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samspade

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Well gentlemen, I'm starting this thread today because my current serious relationship - without a doubt the finest I've ever enjoyed to date - will probably be coming to an end.

That sounds a little wishy-washy, but let me explain.

She's been living here for about a year, on a tourist visa, from Brazil. She came here with plenty of money saved up, but now it's almost all dried up. Her master's in computer science has elicited nary a peep from employers, because of her foreign status and this recession. She's gotten by on some freelance web design work, until recently, as she realized she'd have to do more manual labor to earn some cash for now (kitchen work, apartment cleaning, and the like).

Throughout her attitude has been 100% positive, and she's been a terrific girlfriend in every sense - takes care of me at home, keeps arguments civil and in check, great in bed, charming to all she meets. Honestly, the near-lack of sh!t tests only worry me insofar as I might be losing some edge as a guy - but in reality these things have built me up into something much better than I was before.

In spite of all of this, her status as a foreigner has dangled above my head like the sword of Damocles. She's stretched her tourist visa about as far as it can go, and like I said her finances are stretched pretty thin, too. Predictably, the M-word has been an elephant in the room - although she's never pressured me about it. It sits there as a potential means to keep things moving.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not against marriage in general or marrying her in particular, down the road. But one of the things I've resolved since being on SS is that I will marry when it's right for me. Unfortunately, or fortunately, after plenty of thought, I just cannot in good faith execute a decision like that without being 100% sure. And right now I'm not sure it's what I want.

We had a serious discussion about it last night, and I had to explain that I just don't believe in marrying because it solves another problem. It's amazing to me how simple a "solution" it seems to other people, even good friends of mine. "Why don't you just get married?" many people ask when I tell them about her struggles to find work in the US. My response is that to ask a man that question is the equivalent of asking a woman, "why don't you just have his baby?" Because to me, it's that big of a game-changer.

And so, besides dealing with the blubbering mess of tears last night, today I find myself trying to keep my empathy in serious check. I've been personally wrestling with this for some time, so I knew I'd have to make a decision sooner of later, but all the preparation in the world doesn't make it any more fun. It was like telling her she had terminal cancer. Not to mention the pangs of a distant sensation - Oneitis - have crept up, asking me to question my own sanity and how I could pull the plug on something that was otherwise going so well.

What I'm asking now is support - or criticism - from you guys. I feel like men make harder decisions than this every day and it should be no big deal. I'm 34, just hitting my stride, and I just don't feel ready for one woman for the rest of my life. The fact that she was willing and eager to work her a$$ off for peanuts just to stay with me longer made me realize I should be fair to her about this, because she told me if it weren't for me she'd head back to Brazil and start over at this point.

I should add that she doesn't really want to have kids - somewhat of a deal breaker in and of itself. I'm not sure I want to either, but I don't really want to close the door on that possibility.
 

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boomerick

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QUOTE: I'm 34, just hitting my stride, and I just don't feel ready for one woman for the rest of my life.

I should add that she doesn't really want to have kids - somewhat of a deal breaker in and of itself. I'm not sure I want to either, but I don't really want to close the door on that possibility.



Pretty much answered your own question.........

If you are at this place in your head then I'd say as hard as it's gonna be ....let her go.....

There will be other women.......

Sorry you are in this delemma but looks like you kind of knew this was a possibility.....

Over and Out.
 

Warrior74

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Sounds to me like you're living life on your own terms. Not bowing to societal or pvssy pressure. And with those deal breakers in place, there is nothing more for you to do but to walk away. Remember making a choice closes possibilities, that's just the nature of choosing.

Of course she could have been playing the long game all long, softening you up for the kill. I'd be wary of a new side of her emerging after this. Look for the signs.
 

DMSR76

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Tough situation. I feel for you, sam. But the trump card is the fact you're not ready to make the marriage leap, so there's no doubt you're making the right decision. This isn't to say that the two of you can never someday reconnect, but when you're not ready, you're simply not ready.

It takes a lot of fortitude to resist caving-in in a situation like this. Kudos.
 

samspade

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Warrior74 said:
Sounds to me like you're living life on your own terms. Not bowing to societal or pvssy pressure. And with those deal breakers in place, there is nothing more for you to do but to walk away. Remember making a choice closes possibilities, that's just the nature of choosing.

