Q. My boyfriend and I have been dating for 4 years and last week he told my sister that he wants to propose on my birthday. I love him but there are a few things about him that I want to fix before we get married. I am very ambitious and I like to set goals and timelines. He is happy going to work every day with no future dreams. I want him to go back to school and get in a better position to take care of a family. He says he likes his job and is not ready to leave yet. How can I make him understand that I need more from him? How can I let him know that he needs to think more about our future?
A. Hi Anon, I think it’s great that you have dreams and goals that you want to achieve. But it sounds like you and your boyfriend have two different dreams. Depending on how you look at it, it can be an area where you are unequally yoked. While there’s nothing wrong with what he wants to do (or not do), there is something wrong with you not being happy with that.
No one wants to feel the pressure to change something that they are content with. It can make him feel like he’s not good enough or as if you don’t accept him the way he is. It’s always best that he makes changes when he becomes dissatisfied with the way his life is going. If he makes the changes only because you are pressuring him, he could end up resenting you and may eventually reverse the changes. In which case, you’re going to end up resenting him.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t desire more out of life. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. I am saying that if your boyfriend is not everything you want in a husband, you need to make up your mind to either accept him or leave him.
It’s not your job to change him.
Before you accept his marriage proposal, you have to answer 3 questions:
- If he never changes, can I live with that forever?
- Is my love for him enough to make me accept him just the way he is?
- Does everything else about him outweigh the things that I want to change?
If the answer is yes, yes, and yes, I suggest that you get busy planning a wedding. If not, it's time to plan an exit. It’s not fair to either of you to stay with him knowing you can't accept him. The longer you stay with him, the longer it will take for you to be found by the one you can accept.