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Making sense or negitive reactions from my recent engagement

Published on June 4, 2012 by goddesspele

I'm newly engaged. Excitement was cut short by my the reaction to our announcement. I'm left now deciding if I should ignore it or think about some of the comments being said.

On one side my sister (recently broke off a long relationship and is anti marriage) says she worries for me because I do so much for him and what am I getting from it.

The otherside is his father (likely somewhere on the sociopathy scale in all honesty) told him he was unexcited for us and he could do better. BUT i'd be a good first wife and he could just wait until he finds the girl of his dream. Ouch.

Putting the sides together one side is concerned I'm being used and the other is suggesting it and encouraging it. I'm just not sure if I'm being used of if I should pay any attention after adjusting for their biases and situations.

We're both around 30. I've long since finished my education. My career is well established. I'm financially secure - own a home. I can afford expensive things and hobbies.

My fiancé took a little longer to come around as an adult. He's only recently out of school. Recently started his career (he's making about 1/2 to 1/3 what I do but his potential career stream is lucritive long term), he owns almost nothing, and has debt and collections (minimal now but still there). He hasn't learned about keeping a house or many domestic things yet.

Sometimes things can be a bit one sided for a while but it's not constant. I’m helping him with his resume, interview skills, teaching him to clean, I told him debt and collections is unacceptable to enter a marriage with so I’ve been helping him rebuild credit and pay off his debts and collections, I bank rolled my own ring as a loan to him because he can’t get a loan that size but he’s paying me back. Sometimes I travel alone and if he comes often I’ll front the expensive stuff like the airline tickets and he pays be back with time. He does pay me back and everything is in agreements – zero hiccups. His debt and collections are systematically being knocked off. It’s not like a always spend lavishly on him - it happens a bit but not excessively. He makes less but he’s more likely to buy me a gift than the other way around.

There really isn’t a reverse of this set of activity of mentorship – but we’re at different life stages. We’re codependent in our goals of getting healthier (which is really my weakest spot) so support comes that way but it’s not the same as me helping him structure much of his life all over the place. He’s a good companion, a good sounding board and treats me well. My benefits are far less tangible I suppose so it’s hard to defend. Our biggest source of conflict is about maintaining the home – he’s not a natural home maker (me either!) but he’s learning and willing to help and ultimately I would like to outsource that to a maid (once we reach a daily maintenance level where a maid would fit into our situation) Some friends feel I shouldn’t mess with someone who is not a “responsible adult” all on their own.

I don’t see this arrangement as overly negative. I see some potential for abuse of the situation but I don’t think it’s happening here. I see that some of it might be lopsided but I just thought that happens in relationships at times. Does this extend beyond healthy?

ANSWERS

You don't say how long you've been a couple. I wouldn't get married unless you've known him for 2 years. It's a good sign that he's paid you back on all of your financial arrangements. I hope he put his father in his place when he made that horrible comment. If not, maybe he's been raised by such dysfunctional parents that he doesn't know the proper response. Tell him his father hurt his feelings, and in the future, your bf needs to speak up and tell him that kind of talk is unacceptable.

If your man meets all of your main needs, which I'm assuming are being faithful, kind, respectful, affectionate, etc., then it may be someone who will make a good lifetime partner. Couples don't always make the same amount. What's important is that he has a good work ethic and is willing to accept your help in showing him how to bring down his debt, and is making efforts in that area.

Besides your sister, are several of your friends expressing doubt as well? If more than one person (excluding crazy people) express doubts about your partner, you might want to examine if they could have some points, or if they just have different needs in a relationship than you.

If you are happy at least 85 percent of the time in your relationship, I think that's a good sign that you two are a good match. The other percent is the minor arguments that every couple has with the stresses of life. Good luck.

If your sister really is bitter and your soon-to-be-father-in-law is a bit crazy, you already have good reason to ignore their advice. It seems you have made excuses for their opinions that discredit the advice they are giving you. Do you really think your sister is saying that because she's anti-marriage? Just because you think his father is a sociopath, does it mean that his opinion is somewhat crazy? You have been quite frank about your relationship. You do a lot for him, you've pretty much had to fix his life and almost mold him into the kind of man you want him to be. You help is precious but for how long are you willing to do this for? And when he gets back on his feet, what's going to happen next? How will his new found independence change your relationship if at all? He sounds like a great partner and he seems to make you happy. I wouldn't say your relationship is unhealthy but I sense that there are certain aspects of your arrangement that you are unhappy with. I am concerned about the role you're playing and how much power you have. He is in debt to you most of the time, you are pretty much schooling him. This relationship may ultimately depend on how much you are willing to continue this for and how much confidence you have in his ability to match you in the future.

Two of your comments bother me > "My benefits are far less tangible." and "his father told him i'd be a good first wife and he could just wait until he finds the girl of his dream." 1) If you feel that your relationship is unbalanced, even at this early stage, it doesn't bode well for the future. 2) It doesn't sound like you were present when your fiance's father said those cruel things about you, so who told you? If it was your fiancee, excuse me, but he sounds like a thoughtless, immature fool. What was he thinking to pass on such hurtful information?

The fact that you are both 30 but "at different life stages" doesn't sound too healthy either. Be careful.

Interestingly, I can speak to this both personally and professionally. The reality is that you can't help who you love. It would be great if, as women, we could all fall for people who have the same responsibility goals as we do, but usually things don't work out that neatly. Not knowing the exact details of your situation, and putting aside some of the negativity you're getting from others, let me ask you this...what can you live with? Go with your gut. Then, imagine if it's ten years later and he still hasn't really changed...can you still live with him then? What does your gut tell you...will your love be enough?

Best wishes to you...just wanted to put some questions out there to help guide your internal processing.

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