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Question for the LIW, opinions?

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lyra

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I have a young friend who was kind of given an ultimatum from her b/f and she''s really struggling and stressing about it. She is 22, he is 24. They dated for 2.5 years, broke up for 2 years and are now back together and talking seriously about the future. They have talked about marriage, kids, housing, getting engaged, etc. The trouble is, he says he would "never marry anyone he didn''t live with first". Her family is very against this, but not just on moral grounds. Financially, it seems impossible as the young lady will not be finished her education for 3 more years. She lives at home and has expenses covered by her parents. Secondly, she personally feels she would be more comfortable if they were at least engaged first, which would be more "suitable" to her family, although marriage is her ultimate preference. She is sure about him. He is unwilling to compromise at this point. What do you think of this situation? The other totally unreasonable part about this is he doesn''t have his own house to move into yet, and when he does buy it (within the next year), he plans to have 1 or 2 roommates to help pay for the mortgage, and she really doesn''t want to move into a small house with one or more boarders. She feels like she is being judged whether or not she is "worthy" to marry at all, and is feeling the stress from trying to make everyone (her family and b/f) happy. If she moved in with him, she''d have to give up her car as she wouldn''t be able to afford insurance or gas, and it would be a much farther commute to school as he plans to buy a house in a different town from where she lives now. Stress! Just looking for opinions. I''ll show them to her. I hope it all works out, because other than this issue, they are a beautiful couple. I don''t know why is he adamant about this issue right now, when 3 years from now it will all be different.
 

trillionaire

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they are young. Why can''t they worry about living together after she is done with school? If he is buying a house and then getting boarders, can he really afford the house? Or does he want her to move in to pick up the rest of the tab? Is he willing to be engaged before moving in together? I would not live with my boyfriend of 5.5 years without a proposal/commitment. Did he say why this is important to him? I know there are strong feelings about cohabbing her on PS. Many are very pro and think it is best, and others are very anti and think it makes men complacent. You should get lots of varied responses...
 

misskitty

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I think this is a pretty big issue. He doesn''t want to compromise at all, but her moving in with him would equal a giant financial hit (I''m not even going to get into the roommate situation, which seems like a recipe for disaster in its own right), and he doesn''t see that this is a problem? I''m curious about why he is so insistent on this (besides wanting to live together before marriage, which I can understand, but not if it''s going to clearly be more trouble than it''s worth). And is this a true ultimatum -- does she need to move in with him soon or it''s over, or is living together once she''s done with school an option?

I''m questioning his maturity/readiness for marriage. Based on the info you''ve given us, he doesn''t seem to have a strong grasp on financial responsibility, or compromise. Best of luck to your friend.
 

tlh

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It was my thought to live w/ my partner first because I''d rather ditch a roommate, than have to file for divorce.

Now, your friend, she is 100% sure she is ready to marry him. It is not wrong that she doesn''t want to move in before marriage... and be a "roommate" with a bunch of other "tenants". I don''t really think that would be moving the relationship in the right direction.

I lived w/ roomies and my SO (before we married) at the time it was perfect because he was just a "roomie" when we moved in - and things progressed rapidly. However, we kinda became outsiders to the friends, who would throw parties, and we were the parenst that had to clean up. It created a lot of tension until we moved out to our own place... then our friendships resumed, but we saw the partying friends a lot less than before.

He may have his doubts because they had been broken up for 2 years in the middle. I know if I was broken up and decided to get back together, I''d want to take things on a trial run first... but she doesn''t have to. She has control. Everyone sets limits and expectations on what is important. If that is a dealbreaker for her, then perhaps she should move on. Someone that wants to live w/ girlfriend AND roommates is not ready for things to go to the next level (ie marriage).
 

CurlySue

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What concerns me is the fact that he is unwilling to compromise on this.

Her parents don''t approve (and given her age, I think their approval is important), it doesn''t make sense financially, and the overall sense that she is getting is that she is being judged as to whether or not she is worthy enough to marry. Yet he is intent on doing things his way or no way at all, despite the fact that - as you noted - things will be different in three years.

I think that says it all.

The issue really isn''t whether they live together or they don''t, it''s about how he is reacting in the face of this major conflict.
 

misskitty

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Date: 4/13/2009 3:34:28 PM
Author: CurlySue
The issue really isn''t whether they live together or they don''t, it''s about how he is reacting in the face of this major conflict.
Bingo! This is exactly the part that concerns me.
 

purrfectpear

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Why would any woman in her right mind want to marry a guy that could only afford a house with roommates?

