Asking Him to Choose

Dear Mr. Knightley, 

Well here’s the situation. My girlfriend and I have been together for over a year now and she’s beginning to hint at marriage. But I have decided to enter the military and pursue a career in the armed forces. Which means not only will I have to leave in order to go take training but also I may be deployed for a while. This is the best course of action for both of us, since the military will take care of further education and medical expenses when I get back. And the pay I will make will eventually be top grade. But she doesn’t seem like she is willing to wait. I can’t understand it. Obviously she cannot always have everything she wants exactly when she wants it. It would be nice but life does not work that way. We all have to make sacrifices. But she doesn’t seem like she’s willing. Now I’m beginning to wonder if maybe she does not love me as I love her. Am I wrong to take this path if its making her uncomfortable?

Thank you very much, 

Armedbut Notdangerous

PS. Hello from the Netherlands! 


Dont Leave

Torn between Love and Duty


Dear Armedbut,

You are in a very perilous situation. On the one hand if you were to follow your head and do the logical thing, you risk losing the one your heart belongs to. On the other hand, if you are to follow your heart and stay with her, you risk your future and hers as well. I think that is the key difference here. Your duty is first and foremost to the young lady, even if she does not understand it. She may not comprehend the sacrifices needed in order to have a happy and content life if she is so focused on the present. Immaturity is usually a passing thing, and most young ladies eventually learn that even handsome young men must work in order to provide their families with much needed sustenance.

I know you must be tempted right now to abandon your plans and simply live for the immediate gain that you would receive by staying close to your beloved. And marriage right now may seem a very pleasing thing to both of you. However, marriage is also costly, as are accommodations, as are children when they come. And while you may think that you will please your beloved now by giving her what she wants, in the end, she may grow to hate you for not giving her and her children what they need.

I would say the best course of action for you is to try and communicate some of this to her. Be forewarned, she will not take this well. And if she seems to, it may even be all the worse for you. But you must do the honorable thing. You must do your duty. If she cannot love you for that then she may not be the right one for you. Regardless, at the end of the day, you must do the right thing, so that you may rest as ease with a clean conscience. She cannot ask you to compromise that. No one ought to.


Mr. Knightley



About Mr. Knightley

There is one thing a man can always do, if he chooses, and that is his duty. View all posts by Mr. Knightley

2 responses to “Asking Him to Choose

  • missmariannedashwood

    Dear Armedbut,
    You must understand that love is a violent, passionate thing. It shares absolutely no relation to reason for in many ways the intuitive longings of love can trump reason’s limited perspective. For instance, you must remember that if you are joining the military you will have to place your life in danger. And if your beloved truly loves you she may not be able to bear the thought of losing you. So she may not be motivated merely by selfish reason but for your mutual benefit. If you die she would be a widow and without prospects and all on her own in the world. You would not want to do that to her? Where is the reason in that. So you see, love can triumph over reason and you should trust it to lead you. I’m sure there are any number of other professions you may take that will enable you to satisfy your beloved while also appeasing your desire to fulfill your duty. But above all never lose sight of the duty you have to your heart.

  • charlotecollins

    I think you’re both being rather simpletons about the situation. He should obviously pursue his career in the military. If she is able to endure his absence she will be all the more attached to him. And if she cannot then he will be no worse off, for his illustrious career and fortune will make him more desirable and eligible in the eyes of many ladies who would not have noticed him otherwise.

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