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I'm uncomfortable being the bread winner
January 16, 2003
11:04 am
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Engaged to be married and am basically the bread winner of the family. I'm a woman, but not a mother. I've a to-be step son, but not his mother. I've a mama's boy for a husband. It is bugging me, giving me a stomach ache.

I don't know what will happen to me after we're married. I don't want to be the "man" of the family. Rellied on only for financial support... I want him to leave his mother's side and come to me when he needs help and advice. She's a sweet woman and very smart. She's good for advice, but I want him to come to me first. Aren't I supposed to be his best friend anyway? Jealous? Not really... just lost as to what my new role is and will be...

am also fearful as to what I'm headed into. I don't want to be stuck in a marriage where I cannot exercise my woman-ness. My nurturing side...

the anxiety is really bad today. Thanks for letting me rant.

Take Care,
artist-2

January 16, 2003
11:06 am
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sounds like your going to be mom not wife:(

January 16, 2003
11:08 am
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You think? I should find out for sure - thanks for responding!

January 16, 2003
11:17 am
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Hi artist~

I am the breadwinner and mommy in my house - to a 4 year old and a 47 year old.

It's not fun, and I would like to have a break sometimes. However I like having the control of the money in some ways. At least I know it won't be blown on totally senseless items. And I cannot tell my husband that I am getting a bonus or that I have money in savings, because he will want it.

The fact that you are uncomfortable with it may be signalling something to you. I would look inside myself and see what you are afraid of.

Like:

I will always have to work, even if I have a baby, because he does not have the ability to support the family.

I will never have anyone to lean on if something happens, like I am disabled or sick. I must always be the strong one and will never get the same type of support I give out.

I will never take top priority in his life as his wife. Everyone else will come first and I will be taken for granted. My feelings, hopes and dreams will be ignored by my husband for the rest of our marriage.

So, look over what your expectations are for marriage before you tie the knot. If you want to concentrate on raising and supporting a family this may not be the right situation for you. And it is very hard to take the man you currently have and mold him into a totally new man. Old habits die hard. Once an adult the basic person rarely ever changes.

You have a lot to think about. Of course, being an optimist, at least you are not pregnant and trapped into having to be married for any reason. So, you can think about things and if you are unsure you can hold off getting married for a while.

It's your choice, just make sure you know what you are getting into.

Take care,

Jenny

January 16, 2003
11:29 am
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Jenny,

You gave me some valuable things to think about. Like number three: I will never take top priority in his life. My hopes and dreams might be over looked, but it's not like he means to... although, you might be right - this may not be the situation for me.

Probably discuss with with my therapist next week.

Did you ever experience those things?

- Jennifer

January 16, 2003
11:42 am
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The doubts you are expressing are enough to put things on hold, dont rush into this without being 100% sure

January 16, 2003
11:49 am
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Yes, thank you. You are right. I need to talk to him about it. Those doubts will just get everyone into trouble later. It's not right to act like everything is ok and will work out fine, when I feel this way. Good advice.

January 16, 2003
12:04 pm
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The real truth is that I enjoy being in the captain seat financially. It has a certain sense of nurturing.. in a way. Yet, when that relief is provided, I feel anything else that I have to give is considered secondary. And I hate that.

Most important is that I want to have a child and that is not considered a gift, it is considered a burden. I dont have strong maternal feelings for the little boy, but I do have feelings of nurturing and caring. I do things and take care of him, etc. It doesn't go as far as I'd like. His own mother doesn't have the feelings either. But, I won't go into that about her. So, because she is so lacking, I want to help and fill in the space with love and caring for him. And it happens and I do it without resentment, and do it from the heart.

Still, I feel overlooked and secondary most of the time. It seems the only time he does what I say or act cooperatively is when I get ugly. I don't want to have to be that way, but it sometimes seems the only way to get results from the boy. Then I feel ashamed in front of the dad. Like I can't get anything accomplished without getting adamant. The dad is usually, but not always, calm and patient. It makes me squirm and cringe to watch him try and dicipline his son. I feel that his son is manipulating him, and he seems oblivious to it. That can really get me mad sometimes.

Anyway, still I am here trying to figure it all out.

January 16, 2003
12:04 pm
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artist~

Yes. I have experienced this in not only my current marriage but my first one as well.

