I am 43, divorced a couple of years and ready to date again. A lovely man asked me out, but frankly, he is not a ‘professional’ and doesn’t make much of a living. He does work, but I am raising 3 kids (with my ex), and I am accustomed to a certain level of physical ‘comfort.’ I am afraid to get involved with someone who is not a big earner because I don’t want to have to support a man at this point in my life!
What should I do?
Lonely but Reticent
There is a world of difference between ‘needing to support a man’ and having a partner who does not earn what you are accustomed to living on.
You have not shared why your marriage ended, but clearly, money was not a factor unless it was used as a control mechanism. And I do understand the deep concern a mother has for her children’s’ quality of life. But when it comes to good relationships, especially the second time around, there are other factors to be considered.
Imagine if you had stayed happily married to your first husband, and he experienced a ‘reversal of fortune’ or a health challenge that forever changed the financial dynamic of your life. Imagine if you, personally, experienced profound physical or emotional illness and were not able to ‘live up’ to your end of the unspoken agreement you made at the beginning? Life is nothing if not ever-changing, and love is nothing if not adaptive. True partnership is not without any expectations, but it also allows for the vagaries and variances of life and pledges fidelity in the face of them. All of this is SO MUCH EASIER with a person you genuinely respect and admire for their character and goodness than for their bank account!
There is a deeper pleasure than physical comforts. As Jews, we believe that this world is for growth and that happiness is a bi-product of meaning.
I also think there is tremendous pressure on men to be ‘big providers’ but, my friend, there are many many ways to ‘provide.’ Can this man provide warmth? Humour? Friendship? Romance? Fidelity? Commitment? Can this man be a true life partner in all the areas that bring true happiness? These are the questions to ask yourself this time around.
Many of us have so much more than we need and find false security in our creature comforts. Should you end up with someone who works hard but makes a small income, you may have to change your lifestyle financially. But I suspect, that if the man is a true mensch and a real partner, that after a brief adjustment period, you (and your kids) will find yourselves feeling richer than you ever have before!
I wish you the courage to shift your paradigm and urge you to give this man a chance.
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