Yours sincerely — To Be Married In Muncie
I don’t know if you made a typo or what, but you’ve been dating for almost thirteen years, and before that you were “on and off”? Dude, if you haven’t figured out by now whether you’re financially compatible, I don’t know that seeking more profitable employment is going to do the trick. It sounds like maybe you’re just looking for excuses to continue delaying marriage with this woman? Or maybe you are nervous she’ll say no and are trying to head her off at the pass before that happens? But, look, if you’ve been managing to support yourself all these years without her help and she’s been managing to support herself all these years without your help, you two getting married isn’t going to suddenly financially break you. Or maybe you are thinking about having children and worried that you two, together, don’t make enough money to support kids, which is a reasonable concern and one you should discuss with your girlfriend. Bottom line: the decision to marry should be a joint one. If you want to be the one to pop the question, great. And if your girlfriend shares some of your anxieties about finances, you two can discuss what affect that will have on planning your future together. (By the way, make sure to share your idea about moving to your parents’ farm as a Plan B; your girlfriend may not share your view about that being a great alternative.)
Also see: 17 Things Every Couple MUST Discuss Before Getting Married
Your girlfriend’s relationship with her now-deceased boyfriend is part of who she is, and you can’t erase her past, nor should you want to. Those memories she has are sacred and special and will always be with her. They don’t detract from her feelings for you or the memories you’re making together, just as your past doesn’t take away from the feelings you have for your girlfriend. But if your girlfriend is truly always talking about her boyfriend, it may be a sign that she is still actively grieving him and processing her loss — you don’t say how long ago he passed away — and maybe not ready yet to “begin a new life” with you. Love is patient, and you need to be as well.
Um, both of you, for having an affair while she’s living with another man.
Follow along on Facebook, and Instagram.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.
dinoceros January 25, 2019, 9:39 am
LW1: It’s not clear what the issue is. Has she told you she won’t marry you without you having a better job? Are finances why you’ve been not gotten engaged in all these years? Do you think she’ll say no? Generally, if a person doesn’t expect to be able to support themselves, they should try to find a way they can, but tying it to a proposal seems a little silly. Either you want to get married or not. Either you want to get a different job or not. None of the expenses you listed are things that I assume would be new expenses to you. Do you foresee having more expenses together than separately? Why not have a conversation with her and talk about this stuff? I don’t have a lot of info to go on, but you sound like someone who maybe has been hesitant to get married (either for good reason — off and on for that long is a bad sign — or because you just didn’t want to) and you’re trying to delay it even longer.
LW2: Have you actually seen her living situation and confirmed what she says?
SpaceySteph January 25, 2019, 9:49 am
LW1- over at APW they have a saying “ducks are wily.” As in, you could spend your whole life trying to “get your ducks in a row,” because ducks are wily and never fall into line. If you’re good enough to date as you are now, then you’re good enough to marry as you are now. Hopefully she hasn’t been dating you for 12+ years hoping you’d one day change your career and entire life, so if you want to marry her the SAY SO! I also hope that after all these years, this isn’t the first conversation about marriage you two ever had.
And as Wendy says, if you both can support yourselves independently then getting married doesn’t change that. In fact, if you don’t already live together then combining households will probably be more cost effective than living separately so it’ll put you in better shape. (not a good reason to move in or get married on its own, its just a nice bonus when you do).
dogmom January 25, 2019, 10:12 am
I know Muncie has a vastly different cost of living than where I am in the Northeast, but an *associate* vet at my dog’s clinic starts at a salary of $100K. So assuming vets in Muncie make fairly decent money for that area, I don’t see why they’d have to move in with LW’s folks? Especially if they’re both working. I know nobody knows what the future holds and anything can happen in terms of “if it doesn’t work out financially,” but the whole first letter is just … odd.
Anonymous January 28, 2019, 4:24 pm
I’m not a vet, but I have two in my immediate family. Your perception of the financial security of veterinarians isn’t founded in reality. They regularly graduate with more student loans than doctors – and a fraction of the earning potential. There’s also a solid pattern of women earning less than men in the field. (Shocking, I know. See: https://www.avma.org/News/JAVMANews/Pages/130401e.aspx.) Thus, as more women join the vocation, salaries have actually failed to keep with inflation while educational costs have exceeded it.
This depressing article highlights several disturbing trends among veterinarians. Maybe do some research before making assumptions next time. https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/suicides-among-veterinarians-has-become-a-growing-problem/2019/01/18/0f58df7a-f35b-11e8-80d0-f7e1948d55f4_story.html?utm_term=.78c78abc9752
MMR January 25, 2019, 10:02 am
I’m pretty sure LW1 is describing Jon from Garfield.
Juliecatharine January 25, 2019, 10:11 am
Lol I think you’re right.
SpaceySteph January 25, 2019, 11:25 am
I bet the vet bills were pretty expensive for poor Jon. Cats shouldn’t eat that much lasagna.
