My Boyfriend Doesn’t Earn Much Money. How Do I know if I Can Make Peace with This?

My Boyfriend Doesn’t Earn Much Money. How Do I know if I Can Make Peace with This

Thanks for all of your wonderful advice. I was wondering how you can tell if something is simply a flaw that you need to accept/work with or something that is a deal breaker. I want to be fair but also don’t want to wind up unhappy or resent my future husband. My boyfriend would like to get engaged and start a family.

I am 37 and he is 40. He doesn’t make much money and doesn’t have any savings because he was a bit irresponsible in the past although he is better now that I told him it bothered me. He works over 70 hours a week to support himself. He could make a lot more at another company or if he tried to get promoted but he is happy where he is. I have a job in finance that is fine but I don’t think I can support a family on my own or pay to have a lot of help with a baby when he is at work all the time. It is rather expensive here in London.

My question is if he is a good man and loves me, how can I tell if his income/savings or inability to be a good provider is a flaw to make peace with or something that will make me unhappy in the long term? If I want a child naturally I would need to start right away so I am trying to figure this out now.

I greatly value your opinion and thank you in advance.

Brianna

Aw, Brianna, this is a tough one, for one particular reason: you’re asking me what YOU should think.

The problem is that I can’t impose my values on you, nor is it my place to convince you that your values or priorities are out-of-whack. In other words, whatever I say next, this decision is yours. I am quite confident that whatever you choose will be right for you.

So let’s sum up your story in a few lines:

  • He doesn’t make much money.
  • He doesn’t have savings.
  • He works 70 hours a week.
  • He is content with this. You are not.
  • You want to have a baby and you have to figure things out soon.
  • You don’t know if this situation will make you unhappy in the future.

My answer is a somewhat predictable “yes, and…”:

If you break up with him over this, you would likely come to regret it.

Yes, this situation will make you unhappy.

You will resent your husband for his choice of job, his salary, and his contentment.

You will resent your husband for not being able to support you (and a nanny) when you have a child.

You will resent your husband for not having time to help at home when he’s working 12 hours a day.

AND…

If you break up with him over this, you would likely come to regret it. Play out the scenario in your head. You’re 37. You break up with him tonight (for no reason except your inability to accept his choice of career). You get back out there tomorrow. You discover dating is challenging for a 37-year-old who is anxious to have her own biological family.

Lots of men your age won’t even look at you. Lots of men 10 years older see you as their savior. Lots of trial and error. Lots of screening men with a new filter: must make enough money to support me, my lifestyle, and our new child. With that, you’ve cut off 85% of men, and that’s before you factor in things like height, weight, age, education, religion, humor, communication skills, character, values, sex, etc.

Let’s leave that aside. Suppose you get yourself a new husband and father with a higher income. What are the definite ramifications of that?

  1. You will be older than you are now. Maybe it’ll be a year until you find him. 18 months before he proposes. 2 years until you try to get pregnant – at the earliest. Read up on the statistics for pregnancy for women in their late 30’s before you do anything. 
  1. He’ll have a different set of problems than your current boyfriend. It may not be his salary. But it may be his temperament. His selfishness. His insensitivity. Who knows?

All I can say is that I had a similar dilemma when deciding to propose to my 38-year-old fiancé. She was awesome. We were awesome. Would it have been ideal to find someone JUST like her, but five years younger and Jewish? Sure. Was I willing to start all over at age 35 to see if that woman existed, only to end up in a similar place at age 38? No, I was not.

Marriage is about accepting things in your partner that you don’t necessarily love.

This comes down to whether you can learn to tolerate what most other career women deal with – having a husband who is not wealthy enough to support both a child and a stay-at-home mom.

In the U.S. 5% of married stay-at-home mothers have master’s degrees and make over $75,000, but can stay at home because their husbands make enough to support them.

Do you want to hold out for one of those men? That’s your right.

Just know that there are no guarantees and the grass isn’t always greener.

Marriage is about accepting things in your partner that you don’t necessarily love. If you can’t accept him as he is right now, better put up that OkCupid profile and get started on finding a richer dude.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Malika

    Is it an option to temporarily move out of London? The capital is a great place to live in, but only if you have oodles of cash. Once your child hits primary school age, you also have to think about the school costs if none of the schools are all that great in your catchment area.

    I actually don’t think money is your biggest problem as you seem to have the possibility of having a reasonably well paid career and where there is a will there is a way etc. I question whether you want a child with a father who is working 70 hours a week out of choice and who will most likely be exhausted when he is at home. In the best of marriages, once a child comes along, the stress levels at home go up and i wonder what it will be like if he is away for so much of the time. But then again, Evan has a point in that you have to think of the time issue and whether personality wise you would find another guy who would be as good a partner as he is.

  2. 2
    Stacy2

    I think the OP needs to approach this issue with the utmost pragmatism. What is it that she wants – (1) a baby or (2) this particular guy?

    It certainly doesn’t sound as if this guy is the love of her life. And so, since that’s the case, and there’s never a good reason for a woman to support a man financially, she should most definitely NOT marry him and err on the side of caution when deciding whether to co-habitate with him. It will end up costing her financially. So, the only question left is whether she wants to have a baby with this guy? I mean her only other 2 options would be going it alone or trying to find someone else. Is this guy an improvement over going it alone scenario? Would he add any value as a farther? Would he at least partially support the baby? Is he a good farther material? Does he event want to have a baby? That’s really what it comes down to. Oh, and if the OP is holding out for a man who will support her on the upper middle class level while she’s a SAHM in one of the most expensive cities on the planet, that is… how do I put it .. unwise.

    1. 2.1
      Just saying

      Never a good reaon to support a man financially……………LOL I would sure hope you would never become mother to a son then. Doubly so if ever he becomes disabled.

  3. 3
    Stacy2

    I would also add that a conversation like this should be had with the bf/fiance before they formalize their relationship in any way. If he actually wants to have a family, and has verbalized that goal, it would be a good idea to sit down and go through the financial planning. Like, honey, I make X and you make Y. A 2br apartment cost this and a daycare cost that. How do you envision our common finances given this breakdown? Who will pay for what? How much will we save? Where do you see us living? I mean this is about the numbers, not feelings. The numbers either work or they don’t. But going into it hoping that they will while it’s not the case is the sure way to financial ruin.

  4. 4
    Alex

    Truthfully, I think these are the circumstances that feminists are trying to mitigate. She has a man who makes very little money AND ALSO has very little time to contribute to raising a child. If her boyfriend cannot commit to either finding a job that pays the same but demands fewer hours or a job that pays more and has the same hours, then what is the point of having the man? She is effectively acting as a single mom by providing all of the funds and all of the care for the child.

    It’s great that he wants to have a family, he needs to contribute in a meaningful way. If he’s already making significantly less, wouldn’t it make sense for him to compromise on his time? I typically agree with Evan that there is usually a way to take responsibility for your actions in a relationship. This is the only question I’ve seen that makes me feel that he is the one that needs to change something, not her.

