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Old 12-05-2013, 03:30 PM   #21
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I am your daughter to some degree. I am college educated, was the primary bread winner, and married a wonderful man who had a high school education and trade school. We continue to share the same priorities in life, and he has been and continues after 35 years of marriage to be a supportive and loving husband, father, and now we share the joy of being grandparents.

My dad was a lawyer. My mother "expected me" to marry a "professional" man. My dad stayed quiet but was always supportive.

Our daughter married 7 years ago. He was a "nice kid", still slogging through college after 6 years, and delivering pizza to support himself. Said he did not want to graduate with debt. Well, we trusted our daughter and supported them. We now see him as the son we never had. He is the envy of all DD friends, he works full time, and fully shares household and childcare responsibilities with DD. We truly love the man...

Lastly, my sister married "the professional" that mom and dad always envisioned for us. He is a good man and kind. But in the end, did little to be involved with kids, was not appreciative of my sister, and they divorced (though remain friends) after about 15 years of marriage. My mom is still not over it.

So, understand that at a young age, we generally change. We grow together or we grow apart. Love and support enhance, friction adds nothing. 9 months is not a lot of time, but she will have to make the decisions. Be there to support and nurture, and help her down the road as needed. At 24, they are still trying to be independent, and your thoughts have been shared.
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Old 12-05-2013, 03:32 PM   #22
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I thought I was the only parent out here with the problem. They split up because of his lack of motivation. Then he got motivated, and she is fine with his new career. Back together.

I am left wondering. She will be a professional in nursing. As best I can tell he will make substantially less. However, my kid is tenacious. I know the worst I can do is recommend she break this off again. So I have to trust her judgment.

I examined my own life. If my FIL made an appraisal of my earning power 30 years ago, he didn't bring it up. I had a degree and not much else.

Now, when boyfriend brings a few craft beers, drinks most, and leaves with the rest, I just wonder when he'll get it--that he's supposed to leave the full ones, not the empties...
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Old 12-05-2013, 03:40 PM   #23
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I'm reading between the lines a little, but it sounds like you are upset that your daughter won't be able to live an upper-middle class or upper class lifestyle "in the manner to which she is accustomed" with "only" her nursing income and her husband's income from lower level jobs (who knows how much gophering for an oil company pays or what career paths he might have).

As long as I wasn't economically supporting my 24 year old child and her prospective mate was similar to this guy, I wouldn't be too worried.

And to provide a little good news, you have almost exactly described my sister in law and her husband. The sister in law is a RN nurse, the husband (my wife's brother) may have an AA but hasn't ever had a "decent" comfortably middle class job (unless you consider restaurant management, nursing aide/tech, laborer, construction worker, etc to be "desirable" middle class jobs).

The sister in law nurse does pretty well ($60k+) and they actually started doing travel nursing for a while where I think she was getting closer to $80-90k ("as much as they were both making when she had the almost full time permanent nursing gig" she said).

SIL recently decided she had enough travel nursing and returned to their home base. She found a permanent job and her husband found a permanent 2nd shift job at a manufacturing plant that pays $35-40k/yr. They can easily clear $100k/yr and be comfortably middle class. The husband has had lots of periods of unemployment, but he takes great care of their son, and they save big $$$ avoiding childcare. With his new job, he's making as much as some 30 year old college grads, and he has zero student loan debt.

To summarize, if the guy is decent and seems like a reliable person, I wouldn't worry too much about his lack of great career ambitions. At least he'll have time to spend with your DD and their potential kids. And may be much less stressed out.

edited to add: 9 months is a short period of time to be almost engaged! Says the guy that didn't propose until 5-6 years into the relationship...
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Old 12-05-2013, 03:44 PM   #24
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Being a doctor, attorney or business executive is no guarantee of being a good husband. There are husbands we know with financially secure careers who drink too much or cheat on their wives, and at least one I know of who does both. One left his wife and kids for a younger woman in his office.

