To marry or break up: A decision I can't decide!

Sometimes, the path of a relationship isn't as clear as it seems.
Sometimes, the path of a relationship isn't as clear as it seems.

This eternal conflict of mine has been in my mind for the past 4 years, puzzling back and forth to wondering if it would be more beneficial to marry my girlfriend or if I should break up with her to give her a chance of a better future. If you want to read more about my background history with my girlfriend, read the next few paragraphs below so you'll have a better idea of where this struggle is coming from. If not, just jump to "My relationship currently with my girlfriend".

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Backstory with my girlfriend (Before dating)

I first met my girlfriend in a club scout gathering when we were little kids (Ages 7 and 8 respectively). Ever since then, we would occasionally see each other since we lived only 5 minutes away from one another! We were familiarizing with each other's behaviors and interests, having quite the connection of hanging down by the creek, playing with Pokemon figurines, playing video games and watching cartoons back in the day. When high school came around though, times were tough for my girlfriend with her having to deal with highly dramatic girls since she went to an all-girls school and narcissistic parents who were never there for her emotionally, which matured her pretty quickly and caused her to overall be depressed constantly. Whenever I came over or I messaged her online, she never hesitated in getting into contact with me because she knew I was one of the only things in life that made her happy from what she told me. Before, I didn't know that she was depressed and I was ignorant of it but that's simply my guy brain kicking in thinking she's fine as she was.

Backstory with my girlfriend (College and moving in together)

This was the time when we had a moment (ages 18 and 19 respectively), where we were intensely flirting with each other, sending more heart messages than I could count and just being around each other almost around the clock since we went to the same college together! That was when she asked me out and I said yes without hesitation! Everything went well for the first few months, until I started to put my interests above hers and that caused a lot of conflict in itself, which I will admit was my fault because I didn't know much about relationships at the time. After that was resolved, things went smoothly again for about three years, then a separation period began where I thought my girlfriend was being way overly clingy to me (this goes back to her being with narcissistic parents who were emotionally abusive) and I thought we needed a long break from each other in hopes she'd grow to be more emotionally independent. That was a terrible mistake on my end because I didn't communicate with her about why she felt the way she did and immediately jumped to conclusions without a second thought. It took me 5 months to realize this and soonish afterwards, we were back together again.

Four years since we dated; my girlfriend got her bachelor's degree in education and began her training as an elementary school teacher. She moved into her first place, which was a cute little apartment. Never in my life have I seen her so relieved that she was able to move away from her parents and living an independent life on her own. She told me how much she hated to be around people, from all the ones that used her, including her parents as a punching bag for emotional fighting. She gave me the keys to her place, knowing I wouldn't go behind her back in any way.

Fast forward to a year later, she upgraded to the house we currently live in and I hit rock bottom failing out of my degree and going into a deep depression from my failures. I felt like my worth towards my girlfriend was almost non-existent. I kept pushing her away, thinking she deserved better and went for a whole month without much of contact to her. I thought she was going to break up with me from ignoring her for so long, but despite that, she was very patient and waited for me to come back. She gave me the motivation and enthusiasm I needed to get back on my feet and find a job somewhere so I wasn't living in her home, mooching off of her since I didn't want to move back to my parent's house and I wasn't working at a job during that time. I recently got a job at a local car wash which provided great insurance and vacation days, at the price of a low income, pretty much that of minimum wage and things in the relationship have been going smoothly since then!

Girlfriend's diary entries

Something I didn't know about till I discovered it a few years ago was that she kept two journals about her life, in which I was greatly involved in them (she gave me permission to look at them). So many entries of when she adored my company and times when she was really frustrated at my immaturity. She was so passionate about it, like she hated it when I was making mistakes and praised me when I was doing good things! She wrote in her journal, non-stop for almost 9 years, which tells me I had made an impact in her life for the better. All the times she said she wanted to date me, how she imagined us on a honeymoon, having a child and growing old together like a fairy tale couple; oh how I cried looking at those words and the drawings she made of us together like that. I never knew that I meant this much to her, because no matter how many mistakes I made, she always forgave me for them, no matter the severity. She could have dumped me and looked for someone anew but none the less, she still wanted to be with me.

