Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“My Girlfriend Won’t Compromise”

I’ve been in a relationship with a wonderful woman for 4-1/2 years, but we are at a crossroads and cannot get past it. The short story is we can’t agree on where to live. I don’t want to move to her town and have a 1-1/2-hour commute to work for the next 17 years until I retire, and she doesn’t want to move her girls out of their school district (they’re in school another 7 years). I have a son who is going to college next year and moving would create the same commute for him that I would have with my work.

I have asked my girlfriend to plan a move with me; she has not made any serious efforts. I have even told her to find us a house and we can start there, but again nothing. I have also noticed that she doesn’t support our relationship financially or set any mutual goals, like planning a vacation, for example. She has expressed to me that a man is the one who should sacrifice for the woman, but I feel as though there should a mutual effort.

Over the past year I have started to pick up her girls from evening activities and have canceled some of my activities to make that time available to her. I help her with chores around her house, buy things for her and fix up items that need fixing in her house. The issue that is bothering me is I feel like I’m not getting anything in return. Occasionally I don’t even get a thank you.

Wednesday has always been date night and I’ve been consistent with that for years. Her being a single mom is something I know is hard, so I always drive up to her. I also always pay for the night out even though I know she is not broke and she rarely offers. She doesn’t even give me the opportunity to say no. She has made dinner for me a handful of times in 4-1/2 years — a lot less than I have — and, again, “single mom needs help” is my perspective. She is also a person who is never on time and always running late, and she will sometimes cancel a prior commitment, which is something that bothers me as well.

In December I told her mother that I was going to give her a ring, but that backfired on me. I had a plan, which I always try to have, of getting my tax return back to pay off some debt, then buy the ring and plan something special to propose. Well, it appears that her mother leaked it, and she has been waiting for me to propose. She is now angry that she has not gotten the ring, and her mother is telling her to watch out because it looks like I’m just stringing her along. Well, I was planning to propose on our trip to New Orleans this month. The trip is not something I saved for, so it is all debt on my part and, as I suspected, she didn’t offer to help. And now that we are arguing because I can’t get a commitment from her on the move, I canceled her ticket to NO and will not propose.

We are meeting tonight after a long break. She has apologized for saying that I’m the most selfish person on earth and that I’m less of a man than her ex-husband. She wants to try and make it work, but I’m reluctant. I have discussed this issue with some of my closet “life coaches,” if you will, and, when I tell them that she is Jewish, they all say the same thing: it’s their culture for the man to provide for the woman. I just want to ignore it because I hate to stereotype anyone, but it just seems like a logical explanation.

Anyway, I think I’m trying to talk myself into believing that this relationship has run its course. I mean, I’m willing to compromise more, but she won’t budge, and I can’t afford to live in her area and commute to work. Help. — Have Ring, Need More Compromise

Yeah, this relationship has run its course, and it has nothing to do with your girlfriend being Jewish. Women from all cultures are equally capable of being loving and equally capable of being shitty. You just happened to have found a shitty one and she just happens to be Jewish. If you want some sort of cultural explanation for your imbalanced relationship, how about this one: the way a man was treated by his mother will directly influence the kind of women he chooses to date. Unfair? Untrue? Doesn’t apply to you? Well, then maybe applying stereotypes or cultural phenomenons to individual relationships is a waste of time after all.

How about we toss the stereotypes aside and focus on what we know about your relationship. Simply put, your girlfriend isn’t invested in your relationship or in you as a person. She is only interested in what you can do for her (chauffeur her daughters around, take her out once a week, do chores around her house, buy her things, fix stuff). Beyond that, it sounds like she doesn’t have much interest or use for you.

The thing is, you can’t even really be that mad at your girlfriend. She hasn’t been stringing you along. It sounds like she’s been clear from the beginning about who she is and what she wants. She wants a man who will make all the sacrifices and expect nothing from her in return. Frankly, she sounds awful. And you can’t build a future with awful. I mean, you can… but it will be awful.

Four and a half years is enough time to invest in awful. Move on already and find a woman who isn’t awful — who will respect you and treat you like an equal. It sounds like you have a lot to offer the right person. But this woman isn’t the right person. Not for you, anyway. Unless you’re a masochist who enjoys being used and emasculated and treated like garbage. In which case, hell yeah, put a ring on it.


Follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.

84 comments… add one
  • joanna May 15, 2014, 9:13 am

    Why are some people so desperate for a relationship that they will put up with someone who is completely self-absorbed and negative towards them?

