Marriage: Right girl, wrong situation?
January 5, 2017 1:17 PM   Subscribe

I'm Getting married with some jobless soul searching normally done alone. Could it be a case of Right girl at the wrong time?

I lost my career a couple of years ago. I learnt I actually have no career anymore. The first year I travelled.
A few months ago I got a job for a few months but lost it. Partly my fault but that is being very critical as there were external factors involved.
That previous career was not a good match for me - clerical.

I need to start from scratch. This is very difficult for anyone these days.

When I got the job I had proposed. I didn't set a date though as the job is tied to a temporary visa. Now the job has gone I feel very hopeless on the job front. But the marriage is on.

I'm so sure this is the girl for me. But... I can't provide the things I'm supposed to. I can cover expenses for 3 or 4 years from savings... But I don't have an income and I can't see any sure way to build one.

I have plenty of survival ideas... But usually I'd do this sort of soul searching on my own.

I contemplated to split in order to focus on myself. I can find another girl in time and recover from the trauma - I can't stress enough that this is no indication of any doubt on my part - I am just very hard ball when it comes to relationships. But I can't do this is to the most important person in my life, someone who has done no wrong to me and really is the kindest, most honest person I have ever met. We have a very solid relationship. We've weathered visa restrictions and infidelities which break most marriages. It's worth sacrifice... But sacrifice doesn't bode well for marriage.
She doesn't really compute the idea that I can be very much into her

I feel like we have to get married for a visa and to be together. I'm looking at moving back to the UK while I have the funds to show to immigration to let me live with my wife. Getting a job abroad under immigration controls was difficult and now i fear it's impossible. I figure at least in the UK I might not have immigration problems for my own work rights. And hopefully i/we can investigate business options.

It just seems like an almighty mess to start a marriage in. But what can I do?
posted by jago25_98 to Human Relations (27 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Can you explain if you are actually talking about a person or a job?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:21 PM on January 5, 2017 [14 favorites]

But... I can't provide the things I'm supposed to.

Why are you 'supposed to' provide? Do you think the unemployed are unfit for marriage? What about if they lose their job in year 2?

She doesn't really compute the idea that I can be very much into her

What do you mean by this?

I feel like we have to get married for a visa and to be together.

Don't get married to try to avoid immigration issues. Try to put the issue of immigration entirely out of your head when talking about getting married.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 1:21 PM on January 5, 2017 [5 favorites]

If you were already married and lost the job, you'd be in the same boat, right?

So, if you were married, you'd talk with her and figure something out. Married is a piece of paper. You either want to work this out, so include her in figuring out some of your options, or you don't want to work it out and are happy enough dumping her. In which case, if you were married, you'd divorce her and leave.
posted by rich at 1:28 PM on January 5, 2017 [10 favorites]

It sounds as if you think that because of your career issues that you cannot marry her ("I can't provide the things I'm supposed to ... I can't do this ... to the most important person in my life").

You need to trust her to decide - with full information - whether to marry you. Don't force your opinions about what she needs (a richer husband) on her.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 1:34 PM on January 5, 2017 [4 favorites]

Sure, previously, you would do this soul searching on your own:
- I need to start my career from scratch
- I need to provide
- I can cover my expenses through savings
- I didn't set a date for the wedding

But you are about to embark on a lifelong union. So the questions not for you but for the two of you together are:
- How do we do want to manage our lives / geography when one of us launching a new career
- Can we cover our expenses
- Can we provide for ourselves
- When do we want to get married

The woman who would be your lifelong partner is so curiously absent from all of this frantic calculus (except for a brief mention at the very end about 'investigating business options?!'). What do the TWO OF YOU want for your futures together?
posted by sestaaak at 1:44 PM on January 5, 2017 [43 favorites]

Having a job is not a prerequisite to getting married; however, I can see how starting off on such an important new phase in life is made much more difficult when there are financial anxieties.

But over the course of decades you'd be bound to run into challenges with your spouse and you presumably wouldn't get a divorce because of them.

This is not your decision to make alone, you need to make it with your fiance. That means having an in-person/video chat (if you're separated by distance) where you lay everything out. Share your expectations for marriage, find out what hers are (maybe she's fine being the primary income for a while). Share your anxieties and find out what hers are. What are your goals for the first few years of life together - buy a house, start a family, start a business, travel - having shared goals is important and can answer some of the question of what you'll need financially and what you can weather together.