Income isn't really the most important trait in a marriage.
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Old 12-05-2013, 03:44 PM   #25
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My advice is to not have your DD feel cornered and have to choose between you and her bf. I don't have a DD but have two younger sisters.

Also, the Trisha song is a good one:

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Old 12-05-2013, 03:50 PM   #26
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Don't take this anyway but positive.

The biggest family issue, I've ever had was DF unacceptance of my DW. I would have married her to spite him. 38 years later, we're very happy, DF doesn't get what he lost out on.

The worst thing you can do is criticism of DD choice. Never allow the I told you so conversation to happen, even if you're right. You raised her, if she loves him, maybe her institints are correct. Be supportive so you leave the door open.

You said it, 'acceptance is the answer'. I do know its not easy, but it's the right thing to do.

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Old 12-05-2013, 04:21 PM   #27
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I have to give kudos to my parents. They never let on, but they must have been worried. My DH was drafted shortly after graduating high school. He worked at a shoe factory until the army. He came home on leave from Vietnam, we got married, and he went back to Vietnam. I already had a college degree and a teaching job. He never went to college, but ended up being our major wage earner with only a tech school education in IT. 42 years later and we're still happily married and living a very comfortable retirement. You can't predict the future-enjoy your DD today and every day-one day at a time.
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Old 12-05-2013, 06:58 PM   #28
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I would encourage you to back off permanently. I am your daughter. My husband was not as fortunate as I was due to his life circumstances and never got the opportunity to go to college at the normal age. He was born in a foreign country. Even so, he went to college in this country but did not graduate. I, on the other hand, obtained two masters degree. My family discouraged me from marrying him but I knew he would make a wonderful, kind and stable husband. He stayed home and took care of the children working only part-time in the evening at a lowskill job which basically bought us grocery while I focused on a lucrative career. Because his potential for making a lot of money was low, we began investing in real estate. He taught himself construction from carpentry to plumbing to basic electrical.

Fast forward 27 years after first meeting and primarily through his hard work and my business acumen,we are easily in the top 5% of household in terms of networth and income. Even though my husband is not college educated, he is self-educated and highly intelligent.

I am married to the best guy - a great husband and father. I think regularly at the time I dated a young doctor who wanted to marry me but whom I dumped. I suspect he would make a terrible husband and he certainly was. I think all three marriages failed.
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Old 12-05-2013, 07:10 PM   #29
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I would encourage you to back off permanently. I am your daughter. My husband was not as fortunate as I was due to his life circumstances and never got the opportunity to go to college at the normal age. He was born in a foreign country. Even so, he went to college in this country but did not graduate. I, on the other hand, obtained two masters degree. My family discouraged me from marrying him but I knew he would make a wonderful, kind and stable husband. He stayed home and took care of the children working only part-time in the evening at a lowskill job which basically bought us grocery while I focused on a lucrative career. Because his potential for making a lot of money was low, we began investing in real estate. He taught himself construction from carpentry to plumbing to basic electrical.

Fast forward 27 years after first meeting and primarily through his hard work and my business acumen,we are easily in the top 5% of household in terms of networth and income. Even though my husband is not college educated, he is self-educated and highly intelligent.

I am married to the best guy - a great husband and father. I think regularly at the time I dated a young doctor who wanted to marry me but whom I dumped. I suspect he would make a terrible husband and he certainly was. I think all three marriages failed.
Wow. What an amazing story. I learn so much from this forum. Congratulations on everything you've accomplished. I really enjoyed reading your post.
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Old 12-05-2013, 07:45 PM   #30
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MuirWannabe, Thanks for starting this thread. I can understand your concerns. In reading the answers, I have discovered that I probably give too many opinions to my DD. It is easy for me to think that I know what is best and I love her and want the best for her. In the future, I am going to try my best to be like HaHa.
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Old 12-05-2013, 08:06 PM   #31
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Great posts.