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  • LlamaPajamas May 15, 2014, 9:17 am

    WWS. And consider getting some new “life coaches” since I wouldn’t trust anything your current ones have to say if they’re so quick to stereotype like this. I have a graduate degree in anthropology and can tell you with all certainty that their “cultural” explanation is total bullshit.

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  • Portia May 15, 2014, 9:19 am

    I’m kind of insulted that these people he’s asked for advice think all Jewish women are dependent on their husbands. What the what?

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  • Jenny May 15, 2014, 9:21 am

    I’m always so confused when a LW details how consistently awful their SO is and then talks about their plans to get engaged, buy a house, have a baby, etc. Will having a ring on her finger magically make her a kind and giving person? I suspect she’d likely get worse. Why do you want to be with this woman, LW? People as awful as your girlfriend are that awful partly because people enable their awfulness. It’s time to MOA and find someone whose expectations of reciprocity match your own.

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    • Amanda May 15, 2014, 9:30 am

      I *think* it’s because they feel like they have to after a certain point. It’s not necessarily that they want to, it’s just what they feel like they’re supposed to do.

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      • Jenny May 15, 2014, 9:41 am

        I understand that but I don’t GET it, you know? I don’t get why people marry a SO they can’t stand because it’s the “next step”. It’d be like if I got a bad paper cut on my finger and then decided I should just chop the finger off entirely.

      • ktfran May 15, 2014, 10:13 am

        Hahahaha. Awesome analogy!

      • kerrycontrary May 15, 2014, 10:42 am

        I completely agree. I just do not understand it. Like I hear how horrible people’s relationships are before marriage and all these red flags they had, that they chose to ignore. and then they’re like “omg it got worse after marriage!’ shocker! Like it’s horrible schadenfreude on my part, but it makes me feel more secure in my relationship cause I’m like “omg there’s people in relationships like that getting married? seriously”.

      • Portia May 15, 2014, 11:31 am

        Yes so much to this. If there are problems before marriage or whatever big step, there will be problems after. If you think someone is being selfish and using you in a relationship, why on earth would your go-to be to make that situation more permanent?

  • Lucy May 15, 2014, 9:32 am

    Drop the girlfriend and the anti-Semitic life coaches. Both are vile.

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    • BriarRose May 15, 2014, 9:39 am


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  • tangerbean May 15, 2014, 9:33 am

    You keep rationalizing it as “well she’s a single mom, so I have to do all these things.” But you don’t. You are not required to be this woman ‘s servant. You deserve an equal. You don’t sound happy and don’t you want to be? End this situation that’s draining you (I’m not even calling it a relationship) and find one that will fulfill you. Or just be single and enjoy the freedom.

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  • BriarRose May 15, 2014, 9:38 am

    Single mom here. My boyfriend makes significantly more money than I do and almost always pays for our dates, usually drives to my place since he doesn’t have a kid or pet (as I do), and frequently helps around the house by doing things like fixing my furnace, watching my daughter while I grocery shop, or making breakfast. In return, I love the shit out of him. I make dinner for him as much as possible, pay when I can (usually if we go out for lunch), leave him love notes when we’re at his house, help at his house when I can (usually with cleaning and gardening), handling things like baby gifts for his friends, and generally being as appreciative as possible. I know he’s amazing to me and I want him to know that!
    I’m not saying I’m perfect: sometimes I’m grouchy after a bad day and sometimes I don’t want to cook dinner, etc. Everyone has their bad days and no relationship is perfect. But the point is, I’m appreciative of him and there are plenty of other women (single mothers or not) out there who will appreciate all that you do and be an equal partner to you. Time to MOA. This has nothing to do with her religion and everything to do with the fact that she sounds pretty awful.

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    • findingtheearth May 15, 2014, 10:48 am

      I am a single mom too. I have not dated since becoming a parent, but believe I would not require anyone to pay anything for me, unless they wanted too. If they want to help with my life, I will more than make up for it.

      I agree that the LW found a bad egg. They happen. I really dislike the woman’s martyr approach in regards to being a single parent. But he has accepted this behavior from the start and made the excuses for her behavior and justified it. I am sure he felt he was “saving” her in the beginning, and now it is just getting old.

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  • Addie Pray May 15, 2014, 9:43 am

    Also, I saved the deleted thread this morning just moments before Wendy deleted it… I can read all the confessions, mwahahahahahaha….

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    • Addie Pray May 15, 2014, 10:01 am

      Not cool.
      Epic eye roll.
      No. She. Didn’t!
      Holy Shit Balls!

