Your Turn: “He Wants to Get Married Because He Needs a Place to Stay”

In a feature I call “Your Turn,” in which you, the readers, get to answer the question, I’m presenting the following letter without commentary from me:

My boyfriend of almost four years, “Joe,” has still no stable job, no car, no apartment, no college degree, no health benefits or retirement plans. He is 34 and rents a room in an elderly lady’s home. This has been his story since he finished his military career. At one point he claimed to be financially stable, but then the market crashed and he lost everything after 9/11. I feel like by now he should be better off.

We met online when he lived in NYC and I in NJ. I decided to move to FL temporarily to help out my mother who has a medical condition. I broke up with Joe before I left, but due to unfavorable circumstances with pet boarding on the airline, I needed a second passenger, so I brought him along on the condition that only if and when he found a job would we try dating again.

I feel like he took advantage of me while he was living with my mother. I caught him cheating on Facebook as well. I gave him an ultimatum but he ignored me, and, when the time, came I kicked him out. I dropped him off at a family member’s house in FL. Then, I made an effort to move on with my life. For the next eight months he tried to woo me again. When I realized he was working and his job gave him a rental, I thought things would be better.

Turns out that his contract will be over soon and he will be unemployed again. He wants to convert to my religion and move in as soon as possible. I feel like he is rushing into marriage because he hates his roommate and he wants me to be his safety blanket. I have a great job with benefits; I’m working on a college degree, have a car that is paid off, an apartment, savings and retirement plans and I just turned 27. I live in a luxury apartment because I can afford it. I work hard and get things done.

He cannot offer financial stability or a comfortable lifestyle like I can, but he can offer emotional support, some money with side jobs, great sex, and good company. Am I wrong for wanting him to at least be at my level (financially) though before we get married? I’m worried that, if I marry him, I will end up being the sole provider. He says my expectations are too unreasonable, especially when he’s about to lose his job and needs a place to stay.

Is it possible he’s just really damaged from war duty and needs an extra push back into civilian life? Should I marry him and and move him in right away while he goes to school and finds a job? — Luxury Living


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


  1. kerrycontrary says:

    Oh my god are you seriously considering marrying this guy? He’s a bum. Plain and simple. If you marry him (and please don’t) he will continue to mooch of off you. And I can predict that if you two had kids, you would end up being the sole provider and the primary caregiver because he sounds fucking lazy. Whatever potential he once had is long gone, and in fact you’ve never even seen it while you’ve been dating him. The military excuses from him are total bullshit (my boyfriend is in the military and so is my sister, along with numerous other relatives). Break up with him again, stop seeing him, and AIM HIGHER next time.

    I hope to god you aren’t this desperate to be with someone because you are 27 and you think you need to get married soon. You have so much going for you, don’t waste it on this guy. There are way better men out there for you.

  2. This guy isn’t a bf, he’s human leech and a cheating leech at that. You’ve MOAed, now don’t look back or speculate on how he might have improved or how he might be changing.

    1. lets_be_honest says:

      She never MOAd. It sounds like they stayed in contact the entire 8 months they were broken up.

      1. Yes, but hey were no longer dating or ‘together’. That’s why I say she couldn’t stop looking back. Through all this separation time, he was an ex, not a SO.

  3. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

    I only made it half way through the second paragraph. WTF is wrong with you woman? Seriously? FFS.


    1. kerrycontrary says:

      What I can’t understand about these LWs is the majority of them aren’t describing their shit boyfriend and then saying “should I break up with him?”, they ask if they should marry him! That’s like the exact opposite of what you should be thinking.

      1. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Here’s a list of all the shitty stuff about my partner…but we have good sex and he’s nice company, should we marry? Fuck No.

        OMG I can’t handle the stupidity.

      2. I can’t handle the ridiculously low standards… how does someone with a job, life, career and housing think this is ok? FFS indeed!

      3. But he needs a place to live! I can’t let him be homeless.

      4. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Ha, yes. Yes you can. He’s a grown man, he needs to figure his own shit out, including how to provide his own housing.

      5. What if I just let him sleep on the couch? For a week? That’ll give him enough time to find a place, right?

      6. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Hahaha. Isn’t that what’s been going on for FOUR YEARS? A pity party?

      7. I think this is like the time I let my brother use my garage to store his tool box while he was between moves. “Only for a week” he said. I finally made him haul it away when I was moving out of the place 1.5 years later.

        Of course, this is my brother and a tool box, not a significant other and marriage.

      8. Here I thought you were drawing a comparison between the LW’s bf and a toolbox 🙂

  4. LW, it does sound like he is turning things around but under no circumstances are you to let him rush you into marriage. Slow things down and see what his next steps are.

    1. One other thought. When you find “the one” your relationship is just easy. Everything is calm and makes sense. That is what you should look for. This much drama so early does not bode well because let me tell you, life gets HARD. You will experience death of loved ones, heartache, significant illness, challenges that you didn’t even imagine and your spouse should be the one who helps and a place you can count on. you don’t count on him or trust him now. What will you do when the floor really falls out?

  5. Regina Chapman says:

    “I feel like he is rushing into marriage because he hates his roommate and he wants me to be his safety blanket.”

    If you KNOW you’re just his safety blanket – and you clearly are – then why are you even asking this question? WHAT WOMAN VOLUNTARILY SETTLES FOR BEING A SAFETY BLANKET?

    If you’re going to be fabric, at least be something adventurous like underwear. Being spandex could be awesome. But I digress. Do not marry this man. Do not become a blanket. End of message.

    1. Right?? Like, that’s a pretty clear line of logic— sooo she’s probably accurate in thinking it? LW, he hates his roommate & wants you to be his safety blanket, okay? Like, you’re right about that, I’m sure. So please decide whether or not that’s alright with you.

    2. An extremely desperate woman who doubts her ability to ever find another guy, that’s who. Or the type who see it as their responsibility from God to make whatever relationship they are in work, no matter how impossible an effort it takes and how much their life is diminished in doing so. She once loved him, she had sex with him, now she feels he is her responsibility for the rest of his life.

      1. Regina Chapman says:

        ‘Desperate to be a blanket at 27.’

        C’mon…who wants that tagline? If she was 37 and desperate to have children or something, I could understand this line of reasoning (even if I didn’t agree). But now?

        Then again – as Skyblossom pointed out, maybe she needs the relationship so her dogs can always fly in the cabin of the plane. That makes sense.

  6. sarolabelle says:

    how did you get this far with him?

    First date:

    Me: So what do you do for a living?
    Guy: Well I don’t do anything but live off of the government unemployment and VA benefits because I don’t know what to do with life
    Me: Okay…
    …two hours later
    Me: Well thanks I had a good time but I do not see this going further. Good luck.


  7. I can’t really follow this— are you still in FL? is he? You were both living at your mother’s in FL, then you dropped him off at a family member’s, & now you’re living in a luxury apartment, where? Back in NJ? While he’s in FL? Because if that’s the case, just leave him there (in other words, don’t move him in with you).

    I’m not even gonna touch the financial shit— he’s obviously unstable in regard to that (& sure, he could still be having trouble adjusting to civilian life). But… does that matter when you’re clearly unhappy? & he’s not meeting your needs? I mean, you already tried to break up with him once…why is your question now, “should I marry him?”

    1. (Also, as a side note, I know this is unlikely, but since this LW is basically my same age & from NJ, I’m wondering if I know her…)

    2. I can’t follow the reason he went to Florida. She needed a second passenger because of her pet boarding situation? Huh??? Why couldn’t the second passenger be her pet? I’m so confused.

      1. Yeah, that confused me, too.

      2. Yeah, I also did not understand that at all. It seems like she’s trying to connect two things—“unfavorable pet boarding situation” , “needing—” (what does that mean?) “—a second passenger”, when they don’t actually connect at all.

      3. The pet is an excuse for her neediness to have this loser with her.

      4. Skyblossom says:

        I think she wanted two dogs in the cabin and each passenger may only have one dog in the cabin. So, she got back together with him so that he would have a seat on the airplane so that two dogs could fly in the cabin and no dog flew in the cargo hold. She got back together with him and has continued a relationship with him so that her dog could ride in an airline cabin rather than a cargo hold. Seems like a perfect reason to spend your life with someone.

        Maybe they both use each other and both show poor judgment.

      5. “Maybe they both use each other and both show poor judgment.”

        I can totally see that, yeah… normally I don’t get the “you’re leaving out all the bad things you’ve probably done” vibe, but with this LW, I do? I think the dog thing is a peek into it. Maybe it’s a mutually soul-sucking relationship.

      6. Yeah… I get why she used him to fly her dogs down. Not sure how that became an invite for him to move into mom’s though.

      7. lets_be_honest says:

        That’s actually how Peter and I met. I needed someone to hold the baby on a plane ride, he looked like a safe enough guy when I saw him at the airport and didn’t wince even once when the baby spit up on me.

      8. Regina Chapman says:

        If that’s true, it’s adorable.

