right way to solve the financial/career issue; different couples can be happy with all different kinds of compromises. The big problem is that he seems to think it's all her problem, not their problem.

lifejoy

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #24 on: June 01, 2015, 01:57:28 PM »
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.

Did she initially request the 50/50 arrangement or did he tell her that was how he felt like relationships should go? Was she also doing more than 50% of the cooking/cleaning/chores? And "he figures" on marriage 5 years down the road... how does she feel about that? Has she made her feelings on the subjects clear?

Based on a tiny snippet, it seems like she's making a lot of sacrifices for someone not willing to commit permanently to her. She's in default on her loans. She can't afford the life they're living. What happens if he changes his mind about marriage in 5 years because she's so far underwater?

As for how to approach it, it depends on how ready she truly is and how much of a shock defaulting on her loans was. It comes across like your friend is a bit conflict averse. It's good that she recognizes it enough to ask you for advice, but she may not be ready for the really pragmatic opinion of standing up for herself and going to the greener pastures in BC.

At a minimum, she needs to have a frank discussion with this guy on where they are and where they're going. If he's not aware of what his decisions are doing to her and her finances, she needs to tell him. He needs to know how she feels. If he's truly committed to the relationship but not to marriage yet, then he needs to show it by building a realistic budget and timeline that suits both of their needs (especially if he's living a more expensive lifestyle than she would without him).

The 50/50 rent splitting was his idea. He has relented and they are now paying about 70/30. I don't know about household chores but it would not surprise me if she did more. However, I should not guess because I don't actually know.

To complicate matters, he's Jewish and she's not - I think there's some family resistance about the prospect of their marriage. Isn't life interesting??

lifejoy

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #25 on: June 01, 2015, 01:58:32 PM »
The boyfriend is showing her how strong his commitment to her is. It doesn't seem strong enough for him to consider compromises that would improve her career prospects or her financial well-being. He is also showing her the way he will treat her for the rest of their lives together. I would ask her to think about the following questions:
--Does she want to be treated like this forever? Is she satisfied with the priority she is getting in his life?
--I'm sure she loves him. Is she really getting the same kind of love in return?

IMO, there isn't one right way to solve the financial/career issue; different couples can be happy with all different kinds of compromises. The big problem is that he seems to think it's all her problem, not their problem.

Wow, very astute questions. I will pass these along to her if I get the opportunity :)

I think helping people by posing questions can be very useful. I don't like to tell people what to do.

partgypsy

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #26 on: June 01, 2015, 02:06:29 PM »
There are such things as long distance relationships. If I were her, I would think, I'm not married yet, and for me the best choice is (relocate for a better job). My nephew is getting married this summer, and they were separated for 4 years due to being located in different areas, so they could pursue their educational degrees. Not saying it will work out, but if anything, it will equalize their footing and the relationship will survive on its own merits, not based on convenience.
I personally do not like the idea that he owes her anything regarding paying back college loans, unless that was something they discussed in advance and agreed on together.

lifejoy

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #27 on: June 01, 2015, 02:14:19 PM »
There are such things as long distance relationships. If I were her, I would think, I'm not married yet, and for me the best choice is (relocate for a better job). My nephew is getting married this summer, and they were separated for 4 years due to being located in different areas, so they could pursue their educational degrees. Not saying it will work out, but if anything, it will equalize their footing and the relationship will survive on its own merits, not based on convenience.
I personally do not like the idea that he owes her anything regarding paying back college loans, unless that was something they discussed in advance and agreed on together.

Very legit option. Lots of people do long-distance these days.

JLee

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #28 on: June 01, 2015, 02:42:06 PM »
There are such things as long distance relationships. If I were her, I would think, I'm not married yet, and for me the best choice is (relocate for a better job). My nephew is getting married this summer, and they were separated for 4 years due to being located in different areas, so they could pursue their educational degrees. Not saying it will work out, but if anything, it will equalize their footing and the relationship will survive on its own merits, not based on convenience.
I personally do not like the idea that he owes her anything regarding paying back college loans, unless that was something they discussed in advance and agreed on together.

Very legit option. Lots of people do long-distance these days.
Yup. And if she has summers off, she could go back and live with him for a few months.

Allie

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #29 on: June 01, 2015, 03:10:33 PM »
Plus 1 to everyone who says she needs to decide which worst case scenario she would prefer.  She has no control over her boyfriend's intentions or life course, only her own.  Wishing really, really hard that he will become an empathetic adult who understands and cares about her well being will not make it so.  That he sees her struggling and languishing and only offers to help when pressured does not indicate he will be good husband material.

In my personal life, after our respective graduate and professional schools were complete my future husband got a great job offer in his home town.  I had a great job offer in the town we were living in at the time.  He was sure that in a few years he could be doing very, very well if he moved back.  I trusted him but wasn't sure about my future prospects.  It was a no brainer to get married first.  It made me feel confident in my decision about my future and it made him feel confident in our relationship. 