    She should have a serious talk with him about the actual costs of a family (like Stacey 2 said) and let him know that time is also of equal importance and that men don’t always have to be the primary breadwinners.

    1. 4.1
      Stacy

      @Alex

      Yes to everything you said. She is basically signing up to be a single mother and that will be HARD. The resentment will follow. Not only does he not make enough money BUT he will never be home. Why sign up for this? What is in it for her? Something must change on his end.

    2. 4.2
      Adam

      What a curious view of life, Alex.

      In what utopian fantasy world does one simply ‘commit to either finding a job that pays the same but demands fewer hour’???

      Lotto win, perhaps?

       

      1. 4.2.1
        Alex

        @Adam it’s not that curious. Most minimum wage jobs are only about a 40 hour work week. And she says he makes very little money, so my guess is he’s making less than $50k, which is very little in a place like London.

        My point was not to dump a guy who makes very little money. My point was that it takes both money and time to raise a kid. If he can’t contribute as much financially, then he can step up and contribute more in time. This is what an egalitarian relationship looks like. Everyone pitches in where they are useful and able to contribute, not just where their gender is “supposed” to. But unless he makes a change in his life, she’s going to end up raising the kid on her own.

        And really, a 70 hour work week is a lot. I wonder what industry he works in that pays so little and expects so much time?

    3. 4.3
      Chance

      Hi Alex,

       

      You said:  “She should have a serious talk with him about the actual costs of a family (like Stacey 2 said) and let him know that time is also of equal importance and that men don’t always have to be the primary breadwinners.”

       

      I don’t believe that the majority of women view a father’s time as being of equal importance to his provisioning capacity.  Most women past the age of 28-32 want a the man to be, at the very least, an equal provider (but preferably the primary breadwinner).  It’s been my experience that most women can accept a man who works long hours if he makes a lot of money and is the primary breadwinner.  They may wish the man was around more often, but they can accept the arrangement.  In contrast, most women cannot accept the idea of a SAHF.  There are certainly some women who can – and do – live with a SAHF, but they are in the minority.  The letter writer hasn’t indicated that she is open to a SAHF (not saying that she isn’t open to it, but there’s no indication that she is).

       

      I do appreciate your adherence to an equalist mindset.  I think equalism should always be promoted, but a man should never expect a woman to buy into it.  To be clear:  I’m not saying that men shouldn’t expect fair and equitable treatment from women.  Rather, I am just saying that a man should not be disappointed or become depressed when he discovers that many women don’t truly adhere to equalism in the manner that he was raised to believe.

      1. 4.3.1
        Alex

        @Chance

        I’m so sorry to hear your experience. I personally would very much like to marry a potential SAHF, or perhaps someone who works as a teacher and has periods of more free time. I’m a software engineer, so I could support a SAHF.

        I hope in general this attitude is changing. After all, life is complicated. People can lose jobs, get promoted or even die without any kind of warning. I think men and women should both be more flexible about their relationship. It rarely stays the same over the course of a lifetime.

        1. Chance

          Thank you for your comment.  You just made my day, and gave me a reason to reflect.

        2. Emily, the original

          Chance,

          I was just today listening to the “Dear Prudence” podcast on slate.com. The guest was a writer whose career had taken off. She was set to make about $150k this year. Her live-in boyfriend makes about $30k. And she was cool that. He really liked what he was doing, and she said she’d rather come home to someone who enjoyed his work and wasn’t miserable because he hated what he did. So there are women out there who are ok with being the breadwinner.

        3. Definitely Not Bob

          The guest was a writer whose career had taken off. She was set to make about $150k this year. Her live-in boyfriend makes about $30k. And she was cool that. He really liked what he was doing, and she said she’d rather come home to someone who enjoyed his work and wasn’t miserable because he hated what he did. So there are women out there who are ok with being the breadwinner.

          Uh.. wait a sec..

          One woman = all women?

          Does this couple have kids?

          Are they married?

          What are their respective ages?

          Is he the SAHF being supported by the breadwinner wife who is happy with such an arrangement?

        4. Emily, the original

          Definitely Not Bob,

          One woman = all women?

          Most definitely. That’s how we female posters on this blog think.

        5. DeeGee

          Emily,

          “Most definitely. That’s how we female posters on this blog think”

          Then you must be unicorns compared to all other women. I live in NE BC, I am now 55, I was on six dating sites for 5+ years, I make six figures, and one of the reasons I often got from women why they were not interested in me was “you don’t make enough money”. And this is from 45-65 year old women in my region, of all levels of looks and backgrounds.

      2. 4.3.2
        KK

        Holy Moly!

        A breakthrough? Fingers crossed! 😉

  5. 5
    Clare

    Brianna,

     

    What does your boyfriend say about all this? If he’s the one wanting to get married and start a family, how does he see it all panning out financially?

     

    The way I see it, money alone is not a reason to break up, since there are always cheaper options and cheaper places to live. What Evan says about women in the US may be true, but equally, there are women who choose to stay at home who have made sacrifices in their lifestyle or career, or have just put a lot of effort into being able to work from home, like starting their own business. I work from home, and it would theoretically enable me to look after children from home if that’s what I wanted. I knew I wanted to work from home and waited patiently until the opportunity presented itself, and I’m not particularly highly skilled or qualified – it’s just a case of knowing what you want.

     

    Having said that, I’d never advise a woman to stay with a man simply because she wants to have children and because there are slim pickin’s out there. If there is something more than simply this man’s job, money and working hours that are bothering you, you should get to the bottom of that. Marriage is a big decision.

  6. 6
    Tron Swanson

    The one good thing about not making much money is that relationship-seeking women avoid me like the plague. For the most part, anyway–from time to time, single mothers try to target me. Like the OP’s boyfriend, I don’t make much, but unlike him, I have a ton of free time. It’s really nice. Unfortunately, it sounds like this guy is getting the worst of both worlds.

    When considering earning potential, it’s important to consider draining factors, as well. In my own case, I have zero debt, and I’ve never been divorced, had kids, or bought expensive things for women. As a result, my savings are in extremely good shape. So, while I might not make much, I’ve been working and saving for twenty years straight, and none of my money has been wasted on alimony or child support. If I were to ever compete with other men for women (in a relationship context), that’d make it a bit of a fairer fight.

    1. 6.1
      Definitely Not Bob

      The one good thing about not making much money is that relationship-seeking women avoid me like the plague

      Ha! Same here. We’re adjudjed unfit to be their breadwinner husbands to fund their upper middle class SAHM entitlement.

  7. 7
    Chantel

    If you are willing to walk away from him because of his income then you should do just that. There is a big difference between a perfect person and a perfect person for you. I am a firm believer that we should never put a value on another human being based on their net worth.

    Bottom line is…if a relationship is based on the wrong things..it’s doomed. The question here is what are the right reasons? Only you can answer that for you.