Bittergaymark January 25, 2019, 1:55 pm
Hah! Amazing! Best troll ever. I fell for it completely! Clever. Especially as most cartoon relationships do remain pretty damn static and frozen in time…
Moneypenny January 25, 2019, 2:18 pm
OMG that’s so funny! Gotta love Garfield.
Kate January 25, 2019, 2:20 pm
Omg what a fuckin dork.
Dino January 28, 2019, 6:06 pm
He is. This kids in my class and is like freakin obsessed with Garfield. In math today ur was like, hey I wrote to this advice column pretending to be Jon from Garfield. ???bravo!!!
Dear Wendy January 29, 2019, 10:11 am
Bravo for what? For wasting my time?
cdobbs71 January 25, 2019, 10:46 am
LW3 your girlfriend was the rude one…..my biggest pet peeve is people who are late….if you are going to be late, then call (it is common curtesy)….people who are late give the impression that your time isn’t as important as their time….especially since it was an appointment you needed to get to….so she was basically inconveniencing two people
Fyodor January 25, 2019, 11:02 am
As someone noted, LW1 is Jon Arbuckle, including all the biographical details, girlfriend’s job, and city.
Fyodor January 25, 2019, 11:08 am
This is messed up.
“I believe that if what she thinks about me is true, she should forget all those memories with her dead boyfriend and should begin a new life with me.”
SpaceySteph January 25, 2019, 11:30 am
Seriously. Even if they just broke up, it wouldn’t make sense to just forget all the memories. Those memories are part of your life and they contribute to who you are now. But even more so if the person passes away and there’s no bad ending to temper the good memories.
Loving this person will ALWAYS be a part of who this woman is. If you think differently, LW, then you’re not the right person for her.
SpaceySteph January 25, 2019, 11:34 am
This is making me think of last month I went on a cruise with my family (parents, siblings, husband and child). My sister noticed I had a higher rewards level than her and was like “what cruise have you been on without me?” so I jokingly covered my husbands ears and was like “I went on a cruise with [ex boyfriend].”
I mean I don’t talk about my ex boyfriend frequently, but these things that happened are part of my life, my history, my frequent flyer miles. If you date someone over the age of 14, odds are good that they have some kind of history. (please don’t date 14 year olds LW, unless you are also in high school)
JD January 25, 2019, 11:44 am
My ex and I used to say that you don’t spend a decade or more with someone and not have them be part of your stories. So either i lie and say it was my friend Brenda or I tell the truth. Husband and I never hesitate to just flat out say it, even about more intimate stuff. I don’t care, I hope he dated before me, not the opposite.
anonymousse January 25, 2019, 8:30 pm
That was so fucked up to read.
LW2- you clearly have no real love or empathy for this woman at all.
You need psychological help for your jealousy of a dead man.
Copa January 25, 2019, 11:18 am
I get Nice Guy(TM) vibes from LW2. He doesn’t refer to this woman as his girlfriend, so it’s unclear to me if they’re even dating yet. Maybe we’re missing some details, but that + feeling she should forget her deceased boyfriend didn’t sit well. LW2, your expectations aren’t realistic and if you’re that bothered loving (and possibly dating) someone who is still grieving, don’t.
LW3 – Your “girlfriend” was rude in this specific instance, but if you wanted to date someone who is conscientious of other people and their feelings, dating a woman in a live-in relationship wasn’t the best choice.
Essie January 25, 2019, 1:40 pm
I think you may be right, he doesn’t refer to her as a girlfriend, just that he’s in love with her.
LW2, you don’t get to tell someone when they should be finished grieving, and you sure as hell don’t get to tell someone they should “forget those memories of their dead boyfriend” and start a new life with you. Talk about sheer coldblooded arrogance.
She’s not ever going to forget him, so if that’s a requirement for you, then move on.
Buttery January 25, 2019, 12:07 pm
“she should forget all those memories with her dead boyfriend and should begin a new life with me” – this is one of the grossest, most selfish thing I have ever read. From reading past Wendy answers where she goes hard on some people, I am SO surprised she didn’t have a little more than say about this 🙁
Juliecatharine January 25, 2019, 12:28 pm
LW for a he record she is a 28 year old woman, not a girl. Her past is part of her. Don’t like it? Feel free to fuck right off.
Anonymous January 25, 2019, 2:33 pm
Anonymous January 25, 2019, 2:04 pm
LW1) Don’t rock the boat. Clearly, the ver digs you. Now, the real pressing issue is that you must STOP inviting Nermel over to torment your beloved orange cat!
LW2). Um… you clearly can’t handle her past. A dead ex always remains perfect. (I have one, I know.). Do yourself and her a favor and break up.
LW3). She was rude. But you seem a bit clingy. I can’t recall ever making ANYONE take me to an appointment…
Matthew Prower January 27, 2019, 8:45 pm
We’re onto you Arbuckle