You can then decide to call the whole thing off and go your separate ways, settle in for a long engagement period, or go through with the marriage.

For what it's worth some of my closest friends got married in their early 20s, had financial struggles that caused them to move in with parents, and are now on their 25th year of marriage, own a home, have a child, and are quite stable. So money doesn't have to be a deal breaker to a long and happy relationship.

Good luck to you
posted by brookeb at 1:44 PM on January 5, 2017

I can't tell if you're into the woman you're talking about. Are you? What does she think? What do you want? If you were my partner I wouldn't want to marry you based on this question because you seem incredibly non-committal and there's not really a lot of indication on how you feel towards your partner, other then that she's a nice person.
posted by Marinara at 1:48 PM on January 5, 2017 [9 favorites]

"I lost my job. How do I go about dumping my fiancé so I can find a new one? Job or fiancé, whichever."

Like, what?

Sounds to me like you could use some counseling. First, to figure out feasible directions for you to start job searching. Second, so you can figure out if you even want to be married at all. I mean, you have 3-4 years of expenses saved up, but you think that isn't enough to get your shit together?

Don't do anything with the relationship, including setting a date or finalizing wedding plans, until you talk to a professional about your job prospects and get some direction. Worst case scenario, you go back to school for a year or two and come out with some new qualifications and start at entry level. So? Lots of people do that.

If your relationship were as solid as you claim, dumping her wouldn't even be on the table, and it boggles my mind that you could work past cheating but not temporary unemployment. Either you aren't telling the whole story, or your priorities are seriously out of whack.
posted by Autumnheart at 1:51 PM on January 5, 2017 [44 favorites]

Some people decide their marriage based on on their career. Others decide their career based on their marriage.

Which are you?

Like some of the other commenters, I also can't tell if you're into this woman. You say she's exceptionally kind and good, but then you turn on a dime to the idea of finding someone else.

There's no reason to get married if you're planning to make only unilateral decisions. Whoever you're with deserves to be cherished and have your full devotion, and this person should also play a 50/50 role in deciding the type of life you'll have together. If that's not for you at that point, then don't get married.
posted by mochapickle at 1:57 PM on January 5, 2017 [4 favorites]

I am just very hard ball when it comes to relationships

What does this mean? That when you are having troubles you will... abandon your relationship in order to figure them out by yourself? That you will no consult your partner, whom you intend to marry, about what she might want in this? What is "hard ball" about any of this?
posted by rtha at 2:01 PM on January 5, 2017 [6 favorites]

You are asking all the wrong questions. No flip that you are giving yourself the wrong answers.

Can I provide the things I need to provide? you ask yourself. Then you assume the answer is money, when the answer to this should be things like love, patience, emotional support, sharing my fears & hearing her fears & working on an answer together.

What can you do? You can start talking to your partner. You are a team. You work together & you solve these problems. You disagree about solutions & you find compromises. You lay awake in bed talking about this stuff until 3 in the morning then fall asleep in each other arms. You make plans together about these things, then something happens & you change them & keep on making plans & changing them until you grow old together.
You don't have to go into a marriage with all the answers to every question, that's the best part about being married you have 2 people working together to answer the questions.

What you don't do is keep all this to yourself & ask strangers on the internet before your fiance.

Now if you're sitting there thinking that is ridiculous I just want to work all this stuff out for myself with no input or help from the person I say I love, then you also have an answer.
posted by wwax at 2:05 PM on January 5, 2017 [8 favorites]

It's worth sacrifice... But sacrifice doesn't bode well for marriage.

You're vague enough that I'm not exactly sure what you mean here, but most successful marriages require a lifelong string of sacrifices on the part of both partners.
posted by griseus at 2:05 PM on January 5, 2017 [12 favorites]

I can find another girl in time and recover from the trauma

I am having a really hard time getting past this. Don't marry anyone you see as replaceable. And don't get married at all if you see women as accessories to the life you imagined and not actual people and partners.