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  • thatgirl May 15, 2014, 9:47 am

    Dear LW, Can I get your number?
    Sincerely, Dang, I could show some appretiation for that kind of treatment.

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  • honeybeenicki May 15, 2014, 9:51 am

    This woman sounds horrible. And she told you that you’re less of a man than her ex-husband. If that’s true… why is she with you? Oh yeah, because you’re a doormat and she likes the control. You need to get out of this now while you still can. And ignore those “life coaches” or whatever they are. It’s not culture. She just sucks.

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  • Tax Geek May 15, 2014, 10:01 am

    >that I’m less of a man than her ex-husband

    I know when people are angry they say mean things they later regret. But I think if I heard those words it would be time to go.

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    • Addie Pray May 15, 2014, 10:03 am

      Yeah, I think when people say cruel things in tough moments, it really shows their true character, and considering life is always full of ups and downs, you can expect more cruel comments for every down. Not cool.

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      • DesiDad May 15, 2014, 1:33 pm

        But wait, everybody, she is really “a wonderful woman!” It says so right on the first line by LW.
        (Unless Wendy has edited stuff out and replaced it with that phrase!)

      • AmyP May 15, 2014, 1:49 pm

        I take “wonderful woman” to mean she’s hot and she’s not a terrible mother.

  • Laura Hope May 15, 2014, 10:02 am

    Great responses from everyone (especially Wendy)! And if I may add, if someone’s mistreating you, it’s best to look inward at why you’re allowing it. Unless, of course, they’re Jewish. (Sarcasm).

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  • bethany May 15, 2014, 10:02 am

    WWS, especially this:
    “The thing is, you can’t even really be that mad at your girlfriend. She hasn’t been stringing you along. It sounds like she’s been clear from the beginning about who she is and what she wants. She wants a man who will make all the sacrifices and expect nothing from her in return. Frankly, she sounds awful. And you can’t build a future with awful. I mean, you can… but it will be awful.”
    LW, why have you allowed all this to go on for so long? You guys need to break up, and you need to take some serious time and think about why you were settling for such a crappy relationship. Also, even if it were a healthy, good relationship, it still wouldn’t work out in the long run, because neither of you is willing to more for the other. So just MOA.

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  • lets_be_honest May 15, 2014, 10:04 am

    Everyone else will cover that you should just MOA for many reason and talk about why this woman sucks. I don’t disagree.
    However, I don’t think she sucks for not wanting to move because of having to make her kids change schools. I wouldn’t either! I also wouldn’t move to have a long commute. Both those things suck. Why should she have to move but you don’t? You want to propose to someone who doesn’t want to/can’t live near you and you continue to ignore the fact that she told you she’s not relocating! Your answer to that is “find a house.” ???
    Then, you say, you’ve told her to do all these things (plan vacation, find a house, support your relationship financially), and she hasn’t. Does she want a vacation (probably haha) or different house (NO)? Can she afford it? Why is it on her to do these things? I mean, you planned a vacation (that you couldn’t afford, but I guess expected her to offer to pay for?) so why would she if you already planned it. You can’t even afford this trip, but booked it. Did you ask her prior to booking to pay half? Did you just give her the trip as a gift but secretly expected her to offer to pay half? She told you she doesn’t want to move, so you ignore her and tell her to find a house? I don’t get it. Have you asked her to pay for dinner? Has she refused? Can she not afford it? Why do you continue going out to dinner if you resent her for not paying?
    If you have an expectation, let it be known.
    Also, in the future, don’t date women you pity.

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    • lets_be_honest May 15, 2014, 10:16 am

      This got long. What I’m saying is you want her to compromise with the move…by you not compromising and her agreeing to move where you want. I think in future relationships, you need to understand what real compromise is, when its possible and also to not pay for things under the guise of being nice while secretly expecting she just split the cost of things.

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    • LlamaPajamas May 15, 2014, 10:17 am

      I think she sounds awful but I actually don’t fault her for not wanting to move out of her kids’ school district. And I wouldn’t want an hour and a half commute to work each day, so it sounds like their relationship might stall just because of geography. Or maybe he’ll decide that Jewish single moms need the extra help he’s so eager to provide and he’ll suck it up and buy a house in her area.

