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Old 12-06-2013, 10:10 AM   #41
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I would never pretend to give advice on something so personal...

...but to share some personal experience...
Some time back, I included a comment in a post to the effect... "We do not live in our childrens' lives".. which rightfully brought the question, "Don't you care?".
... a heart breaking but reasonable assumption. In fact, it has nothing to do with caring or wishing the best for our four sons, but for us, a belief that allowing our feelings to be known, (when we see negatives) does little to resolve any problems, and compounds the anxiety, on both sides.
And so, it has worked for us. Yes... two happy divorces, and many mistakes along the way, but as they pass the 50 year old mark, a very strong relationship between us and them, and a good life for them. Advice given when asked for... never initiated.

But that's just our way of handling the relationship. As we live in senior communities, with typical age ranges between 50 and 90+... we get to see how others handle interaction with their families. It breaks both ways... Some love and live in each others lives, happily... as in old family sitcoms like "Father Knows Best"... visiting back and forth over hundreds of miles, and spending many hours on the phone. Others have had their retirement years upset with almost constant angst. Trying to resolve financial problems, worried about grand children, and being distraught with divorces, both for the wife... left with an insecure future, or the husband, doomed to decades of financial support.

So, no advice... whatever happens in the short term may be difficult, but a certain degree of selfishness should come into play, as we have to make our own decisions about how we spend the later years.

Best wishes...
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Old 12-06-2013, 10:12 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by MRG View Post
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.

MRG
Yes there are still people having large families. Once had a staff member I had just hired whose stated objective (not to me) was to have 6 children quickly, and she serious about it.

Do some religions encourage large families?
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Old 12-06-2013, 10:28 AM   #43
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I have said something adviceish only a couple of times to our grown kids and prefaced it with "I don't want you to say 'I wish you had said something about this' to me one day so I am only going to day this once," because sometimes silence is perceived as encouragement or acceptance and can be confusing. I don't think it really affected their decisions but who knows. And our son is much much easier to discuss things with (without advising) than our daughter ever has been, who is hard on herself.

So I think it's okay that the OP voiced concerns but now can follow the daughter's lead in how to view the relationship.

If either one of our kids was dating someone with 7 kids I would be buying the condoms so the 7 didn't become 8 just in case I might have to help raise that 8th one, which could derail the retirement in many ways.
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Old 12-06-2013, 10:45 AM   #44
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I have found that parental influence is usually not wanted unless asked for. However, I do drop a soft opinion for time to time. And sometimes it takes root!

Whatever you do, remember to not put the guy down to others. I used to work with a young woman whose in laws did not like her and made certain everybody knew it. Her husband, an only child, dies in a tragic accident. She took their son, the in-laws only grandchild they would ever have, and left without telling the in-laws where she was going.
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Old 12-06-2013, 05:37 PM   #45
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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.

MRG
Not necessarily. My DH is father to 6. He had 3 children with his first wife (when he was in his early 20s). We married when he was in his mid-40s. By the time we married, 2 of his children were out on their own married and the third was almost finished with college (he was helping with college expenses).

We had our first child a couple of years later (I had never been married and wanted children and he was cool with it) and a few years after that we adopted a 3 and an 8 year old in an international adoption.

DH did retire at 62 - not super early but a little early. I was 56 then and I went to a very part-time status (working about 1 day a week). We have 2 kids in college now and in a couple of years they will be done.

As for older's son girlfried with 7 kids - she married very young from a culture that encourages large families.

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If either one of our kids was dating someone with 7 kids I would be buying the condoms so the 7 didn't become 8 just in case I might have to help raise that 8th one, which could derail the retirement in many ways.
An 8th is not a possibility.
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Old 12-06-2013, 06:01 PM   #46
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Thanks for all the advice, some gentle, some direct. But all of it good. This forum is truly a great place to get honest perspectives from others. And those who shared their versions of similar type acceptance situations with their children. I found each of these very helpful.

I intend to remain quiet and be on my best behavior with DD, her boyfriend, and anyone else who asks about that situation. Thinking positive thoughts about how it may work out okay. In time I'll hopefully actually believe it. And in more time hopefully come to see it to fruition.

Finally, maybe my portfolio will follow the path of one of those happily skyrocketing Firecalc lines. We die very wealthy and DD along with her siblings inherit a ton of money. And perhaps that can solve any later life financial woes she might have if any. Like I said, I'm thinking positive.

Thanks again to all responders!

Muir
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Old 12-06-2013, 06:06 PM   #47
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That's the spirit! If we think positively about people and nurture them, it encourages them to try harder to reach their potential.
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Old 12-06-2013, 06:31 PM   #48
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Can you stand one more comment?

We raised our children as best as we could. We have fully supported their choices in spouses, never once considering questioning their choices. Both have done well. Our concern is that they have loving, devoted, supportive relationships. Money comes and money goes, but that strong bond between a husband and wife is paramount to us.

As an aside, this is still the land of opportunity, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. This could work out better than anyone expected.
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Old 12-06-2013, 06:33 PM   #49
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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
We always treated all of the kids boyfriends/girlfriends like family. That gave us a chance to see their personality and maybe get them to relax and be themselves around us. I guess we were lucky that they all were nice kids.

