I am 30 years old and I’ve been dating my fiancé for seven years. We have one child together and I have a child from a previous relationship. He proposed last year, and we’ve recently been talking about going to the justice of the peace. He keeps saying he wants to marry me, but now he has to “get his business off the ground” and get money for a pre-nup first even though he doesn’t own any property or have large savings. Before the pre-nup talk it was “we have to wait until we get the house” (which didn’t work out). It just seems like he is constantly coming up with ways to delay marriage. I tried to discuss a date last week and he went off telling me not to pressure him. It’s been seven years — how long am I supposed to wait? I have been with him since college, we broke up and got back together. I can’t wait any longer but I don’t want to give him an ultimatum. Something is wrong with this picture. All of this time invested warrants a marriage. What do I do?? I am so frustrated and I think I need to leave. — Frustrated Fiancée
Why do you want to marry this guy? Because you’ve been with him seven years? “Time invested” is not a good enough reason. Neither is the fact that you have a child together. Unless you can come up with some solid reasons why you want this guy who, frankly, sounds like a hot mess, to be your lawfully wedded husband, I’d cut your losses now and get out while you’re still young. Raising two kids is already enough of a challenge without throwing a troubled marriage into the lot.
Clearly, your fiancé has issues about marrying you. Asking someone who proposed to you last year to set a date isn’t pressure. I suspect he worries that he won’t be able to financially provide for you and the kids. Have you discussed a financial future with him and how you two plan to raise a family? Regardless of whether you actually tie the knot or not, this is a discussion you need to have. Saving money, getting a business off the ground, and buying a house are all things that can be done just as easily after a marriage as before. Unfortunately, they’re not always as easy to accomplish after you have kids, who are expensive and time-consuming, as I’m guessing he’s learning now.
You need to speak to a lawyer, make sure you understand the child support laws in your state, and start forming a plan for raising your two children alone. If your fiancé hasn’t gotten his act together enough to marry you by now, consider it a bullet dodged and put the energy you’ve been directing towards him back to yourself and your kids who need you.
*Do you have a relationship/dating question I can help with? Send me your letters at email@example.com.