Of course she could have been playing the long game all long, softening you up for the kill. I'd be wary of a new side of her emerging after this. Look for the signs.
Good points (all of you). She's known for a while my stance on marriage, especially under these circumstances. She's never been big on it, either, and saw it as nothing more than paperwork. Honestly I think if she weren't foreign our relationship could just proceed naturally, either to a conclusion or to marriage and beyond or whatever. But then again, there is always some mitigating factor, isn't there - children, citizenship, "taking it to the next level," what have you. We don't have the luxury of time, so I had to sh!t or get off the pot. That's life I guess.
 
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squirrels

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Someone once told me that you can only be "taken advantage of" when you're trying to "take advantage of" someone else.

On the surface, society will look at you and say, "That girl stayed here for MUCH longer than she should have, just for YOU...you took the best of her love, then told her you didn't WANT her."

What they DON'T point out is that SHE assumed that she could "fall back" on marrying and being supported by you if things didn't pull through, without discussing the issue with you. She set up this whole situation, the tear-works, everything, as a backup-plan for when her funds ran out.

For all you know, the fact that she had convinced herself that she could emotionally strong-arm you into marriage MAY have contributed to her putting forth less than 100% effort in chasing her career goals.

This isn't something that's unusual...I remember my last real one-itis before SoSuave saying one time, "If I can't get into <insert career>, I'm just gonna get a boob job and head out west looking for a cowboy". That's how they think.

I know it feels bad to see a woman crying...even if it's her own damn fault. But it IS their own damn fault.

Attractive women learn very early on how to get attention, especially from men. They find something they want, wedge themselves into an impossible situation, then cry and hope to appeal to the masculine "provider/savior" instinct in men around them. That's why so many women run up debt they way they do...they take what they want, cry when they can't pay for it, and the current boyfriend steps in and "does the noble thing" for his girl. Women are experts at building up liabilities and then pawning them off on men in exchange for socially validating them.

Sometimes men require sex or marraige for that kind of validation...many are satisfied with companionship. Some only require a smile and a, 'You're so sweet!' The point is that women do what they want (justifying it to themselves with an entitlement mentality), then use their feminine wiles to pawn the consequences off on some p-whipped chump.

The sad thing is that MANY of these chumps have come to think that being "the savior" somehow equates to sexual attraction with women. That's why forums like this exist to set them straight. ;)

Half the time women don't even KNOW they're doing something underhanded. That's just how they've gotten by all their life, and they've never been scolded for it by anyone, from daddy on up through an endless chain of male suitors, because they're SO PRETTY.

One of the biggest reasons I've just pretty much completely STOPPED dating is because of this trick. I've lost track of how many women have used this tear-jerk routine on me...sleeping with me, then crying and pouting when I don't want to get into a commitment or provide the kind of affection they're looking for. I got tired of being guilt-tripped all the time just to get some nookie. Some guys can handle that just fine, but it REALLY does a number on my emotions.

I can understand that you feel like you've done a "bad thing" by telling her it isn't "to be". But if it really isn't, all you did was give her the truth. SHE set herself up in that position thinking she could cry her way out of it. If you and she honestly don't see eye-to-eye on the critical marriage-related ideas, like having children vs. not, and you're not ready to be married, then you did the right thing.

God...to find a good woman who isn't a "victim of herself"...what I wouldn't give. :eek:
 

samspade

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Hey squirrels. Thank you for the insight. Not playing devil's advocate, but I didn't necessarily feel any pressure from her from the crying. I honestly think she was just sad about it, as was I, and we both saw this possibility coming for some time. She certainly saw marriage as a possible outcome, but not necessarily a 100% fallback. Also, my GF definitely kept her finances in order - she loathes the idea of going into debt and is way more responsible than I am when it comes to spending money - which was all hers as she came here with significant savings.

I do hear what you're saying about the entitlement mentality, but never did I get that vibe from her (and I think I'm pretty astute about this but not perfect), which is partly why it makes it more difficult for me. When the $ started drying up and she started taking on real bytch work - nothing to be ashamed of but backbreaking, nonstop stuff for very little money - that's when I realized I should be mature about our direction and make a decision.

