Saturday, June 23, 2018
Parenting & Relationships

Girlfriend's comment has boyfriend rethinking marriage

Q: I've been thinking of asking my girlfriend to marry me, after several years of happy and fulfilled dating.

The other day, for the first time, my girlfriend expressed that she really didn't like that I work at home. I freelance and really love it. I have a lot saved and I'm in a much better financial place than she is, which gives me a lot of latitude.

She said she couldn't understand the perspective of someone who didn't go in to an office every day and who didn't have to bear the burden of working under a boss. She made it clear that she wouldn't care if I made less money, only that I had somewhere to go in the morning and that I wasn't my own boss. She then compared me to her former boyfriends, who apparently had more "grit" and who had to work for a paycheck.

As someone who works at least 50 hours a week, I am really bothered by the idea that I'm somehow deficient, especially since I'm doing the work I want to be doing and fulfilling a unique career niche.

Her lack of respect for what I do has made me reconsider whether I want to marry her. I definitely feel insulted and misunderstood; is it the sort of thing that can be talked out, or is career disrespect a deal-breaker?

Confused

A: Lunkheadedness sure is, or at least ought to be, and that — to my own home-based-careerist mind — underlies her lack of respect.

Undercuts its importance, too: Truly, she'd prefer that you demote yourself because she loves a man with a big commute? The value of her respect is in free-fall.

Still, those "several years" say she deserves a carefully if skeptically offered chance. Tell her you're grateful she said this out loud, since you should be; just imagine if she kept harboring these doubts in silence.

Then, spell out your confusion. "I'm struggling to understand. You would like me better if I ended my successful career and took any new job, as long as I had to leave home, work for somebody else and experience the discomfort of these two things?"

Unless she stunned you into silence with her initial pronouncement, I imagine you did a version of this already.

If so, then do it again — "I know I'm belaboring this ... " — and listen very carefully to the way she responds now, several days after the fact. Also look hard into your past few years together for context. Think of yourself as your future shrink, picking around for things that were available to you as warning signs about this woman and this relationship.

Do this because, depending on her response, you might have nothing left to say to her but this: "I can't date someone who would ask me to change my fulfilling life just to meet her arbitrary standards of manhood." And you'll want to declare that with confidence that it was never about her saying just one loopy, inexplicable thing.

Comments

Tell Me About It: Dad despairs at state of gender relations

Q: Day after day, we have new news of a famous man who has done unspeakably stupid and offensive things to women ... for decades. Society is, somewhat belatedly, starting to take these accusations seriously.But change is needed at the opposite end of...
Published: 06/22/18

Tell Me About It: Future in-laws are insisting on an open bar

Q: My fiance and I are getting married in my familyís hometown and my parents are hosting (and paying for) the wedding. My family are minimal drinkers. My fianceís large extended family is accustomed to weddings with full open bars.My parentsí initia...
Published: 06/21/18
Plan your weekend: St. Pete Pride, Hall and Oates, Pixies, Logic, comics Jay Pharoah and Bobby Bones

Plan your weekend: St. Pete Pride, Hall and Oates, Pixies, Logic, comics Jay Pharoah and Bobby Bones

Rainbow connection Pride weekend: One of the largest Pride celebration in the Southeast happens this weekend in St. Petersburg, bringing a rainbow of activities. Things set off on Friday with the free SP2 Concert at North Straub Park, hosted by Coc...
Published: 06/20/18
Updated: 06/21/18
Big concerts this weekend: Luke Bryan, Hall and Oates, Weezer, Logic and more

Big concerts this weekend: Luke Bryan, Hall and Oates, Weezer, Logic and more

HIS KIND OF NIGHT: Luke BryanItís been three long years since Tampa has seen the well-groomed hide of Luke Bryan, the Hollywoodiest hunk in Nashville. But heís about to make up for lost time. On Saturday heíll headline his biggest-ever show here, a b...
Published: 06/20/18
Top things to do this week: Go Skateboarding Day, Hollywood medium Tyler Henry

Top things to do this week: Go Skateboarding Day, Hollywood medium Tyler Henry

Tyler Henry: Hollywood MediumTyler Henry, the so-called Hollywood Medium who stars in an eponymous E! hit show, is coming to town with a live show called "Life Lessons I Have Learned From the Departed." The soft-spoken 22-year-old has done readings f...
Published: 06/20/18
5 things to do under $5: USF Summer Plant Festival, Bridal Show, free show by AnastasiaMax

5 things to do under $5: USF Summer Plant Festival, Bridal Show, free show by AnastasiaMax

1 Summer Plant Festival: If you think you canít get anything to thrive in Floridaís brutal summers, check out the vendors with fruit trees and advice on how to grow them, along with hundreds of blooming butterfly plants, herbs and tropical and exotic...
Published: 06/20/18

Tell Me About It: Wife punished after being victimized

Q: At a work happy hour, a male co-worker groped me. He later "apologized" with the qualification that I had been sending him mixed signals.Iím married, he has met my husband, Iíve never led him on. And when it happened I was incredibly clear that it...
Published: 06/20/18
Your guide to St. Pete Pride: What's changed for 2018

Your guide to St. Pete Pride: What's changed for 2018

Pride weekend kicks off in St. Petersburg Friday with a free concert hosted by a RuPaul’s Drag Race star, a parade along the downtown waterfront on Saturday and an expanded expo of vendors and art on Sunday in the Grand Central District that ga...
Published: 06/19/18

Tell Me About It: Mom/daughter dynamic feels controlling

Q: I am afraid I may be a controlling mom of my young adult daughter, but we have a dynamic in which she seeks me out often, solicits my advice, and makes me too important in her life. I admit to offering that advice because it is hard for me to draw...
Published: 06/19/18

Tell Me About It: Regretting staying too long in bad romance

Q: I recently broke up with someone after two years. Even though there were things that bothered me while we were together, I would convince myself I was overreacting, he didnít really mean it, etc.Now that itís over, I feel like a fool for not havin...
Published: 06/18/18