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    • gigi May 15, 2014, 11:04 am

      Yup – I agree here. She sounds pretty selfish, but mistakes have been made on both sides. I also won’t move my kids out of their school district. So my BF & I live separately. It’s not uncommon when your kids are your top priority, as they should be. She doesn’t sound like she appreciates you, but you also sound very passive-aggressive about who pays for what, & who travels the farthest for dates. Are you secretly setting up these “tests” for her? You don’t seem to have communicated your needs or expectations very clearly…..

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    • Lindsay May 15, 2014, 12:26 pm

      I was thinking the same thing about the move. Anybody else find it odd that he is basing all his other life decisions around the idea that he has to stay at that one company for the next 17 years? Maybe I’m too much of a millennial.

      Aside from how the gf is acting, if she won’t move and he won’t move, resolutely, then there’s no reason for this to go on…

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      • Lindsay May 15, 2014, 1:35 pm

        I didn’t say it was bad. I just thought it was odd. Something I’m not used to seeing. Is that really worth a thumbs-down?

      • lemongrass May 15, 2014, 3:06 pm

        My husband intends to stay at his job until he retires so no, I won’t move cities for at least 27 more years.

    • csp May 15, 2014, 1:33 pm

      I totally agree with this. She isn’t ready to uproot her kids and make them lose all their friends for your commute.

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    • Eve May 16, 2014, 9:25 am

      Thanks for giving a different perspective on this and you are so right!
      To the author, you can’t expect people to be able to read your mind. I know people who don’t require anyone to even hint at them to pay half of the bill or to return a favour or to cook dinner etc (I’m one of them), but I also know people, like my childhood best friend, to whom you have to bluntly just say what you require from them. Knowing this about my best friend, when we are going out and about, I make sure to make it clear “So we split the bill half, yes?”, “So how are you paying for your room in the hotel?”, “But don’t forget to give this back to me, I need it” because I know that otherwise she just wouldn’t do any of this. While you, you organise a trip for both of you which she may have considered to be a gift from you, while you were just waiting around for her to go like “Oooooh, I get it, I should offer to pay half”. Yes, to many people this IS the decent thing to do, no doubt, but some people just need a big fat nudge. Since you’ve known your girlfriend for such a long time, you should know that she’s one of those people. You want something, you say it. Planning a trip you can’t afford without discussing the cost with her is ridiculous. Taking her out every single week and being annoyed that she isn’t paying is also stupid – just tell her – next time you’ll pay the bill, okay? (or you just stop taking her out, duh) It may be a bit awkward to start with, but she may be used to men paying and doing everything for her (which is wrong, but hey, people have had different experiences in life which have shaped them to who they are, unfortunately). Well how are you making sure that she knows this is not how you function?! Are you expecting her to read your mind somehow? Tell her that you’ll appreciate her to make you dinner. It just seem like one of those man who seem absolutely lovely on the outside, always smiling and being the perfect boyfriend/husband, while at the same time they hold lots of resentment about all these things without even addressing them, because they just want to be nice and that’s it, while at the same time expecting someone else to read their thoughts and do the right thing.
      Basically, as I said in my other post, grow some balls and start saying what you want and expect.

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  • Essie May 15, 2014, 10:15 am

    LW, I grew up in a community that was home to many, many Jewish people. Have lots of Jewish friends. What your life coaches told you is a crock. It’s not ‘Jewish culture’ that the man provides for the woman. At all.

    What’s going on here is that you’re dating an astoundingly selfish woman. This nonsense about ‘the man is the one who is supposed to sacrifice for the woman…’ Huh? Why? Partners are supposed to take care of each other. You’ve been more than generous, and have sacrificed plenty for her. And it’s still not enough. You know what? It’s never going to be enough. No matter what you do. Marry her, and you’re going to spend the rest of your life in futile attempts to make her happy. Please don’t.

    She doesn’t want a husband, she wants a servant. She should hire one, instead of taking advantage of a thoughtful, considerate man like yourself.

    And for pete’s sake, you stayed after she said “you’re not as much of a man as my husband?” WHY?

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  • ktfran May 15, 2014, 10:23 am

    Dump the girlfriend. Find new “life coaches”, or better yet, find a good therapist. Be alone for a while. Maybe buy a dog or cat or something?
    “Anyway, I think I’m trying to talk myself into believing that this relationship has run its course. I mean, I’m willing to compromise more”
    I’m not really sure what more you can compromise. Seriously. Except maybe your balls. Or your entire manhood. Sorry. That was mean. But when I read that, I was like WHAT?!?!

