My boyfriend wants to break up over my marriage-house condition

By Hong Thu   February 29, 2024 | 04:17 pm PT
I’ve made it clear to my boyfriend that marriage is only an option when he can secure a house for us.

At 28 and having been together for four years, my boyfriend and I face the challenge of not inheriting significant wealth from our families.

I am one of three siblings, and the family house will be passed to my brother, leaving me and my sister to join our husbands in their homes. Having married into a wealthier family, my sister already enjoys the independence of her own home.

My boyfriend’s family owns a modest three-story home, where he and his brother may each inhabit a floor if unable to purchase separate properties post-marriage, his parents said. This arrangement does not appeal to me, as I prefer not to live with my in-laws. Consequently, I’ve urged my boyfriend to earn enough for us to buy our own home before considering marriage. He has committed to doing his best without further comment.

His job performance has been improving lately, allowing him to save VND20-30 million (US$811-$1,217) monthly. With his additional savings of VND500 million and two gold taels, we projected owning a home by 30 without resorting to costly bank loans, setting that as our timeline for marriage.

Yet, my boyfriend unexpectedly expressed a desire to end our relationship last week, citing a mismatch in our lifestyles and a discomfort around me, which took me by surprise. Assuming I would be the one to potentially end things, I reached out to his close friend, who was also my classmate, for insight. The friend revealed my boyfriend’s feelings of isolation in our relationship, attributing it to my initial aloofness and continuous pressure for financial stability through home and car ownership.

He compared our situation unfavorably to our parents’ more collaborative unions and expressed feeling unsupported in sharing his struggles, stemming from my past negative comments on men expressing vulnerability.

Additionally, my boyfriend felt overwhelmed by his job and my comparisons to friends with affluent spouses, feeling his efforts were unrecognized.

This revelation has left me questioning our compatibility and whether pursuing this relationship, given its strain, is worthwhile. I am now contemplating our future, recognizing the potential for a lifelong burden should we continue under these circumstances.

What should I do?

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