I feel like all I write about lately here is my constant back-and-forth on what I want the next 10 years of my life to look like. My good friend who is also a good year younger than I am just gave birth to her first child this week, and I’ve taken a good look at my life and feel like I’m making enough progress in my professional life to deserve to be a “real adult.” Which doesn’t have to include the whole marriage and kids thing, but it does include living independently, without random roommates, and being in a situation where I could have kids, or at least a kid.
Surprisingly enough, I’m starting to feel ready for that. I survived a small layoff recently, and I know that while my job will never be a sure thing, I’m valued in my role because I provide significant value to my company. Hey, I’m actually good at what I do, and confident enough now to know that if I lost my job I could, knock on wood, find another one. That feels great. That makes me think it might be time to start a family of my own.
I love my boyfriend so much. I’ve written a bit about how he hasn’t been in a full time job yet in his life, but at least he’s trying now. He’s also doing a bit of freelancing. It still is uncomfortable thinking about him being ok with making $20k per year while I’m bringing in over $100k and actually saving for retirement. I still occasionally look around at other guys and think, man, wouldn’t my life be so much easier if I could just fall in love with someone who has a real job and motivation to move up the career ladder? But that’s also what I love about my s/o… he isn’t motivated by money. He isn’t the type to work his life away. And ultimately, all I really want is a man who will be there to cuddle, to go for walks with, to make dinner with. What more do I need?
So maybe I should just get on with it and marry the guy. If I’m not going to marry him ever that’s one thing, but I’m pretty sure that’s what I’m going to do. I haven’t really felt happy at all in life until him, and I’m sure I won’t feel happy without him. After seven years, if I feel that way, that has value, and truth to it. Money be damned.
Every time I attend a wedding I do two things. One: cry. Two: put myself in the bride’s shoes, and wonder how I’d feel walking down the aisle, tying the knot forevermore. I’m writing about this topic a lot lately because it’s been on my mind. I’ve spent my entire life fighting against allowing money to factor into who I date, but at the ripe-old age of almost 30, I’ve realized that there are two key pieces of a happy marriage: One: financial compatibility. Two: frequent blow jobs (seriously.) I’m pretty convinced at this point that as long as those two things exist in a marriage, it will be successful.
This week, I spent time with a good old friend who is now the mother of a one year old. Just a few years into the marriage, she says that if she could do it over again she’d get married for money. When you have a kid, she explained, they become your world, and all you care about is providing for them. Her husband apparently went to school for a certification and failed the exam, refusing to go back to take it again, and he’s stuck in his job making around $55k per year. Meanwhile, she makes a small salary as a hair dresser, and they both struggle to make ends meet. The pair bought a condo and, additionally, are paying off a car payment of $300+ per month. On the other end of the spectrum, sort of, I have another friend who is pregnant with her first child, and she’s married to an engineer for a major tech company, and even they are struggling with finances at the moment with a kid on the way and major house remodels. I kick myself when I share my concern about my boyfriend’s financial situation with her, as she’s struggling to pay off her debts as her husband pays for their expensive bay area starter home.
I’ve been scared to be with a man who has his life together. Because of my depression and other crazies, I just don’t trust myself to maintain a relationship with anyone who is focused on their career. I feel safe with my boyfriend, I know I’ll always be in charge of the finances, he’ll surely stay at home with the potential offspring, and maybe that’s fine. I just don’t know what I want. I can see myself going on like today if I don’t have kids, living with roommates, semi cheaply, splurging on dresses, shoes and makeup on occasion but overall keeping my living expenses low. Thinking about a life with kids changes the picture. And I worry one day I’ll be upset at myself for not seeking out a man who had his life together. Just enough to have a bit of retirement savings at 30. Continue reading
Every once in a while I get this itch. I look at my life today and I think, wow, I’ve come so far and yet – is this the be-all end-all of happiness today? I’ve spent the last eight years working my way up in my career, terribly depressed most of the time, fighting the weight of impostor syndrome and a complete overwhelming feeling of incompetence and yet here I am, with a director-level title before 30, and everyone who knew me way back when is probably surprised how far I’ve come.
Looking ahead to what’s next, the big item up for auction is my devotion. That is, the next major choice in my life is marriage (well, unless I decide to buy a house first.) I’m extremely confused about marriage. While I’m glad we live in a day in age when women can be successful and independent, the options are almost too much. Do I even really need to get married? It seems marriage itself is good for two things — one, ensuring the woman is kept for if she is making less than the man in her life – and two, keeping families intact for children. Maybe there is some benefit to being with one person for the entirety of one’s life as you could say that there’s value in growing old with someone and not being alone, but who’s to say that one person will make it on earth as long as you do? In that sense, isn’t it better to have multiple close relationships so the odds of being alone later in life are less? Continue reading
The divorce rate of people post 50 years old has doubled between 1990 and 2010. In 1990, only 1 in 10 divorces were people 50 and older. Now it’s 1 in 4. Meanwhile, the overall divorce rate is trending downward. The stat that 50% of all marriages end in divorce is now incorrect, it’s more like 40%. Still, that’s quite a few break ups for something that requires you to take a vow of “till death to us part in sickness and in health.” My aunt, newly almost-divorced at 49, states that if half of marriages end in divorce, at least half the other half are unhappy. I think that’s probably true.
My parents are what you would call lifers. They are not happy together by any means, my dad is a wreck and both verbally and emotionally abusive, and he will both talk to me openly about how hot some woman is and whether he should ask her out while also how much of an idiot my mother is, meanwhile, my mother has never been able to actually grow up in the relationship, she’s like a 12 year old who can’t handle the stresses of everyday life and is treated like such shit, but the two of them would never get a divorce. I haven’t exactly grown up with the best example of a good marriage to inspire me to walk down the aisle. Yet I still fancy myself in a white dress, signing my life away to one person, I’m just not sure why.
Financially, marriage is sometimes a liability. According to The Tax Policy Center, “Marriage penalties and bonuses result from the combination of progressive tax rates and taxation of a married couple as a single tax unit. With progressive taxes (which impose higher rates on higher incomes), combining spouses’ incomes can result in some income being taxed at higher rates than if spouses’ incomes were taxed separately. That can occur only if joint tax brackets are less than twice as wide as individual brackets. (A couple does not have to file a joint tax return but their alternative-filing separately as a married couple-almost always results in greater tax liability.)” Continue reading
As I mentioned in many previous posts, my boyfriend of 6+ years is unemployed. He’s unemployed for numerous reasons, none of them being talent and intellect. He is just stuck, and needs a little unsticking. I know that everyone says you can’t change a man, but I’m not trying to change him, I’m trying to help lift him out of the quicksand and onto his own two feet.
We had a very good and frank discussion today about money. He said that while he doesn’t like the concept of money, he accepts that to do anything and have power in this country you need money, and he’s willing to work hard to earn it. I’ve compiled a new fresh resume for him based on my learnings from job searching, and quickly found out how much I know about career searching versus the average person. I’m glad I can answer all of his questions about what to write in a cover letter and what job sites provide quality listings. Continue reading