“Jaw With John” – Marriage Contingency Plan

My partner of three years and I are very happy together and love each other. We are in our mid-20s, live together and have discussed future plans, although neither of us feels ready for marriage yet.

We both agree that in the next five to 10 years, we’d like to be married with kids. My qualm is this: He doesn’t think that a lifelong commitment is realistic. He thinks that after an unspecified amount of time divorce or unhappiness are inevitable and that no two people can sustain a happy relationship “forever.”

I almost want to ask if he sees himself married (to anyone) and keeping separate retirement accounts — but he might actually think that’s a good idea.

Can you suggest a more level-headed approach? I want to know if I’m wasting my time with someone who does not want the same future I do.

There are good reasons people split up, but I think making this commitment with an exit plan creates a self-fulfilling prophecy.

What do you think? — Anxious

Dear Anxious:

He’s right about one thing: that no two people can sustain a happy relationship forever. That’s impossible. There will be ups and downs but if there truly is a connection then the storm can be weathered together.

My question to you is why do you want to be with someone who is so negative about the long term? This shows that he doesn’t believe that you and he will be together forever. If you still want to go through with marriage then you should have a contingency plan for that inevitable exit. Keep your finances separate and your ear to the ground.

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