I’m a male, wondering how to know if I'm ready to get married and have kids? My girlfriend of four and a half years is turning 40 in a few years (I’m eight years younger than her). The topic of marriage and especially kids has become an issue.
This is my first major relationship, so I’m unsure sure if I'm actually not ready or this is just another challenge/phase in my life to experience.
I’m career-driven, focused, but not financially stable. I work part-time while freelancing in my field of passion (an unstable industry). I can barely sustain myself financially month to month.
The thought of having a child now scares me. I've told her I’m not ready. She's been financially supportive, has a stable career, and has helped support me in many ways.
Can I get my stuff together in the next couple of years to be ready to have kids and get married? Can I juggle starting both a career and family at the same time?
Our relationship’s been suffering lately under the stress of these concerns.
Unsure and Struggling
Your girlfriend must already accept that you can’t afford to be an equal financial contributor for awhile, for her to even raise the conversation.
Countless couples juggle early careers and family-building simultaneously. But it requires maturity, patience, and mutual emotional support.
No one can predict if you’ll get your “stuff” together sooner or later. Many people do find a path through the middle by diverting their “passionate” interest to a related sideline in order to earn money.
Or they work at something entirely different full-time, and pursue their other goal over a longer period.
Recognize what’s realistic regarding your ambitions. Then decide if you love this woman enough to move to the next phase with confidence and determination. If not, speak up and don’t lead her on.
I was very close with my mom and sister. We spoke almost daily.
Months ago, Mom reported that she and my father went with my sister and brother-in-law to a show. I asked, Why the secret?
My sister called to say she heard I was upset but it wasn’t meant to be a secret. She said I was acting ridiculous, childish, over-reacting. We stopped speaking.
Three months later, she argued with my other sister, and I was blamed for the family falling apart.
We ended up texting hurtful messages to each other. I apologized. She said more hurtful things.
My niece, then 18, texted me about how I was “treating” her mom, implying I was no longer a role model for her and her sister.
I responded sarcastically. Her father texted, "Don’t text or talk to my girls again."
My niece took me off all her social media. I apologized to her.
Now she’s twisting the story to make me look evil, and everyone’s looking at me like I'm crazy. If I'm wrong I have no problem admitting it.
Battle by Text
What a mess! You’re ALL wrong. “Closeness” doesn’t mean constant togetherness, nor constant agreement.
It means there’s respect, understanding of each other’s independence, forgiveness when things go wrong.
What you describe is an intense scrutiny of each other’s actions, petty jealousies, family-wide grudges, leading to judgment and jury by text, followed with conviction by social media.
Start afresh no matter what the others do. Apologize to your mother who’s probably most upset, then to each of the others.
Then lead further by example: If you mind your own immediate business, perhaps they’ll mind theirs.
My sister suggested that we stay with her, to attend a family reunion.
But she was cool with me. She urged me to buy shoes that she had on, “hardly worn.” I agreed on $20, as I liked the colour.
The next morning she barged into the closed bathroom to see if I was using any of her makeup.
At breakfast, she had another couple join us, ignored me, and talked to the other woman.
Back home, I saw that the shoes had heels worn down.
It isn't the first time she’s bullied me, but it’ll be the last.
Why do we put up with bad treatment from siblings?
Fed Up Sis
It’s usually a replay of old family history that involved sibling rivalry. You both easily fall into your past roles.
Stop reacting in the familiar way. Set boundaries. She’s not a welcoming sister, so it’s better to stay elsewhere.
Tip of the day:
Marrying and having children requires knowing yourself, plus loving deeply.