Regrets, not really. I don't think there was anything that we could have said or done to change things. We really couldn't see what she saw in him but resigned ourselves to the fact that she was going to do what she wanted to do and we had no good reason to try and stop her.

I'm just glad we raised her to be strong and independent so that she can weather this storm and come out of it in good shape.

And we love our little granddaughter to death, she is one good thing that came out of this :-)
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Old 12-06-2013, 07:02 PM   #50
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I have said something adviceish only a couple of times to our grown kids and prefaced it with "I don't want you to say 'I wish you had said something about this' to me one day so I am only going to day this once,"
I did this one time, in a discussion with someone about a life-changing issue that directly affected me. I acknowledged it was her decision, then said what I thought she needed to know. I let her know that whatever she decided I would support her decision from then on exactly as if it had been my idea. She took the other path, but it has turned out well in many ways. And we get along better than ever before.
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Old 12-06-2013, 07:08 PM   #51
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Maybe not comparable but here's my story:

Parents flew from East coast to CA for my wedding. The day before my mom and I are hanging out by the pool. I mention something to my mom and she says, "you know, you don't have to go through with it". That's all she ever said.

I was kind of shocked by the statement, but didn't give it much attention. One thing my mom knew was to not to tell me how to live my life.

Looking back, she was right and it was the biggest mistake in my life. I wonder if she and dad sat me down and told me to give it some more thought and that they didn't mind if I backed out, if things might have been different. Even my grandmother flew out and I just didn't want to upset all involved.
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Old 12-06-2013, 07:14 PM   #52
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Maybe not comparable but here's my story:

Parents flew from East coast to CA for my wedding. The day before my mom and I are hanging out by the pool. I mention something to my mom and she says, "you know, you don't have to go through with it". That's all she ever said.
Reminds me of the story told about (then 20 year old) Lady Diana Spencer when she was about to marry Prince Charles (then 37). She was actually musing whether to go ahead with the wedding. But then someone said "but you're on the tea-towels now". The rest is history. But if we never made any mistakes, we would miss many good experiences.
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Old 12-06-2013, 07:37 PM   #53
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Reminds me of the story told about (then 20 year old) Lady Diana Spencer when she was about to marry Prince Charles (then 37). She was actually musing whether to go ahead with the wedding. But then someone said "but you're on the tea-towels now". The rest is history. But if we never made any mistakes, we would miss many good experiences.
And a lot of bad experiences too!

But I understand your point.
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Old 12-06-2013, 08:18 PM   #54
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OP, who knows, maybe you can cozy up to the son in law to be and provide a little gentle positive guidance in the "get your ass in gear" department. I don't mean for you to be hard on him, but maybe he's never been around a successful person before (I assume you're successful if you're posting here!).

Maybe he's never considered working hard for a couple years in college as something worthwhile that would lead to great rewards. Maybe he doesn't know how or why having a decent career is important. Of course your DD might be in a better position than you. Just don't close the door to a relationship with the SIL.
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Old 12-06-2013, 09:00 PM   #55
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It's not easy being a parent. When your children are young you must teach them and keep then safe, once they've grown you need to watch as they make choices and live their lives. Hopefully, however you choose to proceed, your relationship with your daughter will flourish, unaffected.
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Old 12-08-2013, 07:50 PM   #56
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Hard to admit, but I was that person to the parents of the guy I dated after high school, because I wasn't college bound like the rest of my private school graduate peers.

It stung at the time, but I got over it and over him later when things didn't work out.

And when my own parents thought my next boyfriend wasn't good enough for me, I told him not to take it too personally. And just celebrated our 20th anniversary in September.
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Old 12-09-2013, 01:59 AM   #57
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I was no prize at 23 when I met the woman who became my wife. Yet 30 years later we are FIREd. You can't tell how stories will end
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Old 12-09-2013, 06:10 AM   #58
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She's 24 and self-supporting, not 20 and dependent on you. Let it go.

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Old 12-09-2013, 07:07 AM   #59
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Heading out in a min but just enough time to scrap this thought together.

One professional per household isn't the end of the world. Sometimes I think we focus too much on just finance alone we might miss other things in life.
My parents were always supportive. Even after we divorced and got back together again unmarried the parents went along cautious at first. They then saw some insight getting to know us better. They realized we are very happy and our current arrangement works even better than the marriage.
Today:
Far as figures for finance, I'm the bread winner at over 200k/yr. She never graduated HS and works at a chain store/restaurant pulling in about 15k/yr. I still love her and save enough for both of us. No kids allows this to be much easier.

Nobody can see the future, only try to predict it. Just always be there.
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Old 12-09-2013, 07:55 AM   #60
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I was no prize at 23 when I met the woman who became my wife. Yet 30 years later we are FIREd. You can't tell how stories will end
Indeed, but it's perfectly understandable why parents want to go with the probabilities for their children's relationships, and not the exceptions. There's little question the odds for financial success/family support for a college grad are better than for a high school grad with no plans/ambition (as the OP describes) - probably even more true today than when you and I were 20-somethings. I am not defending the OP for actively intervening at all, but the facts support their views in general. It may work out wonderfully, and we all hope it does I'm sure...
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