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My relationship currently with my girlfriend

At this point, I've known my girlfriend for almost 19 years, meeting her in 1999 and have dated her since 2010. Almost 9 years in a relationship and the question of marriage hasn't popped up yet. I've been having low self-esteem issues due to my girlfriend's financial successes and the completion of her degree while it felt like I've wasted 5 years of college, only to have an associate's degree in general sciences (for studying an art program, this made little sense). I've frustrated her quite a bit with my lack of intelligence due to a lack of motivation in wanting to learn new things. I've been trying to get back up on my feet, working at the car wash to start saving up money and help my girlfriend contribute towards the household but so far, it's been going alright. I often feel I'm disappointing her with how I'm only making 1/3 of what she does, making her the breadwinner obviously.

I can't figure her out. She's seen people who make much higher income than I do and are far more intelligent in academic/cultural studies and yet, she hasn't let go of me. I don't know if it's because I've been her supportive friend/boyfriend growing up, if it's because she's afraid of being alone and/or because she fell in love with me a long time ago and doesn't want to let go of that feeling. If I could gather the confidence I needed, I would most definitely marry her because that's common sense with how long we've known each other and love each other but I feel there are complications that are preventing this from happening. Below are what I believe the pros and cons would be if I were to marry her vs breaking up with her:

Marrying her:

The idea of marriage with her sounds like a dream come true but I have to understand that reality will set in, whether if we like it or not. One of the complications I'm having with straight up asking her hand in marriage is not making a good enough income to provide for the both of us. Someday, my girlfriend wants to quit her teaching job as a elementary school teacher because it's mentally exhausting and she gets emotionally abused by staff members and parents all the time. She's been searching for a job replacement that makes enough to cover the mortgage payments and bills but hasn't had any success. If we're not financially prepared, things can escalate quickly and causes problems, especially if we want to have a child in the future. This uncertainty of making consistent money makes me question if whether we are prepared for such things.

The second problem is this is that I feel like I'm not qualified to be a husband. Emotionally stable/mature, financially prepared and a hard worker; all these qualities are important for a marriage to last in the role of a husband and I feel I've been failing to meet these requirements. No one wants to marry someone who is uncertain of themselves, let alone not knowing what they want to do in their future with a lack of ambitions. People like confidence and certainty as a way of knowing everything will be alright, no matter rain or sunshine. I feel like I have the body of a 27 year old as it should be and the mind of a 19 year old. I want my girlfriend to marry a man, not a child.

Breaking up with her:

I can certainly tell you that we both would hit rock bottom in depression after knowing each other for more than 2/3 of our life. If I did this, I would have to find a place to live which would take time since I'd either only have enough money to rent out a small apartment room or live in a townhouse with other people. If I did this though, this could give my girlfriend a chance to live with someone who's making equal, if not more of an income than she does, giving her a sense of security and relief if anything went wrong in her profession. It would mean a clean slate for her but at least she'd have the opportunity to have the life she always wanted; a secure and happy one. It depresses me thinking about this but once again, we have to keep in mind of reality for what would work best in each situation we're given. Would we still want to talk and hang out afterwards? I'm sure we would but it would get awkward after everything we've been through. I don't want to do it but at the same time, I don't want to doom her future based on my uncertainties when she may be able to find someone who can both hold their ground financially and emotionally while being able to help my girlfriend out as well.

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My girlfriend hasn't once wanted to break up with me and I've been conflicted, thinking back and forth on what to do. Waiting 9 years for marriage is a long time and most women would have given up on their lover already, thinking they weren't committed or passionate enough to want more for them. I only have a year left to make this ultimate choice since my girlfriend mentioned this and I have to make sure I'm going to make the correct one. What do you think? I'm just curious what you all think of this. I did a question on this earlier but some people wanted a more, detailed explanation on the situation so that's what this MyTake is for.

Am I making the right choice to hold off marriage?

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy the rest of your day!

P.S: I'm thinking this MyTake belongs in "Relationships" but it could go into "Marriages & Weddings" or "Break Up & Divorce" but I thought "Relationships" would be the proper section since this does talk about my relationship with my girlfriend and our future plans together.

To marry or break up: A decision I can't decide!
To marry or break up: A decision I can't decide!
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Most Helpful Girls

  • There are a few things I would say to this

    1. You don't have to live in a house - you can live in apartment - there are many ways to survive on a lower income if you spend enough time researching methods to save money and studying people who have done that - whether you are rich or poor - you will adapt and adjust to it - and it won't be a huge deal for you anymore.

    2. Your girlfriend's higher income should not intimidate you because as you said - she is likely to leave her career at some point so she can find a less demanding job

    3. There are many people who became successful without a B. A. like Bill Gates who dropped out of Harvard and didn't return until decades later to get a completely unrelated degree in law. There is one billionaire who didn't begin his career until his early 30s or late 20s and got a PhD in Philosophy at the age of 27 - now a wealthy hedge fund guy who began his career mostly in his 30s.