To the OP - I pretty much second most everyone else. It will hurt your relationship with your daughter to say anything at all negative about your choice. And, frankly, he doesn't sound that bad to me.

When I was child and teenager, it was still more or less expected that the male in the marriage would be the main provider and if the wife made more money then it reflected badly on the husband.

Things have changed. I didn't get married until I was 37. I made more money than my DH. He did have a degree. He didn't actually earn that degree until his late 20s. He started college at the normal time, didn't do well and left. Later, he went back and finished. When we married, he had a job at a Megacorp with good benefits. But, neither he nor I ever cared that I made more money.

I've known lots of male attorneys who made a lot of money and I could a parent thinking someone like that might make a better provider. And, he surely might. But someone like that may well not make a better husband. Plenty of those male attorneys with a high income virtually never saw their families. They left for work before the kids were awake and came home after they were asleep. Their wives always knew that work came first. And, plenty of the later got a divorce.

It may be that this marriage won't work out (unfortunately, many marriages don't). But it is also just as possible that it will. And, in the end, it will be up to your daughter to make her own decisions.

(I do know it is hard. My oldest son is dating a woman 10 years older than him who has 7 kids. I do worry about him. But, he is in the one in the relationship and this is something where he is in a better place to know what that relationship is than I am.)
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Old 12-05-2013, 08:39 PM   #32
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(I do know it is hard. My oldest son is dating a woman 10 years older than him who has 7 kids. I do worry about him. But, he is in the one in the relationship and this is something where he is in a better place to know what that relationship is than I am.)
Wow, do women still have 7 children? I don't want to sound judgmental but that seems a bit odd and I think should really be concerning to a parent. This isn't exactly similar to the OP's situation.
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Old 12-05-2013, 09:57 PM   #33
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We have been there before and are now living with the consequences of our daughters failed marriage. She was 26, college degree working on her masters. He was 22, hs graduate and working as a mall cop. Seemed like a nice enough kid.

We didn't see what she saw in him but we accepted the fact that it was her life and her decision to make.

Fast forward a few years she is working full time, very successful career. He works on and off and is lazy as can be. They have a baby and he becomes the stay at home dad, still lazy as can be. Finally our daughter had enough and they split up and are going through a divorce right now.

We know it is very hard on her and she struggles at times but we just let her know that she can count on us to be there and give her plenty of love and support. Thank goodness we are only an hour away and are able to help her out.
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Old 12-05-2013, 10:08 PM   #34
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Wow, do women still have 7 children? I don't want to sound judgmental but that seems a bit odd and I think should really be concerning to a parent. This isn't exactly similar to the OP's situation.
I'm not saying it is comparable. Just that it is something that my son has to decide on his course of action, not me.
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Old 12-05-2013, 10:28 PM   #35
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Well, DW and I both had college degrees. Hers was liberal arts, mine was biology (good for minimum wage jobs in the late 70s). Her family was pretty successful and I was a stoner bum working three low end jobs. I'm sure they weren't thrilled, but they didn't say anything (AFAIK). But we're still together, raised a DD and now have DGD, and managed to work, LBYM, and retire 7 years ago at age 50. There's no way to tell what's going to happen. Stand back and watch. If worst comes to worst you can give her emotional support if she needs it. If things work out, great. If you could tell the future you'd be rich(er).
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Old 12-06-2013, 09:16 AM   #36
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We have been there before and are now living with the consequences of our daughters failed marriage. She was 26, college degree working on her masters. He was 22, hs graduate and working as a mall cop. Seemed like a nice enough kid. We didn't see what she saw in him but we accepted the fact that it was her life and her decision to make. Fast forward a few years she is working full time, very successful career. He works on and off and is lazy as can be. They have a baby and he becomes the stay at home dad, still lazy as can be. Finally our daughter had enough and they split up and are going through a divorce right now. We know it is very hard on her and she struggles at times but we just let her know that she can count on us to be there and give her plenty of love and support. Thank goodness we are only an hour away and are able to help her out.
Steve,
Thanks for sharing your story. I'm sorry about how it worked out for your daughter. Sounds like as parents you handled it well.
If you don't mind my asking, do you have any regrets? Anything you would have done differently? Or, do you think this is just how things had to play out?