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    • KKZ May 15, 2014, 12:21 pm

      Same here – Like, compromise requires you to *give* something and LW, you’ve already given enough, is there even anything of yourself left? If there is, you deserve to keep it, not compromise even more!

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  • lemongrass May 15, 2014, 10:35 am

    That sparkly hot pink baby-tee that had “PRINCESS” written on it in diamonds that she wore on your first date should have been a clue of what was to come.

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  • Kate B. May 15, 2014, 10:39 am

    Wendy nailed it. This woman is just awful. It has nothing to do with her being Jewish or a single mom. In fact, it sounds like she’s using that single mom thing as leverage to get you to do things. I’m sure being a single mom is tough, but there are plenty of women out there who manage to do it without manipulating everybody else in their lives. Why would you want to be with someone who says you are less of a man than her ex-husband? (Besides, if her ex-husband was so great, why is he her EX-husband?) She says you’re the most selfish person on earth? She needs to look in the mirror if she wants to put that label on someone. You sound like a caring man. You deserve better.

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    • lets_be_honest May 15, 2014, 10:41 am

      I didn’t see it so much as her using being single as leverage, but more like HE pitied her for it. He’s the one that keeps saying “but she’s a single mom, so…” He isn’t saying she’s the one saying that.

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      • LlamaPajamas May 15, 2014, 11:03 am

        LBH, I did pick up a martyr vibe on his part.

      • lets_be_honest May 15, 2014, 11:11 am

        Yea, I hesitated to say it because she doesn’t sound appreciative of what he does do, but he really didn’t sound all that great to me either. Like he was only doing nice things because he expected X in return or because he pitied her.
        Also, if you don’t feel appreciated, SAY SO! Its easy to get into a cycle of it just being the norm that your partner, say, cooks dinner every night for you and sometimes its just expected and you don’t say thank you. Its a sucky way to be, but it happens and hopefully the remedy is simply saying “hey, you’re welcome for dinner jerk!” jokingly.

      • lemongrass May 15, 2014, 11:35 am

        Yes. Mr. Grass and I do lots of things for each other automatically- I put coffee on for him in the morning, he gets my laptop cord when it runs out of juice every night, I make a smoothie for him every day, he washes E’s highchair out after dinner (because that thing is slowly driving me crazy) but we still thank each other every time and are truly grateful for what one does for the other.

      • LlamaPajamas May 15, 2014, 11:46 am

        Llama Guy and I do a lot for each other because we enjoy helping each other and it just makes our lives easier. A lot of it is just routine stuff that we’ve gotten in the habit of doing, but I try to thank him for every little thing because I want him to know that I recognize and appreciate what he does. It’s actually a tip a friend shared with me, and she got it from a John Gottman book. It felt silly at first but I’d rather be overly polite and kind than eventually start taking each other for granted.

      • Portia May 15, 2014, 12:23 pm

        I don’t know where I came across that (didn’t read John Gottman), but I started doing that too a while ago. It felt so forced at first to do it all the time. We would already thank for the bigger things, but the little things, it didn’t feel necessary. And it still doesn’t feel totally necessary for me, unless it’s just me thanking him. I also had to break him of his habit of saying “you’re welcome” after he did something for me. It was not cool.

      • Portia May 15, 2014, 12:32 pm

        And I’m going to put an Awkward. reference in here, but this is what I would see in my mind when someone gives a “you’re welcome” before someone says “thank you”: http://www.teen.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/awkward-season-3-gifs-2.gif

      • ktfran May 15, 2014, 11:17 am

        Agree with both of you. She sounds like a piece of work. But so does he. He’s allowed this situation to happen and hasn’t stuck up for himself. I think he needs to take some time and examine his own behavior, or some serious introspection if you will.

  • kerrycontrary May 15, 2014, 10:40 am

    So I agree with everyone’s advice. But I’d like to add this: STOP BUYING SHIT YOU CAN’T AFFORD. What’s with putting yourself into debt for a vacation? Don’t go on the vacation if you cannot afford it. Don’t buy a ring if you have to use your tax return to pay off debt. Like just stop, this is not a good way to live.

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    • LlamaPajamas May 15, 2014, 10:59 am

      Agreed, that made my stomach hurt. And I can see this playing out the way LBH mentioned above – maybe the girlfriend doesn’t want to eat out or take vacations because she can’t afford it or thinks it’s a waste of money, but the LW wants to so he’s left paying for it all? If I dated a guy who had more expensive taste than me I’d resent having to try to keep up. I mean, I probably couldn’t have dated a guy long-term who didn’t share my frugal values, but that’s beside the point. What I’m trying say is that I can see LBH’s point that maybe the LW is playing the martyr and thinking he’s doing so much to help out a single mom, when she maybe doesn’t want him to do any of this.