    4. Your girlfriend is not interested in your money - she is interested in your emotional support

    5. Do not underestimate her love for you. I am 100% straight but when my best friend of 16 years ghosted me at the age of 26 - it took over 5 years for me to stop missing her because I had known her since I was 8 and we grew up together and I loved her more than I loved life itself. The bonds you forge as a child do not break easily at all.

    6. I know a guy who got his PhD in his early 30s - and is now changing his career and starting medical school at the age of 34 while most medical students start medical school in their early to mid 20s. You can always go back to school if you are too embarrassed about your degree or go to an easier school - but I don't believe its necessary for you to have a good career or to feel good about yourself. I know woman married to millionaires who never even graduated with any college degree at all and their husbands treat them like an equal and not like a lesser being.

    Is this still revelant?
  • SongBird3

    Ill tell you what Steve Harvey always said. Women have a biological clock, men have a financial clock. I have do doubt that you and your women love eachother, but just because your not quite at the point in life you wanna be, doesn’t mean you have to throw away something that makes you happy. You need to get to where you need to be, so that the both of you can get to where you both need to be. There is nothing wrong with waiting for marriage for the right reasons. If you love eachother and work hard; it will work

    Is this still revelant?

Most Helpful Guys

  • Dongtai

    So the biggest thing with you thinking you shouldn’t marry her is because you need to get your shit together.

    So get your shit together. Don’t dump her because you think you aren’t good enough. Become good enough in your own eyes. You have the playbook in this Mytake.

    You worry about financial stability. Bust ass and get a better job. I would go back and finish school if possible. Become the person she sees in you. There’s clearly something special about you. She sees it. But you can’t. If you don’t know you could simply ask her.

    Tell her you want to marry her but you want to become the man she sees in you. Throwing something like this won’t do anything. It would be you running away. You have something extremely rare with her. Don’t lose it to yourself.

    Work on yourself. Figure out what confidence means to you and make it your goal to obtain it. Strive for it like you’ll die if you won’t. Don’t turn your back on the love of your life because you’re afraid. It would be one thing if you weren’t in love or if she was abusive. But it sounds like you two love eachother but you just haven’t found the love you need for yourself to truly accept and believe in the love she has for you.

    I’m telling you. I pray and dream of the day I meet a girl like the one you’re describing. I’m sure billions of people do. If I met the love of my life today, I’d do whatever it takes to keep her in my life. Through Hell and back.

    Don’t give up. Don’t lose to yourself. For all of those who have ever love and wanted it, it’s your duty to see this through. Conquer your fear and capture your dream.

    You can do this. I believe in you because this story gives me hope that I can someday meet the type of girl I’d write long Mytakes about. March forward with your head up high and take down your obstacle. We support you.

    Is this still revelant?
  • I really enjoyed reading this, it was very deep and thought-provoking.
    However, my opinion is very short and simple and you may not like it - simply said, you have to ignore everyone else and talk about this with her and only her.
    We can write our opinion all we want, but in the end it's up to you and her and no one else.

    Is this still revelant?

What Girls & Guys Said

2842
  • Aysen,
    I wonder what it would take for you to feel comfortable. You have such a huge wave of support and advise here. But I suspect it will still not be enough.
    You may be surprised to hear that while many of my most respected and admired 'peeps' are here, and they have once again given you excellent, heartfelt, stellar advice that I again conquer with, I do also agree with @MannySimms, who says 'why do you need to get married yet?' Because you feel this anniversary date coming up, I know. But if you're anything close to having a panic attack over, it is not necessary to act upon a date. Perhaps the pressure is just too much for you.
    I understand how you feel, intimately. You know that, I've already told you, and I'm not going to write anything close to what I told you in pm. And my life is far from back on track yet. My future is uncertain and tbd. I want to be realistic and say that these feelings you have, they may honestly potentially never go away entirely, from what I know of you. You feel your problems are not that easily solved, or you would have resolved them already. I know your desire is there. For me, as well. It's *very* frustrating, I know, to have desire and outcome not in sync. But I can tell you that these doubts do not make it all a mistake, or not worth venturing forward, just the same.