One could argue that that was part of her ploy, to make me feel guilty or empathetic, but there was never any sense of entitlement or even self-pity coming from her. Rather, it was a sense of "If he still wants me, I'm going to work hard and make him proud and do my best to stay here." I can acknowledge a certain hidden ultimatum in there, perhaps subconscious, but if that's the case then at least there has been zero vindictiveness or entitlement accompanying it. She's never really played the victim card.

The truth is I don't necessarily feel guilty, just sad that it's ending. In the past it was easy for me to confuse the two and wuss out.
 

Kailex

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Maybe I was the only one who caught this...

samspade said:
She's been living here for about a year, on a tourist visa, from Brazil. She came here with plenty of money saved up, but now it's almost all dried up.
samspade said:
Honestly, the near-lack of sh!t tests only worry me.
samspade said:
She's stretched her tourist visa about as far as it can go, and like I said her finances are stretched pretty thin, too. Predictably, the M-word has been an elephant in the room - although she's never pressured me about it. It sits there as a potential means to keep things moving.
Marry this woman and all of a sudden you'll meet the REAL her. I've seen this before and it never ends well. Woman with a VISA devotes herself to a man with citizenship. The relationship is surprisingly easy. Man decides he should marry woman. Woman becomes citizen. Hilarity for her and anguish for him ensues.

You made the right move.

If she REALLY, REALLY wants to be in a relationship with you, she'll find a way to work her way back to you or make it work out.

You do not need to be held hostage by the situation.
As a matter of fact, this whole situation is a real advantage to you. You might get to see her true colors sooner than you think.

Stand firmly on your own ground and firmly hold onto what you believe is right.



EDIT: I didn't leave out half of the quote by accident. She's not going to sh!t-test you as much as you think she will, simply because she is not in a position to do so. She "needs" you in other to attain something in the long run, and as such, her position as a qualifier is substantially lower. She can't run the risk of qualifying you as much as an American woman, because she knows she'll end up losing and not the other way around. The more time she spent with you was time invested in a possible marriage and way around the VISA. I know you might have improved as a man, but it's not all due to just that... I'm guaranteed she'd sh!t test you more if there wasn't a situation where she would be getting "deported".
 

samspade

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Good point, Kailex.

Although you've sampled half of my quote, "Honestly, the near-lack of sh!t tests only worry me insofar as I might be losing some edge as a guy - but in reality these things have built me up into something much better than I was before." Big difference when taken in context.

I hear what you're saying though. Only difference is she cannot really find a way to make it work out, short of marrying another guy. She's extended her tourist visa once already, and the likelihood of that happening again is slim (plus it's expensive). If we're done, we're done.

I am aware of the about-face any woman can pull once the papers are signed though.

In any case, I think I'm making the right decision.
 

jophil28

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squirrels said:
God...to find a good woman who isn't a "victim of herself"...what I wouldn't give. :eek:
I know two and they are both married ( damn it !) to Alpha's .
 
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jophil28

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Kailex said:
If she REALLY, REALLY wants to be in a relationship with you, she'll find a way to work her way back to you or make it work out.
.
Great comment Kailex, and one which men every where should hold when considering marriage .
One of the greatest indicators of a quality woman, who is a genuine contender, is her willingness to make sacrifices, her strength and courage in overcoming obstacles and her endurance in tolerating difficulties in her campaign to be with you.

Take it from a me.
A woman who won't fight hard to be with you to be your wife, and expects you to remove all the roadblocks, will not fight hard to stay with you later down the road when the inevitable drama arrives in your relationship.
 

Colossus

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Strangely similar to my recent breakup, Samspade.

I also was seeing a Brazilian girl for a year, here on a student visa. She had actually been in the states for 4.5 years, but her visa expired and she was left with some hard terms. Long story short, she had to get the citizenship thing taken care of, or live here illegally until she had to go home for some reason, in which case she could NOT come back for some period of time due to her illegal status. US citizenship was out of the question unless she were to marry a citizen; i.e. me.