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      • LlamaPajamas May 15, 2014, 11:01 am

        I’m totally not defending her because she sounds awful, I just think the LW is going a little overboard with paying for vacations and dinners out and stuff when he doesn’t have to.

      • Sue Jones May 15, 2014, 4:13 pm

        She can at least cook him dinner once in a while! I mean, really, how much effort does that take? And I am not talking a fancy gourmet dinner, I am talking about a basic dinner. It sounds like she won’t even do that!

    • AmyP May 15, 2014, 1:52 pm

      Exactly–it may not be at all clear to her what he can and can’t afford, especially if he’s set himself up as this white knight swooping in to save her all the time.

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  • rieux May 15, 2014, 10:46 am

    Get a new girlfriend, LW!!

    But after that, get some new friends, because your current ones sound a little racist.

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  • Eve May 15, 2014, 10:54 am

    I’d say before you just throw the whole relationship completely away, first grow some balls and talk to your girlfriend – or even better show her your message on this website. People I think are capable of changing if they really really want to and it seems like you haven’t really made it clear to her that her behaviour is ridiculous and ungrateful and yes, it seems like she’s essentially using you. Sit her down and tell her all of this and it is so important to be firm – say that this is not what you’re looking for in a relationship, tell her what you expect and what you’re getting. If she actually loves you, she’ll acknowledge it and she might ask for a chance to change (in which case you obviously shouldn’t move in with her until you see she’s genuinely changed for a good few months/year at least). If she doesn’t, well, you tried and you can be sure she wasn’t the one for you. I think every person deserves one last change to change, I have seen too many people who don’t make it clear that they’re unhappy in a relationship for reasons the other person might not even be aware of, and when the final drop is reached they leave and the person doesn’t even get a chance. If you’ve already tried all this though, well, yeah, the relationship is over. Go on and be happy, life is too short to be with people who don’t appreciate you and use you!

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  • Kate B. May 15, 2014, 11:13 am

    This is to reply to LBH’s reply to my comment above: But she didn’t talk him out of it, did she? She never said, “Yeah, I’m a single mom but I don’t need your pity” did she?

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    • lets_be_honest May 15, 2014, 11:20 am

      Well maybe she just thought he was being nice? Idk, I just found it strange how he said “but she’s a single mom, so…” So what? So its your job to save her? Pay for things while resenting doing so?
      I have no clue if she’s worth defending. She could absolutely be thinking ‘this sucker, doing everything for me and paying for my dinners hahaha.’ I just don’t think he’s quite as perfect as he’d like to have us assume.

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  • applescruffs May 15, 2014, 11:30 am

    Did you know that back in the shtetl days of Europe Jewish boys AND girls were taught how to read because education for everyone has always been highly valued in our culture? And that pretty early on Israel had a female prime minister? And that two of the three current female US Supreme Court justices are Jewish? Yeah, your “life coaches” are fucking idiots.

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    • theattack May 15, 2014, 12:45 pm

      Exactly what I was thinking, apple. I always think of Jews as being MORE progressive and MORE feminist.

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      • SpaceySteph May 15, 2014, 3:23 pm

        Well, you’ve got progressive Jews and old-school Jews. Progressive liberal Jewish women have been on the forefront of women’s liberation from the start: voting, labor reform, feminism, etc.
        On the other hand, the old-school orthodox Jews are very much about traditional gender roles. But those women cook a lot.
        So either way, what the LW is describing has nothing Jewish about it. Selfish, yes. Jewish, no.

  • Kate B. May 15, 2014, 11:34 am

    There’s definitely fault on both sides, but I’m not letting her off the hook. She is taking advantage of the situation.

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    • Miss MJ May 15, 2014, 11:58 am

      Yeah. He’s an increasingly resentful and score keeping doormat and she’s a user who expects him to do things for her based on the idea that “it is the man’s job to sacrifice for the woman.” No idea which of them first brought up the “single mom needs help” angle, but, honestly, it sounds like she’s willing to run with him doing whatever she wants and buying her things because of it. Gross. And don’t even get me started on the big blow out because he she didn’t gotten the ring when she was expecting it (which she wouldn’t have even known about if her mother hadn’t spilled the beans), or about her being pissed he hasn’t proposed yet and claiming he is stringing her along when they obviously have a big conflict about where they are going to live and she’s flat out refused to move or about how it’s pretty unreasonable to call him the “most selfish person in the world” and “less of a man than her ex” over a ring and/or the fact that he doesn’t want to have to commute 1.5 hours each day to move to her town. She sounds like a spoiled brat who has resorted to nastiness and manipulation because her former doormat suddenly balked. As for him, he needs better life coaches and friends. First, “because she’s Jewish” is ridiculous and offensive and all the gross things. Second, anyone who would encourage this man to stay in this relationship is not a knowledgable and wise friend one should turn to for advice.