  • lightbulb27

    Reminds me of this song which is heart breaking... don't do that, don't lose the girl... if you have feelings and love her. I haven't heard you say that... I've only heard your fear of ability to care for her. Fear is a terrible guide... If Columbus had been controlled by fear, would have never attempted to sail across the ocean blue...
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQjOT7PTzK4

    I think you are right in what you analyze, I think if you put your energy into positive direction rather than into fear and inaction, you'd be successful. You failed for some reason in college... what is that... what is going on? Is it that studies aren't for you... like you are dyslexic, ADD, etc? or somtehing else. I suspect you have your own emotional junk going on and need to get past it.

    My vote is you have some special bond so build on it. Talk openly about what you want and the life you want and chart on that course with her. She is being patient but won't last forever, that baby clock ticks louder.

    I'm not positive this is a good relationship, but it is a bond, so go with it and see what you can make of it. Those old wounds from her parents and whatever crap you are dealing with is going to come up over the next years, especially in 30's and 40's, so just accept that is part of the process of healing and growth.

  • Porcelaine

    It seems that the biggest problem you have is low self esteem and not having the job that you want. Both can be fixed. Just get another degree or find ways to get a new career. How can you let go of a girl that you love because of this? And there is nothing wrong for her to not break up with you, she has her priorities right, she is with someone who loves her and wants what is the best for her, should she become a gold digger and find some asshole who has more money but perhaps would not be as good of a boyfriend as you? Life is bumpy and you will always have challenges, if you give up just like that then you should not get married to her or anyone else, because problems need to be worked through, not given up on and feeling bad about yourself. You are partners, and partners support eachother in bad times, and overcome them together. I am sure if you want to tell her you want to put time and energy into doing something that will get a better job which will result in a better future for you both and make you happy and have more confidence she would support you completely. There is no such thing as perfect relationship, once you overcome this, eventually there will be another challenge, that is just life, you will always be tested but you need to keep fighting to better yourself, not drown yourself in pity, that will not solve anything. Don't compare your incomes or success, she is not your competition or rival, she is on your team and her success should make you happy, not insecure. She wants YOU, so if you want a better and happy future for her, get a better job, overcome your insecurities, cause if you are happy, she will be happy by your side too. Perhaps eventually she will have some struggles too and you will need to be supportive of her. That's how marriage will go. You are definitely mature enough for that since you recognize and own up to everything that's going on, you just need to find more productive ways of dealing with it. If she is the one for you, don't let her go, that would be way worse than staying together and solving financial difficulties. Talk to her about future, tell her of your fears, once you have a solid plan propose. And again, don't stress over extremely expensive proposal or ring. That is not the point of proposal. It just needs to be romantic and make a good memory.

  • Bensbrie

    Honey bunch, everyone has flaws. Including me. You can't think of yourself in such a negative way or it will bring you down, its self defeating thoughts that will hurt you and her. You are important. You are trying to work hard. Which is good. You have intelligence in some areas more than others, that's normal. Sometimes people fail and fall down. The important thing is to get back up and never give up. Failing is okay, giving up is not. Because we can learn from failures and it can make us stronger, but giving up is not a good option at all. You aren't any less of a man just because you get paid less. Try to always be open in communication with her as well as much as possible and it will also help to clear up any misunderstandings that may be swirling around in your mind. You are worthy. You are handsome. You have talents and skills that you are blessed with that you can use. God loves you. Your girlfriend loves you. And I'm sure you are a loveable person hon. I understand you are insecure about some things, but dont let that stop you from growing and maturing. Let me tell you a story. My husband and I met when I studied abroad in China. In the spring of 18 and got married in the summer of 19. But in between all that was waiting, lots of paper work, him being abused by his mother, and so on. When he got here I thought it would be good, well we hit a few bumps, but I didn't give up, we got married, we hit a few bumps after marriage in the way he treated me (he never really acted this way before his mother abused him for almost a year) but I still haven't given up on him. Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is commited no matter what may come your way. Because when you get married, you become one flesh. Its special and important and worth fighting for. I'm sure your girl is lovely and sweet and smart. Dont give up because you may be scared, dont let fear rob you. Sometimes you have to leap when you can't see the bottom. You may fall. But you may fly. And even if you fall, you can get back up! Besides that, money isn't everything. Having a big house isn't everything. Having the fanciest things isn't everything! Having what you need and having the person you love is more valuable, right? Well, either way, God bless you and have a good day sweetie.

