You've seen celebrity clinical psychologist Dr. Sherry Blake, author of The Single Married Woman: True Stories of Why Women Feel Alone in Their Marriages keep the Braxton sisters calm on the hit show, Braxton Family Values. Now it's your turn to sit in her chair...
I am writing because I need your advice. I am in love with a man that adores me and accepts me for me. However, his finances bothers me.
During the beginning of your long distance friendship, he never pretended to be anyone other than himself. He told me that he was at a point in his life where he was starting over and it would require a great deal of patience on my end because there were some financial hurdles that he had to overcome.
Despite my reservations, I proceeded with this friendship which has turned into courtship. Everything he told me he would do, he has done it. However, this has meant that we would have to sacrifice visits for the sake of him saving money.
I have become frustrated and have broken things off several times convincing myself that I need a man that is more established in their career and have greater earning potential. I've dated guys who met my needs in some ways but they don't compare to his genuine love, care and support. He says he wants to marry me and we speak about building a life together.
I guess if I being honest, I'm afraid. I've heard finances can wreck a marriage if allowed. I'm just a true believer that I can struggle alone. I don't want to struggle with a man. I’ve always seen my father provide for his family and be the one who takes care of my mother, my sisters and I. But I have also seen my sister be the breadwinner and be the one who takes care of her husband. I personally prefer my parents' way.
Am I being ridculous for allowing this to weigh heavily on me? I keep telling myself that income can change as long as he's a hard worker and have a great work ethic. He appears to have both.
I hope I'm not sounding like a gold digger but I just value financial security. Not to include, I'm a single mother that is tired of doing everything myself, I need someone to take care of me for a change.
Your thoughts Dr. Sherry?
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There is an African Proverb saying that states "Romance without finance, don't stand a chance.” Based on that alone is enough to be afraid or at least concerned about marrying your boyfriend knowing his lack of finances. Finances are one of the major sources of conflict in relationships. At least he has been brutally honest with you and has not pulled any surprises regarding his finances. Now that you have dated him for a while, you have discovered what life is like with him and his financial status. Having limited finances can and most often does put major stress on a relationship. Many women enter into a relationship knowing the financial problems but think it is going to change because their loved one has "potential.” That is a major mistake because potential is just that…potential. It may become something more or it may not. It is unclear if your boyfriend has the education, training or other necessary skills to develop his potential. Even if he does possess what is needed, there is no guarantee that he will use it to change his financial status. So the question becomes one of...do you want to and/or can you love and marry your boyfriend knowing that he can not afford to take care of you and your child? It is important to be honest with yourself. If you know that money is a major issue before you say "I do,” don't think will change after marriage. Having financial security as a value does make you a gold digger. It makes you smart for being clear on some of your basic needs. It is great that you are in love with a man that is caring and supportive. But is love going to be enough when the bills are due and you need someone to take care of you and your child, if needed? This is a tough decision but it must be your decision. Take your time and make the best choice for you and your child. --Dr. Sherry
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