      9. lets_be_honest says:

        haha, no I was only kidding. He actually did meet his last gf on a flight to Vegas though.

      10. Oh wow, LBH, I totally assumed that was a true story (& was like, “wow, I didn’t know she was with him that long.”) Now you’re a liar on top of everything else? 😉

      11. lets_be_honest says:

        Haha, really people?! He seemed like a “safe enough” guy at an airport?!
        I’ve actually known him since I was 4 or 5, but we didn’t date til long after she was born. He did know her when she was a baby, and I have a picture of them together from then.

      12. stickelet says:

        I bet that picture is adorable!

      13. lets_be_honest says:

        I love it. He actually found it somehow and had it blown up and framed for her. Its really sweet.

      14. haha I thought maybe you were wrangling with your luggage & he was standing by you, so you asked him to hold her for a second…?? I DON’T KNOW

        But your real story is still very sweet 😀

      15. lets_be_honest says:

        Ok, yea, that would be really cute.

  8. I didn’t finish the letter. MOA. You say he was financially stable but “lost everything in 9/11”– You realize that was 12 years ago, and he would have been 22, right? How much could he have possibly lost?

    That aside, this guy is using you. He’s feeding you lines, and you’re falling for them. You should not marry this guy. You shouldn’t even date this guy.

    I seriously have no pity for people like you. You’re allowing yourself to be take advantage of, and if you marry this guy he’s going to keep on doing what he’s doing now.

    1. Avatar photo MackenzieLee says:

      That part about 9/11 really rubbed me the wrong way. He’s using a great tragedy as an excuse. Maybe he did lose close family and friends and it rocked his world, but it doesn’t sound like that

      1. Exactly. The LW phrased it like it wiped him out financially, which is pretty dumb of her to believe. At 22, how much could he really have had invested? I doubt he had a trust fund or anything like that. Even if he did, a huge part of that should have been invested in something more stable than stocks anyway.

      2. Or you leave it in the market for the rebound. It’s not like a 22 year old had to cash out his investments for retirement. Something is off about that whole excuse.

      3. the stock market tanked right after 9/11- that almost always happens, no matter the country, after a huge disaster like that. he was not “using” 9/11 at all- thats just simply fact.

        “but then the market crashed and he lost everything after 9/11” – not IN 9/11, like bethany said.

      4. lets_be_honest says:

        Using it as a reason to be broke and unemployed for over a decade is “using 9/11.”

      5. by that logic, he could claim almost anything related- hes broke because of muslim extremism, he’s broke because of bush, hes broke because of the tsa, hes broke because of pakistan- i dunno, there were like a gazillion things pointed to that were the cause of 9/11.

        he is broke because his portfolio was lost in a market crash. THAT is his excuse. he isnt “using 9/11” for anything. he is not using a tragedy as an excuse, that is simply a marker for a date and/or reason that the stock market crashed.

      6. lets_be_honest says:

        I disagree.

      7. you really dont know that giving us the specific event is a cultural, economic and historical context detail? well, thats what it is. it let us infer things and gives us context. most people will read that and think “oh, right, i remember when 9/11 happened and all the markets tanked in the next few days. i bet a lot of people lost money in that, how terrible”. if you dont know what 9/11 is and how it effected economies, then you can google it because you have a cultural context detail to run with.

  9. Even if he had PTSD from his military service, it’s not your job to deal with it. You’re only his girlfriend. And you’ve been an on-off girlfriend for years. Dealing with PTSD is major, major shit, and it’s not something to embark upon lightly. Much of the time it’s even really hard for spouses to deal with.

    And I don’t think it’s PTSD, from what you write. It just sounds like he’s a lazy dude. FFS, he’s 34 and renting a room. He’s certainly not going to provide for you or help provide for your family.

    You wrote this: “He cannot offer financial stability or a comfortable lifestyle like I can, but he can offer emotional support, some money with side jobs, great sex, and good company.” First of all, it sounds like he’s not even very good at emotional support, if you’ve broken up before. And it also sounds like financial stability is really important to you. He’s not going to give you what you need in this relationship. Dump him and MOA.

  10. Avatar photo theattack says:

    Maybe he’ll get his act together, but do NOT legally entangle yourself in his mess until last past the time he’s finally dug his way out of it.

  11. “… Then the market crashed and he lost everything after 9/11”


    The market didn’t “crash” after sept 11th, it was closed for a week but the DOW had largely rebounded within a month or two.

    Also he was what 21 at the time? How much did he really have to lose?

    Umm yeah this explanation of his for being financially destitute makes about ZERO sense to me…. much like your reasoning for wanting to date him.

    1. Exactly… and to be honest. I couldn’t really get past “My boyfriend of almost four years, “Joe,” has still no stable job, no car, no apartment, no college degree, no health benefits or retirement plans. He is 34 and rents a room in an elderly lady’s home. This has been his story since he finished his military career. At one point he claimed to be financially stable, but then the market crashed and he lost everything after 9/11. I feel like by now he should be better off. i went cross eyed at this point…. i don’t understand. Maybe it’s just a FL thing..

      1. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Nope. Not a FL thing. At least in my experience. I live in FL and couldn’t make it past the first sentence of the second paragraph.

      2. I don’t know where to include this, or if it’s relevant (it’s not, really) so I’ll just put it here, since we’re talking about “Florida things”—there ~is~ a mindset where I live that those who go from NJ to FL have prrrobably failed at life in some way? (which isn’t anything against Floridians!! it just seems like the very specific go-to move, for people in NJ whose lives have gone… awry) So that’s where my mind went with this LW, unfortunately.

      3. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        She did say she moved for her ailing mother, and like 75% of the state is retirees. But who knows. A train wreck is a train wreck no matter the state.

      4. Oh no, definitely. it was just an odd letter for me to read, trying to sift through all the issues present in it, as well as my preconceived notions. When I got to the ailing mother part, I was like, “oh, okay” but reading the words up until that had my mind going to other things.

      5. I thought everyone moved from NJ to FL to avoid property taxes? That’s most folks I know… snow birds who actually live in NJ the majority of the time but game the system… but maybe that only counts after a certain age and level of function 🙂

    2. Bittergaymark says:

      What!? The guys line is TOTAL bullshit, but ghe economy DID massively tank in the wake if 911. EVERYTHING went to hell…

  12. “He says my expectations are too unreasonable, especially when he’s about to lose his job and needs a place to stay.”

    That line should tell you everything you need to know. If you believe that you are being unreasonable by asking this man to get a job (which you aren’t, and you know you aren’t) then by all means, get hitched to this guy. But if you want something better for yourself – say an adult male who can actually take care of himself – then let him go for real this time, and stop talking to him. He’s using you, and you’re letting him.

  13. it’s amazing what we’ll put up with for good dick.

    It’s ok LW, I’ve done it too. No judging. The cure for this btw is to get out there and get laid proper by SOMEONE ELSE. Trust me. As soon as you see he’s not the Goof with the Golden Penis but just a goof… you’ll be over him.

    FTR Nothing wrong imho with a man being the less financially savvy of the pair but he needs to bring something to the table besides a big dick and a good smile. He should be cleaning your home, and your mother’s, doing errands, walking the dog, and should absolutely not be cheating. Also, laundry. Your laundry should be washed properly, folded, and preferably put away each day. Also cooking. You should only be marginally helping with these tasks out of the goodness of your heart. Now that would be okay. But that’s not what’s up. So, MOA.

    1. starpattern says:

      Your last paragraph cracked me up! I agree though – I’m not sure what LWs mean when they say they want a financial equal. What you should look for is a man who pulls his weight. Over a life time you will likely swap “breadwinner” roles multiple times if both of you are working, but even if the man makes much less money… he should at least be motivated and able to take care of himself.

      1. Breezy’s last paragraph was absolutely spot-on, and so was starpattern’s comment about swapping breadwinner roles.

        My dad was in construction, so there were always periods of time when he was between jobs,. Mom was a teacher, so she was home all summer. When dad wasn’t on a job, he would do EVERYTHING at home so mom didn’t have to deal with it when she came home from work. Laundry, cleaning, shopping, you name it. He wasn’t much for cooking, but he’d wash the dishes every single night. When mom was home in the summer, she did the shopping, cleaning, laundry, etc. If they were both working at the same time, they’d split the chores.

        It wasn’t anything they planned or discussed, it just happened that way because they love each other and wanted to help. That’s how two people in a relationship are supposed to take care of each other.

        LW, since your BF isn’t contributing financially, is he contributing in any other way? While your mom was kind enough to let him stay at her place, was he mowing the lawn? Running errands? Washing the dishes? Helping with laundry? Or was he too busy looking for hookups on FB?

        Kind, supportive, helpful, thoughtful guys are keepers, no matter how much money they make. I don’t see any sign of that in your letter.

        Look, it’s your life. If you want to pay this guy’s living expenses in return for sex and companionship, that’s your business. God knows, men have been doing that for women for centuries. But why on earth would you marry him?