  • Mathilda02

    My boyfriend and I went through a very similar situation. I know that I am young... but I very much relate to your girlfriend. I am also in an emotionally and sometimes physically abusive home. I am insecure because of that and I met my boyfriend at school. He is also very insecure and he constantly tells me that I would be better off with someone better.
    But to me, there is NO ONE better than him. Through all of his ups and downs I stick with him... everytime he hurts me I forgive him and stick by him. His family calls me a whore and they don't want me around. He fights them for me. He protects me. He loves me and I love him. I would die for this man. It doesn't matter what he does to me, he is the man I know I will marry. He can make as many mistakes as he wants to and I will never leave him. He is also strughling acedemically whereas I am a straight A student. I also have journals in which he plays every role. He hates the fact that he can't support me or buy me things due to his finacial situation and everytime I tell him that I don't care about money and that we can support each other. On occassions he has cried because he says that he doesn't deserve someone as "amazing" as me. Everytime he tells me I deserve more... i tell him that I dont want more... that all I want is him no one else.
    Together we are changing and growing and forgetting silly matters and letting go of insecurities.

    In my honest opinion. . . Your girlfriend loves you more than she loves life. . . I can say this because the way she acts toward you is the exact way I act toward my boyfriend. Without you she would break completely. Forget about your insecurities because chances are she doesn't see the bad in you like you do. . . She sees it different than you. Listen to your heart. . . Do you really think you are ever gonna find another girl that is going to love you as much as she is? Do you ever believe that she will EVER love someone the way she loves you? No she won't. She wants you and only you. She loves YOU.
    In your heart you know you should marry her. . . Her love toward you is NOT a reason to break up... its a reason to celebrate. Your reasons for doubting in your relationship with her are only worries in your mind. . . Because perhaps a part of you is afraid and you feel like you are not enough. But you are all she wants and clearly you love her too... so marry her.

  • PeacefulRainDrop

    @Aysen You have a good heart she loves you why she has not left you.. life has ups and downs.. she sees potential with you.. money can't bring happiness people do! If money was so important to her shed go with someone who made more.. money can't take the place of love.. Dont feel inferior to her! Dont feel like a failure.. your not at all! She could go with a new man who treats her like shit.. if you can't imagine your life with anyone else stick it out! Hope this help!

  • Huzair

    I think you should marry her. You are just being an idiot that's all. 9 years is a long time. She cares you more than anything and you are just thinking about failures... You have her with you and that's the best thing you have so why are you paying attention on negative things. You are afraid of the future you haven't seen yet and not embracing what you have now. You cannot get the same future even if you plan about every tiny thing so Let go of you insecurities for her and do what is right now. I'm confused why peoples are afraid of marriage now? Because of commitments... Peoples are being coward because they don't want responsibilities in their life. They want a Happy life but don't want to sacrifice also. This is not how it works and never will work. Relationship is walking side by side with each other and face everything together in life. It makes you much brave to handle the ups and downs of life together. So if you are a man and want to be good for her than be the BEST she thinks you are and don't run away from things you are not able to handle right now because of your insecurities. Start doing better from now on.
    EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE IF YOU ARE ALIVE.

  • Harmseygrace

    Don't break up with her. Focusing on making more money, then marry her. She obviously loves you and that's not something you want to throw away. You've got to cling onto that, it doesn't matter how undeserving you think you are. She loves you for a reason.

  • HOAAH

    Could you possibly just focus on getting a new tech degree that makes better money? Computer tech? Register nurse? Electrician? If you made more money, i think you would solve most of this problem. Take out a loan, get. A degree, get a better paying job.

  • Hey,
    Someone already mentioned how you should discuss this with your girlfriend because ultimately it's something that affects the two of you.
    However there are basically two things I want to bring up.
    1. Try not to let the gender norms control your relationship. It is perfectly alright and normal and not in any way weird for a woman to be the breadwinner of the family. And it's not like you've completely given up on it and just thrown that responsibility onto her. I feel like your perseverance is something that reinforces her feelings for you.
    2. I understand how she has conflicted feelings about her current and future role in the relationship in light of the financial situation but I also feel like you shouldn't be making the decision for her. She may not be into her job but understand that she chooses to continue with it not just because she has to predominantly make ends meet but also because she chooses to do that. It's not exactly like she doesn't have a choice. A lot of people would quit their jobs because they feel it is their partner's responsibility to bring food to the table. The fact that she hasn't done that should be something worth considering.
    That said, think of it as this way: would she or wouldn't she keep at it with her job if she was single? By being in a relationship with you, she is allowing herself the luxury of considering leaving her job, something she wouldn't have been able to do otherwise.

