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Direct Answers – Doing The Math

I am a foreign student. Days after I came to this country, I met an amazing man. I was suspicious at first, but after half a year as friends, I realized I was in love and we moved in together. A year later he proposed.

He is starting his own business and wants me to help him as the desk person at his boutique. The period of time I would help him is indefinite. He is not sure when he is able to hire somebody else and I can move on with my career.

I earned a graduate degree in a different discipline, speak two foreign languages and yearn to develop as a professional in my field. I have no desire to spend years at a desk helping him grow his business and realize his dreams, at the expense of losing mine.

Maybe it’s selfish to think this way, but I want economic security and an interesting career related to my education. Helping him will lose both, or at least slow me down. In addition, my modest earnings will depend upon him.

Even though he claims he will provide for me, I can’t simply rely on him. I need to be sure if it does not work out, I will not go insane because I have nothing to back me up. Though nothing will easily heal a broken heart, a lovely career and economic stability will definitely help out.

There is nothing wrong with him. I know it is me. I do not trust men as my mother and aunt were left with nothing after divorcing cheating husbands who promised to provide for them. Their experience taught me to be self-reliant so I can build a marriage partnership, not a marriage dependency.

I am so afraid to devote my time and energy and be left with nothing. When my father left us, my mom raised me and my brother without a single cent from our father. He took everything and we found ourselves in poverty. There was so much pain and shame, tears and insecurity, in our lives. I thank God we survived.

My fiancé is insulted that I do not want to support him. I tried to explain, but he thinks I behave as an egoist.

~ Katarina

Katarina, most small businesses fail, and your fiancé could easily pull you down with him.

Yet he wants to make a clerk out of a woman with a graduate degree who speaks two foreign languages. Huh? He doesn’t see this makes no sense at all? He’s not smart enough to realize that if you were working, the two of you could, if you chose, pay a clerk from your income?

We don’t believe he is that blind. If he is, he won’t succeed in business. If he isn’t, he is ensnaring you. He doesn’t want you to make more money than he does and he wants you focused solely on him.

Accusing you of being an egoist may be the final nail in his coffin. He threw in your face what he is trying to do to you.

The real question is the one you didn’t ask. Despite initial misgivings, you are engaged to him. Now you are asking for outside advice on the obvious. Does he have you losing confidence in your own good judgment?

It makes no sense to turn you into a clerk in his little adventure. Thank goodness you learned the lesson from the terrible trials of your mother and aunt.

If he can’t fathom how advantageous it would be that one of you has a guaranteed income, then he is up to something else. He doesn’t care about your advancement in the way that a man who loved you would.

Get on with your career. It wasn’t meant to be. He doesn’t know you, he doesn’t understand you, he doesn’t love you.

~ Wayne & Tamara

Column for the week of May 25, 2015

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