Sometimes it sucks being the strong one. Has something to do with my own brand of co-dependence.

But I am better at living my own life now than I ever have been. I truly know I can be alone and be OK with it. Right now I choose to stay married and have lower expectations about what my husband can give back to me. But I don't feel I am compromising my own choices or freedoms either. I am over romanticizing what marriage can be like. Those fairy tales are just that - make believe stories. The real McCoy is hard work.

Must be something that happens after you turn 40..!!..!!

January 16, 2003
12:06 pm
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Yup, must be... just turned 40 myself.

Do you think I should call off the potential marriage for now, or keep working hard at it?

That's probably a toughie to answer...

- Jennifer

January 16, 2003
12:59 pm
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Jennifer~

Have you set a date yet? In any case, I think a serious discussion is in order. First you need to know what you want out of the marriage. It is funny but sometimes you actually do try to emulate some dumb thing your parents did in their marriage (or their expectations that were never fulfilled).

Next, tell him what you want out of the marriage, and let him figure out what he wants. Check your financial goals, dreams for the future, etc. with what his goals and dreams are. Gauge each others reactions and make sure you are both on the same page. All of this will either make you feel better about getting married or more nervous.

If you are more nervous, tell him you want to delay 6 months or so. Or that you want to attend a pre-marriage class at a local church (or a non-profit organization). From what I understand these classes force you both to discuss how you want your lives together to be like.

And, even if you're on the altar, don't say 'I do' and not really mean it. Better to cancel the entire wedding and look like a fool for a day rather than be stupid for many years of your life.

Keep us posted on what happens. Good luck!!

January 16, 2003
1:40 pm
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Artist 2~

It's hard to have the responsiblity of being the bread winner but I think it's also liberating.

When I was married, my husband made the money, I stayed home and took care of the kids and the house, he handled everything else. He controlled everything and when I knew the marriage was over it made it very hard to leave. I hadn't worked full time in almost 5 years and had no savings of my own to fall back on. I was very dependent on him.

In my current relationship, I'm with "Mr. Needy" too. I think that's what attracked me in the first place. I do take care of him, look out for him and I am the bread winner. I look at is a being independent. I know I'm not with him because I need him in that way and I think it allows our relationship to be more emotional than financial like my marriage was. I used to really rag on him about making money and supporting us but I think I've decided that the love we have is more important. If I go to work and make the money, he can be home doing the things there that need done, and together, we can have a balanced, equal relationship.

So, I know where you are coming from, it's hard to decide if you can live with it. I've had it both ways....I prefer to be financially free and independent. I don't want to rely on a man for anything (yes, very sexist I know) that's just where I am in my life right now.

Hope it helps.

Jenny~ great advise as always. =)

January 16, 2003
1:41 pm
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Beenthruthat is right!

I had doubts right up til the day of the wedding but didn't have the guts to face "what will everyone say" so took the easy road out and hoped it would work out in the end.

Am still trying to get the strength to do what I should've then. Six + years ago.

Think long and hard my friend. Every passing year makes it a little harder, a little scarier, a little too difficult.

Congrats, however, on being a self-sufficient female in our society! Kudos for that, and for taking the time out to reconsider. You'll be fine, just go with your initial gut instinct.

Read something yesterday that I am taking to heart -- maybe it will help you a little bit, too.

"More is lost thru indecision than thru bad decisions."

January 16, 2003
2:17 pm
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Cool... thanks a bunch y'all!

January 16, 2003
4:18 pm
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I have a good quote~

This one meant a lot to me.....

A "no" uttered from deepest conviction is better and greater than a "yes" merely uttered to please, or what is worse, to avoid trouble.

I think goes for an "I do" as well.

January 16, 2003
7:00 pm
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Sounds like way to many issues to follow through. Way to many. In the beginning I thought it should all fit great, then have a few cracks to work on, seems like you have lots of fault lines. Take your time.

January 16, 2003
7:14 pm
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It's all bullshit!
I had to remind him to have his son call his irresponsible mother!!! I'm so furious...

January 17, 2003
8:30 am
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I had a friend in a similar situation. Her husband never let go of his mother, then finally he had an affair on his wife, my friend. She never looked back or took him back. I admired her strength. I, myself, am having a difficult time with my almost husband and his codependent friend. What can we do? Letting go is painful. Best of luck.

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