    2. Best opening sentence EVER.

    3. I love everything about this.

  14. Um… delurking to say that you seem to think you’re somehow a better person than he is because you have a job and … a luxury apartment?? Like, good for you and everything, but here’s how I see it. He’s using you for stability (that does seem like a reasonable inference) and cheating on you. Gross, right? I agree. But you: You dumped him, then used him to get your pets across the country while stringing him along with vague promises about dating later if he had more money; you dumped him supposedly for cheating but took him back once he had a job; now you’re dating him for companionship and great sex while secretly feeling contempt for him because of his financial situation (and seriously, what kind of person is more worried about her war-vet boyfriend’s lack of health insurance than the fact that he, you know, cheats on her??).

    I think cheating is one of the worst things a person can do, but frankly, from the sheer amount of times in this letter that you seem to conflate a person’s financial net worth with their personal worth, you have problems way worse than this one man. It’s wrong to seriously date someone that you don’t respect; it’s damaging to them, and I’m certain it’s also damaging to you. You’ll become sour, bitter, and mean if you haven’t already. So ditch the guy, and don’t let yourself fall into the comfortable belief that you were blameless and he messed everything up by having the gall to be poor.

    1. Yep. Is she with this guy so she can feel superior or what?

    2. Guy Friday says:

      Absolutely. People got caught up in the details of the letter — and rightfully so, because I can’t think of a justifiable reason she should stay with this guy — but the LW’s question was:

      Am I wrong for wanting him to at least be at my level (financially) though before we get married?

      And the answer, at least in the situation you’re describing, LW, is yes. Absolutely 100% yes, for the reasons rieux stated above. I understand a lot of people here disagree with me about financial equality, but the idea that a situation where one person in the relationship is the bread-winner and one isn’t (or is less so) is somehow reason not to marry someone is absolutely ridiculous. By that logic, if your spouse lost his job and struggled to find another one, does that mean you should divorce them? I mean, things happen; people lose their jobs or get pay cuts or have to stay home to raise kids or all of the above.

      Put it this way: if your boyfriend started making the same amount of money as you, and then YOU lost your job, how would you feel if he said “Well, you’re not on my level financially, so I’m dumping you?” Wouldn’t you be pissed? Wouldn’t it suck? So why would you do that to him? Yes, he hasn’t been on your level for a while, and his semi-lack of motivation is reason enough to walk away, along with all the other things. But that’s not what you asked; you asked if you should marry him even if he’s not on your financial level. And honestly, there’s more to life than money, and you should learn that now.

      1. I disagree. It absolutely is not wrong to want to marry someone who can be your financial equal. If that’s the only reason you’re marrying them, then you’ve got a priority problem, but not wanting to be the person who supports someone forever isn’t some terrible thing, whether you are male of female. Yes, life happens, and that’s why you should look for more than financial equality when looking for a partner – that financial equality might not always be there, and for your marriage to work, there had better be more there than that. But, if you don’t want to be the sole breadwinner, then you shouldn’t marry someone whose foreseeable situation is that you’re going be the sole breadwinner.

        So, I think the actual question is “I don’t want to be the sole provider for myself and my husband. Am I wrong for wanting him to at least be at my level (financially) before we get married when there is absolutely no indication that he will ever be able to do that?” And the answer is “No, you’re not wrong for wanting a partner to be compatible with what you want in a partner before you get married.” Same as if the question were “I don’t want to be cheated on in my marriage. Am I wrong for wanting my constantly cheating boyfriend to establish that he can be monogamous with me before we get married?” Or “I want to have many children when I get married. Am I wrong for wanting my on-the-fence or anti-child boyfriend to be on the same page as me before we get married?” A deal breaker is a deal breaker and you shouldn’t marry anyone when you know they have a quality that is as deal breaker going in. Love doesn’t conquer all.

      2. Avatar photo theattack says:

        Agreed. Big difference between a person who hasn’t been financially stable for a decade and someone who’s going through a rough patch. One will place you as the sole breadwinner for the rest of your life, and the other is only for a little while. One is dependency, and the other is the ebb and flow of support in a relationship.

      3. And the answer is “No, you’re not wrong for wanting a partner to be compatible with what you want in a partner before you get married.”

        Of course, people can want what they want. And she clearly doesn’t want him and frankly she’s doing him a disservice by staying when she feels this way about him. But if I were her mother or her older sister, I would say she might be missing the picture of what money even is in someone’s life. It should be something that helps you achieve your other goals — health, happiness, love, shelter, comfort, children, travel, whatever. And if someone has such different goals for you that they’ll hold you back, or has character flaws (stress on character!) that make them a bad partner, maybe they are wrong for you. But your salary is not a number that tells you how good a person you are, or that tells you how happy you are, and she honestly sounds like she’s lost track of that.

        But maybe she’s just angry that her boyfriend is a cheating jerk and she’s lashing out at his salary to relieve her feelings… so I wish my first comment had taken that possibility into account and not been so harsh.

      4. lets_be_honest says:

        Wait, do a lot of people really disagree with that?

  15. What are you talking about? What is even in the pro column with this guy? What emotional support and good company? You felt like he took advantage of you while he was living with your mother; you caught him cheating on Facebook; you gave him an ultimatum – ostensibly so he could meet your needs – and he ignored you. Do you mean something different by emotional support? What good comes from him? Money from side jobs? Seriously? Side job money is a reason to marry? And for what it is worth a side job is what you have on the side OF YOUR REAL JOB. So he’ll need one of those first. Sorry honey – there is no grey area here – your eyes are open to the type of man he is – if you decide to marry him – you have no one to blame but yourself.

    1. Yay, Firestar’s here!!

      How’s the baby??

      1. 🙂

        The baby is home! She came home on Saturday and she’s doing great…she’s looking up at me as I’m typing this (probably wondering why the LW would even think of marriage to that guy).

      2. lets_be_honest says:

        Awwww! Congrats again!

      3. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

        Congrats!! So happy you are both home and things are going well! We want to hear all about the baby!

      4. Smart mom, smart baby 🙂 Congrats! So happy she’s home with you!

      5. Congrats!!! I wish DW had onesees with “aim higher”on it for little girls… the layers of meaning are cracking me up just thinking about it 🙂

    2. lets_be_honest says:

      Welcome back!

      1. Thanks!

      1. I missed you guys too. I told the baby hi from Rainbow like she asked and my husband was trying to understand how I have a friend named Rainbow in Argentina…. 🙂

  16. Avatar photo mrmidtwenties says:

    I’m not sure what’s so complicated about this. Yeah you genuinely care for the guy, but he’s a sleazy leech who is just using you because he’s lazy prick. Do not marry this dude.

  17. I can’t even comment rationally, my eyes are still burning from reading that disaster. I think I have seen car fires on the side of the road exhibit more function.

  18. hm, wow, there are a lot of issues here.. ill try to seperate out everything..

    first off- you say ” I’m worried that, if I marry him, I will end up being the sole provider.”, but then you also say he provides “some money with side jobs”. so… sole provider is a little dramatic, maybe? i mean he obviously has the capability to get a job- he has one now, even if it is temporary (and please lets talk about the use of temp jobs and contractors and stuff overall- there are tons of them and that doesnt make them un-worthy partners). whether he is doing it just to “win” you back, maybe, we cant make that call though. so, he will be able to provide at least something in the financial sense. now, about the “sole provider” stuff- i mean you do realize that is, like, always a possibility? you could find the most financially secure guy in the world (perhaps like a guy who had great stocks/bonds/options and then the stock market crashes…. cough) and if something happens, you could find yourself as the sole provider. that is just life, its one of those things you have to be ok with. and also, i have to agree with BGM that there is an alarming trend of women wanting equality, but really meaning equality OR BETTER, and *never* meaning equality OR WORSE. i mean, we have never gotten a letter from a woman worrying that her and her partner will never be equal because she doesnt make as much as him, right? and lets be real, equality, especially in the financial sense, is just a pipe dream. you are never going to be literally, exactly equal- you just wont. as your life goes, it will ebb and flow between equality, better AND worse. as a woman, i think its sad that we cut down people (men, mostly, although i guess this cant be a practice that no lesbian has taken part in) based on numbers alone. and also, actually- what is so bad about being the sole provider, anyway? why is that a bad role? men have done it and assumingly loved it for years and years (or do they hate it? i dont know) i dont think its a bad gig. i would much rather be the sole provider (and that is a imminent possibility in my future, btw, its not so much of a hypothetical) in a wonderful, fulfilling relationship, then have a “financial equal” but an unsatisfying relationship. overall, i think its sad 1. how much we care about money in general, and then 2. how men particularly have money like weighted against them MORE. like, its even more of a dark mark if a man doesnt make “good” money, but women are never held up to that standard. i dunno, maybe this is like the new version of sexism. i just wish we could look at partners as the whole person, because we all have stuff we suck at. some people suck at making money, others suck at their sex drive, others suck at cleaning the house, ect, ect, ect. i mean i guess if money is a trait that you just hold in very high esteem, then yea, definitely leave this guy. i would say personally that your priorities are fucked up, but its your life.

    so then secondly, how do you feel like the way your are conducting yourself is a good and healthy way to have a relationship? i mean, his “woo-ing” worked? like you had no say in it? and he cheated on facebook? wtf does that even mean?? and you brought him to FL with you, and then you are confused why he wants to be with you? i mean this guy is willing to convert to your religion and he moved across the country for you- both of which we get letters from people who have big problems because their partners arent willing to do either of those. and you let him, and even helped him, with these things. if you dont want to be with him, why did you take him with you to florida?

    and then, of course, if you dont want to get married right now and feel that he is “rushing” marriage, obviously dont marry him. that is an across the board answer. all your other problems notwithstanding, if you feel rushed, dont marry. i feel like we need a nice little acronym or phrase for that or something.