    I was on the other side of this once upon a time and I didn’t know it until it was too late. I was chosen for my earning ability. It did not take long for me to leave as soon as I figured it out (my ex husband was a shopping addict and I had UPS at my house daily).

    Thankfully I do divorces for a living and it was not difficult to end it but a divorce is never easy Best of luck to you.

    Good Luck!

    1. 7.1
      Stacy

      @Chantel

      I think it’s a different situation if you are chosen JUST for your earning ability as opposed to considering someone else’s earning ability because you are ready for a family – add to that a spouse who will presumably never have enough time for said family. It is important to consider all aspects of a person, and yes, that means income. In my first marriage, I did it completely for love and even though my husband at the time made almost nothing, I loved him and thought that it conquered all. That is the biggest lie there is. Love does not conquer all. When ALL the bills fall on you in addition to the childcare, it is an extremely weak position for any person to be in and that goes for both men and women. Noone wants to live paycheck to paycheck. Plus, you want your kids to have a quality of life. Now, I am older and wiser and know better. The man I am with does not make a ton of money but he makes enough to not only support himself and his two kids, but if we did marry, he can contribute to the household just like I can. Most importantly, he is responsible enough with what he makes.

      1. 7.1.1
        Just saying

        So if a man demands a woman who is financially responsible and not going to go crazy at sales and go into debt for tiffles, he is reasonable and entitled to do so ? Most women will call him a misogynist.

        1. Clare

          I just love the generalizations of commenters like you.

           

          How exactly do you arrive at the conclusion that “most women” would call you misogynistic for rejecting a woman who was financially irresponsible and goes into debt for tiffles (whatever those are)? Do you have some evidence of this?

           

          Hell, I’m a woman and financially irresponsible people (of both genders) drive me crazy. In two out of the three serious relationships I’ve been in, I was the more financially responsible of the two of us. I deeply resent this notion that women simply can’t control themselves at the sight of shoes and want to force men to accept this about them.

           

          If you don’t like someone’s spending habits, guess what? Don’t marry or commit to them. Whether you’re male or female.

        2. DeeGee

          Clare. My personal experience with women I have dated has usually aligned with yours, most of them were good with money. Women on dating sites has been another matter though, I think their “man shopping” tendencies come out there.  🙂

    2. 7.2
      DeeGee

      Chantel

      ” I am a firm believer that we should never put a value on another human being based on their net worth.”

      Then you must not go on to too many dating sites.

      Most dating sites have income as one of the profile settings, and one of the search terms. And I have no doubt that many women use the income level to rule out a lot of men. I have even been told many times when contacting women on the sites that I do not make enough for them to consider me. And I make six figures if you were interested.

  8. 8
    Sam Moorcroft

    Reminds me (sort of) of the story about the woman with an ad for a man in NYC who earns $500,000 p.a. The response (from a business point of view) is that it’s a lousy deal:
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-newyork-husband-idUSN0941966120071010

    But, in this case, as Clare said, “money alone is not a reason to break up”. My wife and I make it work with 5 young kids. We don’t live in a big city (we used to years ago and are so glad we left), although life is still expensive (not like NYC or London, of course). We work online and work around our kids’ schedules. It helps that we make a good living, of course. As my wife says to me, “when I met you, I had more money than you!” (I was deep in debt getting the business going and she was very positive).

    Chantel sums it up well, “if a relationship is based on the wrong things..it’s doomed.” My wife and I see eye-to-eye on all the important stuff and work as a team. We can tell you, there’s no life like being in a happy marriage (just ask Evan)!

  9. 9
    Dana

    Money isn’t close to everything, but there’s a reality check here: What kind of life will the two of you have when there’s a child? How would it work, on a practical level, in terms of time and resources? Does it sound like a life you want? That’s a hard-nosed discussion that the two of you need to have — and if he’s not interested in looking at the details of what that looks like, that’s a red flag. Evan’s own hard-nosed assessment (you’re 37, lots of men not interested, etc.) is spot on, but examine where things are now. If the life looks like one you could embrace, go for it and avoid invidious comparisons. If it looks like a life that would work as long as he changes X and maybe he could, there’s always hope… Nope. The future is always uncertain, but it’s better than an unhappy reality.

    1. 9.1
      Stacy

      @Dana

      And I resent Evan implying that you are over the hill at 37. I am around that age and when I was single, I had LOTS of men vying for my attention and who wanted relationships. Yes, most were a little older but I had no problems finding men between 40 and 45 who wanted relationships with me (or at least to continue dating). As long as you keep yourself up and are attractive, men will want you in droves. Now, the question becomes if you want them back.

      1. 9.1.1
        L

        Rose colored glasses.  I am 38 and EMK is absolutely right.  She isn’t over the hill, but dating realities are this – men my age prefer to date women younger than them because they want kids and don’t want to feel rushed to propose.  And most men my age are married or about to be married.  Women my age generally should expect to date men who are older.  Those men either (1) have never been married and most of those are committment phones or have some other issue that makes it obvious why no one has scooped them up or (2) divorced with kids and may be hesitant to have more.  Oh, and divorced guys tend to go through years of emotional instability before they can commit.

        Not saying she can’t find someone else, but it will be harder.  And odds are, she will be trading in one set of issues for another.  Is money likely to be an issue?  Perhaps.  Is it worse than the issues she will find with the next guy? Who knows.  If he is generally a good guy, it seems worth the risk to marry him and this way she has a kid.  Personally, i would rather have a marriage not work out and have kids than hold out for the perfect guy and never have kids.   I say this as someone who IS divorced and who has kids.

        I also have learned that things you think are important aren’t that important.  This guy works 70 hours a week now.  It could be that he decides to work less when they baby.  This guy doesn’t seem financially ambitious but he is a hard worker and that means something.  If she is happy with him, I think leaving would likely be a huge mistake.

        1. Stacy2

          Personally, i would rather have a marriage not work out and have kids than hold out for the perfect guy and never have kids.   I say this as someone who IS divorced and who has kids

          As a divorced woman with no kids I thank G-d every day that we didn’t have kids in our marriage. The thought of having to deal with my ex for the next 18 years is truly horrifying.

          The issue of money is a serious one. At 37, she should already give a serious consideration to her retirement prospects. I know I do and I am younger than that. These are our peak earning and saving  years, and entering a marriage that will be draining your finances may be setting you up for poverty later in life. It costs something like $500K to raise a kid in the U.S. (including college) and you probably need to save up more than that, perhaps 2x-4x that, if you plan to retire at 65 (say 20 years in retirement at 75K per year and you will need $1.5m – and if you’re starting at 37 – you better hope the stock market goes vertical or you’re screweeed). So, I think, these are the issues we as 30-something women absolutely must think about. Personally, I would rather be financially comfortable with no kids when I am 60, than bankrupt with kids when I am 60 (and as such a burden for said kids..). YMMV.