I recently moved about 6 hours away for grad school, and the question of her moving with me, possible engagement, or LDR was looming for months. It really took a toll on our relationship. We were fighting constantly towards the end. Thing is, she WAS the kind of girl Jophil described. She would do what ever it took to be with me, even if it meant uprooting her life moving with me to another state, or getting Canadian citizenship so she could travel freely. She really believed in joining me in my life, as opposed to making two separate agendas work together. She was hands-down the best quality women I've dated thus far.

We ended up calling it off on mutually-agreed terms. We still talk often, but frankly now that I have moved there has been some doubt, and I'm asking myself if I really let something awesome go. The bottom line is though, her heart was a little more into the relationship than mine. I dont exactly know why, but I think the timing was a little off. She is almost 31, and doesn't have any plans for kids, but she does need a commitment, which is fair. Not necessarily a marriage commitment, but something more than "I'm just your boyfriend".

So it sounds to me like you are feeling the same way. You really care for her and acknowledge this is the best relationship you have had to date, but you are just not at that point personally where you want to make a serious mutual commitment. If you did it would be forced.

That's why we are men and make the hard decisions. They cant do it for you.
 

samspade

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Ah, Colossus, I was hoping you would chime in. Your situation is a lot like mine. And thanks everyone for your thoughts.

Having read and absorbed countless threads around here about commitments, quality (or lack thereof, existence of, etc.), and recognizing when a woman adds to your life, I feel like I have a fairly sober perspective on things - though it's colored enough with emotion to ask you guys for advice.

To be fair, my gf is not necessarily demanding marriage. She simply has a more utilitarian view of it right now because of her situation, whereas I'm naturally reticent. To her, marriage is the most obvious way of "continuing" the relationship. But to me, of course, marriage isn't just boyfriend and girlfriend happy fun time anymore.

As far as trying to make it work and stick around, I will admit that she is doing this - as I type this, she is in the next state, working 14 hour shifts in the kitchen of a country club, making very little money with barely enough break time to take a leak. Not once has she acted too proud to work for more scratch, and once she realized she needed to adjust her game plan, she did it. She has also paid $500 to extend her visa through the end of summer, but beyond that it's anyone's guess. So while I appreciate the notion that a woman should do what she can to stick around, the fact is that unless she gets a work visa, stays here illegally after August (which she won't do), or marries someone, part of it is out of her control.

This is what sucks - I feel like she's busted her a$$ and taken considerable risk to "prove" herself to me and be part of my life. Sure, she may have had visions of a simple marriage and passport, but I can at least say that her sense of self-worth makes her want to earn her place in the US just as she did in Brazil.

So it sounds to me like you are feeling the same way. You really care for her and acknowledge this is the best relationship you have had to date, but you are just not at that point personally where you want to make a serious mutual commitment. If you did it would be forced.
This is it exactly. I told her, if you ask me today if I'm ready to get married, the answer is no....two months from now? I have no idea. Believe me, there are times when I think I could be happy with her and her alone, but I'm just not ready yet. Rollo is right - no woman can ever fully understand the sacrifice a man makes when he marries. To a woman, they seem trivial - cutting off options and sharing your hard-earned wealth. For men, these are our two chief biological directives....spreading seed and producing assets.
 

Bluntmaster

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I used to know a Brazilian girl who was divorced.

Her husband married her so she could stay in the country and she was hot as hell. A couple years after the marriage though, she gained at least 30 pounds and I'm sure she changed on him. He ended up cheating on her and she divorced him and blamed him for everything and now she is a typical western feminist.

Good call not marrying this girl I say. She wants the green card.
 

wait_out

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I have gone over the prisoner's dilemma before in this forum and it really applies in this situation. As relationships become serious we start to know the other person better, and both parties start taking escalating chances to be hurt as more is invested in the RL -- time, shared experiences, emotion.

It starts small (like returning phone calls and not blowing off dates), gets bigger (respecting sexual boundaries, sharing resources) and then gets into life-changing (marriage, kids).