Muir
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Old 12-06-2013, 09:45 AM   #37
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My daughter married a guy we like about a year and a half ago. He is military, made good money with good benefits, owned a home which he sold for a $20K loss.

That said, I'll share with you a situation we had. While they were dating, significant other deployed and was out of the country. DD inherited some money from my father. During this time, , she wanted to buy a condo using some of that money and after he had sold his home. I knew her significant other was in on this, meaning he wanted her to do it also, although that was never a topic of conversation per se.

I was not in agreement with her buying a condo or using her granddad's money for it, feeling some marriage might be coming down the road. I also knew if she pushed it, I had not one leg to stand on since I had taken this money out of trust albeit with her agreement that she allow me to continue to handle it. When I took it out of trust, I had her sign a contract to pay me back for her college education. I felt, that in the future, if needed, I could use that contract to protect her from herself.

DD pushed and pushed and kicked for the use of some of the money to buy that condo. I, was put in the position of knowing that if I did not let her have it, it would damage our relationship. I tried every trick in the book to reason with her. Showed her a depreciation schedule, tried to appeal to her logic (didn't exist), etc.

I let her have the money. She bought the condo in 2011 or so. He came back to the states and moved in with her. Within the year they were engaged and married 8 months after that.

He puts a contract on a new home they have since moved into and is quite nice for their age (26 and 28. 2500 square feet, 4 bedrooms, etc.) He can provide for her. We just had our first grandchild. DD is taking a year off from her job teaching.

What happened to the condo? They sold it in 2012 for a $40K loss. I never said a word.


MuirWannabe, as hard as it is, I'm afraid you will have to let DD make her own mistakes. That truly is the only way our precious adult children can learn. It is how we learned, right?


p.s. So much for that contract, huh?
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Old 12-06-2013, 09:54 AM   #38
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Wow, do women still have 7 children? I don't want to sound judgmental but that seems a bit odd and I think should really be concerning to a parent. This isn't exactly similar to the OP's situation.
Yes they do, a former colleague had 7, his DW was a SAHM, and home schooled. They now have 3 wonderful GC. I'm sure thats just the start.
Another guy was the DF to 6, the first 2 he raised on his own, after his wife ran away. 2 came with his second marriage, he was the only father they knew. Then he and 2nd wife had two more togther. A very happy mixed family.

Of course neither of these families will ever be able to RE.

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Old 12-06-2013, 10:01 AM   #39
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It's hard, I know.

You have stated positive things about his character and how he treats your daughter.

The more you are against the relationship (or even "cool" toward it) the more she will have to defend her choice and push you away in order to exercise her independence.

Why not apologize and say, "We think we were wrong to criticize and we'd like to get much better acquainted with your beau. He obviously is special or you wouldn't have been attracted to him. And the fact that he is attracted to you shows he is very intelligent!"

Then make every opportunity to interact in a positive way. Get to know him (one-to-one when possible, as in Dad takes him to breakfast or coffee) and them together as adults.

Try to smile and relax into it to lower your stress and theirs. This person may become part of your family! Negativity will be setting a tone that could be hard to reverse. Ask questions and listen (no advice!).

You may find he's great husband material. If he's not, during this "get-acquainted" time your daughter may come to see this for herself because she doesn't have to be so invested in defending against your disapproval and proving that you are wrong and she is right.

Let us know how you come out.

Kindest regards.
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Old 12-06-2013, 10:05 AM   #40
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Tough situation. I have watched both of our kids date people that I thought were just awful. Thankfully they never married any of them. Just about bit entirely through my lip to keep my mouth shut.

Only time I said anything was when I found out one of the boyfriends had a criminal record. Said that would be a deal-breaker for me.
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