    1. lets_be_honest says:

      So I love your first paragraph, and agree with so much of it, I just don’t think its even worth mentioning to *this* LW. I think she would be the sole financial provider (seeing as how he’s worked a few months out of the past 12 years), which is wonderful and great, but only wonderful and great when your partner is a provider in other ways, which this guy clearly is not.

      1. well, i mean, i dunno. they have a great sex life, he gives her emotional support, he is willing to convert to her religion, and he is willing to move wherever she needs to be, hes good company- i mean isnt all that pretty crucial to a good relationship too? i mean, if this is someone who wants kids, add in “good with kids and would like to be a house husband” and i feel like it your golden.

      2. lets_be_honest says:

        Good sex isn’t enough, as you know. Emotional support, fine, she said so, but I don’t really buy it. Religion, eh, could not matter to him at all, willing to move? all mooches would if it meant they’d be supported. I don’t know. All these details in the letters make me this very differently then what you’re saying/describing.

      3. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        I’ve had really good sex with a vibrator. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t deserve a pat on the back for that.

      4. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        I’m sorry – is it too early in the morning for inappropriate sex comments? 3 likes? Really? I’m hilarious.

      5. Can I derail and talk about the amazing sex I’ve been having with my brand new hitachi magic wand? And the amazing back massages I’ve been getting with my brand new hitachi magic wand? Because seriously, that thing should come standard with a driver’s license. Just for the massages, even.

      6. But your vibrator can’t carry your dog on a plane! Point to Mooch. I mean, how else could you possibly arrange to get both dogs on the plane aside from moving a loser to FL with you and your mom?

      7. well, im saying that if all these things matter to HER- having a good sex life (agreed, important), having emotional support (we can only take her on her word that he does this), religion i assume matters to her, not him, which is good in a one religious and one non-religious partnership, and willing to move is pretty important if you are a portable person (i am, so i get how that could be important too)

        i mean for all these positives -and i agree she could be kidding herself about them, im just taking her on her word that they ARE positives- money is enough of a weighted thing for him to be undesirable? that i dont get.

      8. lets_be_honest says:

        Yes, if all those things were true, and he didn’t have a history of cheating (?), not working for 12 years (not because he didn’t HAVE to bc his partner was breadwinner, but didn’t work when he clearly needed to) and what she perceives as a moochy way of life, then she would be silly to toss him to the curb if he were perfect in every way, but just didn’t make enough for her standards.

        I understand the point you’re trying to make, and I agree in many ways. If my partner who I consider great in so many ways all of a sudden lost his job, but continued to do everything else he does for our family and himself, I of course wouldn’t toss him aside.

      9. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        Hey you two! Stop only replying to each other. You’re mean girling me out!

      10. lets_be_honest says:

        Go make yourself useful and tell GG she should dress as rosie the riveter for her labor day party.

    2. No, the worry that she will be the sole provider is not at all overly dramatic. She knows the guy well enough to know that once he is legally attached to her he will give up even the pretense of trying to work and to do odd jobs and be a permanent leech. From what she has written, that is a totally valid conclusion. He will go out with the boys, he will drink a lot, he will cheat because he’s bored and because he can, and although he has no work, he will also do practically no housework. She will complain. Eventually, he will hit her.

      1. I find the end of this comment pretty offensive. He’s an abuser now? Why, because men who don’t have a good income are automatically abusers?

        Katie, I really love your first paragraph too. It is a major double-standard that men seem to get held to; if they don’t have a full-time job, they’re under high suspicion of being a bum. In this economy, people are damn lucky to have a full-time job with benefits. Temp workers, contractors, and all sorts of other positions are gaining so much ground because corporations have realized that laws preventing exploitation of workers only apply to full-time employees. I actually don’t agree that it sounds like a good relationship just from the companionship and the great sex, given the cheating and the fact that he’s pressuring her to marry him when she’s not ready, but I agree that there’s something a little messed up about the expectations placed on men to be financially “equal” as in equal or better.

      2. lets_be_honest says:

        If someone (regardless of sex) is unemployed for a decade and supposed to be supporting themselves (meaning they don’t have a spouse/partner who is the working partner), I would absolutely be suspicious that they are a bum.

      3. Hmm. It sounds to me like he’s working on and off, and since he’s living alone he must not be living off the LW (yet). IMO, working on and off is different than being unemployed 10 years, and way less “bum”-ish, especially if he uses his sporadic salary to support himself. (I agree that if his current plan is to live off the LW once she agrees to marry him, even though she never agreed to support him, then he deserves the “bum” label.)

      4. lets_be_honest says:

        Oh, I read it as though he has only just now been working but not at all for the past 11 years.

      5. Ah. Looking back it seems open to either interpretation — “no stable job” since 9/11 could go either way, I think.

        Every time I go back and read this letter, it’s so painful, ugh!

    3. Yeah, I didn’t understand the “caught him cheating on Facebook” thing, either. And is it really cheating if she technically broke up with him right before they left for Florida? I didn’t even want to get into these issues, but I still think she should MOA if she’s this unhappy (although all of the points you made are sound, & very interesting)

    4. I am the sole provider in my relationship right now, but it is so Mr. Othy can have a much happier life. He worked at a job he hated for 8 years, and we are finally in a spot where he has been able to quit his job and go back to school. And in the 3 weeks since he’s quit his job, I’ve never seen him happier.

      But the difference between Mr. Othy and this LW’s boyfriend? Mr. Othy is willing to do shitty jobs if it means we make ends meet. He’s financially responsible, and really weighed the options between his working and not working. And, he has a 5 year plan with where he wants to be and what he wants to do. Even if he never makes any money with his work (he wants to be a writer, so there’s a good possibility it won’t happen), he’s doing something that he finds fulfilling and enjoyable. And does it with the full understanding that if need be, he will take a job and help me with the bills. We’re just fortunate that right now we don’t need him to do so. And this is a decision we made together.

    5. Katie, I agree with all of this, and I hate the double-standard. But with this guy, ehhh…. he hasn’t been able to be self-sufficient. At all. I feel like that’s the bare minimum of being an adult. Be able to support yourself.

  19. lets_be_honest says:

    “I broke up with Joe before I left, but due to unfavorable circumstances with pet boarding on the airline, I needed a second passenger, so I brought him along on the condition that only if and when he found a job would we try dating again.”

    This tells me you have all the abilities to marry for the right reason. I mean, you have already dated him for all the right reasons.

  20. “emotional support, some money with side jobs, great sex, and good company. ” Nothing about loving him anywhere in this letter? MOA already

  21. If this letter is real, i fear for the future of mankind. I am not sure therapy can even help this LW. Or maybe I just need more coffee..

    1. Yeah! It’s heartening to see someone admit that couples counseling is not the answer to a particular relationship woe.

  22. I haven’t finished reading all the comments yet, but I’ll say this now: DO NOT MARRY THIS MAN. You can do better for yourself. As to your last questions, yes, some military people do have a hard time adjusting to civilian life. They come from a life that is highly regimented, where all the decisions are made for them, to a life where they are expected to make decisions for themselves. Some of them can’t handle that, especially if they suffered some trauma while serving. The VA has programs to help them and he should contact them. They can help him find a job, counseling, whatever he needs. It is not your job to fix him. Only he can do that for himself.

    1. oh yes, i left all the military stuff out of my comment because most people flame me for being “anti american” or whatever but yes- the military sucks and coming out of the military sucks even worse. its very sad what we put soldiers through.

      1. Avatar photo theattack says:

        My town is a military town, and it is just so sad to see what so many veterans turn into. Obviously there are a lot more good ones than bad ones, but almost all of our really bad criminals (like child rapists and murderers) are ex-military. P sees a lot of former soldiers who can’t adjust to civilian life and who refuse to work. Most of them that he or I have encountered here are terrible at finances and are buried under insurmountable consumer debt for reasons I can’t understand. I have no idea what’s happening behind the scenes, but something must be really messed up when this stuff keeps happening. I don’t think it’s anything against military personnel. There are a lot of great people going into the military, but things are very different for them when they come out.

