I'm in my late 20's, with my boyfriend for almost two years. We plan to move in together soon.
He's been slowly and sporadically asking questions about engagement rings. I feel very embarrassed and often brush it off, or change the subject.
It took me a long time to even let him know that I hope to get married some day.
I feel that although I’d love to be married to him, it's not possible for me. I come from a very poor family and have no savings of my own. I can't afford a wedding. I'm also up to my eyeballs in student loan debt.
I feel ashamed that if he were to propose, I’d have to tell him that my family couldn’t afford to even contribute to a wedding.
I want to start downplaying the fact that I want to get married because I'll never be able to afford a wedding. His family is well off and I’d be more ashamed to have them pay for most or all of it.
Too Poor to Marry
Getting married to someone you love can cost as little as a marriage license and minor City Hall fees.
Meanwhile, after two years, your boyfriend already knows that your background isn’t affluent, and that you have student loans.
Stop being “ashamed.” He wants to marry you, no matter the situation. He’s committing to be your partner in a future together.
No more evading. Start talking, before your avoidance backfires and he feels you’re pushing him away.
Explain your concerns. Suggest a simple ring and a small wedding ceremony for immediate family.
You can enjoy planning a celebratory party for one of your anniversaries, when you both can afford it.
My wife and I are a second marriage and both earn well. I thought we’d retire soon and really enjoy life, but she’s addicted to her high-profile job. A much-younger man’s been pursuing her.
She mentioned his name so often; I decided to make discreet inquiries. He’s visited her office several times; they go for long lunches. When confronted, she was outraged, and said I was spying. She’s changed all her passwords and has a second cell-phone, which is locked.
Tell her to take responsibility, she’s been caught out, flirting too far or already into an affair.
Tell her your marriage is at a crossroads because of her private “friendship,” and her blocked social media adds to suspicions.
Seek a compromise on your different life goals (e.g. you retire and get involved with activities, she keeps working but breaks for travel with you, etc.).
Or face the divide, and go separate ways.
I met a man on a cruise ship; we had a fabulous weeklong fling. He lives 1000 miles away.
Upon returning, my boyfriend said he’d missed me and proposed. I’d always wanted this, so said yes, though I was torn.
I emailed the other man and he just said, “Go ahead and good luck.” I haven’t told my fiancé about him, just said I hung out with a group on the ship. Do I have to confess?
No. It was a pre-commitment fling, and nothing more in the other guy’s eyes, either. He may be married or attached himself, lives far away, so unlikely to re-surface in your life.
You’re not torn between two men, just wondering if you’re “guilty.” More important, get tested and assure you didn’t pick up a sexually transmitted disease (STD). That would change things, and you’d have to confess.
FEEDBACK Regarding relationships between young women and controlling partners:
Reader – “It reminds me of when I married my first long-term boyfriend, at 20. I had low self-esteem. I felt “adored” by my partner, but he insisted his decisions were always the right ones.
“He got angry at me easily if I didn't share his views. He yelled and frequently used put-down language (stupid, idiot, etc.).
“I was in love. Not having learned the skills to stand up for myself yet, I crawled into an emotional shell for years. I also had trouble communicating but it was hard to improve when I was constantly belittled for my "stupidity."
“Two children and almost 18 years of marriage later, I finally admitted he had insecurities, and that I was experiencing actual abuse.
“With family members’ help, I got the strength to separate, and saw a therapist who I found through a local women’s resource center.”
Tip of the day:
Never be ashamed of poverty. Instead, determine to gain skills to improve your life.