I''d tell him to call me when he grew up
 

sammyj

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Date: 4/13/2009 3:34:28 PM
Author: CurlySue
What concerns me is the fact that he is unwilling to compromise on this.

Her parents don''t approve (and given her age, I think their approval is important), it doesn''t make sense financially, and the overall sense that she is getting is that she is being judged as to whether or not she is worthy enough to marry. Yet he is intent on doing things his way or no way at all, despite the fact that - as you noted - things will be different in three years.

I think that says it all.

The issue really isn''t whether they live together or they don''t, it''s about how he is reacting in the face of this major conflict.
CurlySue took the words right out of my mouth!
 

mrscushion

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Date: 4/13/2009 3:13:07 PM
Author: trillionaire
they are young. Why can''t they worry about living together after she is done with school?
Ditto. It doesn''t sound like a good idea now. They can still do that in three years if they want to.
 

musey

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Date: 4/13/2009 3:54:07 PM
Author: purrfectpear
Why would any woman in her right mind want to marry a guy that could only afford a house with roommates?

I''d tell him to call me when he grew up
Of course everyone is different on this front, but I married a man who wouldn''t be able to afford a house without roommates. We live in a small apartment that we both contribute to rent for.

That said, we live in a city (for work reasons) where houses in acceptably safe area start around $1.5 mil. Maybe Lyra''s friend does, as well.
 

musey

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Date: 4/13/2009 4:43:29 PM
Author: mscushion
Date: 4/13/2009 3:13:07 PM
Author: trillionaire
they are young. Why can''t they worry about living together after she is done with school?
Ditto. It doesn''t sound like a good idea now. They can still do that in three years if they want to.
I tend to agree, even as someone who married young. They obviously don''t seem to be emotionally ready, relationship-wise or even on an individual level, to live together or get married.

I do think, though, that if he has this ''requirement,'' that is his prerogative. He''s not handling it entirely gracefully, but he does have every right to require premarital cohabitation before considering marriage. Everyone needs a different kind of assurance, and that''s something that he needs. The girlfriend should not take it personally (though that''s easy for an outsider to say).
 

fieryred33143

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It’s such a fine line. On one hand, I feel that he has a point. Living with someone is not the same as just dating someone. There is a lot to learn when you first move in. Some couples choose to go through that learning phase as newlybirds others before marriage.

The issue I have with this however is the whole concept of testing the waters. So if she moves in and they argue, is that it? They aren’t compatible so therefore shouldn’t get married and should break up? How much is the couple willing to work and fight for the relationship and work through the pitfalls if they aren’t married when they first move in?

Mr. Fiery and I moved in before marriage. But it was never to test the waters. We had an opportunity to buy a place and we were ready to just be together. Marriage was very far from our minds due to our age and economic situation (I was still in school working minimum wage). We had battles when we first moved in and pushed through them because we were it for each other. There was no one else. There was no test to pass and if we failed by arguing then we would move on. We got engaged 3 years later. My total LIW time was 8 months from the time we discussed finally getting married to the time he proposed. Had I wanted to get married before moving in (or at least engaged) and he said he had to live with me first, that would have been my sign to not move in and possibly to move on.

Had your friend’s boyfriend said that he wanted to move in because financially it makes more sense and they can work together towards the same goal (marriage) easier this way, then I think he has a compelling argument. But to say he rather live together to see if marriage is a possibility…I just don’t agree with it.
 

lyra

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Thanks so much for all of the feedback. I will be showing it all to her, she knows all about pricescope (he does too actually). Hopefully he will not find this thread however.


To clear one issue up, he can afford to pay the mortgage on his own. He wants a roommate so that he is able to save *more* money, so that he will be able to do renovations if necessary, and to save for things like the engagement ring. She doesn''t understand why he is making this an issue right *now*. It doesn''t make sense, I agree. Neither of them is ready to be married, but for some reason he is pushing the intellectual argument. I personally don''t feel that she needs to audition to be considered worthy, and I think he is risking losing her completely over something that should be able to wait at least a couple of years. She would not be able to contribute financially *at all* until she is done school and is working full time. She has a part time job in the mean time, and doesn''t get enough hours as it is with the slowdown in the economy. Also, she is totally willing to spend all free time (weekends, whenever) with him when he does get the house. She feels that should give him enough of an "idea" of what it would be like living with her. Obviously it''s not exactly the same, but it is something. And no, he doesn''t have total control at all, he is risking losing her over this, definitely. She''ll only stand so much I think.

