The Essential Ingredient
I am currently at the hardest part of my life, where I need to make a decision which will impact my future.
I have a boyfriend. Earlier this year he proposed to me. We've been together almost nine years through a lot of ups and downs. He is consumed with work and making money, and time spent with me is limited. Many times I voiced the need to spend more time in our relationship, but he hasn't.
Three years ago we commissioned a house which will be ready at the end of this year. In May of last year we had a baby and decided to go for an abortion. He, as my boyfriend, wasn't there for me. I went alone. Since then things changed. We argue and communication is no longer possible.
I wouldn't say the abortion led to that. It was more accumulated issues which were never resolved. My boyfriend isn't a good boyfriend, but he definitely could be a good family man. He is educated with a stable career, and he truly loves me more than I love him.
Earlier this year I met someone who is my soul mate. We understand each other even though we've only known each other a few months. He is caring. From everything he does for me, I know he wants me. I feel the same and want to be with him.
However, he is not strong in terms of education and career, though he is willing to take courses to upgrade himself. Every woman hopes their man is someone they can depend on. So do I.
In February I broke the news to my boyfriend. He was devastated. He also did many stupid things to win me back. I admit I screwed up his life. After all, he treated me well.
Right now I am so lost. I want the house but don't think I can marry him. At the same time I feel responsible for the nine year relationship he and I invested in. But marrying him will hurt my soul mate badly.
This is tough. Should I leave my soul mate, proceed with the marriage to get the house and be responsible for my boyfriend? Or cancel the house, pay the monetary penalties and call off the wedding?
Penny, one man can't buy you a house, and the other man represents money and security but you don't love him. Whichever way you go, you have mortgaged your future.
Your boyfriend loves the idea of you but doesn't have time for you. He's like a man who gets a dog then ignores it, so the dog sits in the yard at the end of a chain. You are yet another acquisition. Job, money, house, wife.
When you say he is a bad boyfriend but will be a good family man, you are talking about two different men. There is no reason to expect him to make time for children when he won't make time for you.
Your relationship went on too long. In effect, you've already had a marriage, pregnancy and house plans, and the relationship is still not working. In all probability your bad boyfriend will become your bad husband and you will want a divorce. Why? Because married, your needs still won't be met.
At this point, unconsciously, you feel you can't walk away with nothing, so you will need to walk away with a divorce.
Shakespeare compared love to a lighthouse "that looks on tempests and is never shaken." When you marry for a reason other than love—money, security, or whatever—once married, all you will see is what you don't have. Love. Love is what would allow you to stay married.
One man is wrong. If the other man were right, you wouldn't have a decision to make. The decision would make itself.
~ Wayne & Tamara
Column for the week of July 7, 2014
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