      2. i agree that its not the people, its the system. we have this ridiculous system that people volunteer to that then strips them of any autonomy, choice, preference, ect, and then they serve in shitty conditions with pretty shitty pay for however many years, and once they get out (and getting out is something many are too scared to do anyway, it takes years to get out) they have almost zero skills, know how, will power, preference, ect to make them into fully, responsible adults. its crazy. its advertised and treated as a wonderful path of life, when its anything but!

      3. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        I think (unpopular opinion to follow) the majority (not all) of people that are drawn to military life to do because they have no other plans. Their life is already on a shitty path, so they use this as a way to give them direction (and free college!). So when they get out and are all fucked up, well they probably weren’t going to be the next big thing anyway you know? At least that has been my personal observations of the people I’ve seen enter the military. It’s all the fuck ups that go in. So I don’t really blame the military for ruining them – they were ruined to begin with.

      4. lets_be_honest says:

        Same for me. There are a few though, who knew they were on a shitty path and actually came out way better than when they went in. Served their time and are living good lives now and credit the military for giving them that push.

      5. temperance says:

        I definitely agree with this. I grew up in a low-income, rural part of PA, and a lot of the guys I grew up with were what I would call directionless. Those dudes would have ended up in manufacturing jobs 20 years ago, but those have all been outsourced, so they are pushed into the military.

      6. Avatar photo theattack says:

        I don’t know if you meant it like this or not, temperance, but blue collar manufacturing jobs don’t equal directionless. Those are generally great jobs. If I ever have a gap in jobs in my profession, that’s exactly what I’m going to try for.

      7. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

        Yup, my husband works a blue collar job and he is very talented at what he does. Trades don’t equal easy.

      8. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Yup, I work in construction, but we’re a high skilled specialty contractor. Sure it’s blue collar work by definition but it takes a TON of skill for these guys to do what they do.

      9. Avatar photo theattack says:

        And those jobs are hard work! It’s much more cushy to be sitting behind a computer desk all day rather than risking having your fingers cut off by a machine or lifting heavy equipment all day. I know that temperance knows that because she’s talked about her background before, but in general blue collar work is really underrated, IMO. Depending on the place you work, you can have excellent benefits and a chance for growth in the company as well. Sorry to keep talking about my dad, but he’s amazing so I can’t stop. He’s risen in his company from factory line worker to supervisor to lead mechanic to now a corporate engineer. That’s a lot better than a lot of white collar paths, IMO.

      10. temperance says:

        Oh totally – what I meant was those options just don’t exist where I grew up because all of those jobs have been outsourced, so the guys who would have gone into blue collar work are pushed to join the military instead.

        I’m from the area near the Marcellas Shale drilling stuff; those jobs all went to what we call “reverse carpetbaggers”, and the locals were shut out of that work, too.

      11. lets_be_honest says:

        reverse carpetbaggers? sounds dirty!

      12. lets_be_honest says:

        I don’t think she meant anything bad by it. I read it like the blue collar jobs are not as readily available anymore, thus military.

      13. temperance says:

        That’s definitely what I was trying to say. There used to be blue collar jobs that you could actually live off of, but they were all outsourced (and the new ones that should have popped up and that we were promised because of fracking were all given to people from other states).

      14. temperance says:

        I totally didn’t!

        Those options don’t exist where I grew up anymore and haven’t in a really long time. It’s pretty much military, Wal-mart, or gas station if you aren’t leaving to go to college.

      15. In my personal experience I know 2 types of military people. Those you mentioned above (general life fuck ups), and then those who are the exact opposite (driven, hardworking, smart…), who end up as higher ranking officers or Navy Seals.

        This LW’s bf clearly fits into category 1.

      16. Avatar photo theattack says:

        Every single male and many females in my family were/are military. I agree with the part about their lives being on shitty paths, but not about them being fuckups themselves (though that’s true sometimes). My dad and all of his siblings were severely abused and neglected as kids, not to mention dirt poor. Joining the military was an excellent path for them all because they had the opportunity to get away from the shithole they were living in and actually have food to eat and a higher paying job than working at the BP or something. They all got education of some sort although not formally (like my aunt learned 13 languages in intelligence, and although she doesn’t have a degree, she’s put that to good use. My dad was a mechanic in the Marines, and he’s used that to make a good career for himself as a civilian. One of my uncles manages a local VFW, and that helped him get back on his feet after his other civilian career went downhill.), and it has given them opportunities. I think it’s all perspective. For someone who has prospects of going to college and going straight into the workforce, the military isn’t all that appealing. For someone who is highly motivated but needs a fresh start, it can be a great option. I think the problem is that a lot of people who join have shitty or just boring life paths but aren’t all that motivated, and that’s the problem. The military doesn’t help you if you aren’t motivated to use the resources properly, and it doesn’t help you much if end up injured, with PTSD, or with really specific military skills that can’t be used in the civilian world.

      17. lets_be_honest says:

        “The military doesn’t help you if you aren’t motivated to use the resources properly.”

        All the resources in the world aren’t going to help someone who can’t help themselves. Military or not. Unfortunately some with extreme PTSD probably won’t be in any position to help themselves. Interesting comments from all of you on this.

      18. Avatar photo theattack says:


      19. Avatar photo theattack says:

        But just as an example: My best friend’s ex-husband actually had the exact same role as my dad. Same base, same sections (or however they divide it), same exact specialist position. My dad has done really well post-military because he’s motivated. Friend’s ex-husband, not so much. He turned into a post-military goth weirdo who mooches off of his Canadian girlfriend. Granted the time period is different, but he wasn’t motivated and hasn’t done anything with himself in the five-ish years he’s been out.

      20. starpattern says:

        Yes, definitely agree with you on this. A lot of people I know who did not have the means to go to college/get a good job used the military to acquire skills they could use in the workforce or to get the GI Bill benefits, and that was their motivation going in. After they get out they are aircraft mechanics, pilots, comms contractors, etc. Like you said though, if you are not motivated it will not help you (but if that’s the case nothing will I guess)

      21. I think it speaks to the kind os person you are. If you are motivated, you will make good use of your time in the military. I worked with a woman once who went into the Army at 19, right out of high school. While she was in, she took courses in computer science. After she got out, there she was at 39 with a great-paying career in IT and a pension that she just banked. Set for life! But not everybody is equipped to handle things like that. Sometimes they need help, especially if they have PTSD, a direct result of combat duty. if this man refuses to even investigate what resources might be available to him then he’s not going to get very far.

      22. yea, i mean, i dont disagree. my good friend went into the marines partly because he had no direction, partly because his dad was a marine, so he felt some sort of like affection or responsibility for that or something. and he JUST got out -this month- and he almost resigned in july. i would have killed him. and the reasons that he was going to resign were the same as why he went in, he didnt know what to do, he doesnt have money, ect. and i just told him that it was time to start his “real” life now. and- he HATED the military! he has been looking forward to getting out for years now!! and the military still almost sucked him back in!

        i will say, and this is just a funny thing, that my private, christian, supposed “college prep” school i went to before high school? almost every guy who graduated went into the military. some college prep….

      23. lets_be_honest says:

        Do you think its a pretty mutually beneficial arrangement though?

      24. well, i mean, he gets paid for his service, so i guess? but no, i dont think the military is beneficial for a lot of people who are in it. at least, not if they at some point in their life dont want to be in the military. the ones, like bethany said, who are really driven and end up as high-ranking officers, its beneficial for them, i can see that. but the military as an acceptable pathway from 18 year old to responsible adult? no, absolutely not.

      25. IDK, I totally disagree. (Anecdotal evidence to follow.)

        My stepbrother dropped out in the 10th grade at age 18. He later took the GED so he could enlist, did a tour in Iraq, and is now in college on the GI bill. Would he have ever gone to college without the Army? Hell no. I think that’s true of a lot of veterans.

        And a lot of people who enlist don’t see other options. They can’t afford college and don’t want crazy debt, and there aren’t many careers that you can start without college or technical training. I think it’s unfair to blame just the military without blaming the overal system that disadvantages poor kids.

      26. well no, see, the issue isnt that people dont go into the military and then come out with money for college- thats fine, its good, thats not the problem. the problem is that the way the military is set up, zero of the skills translate to “real life”. for example, if your step brother tests low on intelligence (with however the test it- i have no idea if its an accurate thing or whatever)- he will not be given any brain powered work to do. its all “grunt” work as my friend tells me. so then, he gets out, and he has ZERO skills to go to college with. he is basically in the same boat as he was when he dropped out at 18, just older.

        its that kind of stuff. its maybe very nuanced and not very in your face, but its not as simple as go to military, get money for college, go to college, be successful. the military doesnt give you those tools. and like, you linked below, we, as non-military people, dont give credit. so they have no tools other then military-based, which dont really translate unless you are in specialized fields, and no credit from the population you are trying to re-enter. its shitty. it sets people up for failure. sure, some get out of it fine, but that doesnt mean the system isnt fucked up!

