Agony Aunt Annie gives advice to a reader whose fiancé pays for everything but does not want her to work or study, so that she can be available for him whenever he has some free time …

Dear Annie

I have been engaged for two years to a man fifteen years older than me. My parents were not happy with this arrangement but I have never got on well with my parents, and I was just happy to get out of home and be on my own. My sister has also had a lot of negative things to say about this relationship, and we hardly talk as a result.

My fiancé is a very successful businessman and his work means that he needs to entertain a lot

He also travels a lot and is away for a few days on end. When we met he put me up in an apartment that he owns in the city. He stays over with me when he is in town. He pays the rent and gives me an allowance to live. My parents do not like that he stays over when we’re not married.

Subscribe to our Free Daily All4Women Newsletter to enter

I am very keen to marry him but he says that now is not a good time as he has too many work preoccupations and commitments. The last time I brought this up we had an argument and I didn’t see him for a few days. Now I’m too scared to bring it up.

My mother says he would have married me by now if that was his intention

I have a good life with him but I do miss him. When I complained about being lonely, he got me a gym membership. He does not want me to work as he does not want me to be at work or any place else when he is in town. He just tells me that I must ask him for what I want and that he will support me.

I can understand that he wants me available as I am sure that he just misses me as much as I miss him and wants to be together all the time that we can.

When I complained about being lonely, he got me a gym membership

Other girls would love to be with such a kind and generous man and I don’t understand my parent’s negative response. They have not met him because of his schedule and he says that he and I are family now and it doesn’t matter what my parents or sister think.

I think maybe he is right and I should just cut the negativity of my family out. I had started studying, but as I am not going to be needing to work when we’re married I can see, as my fiancé says, it is just a waste of time and money.

I do feel lonely and I can never go with him when he entertains clients, as he says that he likes to keep his private and work life separate.

Do you think this is a problem?

Love Bianco

Dear Bianco

Thank you for your letter. It is wonderful to be in a mutually loving and supportive relationship. I think the question here is: Are you?

All relationships require some level of compromise and sacrifice. This is weighed up against the greater good of the relationship and all the benefits to each party.

Let’s look at your benefits in this relationship. You have a pretty ring on your finger, albeit a secret one. It holds the one day promise of marriage – or does it?

Do you think that your fiancé was not aware of his work commitments when he put that ring on your finger? Couples can have disagreements about dates, venues, guest lists, etc. Seldom are the engaged-we’re-getting-married fights about actually getting married! So, anyhoo…you have a pretty ring…

You have an apartment and all your expenses are paid. You want for nothing and spend your time shopping or going to the gym to keep in shape to meet your fiancé’s specifications. I wonder if you spend time watching movies? I’d like to recommend Pretty Woman.

Let’s look at the compromises you need to make:

  • Sunday lunch with the family – uninvited
  • Career – not necessary
  • Available to spread your mind on demand – essential. No wait, not your mind. You can check that at the door. No need to use that really.

Your “fiancé’s” benefits: Hot, willing, prepaid woman on demand

You are the human equivalent of airtime on contract. When no calls need to be made, you are neatly packed away in your box, albeit a walk-in-closet and Woolies-food-only kind of box.

Occasionally he likes to make full use of his free minutes and actually sleeps over. Let’s face it, those supposed free minute deals are no more than a sales pitch. The cost is totally built into the contract payments.

It sounds to me like you’ve bought into a contract, and while the benefits are great when you manage to get a signal, the reception sucks most of the time. It’s time to take a reality check, re-watch Pretty Woman if you have to, and acknowledge the situation for what it is.

It’s time to take a reality check, re-watch Pretty Woman if you have to, and acknowledge the situation for what it is

Unless you actually cancel the contract when the time is up, that billing just ticks over month after month with nothing ever changing until your “fiancé” (#pimp) decides to upgrade to a perkier, less demanding version.

And we all know what happens to those old contract phones …

So unless you want to end up being the greatest thing ever to someone’s kid brother, you need to start making changes that will ultimately get you a landline.

You are beautiful!
Love and blessings

Annie