We went from two people trying to figure out what was in our own best interests to a team working for the common good.  When you are a team you support each other and your partner's struggles become yours.  It doesn't sound like your friends boyfriend is feeling very sportsmanlike.

lifejoy

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #30 on: June 01, 2015, 03:15:17 PM »
There are such things as long distance relationships. If I were her, I would think, I'm not married yet, and for me the best choice is (relocate for a better job). My nephew is getting married this summer, and they were separated for 4 years due to being located in different areas, so they could pursue their educational degrees. Not saying it will work out, but if anything, it will equalize their footing and the relationship will survive on its own merits, not based on convenience.
I personally do not like the idea that he owes her anything regarding paying back college loans, unless that was something they discussed in advance and agreed on together.

Very legit option. Lots of people do long-distance these days.
Yup. And if she has summers off, she could go back and live with him for a few months.

HOW DID I NOT THINK OF THIS??!!!

Apologies for yelling, but wow. I am really amazed that I didn't think of that. Then again, maybe my friend didn't, either. Hmm a very interesting possibility. Gotta love the MMM think tank!

lifejoy

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #31 on: June 01, 2015, 03:16:49 PM »
Plus 1 to everyone who says she needs to decide which worst case scenario she would prefer.  She has no control over her boyfriend's intentions or life course, only her own.  Wishing really, really hard that he will become an empathetic adult who understands and cares about her well being will not make it so.  That he sees her struggling and languishing and only offers to help when pressured does not indicate he will be good husband material.

In my personal life, after our respective graduate and professional schools were complete my future husband got a great job offer in his home town.  I had a great job offer in the town we were living in at the time.  He was sure that in a few years he could be doing very, very well if he moved back.  I trusted him but wasn't sure about my future prospects.  It was a no brainer to get married first.  It made me feel confident in my decision about my future and it made him feel confident in our relationship. 

We went from two people trying to figure out what was in our own best interests to a team working for the common good.  When you are a team you support each other and your partner's struggles become yours.  It doesn't sound like your friends boyfriend is feeling very sportsmanlike.

+1

I am in a similar situation to yours. It feels a lot nicer to work together as a team. I've come to a point where my husband's career path is "our" career path, and I know that he is verrrrry supportive of my goals, and it's just all in all a very comforting situation to be in.

Bearded Man

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #32 on: June 01, 2015, 03:21:50 PM »
Have her try a long distance relationship. Since he makes the money, he can go visit her at his expense, if not, break it off.

DeepEllumStache

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #33 on: June 01, 2015, 03:39:25 PM »
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.

Did she initially request the 50/50 arrangement or did he tell her that was how he felt like relationships should go? Was she also doing more than 50% of the cooking/cleaning/chores? And "he figures" on marriage 5 years down the road... how does she feel about that? Has she made her feelings on the subjects clear?

Based on a tiny snippet, it seems like she's making a lot of sacrifices for someone not willing to commit permanently to her. She's in default on her loans. She can't afford the life they're living. What happens if he changes his mind about marriage in 5 years because she's so far underwater?

As for how to approach it, it depends on how ready she truly is and how much of a shock defaulting on her loans was. It comes across like your friend is a bit conflict averse. It's good that she recognizes it enough to ask you for advice, but she may not be ready for the really pragmatic opinion of standing up for herself and going to the greener pastures in BC.

At a minimum, she needs to have a frank discussion with this guy on where they are and where they're going. If he's not aware of what his decisions are doing to her and her finances, she needs to tell him. He needs to know how she feels. If he's truly committed to the relationship but not to marriage yet, then he needs to show it by building a realistic budget and timeline that suits both of their needs (especially if he's living a more expensive lifestyle than she would without him).

The 50/50 rent splitting was his idea. He has relented and they are now paying about 70/30. I don't know about household chores but it would not surprise me if she did more. However, I should not guess because I don't actually know.

To complicate matters, he's Jewish and she's not - I think there's some family resistance about the prospect of their marriage. Isn't life interesting??

The situation throws up a lot of red flags to me.

How independent is she? Does she want a partner or does she want someone to take care of her? If he's very career driven and feels like everyone should be as well, then her staying in such a bad financial situation probably reinforces his concerns.

I knew someone who was delaying marriage because he knew the mother of his child would quit her job the moment they were engaged.  Being a SAHP is wonderful if you are committed as a team, but they weren't at that point. The dual income setup was helpful and he didn't want her to miss out on two decades of skills/work experience immediately after college. It worried him that there was a lot of pressure from her family to go the SAHP route, regardless of the individual situation. They lived together as a family, but still not married even though the kid was 3.

