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Hi, I have been in a relationship with my boyfriend for over 7 years now. We have a deep love for each other, but a consistent issue. He is very very devoted to his job, which is a family owned business, requires very early hours and late afternoons, occasional weekends, and does not pay very much. Throughout our relationship, I have jumped around and left jobs that I cared deeply for, so that I could make a sustainable income for us while he maintains his passion. I have dreams of moving to another town with more trees, lakes, but I have settled for the city knowing this is where he "needs" to be.

A few years ago I cracked. I was tired of our relationship and future being put on the "back burner" while his main focus was this job. We never argued much, but I simply couldn't deal with the loneliness and the inability to travel and live our lives together. We separated for a small period of time, but after realizing there was not anyone else I wanted to be with we got back together. We have been living together again for 3 years now.

But the problem is still there. He leaves early, comes back late, is tired, and puts staying late for retail, tours, or events first, while our relationship plans fall through the cracks. Even when we have plans months in advance, for example the day we were suppose to move into a new apartment he forgot he booked an event and had to bail mid-move. I have no fear of him cheating on me, this is strictly work.

How do I handle it this time around? What do I say? Am I the fool at this point? I want to move forward. I want to save money. I want to get married and have children. Saying these things again would prove me to be a broken record.

Any advice from couples facing similar issues are greatly appreciated. I love him a lot and want to make this work.
 

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I know you won't want to hear this probably, but don't get married to this man if want more from him. He is showing you his best right now and if it isn't what you want, you need to pull up your big girl panties and move on. Don't ask him to change for you because that isn't fair to him, and he likely won't do it anyway even if he says he will.
 

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You have to decide whether you can live with a husband who has this schedule. Don't marry him expecting him to change the hours. He's going to say 'you knew marrying me what my hours are like, so don't complain.. you knew what you were getting into."

It's a cost/benefit analysis for you. Can YOU live with the long hours he puts in? Are all the other good things you have in the relationship enough to balance this issue?
 

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You also might consider your phrasing... "There was not anyone else I wanted to be with" sounds an awful lot like settling and that you just haven't met the guy who sets you afire yet. The odds of you finding that guy are pretty darn slim when you're attached to someone else.

Just a thought...

C
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Your boyfriend sounds like a nice guy, but..

1. He is a workaholic and doesn't make a lot of money
2. His job has always, and will always come before yours.
3. You are willing to give up per-motions and jobs you like for him, but he will never do this for you.
4. He will never get another job that pays more and has better hours or in a better location.
5. You will always live where he wants to.

Only you can decide what you are willing to do and how you are willing to live. As faithful wife said, he is showing you his best right now.
 

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One could look at this family business as an investment. Sure, it doesn't pay much today, but properly nurtured, it may pay off huge in the future. I work two jobs because I want my wife and I to be secure in our later years. She's done without me more than she'd like but the trade-off is we'll have two pensions. It's delayed-gratification. Some of my friends work very little and go on expensive vacations. If the crap hits the fan, they'll be in a world of hurt. My family will be ok. Even if I'm dead, they'll be ok. I don't think I'm putting them on the back-burner. I'm looking out for their well-being.
 

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KathyBatesel said: If you can't accept what he brings to the table, don't. If you can't live without him, then find a way TO accept what he brings to the table. His work life is clearly something he's not willing to give up.
It really IS this simple... to grapple this and to come to terms with it's reality as you have talked , pleaded, left him - to no avail....

This will be the hardest decision of your life...if you stay, you will have to grieve some of your dreams as you had envisioned.... Can you do this - reaching deep within to find that acceptance -without resentment springing in the future ....
 

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You have to decide whether you can live with a husband who has this schedule. Don't marry him expecting him to change the hours. He's going to say 'you knew marrying me what my hours are like, so don't complain.. you knew what you were getting into."

It's a cost/benefit analysis for you. Can YOU live with the long hours he puts in? Are all the other good things you have in the relationship enough to balance this issue?
I disagree with this all being put on you to change/decide...

I don't see anything wrong with you asking him for what you need as long as its fair to both of you....

If the very long work hours are hurting your relationship then I would take the approach first, to ask him for more of his time. Give him a chance to give you what you need, I am sure he loves you to and your happiness is important to him. I would tell him that you are desperately needing more time with him...

Yes you are going to have to accept that he works a lot, long hours etc... if you cant then you should reconsider, but I don't see anything wrong with him giving you a little more time, enough to make your relationship healthy and happy for both of you.

The question is, can he do this for you. Is he willing to do this for you. Are you also willing to accept that it may not be as much time as you want but if he makes the effort to do this, would it help you to be happier...

I wouldn't just move on without discussing it with him first...
 

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He's not a good man. You have to choose a good man to be your husband. All the love in the world cannot overcome a bad choice.
 

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I disagree with this all being put on you to change/decide...

I don't see anything wrong with you asking him for what you need as long as its fair to both of you....

If the very long work hours are hurting your relationship then I would take the approach first, to ask him for more of his time. Give him a chance to give you what you need, I am sure he loves you to and your happiness is important to him. I would tell him that you are desperately needing more time with him...

Yes you are going to have to accept that he works a lot, long hours etc... if you cant then you should reconsider, but I don't see anything wrong with him giving you a little more time, enough to make your relationship healthy and happy for both of you.

The question is, can he do this for you. Is he willing to do this for you. Are you also willing to accept that it may not be as much time as you want but if he makes the effort to do this, would it help you to be happier...

I wouldn't just move on without discussing it with him first...
In her post, she says she separated from him because of the work hours issue. So, it looks like he has a good idea of how she feels about his hours. They must have talked about it before and after she returned to him. Hopefully, the OP returns to fill in some of the gaps in the information, but I think she's already brought this to his attention and yet he still chooses to make his work his priority. So then at that point it really is up to HER to decide whether she can live with such a person or not. He's already made his position clear.
 
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