        2. Stacy

          @L

           
          I wasn’t referring to the OP specifically when I said that women who are 37(ish) years old aren’t over the hill. Since the OP wants to have a kid, she would have to consider if this is truly a deal breaker. But in my opinion, having a kid where you would be ‘broke’ and functioning as a single mom is a much worse proposition. Then again, I happen to think kids are overrated and the idea is much more ‘romantic’ than the actual process but I digress.
           
          As far as me wearing rose colored glasses – it seems as you’re the one with a pair yourself. MOST women that I know like older men (or men their age). MOST women that are 37/38 etc. have no problems dating a guy slightly older at minimum. MOST men I know over 40 ALREADY have had kids and/or are divorced. MOST men I know over 40 do NOT want more kids. MOST young women I know do not vye for the affections of men 40+. MOST men I know over 40 see women in their late 30s as a prize just as much as anyone else – especially if she is very attractive, has it going on and takes care of herself (as I see a lot of my peers do). You say divorced men come with issues. And divorced women don’t? And non-divorced people don’t have issues as well? Everyone has issues. Divorced men don’t have a monopoly on having issues. In MY experience, I have had absolutely no problem dating, and being pursued relentlessly for a relationship (the last two men before my current boyfriend wanted one but I wanted other things). Age has not been a factor thus far.
           
           
           

        3. KK

          Stacy2,

          You think kids are overrated?

          Yet, on another post recently, you said the ONLY reason you still wear makeup and do your hair is to snag a man that can give you a child.

          You also stated recently that your last bf dumped you for a woman that was kinder and more doting than you and it really pissed you off.

          I know you make a lot of outrageous statements on here. The guys can defend themselves if they choose to. But, at least keep your stories straight. In addition to your other issues, you’re starting to sound like a liar.

        4. Stacy2

          @KK

          You think kids are overrated?

          No I don’t. The other Stacy does.

        5. KK

          Gotcha. Stacy and Stacy2 have an amazing amount in common.

        6. Stacy2

          @KK

          Gotcha

          That’s it? No “i am sorry i called you a liar because I can’t read”? Shocker

        7. KK

          Stacy2,

          If at least half of your comments were believable, I would’ve apologized profusely. If you were ever kind to anyone who disagrees with you, I would’ve apologized profusely. If your comments weren’t so hateful towards the entire male population and the female population who don’t have the exact same circumstances and viewpoints as you, I would’ve apologized profusely. If you ever once apologized to me for being a complete and total snarky witch, I would’ve apologized profusely.

          Claiming I can’t read because you have the same exact name as another poster (minus the # 2) who has almost identical viewpoints as you and then berating me for lack of apology is a classic Stacy2 move. Sorry. Not sorry.

        8. Stacy2

          @KK

          oh i get it. I am meeaaan so it’s ok to call me a liar and not apologize. That would be a demonstration of the exact opposite, classy and kind demeanor on your side. Gotcha. Like i said – shoker (not that i need an apology from an internet stranger, just pointing out the hypocrisy).

      2. 9.1.2
        L

        I am talking about her situation.  If she wants kids (and she says she does) those are the issues she will face.  Anyway you seem to agree with me -most men over 40 don’t want kids.

        I also was not talking about women as a dating population. Obviously divorced women have issues too, but she dates men.  Personally, I prefer to date older men and I prefer divorced men, but I don’t want more kids.  But if I did want kids, it would be a different situation.  My biological clock is not ticking.

      3. 9.1.3
        Just saying

        Errrr…..I think you fail to make the disctinction between a) men who never ever ever want to have children/any more children b) men who want to have their own biological children.

        Sure if you are Janet Jackson and has the money and resources to provide a man with biological children via donor eggs and surrogate, men would  be more than happy to date and marry you. Ok OK, JJ did not explicitly admit to using assited technology to conceive, but many other older celebrities did, and openly admitted so.

        I am 50 and have no issues with much younger men hitting me up. I know damn well it is either purely for sex or someone to while away time with until a more promising long term prospect comes along. Your 40-45 year old suitors are either indifferent to children, or us using you for sex/companionship while they wait for somone younger who could easily give them children without going through the whole IVF hoop.

        1. L

          Exactly.  A man who wants bio kids without the hassle of fertility issues will sleep with an older woman but will date younger women who have the best odds of giving him kids without IVF.

          And, an older man who is already a father is going to avoid a woman pushing 40 without kids like the plague if he doesn’t want to be rushed into a new marriage ao she can get pregnant.

          You can be the most beautiful woman in the world but in general this is how things work.

          Brianna should count her lucky stars that she found a good man who loves her (she used those words herself to describe her guy) and who wants to have babies.  If she gives this guy up, chances she find someone better in time to have babies is very low!

           

           

           

        2. Stacy

          @Just Sayin

          This is why I don’t date men who want their own bio children….duhhh…not a good strategy so yeah, that’s common sense. And I refuse to start over raising kids so these men won’t be my cup of tea anyway.

          And I can spot of someone wants  a mile away.I would hope most women can by late 30s.Thank God my man is a couple of years younger but already has two kids so I don’t have that problem

          And like I said, MOST men over 40 that I have ever met don’t want more kids and already have their own so I am on good company.

      4. 9.1.4
        Malika

        Thank you Stacy! I agree, you are not at all over the hill at 37 and that dating life suddenly becomes hell (Caveat: I speak from a privileged position of living in a metropolitan area and with no need for my own kids, so i don’t claim to speak for all women my age).  Weirdly enough, MORE quality men of a wide range of ages show an interest in you rather than less, as long as you look after yourself and are fun to be with, neither of which is a tall order. Everyone acts as if your 20’s are the nirvana of dating, but i remember a whole string of men who either were only interested in the most beautiful girl in the sorority or were more interested in navel gazing than being a proper boyfriend. Once you are older your confidence is much higher and your picker has been honed thanks to a series of adventures and misadventures. That clears the field for men whose company is an attractive and pleasant proposition, and there are plenty of those around who want to date women over 35. What Evan is alluding to is the fact that men that want their own biological children will of course date a younger woman as that puts far less pressure on the situation, and they are sensible in doing so. In the case of the OP, the most realistic option if she wants a traditional family setup is to see if she can make things work with this guy. But the wider notion that your dating life is slim pickings after 35 is needlessly limiting.

        1. Stacy

          @Malika

          Everything you said is the truth!

        2. Evan Marc Katz

          No one SAID dating life ends at age 35. The OP wrote specifically about starting a family. And if she’s suddenly single at 37, she meets a new man immediately, gets married in less than two years, she may not start TRYING to conceive until age 40. Which is exactly what happened to me and my wife. So it CAN be done – you just need a lot more luck and medical intervention if you want to have kids. Most men will simple date younger women.

  10. 10
    Chris

    To be honest, she herself probably makes well above average. His wages would actually be decent (if he’s working so many hours and earning above minimum), its just they only look low in comparison with herself  and the people she hangs out with.

     

    If she wants to have kids, she needs to start very soon. What are the odds she could find a man willing to have kids with her soon, and who earns enough to keep her in something close to the lifestyle she’s used to? Not good. The logical thing to do would be to marry him, and accept a very substantial reduction in lifestyle. That’s only provided she wants kids though.