It makes me wonder if there's a similar dynamic and this guy is delaying marriage because he's worried she'll immediately quit looking for a job and become dependent. If that's true, she'll win in more ways than one way by leaving and getting a much better job in BC. Staying would set her up for more debt and possibly reinforce his worries that she only wants him for his capacity to earn.

Plus the summers and breaks together idea is genius.

backyardfeast

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #34 on: June 01, 2015, 03:51:39 PM »
+1 for the consideration of the long-distance relationship.  I think the key to helping someone else with their relationship is to a) present your own experiences, having been through this yourself, and b) helping to think through a variety of options and trying on how they feel.  Then said friend, in her own journey, can take steps as she feels they are right.  I'm not a big fan of ultimatums or either/or approaches in relationships unless absolutely necessary; they usually just make one or the other person feel threatened or unsupported, and that doesn't help anything.

You are already, by the sounds of things, in a loving partnership, where hard choices have had to be negotiated in complicated realities.  I would stress for your friend that in a real, loving partnership, both people should feel like they are getting treated as equals, with equally important needs that need to be addressed and supported.  This, of course, does not mean that both people can have everything they want/every need met all the time, but each person needs to feel like they are being valued, and that they are troubleshooting issues *together*.  Is this the case for her?  If so, then she should feel comfortable sitting down with her partner and sharing her concerns: "I'm really struggling here.  I want to be here with you, but I really can't make ends meet or find work.  Can we think through *our* options and how we would feel about them?"  Options could then include: joining finances and having him support her financially because having her with him is important enough for him to do so; having her pursue work options elsewhere that might include opportunities to travel to visit him and vice versa; breaking up to pursue other goals.

In our case, our careers also took us in different directions for a couple of of years.  But we always felt like a team; I felt that I (the one who ended up elsewhere) had made a free choice to fulfill my own needs/career goals, and that this choice was completely supported by my now-DH.  If the relationship had needed to end as we grew apart, we were ok with that, and both of us worked to make sure that it didn't come to that.  In our case, the first year living apart confirmed that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together, and set a wonderful precedent that honouring our own needs, even if that entailed some sacrifices, was important and not threatening.  We have other friends who found that a year apart made it clear that they were happier on their own than together. 

rocksinmyhead

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #35 on: June 01, 2015, 04:01:15 PM »
good god I would be absolutely flipping out. I'm in a similar situation relationship-wise (just turned 27, dating for almost five years) and even I'm at the point where we are having to have SERIOUS conversations about whether he really, truly wants to get married or not. if he said "not for another five years" I think I would have to peace out, although it would be brutally painful. and in our case, I'M the one who makes way more money (and he moved across the country for my job), and we pay for stuff proportionally. I honestly think that is so gross that she moved somewhere for him and he just FINALLY came around to splitting bills proportionately (and won't get married). (and by "gross" I don't mean I'm judging her, I'm judging HIM for being so selfish!)

Have her try a long distance relationship. Since he makes the money, he can go visit her at his expense, if not, break it off.

yes! I like all these ideas about at least trying long-distance. if it doesn't work, well, then you know.

If the relationship had needed to end as we grew apart, we were ok with that, and both of us worked to make sure that it didn't come to that.  In our case, the first year living apart confirmed that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together, and set a wonderful precedent that honouring our own needs, even if that entailed some sacrifices, was important and not threatening.  We have other friends who found that a year apart made it clear that they were happier on their own than together. 

this definitely makes sense! so glad it worked out for you guys.

Erica/NWEdible

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #36 on: June 01, 2015, 04:03:17 PM »
Her family, etc. is in BC?  So it's not like she's leaving the only relationship she has to move west? Assuming so, I also vote move and try a long distance relationship. It will stress the relationship enough that she will know relatively quickly whether there is a future in this relationship or not. I.e., they will break up sooner rather than in 5 years when he's still not into her enough to get married, and she'll be able to move on with her awesome life.

mm1970

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #37 on: June 01, 2015, 04:27:29 PM »
A close friend of mine is living with her boyfriend in Quebec, Canada. She is trained to be a bilingual elementary teacher. She has student loans and has found it incredibly difficult (impossible?) to find a job as a teacher in Quebec. I think the combination of her Anglophone/English heritage and her new graduate inexperience is making it tough. Schools in QC are closing. What pains her is the fact that if she moved to her home province, BC, she would get snapped up immediately because French-speaking teachers are in high demand there.

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.

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.

TL;DR - my friend is broke because her boyfriend's city has no good jobs for her. He's not ready for marriage or moving. She feels no financial security. What to tell her??
Dump him, move to BC, get a job, save money, pay off her loans, take care of her own career and future.

Or maybe not dump him, but do all the rest.  Have a long term relationship.  Sometimes they work.  But generally not. 