      27. lets_be_honest says:

        But is it the military’s job to teach people how to be normal adults? I don’t think so. They pay you to do the work they need you to do. You get paid and a free college. Its on the individual to do something with that. I definitely look at it as a mutually beneficial arrangement.

      28. Avatar photo theattack says:

        But Katie, there are jobs to be had with “grunt” work too. As I said above, my dad has made a good career out of the mechanic skills he learned in the Marine Corps. It should also be noted that it’s not all about who’s smarter. My dad didn’t end up as a mechanic because he’s not smart. He’s practically a genius. He ended up as a mechanic because he’s so fucking smart and naturally-inclined for mechanical stuff they would have been stupid to not put him there. He never had any formal education on it, but he was fixing cars with no instruction in grade school. His natural ability needed to be legitimized in the workforce, and the military helped him do that (versus going to a technical school for it).

      29. Avatar photo theattack says:

        Agree with LBH. High school and parents are supposed to help prepare you for college and/or the workforce. The military is a job, and there’s no real responsibility to do that.

      30. ok here i will just expand on my thought- i think that my general point is backed up because of all the recent push to help military transition to being civilians. but to me, that means that the system is screwed up. if you need extra resources/money/organizations/ect to do this, then the original system to transition is messed up- and the military DOES have policies in place that you have to adhere to in your last, like, 6 months of duty if your dont re-sign. but instead of fixing the issue, we are just giving extra resources/money/organizations/ect. i believe in fixing the issue before it happens, so thats why i think that there is something wrong with the military and how they conduct things.

      31. Even if you’re just doing grunt work, you’re still learning things like respect, punctuality, listening to directions, appropriate behavior in appropriate situations. My stepbrother HAD a grunt job. The military did give him those tools. Sure, he didn’t go back to college right away after his tour, but he went back.

        And if we were fixing the issues of young people who join the military and leave with few skills, we should fix the school system, because that had them for 12 years before the military ever got them.

      32. ” High school and parents are supposed to help prepare you for college and/or the workforce. The military is a job, and there’s no real responsibility to do that.”

        ok, to that point- the military is advertised as such, though. thats my problem with it, like i said above. its advertised as such, as a pathway to adulthood with all the necessary skills you need to be successful once you are out of the military. but thats not whats happening. so there is an issue somewhere, and i believe that you should fix the issue where its happening, not put a bandaid on it after its happened.

      33. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        How many resources is the government supposed to spend on people to spoon feed them adulthood? Isn’t this the perfect place to use the phrase “suck it up soldier”? Life is tough, get over it. Either sink or swim. Learn new skills or don’t.

      34. Avatar photo theattack says:


      35. thats exactly my point, sampson!! why does there have to be all these extra organizations and all this extra effort to get people from military people to civilian people?? we shouldnt have this problem!!

      36. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        Okay but how is that the military’s fault? It’s the person’s fault!

      37. Avatar photo theattack says:

        IMO, there are times when the military is responsible for the fate of the former soldier, but for the most part not at all. If they are injured in duty or if they have mental health problems from serving then they should have some assistance. Otherwise, some soldiers make it afterward and some of them don’t. It’s the soldier’s responsibility to figure out where to go from there, and use the same resources civilians have to use.

      38. I’m not discounting the possibility that he might just be lazy. He might be. But with his military background, it’s worth looking into. What I want her to understand is that it is not her problem to fix. I would say the same if she were dealing with a drug addict or an alcoholic. He must fix himself. She can offer support from a distance.

      39. Specifically, no one recognizes the skills they’ve gained because they don’t have the right credentials to go along with the skills. The credentialism problem is talked about in the article I linked.

      40. @ta… I think that part of the issue of criminality is related to the reduction in standards in recruiting to keep numbers up for multiple deployments. There’s people who join the military because of honor/family/always wanted to, there’s folks who are looking for stability or structure or financial assistance in college, and then there’s the people who joined up to kill people because they are either fucked in the head and think its fun and/or have played too many video games and think they are going to be the next “hero.” Add the way the VA treats soldiers and the hoops they have to jump through for basic care or treatment is terrible and it compounds the problem… hence the crime and suicides.

        Also… just a word to the wise here when folks are talking about military life. Please try to remember that there was a time not too long ago when men were drafted into Vietnam, so while we are making broad statements about military and “what kind of person” joins up, please remember those veterans who had no choice… because some of them are our fathers, uncles, etc. and some of this commentary could be hurtful depending on the perspective.

      41. Avatar photo theattack says:

        Interesting point. I would be interested to compare crime rates of military personnel from before and after that happened.

  23. Umm. Really? Yeah – the answer is no. But really?

  24. starpattern says:

    I guess for the purpose of this question it doesn’t matter whether he were damaged by his war duty – if that were the case and he were interested in correcting the problem, he would be finding and taking advantage of all the resources available to veterans to help them readjust to civilian life. It doesn’t sound like he is doing that.

    An expectation that your partner should be able to take care of him- or herself is not unreasonable. The fact that he has a job is great and all, but layoffs happen, and responsible adults figure out how to take care of themselves through it. You do not owe him a living, and frankly if I were in your position I would worry that he didn’t actually want to be with me and was just using me for my stable situation.

    As a side note, a couple other commenters have mentioned this “financial equals” thing we keep hearing about from female LWs. What does that even mean? Does that mean he makes at least as much money as you? If so, that is a stupid outlook. I get not wanting to be someone’s sugar mama, but situations and salaries are going to change over time (especially for young people!) What you should look for instead is a responsible person who will take care of himself with the resources he has and has an idea where he wants his life to go.

    1. lets_be_honest says:

      “I get not wanting to be someone’s sugar mama, but situations and salaries are going to change over time ”

      I think that’s the big problem with these letters/LWs. No one wants a moocher, but not bringing in any cash doesn’t always equal moocher (obviously), which is when the details come in to play. For this LW, with her description of this guy, he sounds like a moocher.

      1. starpattern says:

        Agreed that this LW’s guy sounds like a huge moocher.

      2. And, even if he isn’t technically a moocher (I’m falling toward the mooch side of things, though, based on having NO direction for over a decade and no apparent ambition to get one), the fact that the LW feels like he is mooching off of her is a pretty good reason to dump his ass. No one is obligated to support someone they are dating. If it’s not for you, if it’s not the relationship you want, then MOA.

  25. And… if he’s 34 – he was 22 when 9/11 happened. What money did he have at that point in life to lose? AND – even if he did – why hasn’t he built himself up since then? I’m his age and I had just graduated from college when 9/11 happened. I was in debt from school, had a crappy car, and was moving to a new city for a job that really didn’t pay all that much. Since then I’ve had ample time to pay off my debt, hold down a few jobs, move, move again, move again, get married and divorced, build up a savings account, buy and sell a couple of homes… And a lot of the time I feel like I’m not as far along in life as I should be at this point – this guy is my age and it sounds like he’s done very little. Why on earth would you want to tie yourself to someone with so little ambition?

    1. Well, then he should help you feel like you’re going above and beyond expectations 🙂

  26. I can’t wait for the update on this: “So, you guys were all wrong and you really didn’t understand our one true love. We ended up getting married and I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. He’s totally been working, 8 hours a week, and that’s enough for me.”

    Second update, 3 months later: “Turns out you guys were right. The whole time we were married and he was ‘working’, turns out he was actually cheating on me. It all blew up in our faces and we’ve divorced.”

    1. 3rd update… I found out I was pregnant and he seems really excited so we are going to try and be a great family because the baby will make everything ok 😉

  27. Begin as you mean to go on. If you marry this guy, EVER, don’t look for sympathy. 9/11 was 12 years ago, when he was barely an adult. He’s apparently done nothing since then. If he is broken as a consequence of his military service, that is sad, but it’s still on him to do something with his life. If he becomes homeless, that’s on him, too. You say you have worked hard to be financially solvent at 27. I have to presume you know that this takes effort, will, discipline. He does not appear to have made any effort to sort his life out, perhaps because he expects you to do it. If you marry him, you will get a layabout slacker who doesn’t work and has plenty of time to cheat on you while he grows to resent your position as sole provider. If you go into this knowing what you know, that’s on you. Period.

    Perhaps we should have the acronym RTFA, which is slightly more intense than MOA: Run The Fuck Away.

    1. P.S. – You get emotional support, good sex and company from any decent relationship, for example with a guy who has done something with the prime years of his life between 22 and 34.

  28. trixy minx says:

    I think everyone should stop having sex with moochers and not nice people.

    1. Trixy, my wife mooches all her sex off me. I’ve been trying to get her to pay me for years, but she’s a freeloader.

      1. She can only mooch off you if you allow her to. 🙂

      2. From now on it’s cash up front, refundable if she doesn’t achieve orgasm within a reasonable time frame (say, two days).

      3. Way to put your foot down. That’ll show her.

  29. landygirl says:

    Marriage won’t change him from being a bum into a responsible adult. If you can’t see that then you shouldn’t be getting married. Try therapy instead, then at least the money you spend will be on yourself and not him.