    1. 10.1
      Stacy2

      No, not really. A sperm donor or a co-parent is another option. On the plus side, she’d never have to worry about having to support him or being sued for custody. Having children doesn’t have to be bundled with finding romantic love of your life. That you can find at 45, having a kid – not so much, not as a woman, we don’t have the luxury of dicking around till our 50ies. Marrying a guy who is a financial burden is throwing good money after bad.

      1. 10.1.1
        KK

        Stacy2,

        What makes you think a co-parent could never sue for custody?

        1. Stacy2

          Well theoretically at least custody issues with the co-parent should be sorted out before the child is conceived. But you’re correct, he would still have the ability to petition for a revision of that later.

        2. Stacy

          @KK

           

          Sorry, I couldn’t reply to your previous post because there was no option to reply. I am different from ‘Stacy2’.  I already have kids from a previous marriage. And yes, as much as I love my kids to death and would do anything for them…I think that parenthood is super HARD (although there are many great benefits) and I think that motherhood in this country tends to be seen through rose colored glasses until you’re actually there. So yeah, I think in that sense, kids are overrated because people see it as this fantasy. However, the reality is, they take from you…it’s exhausting, always worrying….I shudder to even think of the baby stage when I got at maximum, 2 hours sleep each night for half a year. I had NO idea that this is what I was signing up for before I had them.

      2. 10.1.2
        L

        Yes because being a single parent is sooooo much easier.  Right.  Do you have kids?  Why would anyone give this advice?  Raising a baby by yourself is far from ideal.  Men are more than money.  A father gives emotional support to you and your child and is someone to share life with.  Ugh.

        1. Stacy2

          A father gives emotional support to you and your child and is someone to share life with.

          Rrright. That is – assuming that he does do that (because most men are so good at providing “emotional support”?). But what if he doesn’t, what if all he does is make your life miserable and use a child/custody as a bargaining chip to get what he wants? Having a good father in the child’s life is great and nobody is arguing with that. But not having any father in the picture is so much better than having a shitty one (or even a barely ok one, to be honest). I hope nobody is arguing with that either.

      3. 10.1.3
        L

        How does she know this guy will be a shitty father? Plenty of me. Who are financial providers are shitty fathers.  I can’t see purposely becoming a single parent unless you are out of options – and she isn’t.  Taking a risk on a guy (and all marriages involve a certain amount of risk – you have no idea how someone will be as a parent until he or she is a parent) seems better than dumping a guy because he isn’t perfect (and I’m sure she isn’t perfect either).  If she wants a chance at a traditional two parent family, it is essentially now or never.  If she breaks up with him, the most likely outcome will be that she ends up alone and misses her chance to have kids or becomes a single parent.

        i am a single parent – not by choice – and I would not recommend becoming a single parent to anyone.  Especially someone with a high powered career.  Isn’t it easier to have a partner in your life rather than parent and support a child by yourself? She didn’t say this guy was mooching off of her or was a gambling addict or raised red flags.  This guy is simply less ambitious than she would like.

        1. Stacy2

          Isn’t it easier to have a partner in your life rather than parent and support a child by yourself? 

          I don’t know, is it?

          In my book, if a man is not contributing over and above of what he himself is consuming, he’s a financial drag. Everybody’s situation is different but I personally don’t need a stay at home parent or a nanny (i have a solid family support network that will provide childcare). I am also able to support a child financially. As a result, my standards for a baby daddy are rather high. If he’s just an average guy who’s not gonna chime in for that private school tuition, he can take a seat. I would much rather not have him having any say over my life decisions in the next 18 years.  As far as the emotional support and all that goes – I find most men to be ridiculously bad at that. In fact, i find that most men themselves require way more emotional support than they can provide, so the saldo is sadly negative here.

          Again, I am not saying don’t marry an aweseome guy if you have one. I am saying don’t marry a blah guy just because he’s the only one who happens to be here at 37… that is a wrong reason to invite someone into your life.

           

        2. L

          stacy2,

          There’s more to being a parent than private school tuition and who chips in for it.  It is literally the toughest job out there and having someone else to share it with you is huge.  Also how do you know that your solid family network wants to give you free childcare for the next 18 years or schlep your kids around. Especially if you have enough money for that private school tuition.  Seriously.  How entitled are you?

  11. 11
    S.

    Everyone here is very practical and you should probably listen to their advice and not mine. My main question is: do you love this guy?  And by that I mean not just do you love him, but is he this rare compatibility match for you? Is he a 8 or 9 out of 10 in terms of values and all the points of connection that make for relationship longevity?  Because that’s what he’s competing against.  Another man might make more money, but they wouldn’t be him.

    He was a bit irresponsible with money in the past and he is now happy at his job where he is. So does that work for you?  He changed a bit with money, would he also compromise as others suggested, with moving or shortening his hours for you?  If he’s flexible and it sounds like he’s willing to change some for you, then maybe he’s a keeper.  And if you love him, maybe you are willing to compromise too. He may never be able to provide in the manner than you want him to.  If you can be okay with what he does provide, it can work.  If you can’t, it won’t.

    Do the maths and search your heart.  You might not be able to get everything you want with this guy.  But he should compromise too. If neither of you feels like you’re settling on something important and can be happy with whatever compromise you both work out, you might have a good chance for the future.

    Your post is very thoughtful and it seems from what you wrote you want that to get married, have a successful marriage, and then have a child.  I wish you all the luck in this goal and hope you keep us posted!

  12. 12
    carol

    Your response is pure gold!!! Love that you included such valuable stats!

  13. 13
    MilkyMae

    This woman has a terminal case of “my man isn’t good enough”-itis.  She wants to have a baby and she is relationship with a man who wants the same.  The man has job and works hard. On top of that, he likes his job!   Rather than thinking how lucky she, she has a dilemma.   She is values her man at the same level of “unknown” man in the dating pool.  When she considers going alone, she is giving him a negative value and she is placing negative value on fatherhood.

    This woman does not value a man.  The part her brain that values men never developed.  If she happened have a relationship with a man with a great job, she would different reasons to question his value.

    1. 13.1
      Definitely Not Bob

      She sees a man as a means to her ends and regards men as interchangeable depending on their candidacy as such a means.

      Just look at Brianna- she’s ready to lose this guy if he doesn’t fit the mould and replace him with another body who is.

      I’ve run into this myself in the dating world. It’s ugly.

      1. 13.1.1
        DeeGee

        Not Bob – “She sees a man as a means to her ends”

        Unfortunately that is the only kind of women I have ever dated or had STRs or LTRs with. How can anyone have bad luck all of the time.

  14. 14
    marymary

    I know many mothers working in London who earn more than their husbands, quite a few of them in fairly middling admin jobs with husbands working long hours in traditionally male, now lower paying jobs.  That’s how the economy is going.  You may have to move out of London and commute in like … most of us do.