I was much  younger (20-21) when my college boyfriend suggested that I set myself up to follow him in the Navy.  I realized that I didn't want to do that - that I needed to take care of my own career.  That was that.

mm1970

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #38 on: June 01, 2015, 04:28:40 PM »
She needs to sit him down and say that they have a choice between A) he helps her pay her student loans until she finds a job and she can stay in their current city, or B) she moves because she can't afford to stay. 

But I think she should do C) just get the heck out of there - he is blind to the fact that she is struggling financially and has arbitrarily decided that they can't get married for another 5 years?  If he truly wants to be with her, he will find a way to make it work.
Especially since he "agreed" to not do 50/50 on rent.  Um, duh?

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #39 on: June 01, 2015, 04:30:49 PM »
If he hasn't wanted to marry after this stretch of 5 years, why would he want to after the next stretch? Sends up some flags for me.

Krnten

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #40 on: June 01, 2015, 06:01:50 PM »
I have a friend in a similar situation.  Her boyfriend took a job across country after making the decision entirely on his own.  Later he invited her to move out there.  Not to get engaged, or even to move in with him, just to uproot her life and move across country to be near him.  She did, shockingly!  Then he bought a house by himself and when her lease ended, he offered that she could stay with him while she looked for a new place. 

I want to advise her to dump him several years ago, but I can't bring myself to say it.  He explicitly says that they can't get married because of religious differences, but both of them are 100% secular.

She's not a pushover at all and is quite independent.  I can't figure it out.

rue

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #41 on: June 01, 2015, 06:30:22 PM »
sorry but I say leave him.  You have to think long term.  When she is older will he stand by her?  If they have a child will he support them?  I think she is seriously reducing her income potential if there are no well paid jobs near him.  I would advise her to go get a real income (in view of him not supporting her more financially) and only then will she gain real independence to make decisions in her life.  She will feel pain and suffering leaving but many people grow spiritually through pain and suffering as only through suffering can we truly appreciate joy.

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #42 on: June 01, 2015, 07:21:32 PM »

I have a friend in a similar situation.  Her boyfriend took a job across country after making the decision entirely on his own.  Later he invited her to move out there.  Not to get engaged, or even to move in with him, just to uproot her life and move across country to be near him.  She did, shockingly!  Then he bought a house by himself and when her lease ended, he offered that she could stay with him while she looked for a new place. 

I want to advise her to dump him several years ago, but I can't bring myself to say it.  He explicitly says that they can't get married because of religious differences, but both of them are 100% secular.

She's not a pushover at all and is quite independent.  I can't figure it out.

Ack, so similar to my friend!! I can't figure it either.

okonomiyaki

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #43 on: June 01, 2015, 09:32:46 PM »
I would go with long distance relationship for the added benefit that it is psychologically easier to deal with the financial issues first, and then the emotional ones. If she leaves him (presumably still loving him) and is looking for a job in new city it is very, very hard to deal with.

former player

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #44 on: June 02, 2015, 02:41:21 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, and give your friend a retreat with honour if they are anything less than "I can't live without you, let's get married and we'll stick it out here together until you can get a job here that meets your aspirations for yourself".

KBecks2

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #45 on: June 02, 2015, 04:31:41 AM »
He seems to be getting his milk for free.  If he will not marry now, she should move and begin meeting new people.  5 years s is ridiculous.

KBecks2

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #46 on: June 02, 2015, 04:45:21 AM »
For talking to your friend,  you are close.  Be honest.  Be loving and giv her lots of support through her transition.  She needs to move. This man is not going to marry from this easy living situation and family pushback.  There is a better job and a better partner for her.  She should think big! If he's right he will stay interested through long distance.  But she should date and choose from a fee more options.

markbrynn

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #47 on: June 02, 2015, 05:24:02 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.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #48 on: June 02, 2015, 06:00:38 AM »
I never really believed in government dictating the terms of interpersonal relationships. I seem to be surrounded by people who feel otherwise it seems, at least in this thread. I have to wholeheartedly agree that your friends situation sucks.......the situation is quite literally keeping her from gaining financial independence. I would definitely move back to BC in her shoes, and see how serious the relationship really is. If he cares about her that much, they will make it work and he will have to compromise in some way, shape, or form.

As far as marriage goes, that is up to them and them alone. I have been with my SO for just under 4 1/2 years. The social pressure to get married is strong, her friends getting married very young does not help. Do I love the girl? Yes. Do I want to spend the foreseeable future with her? Yes. Do I view us as a team? Absolutely. Do I want to get married? Not in the traditional sense of the word. Will this be a dealbreaker for us? I guess we will find out. It's something I struggle with regularly. 

GuitarStv

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Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
« Reply #49 on: June 02, 2015, 06:31:24 AM »
I suspect a long distance relationship of 5000km and several time zones will be a nail in the coffin for this relationship.