I''ll let you know how it turns out if you''re still interested. She may join the LIW here someday. Who knows?
 

ilovesparkles

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I think the advice is pretty right on thus far. I think he is out of line, not only giving her an ultimatum, but asking her to move to a different city she can''t afford to live in with him and his buddies! Are you serious! Now, if they were going to get an apt together, it might be something to consider. But as you said, she simply cannot afford to make this move. Not to mention how immature the expectations from him are!

I think a decent compromise would be to get an apt together when the school year ends, in the city she currently lives in. If he can''t afford a house with just her and only her, and make some compromises himself (such as the city), then he shouldn''t be looking to live with her right now. End of story. Furthermore, he should and needs to respect her own moral decisions. I would personally not live with anyone until we are engaged! And I won''t ever budge on that one either!

Keep us updated please!
 

choro72

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lyra, I am very interested in this so please keep us updated.
She definitely should NOT move in together now because from what you described, the situation is unfair for her. She shouldn''t move in in the middle of her college education, lose her car and struggle to pay rent.
I would say start talking about it later when their careers are in the horizon or when they have finished college.

About having boarders, I''m biased on that point of view because my FI is 34 and he has a roommate right now. He could have easily afforded to own the house on his own, but like your friend''s boyfriend, it''s just nicer to save more money. Since FI wasn''t really dependent on having a roommate, he didn''t put up fliers or anything like that. We just told our friends that we have rooms available, and it took us a year before we found the current one. This way we avoided strangers and ensured that we have mature roommates.
We''re especially thankful for the roommate now that FI has lost his job. We have an understanding that he will move out when I move in, though that may depend on when FI and I find employment.
 

lyra

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Date: 4/13/2009 6:09:10 PM
Author: choro72
lyra, I am very interested in this so please keep us updated.
Well. We have an answer sooner than I expected anyway. He dumped her this evening citing irreconcilable differences basically.


She said to me "Are you going to post this on the forums, see how many ''What an a**shole!''s we get?". Let''s just say although she''s sad, she''s also relieved. This seemed an idiotic turn to their relationship and as it happens, it really was good to get it out in the open and settle it. She also says that since she feels some relief, that is a sign to her that it was never meant to be, and she can move on away from him cleanly now and forever. Better now than a year from now, right?
 

ckrickett

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Date: 4/13/2009 8:38:50 PM
Author: lyra

Date: 4/13/2009 6:09:10 PM
Author: choro72
lyra, I am very interested in this so please keep us updated.
Well. We have an answer sooner than I expected anyway. He dumped her this evening citing irreconcilable differences basically.


She said to me ''Are you going to post this on the forums, see how many ''What an a**shole!''s we get?''. Let''s just say although she''s sad, she''s also relieved. This seemed an idiotic turn to their relationship and as it happens, it really was good to get it out in the open and settle it. She also says that since she feels some relief, that is a sign to her that it was never meant to be, and she can move on away from him cleanly now and forever. Better now than a year from now, right?
as sad as she will be it will be MUCH better for her in the long run. let her finish school and find a man that deserves her, and is willing to give her the world!
 

misskitty

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Date: 4/13/2009 9:17:30 PM
Author: ckrickett

as sad as she will be it will be MUCH better for her in the long run. let her finish school and find a man that deserves her, and is willing to give her the world!
Agreed! Breakups suck, but I think this one might have been for the best.
 

ilovesparkles

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Sounds almost like he was trying to put the hard decision on her, giving her an ultimatum he knew she would be unwilling to answer to; i.e. moving in before marriage. When he realized she was actually thinking it over, he realized she wasn''t going to do the dirty work, at least not yet.

Well, as harsh as it may sound, I''m happy that it ended this way as it could have been so much worse! Your friend will find a man that deserves her and respect her morals and beliefs. Because the truth is if someone truly loves you and wants to spend the rest of his life with her, he will be willing to sacrifice and compromise!
 
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