    They seem as happy as anyone else, happier even but I guess I don’t meet many SAHMs to make that comparison.  If you truly love this man, go for it.  It’s never perfect.

     

  15. 15
    Just saying

    Her dilemma resonates with me because I found myself in the same position back when I was 35. Except that my ex’s “faults” were more worrying and fundamental than OP’s boyfriend’s. My ex earned enough money and looked good on paper, but showed traits of being a terrible husband and father which I took the risk on, simply because I felt I could wait no longer.

    Would I have been happier had I tossed him and risked childlessness ? I asked myself the question and decided No, I would’ve  become embittered and depressed as a childless middle aged woman.

    I took the risk, it didn’t pay off but now I couldn’t be happier as a single mum to my two wonderful kids. Yes, it is hard and I couldn’t do it without help from family and friends, but it made the right decision for myself to have kids. Maybe not so much from my kids’ point of view because their father show very little interest in them and they may have preferred not to be born into that situation.  But they seem happy well adjusted kids despite one having autism.

    Of course I would’ve tossed him had I had the means to go it alone later. It sounds like OP could, but she doesn’t want to take a step down in her living standards.

    All I can say to that is you truly need to work out what you really really want and decide if the risk and sacrifice is worth it. Then pay the price, never look back and never ever complain about your choice and the events following from that.

    And seriously ? A man who makes a good father is EVERYTHING !!! I would very very hapily have kids with a man who is good father and role model material (despite making little money at a job he loves and which gives him satistication) than a man like my ex who made good money but called his autistic son a retard.

     

    1. 15.1
      Definitely Not Bob

      If you married a man who earned marginally and was a good father, you’d be on this message chain telling women to marry a man who earns well despite showing traits of being a terrible husband and father.

  16. 16
    Nissa

    Why not just ask the man in question if he’s willing to make the changes that the OP feels are needed? If the OP goes to him and lets him know that this might be a dealbreaker for her, then he has a chance to step up and plan with her for what a child will entail. If he doesn’t want to do that, then the OP can break up with him, with a clear conscience, knowing that he wouldn’t have stepped up even if she gave him the chance.

    1. 16.1
      Marika

      Agreed, Nissa.

      Brianna, your boyfriend sounds like a nice guy who would be open to having a conversation around how he feels this will all work. You may be able to talk it through and come to a workable agreement. And if not, as Nissa said, you will be able to make an informed choice about whether to stay.

      My ex hated face to face discussions. I did some reading and apparently men prefer to talk through serious things like this with less direct eye contact & in a less ‘serious discussion’ type setting (e.g walking side by side in the park). Maybe that’s something to try? It certainly helped me break through that resistance & discomfort. My reading suggested the worst thing you can say to a man is ‘we need to talk’. Understandable why that would be!

      I’m sure the commenters all mean well, but bear in mind that they are giving you their opinion, based on their experiences and biases (myself included). The balanced and helpful ones can be great, but some seem to be more interested in debating endlessly or sharing their own tales of woe.

      The only way to know for sure if you can manage this issue with him is to talk to him about it. In whatever way works best for you as a couple.

      1. 16.1.1
        Jeremy

        Excellent comment, Marika!  Advice to the OP on what to do is of marginal value, given all that we don’t know about her situation.  A conversation with her BF is in order.  And then you took it to the next level and gave her advice on how best to approach that conversation based on gendered communication differences so as to maximize the chances of effective communication – love it!

         

        Yes, most men prefer side by side communication as opposed to face-to-face.  It is less likely to trigger a fight-or-flight response.  “I” statements are more effective than “you” statements, unless the BF has a psych background and recognizes the ploy and feels like he is being “managed”.  And men are more receptive to conversation when they feel bonded to their partner, and conversation itself does not bond them.  So pick a time to have the conversation when he feels bonded to you – not right after sex (because that will make him feel like the sex was manipulative), but maybe a day later when the oxytocin is still in his system.

         

        And, of course, if the OP’s personal knowledge of her BF negates the advice above (which is only based on broad trends and may not apply to a given person), she should ignore the advice and do as she thinks best.  But she should not rely on thought experiments, nor the advice of strangers when it comes to what her BF wants and thinks about their relationship.

        1. Marika

          Aww thanks Jeremy!

          I’m glad you agree from a man’s perspective.

          My ex had the most sensitive flight or fight response in the universe so I had to be super careful. I realised the only time I could get him to engage in a ‘scary’ discussion was cuddling in bed.

          I realise most men are less sensitive, but I did read that the across from a table face -to-face kinda deal that most women would choose to discuss things (and would work for women) is not necessarily the way to go with men. So I though she could take a deep breath, find a good place and time to talk, bearing that in mind, and see what he thinks re her concerns.

          If he can’t even discuss it, it’s potentially a red flag. Or that could just be my experience talking! 😁

    2. 16.2
      MilkyMae

      Asking and talking is logical and sensible.   Nothing cuts through bull hockey faster than asking.  However, my gut tells me that she has not fully communicated her motherhood wishes to her partner.  If she did, then the relationship and baby plans would move forward or the relationship would die.

  17. 17
    MilkyMae

    I know advice give was not a value judgement and I know this life but I really, really feel sorry for the man in this relationship.

    1. 17.1
      DeeGee

      I agree. It sounds almost like he is just a bank account number.

  18. 18
    Not Bob

    Yet another reminder that women want now what women had in the 1950s, that being the option to simply not have a job if such is their whim.

    And they want equal educational opportunities. And equal career opportunities. And equal pay. And equal respect.

    But…. they still want to be their grandmothers all over again.

    But they don’t.

    But they do.

    But they don’t.

    But…..

    1. 18.1
      AAORK

      Yep, pretty much sums up the prevailing “have it all” fallacy driving the gyro-centric, Westernized cultural message these days. So glad I eventually wised up and stopped fishing in that poisoned pond. To any guys reading, there are still some relatively untainted fishing grounds out there so don’t delay, if serious (and multi-lingual helps).

      And like many other men who occasionally browse sites like this and who have attempted reasoned (but firm) masculine respouses, the frequently hostile responses give no incentive to continue (for free, anyways). Now, I just visit to remind myself how fortunate I am, and instead invest counsel in my nephews on ways to avoid pit falls in today’s dating and marriage arena (where it is appreciated).

      Never imagined they would have it so much worse than my generation did.

    2. 18.2
      Alex

      @Definitely Not Bob and @AAORK

      I’m very curious about what you guys think a “good” life would look like for the average woman today. For example, what advice would you give an 18 year old girl who is just starting off life as an adult?What would you tell her to look for as far as a career (high salary, flexible hours etc..) and what would you tell her to look for in a man? How early/late should  she start focusing on career or love?

      1. 18.2.1
        Stacy2

        Sorry to break up this women hating party but there’s no one size fits all advice for some imaginary 18 year old. Her abilities, aptitude and resources would greatly influence her choices and probability of success. So your question is impossible to answer

        1. Alex

          @Stacy2 I think you’re missing the point of my question. It’s super easy to complain about what other people do and how it affects you. It takes another level of thinking to figure out what you would do if you were in the situation.