I am kind of horrified by how utterly absent she is from any of this. Honestly the only way this is ok is if you were planning to marry a mannequin.
posted by schadenfrau at 2:10 PM on January 5, 2017 [74 favorites]

I'm Getting married with some jobless soul searching normally done alone.

Before you get married (or anyway, get involved in a serious relationship), everything you do is something "normally done alone." If you get married, nothing major that you do will EVER be done alone again.

If that's what is bothering you, if you don't like the idea of incorporating another person's needs and thoughts into your decisions and soul-searching, then yes, you have a case of "right girl, wrong time." But it's not the wrong time because you're jobless. It's the wrong time because you're not in any way ready or willing to be a spouse.

But if it's just that this is new and unfamiliar, and harder and scarier than you remember it being when you only had to consider your own needs, then it's not necessarily the wrong time--you just have a new skill to learn.

Figure out (and this is a thing you can do alone) which one of the above it is. If it's the second one, take the advice of others here, talk to your fiancee. Share all of your thoughts and fears and make decisions about your future together.

For what it's worth, I think people are being kind of hard on you and reading all sorts of stuff into your question because it's so light on detail. I can relate to the feeling of "this seems like an almighty mess to start a marriage in." Often, we have a sort of internal image of what we want our lives to look like at certain milestones, and it can be hard to adapt that image to harsh reality. Plus, if you're the kind of person who worries about "burdening" your partner, you might be afraid of how she'll react to you if you express that you have a problem and need her input. But if she is a good partner as you say she is, how she'll react is with love and support!
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 2:52 PM on January 5, 2017 [4 favorites]

You said she's done you no wrong, then you mentioned infidelities. So the inference is that you cheated on her, more than once.

If this sounded like an otherwise worthwhile relationship I'd agree with the commenters saying you need to include this girl woman in the decision-making, but really it sounds like you'd be doing her a favor if you cut her loose and found someone else after you've done some work on yourself.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 2:52 PM on January 5, 2017 [6 favorites]

Also, I can't tell whether your "I can find another person" statement is a sign that you don't actually care about your fiancee, or just that you recognize breaking up wouldn't be the end of your romantic future. (Which is true, and healthy.) But if you're just done with this relationship, that's okay. It's okay to be done with a relationship and break up, even when the other person is nice and honest, even when they forgave you for infidelity, even when you still really like them but just don't want to build a future with them.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 2:57 PM on January 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

I think I have a somewhat similar viewpoint to you on relationships...even now that I am happily married, I try to keep the viewpoint that if something were to happen to my spouse (possible, as he has had some serious and ongoing health issues), I would be really sad and it would take a long time but eventually I'd be able to recover and move on and be ok. Honestly, this was a necessary viewpoint for me to have to even be willing to fall in love with and marry someone with serious health problems -- if I had felt my life would be destroyed by him no longer being around, I never would have let myself even date him.

I think the key is to have some really honest conversations with each other about both of your career goals and opportunities, which country you guys would want to live in both currently and in the longer term, what your ideal future looks like and how you get there as a team, etc. Either way you decide, I think you should decide it as a couple and really lay it all out on the table. Personally I don't think it is unusual to feel weird about not being able to contribute financially -- I am a woman, so I'm not coming from it with the gendered aspect of "man as provider," but in the past I've often felt weird about being the one with the lower income, and I am super relieved now that my husband's and my income are about equal and we are both contributing an approximately equal amount to the budget. I realize everyone has a different relationship towards money, but I think many people do feel weird about not "pulling their weight" with the budget -- but, this is something you guys could discuss and perhaps figure out different solutions together. One of the best things about marriage is you are no longer in it alone -- now you have a partner to figure this stuff out with! And if it doesn't feel that way, maybe this is not the right woman after all?
posted by rainbowbrite at 3:36 PM on January 5, 2017 [3 favorites]

The thing that I find most unsettling is that this is a fiancée...and yet there's no inclusion of her anywhere in the plans. Like, either Plan A works with this woman, he finds a job and can proceed with the marriage as scheduled (not the wedding...the marriageor Everything Is Ruined and he has to leave the country and start from Square One, goodbye my dear, one day I shall love again. Like, there's a middle ground there, and ignoring it is not being "hardball", it's being unilateral and uncompromising to a disturbing degree. Where is her say in any of this, does she even get one? Or is it all just about making it easier for you?