  • 19 years and you are not married yet? It doesn't look like it will ever happen. She must either be super patient or super stupid to keep you. Sometimes I can't figure people out. They play dard ass with relationships and just waste each other's time when they could be married and have kids with someone else. But if it works for you that is all that matters.

  • holograph

    If you asked her to marry you, with all your problems, would she say yes or no? I think it's pretty darn clear she would say yes. Trust her to make the right decision for her. If you don't want to marry her because you don't want to get married then don't ask her. But if you don't want to marry her because you aren't perfect then realize that nobody else is either. Every single issue you brought up is so common that I would bet MOST people feel that way at one point or another.

  • nerms123

    I think you are considering breaking up for the wrong reasons. I believe your girlfriend is your soulmate and you should face life problems together. Breaking up will not solve any of your problems. You have to put everything you have into being the best you can be and do what you can. But you also shouldn’t be overly hard on yourself. You should talk to her about your feelings about this.

  • Barajas24

    Just because your not financially where you want to be in life doesn’t mean throw away your happiness (and hers) in hopes she’ll find better because she deserves better. You’re only 27 for gods sake, go back to school and get a degree or find something that pays well with on the job training. It’s tough out there but if you put your head down and focus, I know you could accomplish your goals. Now if you’re struggling with finding yourself and the will to better yourself for a brighter future for you and your girlfriend, that’s a whole other issue and in my opinion you are wasting your time and hers by dragging this out. if that is the case, I’d say take a bit of time to grow up. It’s not easy being in a relationship while still figuring out who you are. My ex and I were together from ages 17-25 and the hardest part was that we grew up together but we also changed. He’s my best friend to this day and our friendship is better than the last three years of our relationship by a long stretch.

  • smg99

    Maybe you should grow together than speculate on what you might not be. Put the insecurity aside as she did. Now it’s your time to be the role model you were for her. Practice what you preach or imbue. If her testament to you was in a diary that she wanted you to know then it means will you do the same for me if I’m there for you?
    So don’t bail out and grow together. It’s long established relationship don’t throw it away please:)

  • DDpsy

    Mary her. Marriage should be done early when both people don't yet have their shit together and work from there. This demented idea that everything should be done when both people are settled is the most damaging bullshit lie told to this generation. The repercussion will be clear in a few years.

  • winterfox10

    Dude, it seems like y'all are pretty close to married already. That girl loves you... like she LOVES you. She has put up with a lot over the years, and she has definitely seen you through the good and bad.

    I think you would be making the biggest mistake of your life to not ask her hand in marriage.

  • Dihiya

    you need to discuss it with her , she and only "SHE" can help make the décision
    (but honestly if i were her i'd dump you not bc you have a lower income or whatever but bc of the breakup you made her go through and your behavior, i mean seriously ignoring her?)

  • LuWe22

    First focus on getting a better job, then focus on your mental health, then get your life together. Really you being insecure bc she is the breadwinner? Insecuritys are just made up fears by yourself. Always remember you are the director of your own damn life. You choose to be insecure, you choose to be sad, you choose to focus on the negative things. The truth is you don´t want to break up with her. She sees you in a different light as you believe about yourself.

  • NyfikenSyd

    Everyone doubts themselves sometimes, especially when it comes to if they are worth love.
    The best advice I can give you is to show her what you wrote here. Be open and honest with her. You need to talk about this.

    And honestly; if this is not a love letter I don't know what is.

  • TonyBologna25

    She sounds like she loves you man. Go back to school and fix yourself up. She’s only an elementary school teacher, not a CPA. It won’t be too hard to reach her income.

  • Stop it, you are not "holding her back," your helping her just as she is with you. Breaking up with her is just self pitty. Instead just work on you. Figure yourself out... And then figure the two of you out.

  • DavidGonzalez7

    I suggest to not breaking up with her. If she hasn’t left you because you don’t have money, then that’s a true woman right there. Talk to her about it. A woman’s love can be the most precious thing in the world. She loves you and by breaking up with her, what do you think could happen if she’s emotionally unstable?

  • DiegoO

    Thanks for sharing your story, but you are losing time here. Get a therapist before you choose a foolish decision. She obviously wants to be the rest of her life with you, and I understand you feel like you can't assure her a future financial security. Only remember, there is always a solution.

  • VaIiant

    You should break up. You cannot love someone properly until you can love yourself- if all of her validation over 9 years isn't enough for you, it never will be.

  • Avicenna

    You're still young enough to do a career change. Find a better-paying career to get into than what you're doing now. If you have a realistic path to a better career yiu can gwt married to her.