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    • ktfran May 15, 2014, 12:00 pm

      Oh, she’s a total jerk face. But I also think he’s a total doormat who is willingly going into debt.

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  • AKchic May 15, 2014, 12:05 pm

    I’ve been a single mom. No way was I looking for a man to cater to my every whim and support me. I wanted a partner, not a sugar daddy.

    She isn’t meeting you anywhere close to half-way in this relationship. Stop caving in and MOA. You can find someone better.

    Oh, and the Jewish thing doesn’t wash. Not all Jewish women think that way. Hell, there are women from every faith that have that mindset, but it’s not the right one. Fairy tale relationships are just that – fairy tales.

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  • KKZ May 15, 2014, 12:09 pm

    Haven’t read all the other comments yet because I saw this and had to stop and breathe…
    “She has expressed to me that a man is the one who should sacrifice for the woman”

    That is a big basket of NOPE.
    LW, the only thing I can fault you for is trying to rescue her. The “poor single mother needs help” mentality is how you got yourself dug so far into this hole. Yes, it’s great to be supportive of a partner, but there’s a point where it goes from being her rock, to being her indentured servant. And some people, like your girlfriend, will take advantage of that.
    So beyond the advice to let this relationship die already, the other thing I’d advise you is, if you’re this close to retirement, STOP SPENDING BEYOND YOUR MEANS. No vacation is worth it, no woman is worth it. Get a grip on your budget before you start dating again. Because it looks like you are voluntarily putting yourself in debt for spurious reasons. I’m sorry to shout at you but this is the second letter this week where I’m advising someone to put a cap on what they spend on their partners.

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    • KKZ May 15, 2014, 12:26 pm

      It’s very very rare that I post without reading everyone else first… and now I feel so validated because I agree with everyone who said WTF to the man-sacrificing-for-woman thing, with kerrycontrary on the stop-putting-yourself-in-debt thing, and lbh on the stop-pitying-the-mom thing. I am part of the groupthink!!! 🙂

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  • Lindsay May 15, 2014, 12:12 pm

    “I just want to ignore it because I hate to stereotype anyone, but it just seems like a logical explanation.”

    If you actually hated to stereotype anyone (and presumably had an intelligent basis for that), then this wouldn’t seem like a logical explanation to you. Teensy bit of a chance you already had that opinion about her as a Jew? Hmm?

    Anyway, sounds like you’re not enjoying the relationship, so ending it might be best. Anything but knowing you think she’s awful and yet still planning to propose…

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  • SpaceySteph May 15, 2014, 12:41 pm

    Wow. As a Jewish woman who also a house and a car that I pay for with my own damn job, I’m pretty offended by the so-called life coaches (actual racist assholes) and a little bit by the LW himself for considering their bullshit as if it is in any way logical.

    For the record there are high maintenance bitches of every race, religion, and gender. That’s right, I said it. Your girlfriend sucks because she sucks. Not because she’s Jewish.

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    • SpaceySteph May 15, 2014, 12:52 pm

      As always I’m blown away by how the letter says “wonderful woman” and then proceeds to describe a high maintenance, ungrateful woman instead. When you get to the end of writing this, haven’t you answered your own question. MOA.

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  • theattack May 15, 2014, 12:50 pm

    I think everyone else has already covered this well, so I’m just going to say:
    1. Don’t move for her if you’re not super into the idea. But you also can’t be mad at her for not moving for you. And if there’s not an endpoint to the distance, maybe that’s a nice and convenient way to end this relationship.
    2. If you don’t like the way she treats you, end the relationship.
    3. If you don’t like the way she demands things from you, end the relationship.
    4. If you’re not happy, end the relationship.
    5. Make a choice to be happy, and exclude the things that don’t fit into that picture.