  30. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

    WTF? Get some higher standards for yourself. Marriage isn’t some box that you need to tick so that you are an adult. It isn’t a requirement for your life and you don’t need to marry a guy just because he is willing to marry you.

  31. Bittergaymark says:

    Another letter proving the hypothesis of my pending bestseller. WOMEN: THE DESPERATE SEX. 😉

    1. I believe I covered this in my blockbuster, ALL GENERALIZATIONS ARE WRONG: THE SHORTCUT TO THINKING.

      1. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

        Generalizations are wrong… But they sell books like NOTHING else. Go visit the self help section sometime.

      2. Aw haha yeah, I think BGM was actually poking fun at his reputation on here, right? Not generalizing?

      3. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

        Yeah, and frankly, I thought that was RATHER obvious considering it was followed with an winking emoticon. Some people around here need to GROW up. What follows in this whole sub-thread is more than a little ridiculous. Look, I’m sorry, but if somebody REALLY hates all the fights and how personal the attacks get and wah, wah, wah… you’d think they would think twice before calling somebody an asshole. Whatev. It’s increasingly less fun to post around her as far too many take themselves far too fucking seriously…

      4. Avatar photo Northern Mermaid says:

        I’d like to add WOMEN: THE DESPERATE SEX’s brother volume MEN: MOOCHERS WITH GOOD DICKS

      5. lets_be_honest says:


      6. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        Woah woah woah. We’ve already decided having a good dick is no claim to fame since my vibrating one is also a good dick. And it doesn’t backtalk.

      7. Avatar photo Northern Mermaid says:


        ^Yes. Two subtitles.

    2. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

      And my conclusion is you’re a sexist asshole.

      1. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

        At least I’m not a humourless, self righteous bitch who constantly resorts to tired personal attacks.

      2. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        What’s tired is your constant degradation of women.

      3. lets_be_honest says:

        What else is tired? Me! Coffee ain’t cuttin it today 🙁

      4. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

        Ugh. E is still getting up every 2 hours, sometimes every hour. I am soooooo tired. Tonight, we start sleep training.

      5. Yay for sleep training!!! It sucks for a few nights but then your baby sleeps through the night and it’s awesome and so worth it. good luck!

      6. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

        Thanks! I did it for falling asleep and he does that like a champ. I’ve been nervous about doing it for night wakings because I never know when he’s hungry at night but at 7 months he shouldn’t be getting up this much.

      7. Jackson’s pediatrician said something that made a lot of sense: when babies wake up at night, even at seven months or whatever, they ARE hungry. We’re hungry too when we wake up in the middle of the night. It’s natural to be hungry after not eating for hours. but the whole point of sleep training is to train a baby to sleep through the hunger so he can eat at a reasonable time in the morning and not every two hours through the night, which is unreasonable (especially past the age of 4 months, in my humble opinion).

      8. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

        That does makes. I know that he can go longer without eating, he’s done it before. He often goes 4 hours during the day if we’re busy. He’s small for his age so I’ve made exceptions for that but enough is enough!

      9. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        What else is tired? My love for getting all the shitty cases at work because shit rolls down hill.

      10. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

        It was a FUCKING joke! PS — For somebody who parades about relentlessly lecturing the world on propervmanners, you possess surprisingly few…

      11. lets_be_honest says:

        proper perv manners? that should be a thing.

      12. Avatar photo gatecrashergirl says:

        I appreciate your attempt to quell the fire LBH. And I too could use some coffee. Also, based on the number of “that’s what she said joke” that are thrown about, I too believe that proper perv manners should be a thing. . . and they’d apply to my friends 100%.

      13. Avatar photo gatecrashergirl says:


      14. lets_be_honest says:

        🙂 I’ll never get sick of that’s what she said jokes…or yolo jokes, or even Chuck Norris jokes.

      15. Avatar photo gatecrashergirl says:

        Oh Chuck Norris jokes. Classic stuff you’re working with there.

      16. lets_be_honest says:

        Everyone should have a 14 year old brother. Really.

        Speaking of – he just had a sports physical but didn’t realize what it entailed I guess. And of course it was a hot, young female doctor. So he’s all red faced when my mom picks him up and she asks what’s up. So he tells her what happened, and then goes “but don’t worry, she didn’t just do it to me, and I know that because I heard all the boys coughing when they went in there.” Does it get funnier than that?

      17. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Please feel free to sling as many insults at me as you’d like. They have little affect.

        And, for the record, I do not find jokes at the expense of an entire sex (or race or other marginalized population) funny. I think they are crass and uncalled for and perpetuate sexism (or racism or whatever-ism the joke is about).

      18. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

        No, instead you just routinely brand an ENTIRE thread of people rude and then cry that you aren’t popular… Have a wonderful sunshine filled day.

        Okay, I am now off to deal with the bitches I actually get paid to supervise.

      19. I dunno, I kind of find this funny considering that you thought that Asian party at Duke a while ago was all in good fun and no big deal. People should lighten up!

      20. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:


      21. lets_be_honest says:

        How do you even remember that? That was like a year ago. You people who remember who said what amaze me. Do you have a log?

      22. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        Haha seriously. I also thought the party was all in good fun until I was told otherwise. I kinda got the points everyone was making after a while. (even though I was too stubborn to admit it)

      23. lets_be_honest says:

        Same. I start off with whatever opinion and think how dumb anyone who thinks otherwise is and then I actually hear them and am like, oh yea, I guess that does make sense. Whatever. I’m easily swayed I guess.

      24. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        The problem is I don’t even think my own opinions through before voicing them. My head really is just used as a hat rack. Plus I have a sick sense of humor, and sometimes the line between funny and racist is really blurry for me, even if I mean no harm. But I was schooled on that one. DW: 1 IWTTS: 0.

      25. lets_be_honest says:

        I’m a very ‘well, they meant well’ person, which doesn’t seem to be how many DWers are.

      26. Avatar photo theattack says:

        Yeah, just read the thread.

        1) GG was not the only person with that opinion, AND she was never disrespectful. It was just a freaking discussion.

        2) Seriously? Let it go. Way to drag up stupid irrelevant shit from months ago just with the intentions of making someone feel like shit and to make a non-point.

        This is the shit I can’t stand here.

      27. lets_be_honest says:

        I have to say, that did seem very mean girls-ey.

      28. Avatar photo theattack says:

        My comment did, or WAPS’s?

      29. lets_be_honest says:

        Not yours.

      30. Yeah. To call her out for naming sexism is shitty, & I do remember that whole thread, but so what? Maybe that thread enlightened everyone to not be accepting of casual hateful ‘isms, you know? That’s a good thing.

        (Although like I said above, I think BGM was actually making fun of himself here)

      31. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        I’m glad that no one has ever thrown one of my comments back in my face. (Or maybe they have and I’ve forgotten, because you know, alcohol dementia). Because I say weird shit on here sometimes. I’ve read old comments of mine when LW’s update and I swear I would not recognize it if it didn’t have my name by it.

      32. Avatar photo theattack says:

        Yeah, I do that sometimes too, even on big debates I was clearly very opinionated on. Sometimes our comments are affected by the type of day we’ve had, or we grow and change over time, or whatever.

      33. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Why does it happen to me all the damn time?? Also, isn’t a person allowed to change their mind after an enlightening discussion??

      34. lets_be_honest says:

        GG, at least randoms don’t make their first comment to tell you how much you suck. Haha.

      35. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        God LBH I hope this doesn’t offend you but everytime I think about someone logging in just to tell you you suck I get this really sick smile on my face. It’s so fucking funny.

      36. lets_be_honest says:

        Yes, Iwanna, I know. If it makes you laugh, its worth it.

      37. hahaha! Ditto! 🙂

      38. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Please go read my comments on that thread as they differ from what you say here. I would venture and say that thread was a turning point in my view on jokes and party themes with insensitive themes and that 6 months ago I apparently didn’t find them offensive, but after a discussion I did. By page 5 I’m agreeing the party was insensitive, in poor taste, and offensive. So yeah, good try.

      39. Avatar photo theattack says:


      40. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Yeah. Officially walking away from DW for the rest of the week. Too many people (myself included) are getting too heated and being too personal. It’s not productive.

      41. Avatar photo theattack says:

        For real. I tried walking away yesterday but then quickly ran out of other things to do. Good luck sticking to your plan. I hope you come back refreshed and happier.

      42. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        You guys are silly. Start drinking beer for breakfast and then all dw fights become hilarious.

      43. I wish I was drinking beer right now. Stupid work.

      44. Avatar photo theattack says:

        Apparently there’s some dumb rule where I can’t come to work drunk. Stupid, I know. Drink an extra beer for me, Sampson!

        Maybe I just take things really personally, but when DW fights get that harsh it legitimately hurts me, and I feel like I can’t stay but then I’m too addicted to leave. If DW was my boyfriend, I would have to write in to Wendy about how unhealthy that is.

