Conflict when starting to talk about our future


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This topic contains 10 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Ewa 1 month, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #928718 Reply

    Ashley M

    I’ve been dating a guy for 4 months and we’ve really hit it off and have been spending a lot of time together. We are at an age where we know what we are looking for and want to get married in a year or so. Everything was going great and we are on the same page about our beliefs, work, family, etc. but the last few days he’s been asking me more serious questions about how many kids I want, if I want to work, etc. I know I am traditional but I’d like to be a stay at home mom because I was raised that way with my siblings and i am really happy I had that opportunity. I also have a side business where I could bring in money while doing that.

    He didn’t react the way I thought he would and he told me he didn’t like that and that’s he’s going to think more about it and can’t give me an answer now.

    Is this something that is a deal breaker? It was kind of hurtful that in his mind this isn’t a good thing. I am a teacher for a living and love kids so I would want to spend as much time as I can with mine if we are able to do that financially. I guess I’m just disappointed because we were on the same page about everything and now it seems like this might be a deal breaker for him.

    Any advice on how to handle this or how to respond would be appreciated!

    #928719 Reply

    Liz Lemon

    You’ve been dating 4 months. That’s way too soon to be discussing marriage! You barely know each other. You’re still in the honeymoon period at this point.

    You are developing a relationship and getting to understand and know each other. You have just found out that you two are not “on the same page” as much as you thought. You have conflicting ideas of what a marriage should be like– you want to be a stay at home mom, but he does not want his future wife to be a stay at home mom. So it sounds like you aren’t as compatible as you thought.

    I don’t mean to sound harsh. You’re just getting way ahead of yourself with marriage talk at this stage. You need to date awhile to really see if you would be a good fit in marriage. And now it’s starting to look like you don’t have the same expectations of marriage.

    Is this a dealbreaker? Yes, possibly. You should not have to sacrifice your desire to be a stay at home mom, and he should not have to sacrifice what he wants in a marriage and family either. It may be that your expectations on this never align.

    How old are you both? As for how to respond- let him be. Stop the marriage talk for now. It may be that he changes his mind (from the way you described it). Let your relationship develop and deepen over time before you start talking marriage.

    #928720 Reply

    Ashley M

    Thanks! We are both 30. I actually didn’t bring this up about marriage and kids, he did! I was surprised he did but still talked about it since we are dating to get married and know what we are both looking for. Does that change your answer? Thanks for the advice :)

    #928721 Reply

    Liz Lemon

    I mean….it doesn’t really change my advice, no. Again, it takes time to really get to know a person. The first 3-6 months of dating are the honeymoon period (anyone here will tell you that), which is a wonderful, beautiful time. But you don’t truly know the person yet.

    You may both know what you’re looking for, but it doesn’t sound like you’re looking for the same thing. You want to be a stay at home mom. He doesn’t want his wife to be a stay at home mom. It may be that this is the point where you realize you are not as compatible as you thought.

    Just slow down a bit, take time to get to know each other more, and proceed with caution. Definitely don’t marry someone with vastly differing expectations of marriage. Everyone I know who has done that (including myself) has ended up divorced. Don’t go into a marriage knowing that you are not on the same page about major life choices like this one.

    #928724 Reply

    Tallspicy

    Yes, it can be a dealbreaker. You are basically asking him to become the sole financial provider and for you to offload yourself from a professional progression. Did his mother work?

    #928728 Reply

    Maddie

    I think it’s a dealbreaker. It’s a very large lifestyle difference, and it reflects you have some different values and priorities that it even came to you as a surprise.

    I don’t think it’s so bad to have these conversations already about what you both are theoretically looking for in a marriage at all, but having them in the context of *you two* specifically getting married is way early for only 4 months in. It’s part of getting to know each other and seeing if you’re on the same page, but dating with such strong emphasis on “we’re dating to find a spouse!” instead of “we’re seeing if we have a foundation of liking and trusting each other while not having incompatibility dealbreakers and if all goes well will potentially consider marriage later on because that’s where we both want to end up” puts a lot pressure on things. Might seem like a subtle perspective difference, but personally it made all the difference in my dating life.

    #928729 Reply

    Liz Lemon

    I agree, Maddie- it’s fine to have the conversation in a theoretical way. It helps figure out if you are compatible with the person to have these kinds of conversations early on.

    But it’s not good to decide you’re getting married, THEN have the conversation. The OP has it backwards.

    This is the kind of thing you discuss in a theoretical way when dating. BEFORE any talk of the two of you actually getting married. It helps you weed out the guys with whom you don’t share the same expectations of marriage.

    #928730 Reply

    Maddie

    Ah yes, that makes sense, Liz. I agree too!

    #928731 Reply

    T from NY

    What Liz Lemon said all day long.

    Way too early to be talking about this stuff. I understand that a lot of people have “goals” in mind of dating for marriage – but please consider – you don’t even know this person. I wouldn’t even entertain the notion of becoming engaged to a person for at least a year. And then I would have another 6 months – year for the engagement. The reason being – most people can’t hide who they are for two years. Additionally, just statistically, at least one or two life events may occur during that time to demonstrate to you the persons character, coping mechanisms and your compatibility.

    I want to acknowledge the age you are, and how much it sucks that so many men these days are marrying and having children later and later. And some value financial independence or wealth over children or living with less. It’s not wrong or right – it’s just lifestyle choices. I stayed home with kiddos for 15 years. No way in heck I would have been compatible with a guy who didn’t support that. Also, of course it’s a deal breaker. If you’re feeling this way even before you’ve had a baby it will not change once that infant is in your arms.

    The first months of dating should be fun! lighthearted! memories! sex! friendship! because it’s the foundation for later when kids and bills and work and life come at you. You have to trust the universe. You have to trust yourself. What is meant for you will not pass you by.

    #928744 Reply

    AngieBaby

    I have a different take on this.

    You’re both 30, dating to find a life partner, getting along well. And HE raised the subject of marriage and family. Four months is about where a guy will start to seriously consider if he could see a future with you. I think it’s a positive sign he asked. And I think your answer was just fine, because it was your truth.

    It takes courage in this day and age to state the job you want most is wife and mother. And you are not asking him to be the sole breadwinner, you have a side business that brings in additional income.

    You are 30 and you know what you want. I wouldn’t be dating for 6-12 months before having some kind of basic marriage and family discussion. Men can father a child pretty much all their lives. Women have a relatively short window of carry a baby and you are in the middle of your prime childbearing years. You don’t have to jump down a guy’s throat on a first date to find out where he stands on marriage, children and your being a stay at home mother, but I think you should find out sooner rather than later so you don’t run out of time, because believe me, your 30s go fast. So perfect that HE raised the subject.

    Either he doesn’t want to be the primary support of his family, he wants a full time outside the home working wife or he’s never really thought about it and needs time to consider.

    Let him think. Either he’s open to it or he’s not. You’re not asking him to sign on the dotted line. If he comes back and breaks up, GOOD because you found out very early in you two are not compatible – and yes, it is a dealbreaker – and you can move on to someone who would LOVE a full-time mother and domestic goddess. ;)

    #928753 Reply

    Ewa

    I have a different view on it .
    To me he is trying to get out if the relationship or dating you by trying to find something that doesn’t sit well with him.
    I find it quite strange because what if your child needed constant care or maybe you after pregnancy got ill and couldn’t work. Things happens right …

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