  • Disoriented_Shinpi

    Yeah don't care, just marry her and have kids. Once you have kids all the pesky problems just go away, and all it is about is raising kids. If you can trust her to not leave you the moment you have kids, then stay with her in raising them, you're a good man.

  • Andremoso

    Too long of a story and simple answer. I don't advice any guy to ever get married in this day and age. The way society and the system works created a trap for married men. Just think about it. For a guy to get married there is absolutely nothing to gain and absolutely everything to lose. For gals to get married there is absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain. Once the wife has kids as a husband you are nothing. Correct me anyone if I'm wrong. I wish I was.

  • DaMack999

    Break up. Love is clear like sky. U should never be in a position to be in what if this, or what if that? If you can be 1 million percent certain she is the one to make u happy for rest of your life. You're making a damn mistake the girl go and go find your true love. Ur Lust relationship now not love.

  • natgal

    Good god that's a long entry and I did not read it all. If you not sure to marrying someone or not then there is a good chance you should not. To marry someone because the other one want it so a terrible idea. It's like aaah I'm so fat, let's eat more. When you know you know, if your not sure then it's your subconscious telling you it might not be a good idea

  • mellowman

    Can't tell you why but it leads me with a sense that it has always been this way rather than something that is future looking, directed and focused. I see nothing that would lead me to advise marriage.

  • flamiE

    If you feel like you’re not good enough for her then you need to change. You don’t necessarily need to level up before you propose, but you definitely need to do something, not because you’re not worthy, but because you’re feeling depressed and not enough. Do it for you and not for her, boost your self-esteem a bit.
    Her telling you you’ve got a year to decide whether to get married or to break up is her giving you a hint that if you propose, she’ll say yes.
    I would propose, work hard to better myself so I don’t feel like she settles for me.
    She seems to not really care about you income, it looks like she’s demanding emotional stability and mental support rather than financial stability from you. The more independent the woman, the more she’ll appreciate the way you treat her.

  • shephardjhon

    your question made me think of this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DT9kFJq6JCs (watch the whole scene from Netflix you will understand why)

  • roflgun

    I’m gonna give you the honest unfiltered truth: break up with her. You’re no good for her. Marriage is what shapes a women’s life or breaks it. You gotta choose your man wisely. You’re barely financially stable enough to support yourself, how will you support her or a child? I mean... she’s the goddamn breadwinner. Who wears the pants in this relationship? She deserves someone who has their life together like she does. Not someone like you who will give her a life of hardship, financial stress, and feelings of inferiority. You gotta get your shit together THEN focus on marrying a woman. #IKeepMyStandardsHigh #SorryNotSorry

    • roflgun

      Before she makes the wrong decision for herself by marrying you - YOU make the RIGHT decision FOR her by breaking up. Don’t let her ruin her life. If you truly do love her you’d want what’s best for her.

    • Porcelaine

      They've been together 9 years, which means they know how to maintain a good long lasting relationship. He could simply get a better job. Even if he doesn't get a better job, so what? Many women are the breadwinners. You will find some man who supports you financially but is not a good husband, or perhaps you will leave at any sign of trouble. #ThisHoeAintLoyal

    • roflgun

      Yeah so what if he wants to be a loser a life? So what if he only makes minimum wage? So what if he could barely support a family? He should ABSOLUTELY get married.

      Hey, it ain’t my life that’s being thrown away it’s the woman’s whom he’s about to wed, her children, and their future generations being affected lmao. What do I care what happens to them? Just giving my two cent! 🤷‍♀️ I’m still gonna have the best for myself.

    • Show All
  • slatyb

    See a therapist to get over your feelings of inadequacy.

  • FayLaV

    To me, outsider, this is simple. If you are not ready, or if you feel it won't work out, then don't. Explain it to her the way you feel about it. by the way, I understand her desire for different work. Being a teacher really is gruelling.

  • MrWigglesworth

    She will stab you in the back of the skull when you least expect it. Run Forest Run!

  • genericname85

    what the heck? sorry i wasn't reading the whole thing but "marry or break up"? what good is marriage gonna do if you're thinking about breakup?

  • EmotionOfFear

    Just all those years of knowing each other is long and serious commitment. Sounds like only your self-esteem is getting in the way. Marry her!

  • WildNekoWolf

    Marry her. Simple and plain. It doesn't matter who makes more money, it matters about the love between you two.

