Wedding Woes

Um 100% your business.

Dear Prudence,

When I met my girlfriend, she was taking a break from the workforce after burning out. I assumed this was temporary and thought it seemed reasonable. Three years later, I am very happy with her but have gained a clearer-eyed view. She’s taken a few jobs for months or weeks, but seems to run into a lot of personal conflicts; struggles with staying emotionally regulated throughout the workday; and has burned bridges, quit, and gone through long periods of staying home and not-really job searching. She lives off her savings from her pre-burnout, well-paid job, and I’m not paying her bills, so in some ways it’s none of my business. She’s an amazing person, and there are many other things I love about her.

But I’m stressed as hell about our future. We want to get married and have kids, and I don’t know how we can do that if she never holds a job for longer than a few months. I can’t support her financially when her savings run out. We’re both women in our 30s, if that’s relevant. I grew up in a home where one parent couldn’t keep a job and the other struggled with having to be a stable wage-earner, and I have no desire to relive that dynamic. I want to offer my partner unconditional love, support, and patience while she finds her way, but I don’t want to find myself five years from now in the very situation I hoped to avoid, wishing I’d paid attention sooner. Where’s the line here, Prudie, between none of my business and totally my business?

—Breadwinning for One

Re: Um 100% your business.

  • VarunaTT said:
    There are more than 4 women in the world too.

    This is someone who at best has an inability to deal with stress and personality conflicts.   At worst, she makes bad decisions and isn't a good financial partner.

    GF needs a quality therapist.
  • This is all your business. If you can’t have a conversation about this your relationship isn’t as great as you think it is. 
  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    Red Flag.  I couldn’t stay with this person.  

  • If you actually want to build a life with this person you need to have conversations about the big things and that absolutely includes your collective financial future. 

    It’s not on you to fix her situation but you also don’t need to tie yourself (financially and otherwise) to someone who may drag you down. 
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    She is not going to snap out of this, and you can't fix her. Three years is not a little break; it's a conscious decision not to be part of the work force. As long as she can support herself through occasional jobs and savings that's fine, but it doesn't work for you.

    Time to move on. 
  • If you are talking about marrying and having a family with someone, their financial situation and their ability to hold down a job are absolutely your business. You need to talk to your girlfriend about these issues before you start making big plans for the future. If you don't believe you can have that conversation with her, or you don't think she'll be receptive and turn things around, then I think you need to move on. 
  • I can't help but be a little fascinated that the LW is playing out her parent's relationship, as much as she never wanted to do that.  It just goes to show how powerful those formative years can sometimes be in forming our future relationships.

    I really understand where she is coming from.  My H and I lived together for over a decade before we got married.  But always kept our finances separated and each paid half for everything.  As such, I didn't feel like I had the "right" to talk to him about his money, how he handled money, his future financial goals.  That was a mistake and I'll just leave it at that.

    At any rate, while their finances might be separate now and the g/f is not currently struggling, these are very valid concerns and they do need to be discussed since the two of them are talking about a future.  And LW needs to see a change and one that lasts a long time before taking more serious steps.

    Can the g/f do that?  Maybe, maybe not.  If a person doesn't want to change for themselves, it's unlikely.  An old adage for you LW, "When a person shows you their true self, believe them."
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • drunkenwitchdrunkenwitch member
    Sixth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited July 30
    I recommend the LW look long and hard at their girlfriend. There is one common denominator in all those interpersonal conflicts she has. 

  • VarunaTTVarunaTT member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited July 30
    I'm just going to push a gentle reminder that LW, in this letter and another, has identified as a queer relationship. 
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