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  • Sue Jones May 15, 2014, 1:15 pm

    Non-princessy Jewish woman here! Not all Jewish women are little princesses wanting to have everything done for them while they sit around and do their nails. Not me, anyway. But sadly, I met plenty of girls like this when I was in college. So there are still some pampered princesses out there, raised by mothers who are pampered princesses themselves… I wouldn’t marry her. In general, she sounds like poor WIFE material no matter what her background is. MOA and lets hope that her daughters don’t grow up to become the same. Find a woman who is more giving. Or if you don’t want to MOA, date her but sure as hell don’t marry her and keep things status quo if you are happy with things as they are. Frankly, I cannot stand girls/women like this. The ones I met in college made my stomach turn!

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    • SpaceySteph May 15, 2014, 1:58 pm

      I think you’re saying the same thing as the LW, regarding the stereotype. Are there Jews like that? Yes. Are there non-Jews like that? Yes, also. There’s nothing about being Jewish that makes the LW’s gf or anyone else behave this way. It’s not a Jewish thing.

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      • Sue Jones May 15, 2014, 2:15 pm

        That is true. It has nothing to do with the religion. I did run across a lot of girls from Long Island in college who wore entirely too much makeup, wore only designer jeans, spoke with that awful Long Island accent, were spoiled and whiney and entitled and never cooked. So maybe this was just a Long Island thing and it was a culture that was completely alein to me and I could barely stomach it. These girls were walking caricatures. So I hung out with the hippies instead. And, as it turned out, the hippies from Long Island were just the other side of the same coin, actually….

      • iseeshiny May 15, 2014, 2:20 pm

        Can we please just stop stereotyping people based on their race, ethnicity, religion, or borough? Is that too much to ask? Jeez, Sue.

      • Sue Jones May 15, 2014, 2:29 pm

        iseeshiny I knew you would jump in! I was waiting for you! 😉

      • LlamaPajamas May 15, 2014, 2:31 pm

        Seriously. I thought Wendy took care of the whole stereotype thing in her response.

      • Sue Jones May 15, 2014, 3:26 pm

        Well, Gilda Radnor from SNL (another Jewish woman) at least had a sense of humor about the whole thing.

      • Lily in NYC May 16, 2014, 12:46 pm

        So it’s our fault for not having a sense of humor about your incredibly rude stereotyping? What is wrong with you?

      • Portia May 15, 2014, 5:33 pm

        Yes, thank you iseeshiny. It’s so tiring saying that you’re not one of “those girls” or whatever. No matter who it is.

      • Lily in NYC May 16, 2014, 12:42 pm

        Uh, this Long Island girl thinks you are just as bad as LW’s life coaches. I didn’t have ONE friend growing up that was anything like you mention. WTF.

  • karen May 15, 2014, 3:12 pm

    What does LW stand for?

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    • Lyra May 15, 2014, 4:50 pm

      Letter writer.

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  • DesiDad May 15, 2014, 3:22 pm

    IRL, I get to play part-time “life coach” a lot to people who have lots of questions. Perhaps it is my white hair or my slightly nosey mentality. Perhaps it is just my tendency to follow the adage “If you want to be interesting, be interested.” But people tell me a lot of their problems and seem to want suggestions. This story seemed apropos to LW’s situation.

    A younger friend of mine had a similar complaint. He was dating a girl he liked but she never offered to pay for anything. He took her to nice restaurants and outings but grumbled that it was getting expensive. He was on the verge of breaking it off after 4-5 months! My advice to him was to talk about it with her. I asked him why he did not clearly tell her that he would appreciate her sharing in the expense. Instead of paying for everything and grumbling about it, why not decide what makes him comfortable (re. the sharing of expenses) and then plan things together?

    We did not talk in detail about his actual solution, but now, 5 years later, I see he is married to her and they have a baby. I like to think my advice worked! 🙂

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    • Portia May 15, 2014, 5:38 pm

      DesiDad, that was great advice you gave that guy. It’s so easy for people to fall into patterns of any sort and then get frustrated about them without talking to their partner – I think we’re all guilty of this at some point. Well done on you for pointing it out to that guy.

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  • Bittergaymark May 15, 2014, 4:32 pm

    I’d dump here. And say — “newsflash. i was going to propose, but your bratty behavior changed my mind. Thanks! I feel i dodged a bullet here. Good luck reconciling with your fabulous ex that dumped you! Adios!”

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  • Lyra May 15, 2014, 5:01 pm

    Wow. LW I feel really bad for you having to deal with this. I mean this in the nicest possible way, please raise your standards. This isn’t normal boyfriend/girlfriend behavior and I hope you realize that.

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