# Dear Whys Guy: "My Boyfriend Wants to Get Married, But He Can't Hold a Steady Job"

By Aaron Traister, REDBOOK

DEAR WHYS GUY:

Here's my situation. I'm with this guy, let's call him M. I've been with M for over 3 years, and most days I don't want to be. After dating for a couple months, when we were already living together, I found out I was pregnant, so now we have a child together. Shortly after having our son, we had to move in with his parents because he lost his job. He started working nights, so he didn't help much with our child. I was staying home with our son in a totally new city with no family of my own around ( I'm from B, and he is from C, and we moved to C). Last summer, I went back to B to visit my family, and he told me not to come back. We were separated for about 6 months, and then M got a new job, started going to therapy, and began to change. We had a huge blowout and got everything out in the open, and things were good REALLY good. But two months later, we're back at square one. I know I can't rely on M to take care of me and my son because he can't keep a steady job. I love his family more than I love him. He wants to get married, but I don't. Ok-now there is also L. L has been my friend for a long time. We tried dating in high school, but I was too much of a brat back then, and he dumped me after a year of dating off and on. He was my first love, and I was his first love. He has a girlfriend but say he isn't happy. I think about him every day, and I think that maybe if we gave it a shot and took it seriously, we'd have a chance. I'm just so confused. Help!

Thanks, Lonely mom

Whoa, slow down. I was never very good at word problems or calculus, but lemme give this a shot. If I remember correctly, you take the property U (representing you) divide it by the factor of M combined with the distance of C multiplied by X representing the power of his family, then you add the feelings you have for L minus his girlfriend, represented by gf. Hold on, it should look something like this:

U\M[cX2]+L-gf= Pork Chop.

I don't know how I came up with Pork Chop. Like I said, I was never very good at this stuff. Anyway, let's simplify the equation by subtracting M from the whole deal. You don't like him, so he's gone (romantically speaking). Figure out a custody arrangement and leave it at that. It doesn't matter how awesome his family is-you don't marry someone because you like their family. So since we've eliminated M and his family, all we're left with is U, L, and gf.

But see, L isn't actually minus gf, he's +gf (if you see what I mean). L's rapping to you while he still has a girlfriend thereby playing (i.e. manipulating) both of you. That sucks, and while you might have had the time, patience and enthusiasm for those kind of games when you didn't have a baby, you've got a baby now. So subtract L and his gf from the equation, and all you are left with is U and your little boy. Focus on taking care of him and yourself. And be patient. If there are no men in your life who can act like adults, then don't settle for ones who act like kids.

The problem you're facing is still a tough one, but it is a lot easier to focus on how to solve it when all you're left to figure out is: U+baby boy=?

Need help decoding odd male behavior? Redbook columnist Aaron Traister, who lives in Philadelphia with his wife and two kids, is our resident male who is happy to answer any questions you might have about the mind of a man. Either leave your questions in the comments or email him at redbook@hearst.comwith Whys Guy in the subject. Letters, emails, and comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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