      45. lets_be_honest says:

        ta, hahaha. Don’t feel bad about that. I get it. Sometimes it rolls off my back, other times it really upsets me. We’ll mature eventually 🙂

      46. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        Haha you are super crazy. Don’t be so sensitive! Just admit that you’re a crazy psycho etiquette weirdo and we’ll all feel better about the situation 🙂 (too soon?)

        I’m actually not drinking beer. And I’m actually on an unofficial beer cleanse because it’s making me really fat. Actually the beer isn’t, but the unhealthy food I eat while drinking beer is making me fat. And I swear my skin is getting weird and blotchy and gross looking from drinking. Not even the drinking, but the resulting dehydration. So I’m going to start only drinking on the weekends. Starting today. Because I drank beer both Monday and Tuesday this week. Whoops.

      47. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        I wish I thought these fights where hilarious, but some of the stuff that’s been circulating around has been overly hateful and overly personal and have seriously stung. Honestly, I’m still pissed about how the wedding thread went down, and now this interchange…I’m not going to be part of something that is affecting my mood in real life, where people are throwing serious insults (myself included in this case) and where the general consensus seems to be that I’m a huge bitch. I’m not looking for validation that I’m not, but I’m also not going to keep participating when I’m perceived that way. So yeah. I’m taking a break.

      48. Avatar photo theattack says:

        Haha, Yeah, this fight was a lot worse than others. I can handle when people criticize my ideas much better than I can handle personal insults, and now that no one agrees with me on the social vibes here I think I’m probably going to be the butt of all the jokes now, so ehh… Sensitive, yes. I’ve been made fun of and bullied a lot by people I thought were friends in my life, so I’m hyper-sensitive to it perhaps. I simultaneously try to fight it AND avoid it, which doesn’t work. I am definitely taking a break from engaging in any debates with anyone though, even if I can’t break away from DW.

      49. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        But but but. Can’t we talk about football?! No one can take that personally! Unless you talk shit about the broncos. Because they are going to be horrible. Did you see that Von Miller was suspended? AND our guy almost broke his neck? My life sucks. My huskers will suck too. But Colin agreed to wear his husker shirt that I got him and his mom’s response was “well you must really like her to do that”. We’re going to be adorable all football season. And is it weird that I’m kind of excited that our colors will match? Ohio state is red and white too. Adorkable.

      50. If you start talking about football, then I’m going to have to quit DW.

        Keep that shit in the forums where I don’t have to see it!

        sorry. I hate football with a passion.

      51. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        It’s fine. I hate your cat. There. I said it.

      52. lets_be_honest says:

        ta, I don’t think everyone disagreed with everything you said/thought. Multiple people chimed in and felt the same way, or so it seemed to me. I don’t think you’ll be the butt of jokes 🙂

      53. Yeah, guys, seriously, NO MORE FIGHTING. And no more personal insults, jesus. I’m feeling gross about all this.

        But I don’t know if football talk is the solution 😉 I’m with @bethany, keep that shit awayy from me, haha

      54. Too far, IWTTS. Too Far. It’s on.

        We are officially in a fight now. jk 🙂

      55. kerrycontrary says:

        Guys, I missed the big fight this week. Can someone please summarize? Because the forum page is 35 pages long!

      56. Someone did a synopsis around page 20, I think?

      57. I love all you guys. Everyone, get the new Cheddar and Horseradish potato chips at Trader Joe’s because they are the best chips ever.

      58. Avatar photo theattack says:

        Only the first 21-ish pages are relevant

      59. Skyblossom says:

        We all tend to be super sensitive to things if we feel insecure about them for some reason. Maybe it would help if you ask yourself why you personally find these comments so irritating or degrading when most of the rest of the readers find them to be jokes. Ask yourself why is this setting me off? Why do I personally feel so offended?

      60. the attack says:

        Well it’s easy to think something is a joke when it’s not about you. I don’t think I’m wrong to be hurt by it because it’s intended to be hurtful. I’m just saying that I’m more sensitive to it than most, not that I don’t stand behind my feelings. Anyway, I’m going to try to drop it for now because it can’t be undone.

      61. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

        Actually, I “think” she was talking about my joke here about my forthcoming book…

      62. Avatar photo theattack says:

        Maybe so. Can’t follow the reply lines on my phone.

  32. So, basically, what this guy has in the LW’s personal pro column are that he’s a live body who can get on a plane and he can fuck reasonably well. I’m sure she’ll never meet another guy who can meet those criteria. Definitely marriage material.

    Come the fuck on, LW. Of course you shouldn’t marry this guy. And, if this is really a sincere question, LW, you should get to a counselor stat to figure out why you have so little respect for yourself that you would seriously consider marrying the first person who meets the bare minimum standards you seem to have for a husband – breathing and a dick.

    1. OMG love it. “A live body who can get on a plane.” Hah!

  33. LW, I only read the first paragraph because that’s all that’s really needed to assess the situation. If you somehow want your boyfriend to change to continue your relationship, then please MOA. He isn’t going to change in any way that you wish. I don’t know why you were in a relationship with someone with so little to offer you for 4 years, but I would seriously consider talking to a counselor about it. It’s really not normal. If you want a healthy long term relationship in the future, I would address what’s going on with you, either with a counselor or by yourself.

  34. this smells like double standard to me. i’m glad my husband didn’t write to you here for advice while he was supporting me (when we were only boyfriend and girlfriend and throughout our engagement phase) when i would have been considered a “mooch” (a temporary job and sometimes no job, nowhere to go either). if there are other redeeming qualities in your boyfriend then maybe you should take it slow but don’t get married yet. if your priority is someone with a similar salary who can afford luxury housing, then dump him already

    1. Sometimes, I agree that we can have a bit of a double standard when it comes to judging the men in the pairing who earn less more harshly than we would women. But, I’m pretty sure in all cases, we would tell anyone who is fed up supporting someone and who worries that they will support them forever and asks whether they should get married an emphatic “NO!” There’s nothing wrong with not wanting to support someone else indefinitely. And if they asked, “Hey, is this person who is 34, has no stable job, has no education, has no ambition and has no plans to get a steady job, educated or financially stable and instead wants to marry me to have a place to stay mooching off of me?” we’d say “YES” almost across the board.

  35. You Go Girl says:

    The LW does not even seem to like him very much, so she should definitely not marry him.

  36. Marital Requirements:
    1. Always be available for travel with me as my dog watcher
    2. Occasionally throw some irrelevant cash my way you earn from occasional side jobs
    3. Cry for me on demand as a sign of your emotional support
    4. Fuck me great, on the regular

    Yeah, you seem to have it all covered! Go for it!

  37. All I’m reading is excuse after excuse. Are you serious, LW? This may come out harsh, but it sounds like you know the guy is using you and you’re okay with this. If he has issues from the military, it’s not your duty to try and fix it and he sounds like a complete bum. The only thing “worthy” would be great sex, but even then, have more respect for yourself and RUN. Sex is most certainly not the end all, be all reason for marriage. He’s looking at you like a cash cow and what you have that he can take.

    All these other things like the needing a passenger, 911 crash, whatever… you’re showing your age and not in a good way. You need to mature a bit more emotionally and mentally to even THINK about marriage. To anyone.

    Wendy has so many articles on things you need to discuss before marriage and above all else, be on the same level. He very obviously isn’t. Why are you even entertaining this? There wasn’t even one mention of love, caring, or consideration – all you’ve done is outline negatives.

  38. Avatar photo gatecrashergirl says:

    He’s a mooch and now that his security is going away he wants you back to mommy him. Sever all contact with him and maybe spend some time alone to figure out what you actually need in a partner and why you feel the need to lower yourself to someone who clearly isn’t good enough for you.

  39. A dildo would be more reliable, and more fun.
    Just saying…

    1. lets_be_honest says:

      Don’t be a dumbass M. Dildo’s don’t get an airplane seat and can’t carry dogs.

      1. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        Dumbass is one of my most cherished vocabulary words. It really just rolls of the tongue and gives that good punch you know?

      2. What if it was huge and you dressed it in a suit!?! Like the fake dolls that folks would put in the passenger seat to get access to the HOV? I feel like as long as you bought 2 tickets it shouldn’t matter if theres a live body in the seat 😉

      3. Btw. I hope yall note how I just let dumbass roll off like water on a ducks back. im superior in that way 🙂

  40. My last boyfriend who mooched off me and help me run up a nice credit card debt said the same thing to me. My expectations were too high. I sat down and really thought about that one. Were they? Then I realized why is it too much to expect someone to have a job and be able to support themselves (let alone contribute), so if my expectations were those and those were too high then I would rather be alone. Then I met my husband and saw that my expectations were not too high after all. Sure we are not rich, but we both work hard at our jobs and on our home to make it nice, and on our daughter to raise her to be a good person. When someone is by your side working just as hard as you at life, it makes life so much better. I am still thankful even after 13+ years ago I listened to myself and found someone who has never said to me or shown me that having a job is too high of an expectation!

  41. Oooh you caught him cheating on Facebook? Who was he cheating with– MySpace? (Badum-ching!)

    Okay that was lame.

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