I totally get that figuratively telling your prospective spouse, "Hey, I have no job and seemingly no future, let's get married and struggle until we die! Just call me Al for Albatross!” isn't appealing to anyone with a conscience. Nobody wants to be a burden or a sponge instead of a contributing partner (except assholes and sociopaths). And finances are a big deal in a marriage, it would be just plain stupid to pretend that they're not. BUT the whole point of being married is that two heads are better than one in weathering crises like these. And if you proposed, then in theory, you actually want to be with this person "for better or for worse" which would mean that you would be discussing all the options and how they would impact both of you, and working on the ones that have the best chance of success.

But instead it's talk about how, since the job thing didn't work out, now he can't marry her because his personal criteria aren't met, and maybe he should just go home and find a new life and a new wife. Like it's the first season of a TV show that got canceled and he has to give up on ever seeing the plot reach a conclusion. I'm just one of those people who sees a marriage proposal as being in direct contradiction to "But I could always walk away and find someone else eventually". As an abstract idea, yes, it's healthy, but this isn't an abstract idea, he's actually talking about doing it. Pretty shitty way to treat someone you say you want to marry.
posted by Autumnheart at 3:45 PM on January 5, 2017 [4 favorites]

Need more background, but I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that you are engaged to a woman from a much poorer background. So you are "supposed" to provide for her (possibly for her family). You've been unfaithful ... or she's a bar girl ... or both?
posted by 2soxy4mypuppet at 3:53 PM on January 5, 2017

Better the right person at the wrong time than the wrong person at the right time. "For richer or poorer," no?
posted by Pearl928 at 4:43 PM on January 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

We can't answer this. You need to talk to the woman.
posted by Miko at 6:20 PM on January 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

Don't get married. If getting married was right for you, you would not have worded your question in any way like this.
posted by ctmf at 7:26 PM on January 5, 2017 [4 favorites]

We have a very solid relationship.

You think she's fundamentally replaceable, you haven't consulted her about your current personal crisis, your relationship has been marred by infidelities (plural!), and you think "sacrificing" for someone you love doesn't bode well for a relationship?

Where is the solid relationship? It sounds like you hardly know or like this person.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 7:33 PM on January 5, 2017 [22 favorites]

I can find another girl in time

Is there anything more to say after you frame it like this? Leave this woman alone.
posted by thegreatfleecircus at 7:49 AM on January 6, 2017 [9 favorites]

Don't get married. Kindly break up with her. You don't want to be her life partner, you see her as an accessory or a part in a life plan that you are making unilaterally, as some of the other people above have observed. Break up with her, leave her alone, and do whatever with your finances and career.

I would be hugely insulted and saddened if my partner lost his job and came to the internet to ask this question instead of sitting down with me and having a serious and frank conversation, starting with "we need to discuss our options about what kind of life we will share, now that i no longer have this job." followed by talking about what kind of work you are interested in, or what kind of business you want to have, what kind of country or city you'd like to live in, what kind of places you can afford based on your savings or income, etc. you are supposed to have this talk with her and you are supposed to take her desires and goals into account, not just think about whether or not you can get immigration status or a new job or a new girlfriend.

you say you are "hard ball" about relationships, what does that mean? is that attitude useful to you? does it make your relationships good? do you think you are brave for being so self-protective, for being so focused on what you get out of being with her? do you think it is brave to already be assuring yourself that you could dump her & find someone else if you'd like to? it's not brave. it's emotional cowardice. being this way prevents you from having a relationship that is worth a marriage. don't marry someone you are not really committed to.
posted by zdravo at 2:28 PM on January 6, 2017 [5 favorites]

I can't make any replies and I can't edit.

It needs to be simpler. I stagnate in my own development when I'm in a relationship. I don't know why. I try to be more selfish to address this.

She is definitely the girl for me.
posted by jago25_98 at 12:58 PM on January 7, 2017

I stagnate in my own development when I'm in a relationship.

It just doesn't sound like you're ready for marriage. A sentence like this says more "I'm ready for therapy." I'd consider that as a first step.
posted by Miko at 6:02 PM on January 7, 2017

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