  • utterlyconfusedXD

    if i even consider breaking up one time, i break up. I've not considered breaking up and marraige in the same sentence

  • SjE78

    anyone who is asking themselves these very questions really shouldn't get married as they clearly wouldn't be in any emotional or psychological position to make the marriage work

    now if the question was about the date, or venue then sure that is not a sign of doubt or wonder, but cos the question is indecision of whether or not to get married to whom you I would assume love immensely, then having been married before, myself... i can say it isn't a decision that you should be having doubts on... either you are sure and therefore by all means get hitched... or you are not, which i would suggest waiting or at least finding out why you have doubts

    however before a wedding pretty much on the day you get last minute jitters but that's usually nerves... however to have those doubts before the big day is a huge warning sign

  • WalterBlack

    The two of you have bonded in ways that are not completely obvious to you right now. She wants to spend her life with YOU, not some random guy who might not make her happy. Some guys spend decades looking for a woman who is as loyal as your girlfriend. I think you do need to get your act together. Talk to a career counselor and get some professional help for your depression. But I don't think you will be helping your girlfriend at all by pushing her away. I think she values you a great deal more than you value yourself. To be brutally honest, I think your depression and self-esteem issues are the real problem here, not your relationship. If you are truly unhappy in the relationship then it may be time to leave. But keep in mind that the issues you have going on in your head are likely to be clouding your judgement. My advice is to stop worrying so much about the future and start working on fixing yourself now.

  • Denniszen

    If you can't say yes in a reflex proclamation then you have your answer.

    Why set yourself up for something that could keep you so detained you miss out on the real mr right and not mr right now?

  • Liam_Hayden

    If you are unsure marriage is NEVER the correct choice.

  • Jamie05rhs

    Here's my opinion: She obviously loves you. Why else would she have stayed with you this long? She wants to be with YOU! And you want to be with her as well! So DON'T break up!! That would be a very, very stupid thing to do. You just need to have more confidence in yourself and work on yourself to improve yourself and become a better man for her. You can do it!!! I believe in you, bro. Just remember that she loves you and she will have your back; after all, she has been with you this long, hasn't she? So don't be afraid to step out and take on new challenges. Make goals for yourself and work towards them. And let her help you in that if she wants to, though you should be the one taking the lead and initiating these baby steps toward your own forward progress. (And don't worry; the baby steps will turn into bigger steps and eventually giant steps and maybe even leaps!)

  • MannySimms

    2 mistakes; both on you. First of all, stop thinking for her. She seems to be able to do that on her own. Second; why is marriage required? It's an outdated practice once used to justify ownership of women. Then someone brought God into the mix and things got worse. Sounds to me things are cool with you both. Stop feeling like shit because you're not the bread winner; who cares? Does she?

    Have a notarized business agreement if you want to "formalize" your relationship. Time to get stoned, get naked and get laid. Relax and enjoy the ride.

  • kanelives

    I think you could get engaged rather than married while you try to get your life together. That way she knows she is marrying you at the least, its just a matter of when?

    I don't know how engagement works exactly but that sounds like a thing thats possible to me. I can say for certain a break up will not be good. I dont think either of you will ever get over each other. If, for whatever reason, you do break up with her and she marries another man... stay as far away from her as possible to protect her marriage. If you still hang out and everything after she marries someone else you will absolutely hurt their marriage.

    So, I say engagement. But others that said you should talk to her about this are all absolutely right. Show her this post, talk to her about it and you two should decide together.

    • kanelives

      Also do please update this when you decide what happens, I personally hope you two get married because I dont see love like this in my life, and I really wish I did.

  • prasanp

    man. I don't need to read all the thing in detail. I will be honest with you; Its none of us to decide whether you both have to get married or not. Its all about you and her; discuss with her and make a choice how to live. A woman has given you with her life, do you think you have right to break her heart for any reason; we don't live in a world where man goes to work and women stay at home and look pretty; we are living where both of them work together and decide together; Our opinion and view does not matter, but her view and opinion matter to you; don't be stupid and insult her by talking stupid; If you think you lack something then work for it and put effort for it. Whether you achieve it or not does not matter, what matter is her being happy with you and you being happy with her.

  • betaTester

    "I can't figure her out. She's seen people who make much higher income than I do and are far more intelligent in academic/cultural studies and yet, she hasn't let go of me. I don't know if it's because I've been her supportive friend/boyfriend growing up, if it's because she's afraid of being alone and/or because she fell in love with me a long time ago and doesn't want to let go of that feeling"

    How do you think so much and forget one possibility: those people have higher standards and they simply don't see her as a long term partner.

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