        2. Jeremy

          Let’s not forget her hopes and desires too….Perhaps even more important than her abilities, aptitudes and resources.  I’m sure that went without saying for you (no sarcasm) but others can’t hear what we don’t say.

        3. Stacy2

           I think you’re missing the point of my question.

          Eh, i really don’t think that I do. FWIW, i think any attempt to make the red pillers see the light is doomed but I admire your effort.

          The modern reality is such as that any woman whose family doesn’t have significant resources will have to fend for herself in life, however focusing on one’s career and one’s relationships are not mutually exclusive things. I should know as I somehow managed a very serious career and been married 2x in the process, on my way to non-marriage marriage #3. Ha. So, all the losers who complaint about how women are not focusing on picking up their dirty socks from the floor should simply GTFO and that’s that.

      2. 18.2.2
        Definitely Not Bob

        I generally wouldn’t try to tell an 18yo girl anything for the following reasons:

        I’d be seen as a sexual predator if I talked to an 18yo girl

        Well… those are my reasons!

    3. 18.3
      DeeGee

      Not Bob and AAORK – I am probably one of the least women-likers around and your comment even offended my logical brain area.

      1. 18.3.1
        AAORK

        “Offended”? A bit dramatic, eh? Odds are good that practically every comment on this blog offends someone .. and the odds are even better that no one else cares if you or anyone else is ‘offended’ by another’s comment; that’s what “safe spaces” are for.

        1. DeeGee

          I didn’t say it offended me personally.  Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and everyone can do whatever they want to do (so long as it doesn’t break laws).  I am not so fragile that I take offense to what people say, especially on the Internet.
          I can’t believe I have to explain this…
          What my comment means, is that the logical portion of my brain shook its head and rolled its eyes because your comments were too far out there even for me.
          Your comments painted every woman in existence with the same brush.  Does that include your mother and sister(s)?

        2. AAORK

          Ok it didn’t offend you personally, only “logically”. Your extended explanation on this didn’t help (“far out there”?) so probably better to just let that one go. However, equating my reference to a gyno-centric Westernized culture with “every women” indicates that your experiences are limited to the domestic population, so I can understand your confusion on that part of my comment. I do wish you well in your journey.

        3. DeeGee

          AAORK – I assume then that you mean that western men (those in North America etc.) should go after women in other countries such as Asia?
          I know a number of men who have married women from other countries and other cultures.  The typical “mail order bride” so to speak.
          In every case that I personally know of, once the women were brought over here to Canada or the USA, it took the women typically less than two years to become “westernized”.  And the men found themselves back in the exact same boat as if they had fished here.
          An example of one gentleman I know, an accountant who lives in the same city as I, who got a Filipino bride, as soon as she was living here in Canada and became westernized and familiar with our laws, she divorced him and took half of his stuff.
          Perhaps your experience has been different.
          In my opinion, women are women.  And a man is simply better off trying to find a woman who actually has character, even if she is in his own “westernized” location.  Because being a “mail order bride” from another country does not guarantee that she has any character.  It just means that she has different customs and traditions, it does not mean she is incapable of change.
          That is just my opinion.  I am not arguing or refuting your comments.  No need to reply.

  19. 19
    Shaukat

    however focusing on one’s career and one’s relationships are not mutually exclusive things. I should know as I somehow managed a very serious career and been married 2x in the process, on my way to non-marriage marriage #3.

    That’s not very compelling evidence that you’ve figured out how to balance the two.

    1. 19.1
      Stacy2

      Says you. The fact that my ex turned into a giant pile of shit over time doesn’t reflect on my own ability or character in the slightest. In fact, go try going through a 2 year contested divorce when you are being constantly harassed, threatened, sued etc. and manage to keep it together, support your family, get 2 promotions and double your income at the same time and get into a new relationship – then talk to me about the ability to “balance”. I think i balance quite well, actually.

      1. 19.1.1
        Adam

        Stacy2 you defintely sound like a smart, strong, successful woman. But you also seem extremely unhappy. Work is worthwhile in that it allows you to enjoy life; it isn’t inherently valuable in itself (unless you’re a great scientist or artist or something). Having a baby from a sperm donor might seem a good idea because its doable in practice, but think of the pressure you’re putting on this new person. I hope you can forgive men for the hurt they have caused you – as soon as this happens I’m sure you will be much happier!x

  20. 20
    Marika

    How is this back & forth fighting useful? It’s popping up in every post amongst the usual suspects lately.

    I know, I know you’ll say “don’t read the comments”, but some of them are actually designed to help and can be enlightening.

    Evan has already said he considered shutting the comments down because of the negativity and nastiness. That would be a shame because some people are here mainly to criticize and argue.

    1. 20.1
      DeeGee

      Reading through half a dozen of Evan’s latest blog posts, even I am surprised at how much toxicity and vitriol is in many discussions. I thought I was bad…  🙂

  21. 21
    Rampiance

    The best mindset I took into motherhood was the idea that whatever happened in life, I had the confidence and capability to somehow raise my children myself if events so unfolded.  The future is unknowable, and if a mother doesn’t have this confidence in herself, she will feel desperate at times and her children will pick up this feeling of desperation.  She may even come to resent the children’s dependence on her if she feels incapable of managing their lives and her own.

    This self-confidence of the mother is the most significant predicter of a successful family, imo.  I think it would also contribute to matching up with a man who would have a good chance of fitting into said successful family, whatever shape that family takes.

    1. 21.1
      Jeremy

      Different strokes for different folks.  Far be it from me to judge what works for you and others.  But in my own case, I find a different perspective has been useful.  I entered fatherhood with the perspective that I have confidence in my relationship with my wife, and that I would do whatever it took to make that relationship work.  With that in hand, our ability to, together, raise the kids would follow.

       

      Again, no judgment.  I just think it odd to think of the father as someone who needs to “fit in” to a family.  I assume you’re talking about a new husband to prior children, right?  Because if it is the father of the kids, he isn’t an accessory to the family to somehow fit or not fit.  He is an integral part of the unit whose needs are as important as anyone else’s and whose contributions are as important as the mother’s.

       

      Tl:Dr – I think the mother’s self-confidence is important (as is the father’s), but less so than their desire to make their relationship work which sometimes takes a degree of self-effacement rather than confidence.

      1. 21.1.1
        Rampiance

        Yes, by “fit in” I meant a new husband “fitting in” to an existing family.

        I appreciate your approach, Jeremy, and I hope it would work for most couples.  I chose my model after watching my mother use your approach.

        She did everything she could to be the best wife she could for her husband, all for the purpose of creating the best environment for her family.  The problem: her choice of husband was too flawed for the approach to be viable.  By putting him first, she destroyed her relationships with her daughters, because he was too narcissistic to put family ahead of his own ego.  She was self-effacing and he was NOT self-effacing.  So the flaw was in the choice of spouse.