I'm guessing you feel bad Sam because so far you have both played well with each other -- loyalty on both sides. The issue is she is escalating her demands (marriage) before you're really comfortable investing that much in her -- you don't know her well-enough to consider your decision well-informed. Then again you don't enjoy refusing her because so far she has not faulted on you. If she is not angry at you, or demanding, it's probably because she understands your position.

Does that recap the situation well? If you still want to keep seeing her, I think you have to get away your relationship hinging on the marry/don't marry question, and find another direction.

If I were in your position, I would not be marrying, but I would be next to her helping to see if there's any options that have not been explored yet. Marriage is big, but if you get her enrolled at some dirt-cheap community college or online program under a student visa, maybe you can juke the system. Helping her and having her gratitude without compromising your own position is pretty DJ. You seem to want your marriage to be deliberate and meaningful, if you sacrifice that just to deal with the immigration system you are losing something. Lots of people minimize marriage in theory, usually different in practice. So don't give that up.

Good relationships overcome obstacles, they are not destroyed by them. If this has a chance -- she will respect your hesitation to get married, and then work with you so the two of you have a chance to stay together. If you do end up marrying this girl, having kids, dealing with mortality, this current challenge might even seem minor in hindsight. As for her being foreign, all countries have good girls and rotten ones. If we reduce all girls to the worst behaviour through hypothetical circumstances, any relationship not based on control (of her or her environment) is almost impossible to justify.

GL man, i hope it works out for her too. Sounds like she had a pretty rotten deal for a nice girl with a master's. One more story i guess.
 
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samspade

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Thanks for the thoughtful words, wait-out. You've pretty much nailed it.

And I have been helping her, the best I can - through my friends and connections here. It's harder than either of us anticipated. We've explored the school option, but unfortunately you need to prove you have $20G in the bank when you apply.

We're going to ride it out and enjoy our time together for now, at least until her visa expires (perhaps she can extend it again). I know she's working hard for this, so I'm trying to take everything into consideration, but in the end, what matters is whether or not I'm ready to make that leap.
 

Tazman

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Honestly, I wouldn't feel bad if part of her behavior is influenced by the possibility of you marrying her, she's only human. This is what people do, we are ALL opportunists, we do things whether we're conscious of it or not to better our own ends.

She could stick around with you for the long haul, turn into a ***** and/or leave as soon as the opportunity arises, you can't predict what she'll do.

However, it IS in your best interest not to marry her, since we all know marriage is a raw deal for a man.
 

samspade

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Update to this.

My girlfriend and I kept our plans to go to the Caribbean for a week. I needed the week off to get away from all the b.s. and think clearly about marrying her.

It was a great time and even the time since has been nice. I'm sure partly because she is playing nice, though overall I consider her a terrific individual and not prone to petulance or nastiness. Marrying her sounded great, in fact, and I was leaning toward it, discussing life plans and what not.

Two days ago we visited an immigration lawyer who consulted us on the process, which is a lot of paperwork and some money but nothing crazy - IF we both want to do it. Even after that, I was all smiles and excited about it.

Yesterday, however, was a complete 180. I was depressed. I started thinking about what I might lose, whether I'd ruin the marriage if I wasn't 100 percent, whether I could go through with it all.

The question isn't even about my girlfriend. I think she'd be a terrific wife and that we'd have a blast together as we do now.

It's just...am I ready? It sounds like such a vapid, almost effeminate, question. But it's what I keep coming back to.

Of course, now she's had it and is ready to pack it in and go back to Brazil. I have a tiny window of time to fish or cut bait. I can't keep jerking her around; she deserves a decision. I've no fear of being alone or starting over - or even losing a "great one" though that would suck. I'm just a little lost. Someone set me straight here.
 

Kailex

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Ask yourself this:

If she weren't packing it up to go back to Brazil, would you even be considering marrying her at all?
 

samspade

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Kailex said:
Ask yourself this:

If she weren't packing it up to go back to Brazil, would you even be considering marrying her at all?
Kailex, I see what you're getting at. And actually I might. MIGHT. I know what you're saying, the immigration status is forcing my hand. So let's just say that all things being equal, I would still consider marrying her, but the debate wouldn't be so imperative because I'd have time.

Incidentally, I read thoroughly your posts on another, similar thread, about your ex. They were extremely helpful.
 
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