        With a well-selected spouse, I imagine your method would be excellent.

        My mother chose her approach as a response to how HER mother handled marriage/child-raising.  Mom felt my grandmother didn’t do enough to make things work with her husband (although the man broke my grandmother’s jaw during one episode of rage).  I don’t know what all she saw or what she thought could have been done differently, but I suspect she felt terribly abandoned by her father and didn’t want the same fate to befall her own children.  So.  In my grandmother’s situation, again I fault a flawed selection of mate.

        1. DeeGee

          Personally I would never recommend any man date a single mother, for many reasons, not just those from my own personal experience. I will leave it up to the reader to Google or search YouTube for videos on the subject.

  22. 22
    Tim

    So are we saying because a man does not earn enough its time to walk away? Is there something stereo typical about this.  What is to be said of man who earns 150k and doesn’t want a woman who is not on the same pay level.

    Talking of relationships being about feeling and connection, yet to have a talk about finances and numbers could potentially mean the end because their earning don’t fit in with the life we might think we want. how about we stop calling it a relationship and call it finical agreement.

    I am a man who is not making a lot of money and I’m here because I am worried the woman of my dreams wont want me because the digits at the end of the month do not match hers.

    Question if what he earns is such a big factor do you love him?

  23. 23
    SparklingEmerald

    When I got married at age 32, it looked like the worst financial decision ever.  We both wanted a family.  I had bought a condo, then was laid off my job, and was working temp jobs when we met.  He had a steady job, but was laid off shortly after we started dating.  So there we were, the two of us, in between jobs, struggling to make ends meet and we were totally smitten with each other, and we BOTH wanted to start a family but just didn’t see how it was possible financially.  When my ex husband proposed he was very concerned that he could not adequately provide for a family and even said he felt like asking me to marry him was a “shitty thing to do”  (how romantic).  He planned on going to school to boost his income and he wanted me to be a SAHM.  He wanted to know if I was OK with him working part time and going to school initially, so that he could provide for us later.  I agreed to that, even though  on paper, it just looked financially impossible.  I was underwater on my condo, and working as a temp.  He was struggling with short term contracting jobs and planning to go to school.  He wanted a “full time mother” for his children (which made me gulp, wasn’t so sure I wanted to be a full time housewife)

    We both wanted a family, we wanted it with each other, and the situation looked very bleak financially.  At age 32, I felt biological pressure.  But we both decided to jump into this, and just find a way to make it work.

    He went to school for a while, on a VA subsidy and part time work.  I found a full time job with benefits.  He decided that school wasn’t for him, and then got a really good full time, secure job with great benefits.  We managed to sell off my condo for no profit or loss and buy a modest, but adequate house to raise a family.  We struggled financially until our son was about 7 or 8.  I mean really struggled.  Me staying at home and being a “full time mother” never quite materialized, it  was a combination of staying at home for the first 6 months of our son’s life, working part time, working as a temp in the evenings when he worked days, or or running a day care center from home, earning money caring for other people’s kids.  It was a work-family-balance struggle, but somehow we made it through sheer determination and will power.  We didn’t lose our house, there was always food on table, clothes on our back, and plenty of low-cost/no cost kid activities available for our son.  We lived walking distance to the library which had lots of kiddie time activities,  biking distance to a public pre-school where he attended part time for the 2 years prior to kindergarten.  Our baby boy was the happiest toddler on the planet and had no idea that we were living on the edge of poverty. He was clean, fed, and LOVED.  I went back to work full time when our son entered first grade.  Good paying job with good benefits, my ex hubby advanced fairly well in his job, and eventually we built a very nice middle class lives for our family.  Not a super wealthy life, but after that initial struggle, a very decent, middle class life, with a nice home, nice cars, and eventually a kid in college.

    I am so glad we had faith that we could make it work, even though from a practical stand point, it looked like a ridiculous financial decision.  It was sheer will power and hard work on both of our parts to have a family and find a way financially to make it work.

    Sadly, that marriage ended when our son was in college, but the divorce did not bankrupt either one of us.  Today, we BOTH own our own homes, our son has graduated from college.  My ex hubby is retired with a good pension and works at satisfying part time work.  I still work, but have a good retirement savings so I should be able to comfortably retire in a few years.  I own my own home free and clear, and my  new hubby owns his own home with an extremely low mortgage  (I am now re-married, but like many late in life marriages, we keep all of our finances separate, we live in “my” house, his house has become his “man cave” and our guest house. Our houses are in the same neighborhood)

    I am SO GLAD that I did not let our initial financially bleak picture keep us from having a family.  As much as we struggled financially for those early years, and as devastated as I was over the divorce, I DO NOT REGRET MY SON !!!!!!  In fact, if I had foregone marriage with my ex hubby because of finances,  it is most likely that I would have not married young enough to have a baby with someone else.  As unhappy as I was 6 years ago over the divorce,  I think it would have been much, much worse, to have reached menopause with no child, and no hope of ever having a child. And I would have bitterly regretted turning away a man I was in love with because of his income (or lack of) and ending up childless.

    If the LW LOVES this man, I think she should have some faith that they will find a way financially and go for a family.  My biggest reservation isn’t the financial picture though.  I don’t really see much evidence in this letter that she loves this man.  She states that he is a good man that loves her, but she doesn’t say she loves him.  She seems to view him as her last chance to have a baby, and not as her beloved.  To me, the apparent lack of affection for this man, is more concerning than the lack of finances.  JMHO, and not knowing how old this letter is, probably a moot point by now.

  24. 24
    Lisa

    I don’t know if it’s just me EMK but I kind of read your response as saying she should consider settling because her choices are not all that great at her age and she wants to have kids. I’ve seen far too many friends do this only to end up with a kid and husband but otherwise miserable.  What stands out the most to me is that this writer really wants a family and this man can’t give her that. If she can’t supoort them alone and makes more he certainly can’t. 70 hours a week is a lot and so I doubt he wouid ne the type that wouid stay at home.  You are going to end up working insane hours and still being expected to do 90% of child rearing. I don’t think he’s the one for you.

    1. 24.1
      Ross

      Lisa, I agree 100% with you and have seen it too, inevitably ending up in misery. IMO someone in a similar predicament should really assess WHY she wants a kid so badly. Social pressure, hard-wire animal instinct to pass on your genes, fear not to fit in with the stereotypes of society that says you must breed…. Is it even worth it? It seems nobody has noticed that the human race is at no risk of extinction!! I think in less than ideal situation a rational objective list of pros and cons of having a kid would greatly help. In a similar situation, I do not see much benefit having a kid. Many people idealize parenting, and do not see how much burden and misery it also brings especially when time and resources are scarce. Add a kid to the life of a man working 70 hrs a week and barely surviving financially. Imagine the fights and resentments from both parties. And what if the kid has special needs that add further time, resources and frustration?
      Without the parenting pressure instead, it would be a whole different story, she can take her time to assess this man and choose based on personality and not resources.

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